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Ontario’s first French-language uni to open

Canadian province Ontario will get its first French-language university in 2021 after the provincial and federal governments signed a new funding agreement in January.

In September 2019, the governments of Canada and Ontario signed a MoU formally committing to work together to establish the university. Image: Université de l'Ontario français

The university will be supported by an investment of CAD$126 million

Based in Toronto, the Université de l’Ontario français will be supported by an investment of CAD$126 million over eight years.

“It is an unprecedented step that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of Canadians”

Canada’s minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano, minister of Francophone Affairs, Caroline Mulroney, and federal minister of Economic Development, Mélanie Joly, signed the historic funding agreement on behalf of the governments of Ontario and Canada on January 22.

In September 2019, the governments of Canada and Ontario signed a MoU formally committing to work together to establish the Université de l’Ontario français.

With this agreement, both governments have affirmed their commitment to addressing the needs of the more than 620,000 Francophones in Ontario.

“The Université de l’Ontario français is an important and long awaited-for project, critical to future generations of Franco-Ontarians,” said Mulroney in a statement.

“The new university is a great example of our government’s commitment to strengthening the Francophone community, investing in its future and ensuring the community’s continued contribution to Ontario’s prosperity.”

“This is a historic day for Franco-Ontarians and Francophones all across Canada,” added Joly.

“It is an unprecedented step that will make a difference in the lives of thousands of Canadians who will now have the opportunity to pursue higher education in French here in Ontario and will unite francophones from all regions of our country.”

According to reports, the university will offer programs in human plurality, globalised economy, urban environments, and digital cultures.

Programs in management, communications, social work, law, and psychology are also expected to launch next fall with the help of partnering institutions.

Jason Luckerhoff, vice-president of Program and Knowledge Development told CIC News that the administration is working on creating partnerships with institutions in Africa, Asia, and Europe with the hopes of attracting international students.

Once the partnerships are finalised, students would receive credits that would be recognised at both the Université de l’Ontario français and the affiliated institution.

In addition, students from English-language universities in Canada will be given the opportunity to study in French.

“University students taking programs [in English] could take all their electives at the Université de l’Ontario in French,” Luckerhoff explained.

“Instead of just learning French through language courses they would learn [to communicate] in their field,” he added.

L’Université de l’Ontario français will start accepting applications in April 2020.

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