Speculative Diction: Perishable Goods – Universities and the measurement of educational quality [October 11 2011]

I responded in this blog post to an article in the Globe & Mail, regarding the splitting of funding for teaching and research in universities. My piece refers to the lack of adequate measures for teaching “quality” and student learning, and how this makes it impractical to attempt to link government funding to those factors, as well as the trouble with assessing “outcomes” of education in the short-term.


Speculative Diction: The Absurdity of Numbers [February 20, 2011]

Building on the same themes I discussed in “Proof of the pudding“, this post returns to the “completion agenda” in the United States and the role of for-profit colleges, the question of who is getting what out of higher education, and some issues with the concept of “human capital” as a driver of policy.

Speculative Diction: The Proof of the Pudding [September 21 2010]

In this blog post I discuss how the focus on measurable outcomes from higher education, and on quantitative measures of comparison such as international rankings. How are these linked to a culture of risk and accountability, considering that students paying higher premiums for education are now seeking a return on their “investment”? What happens when they don’t get the outcomes they paid for – and why is it that we can never market higher education as a “product” that is the same for everyone?