Policies, Laws, and Regulations: Governing Post-Secondary Education and Skills in Canada

The Conference Board of Canada, 155 pages, November 6, 2014
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This report provides a conceptual framework and analysis of Canada’s policy, legal, and regulatory (PLR) environment for skills and post-secondary education; and identifies areas for action for improving PLRs.

Document Highlights

Canada has one of the most highly educated populations in the world. Over half of the Canadian population has completed tertiary-level education—a higher proportion than any other OECD country. To remain innovative and competitive, however, Canada’s post-secondary education (PSE) system and skills production mechanisms must be designed and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure they are achieving optimal outcomes. The governance structures of the PSE system—the policies, laws, and regulations (PLRs)—were established to enable the system to achieve its objectives. This report explores the PLRs that affect, define, and govern Canada’s skills and post-secondary educational systems and guide their operations. Using an aspirational approach, we envision an optimal PLR system (or set of systems) for PSE and the core characteristics of that system. Finally, we identify areas for action for improving PLRs to support skills and PSE system objectives and address current and emerging challenges.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—Introduction

  • Purpose and Objectives
  • Approach and Scope
  • Methodology

Chapter 2—Policies, Laws, and Regulations of PSE in Canada: What Is Currently in Place?

  • Structure of PSE in Canada
  • Structures Shaping PSE Institutions in Canada
  • Canada's Post-Secondary Education System—Four Models
  • Federal Level
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3—Policy, Law, and Regulatory Solutions to PSE Challenges

  • PSE Institution Challenges and PLR Opportunities
  • Characteristics of an Optimal PLR System

Chapter 4—Critical Issues: How Policies, Laws, and Regulations Support Skills Development, Labour Market Needs, and Research

  • Skills Development
  • Labour Market Needs
  • Support Research

Chapter 5—Critical Issues: Policies, Laws, and Regulations and the PSE Experience

  • How PLRs Reduce Barriers to Student Access
  • How PLRs Facilitate Student Mobility
  • Conclusion

Chapter 6—Critical Issues: Policies, Laws, and Regulations and PSE Quality Assurance

  • How PLRs Assure High-Quality Programming, Management, and Outcomes
  • Conclusion

Chapter 7—Reforming Policies, Laws, and Regulations: Strategies for Success

  • Key Findings and Areas for Action

Appendix A—Bibliography

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