This paper examines whether intermediary bodies are useful in advancing government goals for quality and sustainability in higher education systems. It explores the evidence about intermediary bodies through case studies of England, Israel, New Zealand and the United States. It also treats the case of Ontario, whose best-known intermediary bodies have been the Ontario Council on University Affairs and the colleges’ Council of Regents.
Here’s a question to ponder in the wee hours of the morning – or right now. How can a government respond to the following societal dynamic?
1. A persistent and growing demand for more availability of public postsecondary education.
2. Fewer public dollars to sustain or grow public postsecondary education, especially in Canada
with the insatiable financial appetite of the health care system.
3. A political imperative to minimize tuition increases.
4. Greater scrutiny and accountability around everything governments and public institutions do.
A recent Globe and Mail article pointed out that Canadian universities appear to be slipping in world rankings. This is not a good thing. Higher education institutions — because of the students they teach, the research and discoveries they make, and the communities they support — are some of the most critical public institutions in Canada positioning us for a robust economy with plentiful good jobs and the quality of life and civil society Canadians want and merit.
The challenge Canada faces in higher education is best summarized in this question: How can we deliver a better education to more students with no more money?
• To set out a conceptual design for a new accountability framework for Ontario PSE
• Framework intended as ppart of HEQCO’s advice on new multi‐year accountability aggreements
• Complements other HEQCO work on this topic
The Ontario government has indicated its intention to negotiate individual mandate statements with each of Ontario’s public postsecondary institutions and to amend funding formulas to focus resources on what each institution does best. These actions signal the government’s desire to pursue a policy of greater institutional differentiation within the Ontario public postsecondary system. The purpose of this paper is to inform and assist the development of a differentiation framework for the university sector by describing the diversity of Ontario universities on variables that other jurisdictions have used to differentiate their university systems. These variables are important to consider first because they are globally accepted, and therefore influence the way the rest of the world will judge the Ontario system and its quality.
The Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) exercise was intended to address at least three desired
1. To promote the government’s stated goal1 of increasing the differentiation of the Ontario
postsecondary system by asking each Ontario postsecondary institution to articulate an
institutional mandate statement identifying its distinctive strengths or aspirations and to
identify key objectives aligned with that aspiration.
2. To advance and inform the discussion about how the Ontario system could increase its
productivity to deliver a quality education to more students within the financial constraints
expected in the public sector.2
3. To elicit the best thinking from institutions about innovations and reforms that would support
higher quality learning and, in its most ambitious form, transform Ontario’s public
The Ontario university sector is already somewhat differentiated. A policy decision to increase the differentiation of the postsecondary system brings the following benefits:
• Higher quality teaching and research programs
• More student choice with easier inter‐institution transfer and mobility
• Greater institutional accountability
• A more globally competitive system
• A more financially sustainable system
The Ontario government has indicated its intention to negotiate individual mandate agreements with each of Ontario’s postsecondary institutions and to amend funding formulas to focus resources on what each institution does best. These actions signal the government’s desire to pursue a policy of greater institutional differentiation within the Ontario public postsecondary system. The purpose of this paper is to advance the conversation by examining differences among Ontario’s 24 colleges
on key variables related to programmatic diversity and participation in degree granting.
Over the past decade or so, the bachelor’s degree has undergone major changes in much of the world. The most important set of changes was brought on by the adoption, across Europe, of the Bologna Process. This led not only to the introduction of bachelor’s degrees in countries where no such qualification had previously existed, but also to a pan-continental harmonization (more or less) of the length of the degree, at three years. More recently, a number of universities in the United States – where a four-year degree has been sacrosanct for decades – have started experimenting with shorter degrees. At the same time that systems have been altering the length of degrees, there has also been a trend for systems in Europe and elsewhere – including Ontario and other parts of Canada – to open up degree provision to non-university Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). This has broken the centuries-long monopoly of universities over the provision of granting degrees. These two major experiments in changing times and changing places are the subject of this report, which was undertaken by Higher Education Strategy Associates for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).
