April 26, 2018
This week I want to look at the role of post -secondary institutions as a driver of local economic development activity.
Increasingly post -secondary institutions are developing programs that upon and reflect the unique assets and strengths of the local community. They are also increasingly exploring ways to contribute to the economic potential of their community.
5 examples of post-secondary education's role in economic development
Milton Wilfrid Laurier University / Conestoga College Collaboration The Ontario government just announced it is spending $90 million to establish a campus in Milton, Ontario. The 50-acre parcel will be located in the Milton Education Village site adjacent to 100 acres of protected land which will support hands-on learning for the campus’ future environmental science program.
Hamilton CityLab – This pilot project is an innovation hub where students, city staff and community stakeholders co-create solutions that support the city’s strategic priorities. CityLAB Hamilton offers students “the chance to collaborate, design, launch and test real projects that address issues confronting Hamilton (e.g.: climate change, healthy neighbourhoods, municipal excellence).”
iCamp - The Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Production (iCamp) at Candor College in North Bay supports local and regional businesses by combining cutting-edge manufacturing technologies with technical personnel and service offerings. Services offered by ICAMP include: 3D scanning, printing and modelling and waterjet cutting, facility rental and research and development services.
The Canadian Food and Wine Institute - The Canadian Food and Wine Institute at Niagara College is located in Niagara on the Lake in the heart of wine and culinary country. The campus includes 40 acres of vineyards, hop yards, culinary gardens and greenhouses. There is a teaching winery, brewer and restaurant on site.
The Economic Impact of Post-Secondary Education in Canada - This report was released in 2014 by the Council of Ontario Universities and the Conference Board of Canada. Among the highlights:
- Canadian universities and colleges generate more than $55 billion of economic activity
- Every dollar spent on postsecondary education creates $1.36 for the Canadian economy
- Canada’s post-secondary sector supports close to 680,000 direct and indirect jobs
- Surrounding communities benefit from off-campus student spending, which can generate as much as $17.5 billion in economic activity
- The largest university in Ontario contributes $15.7 billion to the economy each year, while a mid-sized university generates about $2.5 billion.