"An aging Ontario workforce demands a new generation of well educated citizens, at a time when almost three-quarters of new jobs will require college or university education. Through a comprehensive program of research, evaluation and policy advice, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) is helping to ensure that Ontario’s colleges and universities are accessible, offer high quality programs and are accountable to Ontarians."
Harvey Weingarten, President and CEO
Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
HEQCO explores key issues in higher education
Created through the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Act, 2005, HEQCO is an arm’s-length agency of the Government of Ontario that brings evidence-based research to the continued improvement of the postsecondary education system in Ontario. As part of its mandate, HEQCO evaluates the postsecondary sector and provides policy recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to enhance the access, quality and accountability of Ontario’s colleges and universities. Among the questions HEQCO explores:
- Are students satisfied with their postsecondary experience?
- Do they acquire the knowledge and skills that prepare them for their personal and professional lives?
- What are the barriers to pursuing PSE, barriers to staying in school, barriers to graduating?
- How are under-represented groups faring in accessing and completing PSE and what strategies will improve their participation?
- What are the attributes of a responsive and efficient PSE system, and how can the system and its institutions be more accountable to the public and government for the use of public dollars?
HEQCO informs solutions
- Conducts and commissions studies and evaluations, often in partnership with Ontario’s colleges and universities, on key issues in accessibility, quality and accountability.
- Produces At Issue reports that synthesize the most current data and research – providing postsecondary decision-makers and the general public with critical insight and information on emerging trends in postsecondary education.
- Evaluates the postsecondary sector and makes that evaluation available to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and the general public.
The authority to create the Council is established in the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Act, 2005.
The Council is chaired by Elizabeth Dowdeswell, president and CEO of the Council of Canadian Academies. Council members are appointed for two or three year terms through a Lieutenant Governor of Ontario Order-in-Council.
The Council reports to the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and must prepare an annual report, which it submits to the Minister for tabling in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.
HEQCO is a vital part of the dialogue on postsecondary education.