The question of university funding in Canada
(Edmonton) University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera joined her counterpart from the University of British Columbia, Stephen Toope, along with the President and CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Harvey Weingarten, in a conversation on BNN television Thursday.
The three post-secondary education leaders dealt with some “big-question” topics including public and private funding sources for universities, preparing Canada’s workforce to be competitive in a global economy, and promoting research and innovation.
On the question of how to allocate resources, Samarasekera said a “real challenge for universities is to determine where the [research] frontiers of the future lie,” and to not “foreclose on these options by narrowing investments [in research] to a limited number of areas. How do we balance investments so we become world class in a number of areas while ensuring we’ve enough opportunity for serendipity and for top researchers to pursue curiosity research to deliver the new frontiers? That’s the critical balance,” she said.