July 3, 2012

Ontario government considering “streamlining” universities, reducing from four-year to three-year degree programs

Filed under: Cancon, Education, Government — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:09

I rarely find anything interesting in Heather Mallick’s Toronto Star writings, but her Sunday article on possible Ontario government changes to the university system raises some valid concerns:

The Ontario government has run a hasty educational reform plan up a flagpole and is hoping you’ll salute it. Don’t.

The discussion paper, titled “Strengthening Ontario’s Centres of Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge,” is as mystifying as the gentlewomen’s pompous, verbose porn novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which reads to me as if it were written by a small weird girl-child, or perhaps Conrad Black.

Without Star education reporter Kristin Rushowy to translate the jargon — which curses the education sector more than any other — I would not have known that basically the McGuinty government wants to cut four-year university degrees to three and “support flexible degree structures that provide new learning options made possible by advancements in technology,” which means online degrees.

[. . .]

This report heralds bad things for Ontario students.

I opposed ending Grade 13 and was proved right, universities frantically offering catch-up courses for students who couldn’t spell or add. I opposed the “30% Off Ontario Tuition Grant for students from middle-income families” that the report boasts of, because the $160,000 cut-off is far too high. I opposed turning colleges into universities because a diploma is just as valuable as a degree, but they are not interchangeable.

And I oppose cutting degrees to three years, not just because other provinces and countries won’t accept this, but because fourth year is when you come into your own intellectually. The report refers repeatedly to the unfortunately titled Bologna Declaration aimed at harmonizing EU higher education — trans. “Yurp does it so we can too” — although I note that there has been talk in Britain of “accelerated” two-year degrees, at which point I despair.

H/T to the Phantom Observer for the link, who twittered:


  1. Ontario students were learning how to spell and add in grade 13?

    Comment by Ray K. — July 3, 2012 @ 14:35

  2. Well, it improved their chances of doing so successfully by a whopping 1/13th!

    Comment by Nicholas — July 3, 2012 @ 14:47

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