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Ontario Supports Post-Secondary Institutions Impacted by COVID-19

 Funding will help Algoma University and Sault College with pandemic related costs 

SAULT STE. MARIE — The Ontario government is providing $6.3 million to help Algoma University and Sault College address the financial impacts of COVID-19. This investment will support the sustainability of postsecondary education in Sault Ste. Marie and help ensure students get the skills and education they need for the in-demand jobs of today and tomorrow.

“This is great news for both our postsecondary institutions and our community,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie and Minister of Colleges and Universities. “As our postsecondary institutions faced financial struggles during the pandemic, this funding will help them recover financially so they can continue doing what they do best and educate students. By investing in our institutions now, our government is ensuring students have access to higher education in our community and are helping our local economy recover so we can thrive coming out of the pandemic.”

This funding is part of Ontario’s total investment of $106.4 million for postsecondary institutions who have been the most financially impacted by COVID-19. Funding will help to offset pandemic related costs, including those associated with online learning, personal protective equipment and enhanced cleaning.

“Our postsecondary institutions are critical to the prosperity of our province and local communities and will contribute significantly to our economic recovery,” said Romano. “Postsecondary institutions are a key source of job creation, skills training, research, and innovation. That’s why our government has established the emergency fund to help address the financial impacts of COVID-19 and ensure they have the tools, technologies and resources they need to support students throughout their studies.”

“This is a significant investment in the future of Sault College. It not only supports our operations, but also our current and future students and our local community as a whole,” said Dr. Ron Common, President of Sault College. “The overall benefits of this funding are far- reaching and will have long-lasting effects that will move our College forward. On behalf of Sault College, I would like to express our gratitude to Minister Ross Romano for once again recognizing and highlighting the importance of post-secondary education in Ontario and the need to support this critical sector through the pandemic and the extraordinary costs associated with operating safely so we can continue to educate and train our future workforce.”

“I want to thank the Ontario government and Minister Romano for their continued support of the college and university sector. The pandemic exacerbated our existing fiscal challenges adding ancillary revenue loss, lower enrolment revenue, new distance learning and protective health costs,” said Asima Vezina, President and Vice-Chancellor of Algoma University. “Today’s funding announcement is welcome news for Algoma as it will ensure our recovery and allow for re-investments in growth as we continue to create world-class learning for students while supporting social and economic recovery in our communities.”

Quick Facts:

  • To ensure institutions have the funding to help students develop the skills and education they need for their future, the government is providing Algoma University with $4.8 million and Sault College with $1.5 million.
  • Earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario delivered $25 million in additional funding to publicly assisted colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes to help address each institution’s most pressing needs, including purchasing medical supplies, offering mental health supports and deep cleaning campus facilities.
  • The university and college sectors had annual surpluses of $863 million and $333 million respectively at the end of 2019-20.
  • The Postsecondary Education Support Fund allocates funding to institutions using an approach that accounts for size as well as COVID-19 related revenue impacts and added expenses relative to an institution’s existing surplus in order to target those that need it most.

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Media Contact: Christina Speers [email protected]

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