Ontario holding student housing consultations, minister says


Published September 11, 2023 at 4:00 pm

Ontario’s colleges and universities minister says she is holding consultations with colleges, universities and municipalities this fall on student housing.

Jill Dunlop says she is consulting with the sector on how to remove barriers to creating affordable student housing on and off campus and will be hosting roundtables this fall that will also include municipalities, private career colleges and builders.

A recent report by a University of Ottawa-based think tank found that Ontario universities nearly doubled international student enrolment between 2014-15 and 2021-22, and colleges more than tripled international enrolment, but the creation of student housing has not kept pace.

A report late last year from Ontario’s auditor general found that a 10 per cent tuition cut and subsequent freeze the government introduced in 2019 meant that universities had to increase their dependence on international student tuition.

Earlier this year, Dunlop announced that an expert panel would look at “financial sustainability” of the post-secondary education sector and today she told a legislative committee that their report is expected in the coming weeks.

She says the panel is looking at issues surrounding international students, and that she is not in favour of a cap on international student visas, which the federal government has suggested it is considering.

The Canadian Press

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