HEQCO President shares strategies for improving Canada's universities

October 15, 2014

In an op-ed for the Globe and Mail, Harvey Weingarten, President of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, says that in the wake of Canadian universities’ recent slip in global rankings, it is time to take action to improve Canada’s universities. Weingarten lists 4 tactics that have been used by other countries who have faced a similar challenge: movement away from micromanaging institutions by the government; the creation of clear accountability mechanisms; the introduction of outcome-based, rather than input-based, funding structures; and the adoption of differentiation policies. He notes that some provinces have already begun to pursue some of these strategies; but, he says that these 4 tactics must operate interdependently to be successful. Weingarten says that Canada especially lags behind other countries when it comes to defining outcomes and collecting data, as well as in its commitment to continuous improvement and institutional accountability. “It is time for Canada to get more serious about improving its colleges and universities and we do not need, nor do we have, 8 to 10 years to figure this out,” he writes. Globe and Mail