Even among the business savvy, it’s not at all uncommon for these marketing terms to be thrown around almost interchangeably, when they actually mean very different things and play very different roles in business development and promotion. So we thought it was high time to clear it up and help you know and understand the difference so you can be better informed buyers and users of marketing, design and branding services.
Higher education is glutted with courses, many of which are marginal or associated with arcane, duplicative or
outdated subjects. That is at the heart of tuition increases, student debt, budget shortfalls, legislative distrust, poor
adjunct pay and too few tenured or tenure-eligible professors at typical colleges and universities.
The number of students with disability in higher education is increasing. National data reveal differences in the retention and success of these students across Australian higher education institutions but the reasons for this are not clear. The overarching aim of this study was to explore the relationship between supports and university adjustment for students with disability, and their retention and success.
The focus of this project is on the assessment of transferable skills, and specifically resilience. Resilience has been defined as “the capacity of the person, family, or community to prevent, minimize, overcome, or thrive in spite of negative or challenging circumstances” (Wagnild & Young, 1993). In this report, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation (SRDC) investigates the most appropriate measures to assess resilience as a learning outcome of Ontario’s postsecondary education (PSE) system. The long-term aim is to support the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) in its efforts to determine the role of PSE in enhancing resilience as a transferable skill.
Universities that set up shop globally should work to uphold principles such as academic freedom, gender equity and freedom of speech -- but they sometimes compromise, scholars argue.
As sites of work-force development, community colleges must be responsive to the demands of the rapidly changing job market. Now, many community-college systems are turning to job-market data that are more up to date and more precise than ever before.
When I interviewed for my current job, running a small graduate and postdoctoral career and professional development program in a hospital-based research institute, we got onto the topic of alumni data tracking. My program had an exit survey on their website, one that suggested they were collecting contact information and checking in with PhDs in the years after they'd left our institution to see how and what they were doing. (It turns out that no one knew the form was there, and it hadn't been used in many years.) We then got to talking about program evaluation, one of my favourite subjects, and about how we could start assessing if the professional and career development work we were doing--if they hired me--was having any effect on the post-PhD lives of our graduate students and postdocs.
Seven years after our first study, Leaders in Transition: Stepping Up, Not Off, organizations are still botching transitions—but with greater bottom-line repercussions (DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2013|2014 found that companies’ facilitation of transitions positively correlated with financial performance—in a significant way). Leaders, facing added uncertainty asso-ciated with moves of greater complexity (e.g., geographical relocation) and an absence of prescribed career paths, have greater (unmet) personal and practical needs. As a result, engagement, productivity, and retention suffer, impacting not only leaders and those they lead, but also entire enterprises.
So what can be done to shift the transition paradigm from a precarious pas-sage to a smooth sail? Here’s what the data have to say.
Invited to reflect on community college leadership tran-sitions, I agreed, perhaps too readily. I have found myself struggling to respond to a very complex topic. Hardly a month goes by that there is not something in the higher ed press about the challenges posed by leadership changes in community colleges. Among the most recent was an article that lamented a dearth in the presidential pipeline, noting the intention of 75% of all current com-munity college presidents to retire within the next ten years. The author notes also the intent of 75% of senior level administrators to step down in that same timeframe.
It was 7 a.m. on a Sunday in February of 2006 — midway through my second quarter as a Ph.D. student in Irvine,
Calif. — and I had just scared the ever-loving bejeezus out of the weekend custodian. When she opened the door to the German department’s grad-student offices, I don’t think she was expecting to find the legs of a supine 29-yearold woman sticking out from under a desk.
In this ongoing series focused on flipped and active-learning classrooms, we’re taking a deeper look into how to create successful learning experiences for students. We’ve examined how to encourage students to complete pre-class work, how to hold students accountable for pre-class work, and how to connect pre-class work to in-class activities. Now let’s focus on the challenge of managing the in-person learning environment.