Ombudsing at Canadian Universities Studied by a Dutch Ombudsman

Ombudsing at Canadian Universities Studied by a Dutch Ombudsman

July 21, 2017

In the spring of 2016 the ombudsman of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Paul Herfs, visited colleagues from 12 Canadian universities. The aim of his study was to gather best practices at the offices of Canadian ombudspersons. Starting in Montreal and ending his study trip in Victoria he traveled about 3700 kilometers through Canada.

After returning home he described his findings. Major topics of his study were:

  • the cornerstones of practice of the ombudsperson;
  • the funding of ombudspersons offices;
  • the target groups of Canadian ombudspersons;
  • the fairness principle and the use of the fairness triangle;
  • the background and training of ombudspersons;

The study ended with (two) tables in which similarities and differences between the Canadian and the Dutch ombudspersons were described. A remarkable conclusion was that in both countries governments are not proactively advancing the value of ombudswork for students, staff and faculty by recommending that ombudspersons be established on all campuses. Because of the great importance of ombudswork at universities governmental legislation of ombudspersons is needed in both Canada and the Netherlands.

See full report Ombudsing at Canadian Universities Through the Eyes of a Dutch Ombudsman on page 22 of the Journal of the California Caucus of College and University Ombuds.

 

Nora Farrell (Ryerson University) and Paul Herfs (Utrecht University) in Toronto on May 4 2016.

Nora Farrell (Ryerson University) and Paul Herfs (Utrecht University) in Toronto on May 4 2016.

Forum of Canadian Ombudsman Forum of Canadian Ombudsman