Metablog: Adding to Wells on Ivison on Naylor -

Metablog: Adding to Wells on Ivison on Naylor


Colleague Wells points us to what I agree is a very good piece by Ivison on David Naylor’s visit to Ottawa. Toward the end of his column, Ivison references a piece on the recession and higher education, written by Alex Usher and Ryan Dunn of the Educational Policy Institute.

Alex has a piece in the recent 50th anniversary issue of University Affairs, which looks at the main trends driving higher education in Canada (and the world) right now; the article is one of those science-fictiony things where Alex writes as if it is 2034 and he’s looking back at how current trends played out over the next few decades. It’s all pretty smart, but here’s what I think is the part most relevant to Naylor’s agenda:

Institutional mistrust of government, and mutual mistrust between the federal and provincial levels of government, had stymied the development of a national quality-assurance system. And sheer inertia had stalled any changes to credit definitions or adoption of a European-style process for common degree outcomes across institutions.

Moreover, few Canadian institutions had made serious investments in a presence abroad (let alone set up campuses) and almost none had experience in promoting themselves abroad in a way that could challenge the American, British and Australian universities that dominated the market. So, what many universities had thought of as their “Plan B” in the event of government cutbacks – foreign student recruitment – turned out not to be viable.

Here’s the full article.

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Metablog: Adding to Wells on Ivison on Naylor

  1. Heh, I like the part about satellite campuses. Some universities are making strides in that area – U of Waterloo just set up on in Dubai, and I believe they're looking at something in Hong Kong. These expansions have met with great resistance, especially from the student body. It'll be interesting to see if it pays off…

    • I thought Alex's claim that these satellite campuses are loss-leaders for the home campus was interesting, but had me scratching my head a bit. I don't quite see how that's supposed to work.

      • Basically, we're trying to recruit the best and brightest from the entire world, not just here at home. Satellite campuses get us exposure to the rest of the world, especially the developping world where motivated, intelligent people may not have access to quality post-secondary education, especially at the graduate level. For example, UW's campus in Dubai trains students for the first two years there, then brings them here for the last two.

        Now, I dunno how effective that is in itself – Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge – these universities attract plenty of international students on reputation alone, as do many of our more well-known universities. And it does nothing for our already undereducated workforce – it might actually be a detriment, as we ship in PhD students rather than training them ourselves (though doing both would be best).

        Yikes, now I'm getting confused here too. I'm not sure where he's going with it exactly.

      • Watch more Mad Men. Connie had it figured out 50 yrs ago.