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The Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS)

The MPHEC collects information on institutions' programs and course offerings, student demographics, programs and courses registration, and credentials granted information. The database format used is the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS), the national database format designed by Statistics Canada, in collaboration with the MPHEC. PSIS is designed to provide longitudinal student records to enable the generation of standardized statistics and to facilitate research on post-secondary issues such as retention, attrition, mobility and graduation rates. The advantage of using the PSIS format is that one submission by institutions fulfills many information needs.

Part of the annual data collection cycle includes a rigorous audit of key data elements, which is done with the cooperation of submitting institutions. The Commission also submits validated PSIS data to Statistics Canada on an annual basis on behalf of the institutions within its mandate.

The Commission uses this rich source of data to support Commission functions such as:

  • Quality assurance:maintenance of approved program database; monitoring of enrolments in, and graduations from, approved programs;
  • Province-specific services:the calculation of full-year full-time equivalent and full-year weighted full-time equivalent which are used in the calculation of the New Brunswick Unrestricted Operating Assistance Funding Formula and the Regional Transfer Arrangement; the calculation of full-course equivalents to support the Nova Scotia Funding Formula;
  • Data and Information:PSIS supports the production of standardized statistics on enrolments and credentials granted (annual statistical tables posted to the website as well as ad-hoc requests by stakeholders), and research and analysis of issues in the post-secondary sector. The sampling frame for MPHEC graduate surveys is also generated using PSIS data.
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