Ontario providing $1,435,517 to Durham College

DURHAM REGION – The Ontario Government is providing $1,435,517 to Durham College to support STEM program costs. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities is supporting institutions by providing an additional $100M in funding in 2023-24, towards existing STEM enrolment for institutions whose overall enrolment has grown beyond the funded level. This further helps support our domestic students entering STEM fields and helps meet local labour demands.

“This funding will help Durham College alleviate financial hardship in their STEM programs caused by over-enrollment and is another example of how our Government is empowering and supporting students in the Region of Durham on their pathway to employment,” said Lorne Coe, MPP for Whitby and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier.

“With an emphasis on academic priorities, resources, inclusion and diversity, our Government will continue to support all students across Ontario by investing in all programs including the STEM programs. We are investing in students to enable high achievement in their post-secondary education and their vocational pursuits,” said Todd McCarthy, MPP for Durham.

“Investing in STEM education is not just funding; it’s planting the seeds of innovation, powering the engines of progress, and creating a brighter future,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. “This investment will assist in scientific discovery, engineering marvels, and technological breakthroughs that will shape our communities and province.”

“Our government is focused on supporting Ontario’s sharp-minded students within the STEM field,” said Patrice Barnes, MPP for Ajax. “By providing funding of over $1.4 million to Durham College, we’re cutting program costs for many STEM students, right here in the Durham Region and across Ontario, providing crucial financial relief to the next generation of innovators working hard to make significant advancements here in Ontario.”

The province is also introducing legislation that would, if passed, support student mental health, safe and inclusive campuses and allow for increased transparency of fees. This suite of measures also includes initiatives that will help connect students to rewarding careers to help build Ontario’s skilled workforce.

“It’s never been more important to keep costs down for students and parents,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Instead of burdening hard-working families with higher tuition, we’re making historic investments to stabilize colleges and universities. We’re taking action to make fees more transparent. We’re supporting student mental health, fostering safer campuses and preparing students for rewarding careers.”

To support students and their families, Ontario is extending the tuition fee freeze for publicly assisted colleges and universities for at least three more years. Institutions will be able to increase tuition by up to five per cent for out-of-province domestic students. At the time the freeze was first introduced and accompanied by a 10 per cent reduction in fees, Ontario had the highest university tuition rates in the country. Since then, students and parents have saved an estimated $1,600 per year on average for university and an estimated $350 per year on average for college, compared to what they would have paid under the previous policy that allowed three per cent increases each year.

To stabilize postsecondary institutions, the Ontario government is investing nearly $1.3 billion over three years, including:

  • $100 million in 2023-24 to support STEM program costs at publicly assisted colleges and universities with enrolments above currently funded levels.

The province is also introducing the Strengthening Accountability and Student Supports Act, 2024 that would, if passed, authorize the Minister to issue directives requiring colleges and universities to provide information about ancillary fees and other students costs, including costs for textbooks or other learning materials. This could include ensuring that fees are published by institutions in a consistent manner – for instance, by publishing costs in a course syllabus.

In order to provide additional transparency as it relates to tuition, the province will also engage with colleges and universities to create tuition fee transparency to help students and their families better understand how tuition fees are used.

The Strengthening Accountability and Student Supports Act, 2024 would also, if passed, require colleges and universities to have policies in place relating to mental health and wellness supports and services and require colleges and universities to have policies in place to combat racism and hate, including but not limited to antisemitism and Islamophobia.

The province will also launch a career portal to help students understand labour market needs and make informed decisions on postsecondary education. This will consolidate various sources of information to help students and newcomers access education and careers in Ontario.

With these investments and suite of measures, Ontario is taking a responsible approach to allow flexibility amid a challenging financial climate, while protecting students and parents from the additional costs.

“Durham College is focused on being responsive to the labour market, and we are proud to offer more than 25 STEM-driven programs, to support industry needs. This investment ensures that we are preparing skilled, qualified and experienced graduates, ultimately creating a stronger and more productive community,” said Dr. Elaine Popp, President, Durham College. “Building an interest in STEM starts early. For example, for five years, we have been proud to support an annual opportunity for Grade 7 and 8 girls to participate in a day of interactive workshops designed to foster a sense of curiosity in science, technology and skilled trades and to introduce them to career opportunities in these fields. We are committed to ensuring these career paths are accessible and available to all those who wish to pursue them.”

Quick Facts

  • In addition to the tuition freeze for domestic in-province students, institutions will have the flexibility to increase tuition fees for domestic out-of-province students by no more than five per cent in 2024-25.
  • Given the federal government’s introduction of a hard cap on the number of international students allowed in Canada, the province is working closely with the postsecondary sector to achieve a fair allocation of the available study permits.
  • The government is continuing to evaluate the blue-ribbon panel’s advice and is working with postsecondary sector partners to create the right conditions to help students access and succeed in postsecondary education.
  • In 2023-24, Ontario invested $32.6 million in mental health supports for postsecondary students. These funds help bolster mental health supports at institutions by supporting a range of initiatives, including the Mental Health Services Grant, Mental Health Worker Grant and the Indigenous Institutes Mental Health Grant.

Additional Resources