Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario releases new research paper on institutional differentiation in Ontario's postsecondary system

    TORONTO, Feb. 13 /CNW/ - The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
(HEQCO) today released a new research paper, Degrees of Opportunity:
Broadening Student Access by Increasing Institutional Differentiation in
Ontario Higher Education. Prepared by higher education scholars Glen Jones and
Michael Skolnik, this paper was commissioned to determine whether there are
significant gaps in Ontario's postsecondary education system with respect to
education and research activities and, if so, how these gaps might be
    "Examining the design of Ontario's postsecondary system is a key
component of HEQCO's mandate," said Dr. Ken Norrie, vice-president of research
for the Council. "Ontario's higher education sector faces several significant
issues, including growing enrolment demand, particularly in the Greater
Toronto Area (GTA), and the need to provide educational opportunities that
respond to the province's economic needs. Degrees of Opportunity is an initial
attempt to tackle these challenges by examining the current design of the
postsecondary system."
    Jones and Skolnik conclude that Ontario's higher education system could
benefit from several new types of postsecondary structures including:
teaching-oriented institutions that focus on undergraduate education;
collaborative programs; an 'open university' that enables learners to combine
credits from different institutions and learning experiences; and greater
pathways for college students to attain a bachelor's degree and continue on to
graduate study.
    "In today's economy, we can't rest on our laurels. Our research is aimed
at ensuring we know how our system of higher education is working and what
needs to be done to keep it working well," said Dr. Norrie. "Our review of the
system will look at the full range of opportunities that Ontarians need in
order to be competitive in the knowledge economy."
    This paper is the first of a series of research projects and stakeholder
consultations that HEQCO plans before developing its advice to the Minister on
system planning issues.

    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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