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Canada: Ontario launches Virtual Learning Strategy

The Canadian province of Ontario will invest CAD$50 million in virtual learning and educational technologies for postsecondary education to “strengthen the province’s position as a global leader in the postsecondary sector”, the government has announced.

OntarioThe strategy will also focus on international students who want to study from their home countries. Photo: Pixabay

Ontario will invest CAD $50 million in virtual learning and educational technologies

The Virtual Learning Strategy is one of 30 projects in Ontario Onwards: Ontario’s Covid-19 Action Plan for a People-Focused Government.

It aims to position the province as a “global leader and testbed” for digital innovation in edtech, and at the same time encourage “lifelong learning by supporting virtual micro-credential programs and… [while] increasing the quality and availability of virtual learning efforts”.

It will also aim to become “a global leader in virtual learning by creating opportunities for international students who want to study from their home, while accessing Ontario’s world-class, digital content”.

“This is an historic investment that will support lifelong learners in achieving their educational and professional aspirations,” said Ross Romano, minister of colleges and universities.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of high-quality and accessible virtual learning”

“The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of high-quality and accessible virtual learning.

“In the early days of the pandemic, our sector’s immediate and short term response to building upon our virtual needs was an absolutely necessary step to guaranteeing the academic continuity of our students and ensuring that no one lost a year of study,” he continued.

“It became abundantly clear during that time that Ontario could once again demonstrate our world renowned leadership in postsecondary education by developing our own ‘Ontario Made’ virtual strategy with education that is flexible and responsive to the needs of the labour market.”

The Virtual Learning Strategy will build on the work of Ontario’s current digital learning organisations Contact North and eCampusOntario to improve access and drive innovation.

“eCampusOntario is proud to be leading the implementation of this critical new initiative to help drive the advancement and growth of virtual learning across the province,” said Robert Luke, the organisation’s CEO.

“Over the coming months, we will be working with Ontario’s colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes to help them create world-class digital-first educational programs, providing Ontarians with access to the education and training they need for jobs in the pandemic and post-pandemic economies.”

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