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For More Information: Miriam Kramer or Ryan Dunn, EPI: 416-848-0215; Ainsley Mathews, HEQCO: 416-212-5248    

HEQCO Releases Two New EPI Research Papers on Accessibility and Student Financial Aid


TORONTO, ON, September 10, 2008 The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) today announced the release of two commissioned research papers by the Educational Policy Institute (EPI). The first deals with access and persistence within Ontario’s postsecondary system. The second, a joint project with the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, explores the financial grants and awards for students provided by colleges and universities.


“Today’s release provides important foundational research on post-secondary access and persistence, as well as on the student financial aid provided by colleges and universities,” said Dr. Ken Norrie, vice president of research for HEQCO. “These papers enhance our knowledge of the barriers to participation in higher education, and how postsecondary institutions are working to provide financial support to their students.”


“These papers are being released in a timely fashion as the federal election campaign is just beginning,” said Miriam Kramer, policy analyst at EPI.  “We hope that their findings will shed new light on the policy debates surrounding post-secondary education and draw additional attention to these important issues.”


“The success of post-secondary education hinges on the exchange of institutional information,” said Ryan Dunn, research associate at EPI.  “Sharing and collecting this type of data enables the system to overcome challenges with accurate information.” 


The papers released today are:


  • Institutional Student Financial Grants in Ontarioanalyzes the need- and merit-based financial awards provided to students by Ontario colleges and universities. Ontario leads the country in both the value and number of institutional need-based grants, thanks to the influence of several key government policies.  This paper represents one part of a joint project with the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation to study need- and merit-based grants at Canadian postsecondary institutions.



The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is an arm’s length agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to ensuring the continued improvement of the postsecondary education system in Ontario. The Council was created through the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Act, 2005. It is mandated to conduct research, evaluate the postsecondary education system, and provide policy recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities with a view to enhance the quality, access, and accountability of Ontario’s higher education system.


The Educational Policy Institute is an international, non-partisan think-tank based in Virginia Beach, Virginia with offices in Toronto, Canada, and Melbourne, Australia. The mission of the Educational Policy Institute is to “expand educational opportunity for low-income and other historically-underrepresented students through high-level research and analysis.” For more information on EPI, visit