A lot of ink has been spilled lately over the future of Saskatchewan’s two universities. Currently, they’re undergoing extensive program reviews with the goal of trimming costs and reallocating resources to meet student demand in some class areas and generate more revenue to compensate for relatively static public funding over the last 20 years or so.
In Saskatchewan, job prospects in areas like health, geology, business and engineering are strong, so they’re over-subscribed. If universities (not just in Saskatchewan, but pretty much country-wide except for a few places like Newfoundland and Manitoba) were funded properly, they could meet shifts in student demand while still fulfilling their traditional mandates in areas like liberal arts and pure research where job prospects aren’t seen as being robust. Instead, they’re being forced to contemplate cuts to those areas which critics argue is short-sighted and ultimately harmful to the long-term well-being of our society.
Over the holidays the Leader-Post is doing a three-part series on the future of education in Saskatchewan. Thursday’s first installment examined how high school students were increasingly eyeing the skilled trades and other types of specialized job training when they contemplated extending their educations beyond high school. In today’s second installment, which more or less expands on that theme advanced education minister Don Morgan had this to say:
We’re doing everything we can to try and focus the young people in the province on the areas where they’re going to have the best opportunities to work and participate in the growing economy.
That would seem to make the government’s agenda pretty clear. You can read the entire article here.