#FirstFrench-LanguageUniversity, #Ontario, #OntarioFrancophonecommunity, #Dr.DyaneAdam, #DebMatthews, #Marie-FranceLalonde
Toronto, Aug 29 (Canadian-Media): Ontario’s proposal to create a new French-language university in Central and Southwestern Ontario -- governed by and for Francophone community -- would be the first of its kind in the province and would create more job opportunities for the Ontario Francophone community, media reports said.
Marie-France Lalonde. Image credit: Facebook page
“This is a tremendous step forward in the creation of the first standalone French-language university in Ontario, governed by and for Francophones, which will provide access to high-quality French-language university education in the Greater Toronto Area and Central and Southwestern Ontario. My sincere thanks to the planning board panel and chair, Dr. Dyane Adam, for the work they have done,” said Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.
Ontario is reported to be home to 611,500 Francophones — the largest population in Canada outside of Québec – with central and southwestern Ontario home to the fastest growing Francophone population.
A total of 430,000 people in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) speak French, reportedly makes it the fourth most important centre of French-language speakers in Canada.
At present Ontario has two publicly funded French-language colleges and nine French-language and bilingual schools offering university programs.
In 2015-16, the Ontario government had reportedly invested $87.9 million to support French-language postsecondary education, including almost $14 million from the federal government — an increase of more than 71 percent since 2003-04.
Established last fall by Ontario government, the French-language University Planning Board chaired by Dr. Dyane Adam, submitted its report ‘From Local Innovation to Global Excellence: Proposal for a French-Language University in Ontario’ in July 2017 with recommendations to create a new French-Language University in Central and Southwestern Ontario.
The Planning Board recommended "Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) take the necessary steps within the government to establish a French-language University in centre and southwest Ontario…that support affiliation approaches to academic oversight; and provide advice on options regarding the legislative composition of the board and the academic council.”
After careful review, Ontario will reportedly accept key recommendations of the report and introduce legislation for the creation of the proposed university in the coming months.
Marie-France Lalonde: Facebook
Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Francophone Affairs tweeted, “Reached a historic milestone today: our gov’t intends to create Ontario’s first standalone French-language university in CSW Ontario#onpoli.”
Lalonde was quoted by the media, “Francophone culture and the French language have always been essential to Ontario’s identity and prosperity. This is strongly reaffirmed today with the government’s intent to provide high-quality postsecondary education to Francophone students. The creation of a new French-language university, governed by and for Francophones, is a critical milestone for Franco-Ontarians and future generations.”
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)