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Performance Indicators


​​​​​Performance Indicators 

Performance Indicators 

In three of the four postsecondary performance domains examined for HEQCO’s first annual performance indicator report, Ontario fares reasonably well. Comparatively, the system is efficient and productive. Its considerable investments in creating an accessible system places Ontario at the forefront of Canada and among world leaders in enrolment and attainment. Educated Ontarians (and their fellow Canadians) are more likely to be civically engaged and satisfied with their lives than citizens of other OECD nations. It’s largely a good news story, but one that demands a new headline: It’s time to focus on quality. And therein lies the caveat for this report and the challenge ahead for higher education systems in search of definitive quality measures.

Measuring performance in postsecondary education is a confounding endeavour. While opinions and anecdotes abound, strong and relevant measures elude, especially in the domain of quality.

Attempts to define and measure system quality have an honourable lineage. Early efforts focussed on inputs like funding per student (the more the better) and student-faculty ratios (the lower the better). But critics correctly noted that these really only measure the efficiency of the system, and not whether any results or outcomes have been achieved.

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Access Quality Productivity Social Impact
Bullet Canada outpaces the OECD average in postsecondary attainment. Bullet Better tools needed to understand and measure quality. Bullet Ontario is already quite productive. Bullet Higher education is linked to higher levels of social engagement and life satisfaction.
Bullet Ontario is a Canadian leader in postsecondary participation. Bullet Learning outcomes: the new generation of quality measures. Bullet Teaches more students per faculty with less money per student than all other provinces. Bullet Ontario’s performance mirrors the country’s.
Bullet Colleges have been successful in supporting the enrolment of underrepresented groups. Bullet Better alignment needed between postsecondary skills and the labour market. Bullet Productivity must be increased to maintain and enhance quality. Bullet Compared to the OECD average Canadians tend to be more satisfied with their lives, more likely to volunteer, less likely to report having voted.
Bullet Funding that privileges growth now needs to emphasize quality.