Research Oriented Universities Need To Find Better Balance

Audio, Canada, Commentary, Education, Frontier Centre

In less than a month, it will be back to class on Canada’s university campuses.

Some schools like the University of Alberta, are more focused on research, while others, like Brandon University, concentrate more on teaching undergraduates.

Students enrolled in research-oriented universities will soon discover that teaching undergraduates is not a high priority.

In the research-oriented universities, students often find themselves in large classes, taught by less experienced recent graduates rather than veteran professors.

Such professors tend to be valued more for the research they produce, rather than on their teaching skills.

This means they have less time to focus on their students, even if they might want to.

As a result, students in research-oriented universities are receiving little support to succeed, and one in five students drop out after their first year.

Fewer than 60 percent of students in such universities will graduate within six years.

The quality of undergraduate education should not be compromised. Students deserve excellent courses and the teaching support they need to graduate.

Administrators and professors in research-universities should strive for new ways to strike a better balance between the two.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts
on the Frontier.

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