22 May 2007

University Transfer

University Transfer, or UT Arts, was the name of the college program in which I completed the first two years of my undergraduate degree.

Two articles in today's Globe offer some interesting insights on the college/university bifurcation. The first, by Humber College president Robert Gordon, calls for an end to "academic snobbery" and the enabling of college/university program articulation in order to maximize postsecondary education options. Gordon says "there would have to be some changes to the faculty, to the standards, to the curriculum, to the admissions" on the part of colleges in order to facilitate this, commensurate with a sea change in how universities view the college system.

I attended college in British Columbia, where the college/university system is fully articulated. It was a good option to accommodate the many students that crowd the postsecondary space in BC. The second article reports the view that colleges should "return to their vocational role," and not compete with universities. Despite some limitations in this report's view, it does acknowledge the value of the articulated educational system.

Of particular note is the push for the creation of a research cluster model (following the Alberta lead), though it is short sighted to advocate for streamlining research funding into universities. If the postsecondary education system is to leverage all aspects of the college and university articulation, then research clusters should be formed along institutional strengths, and include both colleges and universities in their mix. And while we're at it, why not high school students as well? Senior grades should be learning about applied science research as it is conducted in the research institutions around them. Exposing them to curricular links within the research and development sectors will reinforce educational options and direction.

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