hesaHigher Education Strategy Associates (HESA, Canada) is dedicated to providing post-secondary institutions, governments and related agencies with strategic advice and research on higher education issues, including improving quality, efficiency and program planning.
HESA provides in-depth analysis of educational policy issues and provide research and evaluation expertise in experimental, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research approaches. They have experience working with a broad range of stakeholders including governments (at the federal and provincial levels), secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, elementary and secondary school boards, student groups, non-profit and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in the education and public policy arena in Canada and internationally.

The members of the HESA team have considerable experience conducting research on education reforms, student financial assistance and education funding, both in Canada and internationally. As a result, its staff has performed work for a wide variety of clients. Many of their tasks include:

  • Quality Measurement, Benchmarking and Rankings. HESA staff members are experts in higher education measurement systems improving data collection and analysis at many institutions with an eye for improving overall institutional performance.
  • Policy Options. HESA maintains an exclusive Policy and Initiatives Warehouse, with details on government and institutional policies from around the world. This allows making rapid comparisons of major policies across jurisdictions and institutions and helping to determine what kinds of policies and initiatives might be right for their circumstances. Plus, as publishers of the Global Higher Education Strategy Monitor, HESA is always on top of major global trends in higher education.
  • Positioning and Branding. HESA maintains a key eye on issues relating to institutional branding by helping higher education institutions to find and develop the distinctive edges that can make them stand out from the crowd.

The members of the HESA team have considerable experience conducting research on higher education reforms and initiatives, both in Canada and internationally. Highlights of this experience are profiled below:

  • Study on University-Business Cooperation in the US, London School of Economics Enterprise for the European Commission. February 2012– March 2013. Ms. Marcucci, HESA Director of Global Policy Studies and Initiatives, and Mr. Usher, HESA President, prepared nine case studies on university business collaboration in the United States and Canada.
  • Indicators on Financing and Participation in Post-Secondary Education 2011-2012: This major update of pan-Canadian indicators relating to post-secondary participation, student finances and student outcomes, as well as a series of international comparisons based on OECD and Eurostudent data, was completed at the behest of the government of Canada. It was a follow-up to the Price of Knowledge, the broadest examination of student financial assistance and its effects ever undertaken in Canada. Alex Usher was the lead author for the 2002 and 2004 editions of this seminal work.
  • Global Experiences in Expansion of Higher Education Opportunity (2011): On behalf of the Lumina Foundation, Pamela Marcucci and Alex Usher conducted research on policy tools and strategies used to generate increases in PSE enrolments and degree attainment around the world with a particular focus on non-traditional students. Research used international databases, primary and secondary sources and telephone and electronic contacts with national experts is covering selected OECD countries including Australia, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • Worldwide Trends in Baccalaureate Degree Delivery. In winter-spring 2011, on behalf of the Higher Education Quality Council.  Examined developments in the evolution of bachelor’s degrees, and also used the CanEd student panel to poll Ontario students about their feelings regarding alternative modes of delivery for undergraduate education.
  • International comparison of the relationship between student financial aid and education 2009: Alex Usher produced an international comparison of the relationship between student financial aid and population education in multiple countries for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. The study investigated student financial aid systems and measures of population education in 20 countries in order to place equivalent measures in Canada into a worldwide context. In addition to the quantitative analyses, we produced qualitative program descriptions detailing the structure and function of student financial aid systems.