Last spring the government of British Columbia passed legislation that gave ‘university status’ to 5 former colleges and institutes (Capilano College, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Kwantlen University College, Malaspina University College, and University College of the Fraser Valley). While the change did not involve additional funding for research and facilities, the new legislation made a number of changes to the way the institutions are governed.Vancouver’s Georgia Straight has published an article about the changes which includes insight from John Dennison, a noted scholar of Canadian post-secondary education. From the Straight article:
John Dennison, a retired UBC professor and coauthor of Canada’s Community Colleges: A Critical Analysis (UBC Press, 1986), has watched B.C.’s postsecondary system evolve for half a century . . . Dennison isn’t sold on the idea that a single institution should deliver everything from adult basic education to graduate degrees, if only because the “conservative” eastern universities won’t take graduates from these institutions seriously.In 2007, for example, a total of just 12 graduates from the five B.C. institutions that are now universities went on to master’s programs at UBC. At the University of Western Ontario—the only major central Canadian university to respond to the Straight’s request for information—no students from any of the new universities have ever been admitted. But Dennison believes credibility for the “new” system will come.