Our universities are in crisis. That’s bad news for democracy: Aaron Wudrick, David Livingstone, and David Tabachnick | Unpublished
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Unpublished Opinions

macdonald_laurier_institute's picture
Ottawa , Ontario
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MLI is rigorously independent and non-partisan, as symbolized by its name. Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were two outstanding and long-serving prime ministers who represent the best of Canada’s distinguished political tradition. A Tory and a Grit, an English-speaker and a French-speaker, each of them championed the values that led to the creation of Canada and its emergence as one of the world’s leading democracies and a place where people may live in peace and freedom under the rule of law.

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Our universities are in crisis. That’s bad news for democracy: Aaron Wudrick, David Livingstone, and David Tabachnick

May 10, 2024
University building

Only one in 10 Canadians claim their education taught them how to discuss controversial issues.

By Aaron Wudrick, David Livingstone, and David Tabachnick, May 1, 2024

Our institutions of higher education are once again front and centre in the news as increasingly illiberal “Freedom Palestine” protests roil campuses across North America.

These events, however, are merely the latest expression of deeper compounding problems. Our universities are in serious trouble—and that’s bad news for our society overall.

It is worth examining how we got here. In much of Canada, the post-secondary sector faces a grim financial crisis. Consider a decades-long lack of meaningful public investment, recent cuts to international students, stingy performance-based funding models, and tuition freezes, and you can understand why colleges and universities are struggling even as enrolment has skyrocketed.

It might seem that conservative governments are particularly hostile to the academy. Arguably, growing concerns about free speech on campus, diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, and left-leaning professoriates and administrations have led Ontario to provide the lowest per-student funding in Canada, while Alberta has reduced funding by 31 percent in real terms between 2019 and 2024.

While there may be no love lost between the premiers of these provinces and universities, there has been a significant shift away from public support, regardless of which party is in power. As Alex Usher, a higher education consultant, puts it, “The long-term picture (of the post-secondary sector) in Canada is thus a story of firmly pan-partisan public neglect.”

Read the rest of the article at > https://macdonaldlaurier.ca/our-universities-are-in-crisis-thats-bad-new...



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