Probing the question of the effectiveness and applicability of outcomes-based funding policy for higher education in Ontario requires an approach that (1) reviews current research and policy literatures on this topic and (2) differentiates and contextualizes the knowledge available. In order to evaluate successful and unsuccessful policy features and institutional practices, it is important to take stock of current policies across varied provincial, state, regional and national contexts, as well as over time. The topic of outcomes-based funding has received considerable and continuing attention in the research and policy literatures, and syntheses of these are currently available (e.g., Dougherty & Reddy, 2011, 2013; Frøhlich, Schmidt & Rosa, 2010; National Conference of State Legislatures, 2013). However, a comprehensive policy-relevant perspective can only be a product of extended study that considers policy contexts internationally and provides an actionable, differentiated view on the research and policy in this area. This study will examine policy and research literature to address the following research questions:
1. What provinces, states and countries are funding their public postsecondary systems on the basis of outcomes, and what proportion of funding is devoted to these funding mechanisms?
2. Have outcomes-based funding policies in place within jurisdictions changed over time and, if so, how?
3. How has the implementation of performance-based funding affected the performance of higher education institutions?
4. What successful practices can be identified based on others’ experiences?
5. What unsuccessful practices can be identified based on others’ experiences?
6. What are the overall trends in outcomes-based funding in other jurisdictions?