Rae Discussion Paper

Bob Rae has been commissioned to advise the Premier of Ontario on our postsecondary education system in January of 2005. A Discussion Paper is now available. The Resource Room has links to a number of useful documents.

Some of my reactions:

  • The call for excellence and variable funding models.
  • The need for internationalization – both giving Ontario students opportunities abroad and bringing international students into our universities. I think Rae thinks there may be a market for Ontario universities to position themselves internationally.
  • I think Rae might propose an Open University for Ontario that works at a distance like Athabasca. This could be interesting.
  • I think he is going to propose more quality control and accountability. I’m not sure how that will play out.
  • It’s clear Rae thinks we need more graduate student spots.
  • I think Rae will propose greater flexibility for colleges and universities to interact.

Here are some quotes:

“Learning is about opportunity. It is about imagination. It is about innovation. It is about aspiring to excellence. It opens up the world to each one of us. It is also crucial to the evolution of civil society. It is how we come to understand our obligations to one another ó how we build a sense of justice. It is about how we see, how we feel, and how we understand the world within us and around us.” (p. 1)

“Learning is also at the centre of our economy. Abounding technological change has brought a world of information to our doorsteps ñ it is education that gives us the tools to discern what is of value and what is not.

We have an equal obligation to make sure our colleges and universities can achieve excellence.
When I went to university, I was part of a group of less than one in ten. We now have close to 42%
of people between 20 and 24 years of age in university or college. As we go forward, that number will grow even more. Ontario will need to be ready for this expansion of enrolment. We shall need to ensure that their education will be truly great, that it will challenge and stimulate. We shall need to train more researchers, more faculty and instructors to be on the cutting edge of innovation.” (p. 2)