The values we prize: A comparative analysis of mission statements

Carolin Kreber, Christine Mhina


Because of the challenges currently facing Canadian universities, an important question to explore is which ideals or values do Canadian universities use to guide themselves? In an attempt to find an answer to this question, we examined the values expressed in the institutional mission statements of fifty-eight Canadian universities. While mission statements cannot serve as proof of institutions enacting the goals and ideals they portray to the public, these statements do shed light on the values institutions consider important. The total of twelve values identified through inductive content analysis of mission statements documents were: Service, Truth, Equality, Community, Spirituality, Freedom, Human Dignity, Tradition, Justice, Leadership, Lifelong Learning, and Learning and Development. These were then rank-ordered to evaluate the priority assigned to them by different types of Canadian universities. On the basis of this exploratory study we make suggestions for future research.


higher education; university; mission statments; values

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Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530