Ontario Universities are Becoming Lean, Agile and Adept at ‘Doing More with Less’
Interesting fact: Did you know that Ontario universities are the most efficient in the country, educating more students with less money than universities in any other province?
Universities across the province are continually making efforts to find operating efficiencies, re-engineer processes and use technology to reduce costs and improve efficiency for their students.
To celebrate some of this impressive work, the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) hosted the Innovative Ideas 2.0 Forum on December 3, at the University of Toronto. The Forum showcased how Ontario’s universities and organizations in the Broader Public Sector – including colleges, hospitals and municipalities – are finding new ways of doing business and creating efficiencies through innovation.
Undeniably, the Ontario government’s Productivity and Innovation Fund (PIF) – a $45 million investment in Ontario’s postsecondary sector – was a major catalyst for collaboration that has achieved amazing results.
At the event, COU released a new report called: Faster, Cheaper, Smarter: Improving Efficiency at Ontario Universities. It details several PIF projects and also highlights the ways in which universities are leveraging technology and partnerships to modernize their processes, become more productive and save money.
The Forum also featured an impressive roster of panelists and keynote speakers who shared their ideas and suggestions on how to improve efficiency and quality in higher education. To view the presentations, click on the links below:
- Morning Keynote: Sheldon Levy, Deputy Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities – Deputy Levy presented on behalf of Steve Orsini, Secretary of the Cabinet, delivering messages of innovation in government and postsecondary education
- Panel 1: Productivity and Innovation Fund (PIF) projects – supporting students through clinical nursing simulation and the development of graduate students’ professional skills; IT collaboration; and new ways of managing space on campus
- Panel 2: Faster, Cheaper Smarter – leveraging technology in hospitals and in improving administrative efficiency; saving money through collective purchasing and collaborative procurement
- Panel 3: Power Savers – using advanced systems to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, moving to zero waste campuses and “revolving funds” that reward energy-saving building renovations
Both the Forum and the report provided an important opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices on such a vital topic – many of the initiatives presented are scalable to other organizations and sectors. We hope it builds momentum and sparks innovation as others consider adopting some of these collaborative approaches to productivity and efficiency within their own operations.
Click here to view the Faster, Cheaper, Smarter infographic.
See the slideshow of photos from the event.
Click here to view a copy of the Forum Agenda.
If you wish to learn more about an initiative described in the report or presented at the Forum, please contact Marina Piao, Executive Director of Corporate Services.