After nearly two years of considering a campus expansion to Brampton, U of T has decided not to participate in the process to bid for provincial support for the idea.
On October 26, 2016, the Ontario Government announced their support for the prospect of expanding post-secondary institutions to a Brampton location. Deb Matthews, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, announced that the new locations would focus on “science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.”
“We looked at [the expansion] and gave [it] great consideration”, stated Andrew Thomson, U of T’s Chief of Government Relations. Thomson explained that potential costs were considered and faculty and academic leaderships were consulted.
The estimated cost for the province to conduct this expansion is nearly $180 million.
Thomson explained that campus expansion at UTM should continue to grow as the campus already brings in many students from the Brampton area, and as the western GTA grows, UTM will continue to deliver high capacity education opportunities.
Thomson added, “UTM is doing an effective job for students from Brampton” and explained that the university is continuing to look into program expansions. “We hope to work with Brampton in the future – for research industries and continuing studies,” Thomson said.
Ryerson University, in partnership with Sheridan College, is pursuing their bid on the Brampton location. Matthews confirmed that the partnering schools were the main institutions to submit a formal Expression of Interest expanding to the City of Brampton.
Institutions were required to submit an Expression of Interest by March 6 to implement the first step of the planning process by the Government. The City of Brampton had reached out to the major Ontario universities.
The province received an Expression of Interest in a Milton location from Wilfrid Laurier University in partnership with Conestoga College.
Brampton and Milton are the two Ontario cities being pursued by the Ontario Government for post-secondary grounds expansion. The two cities are recognized as some of the fastest growing areas in Canada. The current population of 18- to 24-year-olds in the Halton and Peel Regions is nearly 200,000.
According to Matthews, expanding post-secondary institutions to the Halton and Peel Regions “will help residents of Milton and Brampton access top-notch postsecondary education within their communities.”