Abstract: There has been little research on the government relations function within the post-secondary education sector in Ontario. This study explores this topic by reviewing the literature and collecting data from key informants in the college, university and government sector, and those who can speak about the sector associations. The study describes how the leaders of colleges and universities in Ontario perceive and conduct government relations, both as individual institutions and as a sector, and analyzes trends and potential implications. The study utilizes a pluralist model of interest group behaviour and applied the hollow-core theory to the policy community and the findings provide compelling evidence that this theory is a useful theoretical framework for understanding the nature of this policy community. This study also provides valuable insight into the hollow-core theory of pluralism. The leadership of individual colleges and universities shares a similar understanding of government relations and engage a similar approach. Individual colleges and universities work independently to lobby for capital funding and work together through their respective associations to lobby for system-wide funding and reforms. Although the presidents of individual institutions continue to lead the government relations function, the trend in the post-secondary education sector in Ontario is to invest additional resources and time in these activities. This study is the first of its kind in Ontario and makes an important contribution to our understanding of the way leaders in the post-secondary education sector in Ontario perceive and conduct government relations. Implications of the findings are considered and recommendations are made for further research.
Author: Peter P. Constantinou
Source: University of Toronto - TSpace
Last Updated: July 31, 2015