Open data increases access to post-secondary education information in the Maritimes: MPHEC steps up its open data resources26 May 2015
FREDERICTON (GNB) – In keeping with trends toward open data and to reach even more stakeholders, the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission is releasing its open data sets on enrolment and credentials in more formats.
“The commission has been a leader in open data for years,” said commission CEO Mireille Duguay. “As part of our mandate, the commission makes available value-added sources of information to governments, post-secondary institutions, students and the public-at large, to increase dialogue on Maritime post-secondary education issues and opportunities. We already have made many data sets available on the commission’s website in Excel format. In keeping with the latest trends and best practices in open data, we have decided to present these same data sets in a machine-readable CSV format, for broader use.”
The data sets being released in machine-readable format are:
- Enrolment aggregated by province of study, institution, registration status, program type, credential type, level of study, field of study, gender, age group (five-year intervals) and immigration status.
- Enrolment aggregated by province of study, institution, registration status, program type, credential type, level of study, field of study, and province of residence.
- Credentials granted aggregated by province of study, institution, credential type, program type, level of study, field of study, and gender.
The commission also follows best practices by providing an explicit license to allow use of the data. The Excel files will continue to be available.
The aim of this open information release is to further facilitate analysis and debate on issues of importance among the commission’s stakeholders.
“Many people who are interested in using the data are already doing so in its current form,” said Duguay. “But by overtly declaring it to be open data and providing it in machine-readable format, we can attract more users, since we can list it on several websites which provide links to open data sets.
“The hope is that, by making machine-readable data on enrolments and credentials openly available, users - long-time and new - will be sparked to mine it, to identify new pathways to improve Maritime post-secondary education.”
The license and the data may be found online.
The commission, established in 1974, is an arm’s-length organization accountable to the ministers responsible for post-secondary education in the Maritimes. The commission comprises 20 members representing universities, the public-at-large (including students), and the three Maritime governments. The commission’s primary orientation in carrying out its duties is to give first consideration to improving and maintaining the best possible service to students as lifelong learners.