Speculative Diction: Degrees of Certainty

In the Canadian press there was a lot of discussion about the “skills gap” in the weeks preceding the federal budget announcement, so I wrote this post (from March 27, 2013) about the way the discussion is informed by the politics of funding and the increased amount of risk that universities are expected to manage.

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Speculative Diction: Contemplation of Innovation [October 31 2011]

This post takes a look at the report produced by a government panel led by Tom Jenkins, placing the report in the context of decades of Canadian government policy and critiques about “lack of innovation” and the low level of research done by Canadian industry.

Speculative Diction: Market Fail – UK attempts at marketisation bring a cascade of trouble [May 7, 2011]

I wrote this post about the ongoing attempts to reconfigure the higher education “sector” in England. This involved a significant increase to the tuition cap, as well as reductions to funding for teaching in some subject areas. I argue that to treat universities like regular products in a market is to ignore some specific institutional and organizational differences that make universities (and students) “act” differently in this context.

Globe and Mail: Who will hire all the PhDs? [April 12, 2013]

The latest article I’ve written for the Globe & Mail looks at the question of whether Canada produces “too many” PhDs. This is something I’ve also discussed in past blog posts and presentations. I still think there is a huge disconnect in the way the government imagines PhDs as “skilled workers”, and the reality of their apparent job options. In the future I’d really like to do more research on how people come to see themselves as “successful” or not in a PhD programme, and how that affects their career decisions.