In this commentary, Bill Black of New Start Nova Scotia discusses the importance of post secondary education, as well as the importance of accountability for their funding.
There are three arguments for financial support to post-secondary education. Academics point out that universities disseminate knowledge, and add to the social and intellectual fabric of their communities. Students argue that post-secondary education is needed to succeed and should be accessible to all. When universities themselves advocate for funding, the primary argument is that it will help our young people acquire the skills needed for the knowledge economy here in Nova Scotia.
But government policy is not well aligned with this goal. In fact, a central planning model often does more harm than good.
For years we have been graduating far more teachers than the system can absorb. Job prospects for university graduates are slim in Nova Scotia. Universities promote programs but do not mention the lack of related jobs in the province. In fields with available jobs, spaces often go unfilled.
In Scholar Dollars, Black offers proposed measures to tackle the issue of supply management. Universities should not be limited in the number of places they offer for any program. But the signals provided by the distribution of vouchers and availability of loans would help students make better choices. And the students who do graduate would have better prospects for employment.
Click here to read the full commentary.