Ontario’s universities are playing a critical role in the social, cultural and economic success of our province, and indeed our country. The past year saw countless numbers of students launching their own businesses, researchers providing solutions to pressing societal problems, and a myriad of university-community partnerships strengthening the student experience and building Ontario up.
A spirit of entrepreneurship has been ignited at Ontario’s universities. From engineering to health sciences and fine arts, students in all disciplines are learning how to take their passion and turn it into a business, or use it for social innovation. Others use these skills as “intrapreneurs” in the workplaces that have hired them. Students are also getting more work experience prior to graduation than ever before as Ontario universities expand experiential learning opportunities.
The numbers show that Ontario university graduates consistently attain the highest employment rates and highest incomes. Demand for a university education remains strong—as of May 2015, 88,558 secondary students had submitted 412,983 applications to Ontario’s universities for September studies, and this number continues to grow.
Universities are conducting world-class research that is vital to the health, prosperity and quality of life of all Canadians, an achievement recognized in April with a record-breaking investment in research of $1.5 billion in the federal budget. This year through Research Matters, universities celebrated 50 game-changing discoveries by Ontario researchers spanning the past 100 years. The research includes the discovery of insulin and the confirmation of the only known portrait of Shakespeare, painted while he was alive.
Universities also came together in the past year with a renewed commitment to survivors of sexual violence. Through ongoing consultation with students, staff and community members, universities are actively working to meet requirements and recommendations outlined under the Premier’s Action Plan on Sexual Violence that will result in safer, more compassionate spaces on our campuses.
We’re so proud of the work that has taken place in Ontario communities this past year. Whether you are a student, a parent, a business owner, a community member, or a member of government, we thank you for sharing in our celebration of student success, and we invite you to read more about the many initiatives emerging at universities across this great province in our annual report.
Bonnie M. Patterson
President and CEO,
Council of Ontario Universities
President and Vice-Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University
Chair, Council of Ontario Universities