So the last time we tuned into antics in Canberra, the government was trying to pass a fairly ambitious piece of legislation that would completely de-regulate tuition fees while (more or less) maintaining the HECS system, which means post-graduate contributions are always tied to income, and thus do not become too onerous. The government was also going to cut institutional grants by about 20%, but keep the “demand-driven” system in which government dollars follow students no matter how many students attend.
As Canadians, we have a tendency to pay an excess amount of attention to developments in the US. For instance, people are already asking whether the Obama free community college model would work in Canada. But this is actually two questions. The first is whether or not someone could make community college free; the second question is whether that someone could be the federal government?
Let’s take the second question first: could the federal government be the ones to do this in … [ Read More ]
I was going to start on a series about growth in non-academic staff numbers today, but the news out of Washington late last week was too spectacular, so I’m bumping it. Did Obama really say he wanted to make community college free?
Well, yes he did. But he might not have meant it the way we all heard it. And whatever happens, it’s unlikely to occur any time soon.
Let’s start with what he actually said (White House fact sheet, … [ Read More ]
As I noted a few months back when writing about the 50th anniversary of the Canada Student Loans Program, CSLP was at the heart of one of the federation’s key moments in fiscal federalism. In 1964, Lester Pearson was running into opposition in Quebec on two of his major policy initiatives: the Canada Pension Plan and the Canada Student Loans Program. A deal on both was eventually struck: any province could “opt-out” of a federal program and receive a compensating “alternative payment”, so … [ Read More ]
I know it’s exceptionally nerdy, but I highly recommend the experience of reading a new law’s regulatory impact statement, for no other reason than to get a taste of the sheer absurdity of government these days.
Take the regulations on the new Apprentice Loan Act. The executive summary on the cost-benefit of the program (scroll down a bit) reads as follows:
The Canada Apprentice Loan (CAL) will cost the Government of Canada (GoC) $74 million over 10 years, from 2014–15 … [ Read More ]