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Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board is authorized by The Degree Authorization Act to oversee a quality assurance review of institutions seeking degree-granting status in Saskatchewan. The quality assurance review process ensures that new degree programs in Saskatchewan meet high quality standards that promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.

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1. About the Board

In October 2012, the Saskatchewan Government proclaimed The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations making it possible for post-secondary institutions other than the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to apply for authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan.

In accordance with the legislation, the Ministry of Advanced Education established the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) to oversee a quality assurance process that ensures new degree programs in the province meet high quality standards. This process helps promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.

The Board works independently from, but in co-operation with, the Ministry of Advanced Education, and is supported by the SHEQAB Secretariat.

The quality assurance process consists of rigorous evaluations of the organizational capacity of the institution proposing to offer the new degree program and of the degree program itself. In each case, standards and procedures against which the applicant institution and the proposed program will be measured are available by contacting the SHEQAB Secretariat.

In addition to oversight of the quality assurance process, the SHEQAB is responsible for monitoring the fulfillment of any terms or conditions attached to the authorization of degree programs.

Mandate

The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations specify the powers and responsibilities of the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board.

The Board's primary duties are:

  • Review the quality assurance standards that are used in the evaluation of degree programs to ensure that they remain current and aligned with national standards;
  • Review the quality assurance review processes to ensure that they remain current and aligned with national standards;
  • Undertake quality assurance reviews of programs referred to the Board by Cabinet;
  • With respect to each application referred to it, make a recommendation to the Minister, in writing:
    • to issue the authorization with or without terms and conditions; or
    • to reject the application for authorization.
  • Monitor the fulfillment of any terms or conditions attached to the authorization of a degree program;
  • Conduct quality assurance reviews of degree programs that are subject to renewal of their authorization;
  • At the Minister's request, provide insight and advice on matters related to higher education in Saskatchewan.

The Board may also:

  • Interact and share best practices with similar quality assurance bodies in Canada and abroad;
  • Foster knowledge-transfer and capacity-building by organizing or participating in workshops, symposia and training programs on quality assurance;
  • Create greater awareness of the quality of advanced education in the province and assist in creating a "Saskatchewan Quality Assurance Brand" by compiling, publicizing and keeping a current, comprehensive inventory of quality assurance practices and policies used in the advanced education system in Saskatchewan;
  • Provide due diligence on "degree mills" and supply students and other members of the public with information about such organizations;
  • Assist the ministry in the creation and maintenance of a competency matrix for members of the Board;
  • Assist in the recruitment and selection of new Board members, according to the policy established by government for the process;
  • At the Minister's request, submit a report respecting any matter within the Board's functions, powers and terms of reference; and
  • Exercise any other prescribed powers and perform any other functions as articulated in the regulations accompanying The Degree Authorization Act.

The Secretariat to the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board

The Board works independently from, but in cooperation with, the Ministry of Advanced Education. The Board is supported by the SHEQAB Secretariat which is provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education.

The Secretariat assists the Chair and Board in their activities by providing advice on policy and procedure, organizing meetings, setting agendas, co-ordinating all activities of the Board's organizational and program review expert panel teams, and preparing publications. It also receives initial applications from institutions and prepares them for the system co-ordination review stage.

The Secretariat can be contacted by telephone at 306-787-1782 or by email at info@quality-assurance-sk.ca.

Seal of Approval

When an institution is authorized to offer a degree program in Saskatchewan, it is granted the ability to use the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board Seal of Approval. This identifies the program(s) that have met SHEQAB's quality assurance standards.

Sample SHEQAB seal of approval

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2. Board Members

The eight SHEQAB members are appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council. SHEQAB members are selected according to a competency matrix, which is used to ensure the SHEQAB has the individual and collective skills and knowledge to perform its functions and that its composition reflects diversity and balance. The initial term of office for Board members is three years. After this period, terms will be staggered to ensure membership renewal and a sufficient level of continuity on the Board.

