Ontario may limit growth of some graduate programmes

Universities in the Canadian province are under pressure to show the value of, and demand for, their master’s and PhD programmes

January 17, 2017
University of Guelph
Source: iStock

Universities in Ontario may face limits on the growth of their graduate degree programmes if they fail to train students with skills demanded by employers.

The expansion plans of institutions in the Canadian province may also be stunted if they cannot demonstrate enough immediate student demand for graduate courses, according to The Globe and Mail.

The newspaper said that over the next few months the Ontario government will hold discussions with the province’s universities about how and where it provides grants for graduate-level programmes, as part of talks that will lead to a higher portion of funds being linked to each institution’s outcomes (such as graduation or employment rates).

In an earlier round of agreements the province had agreed to support a certain number of graduate places at each university, but institutions that have not yet met these targets will have to explain how they plan to fill the places or face losing them to programmes that are running at capacity, it added.

In addition, last month, Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development announced that it will fund increases in undergraduate and graduate enrolment only within tightly defined boundaries, according to the newspaper.

The provincial government indicated that it wants universities to train students to have skills and competencies rather than focusing on credentials.

Charlotte Yates, provost and vice-president of the University of Guelph, which is running about 10 per cent short of its enrolment targets for graduate students, suggested to The Globe and Mail that reallocating money to universities that are offering more popular degrees could limit other institutions’ more gradual growth.

“The last thing I want to do is stop us in our tracks,” she said.

Since 2004, Ontario has invested more than C$500 million (£309 million) in graduate education and almost 20,000 more people have enrolled in master’s or PhD programmes as a result, according to the newspaper.


You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations

Michael Parkin illustration (9 March 2017)

Cramming study into the shortest possible time will impoverish the student experience and drive an even greater wedge between research-enabled permanent staff and the growing underclass of flexible teaching staff, says Tom Cutterham