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Canada ’ s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education. Keynote Address to Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre Canmore, Alberta June 7, 2012 By: Nick Falvo PhD Candidate (Public Policy) Carleton University.

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canada s self imposed crisis in post secondary education
Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

Keynote Address to

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Education Sector Conference

Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre

Canmore, Alberta

June 7, 2012

By: Nick Falvo

PhD Candidate (Public Policy)

Carleton University

overview of presentation
Overview of Presentation
  • Macroeconomic Context
  • PSE Indicators
  • Shouldn’t Students Pay Their Fair Share?
  • Household Debt
  • Quebec
overview of presentation cont d
Overview of Presentation (cont’d)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • The Munk Effect
  • The Quest for Research Dollars
  • Concluding Thoughts
tax cuts
Tax Cuts

Federal government takes in $48 billion less in tax revenue today than in 2000.

→$12 billion of this represents the two -percentage-point cut to the GST brought in by Harper gov’t

how big is 48 billion
How Big is $48 Billion?

$3.5 B A universal, accessible child-care system for children aged 3-5.

$10 B A complete national child care program, including early childhood education

how big is 48 billion cont d
How Big is $48 Billion? (cont’d)

$4.4 B Remove tuition costs for all students currently enrolled in Canadian universities

government funding for post secondary education
Government Funding for Post-Secondary Education
  • 1979 Gov’t grants covered 80% of a university or college’s operating budget
  • 2012 Gov’t grants cover roughly 50% of a university or college’s operating budget
average undergraduate tuition for full time students
Average Undergraduate Tuition for Full-Time Students

NL $2,649

PEI $5,258

NS $5,731

NB $5,853

QC $2,519

ON $6,640

MB $3,645

SK $5,601

AB $5,662

BC $4,852

Canada $5,366

average graduate tuition for full time students
Average Graduate Tuition for Full-Time Students

NL $2,456

PEI $3,992

NS $7,326

NB $5,258

QC $2,731

ON $7,578

MB $4,173

SK $3,504

AB $4,676

BC $7,303

Canada $5,599

but remember there s another side to that coin
But Remember: There’s Another Side to That Coin…

Higher-income earners with steady employment also pay more taxes.

key findings from ccpa bc research
Key Findings from CCPA-BC Research

“Over their working lives, women with an undergraduate degree contribute, on average, $106,000 more to the public treasury than women with only a high school diploma;”

key findings from ccpa bc research cont d
Key Findings from CCPA-BC Research (cont’d)

“Similarly, university-education men contribute $159,000 more to the public treasury than men with only a high school diploma;”

key findings from ccpa bc research cont d1
Key Findings from CCPA-BC Research (cont’d)

“In contrast, a four-year undergraduate degree [in BC] costs $50,630, of which tuition fees make up 40 per cent.”

class sizes getting bigger
Class Sizes Getting Bigger
  • B/w 1990 and 2006, ratio of PSE students to full-time faculty members ↑d by 40%.
of canadian university students who work during the academic year
% of Canadian University Students Who Work During the Academic Year
  • 1976 25%
  • 2008 50%

→75% of students believe this paid work has had a negative effect on their academic performance.

and then there was quebec
And Then There Was Quebec…
  • Among the lowest tuition fees in Canada
  • PSE participation in Quebec is 9% higher than in the rest of Canada
comparing student debt
Comparing Student Debt

Average of debt for students enrolled in their final year of a bachelor’s degree program who took out student loans is:

  • Quebec: $15,000
  • Ontario: $26,000
canada s best kept pse secret newfoundland and labrador
Canada’s Best-Kept PSE Secret: Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Since 2003, N&L gov’t has ↑d funding for PSE by 82%.
  • Average tuition fees for domestic students in N&L are now $2,600/yr, which is half the Canadian average.
newfoundland and labrador cont d
Newfoundland and Labrador (cont’d)
  • Enrolment in N&L’s only university and only community college by students from the other three Atlantic provinces ↑d more than tenfold between 2001 and 2008.
  • Since the late 1990s, # of people in N&L with student debt has ↓d from 20,000 to roughly 8,000.
the munk effect
The Munk Effect
  • Apr. ‘10 Announcement

“$35 million from Peter Munk” for new school of global studies at U of T.

“The Munk School of Global Affairs”

the munk effect cont d
The Munk Effect (cont’d)
  • Located on Bloor Street West
  • Pixel board “flashing the latest world news headlines”
munk effect public recognition
Munk Effect: Public Recognition
  • Front page news at Globe and Mail

A “vision of a global plaza reconfiguring Toronto’s downtown Bloor Street West and becoming the hub of Canada’s conversation with the world.”

munk effect public recognition cont d
Munk Effect: Public Recognition (cont’d)

“Whatever controversies may follow Munk abroad — his company has come under attach from environmental and indigenous groups, who’ve held annual demonstrations in Chile, Argentina, Peru, the Philippines, and Tanzania…Munk is associated with loftier things. His name is indelibly linked with good works…”— McQuaig and Brooks, 2011

munk who pays what
Munk: Who Pays What?
  • Though Mr. Munk appears to pay $35 million, he in fact receives a tax reduction amounting to at least $16 million.
  • Ergo: his net contribution is a max. of $19 million.
munk who pays what cont d
Munk: Who Pays What? (cont’d)
  • Federal government and Ontario government have contributed an additional $25 million each.
munk who pays what cont d1
Munk: Who Pays What? (cont’d)
  • In Summary:
    • Munk: $19 million
    • Canadian taxpayers: $66 million