Photo of SHEQAB board member Kathleen McNutt
Dr. Kathleen McNutt (Chair)
Kathleen McNutt is the Associate Vice President (Research) and the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Regina. She is the former Executive Director of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, Saskatchewan' Public Policy School, where she worked for both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan.

Dr. McNutt served as the principal researcher on the Saskatchewan's Regional Colleges: Towards a New System Regional College Review Final Report, as a member of the Ministry of Advanced Education Deputy Minister's Policy Panel on the Future of Post-Secondary Education, and as a member of the Board of Canadian Association of Program in Public Administration. She is currently a member of the Canadian Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee and represents the University of Regina on the Saskatchewan Patient Oriented Research Oversight Committee.
Dr. McNutt is a full professor and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Regina, Masters of Art from the University of Alberta and a PhD from Simon Fraser University. She has a very active research agenda and has over 30 scholarly peer reviewed publications, a variety of academic chapters and public reports, and has presented her research all over Canada and Europe.
Photo of SHEQAB board member Ryan Walker
Dr. Ryan Walker (Vice-Chair)
Dr. Ryan Walker is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan, Chair of the Regional and Urban Planning Program, and recently completed an appointment as acting Associate Dean of the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Dr. Walker has served on several university program review and site visit teams on behalf of the Professional Standards Board for the Canadian planning profession. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Meewasin Valley Authority, the Editorial Board for Plan Canada, and has served on the Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute's Executive Council, City of Saskatoon’s Culture Plan Advisory Committee, and as Co-Chair of the 2015 Canadian Institute of Planners national conference. Dr. Walker has served as a member, chair, or observer on nine Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council national adjudication committees.

Dr. Walker has degrees from the University of Lethbridge (B.A. with distinction), University of Waterloo (M.A.), and Queen's University (Ph.D.). He has received awards for planning practice, scholarship, and volunteer recognition from the Canadian Institute of Planners, Saskatchewan Professional Planners Institute, Design Council of Saskatchewan, and International Downtown Association, and the Award for Distinction in Outreach and Engagement from the University of Saskatchewan.
Photo of SHEQAB board member Thomas Chase
Dr. Thomas Chase
Dr. Chase is the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) at the University of Regina.

He served as Vice-President (Academic) and Provost at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, from 2009-2011, where he was centrally involved in developing the University's new Strategic Direction, the reorganization of its academic administrative structure, and the renewal of many of the University's academic programs. Prior to his work at Royal Roads, Dr. Chase held a series of academic and administrative appointments at the University of Regina including Coordinator of the Linguistics Program, founding Director of the Centre for Academic Technologies, and Dean and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

Dr. Chase holds a PhD from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), where he held a doctoral fellowship in the Department of English Language. He also holds the licentiate diploma in organ performance from Trinity College (London) and works on French organ literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing especially on the music of Marcel Dupré. He has performed and lectured widely, including appearances in Vancouver, Québec City, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Newark, Seattle, Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Sydney (Australia). In 2004, the Royal Canadian College of Organists awarded him the diploma of Fellow, honoris causa, in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to organ music as performer, scholar, and visionary." Dr. Chase's service outside the University includes membership on the board of the Saskatchewan Academic Health Sciences Network, and chair of the national management committee for Faculty Bargaining Services.

Photo of SHEQAB board member Octavia Laliberte
Ms. Octavia (Tavia) Laliberte
Tavia Laliberte is the current Vice-President, Academics at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) – one of only four publicly funded credit granting post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan.

In her role, Ms. Laliberte is responsible for strategic leadership, direction and vision of programs at SIIT to promote academic success and create a student-centered atmosphere. Ms. Laliberte has served as a Board member with the national body, Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan), representing Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut. She is a current Director with CICan – Social Financing and Innovation, which manages the Government of Canada's first pilot project in 'Social Impact Bonds.' The development and fostering of Indigenous education has been both a focus and a success throughout Ms. Laliberte's academic career.
Photo of SHEQAB board member Fay Myers
Dr. Fay Myers
Dr. Fay Myers has recently retired after 18 years as President of Parkland College. During her tenure, Parkland College strengthened, evolved and excelled at meeting the training and education needs of students, communities and industry in the Parkland region and beyond.

