Reimagining post-secondary education to meet the times.
The basic structure of universities and colleges in Ontario - one focused primarily on expansion and greater access and put in place in the 1960s - is outdated. The system is now large enough, the eligible age group for entering post-secondary studies is shrinking, and participation rates are as high as they are likely to go.
In Rethinking Higher Education, George Fallis argues that policy-makers should shift their attention away from growth and towards improving and diversifying the range of programs available and creating new means of program delivery. He calls for increases in honours undergraduate programs and polytechnic education and envisions a group of research-intensive universities responsible for doctoral education. The existing design, Fallis contends, neglects the specific needs of graduate education and research, layering it on top of a system designed for undergraduate education. In addition, there is disconnection between Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities and the research missions of the universities and colleges themselves. Fallis recommends that Ontario establish a system for documenting and assessing the quality of research published at universities.
Thought-provoking and thoroughly argued, Rethinking Higher Education provides a detailed design for higher education in the twenty-first century.