PUBLIC POLICY AND THE STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA, 1960 - 2015 by J. Robert Cowin A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Doctor of Philosophy in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Educational Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) February 2017 © John Robert Cowin, 2017 ii Abstract This study examined the structural development since 1960 of the entire postsecondary education system – that is, post-compulsory, formal education for adults – in Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia. I synthesized changes across teaching and research universities, public colleges, private career colleges, apprenticeship, faith-based institutions, Aboriginal-governed institutions, and continuing education activities. My focus was on sectors, not individual institutions, and I considered the consequences of federal government actions along with those of the provincial government. I divided the era into three periods, from which I analyzed five significant historical moments. After considering the proximate causes of changes during these moments, I assessed the extent to which developments in each moment were consistent with three enduring public policy rationales for postsecondary education in British Columbia. The first policy rationale concerned a set of concepts about fairness that emerged cumulatively to constitute a fulsome understanding of social justice: access to educational opportunity for individuals, compensatory justice, cultural recognition and promotion, and spatial adaptation. The second propelling rationale, economic in nature, emerged from the literature on human capital formation and found expression in both generic and occupationally-specific forms. The third rationale concerned a means perceived to foster effective and efficient educational administration, namely a neoliberal, market-oriented approach that I explicated using some concepts from institutional theory and new public management. All three policy rationales proved helpful in interpreting the historical record, but none was present in all five historical moments. I commented about aspects of these policy rationales iii that might be useful to consider regarding future postsecondary development. I also made two observations, one about historical themes and the other about the language used to describe postsecondary education, that are relevant regardless of the approach taken when examining the postsecondary history of British Columbia. I offered recommendations concerning the social stratification implications of a growing vertical differentiation among institutions, the role of continuing education, information about the private sectors, a more current usage of human capital theory, attention to sub-baccalaureate education, the implications of international enrolment, open data, terminology, and systems thinking. iv Preface This dissertation is original, unpublished, independent work by the author. v Table of Contents Abstract .......................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ........................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... v List of Tables .............................................................................................................................. viii List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... ix List of Abbreviations .................................................................................................................... x Acknowledgements ...................................................................................................................... xi Dedication .................................................................................................................................... xii Author’s Note ............................................................................................................................. xiii Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................... 1 Research Design ...................................................................................................................... 4 Definitions ............................................................................................................................... 5 Postsecondary Education .................................................................................................... 5 System ................................................................................................................................. 7 Institution ............................................................................................................................ 7 Organization ........................................................................................................................ 7 Sector and Institutional Type .............................................................................................. 8 Inventory of Public Institutions ............................................................................................. 12 Chapter 2: Literature Review ........................................................................................................ 14 Historiography of BC Postsecondary Education .................................................................. 14 Public Institutions ............................................................................................................. 14 Private Institutions ............................................................................................................ 21 Boundary Spanning and Multiple Sectors ........................................................................ 23 Miscellaneous ................................................................................................................... 25 Policy and Theory ................................................................................................................. 26 Policy ................................................................................................................................ 26 Theory ............................................................................................................................... 28 Theories Propelling Postsecondary Policy in BC ................................................................. 35 Fairness and Social Justice ................................................................................................ 36 Human Capital Formation ................................................................................................. 48 Marketization .................................................................................................................... 61 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 78 Chapter 3: Periodization ............................................................................................................... 79 Starting Year ......................................................................................................................... 79 Periods ................................................................................................................................... 80 Historical Moments ............................................................................................................... 81 Analytical Framework ........................................................................................................... 83 BC Postsecondary Education in 1960 ................................................................................... 84 Chapter 4: Clear Intentions (1960 – 1979) ................................................................................... 88 Period Overview ................................................................................................................... 88 Public Sectors .................................................................................................................... 89 vi Private Sectors .................................................................................................................. 94 Summary ........................................................................................................................... 96 Historical Moment: The Macdonald Era .............................................................................. 97 Macdonald Report ............................................................................................................. 98 Response to the Macdonald Report ................................................................................ 102 Public Vocational Schools and Technical Institutes ....................................................... 105 Apprenticeship ................................................................................................................ 107 Private Sectors ................................................................................................................ 110 Analysis: Macdonald Era .................................................................................................... 111 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 112 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 115 Marketization .................................................................................................................. 118 Chapter 5: Assumptions Challenged (1980 – 1999) ................................................................... 122 Period Overview ................................................................................................................. 122 Public Sectors .................................................................................................................. 123 Instruction Spanning the Public and Private Sectors ...................................................... 127 Private Sectors ................................................................................................................ 129 Organizations and Agencies ........................................................................................... 131 Historical Moment: Continuing Education and the Canadian Jobs Strategy ...................... 132 Analysis: Continuing Education and the Canadian Jobs Strategy Moment ........................ 141 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 141 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 143 Marketization .................................................................................................................. 144 Historical Moment: Access for All ..................................................................................... 147 Analysis: Access for All Moment ....................................................................................... 155 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 155 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 159 Marketization .................................................................................................................. 161 Chapter 6: Cynicism (2000 – 2015) ............................................................................................ 164 Period Overview ................................................................................................................. 166 Baccalaureate Education ................................................................................................. 168 Sub-Baccalaureate Education ......................................................................................... 170 Other Developments ....................................................................................................... 172 Historical Moment: New Era .............................................................................................. 174 Baccalaureate Education ................................................................................................. 175 Sub-Baccalaureate Education ......................................................................................... 183 Closures ........................................................................................................................... 189 Analysis: New Era Moment ............................................................................................... 190 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 190 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 192 Marketization .................................................................................................................. 195 Historical Moment: Post-Neoliberalism ............................................................................. 199 Analysis: Post-Neoliberalism Moment ............................................................................... 206 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 206 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 207 vii Marketization .................................................................................................................. 210 Chapter 7: Discussion ................................................................................................................. 213 Relevance of the Policy Rationales ..................................................................................... 214 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 217 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 219 Marketization .................................................................................................................. 221 Future Considerations ......................................................................................................... 223 Social Justice ................................................................................................................... 224 Human Capital Formation ............................................................................................... 230 Marketization .................................................................................................................. 234 Interactions Among the Three Policy Rationales ........................................................... 238 Other Considerations ........................................................................................................... 239 Historical Themes ........................................................................................................... 239 Language that Obscures .................................................................................................. 244 Chapter 8: Conclusion and Recommendations ........................................................................... 249 Social Justice ....................................................................................................................... 249 Stratification .................................................................................................................... 250 Continuing Education ..................................................................................................... 253 Human Capital Formation ................................................................................................... 254 Sub-Baccalaureate Education ......................................................................................... 255 Marketization ...................................................................................................................... 258 International Students ..................................................................................................... 258 Private Postsecondary Education .................................................................................... 260 Other Recommendations ..................................................................................................... 261 Terminology .................................................................................................................... 261 Open Information ............................................................................................................ 262 Systems Thinking ............................................................................................................ 263 Priorities .............................................................................................................................. 266 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 267 References .................................................................................................................................. 269 viii List of Tables Table 1: BC Public Postsecondary Institutions, 2015 .................................................................. 13 Table 2: Public Administration Principles ................................................................................... 71 Table 3: BC Postsecondary System, 1960 and 1979 ................................................................... 97 Table 4: BC Postsecondary System, 2012/13 ............................................................................ 168 Table 5: Relevance of Policy Rationales in each Historical Moment ....................................... 215 ix List of Figures Figure 1: UBC Enrolment, 1940/41 – 1970/71 .......................................................................... 100 Figure 2: Registered Apprentices and Pre-Apprenticeship Enrolment ...................................... 109 Figure 3: Student Mobility Among Postsecondary Sectors ....................................................... 264 x List of Abbreviations BC British Columbia CE Continuing Education CJS Canadian Jobs Strategy EQA Educational Quality Assurance designation ESL English as a Second Language FTE Full-Time Equivalent enrolment K – 12 Kindergarten to Grade 12 NPM New Public Management OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OLA Open Learning Agency PCTIA Private Career Training Institutions Agency SFU Simon Fraser University TRAC Training Access program UBC University of British Columbia xi Acknowledgements My supervisory committee – Lesley Andres (chair), Jason Ellis and Alison Taylor, all from the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia – was a delight. These individuals provided plenty of space for me to blaze my own trail but were dependably present at critical junctures to guide and support me. Most importantly, I quickly came to trust that however perplexed I might be in the short run, or whatever obstacles I might encounter, I would simply need to persevere because I would eventually come to appreciate the wisdom of the comments from my committee members, as well as to see a way forward from the strategies and options they suggested. The ability to instill such well-founded confidence is a hallmark of fine educators. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the University of British Columbia supported me financially to a greater extent than I expected or needed. Although I appreciated the funding and the intent with which it was granted, I became disillusioned with the culture and processes that are now associated with these awards: rather mechanistic and inflexible, a tendency to breed conceit and a sense of entitlement, and assuming that more money is always better. My experiences led me to wonder whether there might be healthier ways to use these public funds to foster a community of emerging scholars. xii Dedication For the Two Bugs xiii Author’s Note Around 2010 I realized that I was hearing qualitatively different conversations about potential new programs than when I had started working at my British Columbia college two decades prior. The original tone had been “Some adults in our surrounding community have some particular educational needs. Do we have the resources to respond to them?” A subtle shift had occurred since then, and while the actual words were seldom as blatant as appear here, the new sentiment was more, “If we were to meet those needs, how might the college benefit?” We were still attending to the community, but the focus was now on using the community rather than on serving it. In fact, now that the college had limited authority to grant four-year baccalaureate degrees, it no longer even described itself as a community college. In seeking to shed the connotations of the junior, university-transfer aspect of the community college philosophy (although that was still a main activity of our comprehensive institution), we were also losing the egalitarian, progressive approach that had differentiated us from both universities and technical schools. Rather than emphasizing pedagogy and honest appraisals of our strengths and weaknesses, image cultivation and self-promotion were becoming the new priorities. Despite being a publicly funded institution of higher learning in a freedom of information era, we were increasingly reluctant to disclose data that might portray us in a poor light. Of course, new winds were also blowing on neighbouring postsecondary institutions. Not only had the public postsecondary system in BC become more complex, the sectors and subsectors were fragmenting. Research universities distanced themselves from teaching-intensive universities. Urban colleges bickered with rural colleges about the priorities to present xiv to government. New advocacy groups sprang up and others folded. Clearly the ethos of postsecondary education in BC was changing. I knew that change and adaptation to shifting environments are essential for the survival of both biological and social entities, but I wondered how aware busy decision-makers were of the long-term, cumulative implications of their day-to-day decisions. The original architects and pioneers of BC postsecondary education had long since retired and many of their replacements, coming from elsewhere, had little idea of the distinctive strengths and peculiarities of the BC postsecondary environment. I did not mind the new guard making changes, but I thought they should at least know what they were changing and not blindly imitate other jurisdictions. In 2007, I had decided to use some of my professional development time – I was an administrator on the non-instructional, services side of the college – to assemble a short, accessible history of BC postsecondary education that could be part of the orientation of new administrators in institutions and government. As I turned to colleagues around the province for help in filling the inevitable gaps, I was taken back at both how little some knew of the history of their own institution and how difficult it could be for some to uncover it. I decided to add an appendix to my report with a few paragraphs of history about each individual public institution – a fateful precedent for the disappearance of far too many of my evenings and weekends in subsequent years. My history completed, the BC Council of Post Secondary Library Directors surprised me some months later by asking me to present that history in the hour-long professional development session with which they began each of their business meetings. A week after the presentation, one of the directors sent me a couple of books that piqued my curiosity, prompting me to write a second history, this time about the neglected faith-based sector in BC. In the xv process, I became hooked on writing local, postsecondary history – nothing grand, just a first step in describing what had happened. Six subsequent histories emerged, the last written in 2013. Issues arising in my regular work prompted many of the topics. Why, for example, was continuing education bedeviling efforts to report enrolments comparably across institutions? How could we be respectful of Aboriginal perspectives when I had not even heard of the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association? Some historical background seemed to me to be essential briefing, but if I wanted it, it fell to me to gather it. As I prepared those histories, I was struck with how the character of the times had changed: university Arts professors originally arguing against having to conduct research in favour of protecting their teaching function, college personnel described as having a missionary zeal, a vocational school viewing itself as an elite institution, and so on. I could describe some of the changed ethos since earlier times, but I could not explain how the changes had come about, even though I was curious about their origins. I am a generalist and synthesizer by temperament. My employment history often put me in situations where I had to look at the postsecondary system as a whole, rather than from the perspective of a single institution or even a sector. It seemed natural to me that I should want to see the historical pieces assembled into a comprehensive picture across all postsecondary sectors – a different approach than the segmented way in which higher education is typically studied, but the way in which students experience postsecondary education across their life courses and the way in which government views it when setting such policy as student financial aid. I also wanted, as much as possible, to identify the interactions among sectors. Having worked in a transfer college, I was only too aware of how contradictory curricular changes in the xvi university sector could send college faculty into a tizzy as they struggled to maintain course transferability to as many universities as possible. I saw how the vacillations of university admission thresholds (high one year “to enroll the brightest and the best”, low another year “to serve all qualified applicants”) could affect college enrolment demand. My histories had described how, for example, a federal funding change in the mid 1980s was simultaneously bad news for public colleges and good news for private career colleges. Sectorially-based studies can miss these important interdependencies and interactions, as well as such specifics as how student dropouts may simply be mobile students who graduate from another institution. I suspected I could put together some sort of a comprehensive history on my own, but I was haunted by the unexplained qualitative changes that I was observing. I lacked the theoretical background to address these changes, and so I wound up back in graduate school in an attempt to gain tools to help me interpret the shifts. (Graduate students often choose a theoretical framework and then collect data. I was doing it the other way around.) So here was my situation when it came time to choose a dissertation topic: I wanted to synthesize across all postsecondary sectors (big task) in a way that would begin to explain qualitative changes in the postsecondary ethos (vague task), drawing upon theory that might only provide partial interpretations. Not the most auspicious of situations. To give myself something concrete and manageable with which to work, I quickly latched on to structural change as the vehicle for my analysis. I do not think I could have resolved the challenges of the theoretical dimension, though, without the patient prodding of my supervisory committee. Finally it dawned on me that I did not need to impose my own theoretical lens on the historical record. Rather, as described in the literature review that follows, I could examine several theories implicitly drawn upon by policy actors themselves to begin to xvii understand the changing postsecondary ethos. This approach would just be an initial step towards identifying and interpreting qualitative change in BC postsecondary education, but it struck me as a practical and helpful one. I was eager to get started and find out where the journey might lead. 1 Chapter 1: Introduction Two goals, one synthetic and the other analytic, have shaped this dissertation. The synthesis goal was to examine the development of the entire postsecondary system in the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada: from the more extensively studied public universities and colleges, through the shadowy worlds of apprenticeship and private career colleges, to the almost invisible, albeit small, Aboriginal-governed and faith-based sectors. My purpose was less to discover new information, although some of this did occur, than to assemble existing knowledge in new and revealing ways. It concerned seeing the postsecondary world in a different way than the segmented manner in which it is usually researched, a different manner that acknowledges relationships and interactions among components, using the structures of the various postsecondary sectors as the vehicle for beginning to do so. This approach draws upon systems thinking (Cabrera, Colosi & Lobdell, 2008; Mella, 2012) and falls firmly within Boyer’s (1990) formulation of the scholarship of integration: that is, the giving of meaning to isolated facts, of putting them in perspective, and of interpreting past research within larger intellectual patterns. The approach is perhaps more readily explained through two examples. Public colleges in BC can and have been studied as a distinct sector of their own (for example, Dennison & Gallagher, 1986; Gaber, 2002), but with their extensive university transfer component and more recent, limited authority to grant baccalaureate degrees, they also maintain strong relationships with universities. They provide some, but not all, of the classroom components of apprenticeship training, a quite separate sector in British Columbia. They partner regularly with Aboriginal-governed institutions, sometimes for the purposes of awarding 2 credentials but also to deliver programs and even to channel government funding to Aboriginal clienteles. At times, reflecting government funding incentives, they have cooperated with private career colleges in some program areas while competing with them for students in other areas. The ways in which the college sector has developed have thus been affected by the characteristics and trends in other postsecondary sectors. Using universities as a second example, the failure of private and out-of-province universities to thrive when new legislation in 2002 made it much easier for them to operate in British Columbia is better understood against the backdrop of the BC government’s significant expansion of student spaces in its public institutions, and its introduction of applied bachelor’s and master’s degrees in selected public institutions other than universities. Even the seemingly very separate, faith-based sector has been affected by relationships with the decidedly secular public universities, relationships that have ranged through land leases and shared libraries in a theological precinct at the University of British Columbia to formal transfer arrangements for students. However well integrated and synthesized it may be, though, a descriptive historical narrative is somewhat inert and of limited value for policymakers as they wrestle with decisions that will shape the future of postsecondary institutions. It is when data are given meaning and put into context that they become transformed into actionable information and knowledge (Teodorescu, 2006). Therefore, having constructed an historical synthesis about the development of postsecondary institutions in BC, my attention turned to analyzing it, using five historical moments as case studies. I chose the moments based on the way I identified periods to organize change over time, a fundamental task of historical study. Choices regarding periodization depend, of course, on the 3 topic one is examining and the point of view adopted for doing so. I decided to interpret the structural development of the postsecondary system from the perspective of governments as they sought to achieve some high level and long standing educational policy goals. Notwithstanding all the distinctive local and short-term circumstances that have shaped the particular structure of postsecondary education in British Columbia, a small number of general policy goals in the North American postsecondary educational literature seemed to me to have been repeatedly relevant to British Columbia as I researched the postsecondary history of the province. I decided to examine in a more systematic and rigorous manner the extent and ways that these policy forces actually did manifest in BC, using my literature review to understand the concepts in greater depth and then three analytical chapters to assess their relevance to British Columbia. The choice of what events are historically significant (Seixas & Morton, 2013), and what theories are the most powerful in interpreting those events, inevitably involves some subjective decisions. This study therefore represents just one contribution to the ongoing historical discussion through which a consensus gradually emerges as to a plausible present meaning, and the current relevance, of events from the past (Fulbrook, 2002; Iggers, 1997). The above considerations