PEF home page and weblog
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, competition, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, demographics, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, household debt, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, Newfoundland and Labrador, P3s, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, productivity, public infrastructure, Quebec, rankings, regulation, Role of government, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, user fees, working time, young workers.
June 7th, 2012
Despite the remarkably poor media coverage of the early days of the protests (especially in English Canada), it seems that the Quebec student protestors have finally succeeded in sparking a broader public discussion about civil liberties and the right to protest (even in the Globe here, here and in the Celebrity Photo captions). Yet, media [...]
I’ve written before about attempts in Canada to create more separation between university teaching, on the one hand, and university research, on the other. In 2009, I wrote this opinion piece about an attempt by five university presidents to each acquire a larger share of university research dollars. And last year, I blogged here about [...]
In the context of student protests over Quebec tuition fees, my friend Luan Ngo has just written a very informative blog post on Quebec’s fiscal situation. While I encourage readers to read his full post, I do want to use the present space to make mention of three important points he makes: -On a per [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Bank of Canada, budgets, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, deficits, economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, economic models, economic thought, education, equalization, financial crisis, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, heterodox economics, inflation, interest rates, macroeconomics, monetary policy, post-secondary education, progressive economic strategies, Quebec, social policy, student movement, user fees.
April 28th, 2012
A recent article by Stefani Forster, of the Canadian Press, suggests that the Quebec student protests may be starting a larger social movement outside of Quebec. According to the article: In the last few days, Quebec’s student protests have received coverage in French news outlets like Le Monde and Agence France-Presse, in Australia, in New [...]
Simon Tremblay-Pepin, an emerging social policy scholar, has recently blogged here (in French) about Quebec tuition fees. He points out that, when one adjusts for inflation, Quebec tuition fees are headed into uncharted territory. Indeed, contrary to some recent spin from the Charest government, Tremblay-Pepin makes two important observations: 1. When one takes an average [...]
Last Friday, I blogged here about the Quebec student protests. Subsequently, I was invited to appear on 580 CFRA News Talk Radio, with hosts Rob Snow and Lowell Green. I should note that Mr. Green is the author of several books, including: -How the Granola Crunching, Tree Hugging Thug Huggers are Wrecking our Country; -Mayday [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under debt, education, fiscal federalism, household debt, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, Quebec, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
April 26th, 2012
On CBC’s The National last night, Rex Murphy weighed in on Quebec’s student protests; the transcript can be found here, and the three-minute video here. He calls the protests “short sighted,” points out that Quebec already has the lowest tuition fees in Canada, and suggests the students’ actions are “crude attempts at precipitating a crisis.” He [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under education, fiscal federalism, housing, Newfoundland and Labrador, post-secondary education, poverty, Quebec, social indicators, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
April 20th, 2012
A few years ago, I wrote an opinion piece on “pathway colleges”—i.e. private companies that recruit students from other countries and then ‘bridge’ them into Canadian universities by providing pre-university courses, including English as a Second Language. A recent CBC News article underlines how perilous such recruitment of post-secondary students from abroad can be, and why it is important [...]
Carleton University’s Ted Jackson teaches a graduate seminar course on post-secondary education in Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration. Earlier this month, I was invited to give a guest presentation to Professor Jackson’s class. I focused the presentation on affordability challenges faced by students wanting to pursue post-secondary education. My slide presentation can be [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under education, fiscal federalism, income distribution, inequality, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, post-secondary education, Quebec, social indicators, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, working time, young workers.
February 29th, 2012
I have an opinion piece out on the City of Ottawa’s universal, student transit pass–also known as “the U-Pass.” Points raised in the op-ed include the following: -U-Pass programs exist for roughly 30 universities and colleges across Canada. -For a U-Pass program to be introduced, students typically must vote in favour of the program in [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under cities, climate change, Ontario, post-secondary education, public infrastructure, public services, public transit, student movement, transportation, user fees.
February 7th, 2012
It’s no secret that a major priority of Canadian universities is to recruit substantial numbers of international students, who in turn pay very high tuition fees once they arrive in Canada. Recent evidence suggests that insofar as Canadian universities want to continue doing so, they should work with senior levels of government to reduce the cost of both housing [...]
An article in yesterday’s Village Voice looks at the rising costs of post-secondary education (PSE) in the United States. It points to research suggesting that the “biggest single factor” contributing to the rising cost of PSE for both private and public institutions is the cost of employee health benefits. I would infer from the above that, insofar [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under bubble, education, fiscal federalism, health care, post-secondary education, privatization, social policy, student debt, student movement, US, user fees.
January 5th, 2012
Last month, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) released a document entitled Public Education for the Public Good: A National Vision for Canada’s Post-Secondary Education System. I found the document to be quite informative, filled with a lot of useful statistics. For example: -Enrolment is rising in colleges and universities across Canada. Since the late 1990s, full-time enrolment has [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, democracy, education, employment, fiscal federalism, part time work, post-secondary education, public infrastructure, social policy, user fees, young workers.
November 6th, 2011
I have an opinion piece out on Access Copyright, English Canada’s longtime copyright middleman. I argue that Access Copyright is a bit like the Blockbuster Video of Canadian university libraries—once indispensable, and now almost obsolete (largely due the Internet). Within a year from now, it’s possible that no Canadian university will still have day-to-day dealings with [...]
In Saskatchewan’s provincial election campaign, the incumbent Saskatchewan Party is promising a scholarship of up to $500 per year for new high-school graduates who undertake post-secondary studies. It claims that this scholarship is worth “THREE TIMES” the annual increase in university tuition fees, which has averaged $146.50 over the past four years. What the Sask [...]
