Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
March 7, 2019

Provincial Government Announces Terms of Reference, Committee of Experts for Independent Public Post-Secondary Education Review

The Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, today announced the Committee of Experts and released the Terms of Reference for the independent review of the public post-secondary education system.

Appointed to the Committee of Experts through a merit-based recruitment process by the Independent Appointments Commission are:

  • Karen Kennedy, Chair
  • Kevin Keough
  • Doreen Neville

The Committee of Experts will be guided by the Terms of Reference. The committee will also consider the industry development plans created through The Way Forward in developing a strategic vision of post-secondary education for the next decade.

The Terms of Reference and biographical information for members of the Committee of Experts, are provided in the backgrounder below.

The Public Post-Secondary Education Review builds on the comprehensive review of the K-12 education system and the Education Action Plan.

The results of the review will provide a long-term vision for the next decade and beyond for a public post-secondary education system that is effective, sustainable, accountable, accessible, delivers high quality education, contributes to knowledge creation and transfer, and prepares post-secondary students for their future personal and professional lives.

This initiative delivers on commitments in The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and provide better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca

Quotes
“The review will help ensure our institutions are positioned to meet the needs of students well into the future, address emerging labour market demands, and continue to contribute to the province’s economic growth. We want to ensure our public post-secondary system meets the educational and vocational needs of our students.”
Honourable Bernard Davis
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour

“I wish to extend a sincere thank you to the review team members, for their interest in Newfoundland and Labrador’s post-secondary education system and in advance for their time and dedication to this review.”
Dr. Gary Kachanoski
President, Memorial University

“College of the North Atlantic is looking forward to working with the Committee of Experts during the review of the post-secondary education system. The college values its role in providing highly-qualified, technically-trained graduates to support Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing economy, and is looking forward to working collaboratively to support the further development of the province’s skilled workforce into the future.”
Bruce Hollett
President, College of the North Atlantic

“It is a privilege to be appointed as chair. The work of this committee will help to ensure that our public post-secondary educational institutions are well positioned to meet the needs of students and this province in the future.”
Karen Kennedy
Chair, Committee of Experts

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Learn more
Minister Hawkins Provides Update on Post-Secondary Education Review

The Way Forward

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Media contacts
Ryan Crocker
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
709-729-1795, 725-9595
ryancrocker@gov.nl.ca

Paula Dyke
Memorial University of Newfoundland
709-864-8665
pdyke@mun.ca

Michelle Barry
College of the North Atlantic
709-643-7721
michelle.barry@cna.nl.ca

Karen Kennedy
Committee of Experts
karenk@mun.ca 

BACKGROUNDER

Terms of Reference
Independent Review of the Public Post-Secondary Education System in Newfoundland and Labrador

Rationale
Whereas Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic were founded in order to provide high-quality and accessible education to people in Newfoundland and Labrador;

Whereas Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic are well-known for being national and international leaders in degree and diploma programs in arts and sciences and in areas such as health, ocean technology, engineering, business, creative and other industries specific to our province;

Whereas capitalizing on these strengths to further increase the province’s profile as a global leader in and contributor to these industries and facilitating the development of a skilled workforce and pursuit of research activities to support key sectors will contribute to economic growth; and

Whereas our post-secondary institutions contribute to a vibrant culture of creativity and innovation that is reflected in teaching, research and engagement with community partners and key stakeholders, and will strengthen opportunities for growth of our industries and communities;

Government is establishing an independent review of the public post-secondary education system to provide a long-term vision for the next decade and beyond. This review will explore how our system compares to other jurisdictions and recommend options to achieve better outcomes in a more cost-efficient manner to help ensure our institutions are well-positioned as we build for our future. This includes ensuring our public post-secondary system can meet the educational and vocational needs of students, is responsive to emerging labour market demands and diversification opportunities, and will continue to contribute to the province’s social, cultural and economic development and growth.

Background
Newfoundland and Labrador’s public post-secondary education system consists of two diverse institutions, Memorial University (MUN) and College of the North Atlantic (CNA).

MUN is established under the Memorial University Act and was originally founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundlanders who lost their lives on active service during the First World War and has a special obligation to the people of the province. MUN is the province’s only university and includes St. John's Campus, Signal Hill Campus, and Marine Institute, all in St. John's; Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook; the Labrador Institute in Happy Valley-Goose Bay; and a residential campus in Harlow, England. MUN has made substantial contributions to the province’s history and culture and is a comprehensive teaching and research university, enrolling approximately 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students annually. MUN is recognized worldwide as a top-tier post-secondary institution in teaching and learning, research, scholarship and public engagement. MUN conducts leading research in areas such as oceans, health, natural resources, energy and the environment, social sciences, culture and heritage contributing to the province’s social and economic development and global competitiveness.

CNA is Newfoundland and Labrador’s public college and one of the largest post-secondary educational and skills training centres in Atlantic Canada, with a history dating back 50 years to the first district vocational school in 1963. The College system evolved over the years and, in 1997, CNA was established under the College Act, 1996, which amalgamated the five colleges of applied arts and technology that existed across the province into one public college. CNA enrolls approximately 9,000 students annually in regular and contract training programs. CNA operates 17 campuses across the province and a campus in the Middle East State of Qatar. In addition to offering labour market relevant training programs, CNA contributes to applied research and development activities of the province by working with local industry and community partners to solve practical problems and facilitate social and economic development and growth.

