Nine months before a provincial general election, the Ontario government has unveiled plans for the creation of a new French-language university in the greater Toronto area.
“This is a tremendous step forward in the creation of the first standalone French-language university in Ontario,” Advanced Education and Skills Development Minister Deb Matthews said in a statement.
The decision is a result of a report produced last year by the French-language University Planning Board, chaired by former Commissioner for Official Languages, Dyane Adam.
Matthews said the new institution will be “governed by and for francophones (and) … will provide access to high-quality French-language university education in the Greater Toronto Area and Central and Southwestern Ontario.”
Ontario’s francophone community has been advocating for better access to post-secondary education for years. Currently, 75 per cent of francophone students finishing high school in the province and going on to university have to pursue studies in English because of limited options to study in French. If the project goes ahead, the new university would open its doors in Toronto in the fall of 2020 with a capacity of 350 students.