led to my formulation of the specific research question for this study, namely, “What theoretical perspectives help explain the public policy rationales, implicit as well as explicit, that were used to justify the establishment of BC postsecondary institutions and to propel their structural development since 1960?” Building on Fisher, Rubenson, Lee, Clift, MacIvor and Meredith (2014), addressing this question entailed preparing a long-term, holistic look at all BC postsecondary sectors simultaneously, facilitating analysis of impacts and interactions across sectors. It involved using theory in a cumulative, complementary 4 manner rather than as independent or competing explanations. Finally, the study sought to foster policy analysis that considers the full range of causes and impacts, not only those pertaining to the immediate issue or sector. Research Design This literature-based study began with synthesis and concluded with analysis. For each of three periods, it first traced the development of the postsecondary system in BC as a whole by looking systematically across all sectors and identifying significant changes over time. It then assessed how some enduring, high level aspirations for the system, as reflected in government actions regarding the structure and roles of institutions in particular historical moments, fluctuated in importance. Finally, the Discussion chapter integrated findings across the three periods. Along with providing a comprehensive overview that drew together a number of sectorially-based literatures on the history of postsecondary education in BC, the study provided another type of synthesis by using some literature prepared for professional audiences to round out the literature prepared for scholarly purposes. Supplementing the small scholarly literature on the history of BC postsecondary system are eight historical reports that I completed since 2007 for professional audiences (Cowin, 2007; Cowin, 2009; Cowin, 2010; Cowin, 2011; Cowin, 2012a; Cowin, 2012b; Cowin, 2013a; Cowin, 2013b). Preparation of these historical reports involved collecting numerous documents and conducting some interviews: reading monographs, journals, newspaper articles, government reports and press releases, Hansard excerpts of parliamentary debates, and local postsecondary histories, and consulting with colleagues and retired educators. I vetted each draft report with two or three knowledgeable people who had 5 worked in the field described in the report, and then circulated the final version within the BC postsecondary system. Response was positive, evidence that the reports did in fact provide for a more complete overview of the contemporary BC postsecondary system. In addition to synthesizing across all postsecondary sectors and combining sources from academic and professional literatures, a third way in which this dissertation sought a more holistic gaze was by drawing upon more than one theoretical perspective for the analytical portion of the study. This was the aspect of the study that required the most subjective judgment, namely to select a small number of theories – too many theories could diffuse the focus to the point of becoming meaningless – that could be used in a complementary and cumulative manner. Whether the three theoretical clusters I selected as the basis for my analysis proved fruitful in interpreting the historical record is assessed in the Discussion chapter. Definitions The same words can have different nuances, and even different meanings, for different audiences. I am increasingly coming to appreciate the importance of defining terminology explicitly. Some of the postsecondary terminology I use simply reflects my personal preferences, but much arises from the specific usage in British Columbia. For example, a bachelor’s degree in BC is always the equivalent of at least four years of study beyond secondary school, regardless of whether a general or, much less frequently, an honours degree is awarded. Postsecondary Education I use postsecondary education in the most encompassing manner possible, namely all forms of formal, post-compulsory education for adults that is offered by organizations whose 6 primary purpose is educational. (Training branches of other types of organizations and informal learning are thus beyond its scope.) Other terms, such as tertiary education, may exclude some types of vocational and secondary school equivalent education for adults. In North America, higher education is sometimes used in the same sense as postsecondary is used here. However, in such countries as Australia and England, higher education is often taken to mean baccalaureate and post-graduate education, as distinct from the sub-baccalaureate education for adults known as further education or technical/vocational education. Because of the variation and exclusions in the definitions of tertiary and higher education, I prefer the term postsecondary. A note of caution is that even the meaning of postsecondary education can vary in the postsecondary literature. Dennison (1992) commented that the term is often used in western Canada to typify the status of the learner, that is, students who have left secondary or compulsory education, whereas in Ontario the term reflects the content of the program (that is, the curriculum is beyond that offered in secondary schools). Jones (2009) provides a Canadian example of using the term in the Ontario sense, whereas I focus on the learner by using the BC approach. My programmatic frame of reference is the same as that of Sheffield (1982) in his study of systems of higher education in Canada, namely everything from adult basic education and the various forms of vocational education through to graduate education. Continuing education, some of which does not involve formal evaluation of student learning, is the most problematic program area to define (Cowin, 2010). In the interest of simplicity and because greater refinement provides no substantial benefit for my purposes here, all offerings that BC colleges and universities provide under the continuing education rubric, regardless of whether they carry academic credit, fall within the scope of this study. 7 System I concur with Sheffield’s (1982) use of the term postsecondary system to describe structures, relationships and interactions among individual institutions, even where formal governance and coordination is weak or nonexistent. British Columbia’s postsecondary educational system exists not so much in the formal sense of centralized and coordinated administration but more informally in terms of interaction and interdependence, wherein students move among institutions and the actions of one sector or institution affect others. Dennison (1997) argued that BC had more of a postsecondary system than elsewhere in Canada, with the exception of Quebec and perhaps Alberta. Many of its components, such as research universities, are traditional forms found across North America. Other aspects have been more innovative or distinctive. Institution Institution is used here in the typical postsecondary sense to refer to a formal organization, such as a college or university, that enrolls students and provides instruction. When institution is used in the sociological sense of generalized norms and ways of seeing and organizing aspects of the social world (see the section on institutional theory in the literature review), the term is italicized to distinguish it from postsecondary usage. Organization Organization is sometimes used here in a specialized sense, although drawing upon the everyday meaning of a group of people who intentionally come together to achieve a purpose. Whereas an institution enrolls students, an organization in my specialized sense consists of a 8 group of educators who meet formally on an ongoing basis regarding a postsecondary topic – such as facilitating the acquisition of information technology or to advocate for funding – but the organization does not enroll students. In British Columbia, when government creates such organizations to perform tasks delegated or assigned by government, they are known generically as agencies even though their name might include such terms as Council (Cowin, 2012a). Sector and Institutional Type Until 2002, a publicly funded college, regional college or community college in BC were synonyms for an open admissions, comprehensive, teaching institution offering up to two years of university transferable courses as well as an extensive set of preparatory and applied programs (sometimes incorporating some university transferable courses) of six months to three years’ duration leading directly into the labour market. Since 2002, colleges have offered a limited number of baccalaureate degree programs. A junior college offers only the first two years of baccalaureate studies (that is, university transferable courses) rather than comprehensive programming that includes applied and preparatory programs. Junior colleges have had only a small presence in British Columbia, entirely outside the public system. Unlike most Canadian provinces, BC adopted an American comprehensive community college model and developed the university transfer function to become as robust as any in the world (Bahram, 2004), resulting in up to 60% as many college transfer students admitted annually to BC research universities as came directly from BC secondary schools (Cowin, 2004). Outside the public sector, a college in BC could mean almost anything: an institution offering programs at the sub-baccalaureate, baccalaureate or graduate level and which, in a few 9 cases, required faculty to conduct research in addition to their instructional duties. With the use of the term university restricted by BC legislation, college became the default label for many institutions. Beginning in 1989, a handful of public colleges were granted the authority to offer some third and fourth year university programming, with bachelor’s degrees originally conferred under the auspices of a partner university and subsequently in the college’s own name. These university colleges had all become teaching universities by 2008, although they continued to offer their original comprehensive range of college programs. Public special purpose or teaching universities all originated as community colleges. They retain an open access admissions philosophy – open access to the institution, not necessarily to individual programs and courses – and offer a small number of employment-oriented master’s programs, but they are not funded for faculty to conduct research as part of their regular duties. Doctoral programs are offered at research universities. Faculty are expected to conduct research as part of the tenure process and the universities’ operating grant from the provincial government supports some of this research. In the public sector, an institute has a province-wide, rather than regional, mandate to offer instruction to a particular type of student or in particular fields of studies (that is, they do not offer a comprehensive curriculum). They originally offered only sub-baccalaureate programs, and this remains their emphasis today. Aboriginal-governed, private institutions often refer to themselves as institutes, a more generic usage of the term institute than in the public sector College and Institute Act. The Aboriginal community sometimes avoids using the word 10 institution because of its connotations of the historic institutionalization of Aboriginal children in residential schools, a school system seen by some as an attempted cultural genocide. Vocational schools in this dissertation refer to public postsecondary institutions that were merged with public community colleges in the 1970s. They are distinct from the private career colleges that lie outside the public system, but which are regulated by government, and from vocational secondary schools. Private institutions operate under different legislation than do public universities, colleges, and institutes. They may or may not be for-profit; faith-based and Aboriginal-governed institutions are not profit seeking, while many, but not all, career colleges are businesses that seek to make a profit. With the occasional, small-scale exception, private institutions do not receive operating grants from government. However, subject to some accreditation and other requirements, students at private institutions may be eligible for government student financial assistance in the form of loans and grants. In contrast to the more coordinated, planned and school-based models of northern Europe, British Columbia’s apprenticeship system falls firmly in the market-oriented Anglo tradition where individual employers give priority to their immediate labour market needs over the educational needs of society. Apprentices, often individuals who are in their 20s, typically spend four weeks per year in classroom settings, but most of their learning occurs on the job. I would prefer to avoid using some popular but imprecisely defined descriptions of educational sectors, but this frequently does not prove possible without resorting to long or clumsy nomenclature. These popular descriptions include vocational programs (implies programs of less than a year’s duration where the focus is on practical application and skills acquisition rather than on theory and cognitive development), technical programs (implies 11 programs of two, and sometimes three, years’ duration that do not lead to a bachelor’s degree), and academic programs (implies university-level programs). My preference when describing programs of study is to follow current practice in at least some branches of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education: arts and science, developmental programs (includes adult basic education, adult special education, and English as a Second Language), and applied programs (everything else). These three categories can then be segmented by level of study (preparatory, lower and upper division undergraduate, and graduate), field of study, duration, and type of credential awarded (certificate, diploma, bachelor, post-baccalaureate certificate or diploma, master’s and doctoral). Legislation has consistently required BC public institutions to offer continuing education, but the term remains undefined, so that anything and everything could potentially be considered continuing education. The common threads in the widely varying continuing education units in public institutions seem to be that course offerings are contingent on short-term enrolment demand and cost-recovery financing, and that instructors have short-term, course-specific contracts that are subject to a minimum level of enrolment being met for the course to proceed. Instructors and institutions typically have no further obligations to each other beyond the specific course. Continuing education is sometimes called adult education. As is elaborated in the Discussion chapter, such terms as academic, skills and training are used in multiple ways that can be not only imprecise and confusing but which also serve to perpetuate misleading stereotypes. Tackling this problem, however, would be a dissertation in its own right, and so I have chosen to make do with vocabulary that, while problematic, is common throughout North America. 12 Inventory of Public Institutions The public sector enrolls the most students in BC and is especially important outside the large cities of Vancouver and Victoria. Although sectors and not individual institutions are the focus of this dissertation, individual institutions are frequently mentioned but not described. Table 1 provides an inventory of public institutions in BC, classified by region and type, as a general orientation for readers less familiar with the BC landscape. Summaries of their history are available in the appendix of Cowin (2007). 13 Table 1: BC Public Postsecondary Institutions, 2015 Region and Type Name Opened Notes VANCOUVER Research University U. of British Columbia 1915 Predecessor affiliated with McGill University Simon Fraser University 1965 Technical U. of BC 1999 Merged into SFU to become Surrey campus Teaching University Capilano University 1968 Originally Capilano College Emily Carr University 1933 Originally Vancouver School of Art, then Emily Carr College of Art and Design, then Institute University of the Fraser Valley 1974 Originally Fraser Valley College, then University College of the Fraser Valley Kwantlen Polytechnic University 1981 Originally part of Douglas College, then Kwantlen College and Kwantlen University College College Douglas College 1970 Langara College 1994 Originally part of Vancouver Community College Vancouver Community College 1965 Originally Vancouver City College Institute BC Institute of Technology 1964 Institute of Indigenous Government 1995 Absorbed by the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology Justice Institute 1978 Open Learning Agency 1978 Originally Open Learning Institute. Merged into Thompson Rivers University. Pacific Marine Training Institute 1938 Originally Vancouver Navigational School. Merged into BC Institute of Technology. Pacific Vocational Institute 1960 Originally part of BC Vocational School. Merged in BC Institute of Technology. Vancouver Vocational Institute 1949 Merged into Vancouver Community College VANCOUVER ISLAND Research University University of Victoria 1963 Predecessor was Victoria College Teaching University Royal Roads University 1995 Vancouver Island University 1969 Originally Malaspina College, then Malaspina University-College. College Camosun College 1971 North Island College 1975 SOUTH INTERIOR Research University U. of British Columbia - Okanagan 2004 Originally part of Okanagan University College Teaching University Thompson Rivers University 1970 Originally Cariboo College, then University College of the Cariboo College College of the Rockies 1975 Originally East Kootenay Community College Okanagan College 1968 Okanagan University College for a period Selkirk College 1966 Institute Nicola Valley Institute of Technology 1983 Private institution became public in 1995 NORTH Research University University of Northern BC 1994 College College of New Caledonia 1969 Northwest College 1975 Northern Lights College 1975 MULTI CAMPUS BC Vocational School 1960 Campuses across the province. After 1970, merged into colleges and BCIT. 14 Chapter 2: Literature Review The first section of this three-part chapter reviews the historical literature about BC postsecondary education that provided my empirical data. The second section situates my usage of the terms policy and theory among the numerous, contested and often vague understandings that appear in scholarly literature, explaining why it is appropriate to attribute particular theories as propelling forces in the policy deliberations of politicians and officials who might not even have been aware of the existence of such theory. In the final section, I draw upon several literatures to identify the particular theoretical concepts that make a significant contribution towards understanding some enduring public policy stances about postsecondary education in BC. Historiography of BC Postsecondary Education This section maps and assesses the historical literature about the structure of the contemporary BC postsecondary system, that is, the literature about institutional developments since 1960. The focus is on postsecondary institutions and sectors, rather than on changes within institutions. Departmental histories, biographies, and social and intellectual histories are thus beyond its scope. The review evaluates the extent to which the histories of the various sectors have been documented and critiques the focus of those documents. Public Institutions Histories of individual public institutions have tended to be written by people other than scholars of higher education, whereas the majority of authors who have studied groups of public 15 institutions, such as colleges and university colleges, have been associated with the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. In both instances, the authors were predominantly white males. The literature is richest with respect to beginnings, namely the establishment of institutions or points of significant transformation. Less attention has been devoted to detecting trends and patterns in subsequent institutional and sectorial development, or to interactions within and across organizational fields. Sheehan (1985) and Axelrod (1979, 1982, 2002) commented that historians have shown little interest in Canadian universities, and neither of these two scholars discussed the even scarcer attention paid to the history of the rest of Canadian postsecondary education. They reported that until the 1970s, most histories of Canadian universities were in-house, one-sided documents chronicling a series of events with little sense of themes or even narrative flow. Tending to be uncritical and only superficially acknowledging external forces, struggles and crises were indeed examined but these were described as temporary obstacles that were eventually resolved, enabling the institution to continue on a path of progress and success. The situation today regarding the history of BC universities is no longer as dire, but the general thrust of the critiques by Sheehan and Axelrod still resonates. Histories of individual BC universities have tended to focus internally with scant attention to the interactions among BC universities and with other sectors. The most scholarly of the histories of BC universities is Johnston’s (2005) volume on Simon Fraser University, although he said little about the development of the university in its second and subsequent decades. It provided extensive background regarding a seminal plan for academic education in BC, the Macdonald Report (Macdonald, 1962), and contextualized the issues at SFU according to developments in higher education elsewhere in Canada and the world. 16 Rounding out Johnson’s book are a thesis on the radical early days of SFU (Rossi, 2003), a fiftieth anniversary compilation of reminiscences and anecdotes of former SFU faculty and support staff (Gibbons, Long, & Piovesan, 2016), and an article about the creation of additional campuses of SFU and of a new hybrid institution, Fraser International College, which provides pre-admission instruction for ESL students (Brophy & Tucker-Abramson, 2012). Damer and Rosengarten’s (2009) book is the only recent history of by far the largest and dominant postsecondary institution in BC, the University of British Columbia. Although the analyses, generalizations and contextualizations that are woven into a rather celebratory description of programs and people constitute but a small proportion of the text, the total amount of text is substantial. Whitely, Aguiar and Marten’s (2008) article concerned a specific episode in UBC’s history, namely the acquisition by UBC of the North Kelowna campus of the former Okanagan University College to become UBC Okanagan. Macpherson (2012) wrote a fiftieth anniversary commemorative volume of the University of Victoria in which he explicitly stated that his book did not purport to tell the full story and was not a history as historians usually think about their work. An earlier volume about the University of Victoria (Smith, 1993), also cautioning that it was a not a critical study, dealt mainly with the predecessor of the university, Victoria College. Other minor sources about the University of Victoria include Neering and Liscombe (1988) and an account of the physical development of the campus (Smith & Segger, 1988). McCaffray (1995) chronicled the crusade of the local community for a northern university, stopping at implementation planning and before the opening of the resulting University of Northern British Columbia. A recent master’s thesis (Anderson, 2014) concluded that the university really had not lived up to the aspirations and rationales advanced in the late 17 1980s for a distinctively northern university. Trueman (2005) presented a descriptive history of the short-lived Technical University of BC and then analyzed the arguments advanced by government to justify closing the university and transferring its assets to Simon Fraser University. In contrast to the research universities, what are now BC’s teaching intensive universities are largely undocumented in terms of individual institutional histories. The few histories that do exist concern their origins as community colleges: as Capilano College (Brown, 1973) in the case of Capilano University, as Fraser Valley College (Woodroff, 1983) for the University of the Fraser Valley, and as Malaspina College (Schmidt, 1993) for Vancouver Island University. The relevant historical literature about BC’s teaching universities lies not as individual institutions but as collective histories of the period when most of them existed as university colleges. Some histories exist of individual colleges and institutes, but the record is spotty and not recent. Scholarly examinations of BC colleges have tended to be about the sector as a whole, rather than of individual institutions. Colleges for which individual histories exist include Douglas College (Douglas College, 1990; Graham, 1992; Della Mattia, 2010), Okanagan College (Freake, 2005), Northern Lights College (Dampier & Wytenbroek, 2000), and three short monographs about the College of New Caledonia (Howard, 1988a; Howard, 1988b; MacKinlay, 1985). A memoir about the Vancouver Vocational Institute (Rerup, 1993), by then absorbed into Vancouver Community College, conveyed an ethos about vocational education that no longer exists. Another institutional history that provided an insider’s perception of vocational education was about the tiny BC Mining School in southeastern BC, a public organization that existed only 18 from 1971 to 1981 (Lefevre, 1993). The most recent history of a provincial institute, a coffee table anniversary book, was about the Justice Institute (Rossiter, Budgen, & Grescoe, 2008.) In the remaining references about individual institutes, the historical components appeared in support of documents written for other purposes. McArthur’s (1997) chapter on the history of the BC Institute of Technology appeared in a dissertation about the creation of a Bachelor of Technology degree. Moran’s (1992) social history of the Open Learning Agency was embedded in a dissertation that, like McArthur, addressed questions of legitimacy. A subsequent journal article (Moran, 1993) was more explicitly focused on the genesis of the Open Learning Agency. A program evaluation of the now defunct Institute of Indigenous Government, (Human Resources Development Canada, 1998) provided some historical information by way of background. Turning now from individual institutions to the histories of postsecondary sectors, histories of the BC university sector are yet to be written. Community colleges and a subsequent subsector that evolved from them, the university colleges, represent the postsecondary sector that, as a collective, has received by far the most historical attention. However, the history of the college sector has become a much less frequent topic of study since 1995. The early histories of the college sector were written mainly by individuals who participated in that history. Soles’ (1968) master’s thesis was hardly a history in that the BC college system was just getting launched. His perspective and values were significant, nonetheless, in that he was the principal of the second college to open in BC, Selkirk College, and then became the senior provincial government official responsible for the college system. Beinder (1983; 1986) wrote as the executive director of the BC Association of Colleges, the provincial organization for BC college boards. As well as providing chronologies, he 19 articulated the liberal values of many of the early proponents throughout the province of what is sometimes described as the community college mission or philosophy (Dennison, 1979a; Vaughan, 2006). In analyzing the discourse concerning the establishment of the first eight community colleges in BC, Workman (1975) drew attention to precursors of the Macdonald Report (Macdonald, 1962). Of particular relevance was an early master’s thesis (Knott, 1932). with strong parallels to Macdonald’s report. Dennison was the preeminent scholar of BC colleges. Of import for this dissertation was an article (1979a) that described some briefs that led to the Macdonald report, a study (1986) of three policy changes that gave the BC government more control over colleges and modified their missions, and a book on Canadian colleges co-authored with a Vancouver college president (Dennison & Gallagher, 1986) that concluded BC colleges had been at the forefront of postsecondary innovation in Canada. Dennison’s chapter in another book on colleges in Canada, this time an edited volume under Dennison’s direction, recounted BC college history from 1980 to 1993 (Dennison, 1995). One of Dennison’s doctoral students and subsequent colleague, Levin (1994), surveyed the BC policy community to identify what they considered to have been the five most important developments for BC colleges in the 1980s and then to determine who had driven those changes. Gaber’s (2002) dissertation examined levels of centralization and coordination, voluntary or otherwise, in the BC public college, university college and institute system Several articles assessed the implications of the limited degree-granting authority, introduced through a variety of mechanisms since 1990, in institutions that had formerly been two-year community colleges and institutes. To varying extents, the literature provided historical 20 perspectives in analyzing the new complexities of what had originally been a clearly demarcated, binary postsecondary system in terms of the authority to confer baccalaureate degrees. Poole (1994) examined the perceptions of key decision-makers in government and colleges who were involved in the decision to create university colleges. In a similar vein, Levin (2003) wrote less a history than a socio-cultural analysis, but the article did provide some helpful historical context. University colleges and applied degrees figured in a paper by Dennison and Schuetze (2004) in response to BC’s Degree Authorization Act of 2002. Two years later, Dennison (2006) assessed the evolution of university colleges, up to and including the transformation of one into a special purpose (teaching) university, Thompson Rivers University. He situated the creation of UBC Okanagan in terms of university and community college traditions, noting that BC colleges had succeeded beyond some people’s expectations and that they did indeed provide geographical access. Fleming and Lee (2009) considered academic and mission drift as they concluded that a consortium formed by university college presidents essentially created a tripartite public postsecondary system. Fleming’s (2010) summary of the history of BC public colleges and universities added little to the existing literature, but his dissertation is distinctive in that it did not merely acknowledge the importance of the California college model for BC but actually examined the California master plan and explicitly considered its implications for BC. Barnsley and Sparks (2009) examined questions of autonomy and governance in a former university college that became Thompson Rivers University, illustrating the types of questions and ambiguities that arose as new institutional forms were introduced to the BC postsecondary system. 