Fostering Differentiation Among Colleges and Universities

Are Ontario’s postsecondary institutions doing all they can to provide the widest range of opportunities and options to students?

HEQCO is committed to helping the province find ways to make its postsecondary system as effective and efficient as possible. A policy of greater institutional differentiation can help preserve academic quality and ensure that the province gets the most out of its investment in higher education. It can reduce duplication of effort, enhance the effective allocation of resources and ensure the efficient use of public funds.

While the Ontario government can provide guidance to steer the postsecondary system, institutions should be involved in developing their own unique identities and tailoring their programs and activities for the regions and people they serve. HEQCO is committed to helping identify new metrics and data sets to assess institutional differentiation and help institutions achieve their differentiation goals.

Key findings from HEQCO research on differentiation among colleges and universities:

  • A policy of greater institutional differentiation can be a means of preserving academic quality and ensuring that the province gets the best value for its higher education investment.
  • Institutional differentiation can steer institutions and the postsecondary system toward set objectives.
  • Ontario’s universities can be grouped into distinct clusters. Research intensity and promotion of equity of access vary dramatically among universities.
  • Colleges are more difficult to cluster into groups. Credential mix is a fundamental differentiator among colleges.
  • HEQCO has identified several ways of supporting greater differentiation among the province’s postsecondary institutions.

Read the full summary of HEQCO’s research.