The University of Toronto is one of Canada’s finest post-secondary institutions. Three campuses spread across the greater Toronto area serve more than 70,000 students with a sparkling array of degree programs housed in remarkable facilities. The St. George campus, which surrounds the Ontario parliament, is well-known for its academic rigour and its college system. Expansive college meal halls, chapels, and lecture theatres give St. George a feeling of tradition and permanence. The college subway line runs right through the campus and gives students easy access to the busy Toronto downtown core. But busy downtown Toronto is not for everyone. The Mississauga and Scarborough suburban campuses of U of T are smaller and quieter and each one has special program offerings not available downtown. At the same time, each suburban campus is easy to reach in forty minutes via public transit or U of T shuttle buses. So UTM and UTSC students can have the best of both worlds. They can enjoy their smaller, highly supportive campus communities, but they can also attend classes downtown or simply enjoy the bustle of city life.
Both UTM and UTSC offer many Arts, Science, and Business degree programs but they also offer joint degree-diploma programs with local colleges. At UTSC, students can study Journalism, Paramedicine, or New Media Studies at Centennial College while earning parallel degrees at UTSC. At UTM, students can earn degrees in Theatre, Art & Art History, or Communications while earning certificate or diploma qualifications at Sheridan College. This system responds well to a central concern arising in Ontario in some political circles. The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, for example, has just published a white paper recommending a “college first” policy that would give Ontario students more flexible options in the pursuit of post-secondary education. The Council of Ontario Universities has welcomed the paper’s suggestion that colleges and universities need to enhance their partnerships.
Photos below: Top – Burwash Hall at St. George, Middle – gymnasium at UTM, bottom – Academic Resource Centre at UTSC.