01 décembre 2019

Nordic Student Aid, Nordic Access

By Alex Usher. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little bit about Nordic countries and some of the trade-offs they consider in order to keep tuition fees at zero when public funding is under stress.  I thought I would complement this with a piece that looked at the access side of the Nordic system, both in terms of student aid and in terms of the kinds of access challenges that exist even in a free-tuition system. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:59 - - Permalien [#]


Competition, Markets and the Persistence of Hegemonic Institutions

By Alex Usher. Competition metaphors abound in higher education.  We talk about competition for students, competition for academics.  Since the introduction of rankings – particularly the global ones about fifteen years ago – we talk about “moving up the tables”, in a squash-ladder kind of way. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:58 - - Permalien [#]

Ontario Doubles Down on Dodgy Colleges

By Alex Usher. Remember about a month ago when I noted how several Ontario colleges now had international student numbers above 50% of total enrolment?  And about how in some cases this was being done by small town colleges establishing “partnerships” with private vocational colleges in the Greater Toronto Area. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:57 - - Permalien [#]

Monitoring Trends in Academic Programming

By Alex Usher. We here at HESA Towers are launching a new publication series today, and we couldn’t be prouder.  Written by my colleague Jonathan McQuarrie, it’s called Monitoring Trends in Academic Programming, it’s fabulous, and it’s available here. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:55 - - Permalien [#]

Standardization vs. Differentiation

By Alex Usher. One of the most annoying things about Canadian governments’ relationship with universities is the fact that almost none of them have a consistent theory of universities. In other words, few governments—provincial, federal, or territorial—have actual understanding of what it is they are funding and why they are funding it. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:53 - - Permalien [#]


The Canadian Intangibles Agenda

By Alex Usher. For various reasons, I never quite got round to reviewing it at the time, but it’s worth examining because once we get over superclusters (please, let’s all get over superclusters), the country is going to be looking for some new organizing framework for innovation and growth policy. I suspect that this “intangibles” lens might be it. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:44 - - Permalien [#]

Perpetual Growth

By Alex Usher. Just a quick one today, as the combination of a laptop failure and a MLS final in Seattle made the blog I had wanted to write impossible to finish. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:42 - - Permalien [#]

Light Weekend Reading

By Alex Usher. I’ve been trying to read more about the history of Canadian institutions.  One very short pamphlet-like read is called Hatching the Cowbird’s Egg by David R. Murray, about the origin of the University of Guelph (the title vaguely make sense if you read the whole book; in context it’s a reference to the fact that Guelph is a weirdly bolted-together set of institutions). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:40 - - Permalien [#]

Intriguing New Data on PSE Access

By Alex Usher. For reasons that continue to baffle me, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario keeps putting out quite fascinating research papers with almost no fanfare.  Seriously, reading their publications page is the literary equivalent of the sound of a tree falling in an empty forest.  Fabulous, fabulous stuff that somehow appears in conditions of near-absolute secrecy. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:38 - - Permalien [#]

Big News on Free Speech

By Alex Usher. Cast your mind back oh, about fifteen months, to the Dawn of a New Era on Ontario campuses.  One in which Speech Would Be Free.  The Ford Government was new and fresh and so was the ink on a proclamation requiring all Ontario institutions to adopt a policy on free speech, consistent with the University of Chicago Statement of Principles on Free Expression, by January 1, 2019. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:37 - - Permalien [#]