The Future of Canadian Universities Panel – March 28th

The landscape of Canadian higher education is changing. Provincial government mandates are calling for increased opportunities for online learning, stronger transfer opportunities between colleges and universities, and there is a move toward a new kind of teaching-only institution.

The Canadian Studies program and instructors from the course, The University in Canada (UNI305) will bring together members of Ontario’s higher education community to address these timely topics and their impact for a panel discussion entitled, The Future of Canadian Universities.

Panelists for this March 28 event are: Harvey Weingarten, President and CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), Professor Ian Clark from U of T’s School of Public Policy and Governance, Melonie Fullick, a PhD Candidate at York University and Professor Suzanne Stephenson, Vice-Dean of Teaching and Learning at U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science.

“Higher education is the public sector most critical to Canada’s future social and economic health and competitiveness,” Weingarten said.

“It is important that we get this sector right,” he added. “We are not there yet but the will and courage to make the tough decisions to reform higher education could get us there and, if we do, Canada will prosper.”

The Future of Canadian Universities panel is one of the final sessions of the University in Canada course, offered through the Canadian Studies Program. “One of the goals of the course is to provide students, as future leaders and voters in a range of sectors and jurisdictions, with the ability to critically assess information and proposals about the university,” said Pamela Gravestock, a co-instructor of UNI305 and panel co-moderator.

Students attending this panel will see the issues they have been discussing throughout the semester in the broader context and how the proposed mandates could affect universities in the future.

“[This panel] will help students consider how universities might change in the years to come,” said Emily Greenleaf, a co-instructor of UNI305 and panel moderator.

It will also address issues such as the government’s goal to move toward a skills-focused curriculum, interactive learning and providing more flexible ways of earning credit and progressing through a degree.  “These proposed changes may lead to the emergence of more diverse and specialized institution than what we currently see,” said Gravestock. ”All universities face a future of potential substantial change.”

Attendees can also expect to hear about the forces that will be driving these changes over the next decade and how governments and university leaders are likely to respond.
“The combination of rising university costs, tightening government budgets and revolutionary new technologies has made higher education a hot public policy topic,” said Clark.

The Future of Canadian Universities
28 March 2013

2pm – 4pm
University College, Room 140
15 King’s College Circle

If you have any questions about this panel presentation, please contact Dr. Gravestock at or 416-946-8585.

Future of Canadian Universities Panel poster