21 Private Institutions The historical literature about private postsecondary institutions in BC, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, is thin. These institutions include some that are Aboriginal-governed institutions and some that are faith-based, as well as private career colleges and private universities. The only treatment of the faith-based sector as a whole (Cowin, 2009) began with historical descriptions of each individual institution and then shifted to commentary about the characteristics of the sector. Burkinshaw’s (1995) study of conservative Protestantism in BC from 1917 to 1981 provided a few passages about the history of faith-based postsecondary institutions. Several histories have been written about individual faith-based institutions: Carey Hall (Anderson, 2006), Columbia Bible College (Born, 1992), Regent College (Botton, 2004), Trinity Western University (Hanson, 1977; Tome & Trinity Western University, 2002), Vancouver School of Theology (Taylor, 1993), and the long defunct Notre Dame University (portions of an evaluation report by the Universities Council of British Columbia, 1976). While this is a rich literature relative to the small number of students enrolled, the literature is almost entirely decontextualized from other parts of BC postsecondary education, including other faith-based institutions in the province. An even smaller not-for-profit, private postsecondary sector consists of Aboriginal-governed institutions. Cowin (2011) made the first attempt to fill a void in the literature, a study that spanned both private institutions and aspects of Aboriginal programming in public institutions. Since then, a dissertation on BC Aboriginal postsecondary educational policy 22 development contained a few sections with historical description of Aboriginal-governed institutions (MacIvor, 2012). Apart from a few paragraphs in passing, most scholars of BC postsecondary education have not examined the medium-sized, rather fluid, private career college sector. Culos’ (2005) thesis was therefore all the more welcome, albeit that it examined only the decade when the Private Post-Secondary Education Commission existed – a period during which all private postsecondary institutions, and not only private career colleges, came under the purview of a single regulator. Cowin (2013b) was another comprehensive first attempt to fill a void in the literature, written from the point of view of an outsider, whereas Culos provided the perspective an insider to an industry that had expected legislative changes in 1991 to become a means of enhancing the legitimacy of career colleges as a sector. Cleveland (1995) wrote a largely theoretical thesis about the implications of using market mechanisms for private and public providers of vocational education. Of limited historical value, it nevertheless has a chapter describing how federal and BC governments had intervened in the market through such means as student financial aid, tax expenditures and the purchase of training from private providers. Cowin’s (2013a) report on post-baccalaureate programs contains a few pages of history about a dozen private universities that have offered graduate degree programs in BC. The information is minimal and could be viewed as inconsequential were it not the only place where this historical information is available in one publication. 23 Boundary Spanning and Multiple Sectors Among histories that have examined the evolution of more than one postsecondary sector since 1960, Dennison was the principal author until 2000. Thereafter, Fisher and his collaborators became the leading authors, writing with particular attention to government policy. The most accessible summary was Cowin’s (2007) description of the public postsecondary system, providing an overview of the system’s development and an appendix with very brief histories of each individual institution. Dennison’s (1979b) discussion paper emphasized public universities and colleges, but touched upon some private academic institutions and the intermediary body for government, the Universities Council of BC. His chapter (1997) on BC surveyed 1945 through 1995, mentioning not only the establishment of institutions, but also touching on associated organizations and agencies. It considered government intentions and policy, insofar has they could be deduced from actions because expressed policy was, in the view of Dennison, sometimes incoherent. The 2006 book by Fisher and his collaborators (Fisher et al., 2006) was national, not provincial, in scope but it provided valuable background about federal government forces that affected the development of postsecondary education in BC. Fisher, Rubenson, Jones, and Shanahan (2009) considered BC in the context of two other provinces, focusing on the priorities of government as expressed in policy documents. They concluded that the dominant theme since the mid-1980s has been a desire to create more access for students. Fisher et al.’s (2014) long chapter is a key source for BC developments since 1990, contextualizing changes in terms of the overall orientation of the provincial government and not only its position on postsecondary education. Modifying the conclusion in Fisher et al. (2009), an 24 observation in 2014 was that since the mid 1980s, education as a wealth creator has dominated government policy discussion on education. Technical (classroom) training for apprentices is delivered by both private and public institutions. Like most of vocational education in BC, it has received scant historical attention and documentation. Rather, most of the literature on apprenticeship has addressed the issues of the day rather than change over time. A number of government reports have briefly mentioned past developments (for example, Goard, 1977; McDonald, 2014; Provincial Apprenticeship Board, 1984) but actual histories are rare. Haddow (2000) analyzed the short-lived BC Labour Force Development Board. Dwyer’s (1983) review of the impact in BC of federal policies for adult occupational training began in the 19th century but had a chapter on developments since 1960. Cowin (2012a) started to fill the historical gap regarding apprenticeship, including a short section on the postsecondary vocational schools that are occasionally merely mentioned in other histories. Strictly speaking, continuing education is not a sector in that it is always a component of some other public postsecondary institution. Nevertheless, the function differs significantly from base or ongoing activity, and continuing education units often behave as if they were independent organizations. To ignore continuing education as a pseudo-sector would be to miss some key structural changes in the evolution of the BC postsecondary system. Continuing education has a robust literature that includes many historical works. In British Columbia, most of the historical papers concern offerings by universities or trace the development of community-based offerings outside formal education organizations. Selman (1975), Devlin (1984), Selman (1988), Damer (2000), and Mclean and Damer (2012) are good entry points to this part of the literature. 25 A key document for the college and institute sector is an analysis conducted by Schuetze and Day that identified shifting program emphases and levels of activity in the 1980s (British Columbia and Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1992). Bigsby (1977) examined the early continuing education activities of three colleges in the Vancouver region. A synthesis of the historical literature on continuing education offered by BC postsecondary institutions appeared in Cowin (2010), one of the infrequent instances where discussion of such offerings across multiple postsecondary sectors appeared in a single document. Miscellaneous This subsection presents some specific literature that complements the more historically comprehensive literature discussed above. The few pages Campbell (1982) wrote on BC since 1900 succinctly set the stage for this dissertation: chronic delay, a quarter century in a moribund state and then feverish growth. The spatial distribution lens that Metcalfe (2009) employed rounds out the discussion of geographic access found in other references. Schuetze and Day (2001) considered a single decade, 1989 – 1998, finding BC to be the most differentiated province but also the most integrated, and that the college and university sectors were growing more alike. Bullen (1991) documented his experiences and perspectives as chair of the Provincial Access Committee. The structure of a postsecondary system includes the governing, facilitating and advisory groups that affect the operation of the system. They are mentioned in several histories, but Cowin (2012b) devoted an entire report to them. Calder (1984) sought lessons from the college 26 councils that existed from 1977 to 1983. Kulich (1986) considered only adult education associations. Unlike the eight provinces to the east of Alberta, transfer is an important structural feature of the BC postsecondary system. The BC Council on Admissions and Transfer has published or sponsored a number of works about student mobility in BC, with three historically oriented ones being Andres and Dawson (1998), Gaber (2010), and McQuarrie (2014). Policy and Theory This section reviews two topics that influenced how I approached my research, namely the characteristics of policy and theory as abstract constructs. These constructs are regularly invoked in varying ways in educational literature, but often with little attention devoted to explaining how they are being used and what they might actually mean. Policy Bobrow and Dryzek (1987) were extreme in describing policy studies as a babel of tongues in which participants are apt to talk past, rather than to, one another, but their point that policy is a nebulous and varyingly understood construct is well taken. Public policy has been described as a vague concept (United Nations, 2014) and “maddeningly difficult to define precisely” (Smith & Larimer, 2013, p.3). Nevertheless, some sort of a working definition of policy is needed to distinguish it from related concepts such as strategy, planning, goals, decisions, procedures and practices. Policies are often described as statements of intent or goals (Blakemore & Warwick-Booth, 2013; Cheung, 2011). Some authors go further to include indications of the structure or 27 means by which the actions will be implemented, that is, policies encompass both ends and means (May, 2003; United Nations, 2014). Under this approach, though, policies may not differ from plans. To distinguish policy development from planning, it seems that a definition of policy also requires that something resembling the intended actions to have actually occurred (Anderson, 1997), or at least to have been attempted. Furthermore, policy is intended to endure and not simply be updated or replaced in the next decision-making cycle. Policies are usually seen as a course of actions, a stance towards a particular topic, rather than a single decision. Mintrom and Williams (2013) emphasized the predetermined character of responses to specified circumstances. Policy setting involves values and is not merely a technical exercise. Simons, Olssen and Peters (2009) concur with Prunty’s (1984) definition of policy as the authoritative allocation of values. The legitimation of a set of values is always a political process and these authors, along with Codd (1988), discuss policy as the exercise of political power, and of the language to legitimate that process, to select goals, define values or allocate resources. Some authors encourage an expansive definition of policy to include consideration of what topics get excluded from the policy agenda (Cheung, 2011) and consideration of whether inaction and not making a decision represent forms of policy (Simons, Olssen, & Peters, 2009). Explicit, formal policy is the easiest to identify and analyze, but implicit policies, perhaps never acknowledged much less documented, can be equally or more important (United Nations, 2014). In the absence of a widely accepted definition of policy, I have chosen the following criteria for identifying policies: • Sets of decisions of intent concerning large topics, in contrast to decisions about isolated or specific matters; 28 • Intentions that were at some point actualized, whether successfully or not, and which did not exist only as plans or aspirations; • Decisions that were intended to be enduring and which were more than short-term expediency. (Cumulatively, though, a consistent series of short-term decisions might constitute policy.); • Underpinned by a values orientation and not decisions that can be reached on a technical basis alone; • Substantive rather than procedural. (An example of procedural policy would be a process for approving new instructional programs that includes a commitment to consult all stakeholders prior to making a decision.); • Either implicit or explicit. Scholars have also taken a variety of approaches to defining public policy as a subset of policy in general (Hill & Hupe, 2002). I have selected a simple definition, namely that public policy consists of those policies adopted by governmental bodies and officials to address the needs of stakeholders. Theory Before reviewing the literature about the nature of theory, I first explain a connection between policymaking and the use of theory by public officials. It is because of this connection that theory needs explicit attention in this chapter. At the most general level, the aspirations of BC policymakers over the past two generations for postsecondary education reflected thinking in other parts of North America, namely to find fair ways to improve the economic circumstances of individuals and the broader society while simultaneously enhancing the social wellbeing and personal development of all groups in society. As postsecondary participation patterns progressed from elite through mass and into universal stages (Trow, 1972), and as the economy cycled through strong and weak 29 periods, questions of affordability and financial sustainability reflected growing attention to efficient and effective educational management. Although the educational policy goals of economic and social development, fair access, and a sound allocation of scarce resources may have been implicitly adopted with little thought or controversy, the means for accomplishing them were more contentious. Decision-makers differed as to what might be the best ways to achieve the goals, as well as in the extent to which they made explicit the logic or mechanisms that they associated with each means. Nevertheless, decision-makers operated on the basis of some if-then logic that provided rationales for the policy approaches that they preferred: if we do such and such, then we are more likely to achieve a particular goal for postsecondary education. In other words, decision-makers held some sort of theoretical understanding of the nature of social life and believed that if they intervened in certain ways, then certain outcomes could be predicted in at least a general sense. The specifics of these theoretical understandings were myriad, but the understandings regarding postsecondary education clustered into a relatively small number of categories or perspectives. BC decision-makers may not have always been able to articulate, much less label, the theoretical understandings upon which they based their policy rationales, but the scholarly literature explicitly addresses theory in the study of postsecondary education. Drawing from this literature, three categories of theory (discussed in the next section) seem to have undergirded the specific justifications used in distinctive situations for establishing or changing the structure of postsecondary education in BC. My examination of how policymakers drew upon these theories does not explain every nuance or individual development, but collectively examining the application of these theories helps in interpreting change over time. Just how helpful they might 30 be in interpreting the historical record, and how their relative importance has fluctuated over time, will be considered in subsequent chapters. With the foregoing as rationale, I now review the literature on the nature of theory, an even more confusing and contentious construct than policy (Corly & Gioai, 2011; Corvellec, 2013; Sutton & Staw, 1995). Not only is the definition of theory debated across the natural and social sciences, but also within each of these two domains of inquiry (Czarniawska, 2013; Stewart, Harte, & Sambrook, 2011). Authors differ, for example, as to the role of prediction, the importance of falsifiability (Popper, 1959), and the distinction of theory from models, philosophy and systematic description. Hammersley (2004) claimed that few terms in the social sciences are as vague and diversely used as theory. The most expansive notion of theory may mean little more than a systematic way of understanding (Glanz, n.d.), a set of descriptions providing order (Pedersen, 2007) or a coherent description or explanation of observed phenomenon (Gioia & Pitre, 1990). The emphasis in this approach is on a well-reasoned way of thinking, preferably based on adequate experience, with far reaching application (Liedman, 2013). In other words, theories are repositories of general knowledge that go beyond the ability of common sense to explain the world (Markovsky, 2005). What is described as theory may include holistic assumptions, perspectives or worldviews that illuminate or encourage a deeper understanding of phenomena (Hallberg, 2013). Whatever the merits of this broad notion of theory for generating knowledge that helps with understanding and interpreting the world, it does not provide the robust sense of causality and prediction that policymakers seek to help them reach decisions. For theory to inform actions, something more than systematic and insightful description is needed. 31 Social sciences literature generally distinguishes description from theory in that the latter incorporates explanation of observed phenomena (Kaplan, 1964; Whetten & Rodgers, 2013). Explanation addresses the question of why something has come about, fostering understanding (Biesta, 2013), in contrast to description that simply notes what has occurred. At a minimum, explanation involves a set of concepts, definitions or propositions that are interrelated or connected in some logical manner to show how or why phenomena occur (Jasso, 2006; Corely & Gioai, 2011). Markovsky (2005) described logical connections as arguments leading to conclusions from series of assumptions or observations. Arguments concern causation, as distinct from relationships based on correlation or probability (Liedman, 2013). A desirable attribute of theory is that it be parsimonious in terms of the number of interconnections and postulates (that is, that theory be simple) yet applicable to a large number of circumstances (that is, generalizable). It should explain not just a particular instance of something but all instances so that it has general, and perhaps universal, application (Stewart et al., 2011). The attempt to be simple and summary yet to generalize is part of the reason why theory is abstract. In actual practice, the goal of generalizability may be achieved to varying degrees, leading to the difference between mid range and general theory. Mid range theories, common in the social sciences, apply only in a limited range of settings, for example, to a particular culture or social class. Because mid range theories apply to only certain sets of phenomena, they can be more specific and less abstract than general social theory (Ougaard, 2013). Mid range theories may be developed incrementally, continually modified in light of new empirical evidence. In contrast, general theories are less compatible with ongoing testing and improvement because if every application of a general theory could lead to its potential 32 modification, it would lose its utility as a common reference (Whetten & Rodgers, 2013). General theory sets the stage for development of mid range theory, and a set of mid range theories may, in turn, eventually lead to the formulation of a general theory. Some of the theory discussed below, such as that pertaining to social justice, falls towards the general theory end of the spectrum. Other theory in this dissertation, such as human capital formation and regional economic development, is usually applied in ways that are mid range. The role of individual cases is relevant to the understanding of falsifiability as an attribute of theory. Although empirical observations that do not concur with theoretical understandings may suggest that the theory is invalid, Kuhn (1962) pointed out that non-complying observations are sometimes simply interpreted as meaning the theory needs refinement, not that it is invalid. What constitutes falsification is especially intractable in the social sciences (Joas, Knöbl, & Skinner, 2009). The social sciences can say little about individual cases that are apparent anomalies to a theory because the number of relevant factors is usually so large than there may be more than one valid explanation (Streeck, 2010). Furthermore, most cases in the social world come about as the unique result of a one-of-a-kind situation (Streeck, 2010). Although the literature may differ about the importance and characteristics of falsification, the growing consensus is that theory always provides only a partial explanation (English, 2013), is provisional (Liedman, 2013), and represents a progressive approximation (Kuhn, 1962). Thus the test of theory becomes not so much whether it is completely true as whether it is useful for the purpose at hand. In a similar vein, even though social theory may be general and abstract, not able to fully explain each individual case, it may nevertheless lead to 33 conclusions or recommendations about how to respond to an individual situation that are particular and concrete (Jasso, 2006). The final consideration in this brief review of theory concerns prediction, an attribute more frequently seen as essential aspect of theory in the natural sciences and sometimes not seen as even possible in certain types of social science. Social theory may indicate only a general direction and suggest some keys to interpretation (Liedman, 2013), or provide only a list of possible explanatory factors for a situation that gives some initial guidance in the search for explanations (Ougarrd, 2013). Some theories are good at either prediction or explanation, but not the other (Anonymous, 2008). The goal in theory formulation, though, is to develop theory that is good at both. BC Policymakers and Theory Turning now to the understanding of theory that I am using in this dissertation, the following is my interpretation of how BC policymakers have implicitly thought about and used theory when making decisions about postsecondary education. Note that I am not saying whether this definition and usage is the same as my personal view of theory. Rather, I am claiming that the following interpretation is consistent with the empirical evidence of how people behaved, regardless of the philosophical merits of this understanding of theory. My starting point is Coreil’s (2009) definition of theory as a set of interrelated concepts that present a systematic view for the purpose of explaining and predicting. The interconnections may be vague and poorly understood, based as much on strong correlation as a logical or causal argument, but there is sufficient linkage that particular antecedents can be anticipated to lead to predetermined outcomes. For example, the if-then logic might be that if a group of unemployed 34 forestry workers are given at least six weeks of retraining in their local college, then their employment prospects will be significantly improved because they will have acquired new skills and knowledge that employers value. Prediction, in what may be a very loose sense, is important in the use policymakers make of theory. The explanatory logic on which predictions are based may be thin and high level, but there has to be sufficient explanation to justify predictions and indicate how to bring about desired change. Expressed in more abstract language, policymakers seek clearer understandings of the world, connecting what may appear unrelated phenomena, to illuminate possible ways to achieve particular goals (Czarniawska, 2013; Markovsky, 2005). Generalizability is also important. At the provincial level, decision-makers lack the information and ability to deal with a host of specific situations. They seek solutions that will work for the majority of those affected, perhaps simply hoping that any resulting disadvantage to outliers will be minimal. The tendency of policymakers is thus to take mid range theory and to treat it as general theory. Management at senior levels often involves making critical decisions with too little information and too little time to digest the information that is available. In these circumstances, it becomes convenient, perhaps even necessary at times, to identify theories that work well in particular circumstances and apply them broadly. Once having made a decision, policymakers do not necessarily acknowledge, much less welcome, data suggesting that their decision was a poor one. Thus the tendency is to downplay falsifiability and to treat noncompliant cases as anomalies that can be explained by factors other than deficiencies in the original theory. Furthermore, the political process itself, with its use of 35 slogans and emotional appeals, may exert pressure to transform theory into an ideology, an article of faith, which discourages attention to falsifiability. Theories Propelling Postsecondary Policy in BC The remainder of this chapter presents the theoretical underpinnings of three sets of policy rationales that public officials in BC seem to have embraced for postsecondary education and which serve as the analytical lenses for this study. Each set of rationales is separately considered using theory from one or more literatures. The first theoretical cluster concerns fair access to postsecondary education, drawing upon evolving and multiple notions of social justice. I present the different meanings of social justice as complementary, not contradictory, and I draw upon all of them in the subsequent chapters that analyze BC postsecondary policy rationales. The second theoretical cluster focuses on human capital formation as the primary way policymakers in BC have thought about the contribution of postsecondary education to the economic development of the province. Regional economic development theory also considers the importance of a skilled workforce and of education as a quality of life consideration for retaining qualified labour. Thus the connection between human capital theory and certain aspects of regional economic development theory is reviewed. The third theoretical cluster concerns theories that help in interpreting marketization in postsecondary education as an attempt to achieve the efficient and effective allocation of resources. Neoliberal theory accounts for the global trend towards marketization, but to understand how neoliberalism has been implemented in postsecondary education, the literature about new public management is helpful. Finally, to round out the marketization discussion, 36 some specific aspects of institutional theory illuminating competition and imitation among postsecondary institutions are noted. Fairness and Social Justice A significant portion of postsecondary policy discourse and scholarly literature in BC has concerned the enrolment-related topic of access, the Access for All initiative (British Columbia, 1988) being a prime example. Because schooling provides a major route for social mobility, serving as an equalizing force that provides opportunities for the disadvantaged (Davies & Guppy, 2010), postsecondary institutions have been seen to perform important gatekeeping and enabling functions. Clark (1960) itemized some educational opportunity goals that influenced policymakers across North America. Sometimes the postsecondary literature has examined access in terms of inputs such as admissions (for example, Karabel, 2007), student mobility among institutions (for example, Student Transitions Project, 2012) and the role of student financial aid in enabling students to enroll (for example, Junor & Usher, 2007). At other times, attention has been devoted to the outcomes of postsecondary education, such as graduation rates (for example, Education Source, 2006), and on ways for improving those outcomes under the banner of student success (for example, Kramer, 2007), to determine if access policies have been effective. Federal and provincial policies to ensure that the population has appropriate access to postsecondary education have implicitly been informed by theoretical literature about justice in general and, more specifically, about social justice. The foundation of social justice lies in determining a fair way to allocate benefits and burdens among individuals and groups in society. 37 Social justice is yet another of the elastic and evolving constructs prevalent in the social sciences (Soho, Merchant & Lugg, 2011). Over the past three decades, the construct has expanded beyond the fair treatment of individuals to include consideration of how to represent, recognize, and promote the cultures of groups within society. Thus social justice has become a multi-faceted construct and one that is therefore invoked today in more varied ways than several decades ago. Currently in education, though, it is often used in only one of its senses, focusing on how people use power, especially with the goal of countering such forces as sexism, racism, and exclusion based on social class (Davis & Harrison, 2013). In this discussion, I draw on a broad conception of social justice, a conception with four components (using my own terminology for each component in the absence of a standard taxonomy): • Individual justice - fair and equal treatment of individuals (often expressed in postsecondary education as ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to be admitted to an institution or program of study); • Compensatory justice - Unequal treatment of groups to achieve equitable outcomes for individuals in the group (often expressed as providing a level playing field for marginalized or disadvantaged populations); • Cultural recognition - fostering and accommodating distinctive group identities (often embedded in discussions of what are sometimes called identity politics and in challenges to existing knowledge as reflected in curriculum and program structures); • Spatial adaptation - Fair and appropriate treatment of individuals and groups in the hinterland. The first three components appeared in BC postsecondary education in a sequential and cumulative manner, with spatial adaptation running on a parallel track since 1960. Given that social justice is used in various ways as a value-laden and poorly defined construct (Brennan & Naidoo, 2008; Sturman, 1997; Zajada, Knöbl, & Skinner, 2006), the 38 following discussion reflects my own way of using the literature in order to advance the purposes of this study. Some observers might take a different approach and some, such as Hayek (1973), have even argued that social justice is so vague that it should simply be discarded. Nevertheless, I find that the following concepts about fairness and social justice help in interpreting why access goals, and their various nuances, have been so important in BC postsecondary education. Definitions Social justice is sometimes defined as the effort to ensure that all individuals and groups enjoy fair access to what is beneficial and valued, as well as equitably sharing burdens (Furlong & Cartmel, 2009; Singh, 2011). Fairness, a “good” society, and access are key concepts for social justice (Blackmore, 2013; Craven, 2012). Fairness, however, does not necessarily mean an equal or identical distribution of benefits and burdens, and thus questions of equity for diverse groups enter the discussion. In some recent definitions of social justice, the outcome of nominally fair (and potentially unequal) access and burdens might not be sufficient. Bell (2007), for example, took a stance that also considered the process for achieving social justice, namely that all groups in society should participate fully and equally in mutually shaping a society that meets all their needs. In such a society, resources would be distributed equitably and all individuals would be physically and psychologically safe. Over the past generation, social justice has increasingly been viewed as addressing the topics of respect, dignity and inclusion in order to foster a just society. For Lowen and Pollard (2010), dignity is at the heart of social justice, based on human rights and the equality of all people. Zajada et al. (2006) argued that most conceptions of social justice refer to an egalitarian 39 society with a sense of solidarity that echoes the cry of the French Revolution for liberty, equality and fraternity. Although some authors focus on the justice aspect of social justice (see, for example, the discussion of Rawls below), Novak (2000) commented on the social aspect. He drew attention to two social considerations: (a) cooperating and working with others to achieve some type of justice that (b) has as its primary focus the good of others. He contended that focusing on the social, rather than attempting to define justice, has the advantage of being ideologically neutral, enabling the concept to be used in an uncontested manner across the political spectrum from the right to the political left. Zajada et al. (2006) saw true social justice as attained only through the harmonious cooperative effort of the citizens who, in their own self-interest, accept the current norms of morality as the price of membership in the community. Distributive Justice In the 1960s and 1970s, social justice was often framed as the pursuit of distributive justice, that is, of a fair distribution of social goods among individuals. A widespread belief in the benefits of opportunity, individual freedom and choice, and rewards based on merit undergirded this liberal regime of social cohesion (Green & Janmaat, 2011). Some of the associated issues concerned unequal rewards and the extent to which such rewards should be redistributed. Sandel (2009) summarized the discourse as to whether a society is just as essentially asking how a society should distribute the things it prizes: income and wealth, duties and rights, powers and opportunities, offices and honours. From this perspective, Rawls’ (1971) A Theory of Justice has been especially noteworthy (Zajada et al., 2006). 