Government is operating in a challenging fiscal environment with decreased revenues and the highest per capita spending among provinces. To address economic, social and fiscal challenges, Government has developed The Way Forward, a roadmap to achieving a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living supported by responsive, innovative and efficient programs and services. We are driven by the goals of: managing our fiscal situation; delivering valuable programs and services; getting better outcomes for our investments; creating an environment which supports economic development, cultural diversity and job creation; and, creating opportunities for individuals to excel in their careers.

Guiding Principles
Budget Speech 2018 and phase three of The Way Forward committed to a review of the public post-secondary education system. This will help ensure our institutions are well-positioned to meet the educational and personal needs and expectations of students well into the future, are responsive to emerging labour market demands and diversification opportunities, and continue to contribute to the province’s growth.

The results of this review will provide a long-term vision for the next decade and beyond for a public post-secondary education system that is effective, sustainable, accountable, accessible, delivers high quality education, contributes to knowledge creation and transfer, and prepares post-secondary students for their future personal and professional lives.

Scope
The independent review and subsequent report will provide the strategic vision for public post-secondary education in the province for the next decade and beyond. Areas for review will include:

1. Effectiveness
Effectiveness is the degree to which objectives are achieved to meet the expected outcome.

For consideration: Is the public post-secondary system meeting the needs of Newfoundland and Labrador and are there opportunities to do more?

In the overall review of effectiveness, committee members will want to consider, among other things:

  • Teaching and learning resources;
  • Program flexibility;
  • Success of learners;
  • Employment success of graduates;
  • Alignment with labour-market demands;
  • Professional development;
  • Implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action;
  • Institutional involvement in international education;
  • Contribution to immigration;
  • Aging infrastructure;
  • Accreditation standards;
  • Experiential and work-integrated learning;
  • Research and innovation capacity;
  • Knowledge creation, transfer and application; and
  • Contributions to societal change

2. Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to be supported and maintained and often refers to sufficiency of funds.

For consideration: What is reasonable in terms of the size, scope and structure of the public post-secondary education system and its capacity for sustainability?

In the overall review of sustainability, committee members will want to consider, among other things:

  • Revenue generation;
  • Public investment to ensure appropriate capacity;
  • Administrative/service/program integration and renewal;
  • Institutional differentiation and system reach;
  • Knowledge creation, transfer, and application;
  • Role in research and development;
  • Entrepreneurship opportunities;
  • Community revitalization and diversification; and
  • Optimal system footprint.

3. Accountability
Accountability is the obligation of an organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.

For consideration: What is the optimal model for the province’s public post-secondary system to deliver high quality education?

In the overall review of accountability, committee members will want to consider, among other things:

  • Governance models;
  • Institutional mandates and autonomy;
  • Institutional administration;
  • Legislation;
  • Relationship with Government;
  • Compliance with relevant legislation, policies and procedures;
  • Indicators and reporting requirements; and
  • Development and performance of internal controls.

4. Accessibility
Accessibility is the quality of being able to be reached or entered or being easy to obtain or use.

For consideration: How can the province’s public post-secondary education system best ensure opportunities for all to achieve greater diversity, increase accessibility and support more inclusiveness?

In the overall review of accessibility, committee members will want to consider, among other things:

  • Academic preparedness;
  • Student career/transitions;
  • Supports and services;
  • Inclusive education;
  • Recruitment practices;
  • Student financial assistance;
  • Articulation agreements and processes to facilitate learner mobility;
  • Lifelong learning opportunities; and
  • Physical location, access to and usability of facilities.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Guided by the Terms of Reference, the Committee of Experts will undertake a significant review of the province’s public post-secondary education system, considering the diverse nature of Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic, informed by a stakeholder consultation process to be undertaken by the Committee of Experts, and resulting in the development of a comprehensive report and recommendations.
  • The Committee of Experts will consider The Way Forward in the development of a strategic and comprehensive vision of public post-secondary education for the next decade and beyond. Through the development of measurable educational goals, as guided through the scope of the review, the Committee will help ensure our public post-secondary system is well-positioned as we build for our future.
  • MUN, CNA and Government will respond to requests for information from the Committee as needed.

Deliverables
The Committee of Experts will provide Government of Newfoundland and Labrador with a final report during 2020.

Biographical Information for Appointees to the Committee of Experts

Karen Kennedy
Karen Kennedy has extensive experience in public education and has worked with both Memorial University of Newfoundland and College of the North Atlantic. Most recently, Ms. Kennedy served as an External Consultant for College of the North Atlantic’s School of Health Sciences review, where she was previously Dean. At Memorial University, she has served as the Director of the Lifelong Learning Division as well as an Internal Consultant to the Provost and the Interim Director of Student Life. Ms. Kennedy has a Masters Degree in Education from Memorial University.

Dr. Kevin Keough
Dr. Kevin Keough has experience in health, science/technology, policy/planning, governance, education, and entrepreneurship. He is currently the Executive Director of the Alberta Prion Research Institute and serves as a member of many advisory and review committees and panels. Since 1968, he has served on the boards or councils of more than 30 agencies representing not-for-profit corporations, health charities, professional bodies, and community organizations. Dr. Keough has a Doctorate in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Doreen Neville
Dr. Doreen Neville has experience in policy/planning, information technology, education, governance, and health. She most recently served as Special Projects Consultant with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Office of the Provost. She has also served as Associate Vice President, Academic, Memorial University, Director of Research and Development with the Waterford Hospital, Chief Executive Officer of the Newfoundland Centre for Health Information and Associate Professor of Health Policy/Care Delivery at Memorial University. She has a Doctorate in Health Services Administration/Health Policy and a Masters Degree in Health Services Administration from Harvard School of Public Health, a Masters Degree in Nursing from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Nursing from Memorial University.

2019 03 07                              4:40 p.m.