Post-Secondary Education Strategic Framework Released

News Releases

Yellowknife — August 21, 2019

Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE), today released the Post-Secondary Education Strategic Framework (“the Framework”). The Framework includes a vision and a set of goals for the post-secondary education system in the Northwest Territories (NWT).

The vision and goals will help to guide the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and post-secondary institutions as they work together to better meet the needs of northern residents and employers. The Framework will also play an important role in guiding the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university.

The development of a post-secondary education vision was a recommendation of the Aurora College Foundational Review. That recommendation was accepted by the GNWT in its 2018 response to the Review. The Framework also supports implementation of the Post-Secondary Education Act, new legislation that will ensure effective governance and quality assurance for post-secondary education institutions.

Development of the Framework was informed by more than 740 voices from all regions of the NWT through a public survey that sought input around what post-secondary education should look like in the NWT.

The vision for the NWT Post-Secondary education system states: “Every resident of the Northwest Territories has an equitable opportunity to reach their full potential by obtaining a post-secondary education from institutions that are student-centered, accessible, high quality, relevant and accountable.”


The following goals support this vision:

  • Prioritize student success,
  • Increase access to post-secondary education opportunities,
  • Remain responsive to labour demands in the NWT,
  • Remain responsive to local and regional needs, and
  • Support growth of the knowledge economy.


“All northerners should have equitable access to a high-quality post-secondary education, and the cultures, views and experiences of our residents must be reflected in the education opportunities that are made available. Success in our post-secondary education system means adapting the system to meet the needs of our residents, not the other way around.”

– Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment


Quick Facts

  • The development of a post-secondary education vision was recommendation G-2 in the GNWT’s Response to the Findings and Recommendations of the Aurora College Foundational Review (Page 27) that can be found at
  • All residents of the Northwest Territories were invited to participate in the post-secondary education vision survey from March 4 to April 23 and could participate online, or in person with Government Services Officers (GSOs) and staff at ECE regional offices.
  • 743 individuals shared 6,872 thoughts, ideas and comments in their survey responses.
  • 25% of survey respondents were under 30 years old.
  • The complete NWT Post-Secondary Education Framework can be viewed at

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Media Contacts

Jacqueline McKinnon

Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

Department of Education, Culture and Employment

P. 867-767-9352 x 71073