40 While critiquing Rawls and developing a different line of reasoning, Sen (2009) acknowledged the huge contribution that Rawls made to reviving philosophical interest in the subject of justice and in serving as a reference point for subsequent analyses of the concept. Rawls’ foundational idea, in the view of Sen, was that justice has to be seen in terms of the demands of fairness: “a demand to avoid bias in our evaluations, taking note of the interests and concerns of others…a demand for impartiality” (p.54). Along with a principle about liberty, Rawls argued for equality of opportunity (individuals should not gain advantages simply because of birth or membership in a socially privileged group) and that inequality can only be justified if it can somehow make the least advantaged members of society better off than they would otherwise have been. With respect to rewards and benefits, Rawls contended that the random distribution of talents and abilities across individuals no more justified an unequal distribution of rewards that did the contingencies of history and the accidents of birth into privileged groups. Thus Rawls undermined meritocracy based on natural talents, claiming it was no more morally justified than successes arising from social or economic advantages (Sandel, 2009). However, in Rawls’ view, once the principles of social cooperation have been established, people are entitled to the benefits they attain within these parameters. Social justice is not just about opportunities and inputs. It also concerns outcomes, such as who benefits and who pays in the long run (Brennan & Naidoo, 2008). As seen in Rawls’ work, social justice does not necessarily mean the same outcomes for all. It can be about providing equal opportunities to access an unequal reward structure (Furlong & Cartmel, 2009). 41 Unit of Analysis Some theories of justice focus on individuals, examining their rights and rewards within a free market economy, while others focus on group injustices and needs, which the state may be able to address only in more interventionist ways (Sturman, 1997). Anisef, Okihiro, and James, (1982), for example, argued that the ethical principle of individualism in education became a primary mechanism in legitimizing inequalities within a capitalist system in that successes and failures were seen as the result of the actions of the affected individual. When the spotlight turned from individuals to groups, a social democratic emphasis tended to emerge (Sturman, 1997). Earlier conceptions of social justice focused on the individual. Although the landmark Truman Commission on higher education in the United States (Zook, 1947) explicitly sought to rectify group barriers of race, religion and curriculum to postsecondary enrolment, its emphasis was nevertheless on ensuring qualified individuals did not encounter insuperable economic barriers. It was only in later years that the pioneering commentary in the report on group barriers would come to be viewed as a component of social justice (Thelin, 2011). Some scholars have associated social justice not with individuals or even groups, but to entire social systems (Zajada et al., 2006) that arise from social structures – social structures defined as patterns of behaviour that have become so entrenched that they are no longer truly voluntary (Reiman, 1990). This conception of social justice is reflected in analyses of systemic discrimination. 42 Power and Marginalized Groups Issues of power and identity have become increasingly prominent in the social justice literature (Gereluk, 2008). This is reflected in critical perspectives on education in which the fundamental purpose of education is seen as improving social justice (McArthur, 2010). In discussing the identity aspects of social justice – race, gender, sexuality and so on – North (2008) started from the premise that dignity, not rights and privileges, is usually what is at stake in human relationships. Young (1990, 1992) argued that social justice should be viewed as rectifying oppression and domination by majority groups that marginalize other groups, especially in the context of cultural justice and imperialism. She advocated a conception of justice that goes beyond the possession of goods to a wider context about the means to make decisions and to exercise capacities. Mills (2013) examined cultural domination using the example of a minority group having to subjugate its cultural ways of being and communicating to the often hostile norms of the dominant culture. Fraser (1997) and Fraser and Honneth (2003) noted that cultural groups frequently want recognition and acceptance of difference – calls for gay pride being an example of such a difference – whereas distributive notions of social justice usually seek a reduction in difference, such as a more equal distribution of wealth and power. Fraser was formative in efforts to develop a theory of justice that incorporated consideration of both distribution and recognition, rather than treating them as separate understandings of social justice (Mills, 2013). 43 Alternative Taxonomies As a transition from the foregoing sketch of social justice theory in general to the ways in which social justice has figured in policy rationales in education, some works from the 1980s provide a useful, if jargon laden, restatement of the discussion thus far. Burbules and Lord (1981) described the concept of identical opportunities for all, emphasizing merit and assuming most individuals are capable of making their own way in life, as formalism. Compensatory actualism acknowledges that people start from different places in life and encounter various barriers in accessing opportunities. It therefore seeks to bring everyone to the same starting point to ensure a fair competition. Alternative actualism does not provide alternative or compensatory routes to the same goal but rather provides different routes of access to different end points. The varying goals are viewed as equally valuable, but groups and individuals should be allowed to choose among them. Formalism arises from a liberal/individualist tradition and the two versions of actualism are associated with social democratic traditions (Sturman, 1997). Smith (1985) used a different vocabulary to analyze the varying conceptions of social justice. The marginal (formalist) conception leaves both the beginning state of individuals and of society untouched. The compensatory conception adjusts for differing beginning states of individuals but leaves social structures untouched. Redistributive social justice changes the beginning state of individuals and modifies social structures and rewards. These summaries of social justice from the 1980s underplay the concept of social justice as cultural promotion and entirely miss the notion of spatial adaptation as more than compensatory adjustments or cultural promotion. A spatial version of social justice is introduced in a subsequent section. 44 Social Justice in Education Access for all individuals to equal forms of education has frequently been seen as integral to a fair and democratic society (Blackmore, 2013). Liberal and democratic philosophies stress the importance of providing abundant opportunities, such as through education, for individuals to improve themselves and better their circumstances (Anisef et al., 1982). Thus a Canadian government report on postsecondary education concluded that the goal of equal access to postsecondary education had helped propel the dramatic expansion of education throughout the western world (Lelanc & Canada, 1987). Burbules and Lord (1981) saw formalism as the earliest application of social justice to educational analysis, with the implicit or explicit expectation that it was equal opportunity to compete for unequal rewards (Porter, 1979). A meritocratic elaboration of the formalist view was that only a portion of the population has the academic ability to succeed in certain types of education (Furlong & Cartmel, 2009). Streaming and other mechanisms that enabled advantaged social groups to reproduce their privilege in their offspring thus managed to co-exist with what was seen as socially-just, equal educational opportunity. Studies in the 1960s began to question the efficacy of formal education in reducing societal inequities. As the scholarly gaze broadened from equality of initial opportunity to encompass the results of education, schooling came to be seen as both a sorting mechanism and a means to foster equality of condition (Anisef et al., 1982). In other words, education could be both a tool for social control and a means of emancipation. Against this backdrop, compensatory actualism became the new orthodoxy with respect to social justice in education. The argument was that an open door philosophy to admissions was insufficient for students who faced barriers in passing through that door (Burbules & Lord, 1981). In practice, however, remedial 45 educational policies still emphasized equality of access and participation, rather than equality of outcomes in the long-term social and economic conditions of former students (Blackmore, 2013; Sturman, 1997). Gradually, equal access came to be understood as helping the disadvantaged overcome barriers so that they truly had equal access. For example, student financial aid was introduced to help overcome financial barriers. Special programs emerged to encourage the enrolment of under-represented groups, such as women in trades and engineering. Government policy in Canada used the language of ensuring postsecondary education was available on an equitable basis to all Canadians who were qualified and wanted to study (Andres, 1992). The caveats regarding qualification and desire provided space for a differentiated postsecondary system under the rubric of equity. Thus, a provincial report (Alberta Advanced Education, 1984) asserted that equal opportunity to access postsecondary education meant that different students should be offered different types and levels of education with varying starting points and outcomes. Policy discussion of what constituted a socially just postsecondary education system tended to stop at this point, namely fair access using compensatory mechanisms. Other components of social justice theory entered public policy discourse less frequently. Brennan and Naidoo (2008) argued that the typical discussion of educational access in terms of participation and whether certain groups were under-represented (a focus on the private benefits of education) begged the question as to who in society ultimately benefits and who pays for postsecondary education (public benefits). Social justice in terms of identity and cultural recognition – of valuing and fostering distinctive subcultures in contrast to including more individuals from minority groups in the 46 dominant educational culture – has garnered substantial attention over the past two decades in both the scholarly literature on education and within the curriculum and operating procedures of postsecondary institutions (for example, accommodation of the holy days of religious minorities and Indigenization). It has been less common, however, to find governments explicitly addressing the cultural identity aspect of social justice in public postsecondary policy, although the advancement of Aboriginal cultures has strengthened since the 1990s. One noteworthy exception concerns the longstanding recognition of rural communities in such countries as Canada, the United States and Australia where vast physical distances, and not only social and economic characteristics, distinguish rural communities from urban centres. Rural Recognition through Spatial Adaptation The educational literature discusses the special challenges facing rural communities, but not necessarily in terms of social justice. Nevertheless, the needs of rural communities from a social justice perspective were at least an implicit policy rationale in BC postsecondary education. Some portions of the community development literature help elucidate what social justice in far flung rural communities, or what I have called spatial adaptation, might mean. The concept of community has multiple meanings. My emphasis here is on the older notion of a geographically bounded place in which a group of people shares a common interest (Garbovich, 2011). Community differs from the geographical concept of place in that an essential attribute of community is the social relationships that bond people. When, as frequently occurs, community is defined independently of physical space to refer to a common identity, a shared set of values and norms that are reflected in social relationships, community provides the foundation for the social justice concept of cultural recognition. My usage with respect to rural 47 communities, however, remains anchored in physical space and does not decouple it from geography (Bradshaw, 2013). When discussing faith-based institutions and Aboriginal-governed institutions, my usage of community shifts to a decoupled definition. Chaskin (2013) argued that there are three lenses for viewing community: social, spatial and political. In the explicit policy of the BC government for public postsecondary institutions, the emphasis has been strongly on the spatial dimension. Nonetheless, the origins of policies leading to postsecondary structural change often lay in political communities. Social communities were factors in the emergence of the faith-based and Aboriginal-governed institutions. Development can be defined as planned change intended to benefit the community, at least in some predefined way and in the eyes of some people (Garkovich, 2011). In the context of the community development literature, development has the connotations of capacity building, and of empowering individuals and groups to bring about changes that enhance their circumstances or make their communities more resilient (Ife, 2002; Ne, Hill, & Binns, 1997; Reisch, Ife, & Weil 2013). Hustedde and Ganowicz (2013) emphasize solidarity (a deeply shared identity and code of conduct) and agency (the capacity to intervene effectively) in their definition of community development. The focus on empowerment, agency and capacity building, in contrast to the delivery of goods and services to a passive citizenry, distinguishes community development from some other types of distributive justice initiatives. Rural communities by themselves do not always have the capacity to bring about change and may therefore look to their local postsecondary institution, perhaps the largest organization in the community, for assistance as partners or leaders (Thompson, 2014). The institutions are seen not only as providers of educational services and brokers with other components of the 48 education system (Robinson, 2012), but as mechanisms for improving the local quality of life; Miller and Kissinger (2007) used the term social engine to describe this type of capacity building. College and university activities that facilitate local community development include comprehensive continuing education offerings of a general as well as a professional nature, business development services, a wide array of cultural activities and broad access to library, fitness and other facilities (Garza & Eller, 1998). In reviewing models of lifelong learning, Schuetze (2008) concluded that the earliest of the four models of lifelong learning, one that was supported by UNESCO and the OECD into the early 1970s, was primarily a social justice and emancipatory proposition, with a strong emphasis on the advancement of an equitable society. A second model, a cultural one, aimed at fostering the life fulfillment and self-realization of the individual. Both these philosophies are reflected in policy rationales for rural community development. Spatial adaptation involves elements of all three of the other forms of social justice in education: individual justice (as equal access to education as possible, given the constraints of critical mass, regardless of where one lives), compensatory justice (making allowances such as extra funding per student and providing special services to achieve equity) and cultural recognition (fostering a desired style of community life). The way in which all three are invoked concurrently and then expressed spatially makes for a distinctive manifestation of efforts to achieve social justice. Human Capital Formation With only universities having a mandate for research and knowledge creation, the primary way in which public policymakers have viewed postsecondary education as contributing 49 to the economic wellbeing of society has been in preparing students to enter the labour force. Since the late 1950s, understandings of this job preparation role have been informed by theory about human capital formation. In particular, human capital theory provided a strong justification for devoting public funds to education and, to a lesser extent, another reason in addition to such rationales as consumer protection for the state to be interested in private education. Human capital, a more concrete and bounded construct than that of social justice, refers to any knowledge, skill or ability that increases the productivity of a worker and, by extension, that of the surrounding society (Cox, 2006; Scott & Marshall, 2009). It augments the classical economic understanding of the three factors of production: land (including all types of natural resources and raw materials), labour (human effort), and capital (expenditures used to provide means, such as factories, for producing goods and services). If social justice is concerned with ensuring that everyone receives a fair share of the societal pie, then human capital theory focuses on increasing the size of the pie. Whether everyone benefits equitably from the incremental growth of the pie is not seen as particularly important; what matters is that everyone receives a larger slice than they would otherwise have received (consistent with Rawls’ notion of justice). As will be evident in the following chapters, theory about human capital formation has continually informed federal Canadian postsecondary policy since 1960. Its role and meaning in BC government educational policy has been more variable, both over time and across fields of study. 50 Policymakers and the public alike are well aware of the wide range of benefits1 arising from increased levels of postsecondary education, benefits that range from generic skills (such as critical thinking) through cultural and quality of life considerations, to economic benefits. Among the numerous rationales for the state’s interest and support of postsecondary education, one set of benefits, namely the economic, has persisted in the expressed policy rationales for devoting public resources to postsecondary education and to regulating it even when it is privately funded. Grubb and Lazerson (2004) argued that the evolution of the economic purposes for schooling was the single most important educational development of the twentieth century in North America. Two theoretical literatures undergird the economic rationales for state expenditure and regulation in BC postsecondary education: a general one about human capital formation that is applicable throughout developed countries, and regional economic development literature that concerns the wellbeing of smaller and remote communities (Dawkins, 2003; Stimson, Stough, & Roberts, 2006). Regional economics is concerned with more than just education and the characteristics of workers, but enhancing the capacity and stability of the labour force for economic purposes is one argument that has been used to justify postsecondary development throughout the province. 1 Examples of statements about the range of benefits include “research that drives economic growth and addresses pressing social problems” (Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, 2014, p.1); “to provide British Columbians with post-secondary education and training to improve the quality of life and citizenship experience in the province and to enhance current and future job prospects” (British Columbia, Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996, p. 2); “to nurture active citizenship and community engagement” (Plant, 2007, p.12); “provide an opportunity for students to obtain a broad general education that will develop their capacities and creative talents and enable them to grow as human beings and good citizens of their community in aesthetic and/or applied pursuits” (Douglas College, 2015); and “to develop skills and knowledge…to participate fully in the economic, social and cultural life of the province” (British Columbia, Ministry of Advanced Education, 2005, p.8). 51 As will be described later, human capital theory in BC postsecondary policy has appeared in two forms: a generic usage about a well-educated workforce in a knowledge economy and, especially in vocational education, a usage that is more occupationally-specific. These two variations arise as much from the ways in which governments have used human capital theory as from the theory itself. Origins Although the associated concepts have a longer history, the term human capital was introduced only in the 1950s and then developed by economists from the Chicago school, such as Schultz and Becker, in the early 1960s (Mincer, 1958; Tan, 2014). Even though it concerned the development of skills and abilities in people – that is, in labour – the use of the term capital drew attention to the investment that individuals and organizations make in people by providing learning opportunities to increase future rewards or returns. The concept of human capital shifted attention away from the accumulation of physical capital as a factor of production and towards the development of the labour force (Savvides & Stengos, 2009). Schultz (1961) critiqued the classical economic notion of labour as fostering a notion of manual work in which workers resemble each other and are therefore relatively interchangeable. Instead, Schultz noted the role of specialized or innovative knowledge and skill in economic development. Since then, economists have increasingly seen entrepreneurship, or enterprise, as a fourth factor of production, with human capital falling within this fourth category. Notions of human capital and the knowledge-based economy have become mainstream in economic and public policy discourse (De la Fuente & Ciccone, 2003; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2004). 52 Schultz (1960, 1961) identified human capital formation exclusively in terms of formal education, an attribute that is easy to measure and which frequently appears as a proxy for more encompassing ways of forming human capital. Becker (1964) broadened the scope to include both general and specific on-the-job training, informal learning, and other investments that improve the wellbeing of employed persons, such as in support of physical and mental health. The idea of human capital was initially viewed with suspicion, not because of the validity of the idea itself but because of potentially unwelcome implications. In his presidential address to the American Economics Association, Schultz (1961) acknowledged that some people found it offensive to think of investing in human beings: Our values and beliefs inhibit us from looking upon human beings as capital goods, except in slavery, and this we abhor…Hence, to treat human beings as wealth that can be augmented by investment runs counter to deeply held values. It seems akin to reducing man once again to a mere material component, to something akin to property. (p. 2) In recognizing the often bitter attacks on research into human capital formation arising from fear that important cultural values would suffer, Becker (1964) said that a full assessment of the social rate of return on college education would include cultural and civic considerations, but that they were beyond the scope of his study. He did comment that because liberal education can be identified with flexible education, an important economic argument for liberal education can be made in addition to those based on intellectual and cultural considerations. Adoption The contribution of such researchers as Mincer (1958), Denison (1962), and Becker (1964) was to change the way in which education was viewed. Rather than being seen as an expenditure or a form of consumption, education came to be seen as a long-term investment that 53 benefitted individuals through increased earnings and society through increased productivity and innovation (Russell, 2013). In an influential report in the United States, Denison (1962) reported that not only were increased levels of education among the largest sources of past and prospective economic growth for the nation, but schooling was one of the most amenable factors to government influence in the macro economic equation. Within a few years, human capital theory had attracted the attention of Canadian policymakers, championed by the Economic Council of Canada. In its first annual report, the Economic Council of Canada (1964) concluded that the future prosperity of Canada would depend in large measure on an adequate supply of professional, technical, managerial and other highly skilled manpower (in the terminology of the day). The following year, it made a stronger statement: Education is a crucially important factor contributing to economic growth and to rising living standards…we would not wish to detract in any way from the basic view that education is a means of enlarging man’s understanding, stimulating his creative talents, enabling his aspirations, and enriching human experience. But education also has economic aspects…[addressing a] vital need for creating and maintaining an adequate supply of professional, technical, managerial and other highly skilled manpower as a basis for future growth of the Canadian economy. (Economic Council of Canada, 1965, p. 71) The Council then substantiated these claims with a staff report that explored human capital formation in detail (Bertram, 1966). The report touched on the accumulating evidence that education was a basic element contributing to the earnings of people and also to the economy or society as a whole. It said that the social (or public) rate of return on a university education in the United States had been estimated at between 8 and 11% annually, while Canadian estimates of the private returns of university education were in the range of 15 to 20% annually. Finally, it concluded with the policy recommendation that not only is education “a significant factor in 54 raising productivity and living standards, but also that a relative increase in expenditure on education would contribute to an efficient allocation of resources” (p. 64). From the United States and Canada, the first countries to introduce mass higher education, human capital theory spread around the world in the 1980s as a rationale for expanding postsecondary education. The perceived importance of human capital as a determining factor of economic success prompted numerous countries to invest heavily in education and training (Brown, 1999). More recently, Metcalfe and Fenwick (2009) observed that the Canadian federal government has continued to follow encouragement from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to develop policies that promote the capacity of the citizenry to learn, adopt technology, and to embrace informal learning as an accompaniment to formal learning. Human capital formation, along with innovation theory and attention to the role of information and communication technology, has been an important component of the discourse concerning the knowledge economy (Jorgenson, 2012). Drucker (1969) popularized the term knowledge economy, with writers such as Porter (1971) and Bell (1973) further promoting post-industrial theory. This school of thought argued that an implication of a shift in western economies from materials handling to the processing of information was that much of the labour force would be converted into knowledge workers, and that such workers would need to pursue lifelong learning to meet the growing knowledge demands of their jobs (Livingstone & Guile, 2012). By the 1980s, though, economists increasingly realized that the connection between research/knowledge production and social and economic development was complicated (Sorlin, Vessuri, & Teknik,, 2007). Despite lacklustre empirical evidence at the societal, as opposed to 55 the individual, level, advocates of the knowledge economy continued to assert the importance of scientific knowledge and a well-educated workforce in post-industrial societies (Livingstone, 2012). Powell and Snellman (2004) contended that the worldwide transformation of many polytechnics into universities was part of an upgrading movement to signal membership in the knowledge economy, even though substantive measurement of the knowledge economy remained elusive. Concepts A key concept in human capital theory is that of the differing private and public returns to investments in people. Individuals spend money and forego income to acquire learning that they hope will result in higher future incomes. The comparison between the initial investment and future income of those individuals represents the private rate of return. While the technical details of empirically estimating private returns may be complex, this task is less challenging and controversial than the literature regarding public returns. The notion of public returns rests on the proposition that a higher skill level in the workforce increases production capacity and the ability to gain a competitive advantage through innovation (Lindahl & Canton, 2007). Thus investment in human resources is not only crucial for individuals but is claimed to be the key to economic success of regions and nations in the contemporary world (Tan, 2014). While the logic is that human capital accumulation will make a country richer in the longer run, theoretical and empirical verification of this logic has been difficult and inconsistent (Savvides & Stengos, 2009). Empirical evidence about public and private returns is discussed below, but the application of human capital theory to public educational policy was well entrenched by the end 56 of the 1960s. This embracing of human capital formation as a rationale for the state’s expansion of postsecondary education persisted throughout, and sometimes despite, the emerging empirical studies. The economic literature refers to the non-economic benefits of human capital formation – that is, the social, cultural, intellectual and aesthetic benefits – as positive externalities (Tan, 2014). These externalities seem especially likely to be mentioned when economists attempt to estimate the social or public returns to human capital investment. Thus, for example, De la Fuente and Ciccone (2003) concluded that education becomes an attractive investment for society, and not only for the individual, when non-market returns such as social cohesion are brought into the calculation. Critiques Although at the most general level, human capital theory has persisted and become increasingly influential, its significance has fluctuated over time and the academic discourse about it has been considerably more nuanced and skeptical than the popular discourse in at least North America. The early proponents of human capital theory explicitly acknowledged the lack of empirical studies to either confirm or refute their ideas. In speculating on what he thought might be a valuable role for general education in enhancing economic productivity, Schultz (1961) stressed that the state of knowledge on that issue was woefully meager. A few years later, Becker (1964) indicated that while the empirical basis was improving, a tremendous amount of the evidence was circumstantial. 