New Report on Federal Spending on Postsecondary Education

The  Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) of Canada today released a much anticipated report on postsecondary funding. The report, Federal Spending on Postsecondary Education, is available for download on the PBO website. Included on the site is a link to the data as a downloadable Excel file, and an interactive chart. A brief summary of the report, from the website: “This report analyzes federal spending on postsecondary education in Canada over the past 10 years; and, where possible, analyzes the distributional impacts of federal programs.  It also provides forward projections to 2020-21 taking into account recent Budget 2016 announcements.”

What is the PBO’s audience and mandate? The PBO’s What We Do page says, “The PBO’s mandate is to provide independent analysis to Parliament on the state of the nation’s finances, the government’s estimates and trends in the Canadian economy; and upon request from a committee or parliamentarian, to estimate the financial cost of any proposal for matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction.”

May 13 HERG Seminar

The HERG seminar on May 13, 2016 will feature two speakers: Bernard Chan (MA student in Educational Studies, concentration in Higher Education) and Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe, Department of Educational Studies. Titles and abstracts of their presentations appear below. Please join us at UBC in Ponderosa Commons Oak House (PCOH), Multipurpose room 2012 from noon to 3:00. Feel free to bring your lunch!

Bernard Chan
Re-imagining Borderlands: Towards the Plurinationalisation of Higher Education
Abstract: In recent decades, internationalisation has become a “buzz word” in higher education settings around the world. The notion of “internationalisation”, by itself, is not precisely defined; how it is understood and enacted depends on (trans)national, local, and/or institutional and individual contexts. Yet, the “international imperative” (Altbach, 2013) has evolved into a core concern in higher education, and it has contributed to the emergence of dynamic and ever-shifting education landscapes hereby conceived to be theoretical “borderlands” (Anzaldúa’s, 1999). Such spaces, by their inherent nature and composition, are diverse in a variety of ways (Metcalfe, 2009). In the dominant discourse on higher education internationalisation however, ideas of “diversity” often privilege organisational (e.g. institutional structures and processes) and recognition aspects (e.g. student headcounts and phenotypical features) of difference that are immediately “visible” (Hakkola, 2015; Haring-Smith, 2012). This is apparent in the arena of international student recruitment, whereby the contributions of cultural and intellectual diversities of students from across nation-state boundaries are particularly emphasised (Lobnibe, 2009; Mayuzumi, Motobayashi, Nagayama, & Takeuchi, 2007; Peterson, Briggs, Dreasher, Horner, & Nelson, 1999). The anchoring of international students to notions of “cultural” and “intellectual” diversities, and the transactional nature of their relationships to host nation-states, education institutions, and communities are reflected in policy and strategic documents, media reports, and other forms of discourse on higher education internationalisation. This anchoring process, however, may promote the inclusion of certain students, yet perpetuate the exclusion of many others from higher education borderlands. In this study, I employ multimodal discourse analysis to examine diversity discourses in international student recruitment practices in British Columbia, and consider their potential contributions to the systematic exclusion of certain bodies, minds, and spirits from higher education landscapes in the province. In particular, I focus on policy documents on three authority levels: the provincial government, quasi-government, and institutional. Based on my analysis, I contemplate the possibility of a plurinational future of higher education borderlands, one that creates the conditions for a politics of difference that is committed to forms of heterogeneity and multiplicity embracing the “contingent, variable, tentative, shifting, and changing” (West, 1990, p. 93) bodies, minds, and spirits, and to the emergence of new, democratised spaces in higher education.

Dr. Amy Scott Metcalfe
Visualizing the future of educational research: Photography as contested witness and apocalyptic flâneur
Abstract: The journal Research in Education has undergone a transition, with a new editorial team: Matthew ClarkeJane Randand Kalervo N. Gulson. As a member of the new editorial board, Dr. Metcalfe will introduce the changes to the journal, including the new editorial team’s “aim to edit a journal imbued with an ethos of reflexivity and criticality, an attendance to questions of power and politics, and a scope that embraces diversity, complexity, contestation and liminality, in order to continually challenge, unsettle and problematise easy or received understandings of research in education” (Introduction to the New EditorsResearch in Education 0034523716630894first published on April 11, 2016 as doi:10.1177/0034523716630894). Dr. Metcalfe will discuss her invited contribution to the first volume in the newly configured journal, focusing on the promise and pitfalls of photography in educational research.

Reading List

The “Reading List” is a new feature of the HERG blog, where new articles and books on the topic of higher education are mentioned.

The first is an article by E. Lisa Panayotidis and Paul Stortz, from the University of Calgary:

Panayotidis, L., & Stortz, P. (2016). The imagined space of academic life: Leacock, Callaghan, and English-Canadian campus fiction in Canada, 1914-1948. Historical Studies in Education/Revue d’histoire de l’éducation28(1).

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