Province Launches Review of College Education

2017/06/20 05:41:24 AM

June 19, 2017

Building on our Strengths to Improve Outcomes for Students:  Wishart

Manitoba is undertaking a comprehensive review of college education to identify opportunities to strengthen the system, improve outcomes for students and focus programming on skills needed in the province’s labour market, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today at Red River College’s Portage Campus.

“With shifts in industry, labour market needs, emerging technologies and innovation, this review is timely in a rapidly evolving college landscape,” said Wishart.  “Improving coordination in the college education system will support institutions in adapting to this changing environment and building a high-skilled, job-ready labour force.” 

The Manitoba College Education Review will be completed in partnership with public post-secondary institutions that deliver college-level programming including Assiniboine Community College, Red River College (RRC), Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, University College of the North and Université de Saint-Boniface. 

The last review of college education in Manitoba was conducted in 2007.  Under subsection 9.5(1) of The Advanced Education Administration Act, the minister can direct a review and report on any matter connected with the management, administration or operation of a university or college.

“Red River College is in midst of a major expansion – led by plans for a new Innovation Centre in the Exchange District – that will create new programs and opportunities for students and industry,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO, RRC.  “As a key contributor to the province’s innovation and economic growth strategy, we welcome the opportunity to continue to shape the future of college education and ensure we are agile and responsive to the needs of business and the labour market.”

The minister said the review will focus on opportunities for enhancements at the institutional as well as the system level.  The main pillars of the review will be:
• college system vision and partnerships;
• programming including relevance to labour market need;
• student outcomes;
• financial management, governance, efficiency and effectiveness;
• student and client services including contract training, apprenticeship programs, adult learning centres and international education.

Higher Education Strategy Associated has been awarded the contract for the review, which will be based on existing data from Manitoba Education and Training and the colleges, literature reviews of best practices, in-depth interviews and consultation with key stakeholders. 

A report to government is expected in late 2017, Wishart said, adding it will provide insights and recommendations for building on the strengths of Manitoba’s college education system in order to improve outcomes for both students and the economy.

“We are working to ensure Manitoba has the best possible college education system in order to prepare our young people for good jobs and a bright future here in this province,” said Wishart.