Ministry of Colleges and Universities

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Ministry of Colleges and Universities
Ministère de la Collèges et Universités (French)
Ministry overview
Annual budgetEstimated C$ 6.2 Billion in 2008/09[2]
Ministers responsible
  • Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities
  • Goldie Ghamari, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities is the ministry of the Government of Ontario responsible for administration of laws relating to post-secondary education. This ministry is one of two education ministries, the other being the Ministry of Education (responsible for primary and secondary schools across Ontario). The Ministry's offices are in downtown Toronto. The current minister is Jill Dunlop.


In May 1964, the Department of University Affairs Act was passed establishing the Department of University Affairs. The department was charged with administering the government's support programs for higher education, previously the responsibility of the Department of Education. Bill Davis, the inaugural minister, was the Minister of Education at the time and continued to hold the position after the department's establishment.

In addition to jurisdiction over higher education, the department also had financial jurisdiction over the Royal Ontario Museum, the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Art Gallery of Ontario. In October 1971, the department's size was doubled by the addition of the Applied Arts and Technology Branch of the Department of Education. In light of this expansion of functions, the name of the department was changed to the Department of Colleges and Universities.

It was renamed the Ministry of Colleges and Universities in 1972 as part of a government-wide restructuring. In 1975, various cultural programs and institutions of the ministry were transferred to the newly created Ministry of Culture and Recreation.

In 1985, a separate Ministry of Skills Development was created. In 1993, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Skills Development were combined to form the Ministry of Education and Training.

In June 1999, the responsibilities for post-secondary education and skills development were again given to a standalone ministry, named the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Briefly between 2016 and 2018, it was renamed the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

In October 2019, training and skills development was moved to the Ministry of Labour and the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.[3]


The Minister of Colleges and Universities is a member of the Executive Council of Ontario (or cabinet) reporting to the Premier and held accountable by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The deputy minister manages the operations of the ministry that includes five main divisions. As a whole, the ministry has responsibility for administration of laws relating to post-secondary education and skills training in Ontario. The divisions cover employment and training, post-secondary education, strategic policy and programs, corporate management and services, and French-language education and educational operations.[4] The divisions report to the deputy minister who then reports to the minister.[4] The ministry works with several external advisory bodies to assist in the governance of the higher education system in Ontario.[5]


In addition to being responsible for the administration of policies, laws, and funding relating to Ontario's 24 colleges and 22 universities, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities is also responsible for the registration of private career colleges as well as financial aid through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).[6]

Ministry Agencies[edit]


  • Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
  • Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board
  • Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board
  • Training Completion Assurance Fund Advisory Board


Rae Report, 2005[edit]

The Rae Report, officially titled Ontario: A Leader in Learning, called for deregulation of tuition fees, income-contingent loan repayments, and an increase in public funding.[8]

List of ministers[edit]

Portrait Name Term of office Tenure Political party
Minister of University Affairs PC
Bill Davis Toronto 1984.jpg Bill Davis May 14, 1964 March 1, 1971 6 years, 291 days Concurrently Minister of Education
John White March 1, 1971 October 28, 1971 to be continued PC
Minister of Colleges and Universities
John White October 28, 1971 February 2, 1972 338 days
George Kerr February 2, 1972 September 28, 1972 239 days
Jack McNie September 28, 1972 February 26, 1974 1 year, 151 days
James Auld February 26, 1974 October 7, 1975 1 year, 223 days
Harry Parrott October 7, 1975 August 18, 1978 2 years, 315 days
Bette Stephenson August 18, 1978 February 8, 1985 6 years, 174 days Concurrently Minister of Education
Keith Norton February 8, 1985 May 17, 1985 98 days PC
Concurrently Minister of Education
Larry Grossman May 17, 1985 June 26, 1985 40 days Concurrently Minister of Education and Government House Leader
Greg Sorbara June 26, 1985 September 29, 1987 2 years, 95 days Liberal
Concurrently Minister of Skills Development
Lyn McLeod September 29, 1987 August 2, 1989 1 year, 307 days Alvin Curling served as Minister of Skills Development during this time
Sean Conway August 2, 1989 October 1, 1990 1 year, 60 days Concurrently Minister of Education & Minister of Skills Development
Richard Allen October 1, 1990 February 3, 1993 2 years, 125 days NDP
Concurrently Minister of Skills Development
Minister of Education and Training
Dave Cooke February 3, 1993 June 26, 1995 2 years, 143 days
John Snobelen June 26, 1995 October 10, 1997 2 years, 106 days PC
David Johnson October 10, 1997 June 17, 1999 1 year, 250 days
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Dianne Cunningham June 17, 1999 April 14, 2002 4 years, 127 days Concurrently Minister Responsible for Women's Issues (February 8, 2001 – October 22, 2003)
April 15, 2002 October 22, 2003 PC
Mary Anne Chambers October 23, 2003 June 29, 2005 1 year, 249 days Liberal
Chris Bentley June 29, 2005 October 30, 2007 2 years, 123 days
John Milloy (3005943938).jpg John Milloy October 30, 2007 October 20, 2011 3 years, 355 days
(first instance)
Glen Murray cropped.jpg Glen Murray October 20, 2011 November 5, 2012 1 year, 16 days Resigned to seek the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party
John Milloy (3005943938).jpg John Milloy November 5, 2012 February 11, 2013 98 days
(first instance)
4 years and 88 days in total
Interim minister upon Murray's resignation
Brad Duguid - 2017 ROMA Conference (32499226581) (cropped).jpg Brad Duguid February 11, 2013 June 24, 2014 1 year, 133 days Liberal
Reza Moridi-Persian-born-Canadian-Politician.JPG Reza Moridi June 24, 2014 June 13, 2016 1 year, 355 days Concurrently Minister of Research and Innovation
Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development
Deb Matthews - Creative Commons Global Summit 2017 (34193824321) (cropped).jpg Deb Matthews June 13, 2016 January 17, 2018 1 year, 218 days While Deputy Premier, Chair of Cabinet and Minister Responsible for Digital Government
Scarborough-Guildwood MPP Mitzie Hunter - 2016 (28687660101) (cropped).jpg Mitzie Hunter January 17, 2018 June 29, 2018 163 days
Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities PC
Merrilee Fullerton June 29, 2018 June 20, 2019 356 days
Ross Romano June 20, 2019 October 21, 2019 3 years, 220 days
Minister of Colleges and Universities
Ross Romano October 21, 2019 June 18, 2021 2 years, 354 days
Jill Dunlop MS.png Jill Dunlop June 18, 2021 present 229 days

See also[edit]




  1. ^ Government of Ontario. Contacts. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from
  2. ^ Ministry of Finance Ontario (2008). Expenditure estimates. Retrieved May 29, 2008, from
  3. ^ "Premier Doug Ford changes responsibilities of three cabinet ministers". 21 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities Ontario (2008, May 29). Organization chart. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from
  5. ^ Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities Ontario (2007, March 16). Agencies, boards, and commissions. Retrieved May 30, 2008, from
  6. ^ "Ministry of Colleges and Universities".
  7. ^ "Agencies and current appointees - Public Appointments Secretariat".
  8. ^ Rae Report