The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is the voice of Ontario's universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success. A membership organization consisting of Ontario's 20 publicly assisted universities and one associate member, the Royal Military College of Canada, COU works with members to find consensus on a wide range of university issues and advances them with government and other stakeholders.[1]

Council of Ontario Universities
Council of Ontario Universities Logo.png
PresidentDavid Lindsay
180 Dundas Street West Suite 1800 Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z8
, , ,
AffiliationsUniversities Canada, IAU, COU

The Ontario Universities' Application Centre, a division of COU, is the processing centre for all of the province's universities. It collects and distributes applications for undergraduate, professional and selected graduate programs. The centre's website provides data on applications each year.

Member InstitutionsEdit

COU NetworkEdit

COU has a number of websites - owned and managed by staff at COU - that focus on specific university-related guides, resources, and fun facts.

Accessible CampusEdit

COU's Accessible Campus[2] website features educational videos on mental health and practical tips on everything from how to plan accessible lectures and meetings to making exam time less stressful. The website, which launched in October 2013, is the country's most significant aggregation of resources for helping universities make their campuses accessible for students with disabilities, and is a further step towards helping Ontario universities comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Future FurtherEdit

Future Further[3] is a dedicated resource that provides information on supports and services to Aboriginal students interested in, or already attending an Ontario university. The website features profiles and videos of 13 Aboriginal role models who are studying at, or have recently graduated from, an Ontario university,[4] as well as resource kits for Aboriginal students interested in attending university.[5]

The website is part of COU's 'Let's Take Our Future Further' campaign launched in February 2016 on behalf of the province's 20 publicly funded universities, which aims to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Aboriginal learners and alumni at Ontario universities and to encourage current students to continue to pursue and complete their studies.[6] The COU campaign follows a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which put a spotlight on the need to ensure equitable access to postsecondary education for Aboriginal students.[7]

My Career InfoEdit

My Career Info[8] is a not-for-profit career site developed and run by the Council of Ontario Universities. The site is designed to help students, graduates, and entry-level workers access campus career services, build a strong portfolio, gain budgeting skills, and find a job that fits with their education, skills and interests. They update the site regularly with the latest news from the job sector, including new job apps, resume and interview tips, and career advice. It is designed to help students incorporate career planning directly into their degree.

Research MattersEdit

Research Matters[9] is a joint project among Ontario's 21 publicly assisted universities to build new bridges between university researchers and the broader public. It is a multi-platform endeavour that involves a website and blog, social media, and public events – all designed to give Ontarians unprecedented access to the wealth of ideas and innovations happening at Ontario universities. In 2013-2014 year, Research Matters held events in five different cities across Ontario, hosting researchers who answered the question "What Matters Now?"[10] The theme for the speaker series in the previous year (2012-2013) was "Life in 2030," where researchers would look at how their research could affect life in 2030.

Research Matters ran a popular Ontario-wide Virtual Scavenger Hunt from Feb. 3 - Mar. 2, 2014 that featured the various research projects going on at each of COU's 21-member universities. The contest was designed by a fourth-year University of Toronto student Stacy Costa,[11] who is studying to be an "enigmatologist" - someone who studies all things puzzles.[12]

Ontario's Universities - #Futuring ConversationEdit

From September 2016 to Fall 2017, Ontario's Universities engaged with Ontarians about the future of the province through roundtables and consultations, conferences and focus groups, online, and through email and social media. The #futuring conversation has included discussions about jobs, service sectors, arts and culture, the environment and natural resources, health and well-being, diversity and equality, and building strong communities. This feedback will inform a discussion among Ontario's 21 publicly funded universities about how they can partner with Ontarians to create a brighter future.

COU ContestsEdit

Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) CompetitionEdit

The Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) student competition is an annual competition where students submit innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions to accessibility-related barriers in the community. Ontario undergraduate students use their creativity and work individually or in teams with industry, government and community partners, including members of the disability community, to identify an accessibility-related issue, develop a plan to address the issue, and create an innovative and unique solution to it.

The winner of the 5th annual IDeA competition, announced in May 2016, was Carleton University undergraduate student Micah Rakoff Bellman, who developed a height-adjustable, movable table with built-in storage that provides home cooks with a comfortable and flexible work surface in the kitchen.[13]

Past winners include:

2015: Carleton University undergraduate student Quayce Thomas designed an app that promotes healthy active living by checking in to make sure users are meeting the goals they've shared with their social network.[14]

2014: Carleton University's Jasmine Yeung developed a portable toilet that can expand by four times the usual size to make life easier for people in wheelchairs, but can shrink for easy transportation. It is called E-Paw, or the Expandable Portable Accessible Washroom.[15]

2013: Carleton University undergraduate students Tim Inglis, Alim Baytekin, Natalie Lavasseur and Alborz Erfani for their invention of a lower-cost, more functional prosthetic hand that could be produced via a 3-D printer.[16]

2012: Carleton University's Will McDonald developed Accessible Tandem Cycling, which is designed to provide an accessible cycling experience.[17]

Ontario University Graduate Employment OutcomesEdit

Every year, the Ontario government conducts a survey of Ontario university graduates who graduated two years prior. The survey is conducted by an independent research firm - CCI Research Inc - and looks at the employment rates, earnings, skills match, and subject matter match of university graduates six months and two years after graduation. The latest survey of Ontario university graduates[18] showed that 93.6 per cent of graduates were employed two years after graduation, and the average salary for university graduates in full-time jobs was $49,200 two years after graduation.

COU has released two University Works reports, looking at the labour market outcomes for Ontario university graduates. The most recent University Works report, released in June 2015, showed that Ontario university graduates have experienced the highest employment growth of any group of students over the last 10 years; they are also earning significantly more, and are more likely to be working at a job related to their studies.[19]

Economic Impact of Ontario UniversitiesEdit

According to a 2017 report from the Council of Ontario Universities, the economic impact of Ontario Universities on the province is $115.8 billion,[20] the equivalent of 18 per cent of the province's GDP, and generates more than 478,000 full-time-equivalent jobs in Ontario. The economic impact includes the effects of spending related to university activities, developing talent, and the estimated impact of research and development.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "About Us," Council of Ontario Universities. URL:
  2. ^ "Accessible Campus Website". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Future Further Website". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Future Further Role Models". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Future Further Resource Kits". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  6. ^ "News Release: Aboriginal Role Models Show Peers How to Take Their Futures Further at Ontario Universities". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  7. ^ "News Release: Aboriginal Role Models Show Peers How to Take Their Futures Further at Ontario Universities". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  8. ^ "My Career Info". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Research Matters Website". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  10. ^ "What Matters Now Schedule". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  11. ^ Brown, Louise (2 February 2014). "Her research on puzzles riddled with delight". Toronto Star.
  12. ^ "Virtual Scavenger Hunt". The Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  13. ^ "COU Announces 2016 IDeA Competition Winners as Students Break Barriers for People with Disabilities". Council of Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  14. ^ Council of Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities Retrieved 29 May 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Council of Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities Retrieved 13 May 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Council of Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities Retrieved 27 May 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Council of Ontario Universities. Council of Ontario Universities Retrieved 16 May 2012. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Graduate Survey 2015". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  19. ^ "University Works: 2015 Employment Report". Council of Ontario Universities. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Driving a Prosperous Future: Economic Analysis of the Lasting Impact of Ontario Universities". Council of Ontario Universities. July 18, 2017.