Post-secondary institutions are carrying the hopes of governments to secure the country’s economic future — but they will need increased financial help to be successful, says a TD Economics report released yesterday.

Despite a forecasted drop in the number of young adults in the population, universities and colleges will still see hikes in enrolment because of increasing demand, said TD chief economist Don Drummond.

The report estimates provincial governments across Canada need to kick in $400 million more this year alone, and up to $2.7 billion by 2016.

Funding for post-secondary institutions dropped 20 per cent in the 1990s from the 1980 level, said Drummond, adding by 2006 it had improved to 16 per cent.

But with the Ontario government looking to boost post-secondary attendance to 70 per cent from 62, Drummond said “we’re laying a lot of the successes we are hoping for — for economic reasons and for society — on the shoulders of post-secondary institutions.”