What are the problems with the Differentiation Agenda?
(a) Differentiation could pose a threat to institutional autonomy and academic freedom.
(b) Ontario’s universities are already differentiated.
(c) Differentiation can harm access and choice.
(d) Politicizing funding and impairing long-term planning.
(e) Imposing homogeneity under the banner of differentiation.
By confining differentiation to eight standardized “components”, the government is essentially forcing institutions to be different in exactly the same ways. This sort of paradox is inherent to top-down, standardized differentiation exercises, and we are concerned that this policy will stamp out true differentiation in the name of standardized metrics and a limited government vision for diversity.
SOURCE: OCUFA 2013. Frequently Asked Questions: Ontario’s Differentiation Agenda and Program Prioritization. (http://ocufa.on.ca/)