York University applauds Ontario’s efforts to improve access to postsecondary education

Vari Hall in the sunshine
Vari Hall in the sunshine

York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri applauded the Ontario government for its commitment to improving access to postsecondary education in this year’s Ontario budget (released Feb. 25).

In presenting his 2016 provincial budget, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced the government will create a new upfront grant, the Ontario Student Grant, starting in 2017-18. This new grant will provide greater support for low and middle-income students and will provide greater clarity for all of York University’s students as to the amount of support they are eligible to receive prior to starting the school year.

Further, the government reiterated its commitment to providing students with access to high-quality programs closer to home. Part of their commitment includes the building of a new York University campus in Markham Centre as part of their Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework.

York Region is one of the fastest-growing major urban areas in Canada and is at the heart of Ontario’s knowledge economy. The new York University Markham Centre campus will help to address increasing demand. Nearly 60 per cent of young people in York Region go on to attend university and with this new campus, they will be able to fulfill their academic aspirations closer to home.

“Today’s budget is a strong signal that the Ontario government recognizes the importance of investing in postsecondary education, enhancing accessibility, and supporting students,” said Shoukri immediately following the release of the budget. “We are pleased that the Ontario government has recognized the real merits of building a York University campus in York Region, and we look forward to starting work on building our new campus in Markham Centre in the near future.”

Expected to open in 2020-21, the campus will offer a diverse range of professionally relevant programs designed to meet the needs of the region.

“The new York University campus to be located in Markham Centre will help to create a vibrant cultural and academic hub within Markham for York Region,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We’re grateful to Premier Wynne and the Ontario government for their support and commitment to this important initiative. This campus is a positive step towards bringing much needed postsecondary education to the residents of York Region.”

Quick Facts

  • 67 per cent of York students receive financial assistance through OSAP.
  • More than $25 million was provided to York students in scholarships and bursaries in fiscal 2014-15.
  • On May 19, 2015, Ontario announced they had selected the York University Markham Centre campus proposal.