New report: University Funding in Canada, A Comparison of Provincial Policies on University Funding, Student Aid, and Research Support

This new CAUBO report, prepared by Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), compares approaches to institutional funding across the country.  It provides comparative information, summarizing provincial differences regarding determining institutional grants; approval and funding of new programs; transfers to support specific missions, (e.g. minority language populations or rural/northern population); and performance measures that are used in funding distributions.

A series of provincial summaries, outlining the individual provinces’ policies in detail is included in the report.

The report also includes comparative information for student assistance, such as provincial financial aid expenditures per student, upfront grants and remission programs and targeted aid for specific student populations.

Stay tuned for additional resources in 2021
A supplement resource, to support the comparative analysis included in this report, is currently under development. The additional resource will provide useful information for how to interpret the key provincial differences highlighted in HESA’s report and identify key considerations that impact financial benchmarking across jurisdictions.

Click here to view the report.

New data have been added to the CAUBO financial dashboards!

CAUBO continues to enhance the information available in our online financial dashboards to provide you with a wealth of data at your fingertips.

The dashboards have been updated with the most recent FIUC data (2018–2019). Users can now view this data, which include institutional income sources, expenses, and operating expenses by function.

2018–19 FIUC release highlights
The dashboards allow users to quickly see trends in university finances at the national, provincial, and institution level. Some highlights of the 2018–19 data presented in the dashboards include:[1]

  • Overall income for Canadian universities increased by 3.2% in 2018–19, reversing the decline seen in the previous year.
    • The proportion of income from tuition and other fees continued to increase, rising from 28.2% to 29.3% of total income at the national level; this proportional increase reflects a year-over-year increase of 7.3%.
    • At the same time, the proportion of revenues from government sources continued to decline, falling from 47.2% to 45.9% of the total; this proportional decrease reflects a year-over-year increase of 0.4%, further detailed as follows: government funding for operating remained stable in 2018-2019 while the annual increase in government funding for research purposes was 4.7%.
    • Among provinces with more than one institution, Nova Scotia had the highest increase in income (5.4% over the previous year), attributed to a combination of increases from tuition and other fees (up 7.5% from 2017–18) and a 4.1% increase in revenues from government grants. Meanwhile, income in Manitoba decreased by 3.0%, primarily attributable to a decline in both provincial grants and research funds received from the federal government.
  • Overall university expenditures decreased by 0.2% in 2018–19; a decrease in expenditures has not been observed since 2014–15.

About the dashboards:
With an ever-increasing need for evidence-based decision-making, university administrators rely on indicators to inform their financial, academic, and strategic planning processes. CAUBO now conveys sector-wide financial data through web-based dashboards, providing members with the ability to observe various trends in university finances and find out how institutions compare. In order to more accurately compare the dollar values from one year to the next, users can view the income and expense values in both current and constant dollars.

[1] Please note that all values are reported in real dollars.

Join us for CAUBO’s first virtual conference, June 15–17, 2021!

CAUBO 2021 Conference to be fully virtual

The CAUBO 2021 conference is an amazing professional development and networking opportunity happening June 15–17, 2021.

We’re busily making plans for a virtual CAUBO 2021 – and we think you’re going to love it.

The conference will include all the dynamic, relevant, and thought-provoking content you have come to expect from this event, including plenty of time for active engagement and networking with your peers and colleagues from across Canada.

The platform we’ve chosen will let you network with individual colleagues or groups of your peers in easy and authentic ways, connect with speakers and sponsors in real time via text or video chat, and access every single conference session, either live or through high-quality recordings. It’s more than an online event. It’s an immersive experience.

We will have more details for you regarding the schedule, programming, and specific format very soon. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to bringing CAUBO 2021 directly to you – wherever you are.

New report available for institutional members – Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Optimize Administrative Processes

Now more than ever, higher education administrators are looking for efficiency gains and seeking to answer a critical question: How can we do more with less?

