One Thought To Start Your Day
No Ving Rhames/Pulp Fiction jokes (you were thinking it, you know you were). Just a couple of interesting tales from about the high middle ages to show that in fact there is almost no tale under the sun in higher education which isn’t seven or eight centuries old.
Student loans. Though the tradition of providing aid to worthy but needy students as a gift (i.e. bursaries) has a history almost as old as universities themselves, the concept of lending money to … [ Read More ]
The other day, I questioned a claim made by University of Toronto President Meric Gerlter that we were falling behind countries like “China, Switzerland and Singapore” having made major recent investments in science and higher education. First of all, I noted, this was an odd trio, with nothing much to suggest it was true other than the rise of a few institutions in such countries as doing reasonably well in various university rankings. Second, I noted that the claim that … [ Read More ]
I’ve been doing some work on financial data of higher education institutions around the world, and specifically looking at what’s been going on at top research institutions compared to everyone else. And I thought maybe you all would be interested in what I’ve found for Canada.
For the purpose of this document, I have separated the six institutions in Canada which always come top in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (aka “Shanghai Rankings”) – that’s Toronto, UBC, McGill, McMaster, … [ Read More ]
You can tell it’s pre-budget consultation time in Ottawa because university Presidents are writing op-eds about the importance of research and backing the Naylor Report. But man, are they ever unconvincing.
Let’s start with University of Toronto President Meric Gertler’s September 12th Toronto Star op-ed entitled “Don’t Let the World Pass Us By on Science”. The sentiment is fine, I suppose, but the specific evidence Gertler uses to back up his claim is – to put it politely – weak. It says … [ Read More ]
You may have seen the results of a poll out last week from Abacus Canada for Universities Canada, one which purports to look at “how Canadians feel about universities”. I suspect you will hear a lot of this poll over the next few months, especially with respect to research and the Naylor report. But it’s always worth approaching these things with a skeptical eye, so let’s spend a little time looking at the poll and how the questions were put together to … [ Read More ]