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Ontario government says two northern institutions to be come independent universities

Two post-secondary institutions in northern Ontario will soon become independent universities with degree-granting authority. 

The province says the Northern Ontario School of Medicine University and Université de Hearst will be established as standalone, independent institutions as of April 1. 

The government says the universities will have independent governance and administration, giving them flexibility to expand on their existing degree programs and explore offering more programs in communities across northern Ontario.

Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop says the government recognizes that northern institutions are "essential" to ensuring that there is a skilled workforce in the north of the province. 

NOSM University offers medical training, while Université de Hearst offers French-language education.

Previously, NOSM was affiliated with Laurentian University and Lakehead University, while Hearst was an affiliate of Laurentian University.

Sarita Verma, president, vice chancellor and dean of NOSM University, says this is a "profound and historic moment for the NOSM community."  

Luc Bussières, president of Université de Hearst, says becoming fully independent marks "a significant milestone" for the institution. 

The province notes that NOSM University has contributed to the establishment of more than 700 medical professionals in northern Ontario since it was created in 2005, while Université de Hearst is the only university offering French-language programs in smaller northern Ontario communities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2022.  


This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press

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