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 ]
One student aid policy debate that pops up periodically around the world – most recently in the United Kingdom – is the question of interest rates. On the one hand, you have people who use a slightly medieval line of thought to claim that any interest on loans is a form of “profit” and hence verboten where students are concerned. On the other side, you have people who note that loan interest subsidies by definition only help people who have already “made it” to … [ Read More ]
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 ]
Five years ago I wrote the following blog, under the headline “fifteen years ago today”. I think it’s worth running again (with a couple of minor alterations).
On September 24th, 1997, Jean Chrétien rose in the House of Commons to present his reply to the Speech from the Throne. About half-way in, he noted casually that there would likely be a financial surplus that year (a miracle, considering where we’d been in 1995). And he was planning to blow it … [ Read More ]
Last week, HuffPost ran a story highlighting a newsletter from CIBC Economics about higher education. It was actually a pretty meandering letter (CIBC Economics pieces on higher education are usually notable for their interesting use of data and somewhat shallow understanding of actual policy – here’s an earlier example). The newsletter touched on a number of issues around educational supply and demand, but what HuffPost glommed on to was what a point about tuition in STEM programs and led with the headline “CIBC argues against … [ Read More ]