The Ontario government announced support for York University’s new Markham Centre Campus, the first publicly assisted university in York Region. The expansion is the first project proceeding under the government’s updated Major Capacity Expansion Policy Framework which encourages encourages the responsible development of new postsecondary campuses.
“The time has come for a new, innovative approach to financing college and university expansions. Instead of the province writing multi-million-dollar cheques, we have developed a system that encourages the development of new campuses with a much smaller cost to the taxpayer,” said Premier Doug Ford. “The new Markham Centre Campus is a model of responsible expansion which will offer local students access to a world-class education and prepare them for the jobs of the future.”
Construction of the Markham campus will begin this month and is expected to generate over $350 million in immediate economic benefits and to create over 2,000 jobs.
“Our province’s postsecondary institutions play a fundamental role in Ontario’s economy and will be key players in Ontario’s economic recovery,” said Ross Romano, minister of colleges and universities.
“By supporting self-funded campus expansions like the one by York University, we are encouraging independence and accountability, expanding choice and opportunities for our students, and protecting taxpayers.”
York University’s new Markham Centre Campus is expected to open in Fall 2023 and will provide students in York Region greater access to university programs in the high-demand fields of technology, commerce, data science and entrepreneurship at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The premier says the impact of COVID-19 has increased the need for postsecondary institutions to modernize and focus on job-market relevance by preparing students to succeed in the global job market. The new Markham Centre Campus addresses the need for skilled graduates, by combining academic programs with on-the-job learning opportunities, to prepare students for the workforce when they graduate.
The government will provide funding support for the operations of the campus when it opens in 2023.
The campus, located on a five-acre site north of Highway 407 and west of Kennedy Road, will include over 400,000 square feet of space and will be able to accommodate 4,200 students.
Once open, the campus is expected to contribute $54 million annually to the province’s gross domestic product (GDP).