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Followed by a right

June 23, 2010

In case one missed the story about the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s recommendations to the UNB Strategic Planning Committee, the Daily Gleaner has published an editorial which reiterates the story and contains the following telling sentence: “There was a time when attending university was first about improving oneself as opposed to training for a career. Times have changed, and job prospects are priority No. 1 for many students.”

Where to begin? The reduction of the benefits of a real education to the me-generation phrase, “improving oneself”? The assumption that “trained” employees are superior to educated ones? Or that universities and not employers themselves are now responsible for “training”? Or the assumption that the editors can speak for “many students”? And why should training and education be mutually exclusive? Students have gone on from universities to gainful employment as long as universities have existed; how then have “times changed”?

Is this about keeping them down on the farm? If so, here’s a novel idea: instead of hobbling our students in order to prevent them from leaving, how about building a province where they will freely choose to stay?

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