HEQCO – Request for Proposals -Social Media Scan of OSAP Perceptions

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) is an independent agency of the Government of Ontario that conducts research and provides objective advice to government to improve the accessibility, quality and accountability of Ontario’s public colleges and universities.

HEQCO has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a Social Media Scan of OSAP Perceptions

Amount: Maximum of $80,000

Questions or Clarifications to RFP: Thursday, May 18, 2017 by 4:00 pm EDT
Faculty Research Office: 5 days prior to HEQCO deadline. (If you wish to have feedback on your application allow at least one week – contact Karen Kueneman)
Research Western: 5 days prior to HEQCO deadline
HEQCO: Thursday, June 15, 2017 by 4:00 pm EDT

Description: This RFP invites proposals for a study that utilizes big data from social media sources to examine perceptions of PSE costs, student financial aid services and, specifically, the new policy changes affecting OSAP (see call for proposals for more information). The study can make use of sources like Twitter or Reddit and employ data mining or machine learning techniques to perform sophisticated analyses of the data.

Research Questions: Applicants are invited to submit proposals for a study that explore the questions of how student financial aid is perceived in Ontario and if communications about OSAP are reaching the intended audience. Applicants should consider the following questions in their study:

  • What topics of discussion coincide with discussion of OSAP? Which components of OSAP are the most or least talked about?
  • What is the tone of discourse surrounding OSAP?
  • What are the characteristics of social media users who talk about OSAP? Do certain sub-groups of social media users hold particular ideas or perceptions of OSAP?
  • How do perceptions of OSAP change following important dates, announcements of policy changes or news coverage of related events?
  • What information is circulating about OSAP? Is this information factually correct? How does factually incorrect information affect perceptions of the program and the affordability of PSE?

NOTE: The final report (approximately 40 pages) should be submitted within eight months following the RFP closing date.

More information and applications

 photo credit: salmonsalmon reflections, false colour via photopin (license)

About the Author

Kueneman, Karen
Staff, 2015 Fall
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