Saturday, December 10, 2022

“Ill-advised”: U of L professors challenge province’s approach to post-secondary education

LETHBRIDGE, AB – The UCP government has to make big changes to its “Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs” plan to reverse serious damage to post-secondary education, according to two University of Lethbridge professors.

Dr. Trevor Harrison and Dr. Richard Mueller co-authored the “Roadmap or Roadkill, A Critical Look at the Government’s Strategy for Post-Secondary Education in Alberta” report, in partnership with the Parkland Institute. In it, they challenge the data the province used that has led to education budget cuts, lay offs, low student participation rates and increased corporate control over programming.

Dr. Harrison says the current government plan will have a “negative and radical impact” over time on post-secondary institutions.

“Much of Alberta 2030, in fact, follows from the release of the MacKinnon report… which itself carried several misleading statistics regarding the cost of post-secondary education in the province. Yet, those same misleading statistics have been used by the government as a rationale for changes ever since.”

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Harrison and Mueller say their report is truly in the spirit of improving the system. So, they’re now urging the province to consider increasing public funding, rehiring staff and faculty, providing students free tuition for their first two years and implementing a democratic and collegial governance model.

They’re also calling for the release of the $3.7-million McKinsey report that the Alberta government paid for to analyze the post-secondary system, which the authors say was largely unused in the “Alberta 2030” plan.

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