Wednesday, April 30, 2008

High(er) Education

Emily Carr joins in the 'university status' parade... students plan collaborative multi-medium installation based on themes of 'arbitrary semantics' and 'the ability of language to define reality, man'?
Morning Brew: April 30

  • Vocational School
  • College
  • University
  • Technical Institution

 It’s all higher education, but each of the above titles/brands has a distinct meaning. Doctors aren’t generally trained at the same institution as electricians. It follows then that perhaps the institution designed to train doctors may be a different kind of organization than the one that trains electricians.

What has happened over the past week in post-secondary education has been very interesting. Kwantlen is now a polytechnic-university. Douglas is now a university, so is Capilano, and Emily Carr, and Malaspina became a university instead of a university-college.

So what does it mean? Well, I personally think it cheapens the university brand. I have a lot of respect for Capilano university, I studied there and learned a tonne, but can any of us honestly say it’s a university in the same way as UBC/SFU/UofA ?

No, not really.

That's not to say I don't believe in higher education outside of the university pool - I'm mostly college and technical-institution educated, and very happy for it. What I do believe in is a little specialization, which I think is being lost here.

I hope for a big boost in our ability to support the transfer of credentials and credits between institutions.

What I fear is an even more unclear landscape for students.

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