• OCUFA at 50

  • Faculty associations at the crossroads

  • The Staying Power of Unions

  • Solidarity in the Ivory Tower

  • Neoliberalism and postsecondary education: A view from the colleges

  • Taking the long view of Indigenous teacher education

Blog Posts

Performance funding: The burden of proof

When a policy is proposed, the burden of proof lies with the people making the proposal. They need to explain why the new policy is better, and they need to provide evidence to support their claim. This is how sensible policy gets made.

The Government of Ontario is interested in performance funding for universities. That much is clear.  In the Premier’s mandate letter to the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, the Ministry was asked to improve the “consistency and

Register now for the first annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education

Registration is now open for the first annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education. The lecture, a spinoff of the popular Worldviews conference, will feature Simon Marginson, Professor of International Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Prof. Marginson will deliver a lecture titled, “Universities, the plutocracy and the 99%: Is high participation in higher education the problem or the solution, in societies that are becoming more unequal?”

The lecture will be presented from 1:30 to

Havoc! Havoc! Smyt fast, give gode knocks!

By all accounts, February 10, 1355 began quietly enough in Oxford. It was the feast day of St. Scholastica, who, despite what her name might suggest, is the patron saint of nuns and ‘convulsive children.’ The townsfolk went about their business, while the scholars of Oxford University attended to their studies. A normal day. But trouble was brewing inside the Swindlestock Tavern.

Students Walter Spryngeheuse and Roger de Chesterfield, unsatisfied with the quality of the house libations, argued with the

Alex Usher Needs to Consider Taxation

In my previous Academic Matters blog post, I argued that there are five advantages to universal access to financial assistance for post-secondary education (as opposed to means-tested assistance for lower-income students).  They are:  1) lower administrative costs; 2) lower marginal tax rates; 3) greater transparency; 4) less opportunity for political trickery; and 5) greater social solidarity among socioeconomic groups.  My blog post was a response to Alex Usher’s blog post of May 9,  which had argued that we

Responding to Nick Falvo on tuition fees

Recently, on my daily blog, I wrote an analysis (link to: http://higheredstrategy.com/whos-progressive/) of distributional effects of tuition reductions versus those of targeted grant programs and concluded that the latter were far more progressive in their impact than the former.  Grants can be designed to be as targeted as one wishes (entirely to the bottom quartile, half to the bottom and half the second, etc), whereas tuition reductions deliver vastly more aid to wealthier families than poor ones.  Partly due

Alex Usher is Wrong on Tuition Fees

One of Canada’s best-known post-secondary education pundits, Alex Usher, recently wrote a blog post suggesting that Canada’s status quo system of high tuition fees (and means-tested financial aid for students) is in fact progressive.  Specifically, he argued that lowering tuition fees would reward higher-income earners rather than lower-income earners.  Ergo:  no government that wants to help lower-income households should seriously consider trying to reduce tuition fees.

Here are five reasons why I think Mr. Usher is wrong:

1. Administrative

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Featured Articles

Open Access and the Public Purse

Last year, we were introduced to a “Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy,” put forward by NSERC and SSHRC to harmonize their requirements with the CIHR. Under this policy, all peer-reviewed journal articles based on research funded by these councils must be made available through Open Access (OA), free and online. Researchers could either publish in a journal that is OA or has OA options, or deposit the article in an OA repository within twelve months of publication. There

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