Financing Canadian Universities: A Self-Inflicted Wound

Sept 29, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a five-part article (part one, part two, part three, part four, part five) that really could have been done in one long post. But it's worth reading even if inconveniently presented. Though if you don't read it, here's the takeaway: while funding for Canadian universities has increased, in real terms, over the last three decades, the number of faculty per student have actually declined. Faculty salaries as a whole have remained relatively constant, though. What's happening is that universities are shifting their focus to research, paying some faculty much more, and increasing the cost of physical plant and, yes, administration. "That, ladies and gentlemen, is how faculty:student ratios can fall by 20% while income per student rises 40%.  And it’s worth underlining here: virtually all of this has to do with changing priorities within the academy."

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