As if your university degree wasn’t watered down enough, the Ontario government announced this week they would be creating 6,000 new spaces for students to enrol in masters and PhD programs across the province by 2015-16.
The 2011 Budget – Turning The Corner, will provide operating support to help establish places for 60,000 students in total, of which 6,000 will be graduate students, at Ontario’s colleges and universities. There are already over 300,000 undergraduate students at Ontario universities and colleges, and over 50,000 graduate students.
The Ontario government has already created 15,000 graduate spaces in the past eight years through Reaching Higher, an investment plan for post-secondary education established under Premier Dalton McGuinty which extended until 2010.
“In today’s knowledge-based economy, it is vital that Ontario continues to support advanced research and develop a highly educated and skilled workforce,” John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said. “By helping more Ontarians pursue higher education, we can strengthen our economy and our future.”
In order to help more students pursue graduate and doctorate degrees, the government, beginning in 2011-12, will award 1,000 more Ontario students with an Ontario Graduate Scholarship. This will increase the number of Ontario graduates receiving the award and funding from 2,000 to 3,000 students.
Currently, the average tuition rate for Ontario graduate students is $9,000 annually, the highest in the country.
“The Ontario Government’s continued investment in graduate education is excellent news for our future prosperity,” David Naylor, president of the University of Toronto, said. “[This] announcement represents another important step by the Government to expand the number of talented masters and doctoral students necessary to ensure a brighter tomorrow for our province.”
The new graduate spaces will be catered towards students pursuing high-demand careers, such as engineering, health and environmental studies.
Overall, this initiative will mark a 17 per cent enrolment increase at Ontario post-secondary education institutions.