Canadian academic profession is a 'monster' -

Canadian academic profession is a ‘monster’

Universities need to control costs by increasing class sizes and mandating a uniform curriculum, Usher


To mark its 225th anniversary, the University of New Brunswick hosted a discussion on the future of higher education Monday evening. Joining four of the province’s university leaders was Alex Usher, a Toronto based education consultant, who said Canadian universities have created a “monster” with the way professors are compensated.

He said that Canadian university professors are paid more than their public counterparts in the United States and that far too many resources have been diverted from teaching and into research. “Someone at some point is going to have to break that cycle,” he said.

To cope with an aging population, fewer domestic students, and shrinking government grants, Usher offered three suggestions. Universities need to train students who contribute to the economy, control costs by increasing class sizes and mandating a uniform curriculum, and diversify their incomes sources by recruiting more international students or setting up satellite campuses overseas.

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Canadian academic profession is a ‘monster’

  1. I’ll tell you what’s monstrous: highly educated, perfectly rational people paying to listen to “consultants.”

  2. First year class sizes are already over 600 at large universities and a class with 60 students is considered small. How much bigger is he proposing that classes become? Meanwhile, wealthy Canadians will continue to send their kids to the US for university, where they will likely stay.

  3. Alex Usher will follow the money to any conclusion he thinks he’ll get paid for. Government doesn’t want to spend more money on higher ed? He’s got research for that. University admins want to turn faculty into assembly-line instructors? You bet he’s got research for that. He’s a relentless self-promoter whose aggrandizement also happens to be hurting postsecondary education in Canada. He preaches a “more with less” approach, which is really just “less with less” for our students and “more-more-more” for his bank account.