The University alone accounts for 80.2% of enrolments in Ontario French-language university programs. Its graduates settle throughout the province, providing front-line services, creating businesses, and participating in the cultural vibrancy of Francophone communities.
In 2016, recognizing the importance of protecting the scope and variety of its programs for Francophone youth in Ontario and beyond, the University of Ottawa sought and received designation under Ontario's French Language Services Act (FLSA) for most of its French programs. However, until this evaluation, these programs had never been assessed for compliance.
Today, the University of Ottawa is proud to announce that 126 of its 137 programs covered by the FLSA fully meet the requirements of the designation: a compliance rate of 93%. Only 11 of them, or 7% of the designated programs, were found to be non-compliant due to the lack of some electives in their respective planned sequences. This announcement is the result of an arduous and unprecedented exercise, conducted under strict standards of accountability and transparency.
"This demonstrates that it is possible for Francophones enrolled in our programs to complete the entire curriculum in French within the normal length of the program," said Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. "We know that Francophones in minority language context who pursue higher education in French are more inclined to live and work using their language. It is essential that we be able to maintain these programs, and even improve them, so that French-language education continues to be attractive."
In short, these results allow the University to reassure Francophones in the university community and beyond of the importance it places on its Francophone identity and its commitment to continue to serve them and support their vitality in a fast-changing world.
In addition, thanks to an historic investment of $34.7 million announced in February 2023, the University will expand, in the fall of 2023, its French-language programs in science and engineering, two key areas for the future of Ontario's Francophonie. It will also use this opportunity to actively address the lack of courses in some designated programs. Francophones in Ontario and across Canada will be able to acquire, in their own language, the education and skills they need to position themselves advantageously in the knowledge economy.
Sanni Yaya, Vice-President, International and Francophonie, , welcomes the results: "In this year marking the 175th anniversary of the University of Ottawa, we are very pleased to continue to meet the aspirations of the Francophone community for a renewed Francophonie on our campus by publishing the results of this evaluation. Its validation of the compliance of our designated undergraduate programs gives fresh impetus to our efforts. We will rely on this solid foundation as we continue to build in French the future of our communities and of the world."