Ontario's PSE system needs to become more efficient, says report

February 15, 2012

To meet the challenges of increasing demand for PSE in the midst of constrained funding, Ontario's higher education system will need to become even more efficient, states the report from the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services. The commission outlines 30 recommendations related to PSE, calling on the province to contain government funding and institutional expenses; use differentiation to improve PSE quality and achieve financial sustainability; encourage and reward quality; revise research funding structures; maintain the current overall cap on tuition fee increases, but simplify the framework; re-evaluate student financial assistance; and generate cost efficiencies through measures such as integrating administrative and back-office functions. With respect to financial assistance, the report recommends Ontario explore phasing out provincial tuition and education tax credits to invest in upfront grants. The commission urges government and PSE institutions to measure learning outcomes, as well as tie outcome quality indicators to funding as part of the mandate agreement with institutions. The report recommends ceasing funding for international marketing of Ontario universities and integrating it into existing trade mission activities. Read the report