The first budget of the rather short-lived Paul Martin administration introduced a fairly cool idea to Canadian policy: the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). The idea built on some the then-trendy work of American sociologist Michael Sherraden (among others) around asset-based solutions to poverty. Basically, the idea was that one of the reasons middle-class people act middle-class is that that they have a specific set of time-preferences; on the whole, working-class individuals tend to have shorter time-preferences and hence are less … [ Read More ]
Though it didn’t get a whole lot of ink/pixels, the Council of Ontario Universities launched a new lobbying campaign last week. It’s called Partnering for a Better Future for Ontario and its focal point is a document of the same name – you can read the short version of the report here (yes, I know, only in academia could the short version of a lobbying report be 44 pages long). In fact, it’s accompanied by a wide variety of supporting documents which are available … [ Read More ]
Yesterday I talked a little bit about how competition, not co-operation, is in Canadian universities’ DNA (east of Manitoba, at any rate). But that has never stopped governments from trying – usually fitfully and half-heartedly – from trying to create more co-ordination within the system. David Cameron, in his 1991 book More Than an Academic Question (still probably best single-volume history of Canadian higher education), analyzed these attempts in some detail. What’s interesting is how things have changed over time.
One obvious … [ Read More ]
The post-Naylor Report effort to get big new investments in fundamental science is in trouble. Bluntly, the Finance Department appears not to be buying the argument that fundamental research is, in fact, a good investment. I’m not 100% surprised: the Naylor mostly tended to assume the wider benefits of research to economic growth rather than demonstrate or prove it, and the big U-15 institutions have banked everything on a rhetorical strategy of: money for research –> a miracle occurs –> … [ Read More ]
My last blog post on university tuition – which said that higher education has both public and private returns and charges should be arranged commensurate with the latter – seems to have sparked a variety of responses by email and on the blog. Some of you were trolling, I think, or playing devil’s advocate, anyway. Others had serious objections. Regardless, the counter-arguments essentially came in two varieties, and I want to take a moment today to answer both.
The “But-lower-levels-of-education-have-private-returns-too-so-why-not-charge-for-K-12?” … [ Read More ]