Post secondary reform

In like a lion, out like a lamb. Remember the outcry when the first round of the post secondary reform was rolled out? Now, the report is released and the 7-8 stories I have read on this have been about the most benign you could imagine. No significant change but more dough. Isn’t that what the universities wanted to begin with?

It can be tough to be a politician. If you make bold changes (the Premier said the first model would be the envy of North America) you get nuclear blowback. If you make incremental, tepid changes you just slide your way through.

I don’t thing there is an easy answer.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Post secondary reform

  1. mikel says:

    Holy inconsistency batman! Did I really just read those two blogs correctly? The first one panning the government for not making ‘bold changes’ and then the second one panning the government for making….bold changes? If such inconsistencies exist in one person, imagine 750,000 people-yes, I’d say it IS tough to govern:)

  2. Anonymous says:

    It is tough if you have the foresight to recognize problems in funding education and healthcare meanwhile, leaders are voted in on issues like toll highways, auto insurance rates and gas tax reductions.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The real story here,that has not been highlighted, is the insatiable appetite for university spending.

    The initial PSE report focused on aligning post secondary education on market needs and looking for effective spending through reduction of duplication etc.

    The university president’s report called for an additional $465M in new funding. This works out to something like $1300 per NB tax payer; a substantial amount when many are working away for $9 per hour.

    It would be a good exercise to look at a university employee list and identify how many of the employees are focused on teaching. I expect it may be 33%. Then consider a full teaching load is something like 9 hours per week for two 12 week terms; do the math and that is a hell of a lot of person hours for each hour a professor lectures .

    My point is, the answer to high university costs lies,in part, with efficient use of the tens of millions tax payers are currently giving; I have seen little focus on this area.

  4. mikel says:

    I’d add that we’ve seen little focus because it is an area which is virtually ignored by the press. Take journalism courses at STU as an example. This is a new program that was specifically designed for ‘the market’. It is a new program with essentially one secretary and the rest are teachers-most of whom are not simply teachers but who also work for CBC or are freelance.

    Unfortunately, of course, as soon as the program was set up virtually every media organization began streamlining their operations. Where all those journalism students find jobs is beyond me.

    That can also tie into forestry. I’ve mentioned numerous times the example of just two short years ago when the forestry minister was talking about the strides they were making in gettng more students into forestry departments-even as the industry was being decimated.

    Those are areas where education is tied to ‘the market’, however, the problem is that ‘the market’ is essentially Irving wanting a good supply of people so they can keep wages low and keep workers too scared to complain.

    Within universities its been a progression to tie them more into the market. What level that is being done we don’t know. The medical school is part of that, the province has a drastic shortage of doctors, but from the reports we get the province had to be dragged kicking and screaming into funding a medical school, and they are in no hurry to do so. In other words, it seems that what the government SAYS is its priority, is not really the case.

    However, I’d disagree about the minimal work levels. Even when I went to school and took bird courses the profs worked more than nine hours a week. There were some who were gettnig to be real slackers, but it certainly wasn’t that bad. But I can still remember trying to pass ancient greek a number of times because the prof knew full well-and told us, that it was a pretty good life being a prof (there’s a reason they want tenure).

    But if you look at universities today it is far from the case that that majority of people are in non teaching positions. Those good union custodial jobs are largely a thing of the past, and huge areas of administration has now been ‘technologized’. Like so many areas this is something the media should be talking about, but unless its a strike or ‘something exciting’ then it is ignored.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Looks like we have just identified a KPI for the accountability reporting that the Province is requesting from NB universities.

    Wouldn’t it be great for everyone (students, administrators, taxpayers) if NB had top ratios in administration hours per student teaching hours?