• The university in the populist age

  • Trump, Brexit, and the academy

  • A populist wake-up call for universities

  • International students and Canada’s future on the right

  • Canada’s university administrators must pay attention to right-wing activism on campuses

  • Global higher education, social solidarity, and the new nationalism

  • Populist citizen politics — Beyond the Manichean mindset

  • Telling stories: U of T scholar discovers new role as radio host

Featured Articles

The university in the populist age

Right-wing populism threatens the future of higher education, but remaining passive and retreating to a disinterested vision of the university will actually strengthen the attacks. Faculty have a responsibility to work in solidarity to fight back against these threats. Right-wing populism has been on the rise in recent years, intensifying following the 2008 global financial […]

Trump, Brexit, and the academy

There is some truth in the populist attack that the academy has sold-out to corporate interests and become inaccessible to many. Universities should unambiguously reassert themselves as transparent and open institutions that serve the public interest. “The Brexit vote and the Trump campaign, as well as the success of populist candidates around the world, highlight […]

A populist wake-up call for universities

For many, universities do not represent opportunity or self-realization, but instead elite self-regard and academic exchanges in which they see no relevance. What can faculty do to change these perceptions? Can we step out of our bubble for a moment? I hope so, because unless we do we will not see that we are losing […]

International students and Canada’s future on the right

Populist and anti-immigrant sentiment in the US and UK means that more international students are coming to study at postsecondary institutions in Canada. But, what Canada will they find when they get here? The political events of the past year have been a recurring sitcom of oddities, leading many Canadians to bring out the popcorn […]

Global higher education, social solidarity, and the new nationalism

Higher education serves both national and global interests in the pursuit of knowledge and student learning. Given populism’s na-tionalist roots, there is mounting pressure to redefine the university’s mission. How should universities respond? The last twelve months have seen a great shift in the North Atlantic political landscape, with only Canada immune (so far). Nobody […]

Populist citizen politics — Beyond the Manichean mindset

A positive political alternative to the rise of demagogic populism will require a vibrant vision of democratic society and the empowerment of individuals to work through these differences. Universities should not be just observers, but engaged participants. In the inflamed and divided public culture of the United States, we need a different understanding of populism […]

Telling stories: U of T scholar discovers new role as radio host

In a new radio show, university professor Minelle Mahtani is creating a space where fellow researchers feel respected, honoured, and heard. “And the weather today—well, it’s another rainy one, Vancouver—6 degrees in the city, with more rain anticipated for tomorrow. For more information, go to roundhouseradio.com…” I still smile when I hear myself rattle off […]

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Blog Posts

Editorial Matters: The comforts of common sense

“Keep hold of a few plain truths, and make everything square with them. When I was young … there never was any question about right and wrong … Every respectable Church person had the same opinions. But now, if you speak out of the Prayer-book itself, you are liable to be contradicted.” Those are the […]

Are books ready for the dustbin of history?

Are books a condition of our labour? Do we need libraries with stacks and physical collections? Recent discussions within libraries across the country have highlighted faculty anxiety and displeasure with the fate of university libraries, as cuts are made to purchasing and operating budgets, collections culled, and the very nature of acquisitions transformed by changes […]

Can Collegiality Be Negotiated? University Governance and Collective Bargaining

After a marathon bargaining session that stretched into the pre-dawn hours of November 26, 2015 the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) reached a tentative deal with its employer that ended a twenty-five-day strike, the first ever for faculty at this small, northern Ontario University. The issue that galvanized the approximately 170 tenure-stream faculty members to […]

Your opinion matters

Academic Matters is now entering its 11th year of publication and has changed significantly over this period. The views of our readers are important in guiding the future development of the magazine and website. With that in mind, we created a survey to get a better idea of how our readers feel about the editorial […]

University grads have the skills to succeed. Now where are the jobs?

Getting the right skills for the job market is a hot topic these days. What skills are employers looking for? Are students prepared for the workforce? These questions are being discussed on university campuses, debated in national newspapers, and considered by policy-makers across jurisdictions. In a challenging labour market, it’s really no surprise that this […]

The persistent myth of the “skills gap”

You’ve likely heard or seen a story somewhere in the media that employers face a skills shortage, or “skills gap”. The message coming from employers is that workers or education system—or both!—just don’t cut it. Unfortunately, the story that there are too few qualified workers for the jobs available is largely a myth. Nobel Prize-winning […]

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