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Articles on Canadian universities

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The University College building at the University of Toronto. Government budget cuts and the race to attract more students are changing the function and purpose of Canadian universities. (Shutterstock)

What are universities for? Canadian higher education is at a critical crossroads

Forcing universities to only serve the needs of the labour market undermines their abilities to educate students and conduct research.
Universities must be the space where meaningful engagement with alternative ways of knowing and generating knowledge can take place. (Shutterstock)

To solve society’s challenges, universities must engage with alternative ways of knowing

Through the Scarborough Charter, many Canadian universities committed to fostering alternative ways of knowing. But more must be done to realize that commitment.
Quebec’s bill may be seen as part of on-going ‘culture wars,’ and alongside Ontario and Québec conservative governments’ grandstanding about ‘free speech’ on university campuses. (Shutterstock)

What is Québec’s Bill 32 on academic freedom, and why does it matter?

In addition to undermining universities’ and faculty members’ autonomy, the bill blurs distinctions between free expression and academic freedom, and turns academic freedom into a political weapon.
A person bicycles past the University of Toronto campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto in June 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

COVID-19: Don’t make university students choose between education and legal rights

Students won’t be allowed to participate in activities at St. Francis Xavier University this fall unless they sign a COVID-19 waiver. That’s forcing them to make a difficult and unfair choice.
Controversy erupted after a lecturer at the University of Alberta posted on Facebook in November that the Holomodor is a “myth.” Canada recognized the Holomodor — the death of millions of Ukrainians in 1932–33 due to Soviet policies — as an act of genocide in 2008. Here, the Holodomor Memorial, Kyiv, Ukraine. (Flickr/Matt Shalvatis)

Universities should stand up for integrity and public trust in university teaching

Those teaching in publicly funded universities should be held accountable for denying the public record, whether in their classrooms or beyond.
Protesters kick in the window at Concordia University as they try to stop a speech by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Montreal in 2002. Netanyahu cancelled the speech citing security concerns. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Freedom of expression is under attack at our universities

In his new book “University Commons Divided,” former University of Saskatchewan President Peter MacKinnon examines the attack on freedom of expression at Canadian universities.

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