• The idea of the radical, leftist university is a misleading caricature

    The combination of growing economic imperatives with new conditions of visibility has made administrators more sensitive than ever to public relations, consumer evaluations and program reputations… These trends have ensured that Canadian universities remain largely conservative organizations. Even as they seek to promote tolerance… administrators… have responded through bureaucratic measures that can sometimes be excessively arbitrary and autocratic.

  • Tens of millions in grants targeted for needy students aren’t reaching them

    Tens of millions of dollars earmarked for Ontario’s most vulnerable students, who are poor or new to the country, are instead being used by school boards to cover other costs, the Auditor General of Ontario has found. That’s largely because of an outdated funding formula that leaves boards scrambling to cover shortfalls in areas such as special education and gives them huge discretion in whether they use grants the way they are intended

  • Here’s the gender gap that matters

    “Men have increasingly become the second sex in higher education,” … What’s clear from these trends is that educational inequality has worked its way up from elementary school, and is now solidly entrenched at all levels of attainment. This, in an age when higher education and cognitive skills are more important than ever… Higher education has become so feminized that it’s hard to see how it can be re-engineered to appeal to men.

  • Ontario Breaking Ground in Indigenous Postsecondary Education

    Ontario is taking a historic step in recognizing the unique role Indigenous Institutes have in the province’s postsecondary education system with the introduction of new legislation that, if passed, would transfer key functions and oversight to Indigenous people. The legislation, if passed, would recognize Indigenous Institutes as unique and complementary pillar of Ontario’s postsecondary education system… It is also another important step on the path to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

  • Safety on campus shouldn’t require the muzzling of ideas

    Of course there will be unease and resistance to the radical and sweeping transformation being proposed to the conceptual gender schema that organizes how we recognize, think and speak about ourselves as human beings. Isn’t that to be expected? … Doesn’t more speech facilitate this? We need a realm of public reason in which appeals to emotions and identities are neither the starting, nor the end points.

  • Campus culture wars: Universities need to rediscover the radical middle ground

    In the classroom, university teachers must lecture competently; they do not have a license to use their podiums in order to propagandize, speak in habitually ill-informed ways, or lie. Free speech allows citizens to do this on street corners or blogs, but universities have loftier goals. Academic freedom and freedom of speech are not the same thing; they are different forms of expression, both vital, in a democratic society.

  • Stop debating age and actually teach us about consent

    We need to learn that consent can be affected by power dynamics, the influence of substances and perceived safety. In order for us to feel safe and empowered in our decisions, conversations must be constant and reflective of our experience. Education has to start young, acknowledging that consent is not only mandatory for sex but also for any kind of healthy relationship… So, we have to keep talking about it, a thousand times over, until things start to change.

  • What’s so scary about free speech on campus?

    The concept of words as weapons that can inflict damage on people’s equality rights is a staple of feminist legal thought. It is also widespread on campuses today… For all their talk about diversity and inclusion, universities have become monocultures of thought, where unpopular ideas are often regarded as downright toxic… “Universities are no longer places where ideas may freely circulate… if you even bring up the ‘wrong’ ideas, you are labelled as some sort of public enemy.”

  • Why has academic freedom become a sticking point in the college strike?

    Administrators have the final say on grading and whether a student will pass or fail. Not only does this impact the quality of education being offered, it could impact students’ ability to perform in the profession for which they are being trained, and, the reputation of the program and the college… If administrators and instructors collaborate about what goes into a course, what resources are used, how a course is taught and how a student demonstrates learning, education improves.

  • Don’t let Ontario’s college system suffocate itself

    … the union rightly stressed the plight of precarious workers — contract teachers who form the vast majority of staff at Ontario’s 24 colleges. OPSEU reminded us that piecework professors are the dirty little secret of the province’s sprawling educational-industrial complex… Shortchanged by provincial funding, today’s colleges make up the difference by exploiting instructors while expanding into the terrain of universities.