Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario charts a research program to help ensure a prosperous Ontario

    TORONTO, Feb. 10 /CNW/ - The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
(HEQCO) today released its Second Annual Review and Research Plan. This
document highlights the Council's research findings over the past year and
lays out a comprehensive plan for continuing its research into improving
postsecondary education in Ontario.
    "Times of economic uncertainty are fertile opportunities for change,"
said the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, Chair of the Council. "We must ensure
that our colleges and universities are able to play their part in ensuring
Ontario prospers in the new knowledge economy. With the Second Annual Review
and Research Plan, HEQCO has laid out a research program that will help
policymakers meet short-term needs while striving towards this long-term
    "The Second Annual Research and Review Plan," said Dr. James Downey,
President and CEO of the Council, "is issued at a time of considerable
uncertainty and challenge for our colleges and universities, including a
deepening recession, expected large increases in enrolment (especially in the
Greater Toronto Area), and the need for expanded educational pathways. Such
challenges necessitate a sound understanding of the system we have in relation
to the system we will need in the years ahead. Our report broadens and deepens
that understanding."
    The Plan will be useful to policymakers attempting to address issues in
key areas including: accessibility, educational quality, system design,
accountability, and participation and educational attainment. The paper
concludes by setting out 16 new projects to be initiated over the next 18
months. Together, these projects represent important next steps in the
Council's ongoing research program.
    "Our Second Annual Research and Review Plan reflects HEQCO's
comprehensive and growing research activities," said Ken Norrie,
vice-president of research for the Council. "It answers two basic questions:
what do we know about higher education, and what do we still need to know to
ensure our system delivers the best possible results to students, families and

    About the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

    The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is an arm's-length agency
of the Government of Ontario dedicated to ensuring the continued improvement
of the postsecondary education system. The Council was created through the
Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Act, 2005. It is mandated to
conduct research, evaluate the postsecondary education system, and provide
policy recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
with a view to enhance the quality, access, and accountability of Ontario's
higher education system.

For further information:

For further information: Ainsley Matthews, Events and Communications
Coordinator, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, (416) 212-5248,
amatthews@heqco.ca, www.heqco.ca

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