To help members answer this question, CAUBO has commissioned a report that outlines how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can be applied to optimize administrative processes. The report, prepared by Deloitte, suggests a framework specific to higher education that can be used to identify and prioritize opportunities for automation and offers practical, real-life examples of RPA application.

Highlights of the report also include:

  • Insights into PSE RPA processes from Deloitte’s global network to highlight how automation is improving processes in the PSE space
  • Common practices on how to identify and prioritize opportunities including factors to consider, automation objectives and how to leverage an Automation framework
  • Six relevant automation case studies and high applicability automation use cases and lessons learned from past projects
  • Practical insights drawn from internal and external sources related to automation

The report was developed as a conversation starter to bring forth ideas and discussion, highlighting the differing considerations institutions face when embarking on an automation journey.

A webinar will be offered on September 30th for members to join Deloitte’s David Sloane (Director, Consulting, National Lead, Finance Robotics) and Mike Rosenblood (Director, Consulting) for a comprehensive overview of the framework, methodologies, and considerations that can be used to identify, prioritize, and manage opportunities for automation. David Dittaro, Director, Enterprise Applications at the University of Alberta and Lee Ha Lewis, Director, Research Accounting at the University of Calgary will provide practical advice and insights based on their own experiences implementing RPA at their institutions. Stay tuned for webinar details and registration at

Click here to view the report.


A Statistical Approach Framework for Transactional Compliance Testing now available to institutional members

Do you currently review 100% of all expenses charged to a research grant? If so, did you know that the new principles-based guidelines introduced by the Tri-Agencies now allow institutions to consider materiality and risks for compliance testing purposes?

To help member institutions reduce the administrative burden associated with compliance, CAUBO engaged KPMG to develop a framework that can be used by institutions to implement a statistical approach, based on their own particular circumstances and in ways that will complement the Tri-Agencies’ new financial monitoring framework.

The Framework is now available for institutional members. (currently available in English only)

This report is part of a series of resources that CAUBO has developed to support members during the transition to the Tri-Agencies’ new principles-based guidelines. The new guide promotes efficiencies, reduces administrative burden, and provides administering institutions and grant recipients with greater flexibility in ensuring the appropriate accountability and use of grant funds.

A webinar was offered on July 9th where representatives from the Tri-Agencies, as well as KPMG’s Bailey Church (Partner), Sana Malik (Senior Manager) and Hassan Jan (Manager) presented a comprehensive overview of the sampling methodologies that can be applied by institutions, methodologies or considerations that could be utilized to establish materiality thresholds, and case studies that illustrate how to operationalize the framework. A recording of the webinar will soon be available for purchase.  Stay tuned for details in the coming weeks.

CAUBO 2020 cancelled

CAUBO 2020: Cancellation of the CAUBO guestroom block at the Westin Harbour Castle hotel

As we informed you a few days ago, CAUBO 2020 has been cancelled due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. This is to advise you that the Westin Harbour Castle will be cancelling all reservations found under the CAUBO guestroom block. If you reserved a guestroom in the CAUBO block, it will be automatically cancelled by end of day today.

If you booked a room at a different hotel in Toronto, you are responsible for cancelling that reservation.

The CAUBO 2021 Annual Conference will take place in Montreal, Quebec from May 30–June 1, 2021, hosted by McGill University. We hope to see all of you there.

Until then, stay healthy.

CAUBO 2020 update relative to COVID-19

Dear CAUBO members, sponsors, and speakers:

In light of the many COVID-19-related restrictions on travel and events put in place by both universities and governments, the CAUBO Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel the CAUBO 2020 Annual Conference in Toronto. We will be in contact with registrants and sponsors shortly about refunds.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.



Coronavirus COVID-19 Information for Higher Ed

Coronavirus COVID-19 Information for Higher Ed

Coronavirus COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving global health issue. At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the virus as a serious health threat, the risk to Canadians is considered high.

The pandemic presents unique challenges for higher education administration. This interim guidance will continue to be updated as additional information becomes available.

Why is this guidance being issued?

