This paper analyzes the incentives induced by a formula to fund universities based primarily on enrolment. Using a simple game theoretical framework, we argue that inherently those formulas lower the funding per student. We argue that if the funding value differs by enrolment type, it introduces incentives to substitute enrolment where most profitable. We use these results to discuss the 2018 funding formula changes in Québec. Québec’s latest reform is an attempt to reduce substitution effects and increase graduate enrolment. We provide simulations of the reform’s redistributive effects. With the formula change, some universities have structural advantages over others. Whilst the reform, on a short-term basis, deploys a mechanism to mitigate these advantages, on a long-term basis the effect introduces a larger gap between Québec higher-education institutions.
Cet article analyse les incitatifs induits par une formule de financement des universités basées principalement sur les inscriptions universitaires. En nous appuyant sur des modèles simples de théorie des jeux, nous argumentons que ce type de formule réduit le financement par étudiant. Nous montrons également qui si la pondération des effectifs étudiants varie d’une discipline à l’autre, les universités ont des incitatifs à substituer leurs effectifs vers les programmes « payants ». Nous utilisons ces résultats pour discuter des changements faits en 2018 à la formule québécoise de financement des universités. Cette réforme vise à réduire les effets de substitution et à augmenter les effectifs au troisième cycle. Nous simulons la réforme pour montrer ses effets redistributifs entre établissements. Avec la nouvelle formule, des universités deviennent structurellement avantagées. Bien que des mécanismes de court-terme atténuent ces avantages, les effets de long-terme introduisent des écarts importants entre institutions universitaires.
Sexual violence continues to be a serious problem on university campuses. While the negative psychological and health effects of sexual violence are well known, it is only recently that attention has focused on how these behaviours impact education, particularly women’s education. This study contributes to this area and examined the impact of types of sexual violence on behavioural and attitudinal indicators of academic performance and persistence among students reporting sexual violence. Undergraduate women attending university in Ontario, Canada (N= 934) responded to survey measures of academic performance, attitudes towards education and sexual violence experiences. The results indicate that sexual violence has a deleterious impact on women’s academic performance including and beyond grades. Women students who experienced sexual violence reported more delays and failures on assignments, courses and exams, were more likely to endorse attendance problems and thoughts of dropping out or quitting than students not reporting sexual violence. Type of sexual violence experienced was also related to academic performance. The results are discussed in terms of the need to understand components of academic performance as well as factors that may contribute to outcomes for students. Findings have implications for intervention and policy development.
Quality teaching and how to assess and award it, continue to be an area of scholarship and debate in higher education. While the literature demonstrates that assessment should be multifaceted, operationalizing this is no easy task. To gain insight into how teaching excellence is defined in Canadian higher education, this empirical study collected and analysed the criteria, evidence, and standards for institutional teaching awards from 89 institutions and 204 award programs across Canada. The majority of awards included criteria such as specific characteristics of teaching performance and student-centredness; while activities that had impact outside an individual’s teaching practice were also prevalent, including campus leadership, scholarship of teaching and learning, and contributions to curriculum. Lists of potential sources of evidence were heavily weighted towards student perceptions and artefacts from instructors’ teaching. Recommendations for individuals and institutions wanting to foster excellence in teaching are offered along with suggestions for future research.
Two trends in the evolution of quality assurance in Canadian postsecondary education have been the emergence of outcomes-based quality standards and the demand for balancing accountability and improvement. Using a realist, process-based approach to impact analysis, this study examined four quality assurance events at two universities and two colleges in Ontario to identify how system-wide quality assurance policies have impacted the curriculum development process of academic programs within postsecondary institutions. The study revealed different approaches that postsecondary institutions chose to use in response to quality assurance policies and the mechanisms that may account for different experiences. These mechanisms include endeavours to balance accountability and continuous improvement, leadership support, and the emerging quality assurance function of teaching and learning centres. These findings will help address the challenges in quality assurance policy implementation within Canadian postsecondary education and enrich international discussions on the accountability-improvement dichotomy in the context of quality assurance.
This article is concerned with the differences in REB policy and application processes across Canada as they impact multi-jurisdictional, higher education research projects that collect data at universities themselves. Despite the guiding principles of the Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 (TCPS2) there is significant variation among the practices of Research Ethics Boards (REBs) at Canada’s universities, particularly when they respond to requests from researchers outside their own institution. The data for this paper were gathered through a review of research ethics applications at 69 universities across Canada. The findings suggest REBs use a range of different application systems and require different revisions and types of oversight for researchers who are not employed at their institution. This paper recommends further harmonization between REBs across the country and national-level dialogue on TCPS2 interpretations.
Cet article étudie les différences entre politiques institutionnelles en matière d’éthique à la recherche et les procédures d’évaluation qui encadrent les travaux des comités d’éthique à la recherche (CER), en particulier lorsqu’il s’agit de projets de recherche en sciences sociales menés dans des universités de différentes provinces. Malgré l’adhésion générale aux principes directeurs du deuxième Énoncé de politique des trois Conseils (EPTC2), les pratiques des CER diffèrent, en particulier lorsqu’il s’agit de répondre à des chercheurs issus d’autres universités. Cette étude s’appuie sur une analyse des demandes d’évaluation soumises aux CER de 69 universités canadiennes. Les résultats suggèrent que les CER utilisent différents mécanismes de dépôt, exigent différents niveaux de révision et supervisent différemment les études dirigées par des chercheurs d’autres établissements. Cet article recommande une plus grande harmonisation des procédures des CER canadiens.
In this study, we explored the experiences of Ontario students who have engaged in a ‘reverse transfer’, i.e. moving from university-to-college (UTC). Data was collected through qualitative interviews with 20 participants who began their post-secondary journey in a university program, but left that program before completing it, and subsequently pursued a college program. We focused on the factors that led to the decision to reverse transfer, participants’ experiences and perceptions of the reverse transfer process, and what, if any, barriers they experienced. We found that motivations for leaving university were distinct from, though sometimes related to, motivations for pursuing college. Reasons for leaving university were clustered around three themes: academic struggles, mental/physical health/special education need struggles, and future prospects. These were highly interconnected and characterized by difficulties, ranging from mild to severe, coping with university. Motivations for pursuing college were more practical and straightforward, relating to subject interest, college learning environment, location, and future prospects. While most participants reflected very positively on their decision to transfer, there were some negative or ambivalent reflections about having left university before completing their degrees. These were largely related to a sense of personal failure and/or the negative reactions of others, particularly parents. Personal and external (usually parental) negative reflections were tied to cultural and societal expectations about high achievement and perceptions of university education as superior to college education. We conclude with policy recommendations.