Strategic Mandate Agreements are a key component of our accountability framework for the postsecondary education system.

They are agreements that each publicly-assisted college and university has with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities. They include the:

  • government’s accountability and transparency objectives
  • school’s priorities

The previous agreements ran from 2014–2017 and 2017–2020.

Changes to 2020–2025 agreements

Until 2020–2021, most of the operating funding has been based on enrolment, with only a small portion of funding tied to performance (1.4% for universities and 1.2% for colleges).

The new agreements for 2020–2025 introduce a new ‘made-in-Ontario’ performance-based funding model. Funding will be more focused on student and economic outcomes. This means more college and university operating funding will be tied to performance against targets.

This new funding model:

  • ensures students and graduates are set up to succeed in rewarding careers
  • encourages institutions to be more efficient, specialized and focused on what they do best 
  • promotes greater accountability and transparency by ensuring that the funding postsecondary institutions receive results in positive economic outcomes

Responding to COVID-19

Performance-based funding is delayed for three years (2020–2021, 2021–2022, and 2022–2023). We will assess the sector’s readiness for activation starting in Year 4 (2023–2024).

The planned system-wide proportion tied to funding, for example, the Performance-based Funding Grant, is anticipated at 10% in Year 4 (2023–2024), increasing to 25% in Year 5 (2024–2025).

All other aspects of the model, including data collection, evaluation and publication, will continue as planned to inform decision making and help drive future improvements in the postsecondary sector.

Performance metrics

Ten metrics, aligned with government priorities, will be phased in over a three-year period starting in 2020–2021.

The metrics reflect institutions’ individual strengths and distinct mandates, as well as the role institutions play in their local communities and economies.

The metrics include:

Skills and job outcomes

  1. Graduate employment earnings
  2. Experiential learning
  3. Skills and competencies
  4. Graduate employment rate in a related field
  5. Institutional strength/focus
  6. Graduation rate

Economic and community impact

  1. Research funding and capacity for universities, and apprenticeship-related for colleges
  2. Research funding from industry sources/funding from industry sources
  3. Community/local impact of student population
  4. Economic impact (institution-specific)

Future metrics

Starting in 2022–2023, we will include two reporting metrics related to faculty compensation and faculty activity to strengthen transparency and accountability. These will not be tied to performance-based funding.

Read the agreements

Read the Strategic Mandate Agreements between Ontario and the colleges and universities that are publicly-assisted.