Partnering to Support Students, Communities and the Province: Ontario’s Universities At a Glance

Partnering to Support Students, Communities and the Province: Ontario’s Universities At a Glance

Through high-quality university education, regional partnerships and ground-breaking research and innovation, Ontario’s universities are partnering to build a better future for students, communities and the province.

Scroll through to find out how the province’s universities are:

Supporting Ontario’s
Students

In order to develop the skills employers are looking for and have the opportunities that will prepare them for the changing workforce, Ontario’s students need access to a high-quality university education and an enriching experience that equips them with invaluable life-long skills.

570,800+

Number of full-time and part-time students currently studying at Ontario’s universities as of Fall 2020.[1]Ontario’s universities enrolment data collected through Statistics Canada’s Beyond 20/20

2.1%

Increase in total full-time undergraduate and graduate student enrolment between 2019-20 and 2020-21.[2]Ontario’s universities enrolment data collected through Statistics Canada’s Beyond 20/20

To help students navigate an ever-evolving society, Ontario’s universities are adapting work-integrated learning and providing additional supports for student mental health.

$1.2B

Provided in scholarships, grants and bursaries to ensure students in the greatest financial need receive necessary support.[3]Collected by the Council of Ontario Finance Officers

 
Universities continue to work with government and stakeholders to help increase participation rates, while supporting student mental health and providing opportunities for innovative programs and curriculums.

Developing a Highly Skilled,
Adaptable Workforce

As the labour market continues to change at a rapid pace, Ontario’s workforce needs to be equipped with adaptable skills to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow in order to seize new opportunities that emerge as our information economy evolves.

92.7%

Employment rate of university graduates after two years.[4]Provided by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ Ontario’s Universities Graduate Survey of 2018 graduates

90.4%

Percentage of graduates employed full-time who find work that is closely or somewhat related to the skills developed at university.[5]Provided by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities’ Ontario’s Universities Graduate Survey of 2018 graduates

2.4 million

Number of expected job openings that found an increasing employer need for critical thinking, co-ordination, social perceptiveness, active listening and complex problem-solving skills.[6]Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth Can Thrive in the Age of Disruption, RBC, 2018

The average monthly rate of Canadians who experienced job loss during the onset of the pandemic was 15.1% for Canadians whose educational attainment was below a Bachelor’s degree, compared to 7.2% for Canadians with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.[7]Collected by Statistics Canada

11%

Increase in Ontario secondary school applications to Ontario’s universities from January 2020 to January 2022.[8]Provided by Ontario Universities’ Application Centre

With a high demand for transferrable skills from the province’s employers and a commitment to help students develop resiliency in a changing world, Ontario’s universities are ensuring every student graduates job-ready with the adaptable skills that will help them become recession proof.

Meeting the Need for a Strong
Health-Care Workforce

The combination of an aging population, a backlog of elective surgeries and routine procedures caused by the pandemic, as well as increasing burnout among health-care professionals underscores the need for a strong health-care workforce to help rebuild Ontario’s health-care system.

Nearly 148,000

Number of job openings Ontario is projecting within the health-care sector from now until 2030 that will require a university education, including 12,000 managers.[9]Ontario Future Labour Force Needs Study, Stokes Economics, 2021

56.9%

Increase in job vacancies in health care and social assistance during the last quarter of 2020, bringing vacancies to a “record high” of 100,300.[10]Collected by Statistics Canada

35%

Increase in all applications to university nursing education programs since March 2020. [11]Provided by Ontario Universities’ Application Centre

74%

Increase in applications to Nurse Practitioner programs at Ontario’s universities from 2020 to 2021.[12]Provided by Ontario Universities’ Application Centre

10%

Increase in applications to Ontario Medical Schools from 2020 to 2021.[13]Provided by Ontario Universities’ Application Centre

 
Through unique programs and collaborations, Ontario’s universities are developing strong, highly skilled talent within the health-care sector. This in-demand talent is ready to meet the need today and into the future, ensuring Ontarians receive critical care.

Responding to Labour Market
in High-Growth Fields

Ontario is already seeing increasing levels of demand amongst certain STEM and non-STEM occupations that typically require a university degree, such as engineers, computer programmers and health-care professionals. Demand for these jobs will only increase.

