The Two Towers of Transformation: The compatibility of the policy goals of differentiation and student mobility

University of Toronto
S. Young
P. Piché
G. Jones
Reference Number
Over the last twenty years, the Ontario government sought to introduce greater financial sustainability in the postsecondary system through two major policy goals: greater institutional differentiation, and enhanced opportunities for student mobility, chiefly by way of credit transfer and institutional articulation agreements. In tracing the evolution of these policy priorities, the paper establishes that they constitute the bulk of the “efficiency agenda.” However, this paper asserts that in pursuing a system that features the characteristics of both “policy towers,” government will need to more strategically manage the policy levers at its disposal. For differentiation, this includes the deployment of funding envelopes that may be used to encourage institutions to focus on building their strengths, as well as attaching incentives to the Strategic Mandate Agreement exercise. With respect to student mobility, it means working with institutions to pursue academic partnerships in all their forms, not blindly, but with purpose and in response to real student demand and well-understood patterns of student behaviour...