By Dominic Girard and Chris Richardson
In a room that could have held hundreds, about a dozen students discussed the future of post-secondary education last week.
Last week, Ryerson held two discussions on what should be presented to the province’s review of post-secondary education. The review, headed by former Ontario premier Bob Rae, will advise the government on how to improve colleges and universities.
Ryerson Provost and Vice President Academic Errol Aspevig hosted the meetings. “The objective is to hear from you,” he said, before opening the floor to questions. But after students raised possible changes tothe structure of the current education system, Aspevig said he wasn’t interested in “advice [the government] is not going to take.”
RyeSAC Vice President Education Rebecca Rose criticized decision makers for a preoccupation with big business. “Excuse me, but I think students should be the main stakeholders when it comes to [post-secondary education],” she said.
On Tuesday, two students came. On Thursday, more than a dozen showed up. These 12 or so attendees will represent more than 80,000 undergraduate and continuing education students at Ryerson when the Rae gets the university’s advice in two weeks.
In the end, the debate came down to money and who should pay for a university education. More discussion surrounded the idea of an arm’s-length government agency that would govern post-secondary institutions in Ontario- a talking point in Rae’s discussion paper.
Many were concerned such an agency would take away government accountability and give the province a scapegoat to blame about post-secondary issues. Ryerson’s contribution to the Rae Review will be submitted Nov. 15.
Rae’s final paper is expected to be released Jan. 1.