Subscribe to RSS

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Do the tea leaves point to a new brew in Ontario ?

A confluence of factors all in the news this week may give us a good indication of what to look for down the not-too-distant-road in Canada’s biggest province with its most number of universities and students.

1. Federal government to save 1.5 million on eliminating SIN cards.
2. Demographer David Foote says declining enrollment in Ontario schools.
3. Quebec student protest unrelenting.
4. Dalhousie University merges with Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC).

When relatively small savings from eliminating SIN cards (and the recent closing of a few visa offices overseas) are easy cuts, we can only imagine what’s ahead for post-secondary education in Ontario – the Province with the most fat to trim.

If demographers are correct that the Province’s school populations are not growing, then how much longer will it be until Ontario universities and colleges go under a surgical knife ? Can the transplant of one program, campus or entire university into another be far behind ? Will it not make sense to achieve economies of scale by merging selected campuses ? Why not have a smaller northern or western campus be swallowed up (along with many of the costs) by another larger institution ?

Nova Scotia’s recent merger of its Agricultural College within its largest university (Dalhousie) is sold to the public as building a national and international centre of excellence and providing students with more choice. But it’s also about consolidating jobs and cutting costs. The union fight to keep everyone’s salary is just beginning.

This can’t be far off in Ontario, where budgets are already stretched, pension obligations are in jeopardy and the government is going to be loathe to allow for significant increases in tuitions. All provinces especially Ontario, must be watching the chaos of the student protests in Quebec closely, and be extremely wary not to light that match in their own backyards.

So while in the last decade there was talk of more campuses in Ontario – it is more likely that by the end of this decade, there will be less, not more.


Add your comment


+ 3 = 12

Other articlesgo to homepage

Canada makes a mess of it.

Canada makes a mess of it.(3)

There is nothing like spending a week talking to students in India’s Punjab to bring a focus to what a mess Canada has made in a market that has spilled over to international recruiting around the globe. Prospective students in Punjab are like sheep in how easily they follow advice on study abroad, whether from

Canada’s int’l edu strategy: Low-lying fruit

Canada’s int’l edu strategy: Low-lying fruit(1)

Two weeks ago I met with an excellent engineering degree graduate in India whom I counselled for a master degree in Canada. He was dubious about this study pathway and asked me point blank: “Sir, why then do most Indians go for Post Graduate Diplomas ?” This question and the answer reveal where Canada is

“No Confidence” in the University’s ability to change.

“No Confidence” in the University’s ability to change.(0)

I have never met the president of New York University. I don’t know much about John Sexton, other than the faculty of NYU voted “no confidence” against him last week. What I do know is this is an acute illustration of how poorly structured universities are to tackle the dramatic challenges they face. As post-secondary

Is Canada and India brewing in the same kettle ?

Is Canada and India brewing in the same kettle ?(0)

In the recent University Affairs, Professor Douglas Parker of Laurentian University critiques his teaching experience in India. He claims in turn for high tuition fees at private universities, expectations were that regardless of how students did, they passed. Point well taken. But aren’t some of our Canadian pots the ones calling the Indian kettle black.

The Rankings Rankle

The Rankings Rankle(2)

The latest Maclean’s university rankings came out last week. It’s a big seller for Maclean’s and biggest con in Canadian post-secondary education. In Canada, where virtually all universities are public, funded to a similar base per student, and regulated to maintain the same standards, it’s a manipulation to make hay with rankings. I remember sitting

read more

About Mel

Mel has consulted universities, colleges, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of international education since 1997. He is co-founder of Higher-Edge, the parent of Overseas, Overwhelmed, and a director of the Canadian University Application Centre. He is a former award-winning CBC reporter and holds a Masters degree from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism.

Other sites from the publishers

zi xiu tang
Website by Site Nova
© Copyright 2012 Overseas Overwhelmed All rights reserved.

Warning: include(img/settings.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /u/m/mdbazaar/ on line 84

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'img/settings.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:') in /u/m/mdbazaar/ on line 84