• OCUFA and the University Funding Model review

  • UK HIGHER EDUCATION WARS: Federalism awakens

  • THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENTS in corporatizing Canadian universities

  • A CAUTIONARY TALE of marketization of postsecondary education

  • FAIR ACCESS: Strikes the right balance on education and copyright

  • Reviewing Ontario’s university funding


  • Higher education and growing inequality

Blog Posts

Editorial Matters: The relationship between higher education and the state has always been a complicated one.

THE FIRST European universities, for the most part established through papal bulls, coexisted uneasily with secular authorities. They were located within kingdoms and nascent nation states, but they were not of those states. In China, ancient universities were entrusted with training the bureaucrats that made imperial rule possible. They were very much organisms of empire. As […]

Congress 2015: Challenges, opportunities for public sector unions facing austerity

Austerity and precarity figured largely on the agenda at the Canadian Association of Work and Labour Studies conference this week at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa. Conversations about how to define precarious work and its impacts on workers’ lives ran through the sessions. Meanwhile, reflections on how to organize workers in a climate […]

Book Launch: A Penny for Your Thoughts

A new book on the impact of corporatization on Canada’s universities was launched on June 4 in Ottawa by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. In A Penny For Your Thoughts, authors Janice Newson and Claire Polster document how the transformation of postsecondary education over the last 35 years has been driven by corporatization. The […]

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Featured Articles

Mentorship Matters: The Case for Graduate Professional Development


Today, the majority of PhD graduates will not become university professors. Two reasons for this are glaringly simple: professors are not retiring at 65 and universities are not hiring as they once did. A third is that there are an increasing number of opportunities for employment outside academe. Despite this reality, graduate supervision remains based […]

OCUFA and the University Funding Model review


OCUFA has taken a principled approach to its engagement with Ontario’s review of the university funding formula. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) has been, and continues to be, an active participant in the Government of Ontario’s review of the university funding formula. The funding model is absolutely foundational to the quality and […]

THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENTS in corporatizing Canadian universities


Government focus on boosting the economy and shrinking public expenditure has transformed our universities. A new, market-based vision for higher education has taken shape in recent years, and the direction and priorities of higher education policy in Canada have shifted alongside it. In my recent book, Academia, Inc.: How Corporatization is Transforming Canadian Universities, I […]

A CAUTIONARY TALE of marketization of postsecondary education


British Columbia’s experience with private postsecondary providers illustrates the danger of market logic in higher education. For many years, British Columbia was second in Canada only to Ontario in the number of private postsecondary education institutions operating within its borders. This was largely a consequence of little to no regulation and a hospitable climate created […]

UK HIGHER EDUCATION WARS: Federalism awakens


The seismic shifts in UK higher education policy can be understood through the lenses of federalism, regulation, and isolationism. To say that higher education in the United Kingdom is undergoing a seismic and historic transformation would be an understatement. Two key changes that are driving this transformation are England’s £9,000 fee cap for universities and […]

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