57 Two considerations seem to have constrained the empirical basis of human capital theory. One is that several aspects of human capital formation are difficult to measure. The most frequent measure of human capital in international comparative studies is the level of formal education (Savvides & Stengos, 2009), a relatively robust and easily obtained measure. However, the quality of that formal education and other ways of developing the skill level of labour – such as on-the-job training, the role of informal education, and even the general health of the working population – tend to be ignored because it is challenging to obtain reliable, much less comparable, data on those topics. The second research challenge is that both theoretical and empirical studies of human capital are often very technical and not accessible to those who seek policy applications of the resulting insights (Hartog & Maassen van den Brink, 2007). So although the theory is straightforward at the general level, and the theoretical foundations have not changed much since the 1960s (Tarique, 2013), systematic research on how best to incorporate human capital in theories of economic growth really only started in the late 1980s (Lindahl & Canton, 2007). One of the factors stimulating research on human capital was the emergence of endogenous growth and related theory that emphasized the importance of ideas and human capital in economic development (Mankiw, Romer, & Weil, 1992; Romer, 1990, 1993; Savvides & Stengos, 2009). Endogenous growth theory held that a skilled labour force, knowledge and innovation are significant drivers of economic growth – factors that are within the internal control of an economy, in contrast to external growth stimulants such as foreign trade and business developments in other regions or countries. Although the private sector can conduct research and development, it draws upon a skilled labour force that only the public sector can 58 provide. Growth theory is silent, however, as to what exactly the state might do to best foster technical progress (Cox, 2006). Research has confirmed robust private returns to individuals for their investment in education, but findings about macro returns to the public at large have at best been inconclusive (Lindahl & Canton, 2007; Russell, 2013; Tan, 2014). The optimism of early human capital theorists waned as massive increases in educational expenditures failed to rectify the slow economic growth of the late 1970s and early 1980s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1989). Although policymakers realized by 1980 that while an educated workforce was an important contributor to economic prosperity, human capital was no longer seen as necessarily the key component in the new understandings of economic development (Stager, 1982). The report of a Canadian parliamentary task force, Work for Tomorrow (Allmand, 1981), illustrated the changing viewpoint. The task force was charged with examining the dilemma of simultaneous high unemployment and shortages of skilled workers. It concluded that what were then termed manpower training programs were not achieving their objectives. The OECD found that investment in human capital seemed to be effective only when made in conjunction with other policies as part of an overall strategy that included establishing an appropriate social context, as well as restructuring and modernizing the economy (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1989). The challenge the OECD saw in 1989 was not to determine whether education and training are factors in economic performance but rather to identify the means, directions and the responsibilities of the various parties to improve their provision. Nevertheless, the OECD (2012) continued to assert that 59 investment in human capital was the single most effective way of promoting not just economic growth but also of distributing its benefits more fairly. Other critiques of human capital theory have noted the assumption that while the state may seek to foster and shape certain types of human capital formation, ultimately the decision to engage in learning is taken by individuals seeking to maximize their interests (Tan, 2014). In this respect, the theory is a form of rational choice theory to which the sociological critiques of individualistic explanations of behaviour apply (Scott & Marshall, 2009). Human capital theory operates according to supply and demand, leaving it to employers to decide how to reward people for acquiring learning (Davies & Guppy, 2010). Brown (1999) argued that it either ignores interpersonal, teamwork and creative skills or defines them in technical ways that see them as individual competencies that can be taught through formal education. Regional Economic Development Many theories have been proposed since the mid 1950s to explain why regions vary in their amount and types of economic growth2 (Dawkins, 2003; Szajnowska-Wysocka, 2009). Most of these theories are not relevant to the educational policy rationales being examined in the present study. Nevertheless, a certain aspect of regional economic development concerns labour force skills, touching on social and cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1977; Coleman, 1990), and brings a spatial dimension to human capital theory. 2 Theories of regional economic growth include basic product theory, demand driven/export theory, supply side theory, clustering and cumulative causation, growth poles, networks, core and periphery models, and innovative environments. 60 Spatially oriented theory is more relevant in BC postsecondary education than in a number of other jurisdictions. Unlike some regions, spatial considerations, often expressed in terms of providing better geographical access for students, have constituted a key theme in the history of BC postsecondary education – a reflection of the vast distances in the province and the existence of only two urban centers with a population over 150,000. Questions of geography and skill formation overlap in BC, furnishing a link between the human capital discussion above and the regional economic development discussion below. Some recent position papers from the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (now Colleges and Institutes Canada) illustrate how regional considerations have entered policy discourse about human capital formation. The Association described colleges and institutes in rural and remote communities as being the hub of community response and local socio-economic wellbeing, mandated to anticipate and meet the changing knowledge and skill needs of their regions (Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2007). It noted that small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in smaller centres, regularly turn to their local postsecondary institution for help with innovation, research and development (Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2010). It claimed that the key to economic and social development in remote communities lay in the knowledge and skill base of human capital (Association of Canadian Community Colleges, 2010). The trend in regional economic theory has been to be supplement attention to attracting employers to regions with consideration of how to foster skilled, entrepreneurial populations, and of how to otherwise enhance the quality of life in the region (Blakely, 1994). Especially with the ascendency since the late 1980s of endogenous growth theory (Mankiw, Romer, & Weil,1992; Romer, 1990, 1993) and the recognition of knowledge-based economies, “soft” or “smart” 61 infrastructure such as information, education, amenities, environmental quality, entertainment, venture capital and flexible institutions have been emphasized (Stimson, Stough, & Roberts, 2006). Topics ignored by classical economics – the quality of life in a region, a diversity of employment opportunities, greater social and financial equity, and sustainable development – have entered the literature of regional economic development. Nijkamp and Abreu (2009) concluded that regional development policy has moved increasingly towards knowledge and innovation policy, with leadership and institutional qualities having a great impact on regional welfare. They said that the spatial distribution of knowledge is accepted as an important success factor for regional development in an open competitive economic system, and that a remaining debate in endogenous growth theory is simply whether the relationship between knowledge and development is unidirectional or circular. Marketization My rationale for grouping several topics from diverse literatures about neoliberalism, public administration, and institutional theory into a marketization category is that they all help explain how a market approach has permeated the means, and even the taken-for-granted expectations, by which postsecondary institutions garner resources to operate. Competition is the theme throughout the disparate discussion: intentionally fostered or otherwise, for tangible items such as money and students as well as for intangibles such as prestige and legitimacy, and whether directly induced or the consequence of some other action. When considering competition for intangibles, the following discussion sometimes turns from what governments have done to the behaviour of postsecondary institutions to help with interpreting the impact of government actions. 62 The policy goals throughout this section are efficiency (maximizing output relative to inputs) and effectiveness (actually achieving goals). Whereas social justice and human capital rationales embody notions of what is desirable to accomplish, and despite the values embedded in market approaches, this section primarily addresses questions of means rather than ends (how to achieve social goals, rather than what those goals should be.) Returning to the metaphor of a societal pie in which social justice is concerned with dividing the pie fairly, and human capital formation helps to increase the size of the pie, marketization seeks to provide a sharp knife and well-shaped lifter to obtain precise slices of pie. This discussion of marketization is presented in three sections. The first, about neoliberalism, presents more theoretical concepts. Neoliberalism as an ideology, however, has to be operationalized in some way in order to affect postsecondary institutions. The second section thus explores how states have implemented neoliberal tenets through the use of a body of public administration theory known as new public management. While I find much about neoliberal analyses to be compelling with respect to research universities, they do not illuminate as much as I would like about the growth of market forces, such as increased competition and efforts to enhance institutional prestige (Blackmore, 2016), in other postsecondary sectors. Moving beyond the mainstream literature about academic capitalism and neoliberalism in higher education (Chan & Fisher, 2008; Marginson, 1997; Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004), the third section presents selected concepts drawn from institutional theory – institution in the sociological sense of norms of social life and worldviews, as distinct from institutions as educational organizations – to complete the marketization discussion. 63 Neoliberalism Neoliberalism is one of the most significant social developments of the past century (Ward, 2012), an overarching worldview in which other ideas about social and cultural life exist (Roberts & Peters, 2008). Based on principles that see the free market as the best way of preserving the rights of individuals, neoliberal thinking has become so pervasive that alternative ideologies have diminished or disappeared from general public discourse (Boas & Gans-Morse, 2009). In contemporary postsecondary discourse, it is frequently associated with discussions of academic capitalism (Slaughter & Rhoades, 2004), globalization (for example, Levin, 2001), commodification (for example, Ball, 2012), the knowledge economy (for example, Roberts & Peters, 2008) and managerialism (for example, Marginson & Considine, 2000). The many variations of neoliberalism, differing especially in the ways and extents to which neoliberalism has been implemented, share the ideological principle of preferring the market (understood as a non-political, non-cultural machine) as the way to organize political and economic life (Mudge, 2008). The market is seen as not only efficient on a technical level, but also as a morally superior way of expressing the desires of individuals and resolving divergent opinions (Peters, n.d.). Larner (2000) proposed that five values underpin neoliberalism: the sanctity of the individual, freedom of choice, market security, a laissez faire economy, and minimal government. Harvey (2007) concurred with this list, but claimed that if just one had to be chosen as the cardinal virtue, it would be that individual freedoms are best guaranteed by the freedom of markets and trade. This approach draws upon notions of human dignity and individual freedom as foundational, rather than on social or collective considerations. 64 Individuals, in the neoliberal view, are rational and self-interested. Every social transaction is seen as an entrepreneurial activity for personal gain. Competitiveness is viewed as a mechanism for quality and efficiency, governments should rule from a distance, services should be privatized as much as possible, and the economy should be open (Olssen, Codd, & O’Neill, 2004). Although neoliberalism is strongly associated with marketization, the free market is seen as merely the means of protecting individual liberty and of fostering individual and collective initiative (Lilley, 2006). With this sort of freedom, according to the neoliberal argument, not only are society’s resources allocated efficiently but the creative potential of humans is released, resulting in innovations and gains that ultimately benefit everyone (Thorensen & Lie, 2006). The intellectual roots of neoliberalism are often traced back to Friedrich von Hayek (1944), but it was Milton Friedman (1962) who became the main scholarly proponent from the 1960s to the 1980s (Steger & Roy, 2010; Ward, 2012). With neoliberal ideology driving some profound economic reforms in Latin American countries such as Chile, developments that were often authoritarian and seen as socially unjust, neoliberalism shifted during the 1980s from being a moderate form of liberalism to acquire a radical connotation (Boas & Gans-Morse, 2009). Because of the negative aspects of the imposition of neoliberal reforms in less developed countries as a condition of financial aid by supranational organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and reflecting critiques of the consequences of neoliberal policies in more developed countries (see below), Thorsen and Lie (2006) observed that sometimes the term neoliberal has come to be used to denigrate almost any recent economic or political development that is deemed to be undesirable, stripping the term of meaning. Brown’s (2003) assessment of why the term became pejorative arises from instances where it has 65 deepened local poverty, enabled some wealthier nations to dominate less developed countries, and has been compatible with authoritarian and even corrupt regimes. As a result, few if any proponents of neoliberal ideas self-identify as neoliberal (Boas & Gans-Morse, 2009). Neoconservatism and classical liberalism share with neoliberalism the economic presuppositions of rational, self-interested individuals, the allocative efficiency and effectiveness of markets, laissez-faire, and a commitment to free trade (Olssen & Peters, 2005). Neoliberalism differs, though, from the other two ideologies in the relation of the state to the individual; neoliberalism provides a distinct social-political analysis (Brown, 2003) despite its vague and contested variations (Thorensen & Lie, 2006). While classical liberalism seeks to protect the individual from the state (Olssen, Codd, & O’Neill, 2004), it simultaneously seeks to do so on an egalitarian basis that ensures basic human and civil rights for all (Brown, 2003; Thorensen & Lie, 2006). It envisions an activist state that redistributes wealth and power to foster a more equitable society. Neoliberalism rejects the notion of an activist or welfare state. Rather, it sees the state’s role as simply ensuring the laws and other conditions are present for markets to operate efficiently (Olssen & Peters, 2005). The market is assumed in the long run to bring about optimal social and economic equity. The distinguishing feature of neoconservatism concerns personal and collective morality, a rejection of the moral permissiveness than can flow from individualism. Harvey (2007) claims that neoconservatives share the tolerance of neoliberals of dominant class power, but that they attempt to legitimize that power through a climate of consent around a coherent set of moral values. Without morality, neoconservatives fear that unbridled individualism can undermine the 66 market and create ungovernable situations. Lilley (2006) quoted Harvey in an interview where he described neoconservatives as control freaks sitting on a neoliberal agenda. In contrast, neoliberalism eliminates the distinction between market and non-market activities, embedding and permeating market thinking and values into all social activities (Brown, 2003; Ward, 2012). The image is of people either operating as consumers (of health services, for example) or investors (in education, for example), making private choices in a game-structure controlled by government but with providers from around the world competing to provide the best and cheapest service (Marginson, 1997). Neoliberals do not see markets as arising naturally or flourishing on their own (Brown, 2003), and thus the distinction between government and governance (Larner, 2000) becomes important. Direct regulation may be reduced, but central government sets the rules as to what can and cannot be done, governing or steering from a distance (Marginson, 1997; Ward, 2012). The result is that the neoliberal state leads and controls citizens without feeling responsible for their wellbeing (Lemke, 2001). Government workers shift from seeing themselves as public servants, entrusted with furthering the public good, to becoming responsive to market conditions and contributing to the success of government enterprises (Steger & Roy, 2010). More discussion of the role of public employees and of public administration under a neoliberal regime appears in the following section on new public management. A substantial literature critiques neoliberalism, often seeking not so much to refine concepts or to present alternative formulations as simply to inventory perceived deficiencies and to halt its implementation. One area of critique concerns values with respect to social connections and responsibilities. Bourdieu (1988) argued that neoliberalism leads to a destruction of universal values and a suspicion of collective structures. Ward (2012) expressed 67 these ideas as people being conceptualized less as socially-connected citizens and moral members of a culture, and more as self-interested competitors, self-actualizing entrepreneurs and rational consumers. Brown (2003) claimed that the weakening of non-market morality erodes the foundations of democracy. The cult of the winner sees life as a struggle for everything (Bourdieu, 1998) in which the weak – those with lower incomes and less social and cultural capital – are disadvantaged (Rhoades & Slaughter, 2004). Setting aside values and the desirability of democracy, Harvey’s (2007) assessment at a technical level was that neoliberals favour governance by experts and elites, relying on the judiciary more than parliament, and insulating key organizations such as central banks from democratic pressures. In this respect, individuals may be free to choose, but they are not supposed to construct strong collective organizations or to resist class power and governance by expert elites. Harvey also noted that the market premise that all participants have equal and sufficient access to information is often not met, with better-informed and more powerful actors therefore having a self-reinforcing advantage. After two decades of hegemony, some commentators have suggested a post neoliberal period may be emerging (Hunter, 2013), drawing upon such evidence as Craig and Porter’s (2003) term “inclusive liberalism” and the United Kingdom’s “third way” politics (Giddens, 1999). The argument is not that neoliberal economic ideology is being abandoned but rather that a balance is now being sought between right wing economics and left wing social policy. The view of Peters (2008) was that by the late 1990s, the dogmatism of the neoliberal right was being questioned as a serious threat to social justice, national cohesion, effective public administration and even democracy itself. 68 Public Choice Theory Public choice theory, especially the portions of that literature dealing with bureaucracy, helps explain the receptivity of governments in North America to using neoliberalism in the administration of postsecondary education – not hitherto a particularly problematic or contentious aspect of public administration. Public choice theory uses economic methods and concepts to analyze the political process with respect to the workings of politicians and bureaucrats. It concludes that government is inherently inefficient and that free riding and the strategic concealment of individual preferences undermine the legitimacy of democracy (Mueller, 2004). Although public choice theory examines how political decision-making can lead to results that do not seem to be what the electorate wants, the emphasis in this review is on the subfield that studies bureaucracy and the public officials who either provide or regulate postsecondary education. The seminal works on public choice emerged in the 1960s. Subsequent literature tended to build on those foundations, rather than to shift them. It did not seek empirical verification of its theoretical conclusions, at least not in the early years (Devine, 2004). Buchanan and Tullock (1962) became the leading proponents (Butler, 2012), concluding that the public interest cannot be derived from the aggregation of individual preferences, and that any coherent social welfare approach will always involve some groups imposing their will on others (Olssen, Codd, & O’Neill, 2004). Tullock (1965) and Downs (1967) portrayed bureaucracy as shaped by employees acting in their self-interest, a sharp departure from the way rational choice had previously been applied to organizations (Moe, 1997). However, it was the work of Niskanen (1971) on bureaucratic growth and budget maximization that became the most influential (Moe, 1997). Stigler (1971) 69 concluded that regulated groups have incentives to co-opt their regulators. The stage was set for the adoption of new public management techniques based on the conclusions that regulation does not work very well, bureaucrats are self-serving, and special interest groups dominate politics. Scruton (2007) encapsulated the negative attitude towards the public sector evident in many public choice articles: By adopting an ideology which favors the needy, the minorities, and the powerless, the bureaucrat legitimizes the transfer of funds to his own profession, and makes available to himself and his colleagues the means to live comfortably at public expense while enjoying enhanced social status as a purveyor of official charity. (p. 568) With public choice theory providing respectability to skepticism about the efficiency and effectiveness of bureaucracies, and with Keynesian economics withering under global recessions and neoliberal critiques, governments across the western world became increasingly receptive in the 1990s to ways of reforming public administration. The approaches that emerged came to be known collectively as new public management. New Public Management Neoliberalism is an ideology involving many concepts and principles that need to be operationalized. Political rhetoric and official policy rationales may espouse a neoliberal philosophy, but these do not guarantee that what is implemented is consistent with neoliberal tenets. Conversely, neoliberal actions can be quietly taken with no accompanying verbiage. The resulting question concerns the markers that can be used to identify neoliberal actions with respect to postsecondary policy, regardless of what is or is not being said. My answer is that although new public management (NPM) is not a direct outcome of neoliberalism, and although proponents of other political and economic approaches can use many of its techniques, NPM has 70 been a primary means by which western governments have expressed neoliberalism in the public sector (Marginson, 2012). New public management, a term popularized by Hood (1991), is both an ideology that brings neoliberal ideas about marketization and the state into the public sector and a set of practices and techniques (Christensen, 2008; Pollitt & Bouckaert, 2011). The ideological aspect of new public management seeks to foster half a dozen behaviours: • a focus on outputs, performance and results rather than inputs, effort and procedural compliance; • attention to customer-service and a user-orientation; • cutting costs and red tape to increase efficiency; • promoting the benefits of competition and quasi markets; • empowering employees to be problem solvers and to find innovative ways of achieving goals; • taking a business-oriented approach to government. (Christensen, 2008; Gultekin, 2011; Lynn, 2006; Pollitt & Bouckaert, 2011; Tolofari, 2005). Several techniques are viewed as especially helpful for achieving the above goals: • deregulation and privatization; • decentralization and detaching policy formulation from policy execution; • creation of small, single-purpose organizations that do not overlap with other organizations; • contracting and the use of principal-agent arrangements, with the monitoring of performance targets; • competition for funding; 71 • performance pay. (Lynn, 2006; Pollitt and Bouckaert, 2011; Tolofari, 2005). Table 2, excerpted and paraphrased from Roberts (1999), highlights some of the differences between new public management and previous, Weberian conceptions of public administration. Table 2: Public Administration Principles Hood and Peter’s (2004) assessment of NPM reformers was that they were selective, casual and uncritical in the type of administrative theory and evidence they employed. From this viewpoint, the NPM movement was essentially ideological, consistent with an implementation driven from the top by politicians (Tolofari, 2005). NPM seems to have been adopted in some countries partly just to participate in an international trend, and was used in those countries to address issues from the perspectives of practitioners rather than theorists (Lynn, 2006). Dimension Traditional Model New Public Management Agency Laws and political processes Competitive markets, individualistic self-interest, customer orientation Key Success Equity, responsiveness, political appropriateness Efficiency, effectiveness, customer satisfaction Values Public interest, consistency of bureaucracy with the electorate Service quality, accountability, valuing of the private sector Structure Hierarchy Networks of self-organizing teams Jobs Standardized, formalized Multi-tasked, outcomes oriented Techniques Routinized, sequential Customized, cooperation with private sector Rewards Rule based Incentive based Culture Follow rules, minimize risk, stability Manage risks, solve problems, improvements 72 The federal government in Canada, after making some pragmatic reforms and mild efforts to downsize government, was lukewarm to NPM. Haligan (2011) called Canada the most enigmatic of the Anglophone countries with respect to NPM in that Canada was the first to explore management reforms but slow to adopt them. He saw public service in Canada as remaining unmanagerialized in several respects. (Managerialism in this context is the belief that organizations function best when power, control and decision-making are centralized among professionally trained and supposedly objective managers (Ward, 2012).) Lorenz (2012), writing about NPM in universities, claimed that neoliberalism in the public sector was characterized by just two features: free market rhetoric and intensive managerial control practices. His view was that NPM promoted the takeover by distant managers of activities that were formerly run by professionals in accordance with their own standards, resulting in a loss of autonomy. As something of a counterpoint to Lorenz’s perspective, Christensen (2008) found that, worldwide, the decentralizing management techniques of NPM, by which managers were empowered to choose the appropriate way of meeting government goals, have been more prevalent than centralizing ones. In reviewing the literature about the effects of NPM on public sector efficiency, Andrews (2011) concluded that despite the many claims and counter-claims, there remained a dearth of compelling evidence to support any position about the effects of NPM. A theme in studies by political scientists has been that NPM undermines political control as the distance to subordinate units increases, as services become fragmented and therefore become challenging to coordinate, and as administration becomes dominated by judicial processes (Christensen, 2008). The vertical separation of policy-making and implementation, and the horizontal splitting of agencies into single purpose agencies, has made cooperation across organizational boundaries more 73 difficult (Christensen & Laegreid, 2007; Lynn, 2006). Thus post-NPM concepts such as joined-up-government and whole-government have emerged (Bogdanor, 2005). Institutional Theory Neoliberalism creates competitive, uncertain environments for public postsecondary institutions in which little can be taken for granted and self-interest is rewarded. If postsecondary institutions have experienced such environments, then one would expect to find examples of them engaging in competitive, quasi market-like behaviours. Institutional theory helps explain change and stability in institutions by examining their relationship with other institutions and the broader environment. It also helps explain why competition and market behaviours do not necessarily focus on increasing efficiency in organizations. Among its many concepts, three are useful for my purposes in understanding competitive behaviour in educational organizations: attempts to enhance organizational reputation (external legitimacy), the copying of high status competitors that results in organizations looking similar (mimetic isomorphism), and the adoption of high level goals that have little impact at the frontlines (loose coupling). This section begins by briefly situating institutional theory and, of particular relevance for this study, neoinstitutional theory. It then elaborates only the above three concepts because the analyses in subsequent chapters draws selectively on institutional theory. An institution is a sociological concept concerning sets of norms that are generalized across a group of people as a common way of acting, thinking and feeling, and which entail power relationships that help entrench them (Scott, 2007). Examples include private property, marriage, democracy, and professionalism. Lincoln (1995) emphasized that institutions acquire 74 meaning and stability in their own right rather than as means to an end. They are widely followed without debate and are long lasting (Tolbert & Zucker, 1983); indeed, the understandings may be so taken for granted that alternative ways of seeing the world are unthinkable (Zucker, 1983). Political science, economics, and sociology have all developed large literatures with different emphases and analyses of institutions. It is from the sociological stream, particularly as it interacts with organizational studies within administrative science, that the following material is drawn. Selznick (1949), especially, brought institutionalism into organizational studies through his study of the Tennessee River Valley Authority (Gray, 2008). Organizations sometime behave in ways that defy economic logic or which seem irrational; institutional theory offers a way of making sense of these situations (Suddaby, 2010). Such theory provides intermediate level explanation, more than simple description or isolated case studies but less than universal generalization (Scott, 2014). Increasingly, under the rubric of neoinstitutionalism, scholars seek to contextualize their analyses, situating the organizations under study in their wider environment and social context, using an open systems approach (Pedersen & Dobbin, 2006; Scott, 2014). According to Gray (2008), the term neoinstitutional was introduced in the mid 1990s, shifting attention from what happens within an organization to also consider the broader environment in which it operates. The defining characteristic of neoinstitutionalism in the view of Powell and Colyvas (2008) is a focus on the organizational field (defined by Scott (2014) as a collection of diverse, interdependent organizations that participate in a common meaning system), taking into account both competitive and cooperative pressures that shape organizations. Thus Gray (2008) saw the old institutionalism more as a theory of stability, whereas neoinstitutionalism incorporates attention to change. 