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Setting the Stage: On Garbage Cans and Institutional Differentiation Glen A. Jones Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement,

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Presentation on theme: "Setting the Stage: On Garbage Cans and Institutional Differentiation Glen A. Jones Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting the Stage: On Garbage Cans and Institutional Differentiation Glen A. Jones Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement, Higher Education Group, OISE/UT

2 Outline An introduction to institutional diversity Possible approaches for Ontario Garbage cans …

3 Institutional Diversity Research literature (with Birbaum’s 1983 book as a foundational work) Accessibility is the key theme/rationale –Diverse students have diverse needs –Creating new, less-expensive institutional types to address the needs of mass higher education

4 From an international perspective … The “university” is not a universal institutional type Huge variations in “non-university” institutions (often degree-granting, limited research activity)

5 Where do first year students go? Derived from Taylor et al (2008), Non- University Higher Education in Europe. Dordrecht: Springer.

6 From an international perspective … Without government involvement, pathways between differentiated institutions are unlikely to emerge. Without government involvement, academic drift will occur. Public policy challenge is to find an appropriate balance (enough, but not too much, diversity)

7 Ontario in the 1960s Expanded the existing university sector and created new, similar universities Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology created as comprehensive PSE institutions but without a transfer function Created two quite different policy and regulatory environments for the two sectors

8 Ontario Universities Quite limited systemic (type/mission) diversity within the Ontario university sector Systemic diversity has actually declined over time (OISE, Ryerson Polytechnic, OCAD, Algoma)

9 Ontario CAATs Common institutional type distinct from universities Increasing programmatic diversity, especially in relation to degree-granting Limited “traditional transfer” and major concerns with “vocational transfer”

10 Ontario System High levels of participation Two distinct sectors, but with limited diversity within the university sector There has never been a system-wide plan, or vision/strategy (decisions have tended to be incremental and ad hoc) How to address the current issue?

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12 We were asked: To review the evolution of the Ontario system and determine whether, compared with other systems, there were gaps. What are some of the policy options that the government might consider in addressing the future needs of the province?

13 Options to address anticipated demand? 1.Create Satellite Campuses of Existing Universities 2.Create New Universities of a New Type Focusing on Undergraduate Study and With a Limited Role in Research

14 Options … 3.Providing selected colleges with a new substantial role in baccalaureate programming 4. Improving transfer arrangements 5. Create an open university

15 Garbage Can Model

16 Organized Anarchy Problematic preferences Unclear technology Fluid participation

17 Garbage Can Model Rather than a rational, orderly process, decision-making takes place in an environment where there are separate streams of participants, problems, solutions, and choice opportunities. This is a wonderful example …

18 Participants Come and go … –Many have specific problems or solutions that they carry with them –The participants in this discussion include a wide range of individuals representing institutional and regional interests, as well as individuals who have particular views about solutions and problems

19 Problem stream … Predicted demand for increased access to degree programs Current model of comprehensive institutions is expensive Quality of undergraduate education Limited institutional diversity Regions without universities (historical injustices)

20 Problem stream … Some existing institutions face a problem declining demand College-university transfer Failure to differentiate “research universities” Access for certain groups/populations

21 Solution stream … Primarily teaching, undergraduate university Increase missions/status of some existing colleges On-line institute Open university Improve transfer arrangements

22 Solution Stream Create satelite campuses of existing institutions (perhaps those that are concerned about future enrolment) BUMBY

23 Choice opportunities … Occasions when organizations are expected (or think they are expected) to make decisions In the absence of clear priorities or strategies, choice opportunities become “garbage cans” where problems and solutions are dumped and become stuck to each other.

24 And so … We need to step away from a garbage can approach Today is about engaging in a public discussion of problems and solutions We need an integrated plan or strategy for Ontario higher education that will form the basis for informed decisions about moving forward.

25 Thank you


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