Premier Doug Ford speaks at Middlesex-London Paramedic Headquarters. Photo by Rebecca Chouinard.Premier Doug Ford speaks at Middlesex-London Paramedic Headquarters. Photo by Rebecca Chouinard.

Learn and Stay Grant to cover tuition for 2,500 Ontario students

More students will be able to take advantage of a provincial program aimed at bringing nurses, paramedics, and medical lab technicians to communities that need them.

Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Sylvia Jones, and Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop were in London Friday to announce the expansion of the Learn and Stay Grant.

Introduced in March 2022, the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant provides upfront funding to cover the cost of tuition, books, and other educational costs for students enrolled in eligible postsecondary programs. As part of the deal, students must commit to working in the same region post-graduation.

“This means that these students will graduate with no debt tuition if they work locally in their fields after graduation,” said Dunlop.

At its launch, the Learn and Stay Grant was available to 1,500 nursing students in Ontario. Now, the program is expanding to 2,500 students and will be open to aspiring paramedics and medical lab technicians as well as nurses.

“This is a real win-win - we’re providing students with opportunities for a great education and a rewarding career, and we’re increasing the number of healthcare workers in underserved communities so that Ontarians in every corner of the province get the quality of care they need closer to home,” said Ford.

According to the Premier, the Learn and Stay Grant will cover educational costs for a practical nursing program in London, a paramedic program in Sudbury, or for a medical laboratory program in Windsor.

The full list of eligible programs and institutions can be seen on the Ontario government website.

Applications for the Learn and Stay Grant will open this spring for the upcoming 2023-2024 academic year.

The expansion of the Learn and Stay Grant is an effort to continue building the province's supply of qualified healthcare workers.

Both Jones and Ford claimed that the province saw record-breaking growth in the healthcare sector last year as 12,000 new registered nurses were welcomed into Ontario. They said approximately 6,000 of these nurses were internationally educated.

Jones said that the government has taken steps to bring even more internationally educated nurses to Ontario, as well as nurses from other provinces.

Read More Local Stories