Process of Program Approvals
Rigorous quality assurance has long been a priority for Ontario’s publicly assisted universities. Since the 1960s, the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) has been responsible for overseeing the quality assurance of graduate programs. By submitting new and continuing graduate programs for external review, Ontario universities were trailblazers in system-wide quality assurance in higher education. (Programs approved by OCGS are available here.)
In 1996, COU adopted procedures for the external auditing of university processes for reviewing undergraduate programs. The audit process, conducted by the Undergraduate Program Review Audit Committee (UPRAC), required universities to put in place rigorous procedures for the introduction of new undergraduate programs, as well as an arm’s-length periodic review of all existing undergraduate programs. UPRAC audited each university to ensure compliance with its policies and procedures. An updated Quality Assurance Framework and the Quality Council have now replaced these previous policies and oversight bodies, respectively.