ONTARIO NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Taking Action to Improve Integrity of Postsecondary Education and Promote Employment in Critical Sectors

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Ontario Taking Action to Improve Integrity of Postsecondary Education and Promote Employment in Critical Sectors

Changes will help get more young people into rewarding careers in health care and skilled trades

January 26, 2024

Colleges and Universities


TORONTO – The Ontario government will introduce a suite of measures to protect students and improve the integrity of Ontario’s postsecondary education.

“The challenges stemming from the recent spike in students coming to Canada, including predatory practices by bad-actor recruiters, misinformation regarding citizenship and permanent residency, false promises of guaranteed employment, and inadequate housing for students, require immediate attention and collaborative action,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “At the same time, we need to strengthen the links between Ontario’s labour market needs and the programs being offered to students so we can get even more people into rewarding careers in health care and the skilled trades.”

To protect the integrity of postsecondary education and promote employment in critical sectors like health care and the skilled trades, the government’s measures will include the following:

Colleges and Universities

  • Institute a review of programs offered by postsecondary institutions that have a sizeable amount of international students to ensure that program quality protects Ontario’s reputation as a world leader in education and meets Ontario’s labour market demands.
  • Ensure that programs being offered are meeting the needs of the labour market so that students can build a life in Ontario once their education is complete.
  • Introduce a moratorium on new public college-private partnerships while further work is done to strengthen oversight mechanisms and ensure the quality of existing partnerships.
  • Implement measures to improve the response rate to student outcome surveys that will help ensure the best academic outcomes are being achieved.
  • Require all colleges and universities to have a guarantee that housing options are available for incoming international students.

Career Colleges

  • Better integrate enforcement efforts across ministries to strengthen oversight of career colleges, including enhanced data management, documentation processes, and the efficacy of compliance investigations, ensuring timely responses to concerns and complaints.

The Ontario government will also work with sector partners and the federal government to explore ways to further crack down on bad-actor recruiters who take advantage of international students and make dubious claims of employment and citizenship.

“We must find more ways to work together to combat gross recruitment practices while protecting our ability to attract the world’s best and brightest to study here in Ontario,” said Minister Dunlop. “These actions will also ensure that we implement sensible policies that protect against worsening Ontario’s housing affordability issues. We need to ensure that students coming to study here have a place to live.”

The government is also continuing to evaluate the recommendations on postsecondary financial stability that were submitted by the blue-ribbon panel late last year. As this review process continues, the government will work closely with the sector to reach an outcome that provides stability and certainty for postsecondary institutions and students alike, with further details to be announced by the end of February.

As the Ontario government takes the necessary action to protect students, it will work jointly with the federal government to protect the stability of post-secondary education across the province and country.


Quick facts

  • Postsecondary institutions are important sources of job creation, skills training, research, innovation and commercialization, making them leading contributors to Ontario’s overall economic growth.
  • Every $1 invested in postsecondary education generates a positive economic return on investment estimated at $1.36.
  • In March 2023, Ontario created a blue-ribbon panel of experts to provide advice and recommendations for keeping the postsecondary education sector financially stable and focused on providing the best student experience possible.
  • Ontario provides oversight of the career college sector through the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.
  • The Ministry of Colleges and Universities ensures that institutions and programs in the career college sector are of high quality and that student protections are in place, through inspections, investigations, and appropriate enforcement actions.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

Liz Tuomi
Minister Dunlop’s Office

Media Desk
Communications Branch

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