Danny Williams’ PSE Legacy

Keith Dunne and I have an opinion piece out on what we consider to be one of the best-kept secrets in Canadian social policy:  Danny Williams’ post-secondary education (PSE) legacy.  Among other things, the piece points out that: -Since 2003, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has increased funding for PSE by 82 percent. -Average tuition fees for domestic students in […]

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Professors’ Salaries

Yesterday, Alex Usher blogged at the Globe and Mail’s web site about the salaries of Canadian university professors. He argues that professors in Canada are now paid better than professors in the United States. He also suggests that, in Canada, “professors are getting world-class pay without producing world-class results.” While I’ve never argued that tenured Canadian university professors are underpaid […]

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When CEOs Run Universities

Yesterday’s Globe and Mail features an article on the resignation of Paul Bates as Dean of McMaster’s business school.  I believe the article is instructive in terms of understanding what can happen when private-sector actors are put in senior administrative roles at Canadian univerities According to the article, McMaster hired Mr. Bates in 2004.  Mr. Bates had no university degree, yet […]

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Blaming the Victims: Quebec Students

Last month, I blogged about a major new report on the living conditions of Quebec undergraduate students.  The report’s findings include the fact that 50% of full-time undergraduate students in Quebec report living on less $12,200 per year. On the heels of that report’s release comes the news that the Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities (CREPUQ), which lobbies on behalf […]

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McGuinty’s Post-Secondary Education Strategy

Many blog readers will remember that when Dalton McGuinty became premier of Ontario in 2003 he vowed to be the “education premier.” Yet, university students in Ontario–at both the undergraduate and graduate level–now pay the highest tuition fees in Canada.  Ontario is also in last place nationally in terms of per-student funding for post-secondary education, and has the lowest professor-to-student […]

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Debunking the Myth of the Lazy Student

Results of a major survey of post-secondary students were released on Thursday.  The 149-page report, entitled Sources et Modes de Financement des Etudiants the Premier Cycle 2009, was written by the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ).  It was done in collaboration with Léger Marketing, who suveyed almost 13,000 undergraduate students in Quebec, spanning 14 different post-secondary institutions in the province.  According […]

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Silencing Student Dissent

Across Canada, university student associations–at both the undergraduate and graduate level–provide democratic representation to their members.  When students register for a term, memberhip fees are automatically collected by the university’s business office, much like an employer automatically collects union dues in a unionized workplace.  The university’s business office temporarily holds student membership fees “in trust,” and then remits them to […]

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University Recruitment of International Students

Last month, I blogged about “pathway colleges,” which are private companies that have been entering into P3 arrangements with Canadian universities in recent years.  The private company helps recruit international students and then gives the students pre-university training.  If all goes according to plan, the students in question eventually become full-fledged students at the university in question.   There’s been increased attention to […]

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The “Big Five” Proposal for Canadian Universities

I have an opinion piece out on the so-called “Big Five” proposal for Canadian universities.  The plan, first articulated in MacLean’s magazine just over a year ago, would entail two main things: 1) more research money concentrated at five major Canadian universities; and 2) lower undergraduate-to-graduate student ratios for those same five universities.  The universities in question are Toronto, McGill, UBC, Alberta and […]

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Should Students Pay One Flat Fee for a Degree?

Yesterday afternoon, Alex Usher–who regularly blogs for the Globe and Mail on post-secondary education–blogged about an innovative concept proposed by the (now ousted) Liberal Party in New Brunswick’s recent provincial election campaign.  The proposal is for universities to charge students one flat fee for the cost of a degree.  Usher argues in favour of this move on the basis that it would […]

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Bank Economist Proposes Higher Tuition Fees

A globeandmail.com article posted last night discusses a recent report on post-secondary education in Nova Scotia.  The report itself, released yesterday, was written by BMO’s former Chief Economist, Tim O’Neill.  According to the article, O’Neill’s report calls for “complete deregulation of tuition fees” in Nova Scotia.  Moreover: He believes that higher tuitions are more equitable because they force students, who are disproportionately […]

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Pathway Colleges: A New Kind of P3

I have an opinion piece out on “pathway colleges,” a relatively new phenomenon in Canada.  In this public-private partnership (P3) model, private companies recruit international students to Canadian university campuses, targeting students who currently do not meet the university’s admissions criteria (usually because they lack the necessary English-language skills).  Once the students arrive in Canada, the company hires instructors (paying them considerably less […]

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How Political is Statscan?

The recent controversy over the long-form census has caused me to be a bit more suspicious of Statscan lately.  Two recent events in particular have left me scratching my head. First, as part of my doctoral dissertation research, I was trying to get ahold of (time series) social assistance statistics for all 10 Canadian provinces, namely social assistance rates and caseloads, going back […]

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Should We Reduce University Tuition?

On Thursday, the Globe and Mail’s post-secondary education blogger, Alex Usher, wrote this piece, in which he argues that any increased government assistance with the goal of increasing access to university ought to be targeted to low-income students (and not consist of an across-the-board tuition reduction).  I have three points to make in response to this.  First, while Mr. Usher […]

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We Don’t Need No Education

James Altucher posted an interesting article and video making the case against sending your children to university. I commend him for questioning the credo that everyone should go to university, regardless of interest or aptitude. But I am not totally convinced by his analysis. Altucher gives short shrift to the fact that many good jobs require a university degree, even […]

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“Teaming Up” with the Private Sector

Today’s Globe and Mail features an article about the University of Toronto’s plan to turn “to the private sector to solve their campus housing problems” for students.  In particular, the article refers to a plan whereby the U of T would become “the first university in Canada to erect a large tower offsite with private money.” According to the article, […]

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“Innovation” and Students

I have an online opinion piece on the federal government’s “innovation strategy.” My piece focuses on how the strategy directly impacts university students.  I argue that the federal government’s current strategy creates winners and losers. Nick FalvoNick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant with a PhD in Public Policy. He has academic affiliation at both Carleton University and Case Western Reserve University, […]

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Do Tuition Rates Matter?

Alex Usher is a frequent commentator on post-secondary education in Canada.  He regularly blogs for the Globe and Mail at globecampus.ca.  Yesterday, he wrote an open letter to leaders of Canada’s three major political parties in which he offered advice on post-secondary education policy. I found the following passage to be particularly provocative: First, scratch anything that vaguely resembles a […]

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