Ergo: Peter Munk pays 22% of announced contributions (not including ongoing operating costs)

munk who pays what cont d2
Munk: Who Pays What (cont’d)
  • But there’s more…

$15 million of Munk’s so-called “$35 million contribution” is held back until after 2017…

munk who pays what cont d3
Munk: Who Pays What? (cont’d)
  • Agreement stipulates that School’s director must report annually to a board appointed by Munk to “discuss the programs, activities, and initiatives of the school in greater detail.”
does this impact academic freedom
Does This Impact Academic Freedom?

“Is it likely, given Munk’s power to withhold funds, that this ‘School of Global Affairs’ will encourage academic inquire into, say, the activities of multinational companies in developing countries, where Munk’s Barrick Gold Corporation has come under heavy criticism?”

— McQuaig and Brooks, 2011

munk in sum
Munk: In Sum
  • Munk provided a relatively small amount of money, and, in return, received a personal marketing boost.
  • U of T got a relatively small amount of money, and, in return, may have compromised academic freedom for its 80 faculty members.
federal funding
Federal Funding

Canada Social Transfer

  • Transfers funds to provinces
  • Few strings attached
cfs recommendations
CFS Recommendations
  • A Post-Secondary Education Act “modeled after the Canada Health Act.”
  • Five principles: 1) public administration; 2) comprehensiveness; 3) universality; 4) portability; and 5) accessibility.
why do universities want more research funding
Why Do Universities Want More Research Funding?
  • Prestige
  • Dollars beget dollars
  • Dollars attract faculty
  • All of the above attract students
the 100 million club
The $100 Million Club

1. U. of Toronto

2. UBC3. U. de Montréal

4. U. of Alberta

5. McGill

6. McMaster

7. U. Laval

8. Calgary

9. U. of Ottawa

10. Western

11. Queen’s

12. Saskatchewan

13. U. of Manitoba

14. Guelph

15. Waterloo

16. Dalhousie

research funding
Research Funding

1. U. of Toronto

2. UBC

3. U de Montréal

4. U of Alberta

5. McGill

6. McMaster

7. Laval

8. U of Calgary

9. Ottawa

10. Western

35. Lethbridge

research intensity i e research funding per full time faculty
Research Intensity (i.e. research funding per full-time faculty)

1. INRS

2. U of Toronto

3. McMaster

4. U of Alberta

5. McGill

6. U de Montréal

7. Queen’s

8. UBC

9. Laval

10. Ottawa

12. Calgary

41. Lethbridge

following the money
Following the Money
  • “[I]t is a virtuous cycle whereby increased research funding leads to higher rankings leads to better students (higher GPAs) leads to more ambitious research faculty (less teaching), more research funding and so on...The problem is that for every virtuous cycle there are vicious cycles created for those universities less able to bring in research funding and [such universities] can quickly become stigmatized (2nd tier or even last chance U)…[These] cycles speed up the polarization until the top universities want to institutionalize their status (the big 5)...”

— Dr. Christopher Stoney , Carleton University

the big 5 proposal
The Big 5 Proposal
  • Play first 2:15 of this video clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrACKpypyzo&feature=fvsr

concluding thoughts
Concluding Thoughts
  • The federal government spends less (in general) today than a decade ago, but not because it ‘can’t.’
  • This reduction in federal spending has implications for both PSE and inequality.
concluding thoughts cont d
Concluding Thoughts (cont’d)
  • Many of the costs of PSE have been shifted from the federal government onto students.
  • There are indications that the quality of PSE is also deteriorating (i.e. ratio of full-time faculty to students, hours worked by students).
concluding thoughts cont d1
Concluding Thoughts (cont’d)
  • Students should pay their fair share for PSE, but why not through taxation rather than user fees?
  • High tuition fees run the risk of exacerbating Canada’s challenges with respect to household debt.
concluding thoughts cont d2
Concluding Thoughts (cont’d)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador’s experience with PSE affordability provides important lessons for the rest of Canada. Another way is possible.
  • Remember: philanthropists don’t always give away money for free. Check the fine print.
concluding thoughts cont d3
Concluding Thoughts (cont’d)
  • One emerging trend in PSE across Canada is the stratification of students based on income (which is exacerbated by high tuition).
  • Another is the stratification of universities with a quest for research dollars.
  • When one meets the other, you’ve got a double-whammy effect.
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Frances Abele

Fletcher Baragar

George Fallis

Tom Fuller

Katherine Graham

IglikaIvanova

Gil Laflamme

Linda McQuaig

Bill Moore-Kilgannon

Tony Myatt

John Nicholls

Diana Petramala

Vincent St. Martin

Chris Stoney

Jordan Thompson

Michael Veall

Mike Yam

contact info
Contact Info

Nick Falvo

PhD Candidate (Public Policy)

Carleton University

E-mail: falvo.nicholas@gmail.com