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OCAD University’s degree-granting authority now in full force

Changes to the OCAD University Act, allowing OCAD U the ability to offer a full range of university level degrees, are now in full force.  Amendments to subsections of the Ontario College of Art & Design Act, 2002, provide the University with full degree-granting authority, as of June 17, 2020.

These amendments will allow the university to confer degrees, including honorary degrees, and award certificates and diplomas in any and all branches of learning, provided they are consistent with the university’s objects of providing advanced education in art and design and supporting teaching, research and professional practice in these fields.

“As the incoming President and Vice-Chancellor, I am thrilled by this news. We are truly entering a new chapter in OCAD University's history when we can show the full breadth of our capacity to create and deliver transformative art and design education for all types of students,” says Ana Serrano who began her term as president and vice-chancellor on July 1, 2020.

Changes to the OCAD University Act, introduced in October 2019, reduced red tape, administrative burden and offered cost-savings, while allowing OCAD U the ability to offer a full range of university level degrees for the jobs of tomorrow.

Until then, legislation limited the types of degrees that OCAD University could offer. To onboard new degrees that would respond to labour market demands, OCAD University expended thousands of hours in staff time and significant amounts of money through a tedious administrative process.

“Full degree granting is a landmark achievement for OCAD University," says OCAD U President Emerita Dr. Sara Diamond. “It means we can meet the growing student demand for programs that provide more science and technology curriculum through art and design focused science degrees; business learning; or humanities-focused Bachelors of Arts and that OCAD U can proceed to provide unique doctoral programs. We are now a full university in all sense of the term.”

As Ontario’s only creative university, OCAD U trains students in areas that are helping close the skills gap in a variety of sectors including, manufacturing, automotive, finance, creative industries and technology. Ninety-four per cent of OCAD U students find jobs after graduation and more than 80 per cent of graduates will operate their own business or work as entrepreneurs.

The skills required for art and design professions are in constant evolution. With this latest announcement, OCAD U will now be able to offer a breadth of university level degrees relevant to contemporary knowledge in the fields of art and design. These changes will allow OCAD U to continue to support Ontario students and compete on the world stage. 

Amendments to subsections 4(2) and (3) of the Ontario College of Art & Design Act, 2002, were passed by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, as part of the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, in December 2019, to provide the university with full degree-granting authority.