Francophones in Ontario, the second largest francophone population outside of Québec
French-speaking immigrants in Ontario
Number of bilingual post-secondary institutions in Ontario
Francophone students face unique challenges when accessing post-secondary education in the French language:
- Francophone students are more likely to leave their home communities in order to attend the limited French or bilingual institutions in Ontario.
- On bilingual campuses, many French courses use English textbooks and resources.
- Courses taught in French are offered at a lesser rate than English courses. Francophone students must choose between taking mandatory courses in English or extending their education.
- Co-op and placement opportunities are not always offered in French.
For francophone international students, many of these barriers are compounded with the already-difficult experiences of being an international student in a new country, studying away from home, paying triple the tuition fees of domestic students and having no access to provincial health coverage.
The government of Ontario has announced a new French Language University to be opened in Toronto in 2020, however, this is only a small step towards fixing a much larger problem.
- The announcement of a new French Language University was well received, however bilingual and francophone students in particular fear that this new institution may pull funding from current bilingual institutions in the province.
- Students continue to advocate for the government to increase the number of available French language institutions across Ontario.
Students are calling on political parties in this upcoming election to commit to improving the quality and diversity of French language education, specifically by:
- Allocating new funds to expand the options of post-secondary institutions, programs, courses and classroom resources available to Francophone and bilingual students.
- Increasing and improving support services for francophone international students.
- Increasing the number of French-speaking faculty and administration on bilingual campuses.
Fairness for students is increased options for French and bilingual post-secondary education across the province.