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Marshalling Resources for Change: System-Level Initiatives to Increase Access and Success

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Jones, Glen; Gregor, Emily; Lamoureux, Sylvie; Padure, Lucia
Jun 13, 2008
Accountability, Autonomy, and Politics; International and Comparative; Access, Persistence, and Success; Outreach, Engagement, and the Public Good; Finance and Economics
Canada has a highly educated population, and its overall rates of participation in postsecondary education are among the highest in the world. The problem of accessibility in Canadian higher education lies not in the overall rate of participation, but in the disparities and inequities in participation among elements of the Canadian population. Canadians from lower economic groups are less likely to obtain a postsecondary education than individuals from wealthier backgrounds. Canada's Aboriginal populations have extremely low levels of participation compared with the population as a whole. Once admitted, there may also be important differences in whether students from different groups succeed in completing a postsecondary credential, or whether they are able to continue into professional or graduate programs. This presentation will review the system-level approaches to improving accessibility to postsecondary education. Accessibility in the context of this presentation is broadly defined to include issues of retention, completion, and success in addition to the ability to enroll in a postsecondary institution. Presenters will review and discuss the government funding tools used to improve access; approaches that involve the community in solutions to problems of accessibility; strategies that involve rethinking the definition and boundaries of the postsecondary system; and the importance of data and tools to measure and monitor accessibility.
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