Ontario creates 3,300 new graduate spaces

Queen’s to receive 97 spaces; $221 million spent on creating new graduate spaces since 2006

The Government of Ontario has announced they’re giving $51.6 million in funding to create 3,300 new graduate spaces across the province over the next three years, 97 of which will go to Queen’s.

The announcement marks the second phase of the government’s Reaching Higher plan, which was first revealed in 2006 and aims to accommodate the high demand for graduate spaces.

Tanya Blazina, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities said the government initiated the plan to fulfill the province’s need for well-educated individuals.

“As part of the government’s Reaching Higher plan, which is their plan for post secondary education in the province, they invested $6.2 billion dollars overall to create new graduate spaces, more capital, more textbooks and more research across the post-secondary sector,” she said, adding that $221 million of the $6.2 billion fund has been spent annually to create 15,000 new graduate spaces since 2006.

Blazina said the government is committed to upholding the province’s prosperity in today’s knowledge-based economy.

“Ontario’s highly skilled work force is the key to the province’s success in the knowledge-based economy,” she said. “It’s estimated that over the next decade, seven out of 10 new jobs created in Ontario will require post-secondary education or training.”

Vice-Principal (Academic) Patrick Deane said the new graduate spaces will be a necessary and welcome addition to Queen’s.

“These additional spaces that have been allocated to Queen’s, they represent approximately somewhere between 90 and a 100 additional masters students,” he said. “This was a good thing because we have a number of new masters programs coming online. There’s also the possibility under the government’s announcement about exchanging some of those masters places for doctoral places.”

Deane said he thinks a number of new online masters programs such as cultural studies will command a number of spots, but it’s still possible there will be growth in existing programs as well.

Deane said final decisions have not been made as to how spaces will be distributed.

“It’s not really a matter of allocation,” he said. “We’ll see where demand is and then the position will be distributed accordingly.”

Deane said despite the funding that comes with new graduate spots, he doesn’t believe they will bring any significant financial boost to the University.

“The way in which the government has funded these is that there is a certain amount of money that does flow in to the University for each of these positions,” he said.

“Because graduate financial support is a very significant part of the cost of enrolling a graduate student, most of the money that is provided by the government flows through the University back to the students in the form of Queen’s graduate awards, for TAs and other kinds of financial support of that sort. There is a little bit of money that remains in the Dean’s office in each case, but it’s not a very significant amount.”

Ontario's Top 10

Of Ontario’s 22 colleges and universities, these 10 top the ranks for new graduate spaces and allotments:

University of Toronto

University of Western Ontario

University of Waterloo

McMaster University

University of Ottawa

Ryerson University

University of Guelph

York University

Queen’s University

University of Ontario Institute
of Technology

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