Dr. Myers holds a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics, a Bachelor of Education, a Masters of Educational Administration and a Doctor of Higher Educational Administration.

In 2012, Dr. Myers was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for her contributions to adult education in Saskatchewan and Canada. In 2015 Dr. Myers was awarded the Outstanding Service Award from Colleges and Institutes Canada for her many years of dedicated work on behalf of Canadian students and colleges.

Dr. Myers recently celebrated over 40 years of marriage, has 3 married children and 7 grandchildren of whom she is very proud.
Jay Notay
Jay Notay
Jay brings to this role over 23 years of successful experience as an President/Executive Vice President/Dean/Associate Dean/Senior Leader for urban and rural post-secondary institutions in Ontario and British Columbia. He currently serves as President and CEO of North West College, the second largest regional College is Saskatchewan boasting a 59% Indigenous Student Participation Rate (18/19) with over 20 program sites and an annual student population of approximately 2,600.

Jay has significant senior level experience assisting in the development and implementation of institute-wide strategies, locally, nationally and internationally, including, but not limited to: academic planning, strategic planning, curriculum and program review, quality assurance, strategic enrolment management, applied research, internationalization, indigenization, vocational strategy, corporate training, continuing education and foundation development.

In addition to successfully establishing training programs and initiatives in partnership with Indigenous communities in British Columbia and Ontario, he has extensive experience in establishing and enhancing partnerships with various international post-secondary institutions in India, China, Korea and the United Kingdom.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Education from Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. Jay is currently a Ph.D. candidate with the University of Toronto, nearing completion of his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education Administration.
Photo of SHEQAB board member Asit Sarkar
Dr. Asit Sarkar
Dr. Asit Sarkar is Professor Emeritus, Edwards School of Business, and University of Saskatchewan, where he held positions of Professor of International Business, Associate Dean of College of Commerce, Director of University of Saskatchewan International and Special Advisor to the President. He was also Director of the Centre for International Business Studies and International Centre for Governance and Development. He also was a Visiting Professor at Ritsumeikan University (Japan), University Utara Malaysia (Malaysia) and the Institute Pendidikan dan Pembinan Manejemen (Indonesia).

Dr. Sarkar has had extensive involvement in leading collaborative research and institutional development projects in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Vietnam, China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Much of his work has been supported by the Canadian International Development Agency, the International Development Research Centre and the Asian Development Bank. For his international development work, Canadian Bureau of International Education honoured him with the CBIE Award of Merit.

Dr. Sarkar holds B.Comm. and M.Comm. degrees from University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), an M.B.A. from the University of Hawaii and earned his PhD from the University of Houston. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Chernivtsi National University in Ukraine.
Photo of SHEQAB board member Keith Walker
Dr. Keith Walker
Keith Walker (PhD., D.D.) is a professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan. His academic interests, expertise, and activity revolve around executive leadership, organizational development, positive organizational studies, governance and applied ethics in education, public administration and the not-for-profit sectors. He identifies as a husband (Viv), father, grand-father, teacher-scholar, colleague and friend. Keith's formal education has been in several disciplines and fields of study, including physical education, theology, philosophy, education, and educational administration.

Reverend Doctor Walker is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada. Keith's occupations range from international coach to teacher to minister to educational administrator to professor in various contexts. His international academic work has extended to over 15 countries (keynotes, workshops, consultancies and collaborative research projects).

In his 28th year at the University of Saskatchewan, Keith has supervised over 100 graduate students to completion; he is the author or co-author of over 100 refereed articles and chapters, along with more than 15 books. He has held (mostly with others) over a dozen SSHRC grants in the areas of his academic interests.

Monitoring and Reporting

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board monitors institutions that have been authorized to grant degrees. Monitoring helps to ensure that quality is maintained and that institutions are meeting the expectations that come with authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan.

