TORONTO, Jan. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - This afternoon, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Brad Duguid announced $42M in new funding over three years towards the formation of the Ontario Online, a post-secondary online hub aimed at expanding e-learning in Ontario. First conceived of in 2010, Ontario Online will consist of course, instruction, and support hubs aimed at increasing access to high quality, online post-secondary education in the province.
"Students are pleased to see that the Ministry has recognized the importance of high quality, online learning to Ontario's post-secondary system," said Thomas Pritchard, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Steering Committee Member and Vice-President University Affairs of the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of Queen's University. "New and developing e-learning technologies allow students who would otherwise be unable to pursue a university education due to financial, social or geographic barriers increased ability to do so."
Online learning represents one of the fastest growing areas of post-secondary education in the province. In 2011 alone, Ontario post-secondary institutions offered approximately 20,800 online courses and 780 programs online, translating into almost 500,000 online course registrations that year.
Courses accessed through Ontario Online will be transferable between all participating universities via the online course hub, greatly increasing flexibility for students at participating institutions. Students encourage all universities in Ontario to participate in Ontario Online to ensure maximum flexibility and mobility for students studying online in the province.
Ontario Online will also offer participating students and instructors academic and technical supports, as well as best-practices for e-learning pedagogy and research in a central, online location.
"Students believe that there is a significant potential for Ontario Online to increase the flexibility and accessibility of attaining a university degree in Ontario through high quality courses coupled with robust student supports and the transferability of credits between participating institutions" said Allison Williams, OUSA Steering Committee Member and Academic Affairs Commissioner of the Queen's AMS. "As the Ontario Online platform further develops, students hope that the supports being offered will be expanded beyond technical and academic supports to also include other services traditionally offered on-campus.
About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
OUSA represents the interests of over 140,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at eight member associations across Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Sloan, Director of Communications, W: www.ousa.ca, T: (416) 341-9948, E: [email protected], Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/educatedsolutions, Twitter:@OUSA