Policy Shop


Congress 2015: “Athens to the new Romes”

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Yesterday, the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston gave a lecture as part of Congress 2015‘s Big Ideas lecture series. The topic of his talk was “Education & Innovation,” but it was more of an exhortation for the assembled scholars and administrators to be innovative, rather than a prescription for how to bring innovation to […]

Responding to Nick Falvo on tuition fees

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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, […]

Alex Usher is Wrong on Tuition Fees

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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 […]

HEQCO distorts faculty teaching loads: News media play along

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In March, 2014, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), published a study purporting to show that Ontario professors only teach an average of 2.8 courses per year. The study went on to propose that professors who are not active in research should have their teaching loads doubled. News media such as the Toronto […]

University Governance: Reflections from the Future U Conference

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Last week, I spoke on a panel on university governance at a conference titled Future U:  Creating the Universities We Want, organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.  Also presenting on the panel were Professor Glen Jones and Professor Claire Polster. My speaking notes can be downloaded at this link. Points I raised […]

Liberal arts lead to good employment outcomes…just don’t tell the policymakers

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Last week, the AAC&U released the report How Liberal Arts and Science Majors Fare in Employment (for coverage, check out Inside Higher Ed, the Chronicle, or the AACU release). Looking at both employment and earnings outcomes, the report is notable for two things: first, it actually looks at long-term data, not just a five- or […]