Ontario considers shorter degrees, easier school transfers

Proposals put forward in government paper


The government of Ontario is considering a swath of changes to its post-secondary education system, including mandating shorter bachelor degrees and making all first and second year credits transferable to any university in the province, the Guelph Mercury is reporting.

The newspaper cites a government discussion paper, to be released Thursday, that floats these ideas, along with suggestions to increase the availability of online learning and scheduling degree programs to take place year-round, rather than just two semesters.

“The transformation is required because the world we live in, and the world colleges and universities live in, is dramatically different, and the role (of post-secondary education) is different and larger than it ever has been,” Glen Murray, Ontario’s minister of training, colleges and universities, told the Mercury.

According to the newspaper, the proposal states that it’s time “to modernize our post-secondary education system in a way that will make it more relevant, more flexible, and more beneficial to Ontario students. … It will grow our economy and, by modernizing the system and increasing its productivity, we can reduce the cost to the public.”


Ontario considers shorter degrees, easier school transfers

  1. Year-round teaching has to be one of the worst educational ideas imaginable.

    Victims of this include: summer jobs for students; internships for students; faculty research in periods where teaching isn’t required (important to keep teaching up to date); and things that faculty engage in such as field research (archaeology projects, archives, visits to remote areas for environmental science, collaborations with industry and business).

    I hope that this idea ends up where it belongs – in the rubbish bin.

  2. There are already universities in Ontario that operate on a 3-semester system. It is very handy for students who are in co-op, for instance.

    • I guess it depends on whether it’s three trimesters or full-year. Sept-Aug. Offering three terms Sept-May may not be a bad idea, but the loss of summer for students and faculty for doing work that cannot be easily done during the term presents a big problem.

      There is also the question of recognition of these degrees elsewhere as the research component drops. Also we have to consider qualifications. If faculty stop doing research to focus on teaching 100%, they really do not need a PhD to be instructors. The PhD is a pure research degree which qualifies one to do research. If faculty only need a MA/Msc/MBA to teach, research funding drops, grad students leave, prestige drops.

      My fear is that this will end up being one of those genius government ideas, rammed through without adequate debate or consultation.

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