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3. Board Competency Matrix

SHEQAB Competency and Composition Matrix

To ensure the SHEQAB has sufficient diversity to represent a broad range of perspectives and that, collectively, it has the knowledge and experience necessary to perform its functions, a competency and composition matrix is used to facilitate the selection of Board members. The matrix is based on the core competencies as set out below.

No single Board member can be expected to possess all the attributes and characteristics listed; however, overall, the profile of the Board should present as many of them as possible.

Core Competencies

  • Knowledge of policies, practices and procedures related to quality assurance, accreditation, and audits, including those in other provinces and international jurisdictions;
  • Recent senior leadership, administration or managerial experience;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in undergraduate and/or graduate level teaching, scholarship, research and service;
  • Program development and review experience;
  • Commitment to, and experience in, enhancing the student learning experience;
  • Knowledge of, or experience in, the Saskatchewan post-secondary system;
  • Knowledge of innovative technology enhanced learning;
  • Demonstrated interest in, and awareness of, trends and issues in post-secondary education, such as: international and transnational education, learner pathways, credit transfer, learning outcomes;
  • Demonstrated leadership in corporate business, industry, the professions, community-based organizations or other public interest groups, with an interest in an evolving workplace;
  • Experience working with First Nations and Métis educational communities and/or institutions;
  • Knowledge of and experience in the various regions of Saskatchewan, including the North;
  • Knowledge of the relationship between post-secondary education and the labour market;
  • Understanding of diversity as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code; and
  • Understanding of fair processes (e.g., natural and administrative justice).

The overall composition of the Board will be considered with respect to the following attributes:

Composition Attributes

  • Resident of Saskatchewan
  • Employed by the University of Saskatchewan
  • Employed by the University of Regina
  • First Nations or Métis
  • Gender balance
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4. Programs and services

Degree Granting in Saskatchewan

The quality assurance review process ensures that new degree programs in Saskatchewan meet high-quality standards that promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.

Find information on Degree Granting in Saskatchewan about:

  • How to Apply
  • After an Application is Submitted
  • Degree Applications
  • Exceptions

Use of the Terms "University" and "Varsity"

Any institution that is not already authorized to do so must receive approval from the Lieutenant Governor in Council, pursuant to section 6 of The Degree Authorization Act, to use the terms "university," "varsity" or any abbreviation or derivation of these terms, in its name or in any advertising or promotional materials relating to the institution or its programs. This is to ensure that the integrity of these terms is well protected in Saskatchewan, and to avoid improper use of the terms that may mislead the public.

If an institution has been previously authorized in another jurisdiction to use the terms "university" of "varsity", or any derivation or abbreviation of either of these terms, in its name, the institution may request an exemption from section 6 of the Act. In accordance with section 17 of the The Degree Authorization Regulations, the previous authorization must have been obtained in one of the following ways:

  • by virtue of an Act of the legislature of another jurisdiction;
  • from the public authority in another jurisdiction having overall responsibility for the institution; or
  • from an authority having responsibility in another jurisdiction for the accreditation of post-secondary institutions.

Please contact the SHEQAB Secretariat at 306-787-1782 or email info@quality-assurance-sk.ca for more information regarding the process by which approval to use the terms "university" and "varsity" may be obtained.

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5. Forms and publications

Announcements

 

Standards

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board uses the following standards to assess institutions seeking authorization to provide baccalaureate (Bachelor's) and graduate (Master's and doctoral) level programs. The standards are approved by the Minister of Advanced Education.


Annual Reports

Meeting Minutes    
May 24, 2019      
January 18, 2018 June 14, 2018 November 20, 2018  
February 14, 2017 June 14, 2017    
February 9, 2016 June 15, 2016 October 20, 2016  
February 10, 2015 June 8, 2015 November 17, 2015  
February 13, 2014 June 4, 2014 September 25, 2014  
January 15, 2013 March 26, 2013 May 28, 2013 October 23, 2013

Additional Resources

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