The province has announced a major push to recruit Canadians for new colleges and universities, and its goal is to increase enrolment by 50 per cent by 2025.
But some say the plan is a brain drain and a brain tax.
The Globe and Mail’s Peter Foster speaks with Michael Smith, director of the Ontario Centre for Excellence in Advanced Education, a think-tank.
2:00 The province plans to create new colleges in the Greater Toronto Area, including one in Toronto’s east end.
That will add around 40,000 students and add $4.5 billion in federal funding over the next five years.
In addition, the province plans $1.1 billion over three years to build four new universities and to pay for $1 billion in provincial capital projects.
The new universities will be called universities of innovation.
The province also says it will offer grants of up to $1,000 to new students to help them find a degree.
The government says the university of innovation is a key element in helping students achieve their dreams.
But critics say the initiative is being driven by the private sector and a political agenda that’s not aligned with the province’s goals.
Here’s what you need to know.
1:36 Universities to create ‘brain-friendly’ classrooms to help students learn more in the classroom, and boost the economy 2:02 But critics argue the idea of a brain-friendly environment is a way to lure students away from their regular schools and onto courses they’ll regret.
They say it could cost tens of millions of dollars to open up a new university.
For instance, some students will have to move to a different university to complete their studies.
The premier says the new universities won’t replace existing universities but will create a new class of students.
“We are creating a new cohort of students, and we’re going to be a bit less selective in our choice of colleges,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said at a news conference.
Wynne says she wants to build a strong and resilient economy, and the government will do everything it can to help young people succeed.
But she says the goal is ambitious.
“The goal is that we’re adding 50,000 people to the economy and creating a $3.2-billion-a-year economic boost,” Wynne said.
“But we’re not going to do it in a way that we can sustain it for decades.”
The plan has been under consideration for a year.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce says the plan ignores the fact that the population of Canada is growing and is a lot more diverse than it used to be.
The Chamber says the government should instead focus on attracting talented young people who can work in the labour force, instead of encouraging students to leave school early and take up positions in the private and public sectors.
Wynne has repeatedly said she wants the province to be “the envy of the world” for a variety of reasons, including high quality of education, affordable housing, a high level of skilled workers and a healthy economy.
But the government has been pushing for a better economic outlook.
The plan is also being challenged in court.
A federal judge has ruled that the province must reveal the cost of the university project.
The decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in London, Ont., is set to be appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa.
1,500 jobs expected to be created in new schools by 2021 2:09 “We have a very strong economic plan.
And that’s why I’m very confident that we will be successful in meeting our goal of increasing the number of students and the quality of our education in this province,” Wynne told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s going to take a very, very focused effort, and I can’t wait to get it in place.”
Wynne said the government is already on track to reach its goal of adding 1,000 jobs by 2021.
And she said the province is already creating 1,300 new jobs.
But, she said, the plan will grow faster than the job creation.
“Our economy is already growing, but we are going to keep that growth going and we will continue to invest in our education system,” she said.
But not everyone is convinced that the government’s plan is ambitious enough.
In his ruling, Justice Michael G. Murphy said the new university program is “an ambitious, high-risk, high payoff plan that may not deliver the job numbers that are required.”
Murphy wrote that the plan “must not be viewed as a permanent solution” because of the risks associated with the program.
Murphy also noted that the Ontario government has “a long history of using its provincial government resources to fund public university expansion projects and to support its expansion of higher education.”
He wrote that some of the investments made by the province could be more readily justified.
“As the Province’s largest single employer, it is incumbent upon it to ensure that its new colleges, universities and research centres are in line with the priorities of Ontario and the region, and to