233,000+

Number of job openings Ontario is projecting within STEM from now until 2030 that will require a university education, including 44,589 engineers; 56,786 computer programmers, software engineers and designers; and 34,000 managers in STEM.[14]Ontario Future Labour Force Needs Study, Stokes Economics, 2021

127,709

Number of job openings that require a university education Ontario is projecting within Business, Finance and Administration from now until 2030.[15]Ontario Future Labour Force Needs Study, Stokes Economics, 2021

178,505

Number of job openings that require a university education Ontario is projecting in Education, Law and Social, Community and Government Services from now until 2030.[16]Ontario Future Labour Force Needs Study, Stokes Economics, 2021

41%

Increase in Ontario secondary school applications to computer and informational science programs over the last two years. In addition, Ontario secondary school applications have increased by nearly 19% in biological and biomedical sciences and more than 13% in engineering.

98%

Increase in enrolment in math and physical science programs at Ontario’s universities. In addition, universities have seen a 58% increase in engineering and applied science and 31% in health care between 2010 and 2020.[17]Ontario’s universities enrolment data

38%

Percentage of students enrolled in STEM programs at Ontario’s universities, up from 30% in 2011-12. [18]Ontario’s universities enrolment data

33%

Of all women students were enrolled in STEM programs in 2020-21 – an increase from 25.4% in 2011-12. Women now account for almost 48% of enrolment in these programs.[19]Ontario’s universities enrolment data

 
Ontario’s universities continue to support the development of a workforce that has the skills and adaptability to power the province’s economy of tomorrow.

Attracting Global Talent

International students play a vital role in Ontario’s future, as the province begins to rebuild – supporting the local communities in which they reside and boosting regional economies through volunteering and spending activities.

Nearly 94,000

Number of international students enrolled at Ontario’s universities during the 2020-21 academic year.[20]Ontario’s universities enrolment data collected through Statistics Canada’s Beyond 20/20

118,206

Number of jobs that spending activities by all international students translated to in Ontario in 2018.[21]Collected by the Government of Canada

 
International students continue to enrich university campuses, bringing new ideas and fresh perspectives for an increasingly globalized world.

Driving a Globally Competitive
Province through Research

Fostering an environment where researchers can continue to conduct curiosity-driven research, make discoveries that support the health and well-being of Ontarians, maximize commercialization and solve pressing issues will benefit all Ontarians and increase Ontario’s competitive advantage.

$30.6B

Increase in Ontario’s GDP in 2018 compared to 1971, due to university research and development over the years.[22]How Ontario’s Universities Benefit Regional Economies: Assessing the Regional Economic Impacts of Universities in Ontario, The Conference Board of Canada, 2021

University researchers are partnering with industry and helping create the type of breakthroughs that make Ontario’s economy more self-sufficient, resulting in new jobs, products and services.

It is helping large and scaling Canadian companies, such as Shopify and ecobee, as they continue to develop local talent, create jobs across Ontario and continue to enhance their ability to utilize and commercialize intellectual property.

Due to ground-breaking research and innovation and highly skilled talent, Ontario is attracting investment from around the world and becoming a global leader in fast-growing sectors, such as clean technology, cybersecurity, life sciences and artificial intelligence.

 
By conducting ground-breaking research and commercializing innovative discoveries, Ontario’s universities are working to ensure the province remains competitive and attractive to investment.

Supporting Ontario’s Communities
and Regional Economies

With deep roots in their local communities, universities serve as key economic drivers and critical pieces of the social and economic infrastructure that makes up Ontario.

138,600

Number of people employed by Ontario’s universities in areas, such as administration, skilled trades and maintenance, in 2020.[23]Collected by Statistics Canada

$5B

Amount universities purchase in goods and services per year.[24]Collected by the Council of Ontario Finance Officers

$45.6B

Ontario’s universities’ contribution to the province’s GDP due to activities stemming from institutions, students, visitors and alumni, which supported 487,639 jobs in 2018.[25]How Ontario’s Universities Benefit Regional Economies: Assessing the Regional Economic Impacts of Universities in Ontario, The Conference Board of Canada, 2021

At least $50.6 billion Ontario’s universities’ contribution to the province’s GDP in 2018-19 due to the higher human capital development of alumni.[26]How Ontario’s Universities Benefit Regional Economies: Assessing the Regional Economic Impacts of Universities in Ontario, The Conference Board of Canada, 2021

 
As large employers, local purchasers and spaces where the local workforce is fueled and innovation stimulates local economies, Ontario’s universities play a leading role in supporting communities across the province.

Partnering to Rebuild Ontario

Vibrant universities will continue to develop adaptable talent, help rebuild our health-care system, as well as drive innovation and regional economic development. By working together, we can safeguard Ontario’s health and economy and build a brighter future – not just for the students we teach and the communities we serve, but for Ontario’s future and all who live here.

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