My interest in writing this paper was to combine my understanding of Canadian law and its economic systems to discuss unsustainable practices in current government policies and develop suggestions for future improvements. I submit that my previous exposure to Marxist perspectives regarding income inequality directed my inquiries towards more left-leaning ideologies; however, I have come to accept that the promotion of healthy marketplaces can achieve a sustainable future for Canada and its provinces. Over the last decade I have been attracted to a variety of topics of academic research including, financial engineering and portfolio development, Canadian education policies, and foreign investment procedures.
The first article in this series outlined the big picture view of our current education system in Canada. The second examined various methods in which to view the value of higher education. This final article will further expand on higher education in Canada, and offer an analysis of the future.
Following the post-WW2 expansion, in the 1990s we experienced political parties who have stuck with some policies while eliminating others due to the influence of the ebbs and flows of our economy’s surpluses and deficits (or whichever lobbying group had the most influence at the time). Canadians elected leaders, both liberal and conservative, that drove neoliberal policy down our throats; they were simply following in the “success” of our neighbours and allies. Neoliberalism is a term used to describe the ideology that a government is better off by reducing its expenses by privatizing its services and allowing the private sector to exist with only minimal government restrictions. This ideology has resulted in such ‘achievements’ as the most recent banking sector collapse, the destruction of the automotive manufacturing sector, increased health and education expenses, the mess of transportation infrastructure that we see today, and so much more. By reducing the government’s expenses – i.e. by firing all of the people who were in charge of running a certain “unnecessary” department, citizens run the risk of falling into a trap. A citizen/voter is now unable to request certain immediate changes regarding an area of concern, or maybe our officials are unable to rectify a decision that will affect thousands of workers to lose their jobs. By allowing our government to relinquish their control, we (as citizens) benefit by reducing the taxes we have to spend, however we are allowing profit makers to have free reign over their consumers, which blurs the distinction of who is really making the important decisions for our country. Read More
Written by Stephen Armstrong.
Higher Education in Canada has been something of a heated issue in recent times as the cost of tuition has risen drastically since the 1990s, and cash strapped provincial governments are increasingly hesitant to fund institutions which are not producing enough graduates in high demand areas of the economy.
Universities have faced criticism from politicians, graduates, and the public alike for producing graduates who are often unable to find work in their fields of study. The defenders of Higher Education often phrase their counter-arguments in the same language of jobs, employment, and skills, often pointing out that BA grads learn a very broad and very employable set of skills which employers are not recognizing (research, written and oral communication, etc..). Read More
This is the first article of a 3 part series, the second article of which was written by my colleague Stephen Armstrong, focusing on the current situation of education in Canada.
At the end of 2011, Canada was ranked number one when it comes to university and college enrolments, but we are also number one in the number of people with university degrees that live in poverty. Critics may pass this off as an after-effect of the 2008 recession, however even before the economic downturn, the 2006 census showed that as many as one-quarter of young people with bachelor’s degrees were holding down jobs that did not require one. These are terrifying statistics that highlight important issues within the Canadian education system, but first I would like to guide you through the journey of the institutionalization of how we learn, and further, how this affects our country as a whole. Read More