What is a Foundational Review?
In 2017, the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment called for an Aurora College Foundational Review.
The Aurora College Foundational Review is an external review of five core areas of Aurora College: governance structure, operations, accountability, program management, and student recruitment and retention.
The Aurora College Foundational Review will result in a Review Report that will make recommendations based on an evaluation of current processes and practices at the College, research from other jurisdictions, and surveys and interviews with stakeholders and the public.
This will be followed by the GNWT's official response to each of the recommendations in the Review Report and will clearly outline what the Government is going to do in response to the recommendations. The decision to accept, partially accept or not accept each recommendation will be guided by the following principles:
Provide clear justifications for each response to each recommendation of the Aurora College Foundational Review;
Consider the challenges regarding: geography, climate, cost of living and population projections;
Follow options that are financially and operationally sustainable given the all of the budget limitations of the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT);
Consider cultural differences in communities across the territory and how those differences may have an impact on the operations and activities of Aurora College;
Ensure that its response each recommendation is clear and evidence-based; and
Consider the broader objectives in the GNWT Mandate, legislation and policy.
Why are we doing a Foundational Review?
It is the Mandate of this Government to ‘Expand opportunities for postsecondary education, trades-oriented learning and northern educational institutions’.
The Department of Education, Culture and Employment’s long-term labour market assessment tells us that 78 percent of Northwest Territories jobs in the next 15 years will require a postsecondary education. This Government has an ambitious agenda that will help us establish a modern postsecondary education system to support our residents’ academic and employment success.
The Aurora College Foundational Review is one step in meeting this Mandate commitment and is aligned with the objectives of Skills 4 Success – ensuring Northwest Territories residents have the skills, knowledge and attitudes for employment success today and in the future.
The GNWT's Mandate also commits to developing new legislation that will outline a quality assurance system, on the basis of which postsecondary institution will be recognized or authorized in the Northwest Territories.
Who is doing the Review?
In September 2017, MNP LLP was awarded the contract to conduct the Aurora College Foundational Review, including delivery of the Review Report.
The objective of the Review Report is to evaluate and make recommendations regarding the operations and governance of Aurora College in order to ensure programs are managed effectively and efficiently, are meeting the diverse needs of students and are responsive to changes in the labour market.
The Review Report will be based on an evaluation of current processes and practices at the College, research from other jurisdictions and input from a wide range of stakeholders.
What is the timeline of the Review?
It is important to keep in mind that the results of this process are setting the direction of Aurora College for years to come. It is essential that an appropriate amount of time is taken to properly and fully evaluate each recommendation in order to determine if it is both possible to do and the right thing for the future of the NWT.
The Review process is setting the path for the ongoing development of Aurora College and will provide a basis for further discussions among stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Over the course of the Aurora College Foundational Review, and during the 2018/19 academic year, the College will continue to operate as planned. Students will continue to register for courses and classes will begin in the fall as outlined in the 2018/19 Aurora College Academic Calendar.
Terms of Reference
Questions on the Aurora College Foundational Review can be directed to the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Communications and Public Affairs, at 1-867-767-9352, extension 71031.