75 Neoinstitutionalism considers questions of the legitimacy of an organization within its relevant organizational field. Carter and Clegg (2011) proposed that legitimacy is the master concept of neoinstitutionalism, with the goal of neoinstitutionalism being to understand the ways by which the socially constructed external world comes to shape how people and organizations structure their categories of thought and resulting actions. The repertoire of possible options in an organization is bound by the rules, norms, and beliefs of the multiple organizational fields in which it operates (Scott, 2014). Legitimacy is the first concept I draw from institutional theory. In addition to material resources and technical information, organizations require social acceptability and creditability in order to survive (Scott, 2001). Organizational legitimacy helps in accessing resources and markets easily, especially as some stakeholders will only engage with organizations they view as legitimate (Brown, 1998). Meyer and Scott (1983) described a completely legitimate organization as one about which no questions could be raised. In a similar vein, Suchman (1995) defined legitimacy as a generalized perception that actions are desirable, proper or appropriate. Legitimacy is the basis on which prestige, a favourable (and often culturally conservative) social evaluation, emerges. In contrast, reputation (a generalized expectation about future performance) and status (a competitive ranking) may concern organizations that are not viewed as especially legitimate (Deephouse & Suchman, 2008). Meyer and Rowan (1977) provide a linkage between legitimacy and organizational form: sometimes innovations are adopted not because they are seen as improving performance but because they enhance the reputation of the organization as a progressive, responsive entity. When the best means of producing desired outputs are ambiguous, as is the case in education, then signaling credibility and legitimacy to key stakeholders become important considerations 76 (Morphew & Huisman, 2002). Organizational structure and nomenclature are means of sending such signals, which leads to the second concept I use from institutional theory, namely mimetic isomorphism. Isomorphism is a similarity in form or structure, sometimes with the implication that the corresponding entities may have had different origins. In institutional theory, this type of conformity among organizations can arise from external cues in the organizational field about effective ways to enhance legitimacy and compete for resources. DiMaggio and Powell (1983) identified three mechanisms leading to isomorphism: coercive (requirements from regulatory bodies, such as legislation establishing the governance structure of universities), normative (such as professional standards and expectations arising from the shared formal education of workers), and mimetic (imitative). DiMaggio and Powell (1983) proposed that mimetic responses usually result from standard responses to uncertainty, especially where goals are ambitious (Levy, 2006) and the means to achieve them are unclear; if an organization is uncertain what to do, it may opt to copy a high-status peer. Also, an organization that looks similar to others is more likely to get a positive evaluation based on improved comprehensibility (Karlsson, 2008). Despite efforts to foster legitimacy by adopting recognizable forms, organizations may simultaneously maintain some distinctive characters to gain a competitive advantage through differentiation and as the culture of the organization evolves (Pedersen & Dobbin, 2006). In an article about academic drift – the tendency among postsecondary institutions towards the structures and norms typical of prestigious universities – Morphew and Huisman (2002) consider the countervailing forces of homogenization and heterogenization from the point of view of institutional theory. More recently, Tight (2015) and Holmberg and Hallonsten (2015) have drawn upon concepts of legitimacy and isomorphism in neoinstitutional theory to help explain 77 academic drift, including the related concepts of vertical extension (for example, Schultz & Stickler, 1965) and mission creep (for example, Gonzales 2012). Loose coupling is the third concept from institutional theory. Another tension within organizations is that the technical activities to achieve goals may vary from the expectations of policymakers and external stakeholders, so that actual practices do not match official positions (Parsons, 1960; Weick, 1976). Meyer and Rowan (1977) provided several explanations as to why the structural elements of organizations may be loosely linked, rules ignored, decisions weakly implemented and evaluation systems feeble. Burch (2007) posited that loose coupling is one of the core constructs in analyzing educational reform. Loosely coupled organizations may nevertheless perform well and may represent a functional compromise when change is externally imposed, rather than internally accepted, and where there are high symbolic or legitimacy gains to acceding to external pressures but which also involve high costs to implement them (Meyer & Rowan, 1977). My use of institutional and neoinstitutional literature helps to explain the responses of particular postsecondary institutions and groups of institutions to competitive pressures, responses that may include increased efforts to cultivate prestigious images through such means as membership in high status postsecondary organizations and strategies to improve rankings in national and international league tables. The theory suggests postsecondary institutions will be apt to copy the forms and terminology of other institutions in their current sector, and of other sectors into which they aspire to move. As inconsistencies emerge between market pressures and the technical and values bases of educators, instances of strategic decoupling will become more commonplace. 78 Conclusion Even after this expansive literature review – encompassing the historiography of BC postsecondary education, the nature of policy and theory, and the underpinnings of three sets of public policy rationales for postsecondary education – one more preliminary matter needs consideration before the historical narrative and analysis can begin. Because it is not propelled by the literature, it appears separately in the following chapter. 79 Chapter 3: Periodization This brief chapter presents the rationale for having begun this study in 1960 and then dividing the following years into three periods, from which I selected a total of five historical moments for in-depth examination. It ends with a description of British Columbia’s postsecondary system as it existed in 1960 to set the stage for the historical narratives and analyses that appear in the following three chapters. Starting Year The most important document in the history of British Columbia postsecondary education (Dennison, 1992; Soles, 1968) is Higher Education in British Columbia and a Plan for the Future (Macdonald, 1962). The report led to the immediate establishment of the second and third universities in BC and to the development of an entire community college system across the province over the ensuing dozen years (Dennison, 1997). Partly a response to the baby boom and rising educational aspirations of the population, the Macdonald Report tapped into some unmet expectations of the previous decade. A good case can therefore be made that the contemporary BC postsecondary era emerged with the Macdonald Report in 1962, or shortly thereafter with the first actions taken by the BC government in response to it. I have chosen, however, to begin a couple of years earlier, using the passage of the federal Technical and Vocational Training Assistance Act of 1960 as the starting point. This earlier date is consistent with viewing the resulting public, postsecondary vocational school system as largely a manifestation of a new stage of postsecondary 80 development in BC, even though it, like academic education, had antecedents dating back decades. Periods The system of public postsecondary institutions that began emerging in the early 1960s developed along a consistent trajectory for two decades, a period when the intentions of the provincial government regarding postsecondary education were clear and widely shared. Then, in the 1980s, the original assumptions and certainties about the system began to fade, first with respect to non-academic education and then in the academic sphere. The 1990s became a complex and sometimes perplexing decade. The first period, when intentions were clear and the structures of the various postsecondary sectors (except for trades training) were relatively simple, lasted until at least 1979. It is difficult to pinpoint the ending of the period because different postsecondary sectors experienced significant changes at different times in the early 1980s. An economic downturn, in full swing by 1981 and resulting in a financial restraint program by the BC government in 1982, could be seen as the end of the period. By 1985, the structural changes to the college system arising from the federal Canadian Jobs Strategy made a new period in BC postsecondary education unambiguously evident. Given the inherent fuzziness of many social changes and historical processes, and in the interests of simplicity and memorability, I have chosen to use full decades to bracket periods, ending the first period in 1979. The transitional years of the early 1980s thus become part of the second period when prevailing assumptions were challenged. 81 This second period from 1980 to 1999, when the assumptions about the structure of the postsecondary system were challenged and intentions for the continued development of the system became less clear, could be viewed as extending to 2000 in that the election of a new provincial government in 2001 led to a number of changes in postsecondary education. Such precision in this type of historical analysis, however, is illusory. It took a year before the new government began implementing significant changes, and some examples of new public management had started to appear at the end of the previous government’s mandate, so once again it is difficult to be precise or to identify an entirely defensible date for the beginning of the third period. As before, I have chosen to include the ambiguous, transitional years in the subsequent period. By 2010, the new era seemed to be losing momentum and, in the past few years, it seems that the pendulum may be swinging back towards policies from the past. Nevertheless, many of the reforms and developments of the previous decade, that is, since the early 2000s, have endured. For my purposes, and again in the interest of simplicity, it is sufficient to view changes since 2010 as constituting modifications within a period, rather than to divide the years since 2000 into two periods. Historical Moments To keep the scope of this dissertation manageable, I chose not to analyze every significant development since 1960 according to the three policy rationales. Instead, I selected just five historical moments from across the three periods for in-depth analysis. The moments mark transitions between and within the periods described above: the genesis of the contemporary postsecondary system in the early 1960s, two shifts that began in the 1980s to 82 reshape the system, the new operating assumptions that arrived in the new millennium, and finally the recent, partial reversion towards older worldviews about postsecondary education. For my purposes, an historical moment involves at least two postsecondary sectors and not only individual institutions. It differs from an event in that a moment spans more than a single point in time. It is a temporal concept that more closely resembles a period, but differs from a period in at least two important ways. The first difference from a period is that a moment is shorter, measured in no more than years, whereas my periodization is based on decades. Multiple moments can be embedded within a single period and, in this respect, are more akin to sub-periods. The second difference from a period is that whereas my periods demarcate changes that in some way affected how the majority of students viewed their postsecondary options, the developments during a moment affected a much smaller number of students. My criterion for identifying and choosing what turned out to be five historical moments reflected my search for keys to interpreting the periods in which they were situated. While it would have been too much of a burden to seek moments that illuminated all significant aspects of a period, it seemed reasonable to ask, “What multi-sector developments which, if not understood in a fairly comprehensive and satisfactory manner, will leave other cause-and-effect relationships during the period somewhat inscrutable?” In other words, the concept of historical significance is central to the identification of moments. In identifying historical moments to analyze, I chose not to be tightly restricted by date ranges, and especially not to seek perfect temporal consistency across sectors. Although there was often an important precipitating event, I did not want to exclude consideration of other noteworthy, related developments that occurred at other times during the period. Thus my usage of moments is somewhat fuzzy, yet may sometimes impose slightly more structure to the period 83 than the historical record justifies. Moments are nonetheless a useful analytical tool. The caveat is that, like theory itself and historical analysis in general, moments are useful for particular purposes and do not purport to address every nuance or issue that may arise. The three periods and five historical moments that appear in the next three chapters are as follows: 1960 – 1979: Clear Intentions (a) Macdonald Era: early 1960s 1980 – 1999: Assumptions Challenged (b) Continuing Education and the Canadian Jobs Strategy: early and mid 1980s (c) Access for All: late 1980s and early 1990s 2000 – 2015: Cynicism (d) New Era: early to mid 2000s (e) Post-Neoliberalism: 2010 to 2015 Analytical Framework After describing each of the historical moments and commenting on what seem to have been the proximate causes of events associated with each moment, I step back and consider the extent and the ways in which the three enduring policy rationales presented in the literature review – fairness and social justice, human capital formation, and marketization – are consistent with what actually happened in British Columbia in each of the historical moments. Cause and effect relationships are thus considered on two levels: the numerous, surface reasons why institutions were established or transformed, and the contribution of the underlying, enduring policy rationales to bringing about these changes. Each of the policy rationales has been individually employed in the literature to interpret and explain a variety of specific postsecondary developments throughout North America. My goal is to assess how illuminating they might be when used in conjunction with one another 84 across a set of diverse postsecondary institutions in a single jurisdiction over a period of decades. The policy rationales are explored separately in each of the next three historical chapters as standalone analyses, setting the stage for an integrated commentary in the Discussion chapter. Whereas I emphasize structural changes that were directly observable to construct a narrative about periods and historical moments, more indirect evidence is used in the policy rationale analyses to infer what helped bring about those structural changes. In the analyses, I seek to identify not only changes – whether fluctuations, trends, beginnings or endings – in the relevance of the rationales but also continuity in the presence of rationales across moments. The themes of change and continuity sometimes co-exist in that the rationales have themselves evolved, as was especially evident in the earlier discussion about the meaning of social justice over time. I am especially interested in determining whether any of the policy rationales persisted across all the historical moments. If a rationale did not endure in this way, then the question is whether it strengthened, weakened or simply fluctuated with time. Although my conclusions are likely to be complex and qualified because a rationale might be evident in some aspects of a moment but not in others, my aspirations are nonetheless straightforward. BC Postsecondary Education in 1960 British Columbia, the westernmost province in Canada, had a population of 1.6 million in 1960 – roughly equivalent to today’s population of metropolitan Marseille, but distributed across an area the size of France and Italy combined. Half this small population was clustered in the southwest corner of the province on less than 5% of the landmass, with the remaining population widely dispersed in clusters fragmented by mountains and vast forested plateaus. (Today, the 85 population of BC approaches 5 million but is still concentrated in the southwest.) The challenge of providing geographical access to postsecondary education for a small and scattered population in the hinterland is a theme in the postsecondary history of the province. In terms of the academic component of the postsecondary system as represented by baccalaureate and higher levels of instruction, British Columbia had but one university in 1960, the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and an affiliated college in another city, Victoria College, that was aspiring to become a degree-granting institution in its own right. A handful of tiny theological institutions, some affiliated with UBC, conferred bachelor’s and graduate degrees in religion (Cowin, 2009; Macdonald, 1962). Half a century old, UBC had just made the transition from a teaching institution towards becoming a full-fledged research university, awarding its first PhDs in Science in 1950 and its first PhD in Arts in 1960 (Damer & Rosengarten, 2009). Federal funding for research was instrumental in fostering this transition (Cameron, 1991; Fisher et al., 2006). The role of federal grants and subsidies in shaping aspects of the BC postsecondary system, a field in which the federal government lacks constitutional jurisdiction to govern directly, is another historical theme. Finally, some secondary schools offered Grade 13, known as senior matriculation, for university-bound students. The Royal Commission on Education (Chant, 1960) had recommended expanding Grade 13 throughout the province, but the opposite occurred in the mid 1960s with the start of the community college system. Other academic institutions in the private and not-for-profit sector, such as Notre Dame University College in Nelson, were very small. The growth of private education is yet another 86 theme, but this growth did not occur until the 1980s, first in non-academic fields and two decades later in degree-level education. Turning now to sub-baccalaureate education, the control of apprenticeship and the regulation of about one hundred small, private trade schools (a term which in 1960 also encompassed correspondence education and business schools) came under the jurisdiction of the BC Department of Labour. Even though apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training has often involved instruction delivered by public institutions, its oversight has rarely been by the same government department responsible for the rest of postsecondary education (Cowin, 2012a). The apprenticeship component of vocational education has been viewed from a policy perspective as serving primarily to meet the needs of employers rather than of students. Federal funding to secondary schools for vocational education, that is, non-apprenticeship forms of vocational education that the federal government viewed as falling under its constitutional authority for economic and labour market affairs, ended following the passage of the Technical and Vocational Training Assistance Act in 1960. The new act provided a means for federal capital funding to be directed to provinces. It spurred the construction of a network of postsecondary vocational schools across BC throughout the 1960s, as well as the opening of the diploma-level BC Institute of Technology in 1964. Only three publicly funded vocational schools had previously operated in BC: Nanaimo (established in 1936), Vancouver (1949), and, as of 1958, the BC Vocational School in Burnaby (which held its first classes in buildings of the Pacific National Exhibition until its own campus adjacent to the future BC Institute of Technology was completed a few years later.) The Vancouver school board, an organization that over the decades has been an important supporter and midwife for several postsecondary institutions, had established the thriving 87 Vancouver Vocational Institute in 1949. It was this school board that had established an affiliation with McGill University around 1905, a precursor to the University of British Columbia. Along with its vocational institute, the Vancouver school board launched what are now the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Langara College and Vancouver Community College. As described in the next section, school districts were initially the vehicle by which the BC community college sector was created (Dennison, 1997). Since the late 1970s, however, the strong interest and involvement of school districts in the education of adults has declined precipitously. In 1960, continuing education programs in school districts still provided robust programs of vocational and other training in the evening for adults. The extension program of the University of British Columbia was at its zenith, with a national reputation (Selman, 1975). Despite a temporary surge in university enrolment following World War II and plenty of indications in the late 1950s that more educational opportunities for adults in both academic and technical fields were needed, British Columbia’s postsecondary system in 1960 remained modest in size and scope. The province’s heritage as a resource-based, frontier society, one which relied heavily on other jurisdictions for postsecondary education, was very evident. Significant changes were about to occur. 88 Chapter 4: Clear Intentions (1960 – 1979) The three periods I have used to depict the contemporary history of postsecondary education in British Columbia are examined in this and the following two chapters. Each chapter begins with a period overview to set the stage for the scrutiny of one or two significant historical moments within the period. The overviews also provide a vehicle for highlighting developments in the smaller postsecondary sectors that figure less prominently in the historical moments and which have received little attention in the literature. Following the period overview, the structure of these historical chapters is for each historical moment to be identified, depicted in detail and then analyzed from the perspectives of each of the three policy rationales: fairness and social justice, human capital formation, and marketization. The results of the analyses are consolidated and assessed in the Discussion chapter. Period Overview Although it was not evident in 1960 what the future scope and size of BC’s postsecondary system would be, a few important decisions by the BC government, such as its response to the Macdonald Report of 1962 and its decision in 1971 to meld postsecondary vocational schools with community colleges, resulted in an unambiguous and shared vision that endured until the early 1980s. These decisions provided the foundation for the postsecondary system in BC as it exists today. The massive expansion of university and college education after the Macdonald Report of 1962 occurred as the response of the BC government to growing public pressure for better access 89 to postsecondary education. In contrast, it was the federal government that took the lead in initiating the expansion of the vocational school system, with the BC government again in a responsive mode (the default position of the BC government with respect to postsecondary education.) For fifteen years following the Macdonald Report, the public system grew significantly. While it diversified, the diversity was along a fairly consistent trajectory that saw gaps filled more than new directions taken. Although smaller, the private sector has nevertheless played a significant role in BC. It, however, was fairly stable from 1960 to 1980 and was concentrated in the southwest, whereas public postsecondary education expanded across the province. Public Sectors Dennison and Gallagher (1986) described the 1960s as a golden age for public education in Canada. In British Columbia, the Macdonald Report (Macdonald, 1962) ushered in both an expansion and a new structure for the postsecondary system of the province. Macdonald recommended expanding undergraduate education through the creation of two four-year colleges in the metropolitan southwest of BC and the formation of comprehensive, two-year community colleges throughout the province. Influenced by the tiered and coordinated system in California (Johnston, 2005), the proposal for a university-transfer component in the community colleges was an American feature that was emulated in only one other Canadian province, Alberta. The provincial government responded favourably and rapidly to the Macdonald Report, but not entirely as recommended. Whereas the government launched new universities, its legislation for the two-year college sector was merely enabling, providing a mechanism by which one or more school districts could establish regional colleges. The result of a lack of provincial 90 government leadership, and of a dependence on the formation of regional coalitions to create colleges, was that it took over a dozen years to complete a system of 15 colleges. In contrast, the system of three research universities was established within three years (Cowin, 2007). Colleges eventually became separate legal entities from school districts under the Colleges and Institutes Act of 1977. By 1983, the presence of school trustees on college boards had ended (Beinder, 1986) and the divide between K – 12 and postsecondary sectors became more complete. Institutes under the Colleges and Institutes Act were sub-baccalaureate institutions with a province-wide mandate to focus on particular applied fields (for example, the Pacific Marine Training Institute), distinctive delivery methods (for example, the Open Learning Institute) or specific student populations (for example, the Institute of Indigenous Government). Four were continuations or modifications of previous institutions3 and two were created in 19784. It is difficult to categorize the provincial institutes, which reached a maximum number of seven in the early 1980s. The institutes emerged over a period of more than half a century in an unsystematic, opportunistic manner. They did not fit within the planned structure of the public postsecondary system that emerged in the early 1960s, but rather co-existed with that structure. Nevertheless, the policy convention eventually became to treat colleges and institutes as comprising a single sector, especially with respect to funding. As new universities and colleges were being created in the 1960s, a parallel expansion was occurring in vocational education due to the federal Technical and Vocational Training 3 These four were the BC Institute of Technology, the Emily Carr Institute (now University) of Art, the Pacific Vocational Institute, and the Pacific Marine Training Institute. 4 The Justice Institute became the first institution in North America to train fire, police and paramedic personnel in a single organization dedicated to public safety. The Open Learning Institute was created to provide distance education from certificate through baccalaureate levels. 91 Assistance Act of 1960 (Cowin, 2012a). BC drew upon federal funding for capital facilities to expand the rudimentary system in BC of postsecondary vocational schools. By 1970, the system of vocational schools consisted of the Vancouver Vocational Institute, operated by the Vancouver school district, and eight campuses across the province of the Department of Education’s BC Vocational School (Cowin, 2012a). Two planned campuses of the BC Vocational School were never opened, cancelled by a new provincial government in 1972 in favour of community colleges in those regions instead. The BC Vocational School was a highly centralized organization, with campuses administered directly by the Department of Education in Victoria. Whereas vocational and trades training in British Columbia has been tightly controlled, universities have been as independent as any public postsecondary institutions in the western world (see Skolnik & Jones, 1992, for a comparison of Canada and the USA). Colleges have occupied an intermediate position in terms of centralization, with provincial government influences fluctuating over the decades (Gaber, 2002). Between 1971 and 1976, the BC government melded the vocational schools with their neighbouring community colleges, providing a boost for the colleges5. The official rationale for the mergers was to reduce the status gap between academic and vocational studies by co-locating them and to provide better opportunities for introducing general education into job training. Dennison (1997) observed that the policy was also partly prompted by the unwillingness of voters to pass referenda to build permanent facilities for colleges. 5 One school, in Burnaby, was renamed the Pacific Vocational Institute and was not merged until 1986. It was then absorbed by the adjacent BC Institute of Technology, rather than by a college. 92 Some instructors in both vocational and academic/technical programs resented the mergers (Goard, 1977). Despite occasional government pronouncements about the need for trades training, and regular anxieties expressed by academics about growing perceptions of vocationalism in higher education, indicators such as funding for equipment replacement, enrolment patterns, and scholarly and professional publications would suggest that vocational education has in fact become a less significant component of the postsecondary system over the past fifty years6. Whereas vocational education peaked in terms of health and status in the late 1960s, university education continually thrived and was less complicated than the other postsecondary sectors until the late 1980s. In the apprenticeship world, where several years of on-the-job training are interspersed with short classroom components in public or private institutions, the federal Apprenticeship Training Agreement in 19647 provided funding to expand apprenticeship training across the country. Partly as a result of technological change, though, the BC Department of Labour, the branch of government that administered apprenticeship, said in its 1971 annual report that technical training8 (the classroom component of apprenticeship) was in a state of flux. The Goard Report on vocational education (1977) noted a profound lack of coordination among a multiplicity of competing agencies (public and private, federal and provincial) involved in vocational, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training. Reflecting ongoing uncertainty about direction, the Provincial Apprenticeship Board, an advisory body, issued a report in 1984 on the 6 The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (2004), mentioned negative perceptions and a low level of support for apprenticeship training as barriers. Sharp and Gibson (2005) reported that, nationally, the postsecondary education system has an academic bias. 7 Updated in 1967 by the federal Adult Occupational Training Act. 8 Technical “training” as distinct from two-year technical “education,” a distinction that had as much to do with administrative jurisdiction as pedagogy or curricula. 