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​​​​​​​ Our Priorities - Access
How can we improve access to higher education for groups that are underrepresented?

Postsecondary access has been Ontario’s dominant policy priority over the past three decades, driven by enrolment-based funding mechanisms and a strong commitment to financial aid. Institutions have responded, with more than 200,000 additional students in the past decade alone. But some populations remain underrepresented in our colleges and universities.

Research indicates that financial aid is necessary but not sufficient to ensure the full participation of these groups in postsecondary education. There are also sociocultural variables that influence decisions about postsecondary education, decisions that may be made well before the end of secondary education. HEQCO will continue to identify and examine the programs and strategies that lead to greater postsecondary participation and success of underrepresented populations.

Top Reads
@ Issue - An Overview of PSE Accessibility in Ontario
Ken Norrie and Huizi Zhao
Efforts to evaluate postsecondary access programs hampered by lack of research data

@ Issue - Participation of Low-Income Students in Ontario
Fiona Deller, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario; and Stephanie Oldford, University of British Columbia
Low knowledge of costs, benefits and financial aid pose barrier to higher education

Still Worth It After All These Years
Martin Hicks and Linda Jonker
In economically troubled times, university still produces employability and earnings advantage

Background Characteristics and Patterns of Access to Postsecondary Education in Ontario: Evidence from Longitudinal Tax Data
Ross Finnie and Dejan Pavlic, Education Policy Research Initiative (EPRI), University of Ottawa
As university access in Ontario increases, so too does the gender gap

Ontario the attainment chart-topper — except in the trades (blog post)
Fiona Deller
Ontario’s at the top of the heap in both college and university attainment for 25 to 34 year olds. But what happens when we look at apprenticeships and trades? Absolutely bottom of the heap