This fall, The Globe and Mail led a conversation on the future of Canada’s postsecondary institutions. We are continuing that discussion with a commentary series that will connect the changes and challenges in colleges and universities with those in our public schools and in society. We’ve asked university deans and presidents, colleges, industry leaders and students to contribute their voices to the discussion. Are our schools sufficiently preparing students for the opportunities of higher education? Are the country’s institutions adequately connected to the labour market or are there opportunities for co-operation between universities, colleges and industry that are not being exploited? Are universities able to change as quickly as society is demanding – and should the need for adjustments in some areas consume the entire institution? Today, Guelph University’s Julia Christensen Hughes compares the path our education system has embarked on to a prior era of rapid change and argues that we are witnessing the beginning of a paradigm shift. The Bank of Montreal’s Kevin Lynch challenges schools to prepare students at all levels, but particularly in primary and secondary education, for the sometimes wrenching shifts in the global economy. And I sound a note of caution about technology in the delivery of postsecondary education.
As reporter James Bradshaw writes today, these are not easy times for postsecondary schools to answer such questions. We hope you will participate in the dialogue and share your experiences through comments, social media, e-mail and opportunities to chat with our contributors in coming weeks.