Multi-Year Agreement for Universities for 2006-07 to 2008-09

Multi-Year Agreement for Universities for 2006-07 to 2008-09

As part of the 2005 Ontario Budget, the government introduced “Reaching Higher: The McGuinty Government Plan for Postsecondary Education”, which will provide a cumulative investment of $6.2B in Ontario’s post-secondary education and training system by 2009-10.

The government’s goal is to use the Reaching Higher investments to improve the access, quality and accountability of the post-secondary education system.

Traditionally, MTCU has allocated grants and institutions have reported on outcomes achieved with the funding on an annual basis. This practice was continued and strengthened in 2005-06 when the government introduced the Interim Accountability Agreement, a one-year agreement which confirmed the commitments and results expected by government and each institution for the first year of the new Reaching Higher investments.

The government recognizes that publicly-funded institutions will have a greater ability to develop plans that meet government goals for the sector and achieve results if there is funding stability and predictability. This is why the government is building on the groundwork established by Interim Accountability Agreements and introducing Multi-Year Agreements and funding allocations.

The Multi-Year Agreement (MYA) articulates the government’s goals for the system, and its roles and responsibilities in meeting those goals. This agreement confirms the commitments expected from each institution and the sector-wide indicators that will be used to report on results achieved.

This agreement constitutes an integral and central component of the overall performance and accountability relationship between government and publicly funded PSE institutions. It does not however, replace existing performance and accountability arrangements, and will be supplemented by existing and, where applicable, modified or new transfer payment reporting requirements, such as those associated with individual grants. The Ministry remains committed to the goal of reducing and consolidating accountability and reporting requirements wherever possible, consistent with the high standard of overall accountability for public funds expected by the public. This document constitutes part of the public record, and as such, should be made available on your institution’s web-site.

The Role of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

The government appreciates that implementing this MYA and future agreements will be part of an evolutionary process which will require a strong collaborative partnership between institutions and the Ministry. The government has also recently established the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). This council will play a significant role in developing a quality framework for postsecondary education in Ontario to facilitate multi-year accountability agreements with institutions, including the development of indicators for performance measurement and monitoring the Student Access Guarantee.

In partnership with institutions, the Ministry is committed to reviewing and revising this agreement as needed on an annual basis to ensure that colleges and universities remain focused on meeting the government goals for post-secondary education. Advice from and research undertaken by HEQCO will inform this process.

1. Government Goals and Responsibilities for the Postsecondary Education System

This section summarizes the government’s expected goals for access, quality and accountability as announced in the 2005 Budget through the Reaching Higher investments in postsecondary education, and outlines its role and responsibilities for meeting those system goals.

1.1 Access

The government is committed to ensuring that there is an increase in the number of Ontarians who have the opportunity to successfully pursue higher quality postsecondary education that is affordable and accessible across Ontario including northern and remote, rural and urban areas.

The government will undertake the following initiatives designed to improve access in the postsecondary education system:

  • Establish enrolment targets and policies that will ensure that the government meets its commitment to increase university and college full-time enrolment, increase graduate enrolment by 12,000 in 2007-08 and 14,000 by 2009-10, and increase medical enrolments by a further 23 per cent by 2009-10;
  • Develop policies and provide funding to deliver services that will promote access and increase opportunities for Aboriginal Peoples, Francophones, persons with disabilities, and persons who are the first in their family to attend postsecondary education. The strategies will be informed by the committees established to provide advice to the Minister on how to maximize the educational experiences of these students. The First Generation Strategy offers an opportunity to target “at risk” and low-income communities and families and consider socio-economic factors;
  • In partnership with institutions, develop a Student Access Guarantee that provides that no qualified Ontario student will be prevented from attending Ontario’s public colleges and universities due to lack of financial support programs. The Student Access Guarantee means that students in need will have access to the resources they need for their tuition, books, and mandatory fees;
  • Continue enhancements of the Ontario Student Assistance Program. This includes extending access grant eligibility to students from low- and middle-income families, updating the book and supply allowance, continuing to limit students’ annual repayable debt, and matching funds raised by institutions to establish endowments. In partnership with institutions, the government will also implement a website for 2007-08 that will allow students to identify costs and sources of financial aid;
  • Work jointly with the Chair of HEQCO to establish a research agenda on participation and access to be carried out by the Council;
  • Define the role and responsibilities of HEQCO in monitoring and making recommendations relating to the implementation of the Student Access Guarantee;
  • Develop system measures to track the participation of under-represented students with the assistance of institutions and HEQCO in a manner that is sensitive to privacy concerns; and
  • Develop a comprehensive international marketing strategy to assist in the internationalization of Ontario’s postsecondary education system and to ensure that Ontario remains competitive in an increasingly globalized environment.

1.2 Quality

The government’s Reaching Higher Plan is committed to the highest standards in teaching, research, and the student learning experience, and will undertake the following initiatives designed to help the postsecondary education system improve quality:

  • Provide funding that will allow institutions to enhance the quality of their learning environment as evidenced by student engagement, satisfaction and success;
  • Participate in the Ontario Universities’ Key Performance Indicator initiative as per the current process; Comply with the MTCU-COU protocol regarding the use of data from the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE), the Consortium on Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) and the Canadian Graduate and Professional Survey on Satisfaction (CGPSS) to establish benchmarks from which to assess improvements in quality;
  • Work jointly with the Chair of HEQCO to establish a research agenda on quality to be carried out by the Council;
  • Define the role and responsibilities of HEQCO on monitoring quality in the system, and receive guidance from the Council on improving quality;
  • Work with the Ministry of Research and Innovation to support the role of institutions in implementing the province’s research, innovation and commercialization agenda;
  • Co-operate and work with the College-University Consortium Council (CUCC) and institutions to develop strategies and policies that will improve and increase collaboration between institutions and sectors, in support of student success and mobility; and,
  • Receive advice from HEQCO and CUCC on the best way to measure increased collaboration.

