Degree Authority in Ontario

Ministerial Consent

Pursuant to the Post-Secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000 an organization requires either an act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, or a ministerial consent to:

  • grant a degree;
  • provide a program or part of a program of post-secondary study leading to a degree to be conferred by a person inside or outside Ontario;
  • advertise a program or part of a program of postsecondary study offered in Ontario leading to a degree to be conferred by a person in or outside Ontario;
  • sell, offer for sale or provide by agreement for a fee, reward or other remuneration, a diploma, certificate, document or other material that indicates or implies the granting or conferring of a degree;
  • operate or maintain a university;
  • use or be known by a name of a university or any derivation or abbreviation of a name of a university;
  • hold oneself out to be a university;
  • make use of the term "university" or any derivation or abbreviation of the word in advertising relating to an educational institution in Ontario.

All applications for ministerial consent are referred to the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB). PEQAB reviews applications for consent and makes recommendations to the Minister on program quality and organizational soundness.

The Minister will consider the recommendation(s) of PEQAB when deciding whether to grant a consent. In addition, before issuing a decision, the Minister will consider any broader Ontario government policy or financial issues that may flow from the giving of a consent.

Consents are normally granted for a limited time (usually 5 years). At the end of the consent period, the applicant wishing to continue to offer the program must apply for renewal of consent and undergo a review in accord with PEQAB's guidelines in place at the time of renewal.