Canada’s universities have undertaken a leading role in addressing COVID-19 by supporting students, staff and broader communities. The information provided can help members understand how they can prevent the spread of COVID-19 at their institutions.

Member Resources

The following links provide regular updates on matters regarding COVID-19 and higher education:

As institutions enter the initial stages of reopening campuses, the following resources raise important considerations and offer guidance to administrators to inform the development of their reopening strategies:

Professional Development

CAUBO recently hosted a webinar that is available for free to institutional members that shares emerging practices and examines reopening scenarios, planning frameworks, guiding principles, what physical distancing could look like, communication elements, and staffing protocols.

Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA) is hosting a series of weekly webinars every Friday at 1:00 PM (ET) to discuss Canadian higher education’s response to COVID-19. Access the recordings using the link below:

NACUBO will be hosting a series of webcasts to support administrators as they respond to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, addressing the impact on college and university operations. Access the webcasts through the link below:

APPA hosted a townhall to discuss the financial situation for higher education and share emerging practices in response to COVID-19. Access the townhall using the link below:

CAUBO member preparations and responses

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) has compiled this list of member resources to contribute to the higher ed community’s awareness of and response to COVID-19.

CAUBO member universities have developed webpages to provide updates and inform their communities of the actions being taken to contain the propagation of COVID-19 and for information regarding the re-opening of campuses:

Let us know

Please let us know if your institution has developed a policy/procedure in response to COVID-19 and would like the opportunity to highlight the actions that have been taken.

New CAUBO Partnership with HR Metrics Service


CAUBO knows that members need evidence-based data to support their institutional decision-making.

That’s why we are pleased to share with you that we have signed a partnership agreement with HR Metrics Service (HRMS) to provide CAUBO members with quality HR benchmarking services. HRMS is a privately owned national benchmarking service with 65 client organizations from a variety of sectors, including several Canadian universities. Participating universities report a high degree of satisfaction with the service, content, and quality of reporting they have received from HRMS and recommend it to colleagues in the sector.

Joining HRMS has been a great investment for us at Memorial. We started with a limited number of metrics, and have now scaled up to 45 metrics! We use them for internal reporting, including the University’s Executive and annual reporting to the Board of Regents.

—Stephen Dodge (MUN)

This partnership will support the development of national HR metrics and help CAUBO members obtain reliable data to guide decision-making.

Key benefits for CAUBO members

CAUBO members that participate in the HRMS benchmarking service will receive:

  • Sector-wide data analysis and trend reporting, provided by a third-party consultant with support from CAUBO
  • Educational support to help use the resulting evidence-based data and information effectively
  • Differentiated HRMS participation fees for CAUBO members, based on institutional size

Timeline for HRMS partnership with CAUBO

  • Right now: Universities can sign up to work with HRMS and begin measuring their institutional data using their choice of metrics.
  • In the coming months: CAUBO will coordinate the formation of a Steering Committee and Working Group to guide and convey a collective vision for HR benchmarking and measurement within the Canadian higher education .
  • Within the next fiscal year: A third-party consultant will be engaged to develop sectoral trends and analysis and provide professional development to help members get the most out of their participation.

This service is currently available in English only. Bilingual services will become available as additional universities sign on with HRMS.

About HR Metrics Service

HRMS currently enables participating organizations to measure and compare their institutions based on more than 150 benchmarking metrics. Among them are six commonly used core metrics:

  • Turnover – voluntary and involuntary
  • First-year turnover
  • Grievances as a percentage of unionized headcount (under review)
  • HR headcount ratio
  • Average age
  • Average length of service

Many university-specific metrics have been added over the last several years. The full list is available here.

A list of current university participants is available online at

For information about this service, please contact HRMS directly at or toll-free at 1-855-323-6530 or sign up online at

Participation fees are payable to HRMS. CAUBO will provide trend analysis and educational support as part of your CAUBO institutional membership fee.

We hope CAUBO members will take advantage of this targeted opportunity to improve their HR data and decision-making capacity. If you have questions about this partnership, please contact Elizabeth Taylor at