Strategic Mandate Agreement

Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA)

In November 2013, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) developed a Differentiation Policy Framework (PDF) to help institutions build on their individual strengths to ensure students continue to have access to a quality post-secondary education in innovative and affordable colleges and universities. The policy also helped the Ministry and post-secondary institutions negotiate their Strategic Mandate Agreements (SMAs).

In August 2014, Ontario signed the first set of SMAs with all of its publicly-funded colleges and universities, including the University of Waterloo.

In fall of 2017, Ontario signed the second set of SMAs.

In fall of 2020, Ontario signed the third set of SMAs.

Learn more about Strategic Mandate Agreements

Waterloo's Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3 2020-2025)

SMA3 between the Ministry of Colleges and Universities and University of Waterloo is a key component of the Ontario government’s accountability framework for the post-secondary education system.


  • outlines provincial government objectives and priority areas for the postsecondary education system
  • describes the elements of Ontario's performance-based funding mechanism, including the University's annual performance-based funding notional allocation for the five-year 2020 to 2025 Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA3) period
  • establishes the corridor mid-point that will form the basis of enrolment-related funding over the five-year SMA3 period
  • supports transparency and accountability objectives
  • establishes allowable performance targets for 10 metrics upon which institutional performance will be assessed

Waterloo’s current SMA

Note: Includes appendix table of performance indicator results that are updated each spring

2020-2025 Strategic Mandate Agreement: University of Waterloo

Waterloo’s previous SMAs

Archived - 2017-20 Strategic Mandate Agreement: University of Waterloo

Archived - 2014-17 Strategic Mandate Agreement: University of Waterloo