93 future of apprenticeship but little resolution was achieved (Provincial Apprenticeship Board, 1984). By the end of the 1970s, BC had a three-pronged strategy for bringing postsecondary education to the far-flung regions of the province. The foundation was a network of comprehensive, two-year colleges offering university transfer courses, career preparation programs, and developmental (secondary level upgrading) offerings. The Open University in England influenced the educational philosophy of the second prong (Moran, 1993), namely the new Open Learning Institute9 that offered distance education. The third prong for serving the hinterland consisted of special funding from the province to universities to provide upper level courses, sometimes leading to degree completion, in communities outside the urban southwest. This non-metropolitan programs initiative involved the continuing education departments of universities, a component of the BC public postsecondary system that merits separate mention. Continuing education offerings in public institutions have been extensive, but good enrolment data has been elusive and the activities have tended to be on the margins of institutions. As a result, continuing education has been characterized an invisible giant (Selman, 1988). Except for a period in the 1970s when the Ministry of Education established a continuing education branch, the attitude of the provincial government has been one of benign neglect. Selman (2005) categorized postsecondary continuing education across Canada into three periods: a social movement from the 1920s to 1950s, professionalization and institutionalization in the 1960s and 1970s, and commercialization and competition since the 1980s. Different BC institutions have moved through the phases at various times and rates, with the rural institutions 9 The Open Learning Institute merged in 1988 with the public educational television station, the Knowledge Network of the West of 1979, to become the Open Learning Agency. 94 the most resistant to losing a social and community development mandate in favour of marketization. Private Sectors The for-profit, private career college sector was relatively stable until the early 1980s, despite the number of registered schools growing gradually from 100 in 1963 to 165 in 1980. The first enrolment reports for the sector did not emerge until 1978, at which time 19,000 students were reported (Cowin, 2013b). The trade schools section of BC’s new Apprenticeship and Training Development Act of 1977 allowed regulations to be made by the Minister of Labour, rather than requiring cabinet approval. Postsecondary education in BC for Aboriginal students has two streams that span the public and private sectors: the larger-scale programs and services within public institutions and the small-scale offerings of the not-for-profit, Aboriginal-governed institutions (Cowin, 2011). Until 1970, Aboriginal students as a group were largely invisible in BC postsecondary education. A few isolated initiatives had started, for example, the private Native Education Centre (now College) in Vancouver in 1967 and UBC’s Native Indian Teacher Education Program in 1974, but it was the 1980s that saw the beginnings of broader scale activity (Cowin, 2011). As with education for Aboriginal students, faith-based education is driven by cultural and other values. Both sectors have faced financial challenges, but those challenges differed in that faith-based postsecondary institutions have received no public operating or capital funding and 95 are therefore very sensitive to tuition fee and enrolment levels10. A major financial challenge facing Aboriginal institutions, on the other hand, is that while funding has often been public, from both federal and provincial governments, it has tended to be short-term or project-based rather than ongoing. The faith-based sector in British Columbia occupies an awkward space where provincial policy seems to be to have no shared principles or guidelines – a more extreme case of the situation experienced by provincial institutes. Decisions were made on an ad hoc basis as situations arose, and the sector developed largely on a separate track with only a few points of convergence or overlap with the public system. Federal postsecondary policy was relevant only with respect to student financial aid and, rarely, institutional eligibility for research grants. The BC attitude to faith-based institutions can be traced back to at least the 1908 act that established the University of British Columbia as a strictly non-sectarian institution (although the following clause in the act made provision for affiliated theological schools to grant a post-baccalaureate Bachelor of Divinity degree and land was set aside on the UBC campus for a theological precinct.) The background to this part of the act was that churches had established a number of denominational colleges in central and eastern Canada, and these institutions had proven challenging for provincial governments, especially when it came to questions of public funding for university education (see Jones, 1997, and Christie, 1997, for the flavour of these challenges in Ontario and Nova Scotia respectively; Harris, 1976, for details). BC succeeded in avoiding similar challenges but never did articulate the basis on which it would permit faith- 10 There have been a few minor grants from public sources, such as to UBC’s affiliated theological schools in the 1980s, but faith-based postsecondary institutions in BC have essentially not received government funding. 96 based institutions to operate. The practice emerged of conferring degree-granting authority to individual institutions through specific acts introduced as private member’s bills. In the faith-based sector, a handful of Bible schools for lay people and seminaries for training clergy, Notre Dame University College, and Trinity Junior College existed at the time of the Macdonald Report in 1962. In 1963, the BC legislature passed the Notre Dame University of Nelson Act and Notre Dame became the first private university in the province with the authority to grant baccalaureate degrees. The legislation for Trinity Junior College was amended in 1971 to rename it Trinity Western College and then again in 1979 to permit it to grant bachelor’s degrees. Whereas Trinity Western flourished and is now a university that grants master’s degrees, Notre Dame struggled and closed11 in 1977 (Universities Council of BC, 1976). Several small theological schools opened during the 1960s and 1970s. The most interesting was Regent College in 1968, the first graduate school of theology in North America to focus on the education of the laity. It quickly established a world reputation, albeit in a small field (Cowin, 2009). Summary Table 3 summarizes the dramatic change and growth over two decades in BC’s postsecondary system. 11 The BC government provided a $310,000 grant in 1967/68, which rose to $1.8 million in 1975/76. Notre Dame’s facilities were then sold to the province for a nominal sum so that Selkirk College and the University of Victoria could jointly re-open the campus in 1977 as the David Thompson University Centre. Despite strong local support politically for the Centre, the government closed the Centre in 1984 for budgetary reasons (Cowin, 2009). 97 Table 3: BC Postsecondary System, 1960 and 1979 Sector 1960 1979 Public Universities UBC UBC, SFU, Univ. of Victoria Public colleges and institutes 3 vocational schools Continuing education through school districts Grade 13 15 community colleges 6 institutes Continuing education at all institutions and some school districts Private academic (small institutions) Notre Dame University College Trinity Western College Some external institutions beginning to deliver niche instruction in BC Some high school completion and ESL colleges Private career colleges (small) 100 registered colleges 137 registered colleges Aboriginal-governed (small) -- Several, with a combined enrolment less than 1,000 Faith-based (small) About a dozen, although some were residential at UBC and not instructional Mergers, closures and openings resulted in a net increase of half a dozen Apprenticeship 3,000 apprentices 13,800 apprentices Historical Moment: The Macdonald Era The historical moment that is the focus of the following discussion extended from 1960 to about 1964. A fair amount of historical background is considered to help explain why events unfolded as they did in the early 1960s. A few subsequent developments are mentioned to bring closure to certain topics. Although there is no doubt that the Macdonald Report of 1962 was seminal for BC, and is a convenient shorthand explanation for the emergence of the contemporary postsecondary system, the forces propelling educational change were rather more complex than a single report and emerged over a period of many years. The report was silent about several postsecondary sectors and its existence does not account for developments in those sectors. Furthermore, the issues raised by Macdonald were not unique to BC and were in fact being considered in other jurisdictions. Macdonald’s genius lay not so much in coming up with new insights and ideas as 98 in drawing together the work and discussions of the previous years and then assembling them in a package that encapsulated an emerging consensus in BC. What I am calling the Macdonald Era was the source of a societal accord that endured throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s about the character and desirable development of the province’s postsecondary institutions. Although never articulated in a comprehensive and systematic manner across all sectors, the vision was firmly established in the early 1960s and served as a touchstone for two decades regarding decisions about the expansion of the system. Macdonald Report The Macdonald Report of 1962, initiated by the new president, John Macdonald, of the University of British Columbia (UBC) and not commissioned by government, marked a substantial departure from the approach of the previous president of UBC, Norman MacKenzie (Johnston, 2005). The report’s background lies in the late 1950s, although some commentators have contended that the seeds were planted decades earlier. Thirty years prior to Macdonald, a UBC graduate completed a master’s thesis at Stanford University (Knott, 1932) that argued that developments in the junior college concept in California and Texas presented a model that BC should consider adopting, using Victoria College, BC’s two normal (teacher training) schools, and Grade 13 senior matriculation as the nucleus from which to launch a college system12. He discussed future enrolment demand and proposed seven centres in the hinterland of the province where colleges might best be located. Three decades later, Macdonald also used the California 12 Knott’s optimistic vision is remarkable in that UBC had in 1932 endured a 20% reduction in provincial government funding as a result of the Great Depression. A group of business people appointed by the provincial government to review the province’s finances had proposed saving money by closing UBC altogether and instead giving scholarships for students to pursue degrees in universities in other provinces (Waite, 1987). 99 master plan for higher education as a model for BC, recommended the establishment of community colleges, argued for enrolment growth based on demographic data and proposed locations for colleges and universities arising from geographic considerations. Knott felt that echoes of the Putnam-Weir Report (1926) about the BC school system had been evident in discussions about the potential for junior colleges in BC. Beinder (1983) perceived precedents for college development in two subsequent commissions of inquiry into the BC elementary and secondary school system. The Cameron Report (1945) on educational finance was, in Beinder’s view, concerned about inequalities in educational opportunity in rural communities, a concern that emanated from grassroots citizens around the province rather than from the government’s educational officials. In a similar vein, Beinder noted that the Chant Commission (1960) recommended equalizing educational opportunity around the province. The more immediate precursors to the Macdonald Report, both internal and external to UBC, emerged in the mid to late 1950s. Internally, enrolment at UBC had soared after World War II with an influx of returning veterans and then dropped in the early 1950s as the veterans completed their studies (Figure 1). Enrolment recovered by the mid 1950s and, with a postwar baby boom and rising postsecondary participation rates, some faculty and administrators at UBC were becoming concerned that the university was about to face unprecedented and overwhelming enrolment demand (Johnston, 2005). Their concern proved to be well founded. 100 Figure 1: UBC Enrolment, 1940/41 – 1970/71 Source: www.library.ubc.ca/archives/enrolmnt.html Macdonald’s predecessor, Norman (Larry) MacKenzie, had put considerable effort into advocating for more funding for universities nationally and for UBC provincially. He had been concerned that any new academic institutions in BC could further restrict provincial grants available to UBC, and thus he wanted any additional institutions to be affiliated and tributary to UBC. Waite (1987) bluntly described this approach as the “UBC empire principle” (p. 186), contrasting it with the position taken by Victoria College that the college should be come a full-fledged university in its own right. MacKenzie’s position seemed to be endorsed initially in that an amendment to the Public Schools Act in 1958 enabled school boards to establish colleges on the condition that they were affiliated with UBC. The amendments reflected a concern for equitable educational opportunity across the province (Beinder, 1983) but the requirement that colleges be affiliated with UBC was unappealing and no action ensued. The lack of action did not reflect a lack of interest by school districts in forming colleges, but rather unease about the conditions under which they should operate. The BC School Trustees - 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 Enrolment UBC Enrolment, Full and Part-Time Combined 1940/41 - 1970/71 101 Association had struck a committee in 1961 to consider their responsibility for continuing education, given growing enrolments in Grade 13 and in upgrading and applied courses for adults in night school (Beinder, 1986). In their brief to Macdonald, the school trustees were clear that they thought that colleges should be extensions of the school system and that they were dismayed by the existence of public vocational schools that were separate from the school system (Dennison, 1979a). Macdonald reflected their wishes in his recommendations, decoupling the proposed colleges from UBC and instead calling for a province-wide academic board to guarantee educational standards. Something of a parallel development occurred in Alberta, where the Public Junior Colleges Act of 1958 was amended in the early 1960s to give colleges more independence from the University of Alberta (Berghofer & Vladicka, 1980). If a single event were to be selected as marking the prelude to the Macdonald Report, then a national Canadian university enrolment projection made in the mid 1950s (Sheffield, 1955) is a strong candidate. The projected dramatic increase in enrolment over the ensuing decade was seen as credible and spurred university presidents, who were already preparing an advocacy campaign for increased federal funding, into planning for a massive expansion of academic education in Canada (Cameron, 1991). UBC was thus not alone in anticipating large enrolment demand in the coming years and seeing the need for a system-wide plan. In the United Kingdom, for example, the Robbins Committee had been established in 1961 to examine such topics as access to higher education and the competitive advantages of an educated workforce (Great Britain, 1963). In Canada, 1961 was also proving to be a significant year for postsecondary planning. In Quebec, the highly influential Parent Commission was launched that year, issuing five volumes between 1963 and 1965 (Royal Commission, 1965). Its recommendation, accepted by 102 government, to the demands for democratization of education and for mass education, was to create a distinctive college system, the Colleges d’enseignement general et professionnel (Cegeps). In New Brunswick, a royal commission on higher education, chaired by John Deutsch, was also established to study issues of funding and access (Royal Commission in New Brunswick, 1962). Alberta established an advisory committee, the Survey Committee on Higher Education, in existence from 1961 to 1965, to assess future enrolment demand and recommend responses (Cameron, 1991). One of the first actions of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on University Affairs, formed by the government in 1961, was to prepare some enrolment projections. The response to the projections, the Deutsch Report of 1962 for the university presidents of Ontario (Committee of Presidents, 1963), became the blueprint over the next decade for expanding universities in Ontario (Cameron, 1991). Against that national and international backdrop, Johnston (2005) described some of the planning that UBC faculty had done for BC system expansion in the years prior to Macdonald’s arrival in 1962. Walter Hardwick, for example, was a geographer who had prepared a report that he took to the UBC senate about a location for a second university campus in the Vancouver area. He had also been promoting the American community college model as desirable for BC following his exposure to such colleges during his year’s study in Wisconsin. Macdonald, who had been the nominee for president of the UBC Faculty Association, incorporated the prior work of such faculty into his report. Response to the Macdonald Report The Macdonald Report was well received and led to a shared vision for college and university education in BC, but the vision the government enacted was not identical to what 103 Macdonald had proposed. With respect to universities, Macdonald had recommended that (a) Victoria College, which by then was offering some four-year programs leading to a degree conferred by UBC, be given the option of determining whether it wished to become an independent, degree-granting undergraduate college, and (b) that a new four-year degree-granting college be created in the western Fraser Valley area of Greater Vancouver. In other words, expensive professional programs (such as engineering), graduate education, and research should, in the view of Macdonald, all remain the exclusive purview of UBC. Rejecting the notion that UBC should be the flagship university in BC, the government instead created the University of Victoria (as an extension of the former Victoria College, it was able to open quickly in 1963) and Simon Fraser University (an “instant university” that opened in 1965) as full-fledged research universities that could offer masters and doctoral programs and which, in principle, were identical to UBC. With respect to two-year regional colleges, Macdonald had proposed that the first three should be located in Kelowna (southern interior), Castlegar (southern interior) and Greater Vancouver, with four additional colleges to be established by 1971. Macdonald explicitly expected that Kelowna would become a four-year college by 1970. The provincial government accepted the American comprehensive community college model, with its university transfer component, but remained silent about any of them ever becoming four-year, degree-granting colleges. The BC government endorsed the concept of community colleges providing both geographical and social access, and retained the 1958 concept of close association with school districts that Macdonald had also endorsed. Amendments to the Public Schools Act enabled school districts to hold plebiscites (approval in principle) and referenda (authorization for capital 104 construction) to form colleges (Dennison, 1979). The college boards consisted of representatives from locally-elected school boards and half the operating funds of colleges came from local property taxes and tuition fees. Whereas the universities were independent institutions with province-wide mandates and provincial funding, colleges were regionally controlled and only partially funded by the provincial government. Beinder (1986) described the approach of the province to the new college sector as unbelievably casual with little evidence of any sort of planning. Provincial politicians seem to have vaguely expected that colleges would easily share secondary school facilities and equipment, a weak assumption. The first community college, Vancouver City (now Community) College, opened in 1965. Nine additional colleges, some with multiple campuses, had been launched by 197413. The Ministry of Education’s Task Force on the Community College (1974) then considered the needs of isolated communities. It resulted in the establishment of the final four colleges14, serving the rural areas farthest from the southwest, directly by government and without the use of local plebiscites. Macdonald’s planning concerned higher education, which, while not explicitly defined in his report, essentially meant university education. Colleges, with their “unique character” (p. 51), fell within the scope of his study in that they would have a university transfer component. In recommending that colleges provide technical, career, and adult education (continuing education) programming, he did not elaborate what this might mean nor the implications for the postsecondary system as a whole. He briefly mentioned one vocational school (in Kelowna) and 13 Selkirk in 1966, Capilano and Okanagan in 1968, Malaspina (now Vancouver Island University) and New Caledonia in 1969, Douglas and Cariboo (now Thompson Rivers University) in 1970, Camosun in 1971 and Fraser Valley in 1974. Kwantlen split from Douglas in 1981, and Langara from Vancouver in1994. 14 Northwest, North Island, Northern Lights and East Kootenay (now College of the Rockies). 105 the BC Institute of Technology simply in the context of locational considerations for new colleges, but did not comment on the existing or future vocational and apprenticeship components of the public postsecondary system of the province. His emphasis set the tone for historical scholarship on BC postsecondary education since then. Public Vocational Schools and Technical Institutes Although vocational institutions were established over a longer period than the five or so years that I have designated the Macdonald Era, the early 1960s were a critical period for this sector with the creation of the BC Vocational School and the opening of the first few of its permanent campuses by 1964. It was also during this historical moment that the BC Institute of Technology, now the third or fourth largest postsecondary institution in BC depending on the treatment of international enrolment and students funded by the Industry Training Authority, came into being. Whereas the impetus for expanding universities and establishing college education in BC came from within the province in the form of the Macdonald Report, the evolution of the postsecondary vocational school system, a system that reached its highpoint around 1970 and which did not entirely disappear until 1986 (with the amalgamation of the Pacific Vocational Institute into the adjacent BC Institute of Technology), was in large measure spurred by federal government priorities. The interest of the federal government in postsecondary education, a provincial responsibility, arose from the importance of education to the economic performance of the nation. The federal government presented its direct funding not as in support of education but either as training for adults who were already in the labour force (Sheffield, Campbell, Holmes, 106 Kymlicka, & Whitelaw, 1982), the fostering of research, financial assistance to students, or contract training purchased for its clients (often unemployed individuals or those facing barriers to employment). The evidence of federal educational policy has always been financial, supplemented by any related verbiage in legislation, official documents and public relations material (Desai Trilokekar et al., 2013). Federal legislation in support of vocational and apprenticeship training dates back to 1913 (Cowin, 2012a), but it is the Technical and Vocational Training Assistance Act of 1960 that is the most germane for the Macdonald Era in BC. This act was the means by which the federal government assumed a major role in occupational training, in response to national unemployment and a growing awareness of job obsolescence. At least three quarters of the funding under the act was devoted to capital funding for provincial training facilities. Prior to the mid 1950s, a variety of private institutions and school district night courses for adults provided the bulk of vocational and apprenticeship technical training in BC. A small public, postsecondary facility, the Dominion-Provincial Youth Training Centre, had opened in Nanaimo in 1936. In 1949, the Vancouver School Board opened what quickly became the centre of vocational training in BC for the following decade, the Vancouver Vocational Institute. Because of the urgent need for vocational training in the late 1950s – there eventually came to be double shifts and even around-the-clock training in a few instances at the Vancouver Vocational Institute (Rerup, 1993) – a temporary campus of the Federal-Provincial Trades and Technical Institute in Burnaby opened in 1958 with a permanent campus announced in 1959, to open officially in 1960. This school, first known locally as the Burnaby Vocational School and later renamed the Pacific Vocational Institute, became the largest, and in some ways the flagship, campus of the network of BC Vocational School campuses across the province. 107 Several other campuses of the new BC Vocational School opened in 1963, taking advantage of federal funding under the Technical and Vocational Training Assistance Act for 50% of the capital costs. They were sometimes situated on former military land owned by the federal government. The last campuses opened in Dawson Creek in 1966, Terrace in 1968, and Kamloops in 1971 (Cowin, 2012a). Centrally administered by the Department of Education in Victoria, their governance contrasted with the local and independent control enjoyed by colleges and universities. At the height of their enrolment in 1970, just prior to the decision of the BC government to begin merging them with community colleges, the BC Vocational School and the Vancouver Vocational Institute enrolled a joint total of about 26,000 students (BC Department of Education Annual Report, 1970-71). To put this number in context, the University of British Columbia, by far the largest of the three universities in the province, reported 29,000 students that same year. The origins of the British Columbia Institute of Technology are most clearly seen in a needs assessment, the Bridge/White Survey, conducted in 1959 for the provincial government with assistance from the federal government (McArthur, 1997). With the introduction of federal funds for the capital construction of technical and vocational schools, planning for the new institute began in 1961, and the first students enrolled in 1964. Apprenticeship The fourth of the public postsecondary sectors of the 1960s (in addition to universities, colleges and institutes, and the vocational schools) was the apprenticeship system. It too fell outside Macdonald’s postsecondary vision. In fact, apprenticeship has been something of a stepchild in the BC public postsecondary system, displaying a different lineage and 108 characteristics than the other three sectors. As with other forms of vocational education, federal funding was more visible and directive than for academic education. BC’s first Apprenticeship Act in 1935 was intended not to promote apprenticeship but rather to regulate and curb abuses in apprenticeship training through such means as ensuring wage increments, limiting the duration of apprenticeships, and specifying ratios of supervising journeymen to apprentices (Cowin, 2012a). Within a few years of the federal Vocational Training Co-ordination Act of 1942, BC began using some of the resulting federal funding to establish classes that enabled apprentices to obtain coordinated theoretical instruction in classrooms throughout the entire period of their apprenticeship. The BC Department of Labour, which administered the apprenticeship system independently from the Department of Education, was at that time contemplating some pre-apprenticeship training to shorten apprenticeships. It was not until 1957, however, that pre-apprenticeship classes, ranging in duration from five to ten months, were introduced. The federal – provincial Apprenticeship Training Agreement of 1964 was intended to expand apprenticeship. Figure 2 shows that registrations did in fact increase greatly in subsequent years. (The number of registered apprentices plateaued during the quarter century after 1975, growing only from 13,000 in 1975 to 16,000 in 2000. Pre-apprenticeship enrolment, on the other hand, grew from 2,200 to 6,200 over the same period.) 109 Figure 2: Registered Apprentices and Pre-Apprenticeship Enrolment Source: BC Department of Labour annual reports The BC Apprenticeship Act was amended at much the same time as the 1964 federal-provincial Apprenticeship Training Agreement came into effect, broadening provisions for the optional examination of apprentices. The primary method of ensuring educational standards remained inspections of worksites by BC government officials. Despite receiving large amounts of federal funding, BC was dissatisfied with several aspects of federal involvement with apprenticeship (Cowin, 2012a). The province complained that the 1967 federal Adult Occupational Training Act neglected coordination at the national level and that it treated apprenticeship as an afterthought. BC argued that the federal government should pay training allowances to all, not just some, apprentices. (By 1973, all apprentices in BC received either federal or provincial funding, depending on who was sponsoring them.) The apprenticeship system grew and became increasingly complex during the Macdonald era. The federal presence was large and sometimes at odds with BC government priorities. Technical classroom instruction was delivered by a variety of public and private educational - 3,000 6,000 9,000 12,000 15,000 1945 1947 1949 1951 1953 1955 1957 1959 1961 1963 1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 Enrolment Registered Apprentices and Pre-Apprenticeship Enrolment 1945 -1975 Appren2ces Pre-Appren2ces 110 institutions, some optional pre-apprenticeship training was introduced, employers and unions influenced the availability of apprenticeships, and coordination became increasingly difficult across the BC departments of Labour and of Education, especially with respect to pre-apprenticeship training where the Department of Labour did not have exclusive jurisdiction. Whereas public universities and colleges enjoyed operating under a clear vision in the 1960s and 1970s, apprenticeship became increasingly complicated and difficult for any part of government to steer during that period. Its boundaries were well defined and accepted, however, even if what occurred within the sector seemed chaotic at times. Private Sectors Private postsecondary education in BC has served a modest number of students dispersed among a large number of generally small institutions. During the 1960s and 1970s, it consisted of two sectors: the not-for-profit, faith-based institutions (which offered certificate and diploma programs, and only theological degrees at institutions other than Notre Dame University) and occupationally-oriented career colleges (which were generally profit seeking and which offered certificate and diploma programs.) The changes arising from the Macdonald Report and from federal postsecondary policy in the 1960s had little, if any, direct impact on the private career college sector. The career colleges had to wait another two decades for a policy change that approached the significance for them as Macdonald had for the public college sector. In the meantime, they followed a steady path of slow net growth as institutions opened and closed, operating uncontested in parallel to the public system. 