partnering on ensuring
student access
Working together to make sure all willing and qualified Ontarians can access postsecondary institutions.
“Today’s economic prosperity [is about] the fact that diverse teams are teams that prosper and deliver better results for companies. But it is also about that individual prospering, a community prospering, a family prospering, and… that idea that we can’t prosper unless all of us are prospering.”
- Margaret Eaton, Executive Director of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council, at the Ontario’s Universities Roundtable on Diversity and Inclusion

The Issue

As Ontario’s economy continues to transform, a postsecondary education is increasingly vital for developing the broad set of skills required in today’s and tomorrow’s workplaces. Government and educators must continue working together to ensure that all Ontarians who are willing and qualified can access a postsecondary education and the learning and economic opportunities that come with it.

The Background

  • For the last decade, Ontario’s universities have seen an increase in applications and enrolment. In recent years the number of applicants has continued to climb even as the number of young adults in the province has decreased, showing that Ontarians are seeing the value of a university education for their future.
  • University enrolment has increased by more than 70 per cent since 2000, helping Ontario hold one of the highest graduation rates for postsecondary around the world – a key factor in the province’s reputation for talent.
  • Universities work with the government, through OSAP, to remove barriers to a postsecondary education and support all students who need financial assistance. Since 2001, Ontario has led the country when it comes to increasing the on-campus proportion of students from lower income families.
  • The work of promoting access to university has to start early, however. High school students need to be informed about their postsecondary choices and prepared for campus challenges such as managing workload in their studies and being financially literate for life away from home.

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What We Heard
Read what Ontarians had to say about diversity and access in postsecondary institutions.

Key Facts about Access

What Ontario Universities
Are Doing

Ontario’s universities are committed to helping ensure any willing and qualified Ontarian can access a university education. To achieve that, universities are engaged in a wide range of work:

Our eINFO website offers comprehensive and easily accessible information about programs, scholarships and the application process to support prospective students in making informed decisions.


Universities are committed to increasing access for students from low-income families. We provide students with more than $900 million in scholarships and bursaries, and run programs to reach out into our communities and help underserved students prepare for a postsecondary education.

Universities also work closely with high school counsellors, and are committed to doing so further to continue improving the delivery of information about options at colleges and universities and how students can best use a postsecondary education to set themselves up for the jobs of the future.

How Government Can Help
  • Prepare high school students for transition

    Help high schools prepare students for the transition to university by providing students with training on managing university workloads, financial literacy and living independently.

  • Improve access to data about in-demand jobs

    Continue to improve access to data about in-demand jobs and marketable skills, so students and parents can better assess career opportunities and understand how a university education can help lead the way to a successful future.

  • Attract first-generation university students

    Work with universities to attract and support first-generation university students.

Partnering for a Better Future
By making a postsecondary education accessible, Ontario can ensure that all Ontarians have access to the high-quality education that will help them launch a fulfilling career and ensure Ontario has the talented workforce it needs to succeed in the future.
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What We Heard

We spent a year listening to what Ontarians had to say about their hopes and concerns, ideas and aspirations for the future. Listen to what they had to say.

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What Students Really Pay

This report looks at the impact of non-repayable financial assistance on the cost of tuition to students using data from a major collaborative study between Ontario universities and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD).

Preparing Our Students for Tomorrow's World

The 2014-16 Biennial Report showcases exciting initiatives at Ontario universities that support student success now and into the future.

Graduate Survey 2015

As the world continues to change at a rapid pace, the future remains bright for university graduates, concludes the latest Ontario government graduate survey.

Read the Report

In our report, you will find a comprehensive summary of what we heard from Ontarians and how Ontario's universities are working across all sectors to help students thrive, support our communities, and drive a growing, dynamic province.