Why Canadian universities should collaborate with Asia

Harvey Weingarten, Da Hsuan Feng, University Affairs, Oct 24, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Yesterday I wrote a bog post responding to 'five ideas to reform post-secondary education in Canada' in a University Affairs article by columnist Léo Charbonneau. Today, as if to respond to my post (but more likely responding to the previous UA ccolumn and an article in the Globe) Harvey Weingarten and Da Hsuan Feng explain 'why Canadian universities should collaborate with Asia'. Their answer, in a nutshell, has to do with the economic potential of expansion into these markets. But it is not (and should not be seen as) a simple-minded case of setting up shop and charging people money for courses. Consider, "the limited number of Canadian universities that have attained world-class standing represent the foundation, and often the initial point of intersection, between the two regions." It is in the spirit of cooperation, not competition, that the Canadian presence in Asia will best serve our (and their) interests.

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