The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) is seeking comments on the priorities and research agenda it should adopt during its initial years of operation. In recent years the Ontario government has made significant changes in its policy framework for postsecondary education. The creation of the Council is one of these changes. By statute, the Council is a Crown agency that is independent of the Ministry of Training,Colleges and Universities and of the universities, colleges and associations in the post secondary education sector. Yet the Council can contribute to the improvement of post secondary education in Ontario only through cooperation and collaboration across thesector. Such cooperation should have due regard for the autonomy that universities and colleges have established under current legislation and policies.
This paper provides some background on the Council’s mandate and proposes some principles that should guide its research activities. It then suggests five possible roles for the Council and identifies some potential research priorities that relate to each role.