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Source: Brock University

Ontario's universities introduce a new information tool for students, parents and the public

November 9, 2006

On behalf of Ontario's 18 universities, the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) is pleased to introduce an enhancement to the wide array of information already available to the public. Each of Ontario's 18 universities and the Ontario College of Art & Design have worked together to develop and compile data to create Common University Data Ontario (CUDO). CUDO is an online tool designed to allow users to access - and, if they wish, to compare - data that have been gathered on a consistent basis. These key metrics include:

  • Number of degrees awarded, student enrolment and entering averages - all by program;

  • Number of students living on campus and activities offered;

  • Student satisfaction;

  • First-year tuition and ancillary fees by program;

  • Number of teaching faculty;

  • Undergraduate class size, by year level;

  • Research awards granted; and

  • Graduation rates and employment rates by program.

    "We're excited about this extension of our efforts in keeping the public informed about our activities and offerings. CUDO has been designed to complement the significant information we already provide, in addition to ensuring that people are able to assess key data in a fair manner," says Jamie Mackay, Vice President, Policy and Analysis, COU.

    CUDO is now available via the websites of the Council of Ontario Universities ( and the Ontario Universities' Application Centre (

    CUDO was developed as a complement to the extensive information that Ontario's universities already offer current and prospective students, parents and other interested parties. This information includes student-focused activities such as:

  • Prospective student websites and recruitment publications.

  • The 150-page eINFO magazine, available online. In 2006, 180,000 copies were also distributed to schools, guidance counsellors and prospective students.

  • The Ontario Universities' Fair - which achieved a record attendance of 90,000 in fall 2006 - a one- stop event in Toronto that offers students an opportunity to speak with representatives from all across the province about programs, campus life, and anything else that will help them make a decision about which university to choose.

  • The co-ordinated University Information Program, which offers information sessions to high school students across the province.

    It also includes the extensive information Ontario universities provide to the public and governments to meet their obligations for accountability, such as:

  • Government reports: Between 50 and 90 reports are submitted annually to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) on the use of operating and capital funds, including annual audited financial statements and audited enrolment reports.

  • Research spending reports: Extensive reporting to federal and provincial governments/ agencies provides details on how research funds are spent.

  • Accountability and performance reports: Provided regularly to key stakeholders, these reports summarize strategic, academic and business planning activities and deliberations of governing boards.

  • Ontario's Key Performance Indicator program: Graduation rates, employment rates and OSAP default rates by program are posted on the websites of both MTCU and individual institutions.

  • Student engagement surveys: Results of surveys that assess student engagement - including the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey (CGPSS) - will be published regularly.

    "We intend to update the information in CUDO on a regular basis. In addition, in the coming weeks and months we will gather feedback from its users to identify areas for expansion or enhancement," added Mr. Mackay.

    About the Council of Ontario Universities

    For more than 40 years, the Council of Ontario Universities has been working to improve the quality and accessibility of higher education in Ontario. Each of Ontario's 18 provincially assisted universities has two members on Council: the executive head (university president or principal) and an academic colleague appointed by each university's senior academic governing body. COU works with and on behalf of its members to meet public policy expectations of greater accountability, financial self- reliance, diversity of educational opportunity, and responsiveness to educational and marketplace needs, while supporting institutions' traditional rights of autonomy and self-regulation.

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