1.3 Accountability

The government is committed to ensuring that it and postsecondary institutions be held accountable for accomplishing the goals and objectives established under the Reaching Higher Plan.

The government will undertake the following initiatives designed to help institutions improve accountability:

  • Track and report on the achievement of the Reaching Higher Measurement and Results Schematic identified in Appendix A;
  • Receive the advice of HEQCO on the best way to measure performance and ensure the accountability of colleges and universities;
  • Continue the ongoing review of institutional reporting requirements to streamline, consolidate and improve reporting requirements;
  • Sign and implement this Multi-Year Agreement with the understanding that it will be reviewed annually in partnership with the institutions to determine whether any revisions are needed pursuant to the advice and input of HEQCO or to reflect maturing consensus on how to measure and encourage quality and access; and
  • Participate in the annual review of the Multi-Year Action Plan located in Appendix B of the agreement. When completed, the Multi-Year Action Plan will establish the institution-specific strategies, indicators and results designed to contribute to the system-wide goals and results for access, quality and accountability identified in the Reaching Higher Measurement and Results Schematic located in Appendix A.

1.4 Funding

Recognizing the importance of stability and predictability of funding for institutional planning, and in order to increase the capacity of institutions to meet shared goals of quality and accessibility, the government will provide multi-year funding allocations for the three years covered by this agreement.

Preliminary allocations for 2006-07 and notional allocations for 2007-08 and 2008-09 will be provided based on best information available and are subject to change as updated information becomes available.

2. Institution Commitments

This section outlines the commitments and results expected from each institution.

2.1 Access

Your institution commits to undertaking the following initiatives designed to help the postsecondary education system improve access:

  • Participate in the Student Access Guarantee. In partnership with the government, develop a Student Access Guarantee that provides that no qualified Ontario student will be prevented from attending Ontario's public colleges and universities due to lack of financial support programs. The Student Access Guarantee means that students in need will have access to the resources they need for their tuition, books and mandatory fees;
  • Provide the Ministry with the assistance needed to design and implement a website that will allow students to identify costs and sources of financial aid;
  • Comply with the new Tuition Fee Framework;
  • Provide HEQCO with the assistance needed to complete access related research;
  • Provide the Ministry and HEQCO with the assistance needed to develop a system measure to track the participation of under-represented groups in a manner that is sensitive to privacy concerns. The First Generation Strategy is expected to develop measures to find and track those who are the first in their family to attend postsecondary education (including “at risk” and low income students);
  • Report on institutional enrolment growth at the undergraduate and graduate level in keeping with established protocols, or as requested by the Ministry, thereby contributing to the sector targets established by the government, and where applicable report on institutional targets agreed to for medical enrolments; and
  • Provide the Ministry with institution-specific multi-year access strategies, indicators and results in the Multi-Year Action Plan template located in Appendix B of the agreement.

2.2 Quality

Your institution commits to undertaking the following initiatives designed to help the postsecondary education system improve quality:

  • Participate in the Ontario Universities’ Key Performance Indicator initiative as per the current process;
  • Participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement, the Consortium on Student Retention Exchange and the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (if applicable), and pursuant to the MTCU-COU protocol, submit results to MTCU;
  • Provide HEQCO with the assistance needed to complete quality-related research;
  • Provide the Ministry with institution specific multi-year quality strategies, indicators and results in the Multi-Year Action Plan template located in Appendix B of the agreement; and
  • Co-operate and work with other postsecondary education institutions and the College-University Consortium Council (CUCC) to develop strategies and policies that will improve and increase collaboration between institutions and sectors in support of student success and mobility, and provide HEQCO and the CUCC with the assistance needed to develop advice on the best way to measure increased collaboration.

2.3 Accountability

Your institution commits to undertaking the following initiatives designed to help the postsecondary education system improve accountability:

  • Complete the Multi-Year Action Plan template attached in Appendix B which, when completed, will establish the institution specific strategies and results designed to contribute to the system-wide goals and results for access, quality and accountability identified in the Reaching Higher Measurement and Results Schematic located in Appendix A.
  • Participate in an annual review of the Multi-Year Action Plan as outlined in Appendix B;
  • Continue all other reporting requirements linked to transfer payments and grants, in addition to any revised or new reporting requirements related to Francophone students and the Access and Opportunity Fund;
  • Provide HEQCO with the assistance needed to determine the best way to measure performance and ensure the accountability of colleges and universities;
  • Sign and implement this Multi-Year Agreement with the understanding that it will be reviewed annually in partnership with the government to determine whether any revisions are needed pursuant to the advice and input of HEQCO or to reflect maturing consensus on how to measure and encourage quality and access; and
  • Post the MYA on your institution’s web site.

Please Note: The release of the full amount of your 2006-07 funding is conditional on the Ministry approving your completed Multi-Year Action Plan. Please complete and submit this Action Plan to the Ministry by September 29, 2006.

For the subsequent years, the 2007-08 and 2008-09 the release of the full amount of your institution’s allocations will be conditional on the successful completion of the annual review of the Multi-Year Action Plan.

Signature of President

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Signature of Minister

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Dr. Jack Lightstone,
President and Vice-Chancellor

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Date: _____________________________
Mr. David Howes
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date: _______________________