Ottawa, June 19, 2019 – The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) published today a report on the significance of the Université de l’Ontario français (UOF), Ontario’s first French-language university. This exploratory study indicates that the UOF can potentially have a substantial economic and social impact on the province.
Produced by the firm PGF at the request of the AFO, the report is based on data collected from the Université de l’Ontario français and three modest-sized universities – Moncton, Nipissing and Brandon. The comparative data indicate that the UOF’s potential contribution to Ontario’s GDP could be anywhere from $56 to $79 million in 2024-2025 and could create about 400 jobs by 2027-2028.
The report also refers to the Malatest study, which forecasts a shortage of approximately 170 000 university graduates with good French fluency in Ontario’s Central-Southwest by 2030. Currently, two out of three employers requiring bilingual employees with higher education experience difficulty in recruiting staff.
“Difficulty in meeting the demand for Francophone professionals means significant economic loss for the province of Ontario. The Francophone dimension of the province represents an opportunity for the government of Ontario to diversify the province’s economy locally, provincially and internationally. But we need to have the means to fulfill that ambition,” said the AFO’s president, Carol Jolin.
The report also indicates that going forward with the UOF project would allow the provincial government to fulfill its legal obligation to provide French language education and, more generally, French language services. Moreover, the report underscores the UOF’s innovative business model, which includes a variety of means and approaches (partnerships, technologies, transdisciplinary approaches, shared services) that give the UOF agility that established universities in the same region cannot match.
The business model adopted by the UOF expects 348 students in 2020-2021, rising to more than 1000 full-time students (FTS) by 2023-2024 and more than 2000 FTS in 2028-2029. The student population could reach 3000 FTS by 2032-2033.
By projecting the tuition fees to 2027-2028 for a population of 2000 students, the report puts forward a conservative estimate of $14.3 M in revenue from tuition fees, $1.5 M in revenue from ancillary fees and $12.8 M in government funding from all sources, for a total of $28.6 M.
The UOF’s contribution to Ontario GDP could be $ 56 M to $78 M by 2024-2025, based on the data of Université de Moncton.
The total potential economic impact of the UOF could be in the order of $198 M to $240 M by 2024-2025, based on the data of Brandon University.