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Maritime Province’s Higher Education and Nova Scotia Community College Graduate 

Surveys

Table 1: MPHEC Graduate Survey: Proportion of Nova Scotia university graduates who reported they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with aspects of program 

“Satisfied”

“Very Satisfied”

Class sizes in general

45%

51%

Availability of professors outside of class time

46%

49%

Quality of teaching in most classes

55%

40%

Computer equipment

53%

34%

Data source: (MPHEC, 2011c, p. 6)

Table 2: MPHEC Graduate Survey: Proportion of NS first-degree holders reporting that particular skills were developed to “some extent” or a “great extent” 

“Some Extent”

“Great Extent”

Think Independently/Critically

35%

61%

Writing

43%

45%

Speaking/Communication

44%

46%

Decision-making

47%

45%

Math

32%

20%

Data source: (MPHEC, 2011c, p. 6)

Table 3: Graduate Satisfaction with the NSCC (classes of 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011) 

2010

2011

2012

Overall satisfaction with NSCC experience

95%

95%

93%

Overall satisfaction with Portfolio Learning

90%

90%

84%

Data source: (NSCC, 2012)

OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies

According to the OECD’s findings, Canada’s mean literacy and numeracy scores for those with tertiary level education were below the OECD average (OECD, 2013). Furthermore, the average literacy score for Canadians aged 18-30 (of any level of educational attainment) decreased from 1994 to 2012 (OECD, 2013, Table Annex B).

Nova Scotians (aged 16-65, all levels of educational attainment) scored at the OECD average for literacy and below average for numeracy (Statistics Canada, 2013). Importantly, literacy scores were higher than the OECD average for Nova Scotians with a bachelor’s degree or higher. These findings remain concerning given our significantly higher than average levels of PSE attainment and average spending on PSE compared to other OECD countries

(StudentsNS, 2013a).

Academic Quality Assurance 

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) publishes guidelines on quality assurance and program design, and provides external oversight of institutional quality assurance policies and activities.

During an initial review of university QA policies (from 2003 to 2009) the MPHEC identified a number of gaps:

Less than a third of institutions assessed non-academic units;

• Nine institutions did not assess support provided to students;

• Most policies tended to focus on faculty and resources (i.e. inputs);

• The process often failed to yield significant follow-up action;

• Quality of teaching, learning, and the student’s overall experience, were not at the centre of the process for most institutions; and,

• Larger institutions seemed more likely to review their programs than smaller institutions.

Since the first round of monitoring, the MPHEC has taken an incremental approach to developing the universities’ QA capacities. While significant improvements have been made, the universities remain at various levels of maturity in this respect.

Sources:

MPHEC. (2011c). Two Years On: A Survey of Class of 2007 Maritime University Graduates Selected Provincial Statistics. Fredericton : Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission.

MPHEC. (2013a). Students at the Heart: Quality assurance at Maritime Universities: Defining the MPHEC’s Approach to Quality. Fredricton: Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission.

NSCC. (2012). 2012 Graduate Follow Up Survey: Results in brief. Halifax: Nova Scotia Community College.

OECD. (2013). Survey of Adult Skills- Canada. Retrieved 2014, from OECD: http://gpseducation.oecd. org/CountryProfile?primaryCountry=CAN&treshold=10&topic=AS

Nova Scotians (aged 16-65, all levels of educational attainment) scored at the OECD average for