01 octobre 2018

The Tightening Labour Market

By Alex Usher. Yesterday, I took a quick trip back to the early part of the decade for a reminder of how bad the “skills shortage” debate of 5-6 years ago was.  Today, I want to talk a little bit about how we may be heading into something like an actual skills shortage right now, and what the parameters of that shortage look like. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:17 - - Permalien [#]

Memory Lane on Skills Shortages

By Alex Usher. Cast your mind back to 2012 or so.  The Conservative Party was in its sixth year of office, but just getting into the swing of a real majority.  The craziest thing we had to worry about in American politics was a 6-day outbreak of Santorum-mania.  Gagnam was in style.   And the one phrase on everyone’s lips was “skills shortage”. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:16 - - Permalien [#]

Canada’s Three Types of Colleges

By Alex Usher. If one takes a historical approach, then there are, broadly speaking, three types of colleges in Canada.  There are Quebec’s CEGEPs, which are sui generis both in Canada and internationally.  Technically creatures of the 1960s, their roots go back over a century to the French Catholic tradition of colleges classiques, which were a major form of both secondary and post-secondary education (they straddled the two) from the early nineteenth century onwards. Following the Parent Report, these colleges had a secondary vocational mission tacked on to them in the re-organization of the Quebec education system after the Parent Report. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:12 - - Permalien [#]

Comparing College and University Funding

By Alex Usher. While I was putting together The State of Post-Secondary Education, 2018 I did a simple comparison looking at provincial government funding for universities and colleges, using data from FIUC and FINCOL (the Statscan surveys of the finances of universities and colleges, respectively). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:10 - - Permalien [#]

Work-Integrated Learning: We Can Do Better

By Alex Usher. You may have seen that late last week, the Business Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) rounded up a number of big names from colleges, universities and businesses to sign a letter to Finance Bill Morneau calling for the development of a National Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Strategy as part of the 2019 Budget.  What should we make of this. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:09 - - Permalien [#]

Time to Talk Teaching Assessments

By Alex Usher. Something very important happened over the summer: The Ryerson Faculty Union won its case against the university in Ontario Superior Court against the use of student teaching evaluations in tenure and promotion decisions (it was silent on merit pay, but I’m fairly sure that’s because Ryerson academics don’t have it – as legal precedent I’m 100% certain merit pay is affected, too).  This means literally every university in the country is going to have to re-think the evaluation of teaching – which is a fantastic opportunity to have some genuinely interesting, important national conversations on the subject. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:07 - - Permalien [#]

History of Canadian PSE Part I (to 1900)

By Alex Usher. I decided over the summer to try to write an outline sketch of Canadian Higher Education for y’all.  Expect installments periodically.

SNAPSHOT: In 1900, Canadian universities together enrolled 6,641 students.  89% were male, 11% female.  44% of students were in the Arts and Science, while 27% were in medicine, and 11% were in Engineering.


The key to understanding Canada’s somewhat chaotic higher education system lies in understanding two key phenomena: sectarianism and federalism. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:06 - - Permalien [#]

Bad Data on Sessionals

By Alex Usher. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) put out a paper on Tuesday entitled Out of the Shadows: Experiences of Contract Academic Staff, which mostly presents data on a survey conducted by the association last year.  While the intentions might have been good, the resulting data – which is already getting lots of media play – needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  And one claim in particular – that the number of sessional faculty has soared by 79% in the past decade – needs to be debunked immediately. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:05 - - Permalien [#]

Canada’s Well-funded and Highly Equitable PSE System

By Alex Usher. Yesterday was Education at a Glance release day.  That’s usually the time when I take a look at the latest data from across the OECD  and point out that in fact we in Canada have it pretty good.  Or, at least that was the piece I expected to be writing yesterday morning.  Until I found out that Canadian data was missing from more than just the usual number of tables. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:04 - - Permalien [#]

Canadian University Finances 2016-17 (Expenditures)

By Alex Usher. Let’s start by looking at something really important, which is the difference between total expenditures and operational expenditures.  In a normal year, operating budgets are 60-66% of total budgets.  A little more than half of the non-operating funds go to research, and the rest is split between various things: special purpose accounts, capital, endowment, etc. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 09:50 - - Permalien [#]