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Ontario’s universities are all publicly funded, which means that in theory they receive the same amount of money per student, plus tuition from that student. So why are only some crying poor? Laurier has announced that it is eliminating faculty and staff due to budgetary constraints. Similar reasons have been given by administrators at York and U of T to explain their ongoing labor problems.

Meanwhile, UWindsor has announced that it’s investing in faculty — but only on the backs of international student expansion.

In the UK, universities insist that they are saving the public money to the tune of several billions of dollars. In return, they complain, they are getting shut out of their primary mission: ideas. The VP of UBC agrees on the cost-saving measures, drawing on the tired argument of MOOC efficiencies to argue that the traditional university is doomed. (She seems to have missed the boat on this one, as numerous studies have shown that MOOC completion rates hover at about 5%. A university that graduates only 5% of its student body would be shut down as predatory!)

So what’s the game here? Is it endowment hoarding on a massive scale? Or the import of business into a non-business gig? Or just incompetence? I truly don’t know — but I’ve got my eye on you.

That’s right.


UPDATE March 12.