Ontario universities pressed to show value, demand for graduate degrees

Some of Ontario’s universities may have to reconsider their plans to expand master’s and PhD programs as the province tries to encourage the sector to focus on training students who graduate with skills that are in demand.

Over the next few months, the Liberal government will begin negotiations with the province’s universities that will ultimately lead to a higher portion of funds being linked to each institution’s outcomes, such as graduation or employment rates.

As part of those talks, the government will hold discussions on how and where it provides grants for graduate-level programs. In an earlier round of agreements, the province had agreed to support a certain number of spots at each university. Universities that have not yet attracted enough students to meet those targets will have to explain how they plan to fill the spots or face losing them to programs that are running at capacity, sources said.

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