Aurora Coltman
Silhouette Intern

McMaster will be receiving over $2 million to expand learning services offered to students and to gain insight into educational needs based on recorded project outcomes.

The funding was provided by the Government of Ontario’s Productivity and Innovation Fund, a $45 million fund that will be supporting 120 different projects at various colleges and universities in Ontario.

PIF has three main goals: restructuring courses to utilize online and multimedia resources, helping colleges and universities focus on their individuality (for instance, certain academic programs) and inspiring cooperation between Ontario universities and colleges to provide opportunities to access services such as data storage, libraries and procurement.

Ted McMeekin, the MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, told McMaster’s Daily News, “It is critical to keep our postsecondary learning environments current to student needs and economic demands. These investments will put [McMaster] on sustainable financial footing while improving the learning experience for our students.”

McMaster University can now use the funds to make several major changes relating to those three goals.

McMaster will be using $1,170,000 for a Graduate Professional Skills Portal. The portal will have a number of training modules for graduates from across Ontario, and that can later be used in an academic environment for online and in-person learning.

Another $500,000 will be applied to creating a new first-year experience program. The program will be student-targeted and dedicated to providing services for students, including creating new foundational courses, redesigning older courses, and providing support for students.

The final $575,000 will be used to develop a common utility consumption database and benchmarking system among McMaster, Waterloo, Laurentian, Carleton, Ottawa, Windsor, Trent, Lakehead, Brock, Queen’s and Guelph. The database and benchmarking system will be used to record, and eventually reduce, student emission and consumption costs.

“Ontario’s universities are always striving to improve the student experience,” said Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO, Council of Ontario Universities.

“A highly educated workforce is key to Ontario’s economic recovery and international competitiveness. The government’s investment in productivity and innovation will help universities deliver a world-class education with even greater efficiency.”

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