New opportunity coming for French students with new French-language university

French University opens the Fall 2021

Temporary location of French University.
A new site has been purchased for Toronto's French university and will be announced shortly. Francis Paul/Toronto Observer

With the new French-language university opening in 2021, Toronto’s French students will have opportunities they never had before.

Johnathan Ramcharan graduated from French immersion in 2017. At that time his only option was leaving Ontario for Quebec or continuing his education in English.

“Courses in French would have been very advantageous,” he said in reaction to the announcement. “This is a major opportunity for 2021 graduates.”

The website for Université de l’Ontario français lists human plurality, global economy, urban environments and digital culture as the focus of their curriculum. They are in the process of recruiting professors and staff. Edith Dumont, who has a 30-year background in education, will become the vice-president on April 13 this year.

The agreement announced Jan.22 was based on an exploratory study published Jun. 19, 2019. The study found that two out of three employers in central Ontario had difficulty recruiting bilingual workers.

Data developed by the Universite de Moncton estimated that a French University in Ontario would add up to 78 million dollars to the GDP of Ontario by 2025.

Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Francophone Affairs, in a Jan. 22 press called the new university “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.”

Without a French university to aim for, there is a drop-off in interest in French-language education after grade nine, schools find. Ontario requires only a single French credit to graduate.

“We are delighted to achieve this historic milestone and to welcome, as planned, the first cohorts in fall 2021,” wrote Dyane Adam, chair of the Board of Governors for Universite de l’Ontario francais, in a Jan. 22 press release.

According to the 2019 exploratory study, the new university is projected to have a student population of over 2,000 by 2027. The 2021 cohort is estimated to be 348. The key fact listing of the study states their business model “could reach a student population of 3000 by 2032.”

French immersion students graduating in 2021 will have the opportunities that Johnathan and previous graduates were denied. The announcement of Jan.22 addresses the demonstrated need for University level French-language education in Ontario.

Ontario students will no longer be subjected to leaving the Province to continue their studies. Students and the Ontario economy are the greatest beneficiaries of the Universite de l’Ontario Francais.

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Posted: Feb 3 2020 9:43 am
Filed under: Education News