Featured Articles


For universities, making the case for diversity is part of making amends for racist past

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Historically, many American universities helped lay the foundation for eugenics, a pseudoscience used to justify racism. Helioscribe/www.shutterstock.com The Trump administration recently announced plans to scrap Obama-era guidelines that encouraged universities to consider race as a factor to promote diversity on campus, claiming the guidelines “advocate policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution.” […]

South Africa’s new higher education disability policy is important, but flawed

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Universities should be working to make spaces more accessible for students and staff with disabilities. Shutterstock South Africa finally has a disability policy that’s specific to the higher education sector. The new policy framework should be celebrated as an achievement. Its value is that, because it’s specific to the sector, it gives institutions (such as […]

University students aren’t reporting sexual assault, and new Australian guidelines don’t address why

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Many students don’t trust universities to do the right thing. So 87% don’t report sexual assault on campus, or travelling to and from. Lexi Ruskell/Unsplash, CC BY-SA Guidelines for how universities should respond to student sexual assault and sexual harassment released late last week fail to address the reason so many students don’t actually report […]

How not to defend free speech

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“Newspapers across Europe reprinted cartoons Wednesday ridiculing the prophet Muhammad, saying they wanted to support the right of Danish and Norwegian papers to publish the caricatures, which have ignited fury among Muslims throughout the world.” Washington Post, Feb. 2, 2006 “Do I think Faith Goldy’s back story is commendable? No. Appearing on a neo-Nazi podcast […]

When race triggers a call to campus police

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College campuses can be unwelcoming environments for racial minorities. Mr. Doomits/www.shutterstock.com On a beautiful spring afternoon on a picturesque college campus, two campus police officers responded to a black professor’s “good afternoon” with a request to see his identification. The professor paused for a moment but decided to comply. He wondered if perhaps his attire […]

PhD completion: an evidence-based guide for students, supervisors and universities

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Photo by Philipp Mandler/Unsplash, CC BY Many students enrol in a Master or PhD postgraduate research degree, but few complete them. From 2010-2016, 437,030 domestic and international students enrolled in postgraduate research programs in Australian public universities. Only 65,101 completed within the same six year period. This discrepancy does not necessarily mean postgraduate research students […]

Dissident Knowledge in Higher Education, a review

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When I was a doctoral student early in the millennium, I remember a lot of talk among my colleagues about “lines.” In the academic context, “lines” refer to additions to one’s CV in the form of presentations and publications. Lines were presumed to be good things. The accumulation of such lines would, the story went, […]

The case for publicly funded universities

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Ontario’s universities are important public spaces that depend on robust public funding to thrive. When the structure of the funding model changes, how does that impact the fundamental mandate of the university? Universities are complex public systems embedded in the heart of our communities. By sheer size, they can be larger than smaller municipalities, have […]

It’s time to invest in a faculty renewal strategy for Ontario’s universities

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For years, full-time faculty hiring has stagnated at Ontario’s universities, even as student enrolment has increased dramatically. It’s time for the government to invest in a robust faculty renewal strategy. Public funding is foundational for a postsecondary system that provides accessible, quality education to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. While recent efforts have increased accessibility […]

What might the 2018 Ontario Budget mean for university faculty?

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Given the upcoming election, it is widely understood that the 2018 Ontario Budget is as much a campaign platform document as a budget. While the continued implementation of reforms to student assistance are expected to further improve access for students, faculty are concerned that operating funding for universities remains stagnant, threatening the high-quality education students […]

Looking at the big picture: A breakdown of university funding in Ontario through the decades

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University revenues by student and government funding sources Ontario student fees have accounted for a greater share of current university revenues (primarily operating and research) than provincial government grants in only two stretches over the course of nearly a century. The first was a five-year stretch beginning in 1945-46 when the federal Department of Veterans […]

The public value of public funding for research

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Basic, curiosity-driven research continues to take a backseat to privately and publicly funded research linked to short-term commercial profit. We must push back against this trend and reinvest in the core mission of the university. What machine has changed social life more than the networked computer? If we could go back in history to the […]

What happened to the issue of postsecondary education?

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Postsecondary education is an issue that affects a majority of Ontarians, but it does not often feature prominently in provincial elections. How might this issue be pushed onto the election agenda? Education is an issue that affects a majority of Ontarians. Whether you are a parent with school-aged kids, a student currently enrolled in a […]