- Pre-Election Letter to CUFA BC Members - May 10, 2013
- Professors Support NDP Proposal on Needs-Based Student Grants, but Say More Still Can Be Done - April 23, 2013
- CUFA BC Releases E-Book on Academic Governance - April 10, 2013
- UBC-O, UNBC and SFU Professors to be Honoured for Using Their Research in Service of the Community - April 3, 2013
#13 - Wrapping It Up - May 16, 2009
- Published on Saturday, 16 May 2009 03:34
- Written by Robert Clift
Varying Degrees 2009 - Issue #13
by Robert Clift
May 16, 2009
Wrapping It Up
It's been a few days now since Election Day and the various thoughts in my head about what the results mean for the post-secondary education system in BC have coalesced.
With the re-election of the Liberals to a third term in government, I think the greatest challenge for the post-secondary sector will be to convince the government that there is still work to be done in our sector.
Premier Campbell has a tendency to focus on a particular policy area for a year or two and then move on to a new area, apparently believing that his work in that area is "done". The truth is that in all areas of provincial jurisdiction, the work is never "done".
Ever changing economic, social and demographic circumstances mean that government must continually monitor and adjust legislation, policy and resource allocation to the best effect for the province. This is even more important in the post-secondary education sector because the education, training and research emanating from our public universities, colleges and institutes form the backbone for a great deal of the economic and social life of our province.
There remain significant unanswered questions raised by the Campus 2020 report. What are our goals for participation in post-secondary education? Are we doing enough to monitor and improve the quality of post-secondary education and training? Is there sufficient government support for original research such that BC will become a key player in the knowledge economy? How can we best provide post-secondary education and training to the non-urban areas of our province? None of these questions have easy answers and inevitably there will be tradeoffs involved.
Over the past eight years, the Liberal government has had successes and failures in working with the post-secondary sector to address these and other important questions. My sincere hope is that the Premier has learned from these successes and failures and will appoint a Minister of Advanced Education who understands that the province will only receive full value from its public universities, colleges and institutes when government exercises a soft touch and provides these institutions with the freedom and the resources to educate, create and innovate in service of the broad pubic interest.
This is the End
Unless indicated otherwise, the opinions expressed in this blog are Robert Clift's personal opinions and not necessarily those of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia, its member faculty associations or any other person or organization.