Ontario government announces $1.3 billion in funding for universities and colleges, extends tuition freeze


At a press conference hosted earlier today by minister of colleges and universities Jill Dunlop, it was announced that the Ontario government will provide about $1.3 billion in funding to universities and colleges over the next three years, as well as extend the tuition fee freeze for in-province students until around 2027. 

The tuition freeze was first put in place for Ontario students by the Progressive Conservative government in 2019, and was accompanied by a 10 per cent reduction in tuition fees. Postsecondary schools will still have the ability to increase tuition by up to five per cent for Canadian students from other provinces. 

A UW spokesperson said that the institution would be looking closely at the details of the announcement to understand its implications. 

“We appreciate that the government has taken these first steps to address financial issues in our sector, however we remain concerned about long-term financial sustainability given the impact that many years of a frozen operating grant and frozen tuition rates have had on our institution,” they said.

The announcement did not specify how much each school would be allocated, though factors like total enrollment will be considered

“We thank the government for the investment announced today allowing the Advanced Research Computing Infrastructure, of which University of Waterloo is part, to continue to create broadly accessible advanced computing capacity for 36 key institutions, including other universities and hospitals,” the spokesperson continued.

The funding will go to capital repairs and equipment, STEM program costs, research and innovation, mental health supports, and a third-party review that will explore what actions institutions can take to drive long-term cost savings. 

The province is also introducing legislation that, if passed, would require universities and colleges to provide information to students about the cost for ancillary fees, textbooks, and other learning materials.