In August, I blogged about controversy surrounding Concordia University’s Board of Governors. A report co-authored by Bernard J. Shapiro (Canada’s first Ethics Commissioner) had concluded that an unofficial, inner circle of Board members had been micromanaging some of the university’s day-to-day operations, and undermining the President. This had apparently prompted the resignation of the previous two Presidents before the midway points of [...]
Newly-released data indicate that student debt is rising amongst new physicians in Canada. In 2010, 23 percent of medical residents reported having more than $120,000 in education-related debt upon completion of their residency training (as compared with just 17 percent in 2007). (Note: across Canada, average tuition fees for medical students amount to just over $10,000 a year.) This appears to have [...]
On Wednesday, William Watson wrote a comment piece in the Financial Post in which he was critical of Armine Yalnizyan’s recent essay on inequality. In his piece, Mr. Watson alleges that Armine “is guilty of fantastical reminiscence,” particularly with respect to her take on post-secondary education (PSE). Among other things, Mr. Watson points to the [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under economic history, education, fiscal federalism, household debt, human rights, inequality, labour market, post-secondary education, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
September 24th, 2011
Pollsters tell us that Ontario’s New Democrats may double their seat total in next month’s provincial election. It’s also entirely conceivable that they could be part of a coalition government at Queen’s Park. But what’s actually in the party’s election platform? One central feature of the NDP’s proposals is to implement a tax credit for companies that hire new workers. The tax [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under climate change, corporate income tax, education, employment, energy, environment, fiscal policy, health care, housing, HST, income distribution, income support, income tax, investment, minimum wage, NDP, Nova Scotia, Ontario Election 2011, party politics, post-secondary education, poverty, progressive economic strategies, public services, public transit, social democracy, social policy, socialism, super-rich, taxation, user fees, wealth.
September 20th, 2011
Last March, Keith Dunne and I wrote an opinion piece on Danny Williams’ post-secondary education (PSE) legacy in Newfoundland and Labrador. Among other things, we pointed out that average undergraduate tuition fees (for domestic students) in Newfoundland and Labrador are $2,624/yr., compared with $5,138 for Canada as a whole and $6,307 in Ontario. With a provincial election slated to take [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under debt, education, fiscal federalism, NDP, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, party politics, post-secondary education, progressive economic strategies, Role of government, social policy, socialism, student debt, student movement, user fees.
September 16th, 2011
An Ontario election is slated for October 6, and the reigning Liberal Party will attempt to pull off a third consecutive majority government. In that vein, the Liberals have recently made a slew of campaign promises in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector. Notably, they’ve committed to reducing undergraduate tuition for “middle-class Ontario families” by 30 percent, amounting [...]
A recent editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looks at the use of “grade-boosting” stimulants (such as Ritalin) by Canadian post-secondary students. According to the editorial: “Universities and colleges are ground zero for ‘grade-boosting’ stimulant abuse.” The thrust of the editorial’s argument is that universities and colleges need to work proactively to reduce the misuse [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under debt, education, employment, Ontario, part time work, post-secondary education, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
September 10th, 2011
Last week, the CCPA released a paper by David Macdonald and Erika Shaker entitled Under Pressure: The Impact of Rising Tuition Fees on Ontario Families. The paper does a good job of explaining which households have been most impacted by rising tuition fees in Ontario. Points made in the paper include the following: -In light of [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under debt, education, household debt, inequality, Ontario, post-secondary education, poverty, social policy, student debt, student movement, user fees, young workers.
September 3rd, 2011
The Canadian Association of University Teachers represents 66,000 university and college teachers, academic librarians, researchers and staff at more than 120 universities and colleges in Canada. Their 2012 brief to the Federal Finance Committee contains some useful numbers. I was particularly interested to see their data showing decreased funding to Canada’s federal granting councils. Using constant dollars, the brief spells out that, over [...]
In light of plans by the Charest government to increase tuition fees in Quebec by 75 percent over the next five years, Eric Martin and Simon Tremblay-Pepin have written a recent article on Quebec tuition fees. The article points out the following: -Though tuition fees in Quebec have been lower than in most other parts [...]
A recent article by George Monbiot in The Guardian takes a critical look at academic publishers, apparently with a focus on the United Kingdom. The article makes the following points: -Journals now eat up 65 percent of university library budgets. -”[A]cademic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free.” -The [...]
A recent article in The Atlantic looks at student debt in the United States and suggests there may be a student debt bubble. Written by the authors of the recent book, Higher Education?, the article points out that “college loans are nearing the $1 trillion mark, more than what all households owe on their credit cards.” The article also [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under bubble, debt, education, household debt, labour market, post-secondary education, social policy, student debt, student movement, unemployment, US.
August 23rd, 2011
A recent cbc.ca article reports on plans by Quebec student groups to protest planned tuition hikes by the Charest government. Over a five-year period, Quebec’s Liberal government plans to increase tuition by roughly 75 percent. The article notes that tuition levels in Quebec are currently among the lowest in Canada. But as I’ve blogged about [...]
As I’ve blogged about here, federal funding for post-secondary education (PSE) in Canada is decreasing. Between 1985-1986 and 2007-2008, annual federal cash transfers to Ontario for PSE (in constant 2007 dollars) decreased from roughly $1.4 billion to just under $1 billion. (Yet, during that same period, PSE enrolment in Ontario increased by more than 60 percent). And as I’ve written about [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under competition, education, fiscal federalism, health care, human rights, inequality, Ontario, post-secondary education, social policy, student movement, unions, US, user fees.
August 21st, 2011