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So… the ‘Big Five’ have plans for PSE

August 2, 2009

The latest issue of MacLean’s Magazine has an interesting story on PSE.  Apparently the ‘big four’ appraoched Maclean’s with a story that somehow morphed into a story about the ‘Big Five’ when Universite de Montreal was added to the illustrious list of top ranking universities, and voila–a new strategic plan for Canadian universities appears in our “national” magazine.

It seems that the presidents of UBC, U of T, McGill and U of Alberta have agreed that they (along with the U de M — and they don’t mean U de Moncton) should be the prime research institutions and post-graduate destinations in Canada.   All other universities should focus on undergraduate education.

Even if these institutions receive almost half of the research funding allocated in Canada (as noted in the article), the plan plays havoc with accessibility to higher degrees.  Men and women from many areas would lack access to masters and doctoral studies if the ‘Big Five’ have their way.  See Paul Wells, ‘Our Universities Can be Smarter’ (Macleans 28 July 2009)

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2 Comments
  1. August 2, 2009 2:50 pm

    Cheek! I bet these five are no longer popular with the other university presidents.

  2. Linda Hansen permalink
    August 3, 2009 6:50 am

    Yes, well, this reflects similar attitudes across fields — I tried (foolishly) to watch the weather on CBC yesterday. After spending a (relatively) significant amount of time on BC and the fires therein, we skipped eastward, stopping at our most easterly point, Montreal. At that point, the young women plunked herself in front of the Atlantic Provinces and prattled on, refusing to give ground and at least allow me to see the forecast temperatures, nevermind the radar.

    So, five universities, none east of Montreal, want to control access to higher education in Canada — not a surprise. Control of access to [insert your phrase here] by geography is a long-standing Canadian tradition.

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