Council of Ontario Universities

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Council of Ontario Universities
Established 1962
President Bonnie M. Patterson
Location Canada Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Affiliations AUCC, IAU, COU

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is the voice of Ontario’s universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success. A membership organization consisting of Ontario’s 20 publicly assisted universities and one associate member, the Royal Military College of Canada, COU works with members to find consensus on a wide range of university issues and advances them with government and other stakeholders.[1]

The Ontario Universities' Application Centre, a division of COU, is the processing centre for all of the province’s universities. It collects and distributes applications for undergraduate, professional and selected graduate programs. The centre’s website provides data on applications each year.

Member Institutions[edit]

Associate Member Institution[edit]

COU Network[edit]

COU has a number of websites - owned and managed by staff at COU - that focus on specific university-related guides, resources, and fun facts.

Accessible Campus[edit]

COU's Accessible Campus[2] website features educational videos on mental health and practical tips on everything from how to plan accessible lectures and meetings to making exam time less stressful. The website, which launched in October 2013, is the country’s most significant aggregation of resources for helping universities make their campuses accessible for students with disabilities, and is a further step towards helping Ontario universities comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

My Career Info[edit]

My Career Info[3] is a not-for-profit career site developed and run by the Council of Ontario Universities. The site is designed to help students, graduates, and entry-level workers access campus career services, build a strong portfolio, gain budgeting skills, and find a job that fits with their education, skills and interests. They update the site regularly with the latest news from the job sector, including new job apps, resume and interview tips, and career advice. It is designed to help students incorporate career planning directly into their degree.

Research Matters[edit]

Research Matters[4] is a joint project among Ontario’s 21 publicly assisted universities to build new bridges between university researchers and the broader public. It is a multi-platform endeavour that involves a website and blog, social media, and public events – all designed to give Ontarians unprecedented access to the wealth of ideas and innovations happening at Ontario universities. In 2013-2014 year, Research Matters held events in five different cities across Ontario, hosting researchers who answered the question "What Matters Now?"[5] The theme for the speaker series in the previous year (2012-2013) was "Life in 2030," where researchers would look at how their research could affect life in 2030.

Research Matters ran a popular Ontario-wide Virtual Scavenger Hunt from Feb. 3 - Mar. 2, 2014 that featured the various research projects going on at each of COU's 21-member universities. The contest was designed by a fourth-year University of Toronto student Stacy Costa,[6] who is studying to be an "enigmatologist" - someone who studies all things puzzles.[7]

COU Contests[edit]

Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) Competition[edit]

The Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition is an annual competition, where students submit innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related barriers in the community. Ontario undergraduate students use their creativity, and work individually or in teams with industry, government and community partners, including members of the disability community, to identify an accessibility-related issue, develop a plan to address the issue, and create an innovative and unique solution to it.

The winner of the third annual IDeA competition, announced on May 13, 2014, was Carleton University undergraduate student Jasmine Yeung. Yeung developed a portable toilet that can expand by four times the usual size to make life easier for people in wheelchairs, but can shrink for easy transportation.[8]

Carleton University undergraduate students Tim Inglis, Alim Baytekin, Natalie Lavasseur and Alborz Erfani won first-place in the previous year's competition, for which they developed a lower-cost, more functional prosthetic hand that could be produced via a 3-D printer.[9]

Ontario University Graduate Employment Outcomes[edit]

Every year, the Ontario government conducts a survey of Ontario university graduates who graduated two years prior. The survey is conducted by an independent research firm - CCI Research Inc - and looks at the employment rates, earnings, skills match, and subject matter match of university graduates six months and two years after graduation. The 2014 survey of Ontario university graduates[10] showed that 94 per cent of graduates were employed two years after graduation, and the average salary for university graduates in full-time jobs was $49,000 two years after graduation.

COU releases its University Works report each year, looking at the labour market outcomes for Ontario university graduates. The most recent University Works report, released in June 2015, showed that Ontario university graduates have experienced the highest employment growth of any group of students over the last 10 years; they are also earning significantly more, and are more likely to be working at a job related to their studies.[11]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us," Council of Ontario Universities. URL:
  2. ^ "Accessible Campus Website". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "My Career Info". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Research Matters Website". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "What Matters Now Schedule". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Brown, Louise (2 February 2014). "Her research on puzzles riddled with delight". Toronto Star. 
  7. ^ "Virtual Scavenger Hunt". The Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Portable toilet that expands for people in wheelchairs wins COU’s annual IDeA student contest to improve accessibility". Council of Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  9. ^,-more-functi
  10. ^ "2014 Graduate Survey". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "University Works: 2015 Employment Report". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 10 August 2015.