We examine the correlation between provincial university sector performance on our three dimensions and the relative cost, i.e. funding, of the system in each of the provinces.
The objective is simply to observe the interplay between performance and funding. Is there a pattern? If so, what is it? A widely held hypothesis is that the higher the funding level (by way of government transfer payments and/or higher tuition fees) the greater the level of performance.
We test this hypothesis by plotting our assembled performance indicators against funding. Because we have no reliable provincial cost-per-student data for colleges and the trades, we have excluded college and trades related performance indicators from our rolled up performance score. The performance – funding correlation we are examining, therefore, is focused solely on universities because of this data limitation.
To generate each province's overall university sector performance score, we standardize and aggregate each province's indicator scores. We assign an equal overall weight to each of our three dimensions (access, value to students, value to society) regardless of how many indicators are included in each. The numerical performance score shown is the averaged Z score for each province, based on the indicators selected. A score of 0 represents the Canadian average.
To generate the cost to students and to the public of providing these levels of performance, the X axis on the bubble chart, we provide three different user-selectable approaches. Our default approach is to calculate revenues received by the universities in each province per full-time equivalent student. The other two user-selectable approaches are operating revenues (revenues associated by the students and governments that provide them primarily with teaching and learning) per student and operating revenues per graduate.
For a full discussion of the indicators used in our report, including the three cost approaches, please see appendices 1 to 4 of our full report.
For a full technical explanation of methodology please refer to Appendix 5 of our full report.