Summary of thoughts on the NB working group PSE report


A lot of what was in the report was common-sense. The major flaw with the report is the constant call for the creation of new bureaucracies. A lot of the ideas could, and should, be implemented within the existing bureaucracies of N.B. higher education.

This WG report creates layers of red-tape that will ultimately result in no changes in the system that would not have occurred without the report. Way to go New Brunswick, you’ve managed to outpace British Columbia in messing up your post-secondary system.

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Summary of thoughts on the NB working group PSE report

  1. I know your comments are well intentioned J., but my assessment is that college-university collaboration comes with some added cost, at least in the initial stages. In the long run it should, hopefully, result in less system-wide cost, but it is perilous to assume that it does not require some specific, additional up front investment.

  2. Also, Joey, you seem to have an exaggerated sense of what the public service of NB is capable of in terms of policy development. NB isn’t Ontario – it is actually extremely rare for small provinces to have more than a handful of people in a higher education department and not all of them are policy folks. There’s a legitimate debate to be had about whether these functions should be inside government or in an arms-length body (I tend to favour the latter, more or less on the model of COPSE in Manitoba), but having more people thinking about PSE outside the institutions themselves is probably a good thing (re-read the section of Rae Report that recommends setting up HEQCO – anything said there about the problems of a lack of capacity in PSE policy thinking goes about quarduple for most other provinces). Dismissing this move as “more bureaucracy” or “new layers of red tape” seems to me to damn NB for taking the problem of policy capacity seriously.

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