Ontario's Auditor General releases findings of university audits

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The province's auditor general released her findings on Wednesday after conducting audits on the financial managament of universities in Ontario.

In the report, which includes 15 different value-for-money audits -- Bonnie Lysyk reviewed the financial operations at four of Ontario’s small to medium-sized universities in the wake of Laurentian University's unprecedented decision to file for creditor protection last year.

Lysyk's audit found all four universities audited, Nipissing University, Algoma University, Ontario Tech and the University of Windsor, are currently operating in a financially-stable manner.

Specific to UWindsor, the report summary said that despite having the third-highest debt-per-student ratio among the 19 Ontario universities, there was no policy in place limiting external financing. 

"At the end of 2020/21, the university had $234.3 million in debt, primarily comprising debentures maturing in 2043 or after."

The report also documented that in 2020/21, 60 per cent of international students at the University of Windsor were from India while 12 per cent were from China. 

"Over-reliance on a few geographic regions increases the risk that external factors, such as a global economic downturn or foreign policy shift, could significantly impact a university’s financial health," it read.

Each university surveyed cooperated fully, was open for discussion and receptive to all recommendations made, according to the report.

 

- with files from CTV Windsor