111 When BC passed the Trades School Regulation Act in 1936, the first such legislation in Canada, the number of registered institutions, including business and correspondence schools, was about 70. The sector grew slowly and it took until the early 1960s before there were 100 institutions. In 1967, the total had reached 107 schools (Ministry of Labour annual reports). The faith-based sector developed independently of the periods identified in this dissertation (Cowin, 2009), and yet a case can be made that Macdonald helped increase the legitimacy of this small sector. In surveying the higher education landscape in BC, Macdonald included Trinity Junior College, even though it had just opened that year, 1962, with a mere 17 students, and treated it with the same respect as Notre Dame University College (then affiliated with St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia to offer degree programs in Arts and Science.) Likewise, Prince George College was mentioned, although it never did really get beyond offering some Grade 13 classes. Immediately after describing these institutions, Macdonald noted “some of the greatest universities in the world are private. They have become great because they are free to meet the special demands and beliefs of their founders and supporters” (p. 45). Whatever subsequent controversies arose on other matters, Trinity quickly became a credible member of the BC transfer system and its academic rigour was not questioned by the universities that received its transfer students. Analysis: Macdonald Era Having set the general context of the period from 1960 to 1979, and then elaborated on developments in the early years of the period, my attention now turns to assessing the relevance of each of the three policy rationales to the Macdonald Era of the early 1960s. 112 Social Justice As analysts in the 1950s and 1960s examined demographic trends and postsecondary participation rates, it was taken for granted that all people who were motivated and could benefit from an academic education should be able to access it. The question was not so much whether to accommodate enrolment demand but the means for doing so. It was, in part, a matter of fairness, that is, of distributive justice, that there should be sufficient spaces for all, and that those spaces should be as close to the homes of students as possible. In structuring colleges in BC as a way to respond to growing enrolment pressure, the early proponents were apt to view colleges as special types of institutions designed to meet the needs of students, rather than the needs of the economy, government, or educational personnel. Beinder waxed eloquent in describing BC community colleges as a “social invention,” the “crystallization of a dream of service to people” (1983, p.1). Assistant deputy minister, Andrew Soles (n.d.), concurred in the early 1970s with the community service mission, “Their dedication must be, as it is, to improve in every way they can, the quality of life in their region” (p. 4) and that the college, “would open the door to all who can benefit from it…it takes away the exclusiveness – the mystery – the snobbery – the retrograde and obscurantist ways of higher education” (p. 9). Universities, in contrast, were less likely to think of access in egalitarian and universal terms, viewing it instead in terms of meritocracy and access to the type of institution commensurate with the abilities and aptitudes of students. Macdonald (1962) bemoaned the number of unsuccessful students at UBC who were “neither suited for nor interested in university education” (p. 50). In commending the California Master Plan, he was endorsing a plan in which the community college was seen by at least one influential California university president as the 113 first line of defense for protecting elite education from the masses (Kerr, 1978). Whether elite and stratified postsecondary education (sometimes framed as the pursuit of educational excellence and access for qualified students) ultimately promotes or hinders social justice remains contested, but proponents of both positions claim they are seeking to serve students and society in the most appropriate and best ways possible15. Exactly what benefits were expected to accrue to society as a whole from college or a university education were less clearly spelled out in much of the BC postsecondary discourse in the 1960s. With a backdrop of ideas as to how human capital formation could benefit the economy and increase the earning power of individuals, and optimism about the role of education in promoting a democratic and civil society, it did not seem essential to enumerate in any detail the benefits of expanding the BC postsecondary system. Rather, what seemed to propel postsecondary development was simply a perceived need for more student spaces and that they be geographically accessible. This conception of social justice was framed in individualistic terms. The closest it came to recognizing the aspirations of special groups concerned access for people living outside the metropolitan southwest. Even in this discourse, and it was a powerful one, the goals were more to replicate the opportunities of metropolitan populations as much as possible rather than to cultivate distinctive experiences that would foster particular non-metropolitan subcultures – although the latter was not precluded, just not advocated. 15 Brint and Karabel’s (1989) work on community colleges provides a good entry to this literature. A note of caution, though, is that the college and university environment in BC differs from that of the USA. Some of the research conducted by the BC Council of Admissions and Transfer documents BC conditions and serves to caution against the uncritical application to BC of findings from the USA. See Cowin (2013c) for a summary compendium of the Council’s research. 114 One area where social justice conceived as recognizing and respecting cultural groups was evident in the Macdonald Era was with respect to faith-based institutions. The provincial government did not seem to be able to articulate a position or policy about this sector, but neither was it prepared to stand in its way. The government acknowledged the special interests of religious groups and continued to use the backdoor route of private member’s bills to charter degree-granting institutions and to allow sub-baccalaureate schools to incorporate as non-profit societies. In the apprenticeship world, Weiermair (1984) indicated that it was only in the late 1970s that apprenticeship and industrial training came to be seen nationally as important to industrial productivity, as opposed to social policy for the economically disadvantaged. This suggests that apprenticeship policy in BC shifted from more of a social justice orientation in the Macdonald moment towards today’s entrenched emphasis on human capital formation. The provincial government did not articulate its views about private career colleges. Such institutions were neither encouraged nor discouraged, but simply allowed to exist (provided they followed basic rules). It is not clear why they were permitted to exist, but one possibility is that they were seen to meet needs that the public system was not serving. (In the growing economy of the 1960s when postsecondary participation rates remained modest, the use of private providers as a cost saving measure for government does not seem a likely explanation.) If career colleges were viewed as complementing the public system, then perhaps they could be taken as another example of a social justice interest in ensuring that everyone in society had access to the type of postsecondary education they desired. If social justice concerns propelled the development of the vocational school system, then documentary evidence is lacking. The presence of these schools, however, may have contributed 115 to the strong liberal education orientation of BC colleges – a contrast to the vocational orientation of colleges in some other jurisdictions. With a vocational sector already well established, the new colleges had the freedom to address other needs such as supporting disadvantaged students across the curriculum rather than relegating them to particular programs. Human Capital Formation By the mid 1950s, universities were coming to be seen by government and the public as a dependable route to economic growth and individual prosperity (Cameron, 1991). The Royal Commission on Canada’s Economic Prospects (Gordon, 1957), for example, recommended strengthening and expanding universities as a core strategy for economic development in Canada. The launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union and the resulting frenzy in the USA to strengthen scientific capabilities reinforced the notion that high levels of postsecondary education were essential to the competitive economic position of a nation. It took several years more years, however, until theoretical articles such as Schultz (1960, 1961) and Becker (1964) encapsulated the emerging orthodoxy. Johnston (2005) claimed that Canadian university presidents were quick to adopt human capital perspectives as they promoted their institutions in the late 1950s: In selling universities to a federal government and a Canadian public that in the past had been largely indifferent, university presidents, with striking ease and assurance, adopted the argument of utility. They encouraged parents and young people to see a university education as a route to better-paying jobs and more security. And they promoted the idea of the modern university as an engine of economic growth. (p. 16) 116 Macdonald (1962) echoed this theme, beginning his report with a human capital argument that warned that an inadequately educated citizenry would lead to “a nation doomed to economic distress at best, and economic disaster at worst” (p. 6). Human capital formation became the fertile ground in which the seeds of change, namely concern about access for a growing number of students seeking education, could blossom into an expanded public university and college system. To switch metaphors from a societal pie, a social justice concern with access was the spark but human capital theory provided the fuel. The justification human capital theory provided for state investment in public education also fostered social justice. Despite the importance of human capital formation, it does not seem that a particular aspect, namely the role of colleges in fostering regional economic development in the hinterland through a skilled workforce, was an especially important argument in favour of the creation of colleges. The resource economy in BC was still strong in the 1960s and rural populations, at least males, could earn good incomes and maintain a secure life with minimal levels of education. It was only since the 1980s, as employment in the resource economy declined, that interest grew in the linkage between human capital formation and regional economic growth in non-metropolitan BC. In the 1960s, the emphasis seemed to be on regional access for quality of life considerations and on the vocational education of workers rather than on what were then flourishing, regional economies. Whereas social justice themes intertwined BC government postsecondary policy, human capital arguments have been the driver for federal government initiatives. This has been evident in federal vocational and apprenticeship legislation, not only in the Macdonald era but also in the decades leading up to it: 117 1913 Agricultural Instruction Act 1919 Technical Education Act 1939 Youth Training Act 1940 War Emergency Training Act 1942 Vocational Training Co-ordination Act 1945 Vocational Schools Assistance agreement 1960 Technical and Vocational Training Assistance Act 1967 Adult Occupational Training Act The importance of non-academic postsecondary education in the development of Canada’s human capital can be seen in educational attainment statistics: in 1965, 48% of the nation’s adult population age 25 years and over had only an elementary school education or less. The situation was improving, though, and the proportion of Canadian 20 – 24 year olds in 1965 who had not progressed beyond elementary school had dropped to 24% (Whittingham, 1969). These data notwithstanding, Canadians generally followed the British tradition of valuing academic education and had been resistant to vocational education for the first half of the twentieth century, with some exceptions such as during World War I (Bell, 2004; Lyons, Randhawa, & Paulson, N., 1991). The federal role in occupational training prior to the Macdonald Era had mainly consisted of minor conditional grants (McBride, 1998). With the federal government’s overhaul of unemployment insurance in 1955 (Pal, 1988) and rising unemployment in the late 1950s, the federal government had begun by 1960 to take a more active interest in retraining its unemployed clients for stable, long-term employment in technological fields (Bell, 2004). This active interest in education in support of labour market strategies manifested structurally in funding for new vocational and technical facilities in BC and other provinces, and figured prominently in the next historical moment to be analyzed about the Canadian Jobs Strategy. 118 Marketization The least explicit of the three policy rationales in the Macdonald Era, elements of a competitive market philosophy were nevertheless present in this Keynesian age that preceded the shift in the western world in the 1980s towards neoliberalism. Marketization was certainly emerging in the 1960s in the internal culture of universities as competitive research grants from the federal government, starting in the sciences, moved the emphasis from undergraduate teaching towards graduate education and knowledge generation. By the end of the 1960s, the publish or perish ethos was well established in the universities of British Columbia, despite voices at the beginning of the decade that had cautioned against the dominance of research (Johnston, 2005; Damer & Rosengarten, 2009; Macpherson, 2012). The expression of a market philosophy in the structure of the postsecondary system was subtler. In arguing against a centralized or unified higher education system, Macdonald (1962) claimed that institutional competition was desirable for educational excellence, “Free enterprise here, as much or more than elsewhere in society, is the essential key to progress” (p.23). Although he wanted UBC to maintain a monopoly on graduate and professional education, Macdonald also sought institutional autonomy. In making the two new universities, SFU and the University of Victoria, full research universities rather than undergraduate teaching colleges, the BC government reflected its uneasy relationship with UBC by providing UBC with competitors, not feeder institutions. Giles (1983) quoted the Minister of Education, Leslie Peterson, as subsequently explaining that he had visited California and had concluded that competition was desirable. Macdonald (2000) himself acknowledged Premier W.A.C. Bennett’s “desire to establish competition for UBC which to some degree he mistrusted” (p.88). 119 The literature often frames the mechanism chosen by government for establishing public colleges in terms of local control (Dennison & Gallagher, 1986; Gaber, 2002), but it can also be viewed as a form of laissez-faire, with colleges to be established only once the local market demonstrated sufficient demand. The funding arrangement until 1977 was that local taxpayers had to contribute half the operating and capital costs (Dennison 1979a), allowing for variation in the resources available to deliver the same service, depending on the local tax base and priority placed on college education. For their first decade, the provincial government maintained a hands-off approach to colleges with no central planning or coordination – much the same approach as it took to universities, and in stark contrast to its administration of vocational schools. The colleges, described from their inception as a unique educational setting in the Canadian context (Academic Board, 1965), faced challenges in the academic marketplace of status and prestige in establishing their legitimacy for funding and student recruitment purposes. The elitist, restrictive advice to colleges from the university-dominated Academic Board for Higher Education (Perry, 1969) – advice which in this case the colleges ignored – was that “those who advocate an open-door policy16 fail to understand the primary purposes of colleges and the educational standards they must maintain…or [which enroll] too large a number of older students, will invariably interfere with the instruction of the students for whom the college is primarily intended” (Academic Board, 1966, pp.18-19). Both the types of students served and 16 The Macdonald Report noted that the minimal admission standard to UBC in 1962 was simply high school graduation. The meaning in BC of an open-door admissions policy has changed from lack of graduation to low marks regardless of graduation status. 120 the educational philosophy of colleges meant that academic programs in colleges had to strive to establish and maintain their credibility with universities and the public. With tight central control by the provincial government over the campuses of the BC Vocational School, and even the separate Vancouver Vocational Institute being gradually brought more within the ambit of the provincial government, it is hard to find evidence of a market philosophy in the vocational school sector. Certainly the curriculum was sensitive to employer preferences, and enrolment demand reflected labour market conditions, but the structure and operations of the vocational schools were controlled by the state, not by the market. By definition, the private postsecondary sector – composed of faith-based institutions and career colleges at this time – operates in a market environment. The public policy issues are how tightly government chooses to regulate the institutions, whether students are eligible for government financial aid, and whether government generally encourages or discourages their existence. During the Macdonald era, the default position of government seemed to be one of benign neglect of private postsecondary education. Students were not funded, no attempt was made to foster growth in the two sectors, and the policy seemed to be to provide as little government oversight as was consistent with preventing problems for government from emerging. This again was a laissez-faire approach. Apprenticeship is difficult to classify. It was tied to the market in that the availability of apprenticeships was dependent on employer interest and in that employers had a great deal of freedom in how they chose to deploy apprentices. On the other hand, apprenticeship was strongly regulated in certain respects such as wages and journeyman supervision. Its character was shaped by the interactions of four provincial interest groups – employers, unions, government and educators – and not by local forces. With the availability of funding for living and travel 121 expenses during the classroom portion of training each year, Department of Education or Labour officials sometimes assigned apprentices to vocational schools or colleges anywhere in the province depending which institutions had unused seats, rather than on student preference or other market forces. 122 Chapter 5: Assumptions Challenged (1980 – 1999) The postsecondary system in British Columbia was dynamic and growing in the 1960s and 1970s, but evolving in systematic ways that were easy for citizens and educators to comprehend. Beginning in the 1980s, some of the certainties and confidences about the future began to fade. In a number of areas, the ground rules for the system altered and the postsecondary landscape became more complex. Two historical moments are examined in this chapter, the first being unwelcomed by public institutions and the second applauded by them. The first moment involved a contraction in the early 1980s in public education and a shift in vocational education in the mid 1980s from public institutions towards the private sector. The second historical moment, at the end of the 1980s, introduced a new type of postsecondary institution to British Columbia and brought about an expansion of academic education in the public sector. Period Overview The change most commented upon in the scholarly literature on BC postsecondary education history from 1980 to 1999 was the transformation of five community colleges into a new institutional type, the university college. Although the change was not quantitatively significant, affecting relatively few programs and students, it blurred boundaries and changed perceptions of what had previously been a clear, binary public system. The introduction of degree granting authority to two provincial institutes was lower profile. Even notions of the essential characteristics of a university were mildly challenged during this period by the establishment of two specialized, non-traditional universities, Royal Roads 123 University and the Technical University of BC. The role of a faith-based university, Trinity Western, in liberal and professional education became controversial. As federal training dollars shifted from public to private institutions, the career college sector blossomed while apprenticeship remained in the doldrums. The provincial government chose to move the oversight of both sectors to arm’s length organizations outside of government proper. Continuing education moved closer to the market and emphasized cost-recovery operations, in some cases competing directly with the private sector. Postsecondary education for Aboriginal students became an explicit priority in public policy. Public Sectors An economic recession in the early 1980s resulted in both across-the-board and targeted cuts in public institutions, marking the end of the previous expansionary period. It was in the continuing education departments of colleges, though, that it first became evident that changing policy orientations, and not simply questions of affordability, were now at play. Over a two-year period beginning in 1982, the provincial government eliminated its designated funding to colleges in support of general interest continuing education, a term that encompassed all personal and community development courses that were not directly job-related. A further shock to colleges came in 1985 when the federal government announced its new Canadian Jobs Strategy (CJS), explicitly promoting training by the private and voluntary sectors instead of by public colleges. This strategy resulted in a halving from 1986 to 1991 in the purchase of vocational training in public colleges by the federal government (Witter, n.d.). 124 One type of public college response to the Canadian Jobs Strategy was to use continuing education departments to subcontract the delivery of training on behalf of private and non-profit organizations that were receiving CJS funds. The colleges increasingly bid on projects in partnership with private trainers and voluntary organizations (see the following section on private career colleges). The Centre for Policy Studies in Education at UBC concluded that three distinct changes in continuing education at BC colleges had occurred in less than a decade: (a) services to community organizations declined while those to employers increased; (b) programming to assist disadvantaged people declined; and (c) priorities shifted from enfranchisement to training (British Columbia & Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, 1992). This finding was consistent with the case made by Cruikshank (1990) that across Canada, notions of adult education as a vehicle for social change and development were being replaced by a focus on individual clients in which educators competed as businesses in educational markets. At the end of the period, in 2000, the BC government withdrew funding for part-time vocational offerings (that is, college continuing education courses and programs that were directly linked to the labour market.) Thus the public college sector faced a double funding blow from 1985 to 2000, one federal and one provincial (Cowin, 2010). This funding disappeared permanently, in contrast to the temporary reductions from the recession in the early 1980s. Some colleges and institutes chose to subsidize continuing education from other operations, some made it fully cost-recovery, and some greatly reduced or eliminated it. Developments in the university sector were mainly cyclical in the 1980s and 1990s, involving first contraction and then expansion, whereas colleges experienced both cyclical and structural change. When the small University of Northern British Columbia opened in Prince 125 George in 1994 – more the result of local lobbying to support the economic and community development needs of the region than an attempt to meet the educational needs of individuals – its innovations such as thematic graduate programming and aspirations (only partially realized) for collaboration with local colleges were still well within the bounds of the conventional research university paradigm. It was not until the formation of Royal Roads University in 1995, followed by the Technical University of BC in 1997, that taken-for-granted notions of the nature of BC universities were unsettled (Cowin, 2007). The establishment of Royal Roads University was opportunistic, taking advantage of a beautiful military college site that the federal government had recently vacated. It was a small, niche institution, serving adult learners using mixed mode delivery17. It had no bicameral governance system and only a small core of permanent faculty – something of a continuing education model. The Technical University was assigned a specific mission but lasted only half a dozen years, barely enrolling any students before a new government had it absorbed by Simon Fraser University. It too had an unusual governance structure, one that was challenged by the Canadian Association of University Teachers18. Subsequent changes to governance at other BC universities turned out to be traditional, not following the precedents set by Royal Roads and the Technical University, but governance structures could no longer be taken for granted. A development in the public college sector, namely the creation of university colleges, captured the attention of postsecondary scholars such as Dennison (2004, 2006), Levin (1994, 2003) and Fleming (2009). Whereas developments in the university sector were more variations 17 Students typically alternated short, intense sessions of face-to-face instruction with distance education. 18 An 8-month boycott by the Canadian Association of University Teachers was lifted before the university enrolled any students when the university’s board agreed to delegate academic planning to a senate-like body (Ward, 1998). 126 on traditional structures, five community colleges were transformed into an entirely new type of institution, the university college. Unlike some other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world, university colleges in BC were autonomous and also offered a full range of non-university programs. The provincial government had struck an Access Committee in the late 1980s, when the economy was again expanding. The committee concluded that BC needed significantly more student spaces to meet the national average for postsecondary participation, noting that access was particularly difficult for those living in remote areas and for selected groups such as Aboriginal students (British Columbia & Provincial Access Committee, 1988). The committee recommended that upper-level (3rd and 4th year) programming be added to some larger community colleges outside the southwest. In 1989, the province designated Okanagan, Cariboo and Malaspina19 colleges as university colleges. Bachelor degrees were initially conferred at these institutions in partnership with a university and then in the own name of the university college within a few years. In 1990 and 1995 respectively, Fraser Valley and Kwantlen colleges in the suburbs of Vancouver (but located across a large river that made their regions less accessible to UBC and Simon Fraser University) were also designated as university colleges, to their mild surprise. The university college model was largely unfamiliar to Canadians. Questions arose about the acceptance by the public and graduate schools of the quality of university college degrees, the status of preparatory and vocational programs in these institutions, and the workload and scholarly expectations for upper-division instructors. BC’s authorization in 1994 for the BC 19 Cariboo is now Thompson Rivers University and Malaspina became Vancouver Island University. 127 Institute of Technology to offer a new credential, the Bachelor of Technology degree, and for the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design to grant conventional degrees, went largely unremarked. Instruction Spanning the Public and Private Sectors A cluster of small, Aboriginal-governed institutions began emerging in non-metropolitan areas in the early 1980s: for example, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (public since 1983), the Chemainus Native College, and En’owkin Centre. Public institutions began to develop custom programs and services in the 1980s. Then in the 1990s, programming for Aboriginal students began to build momentum, as reflected in the creation of the province’s Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education and Training Policy Framework in 1995 (Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, 1996). Another initiative in 1995, the public Institute of Indigenous Government, did not thrive and closed in 2007. Elsewhere in the public sector, it was in the smaller institutions in rural locations that the presence of Aboriginal students was the most noticeable. Adult Basic Education, First Nations Studies, and programs up to two years in duration were popular (Cowin, 2011). Several more private, not-for-profit Aboriginal colleges were established, bringing the total to over a dozen. Lacking authority to grant credentials, they frequently partnered with public institutions and often served as a bridge for students into public institutions. Apprenticeship in Canada resembles British and American models in that it is embedded in the market, with apprentices sponsored and laid off partly in response to the economic prospects of employers. The number of apprentices in BC had peaked at 19,000 in 1981 but fell back to 10,000 during the economic recession of the early to mid 1980s. The number did not return to the peak of 19,000 until 2004 (Cowin, 2012a). 128 In the 1960s, the Department of Education came to fund a parallel stream of trades training, known as pre-employment training, for students who were not eligible for apprenticeship (they were too old, for example) or who did not want to follow the Department of Labour’s apprenticeship route. As administrative tensions among the parties grew throughout the 1970s, and complaints voiced that employers were not providing a sufficient amount of training through apprenticeship, provincial politicians decided in 1982 simply to terminate pre-apprenticeship and pre-employment training offered by either Department (Thompson, 1983). Aghast at this decision, government bureaucrats convinced the politicians to embark on a major reform instead. The result, the Training Access program (TRAC), was a self-paced, competency-based, modularized program that began with a common curricular core and allowed students to gradually specialize (Dwyer, 1983). Innovative and progressive, TRAC was so hastily implemented in 1983 with so little support from instructors or employers that it faded away within a few years as the former system resurfaced. In the meantime, the political crisis that had begun developing in the 1970s had passed. The federal government’s 1989 Labour Force Development Strategy was an unsuccessful attempt to import a more collaborative, north European model of apprenticeship (Haddow, 2000). It led to the establishment in 1994 of an advisory BC Labour Force Development Board, but the Board lasted only until 1996. In 1995/96, the BC Department of Labour (then named the Ministry of Labour, Citizens’ Services and Open Government) began consultations that resulted in the February 1997 report, Revitalizing Apprenticeship: A Strategic Framework for British Columbia’s Apprenticeship Training System. At much the same time, in late 1996, the ministries of Labour and of Education jointly struck a committee on Entry Level Trades Training and Apprenticeship. The outcome of 129 these studies was to move the oversight of apprenticeship out of government in 1997 to an arm’s length body, the Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission. Private Sectors The implementation of the federal Canadian Jobs Strategy may have harmed public institutions but it led to a major expansion of private sub-baccalaureate institutions. Government was concluding that private institutions were both cheaper and more flexible than public ones (Culos, 2005). Entrepreneurs seized the opportunity as the federal government announced it would direct more of its funding for seat purchases to private institutions, and the number of career colleges registered under the BC Apprenticeship Act doubled from 250 in 1984/85 to 500 in 1990/91 (BC Ministry of Labour annual reports). Although enrolment statistics for this sector have not been especially reliable, it appears that enrolment was around 35,000 in 1983/84, just prior to the Continuing Education and Canadian Jobs Strategy historical moment. Responsibility for the Apprenticeship Act shifted in 1986/87 from the BC Ministry of Labour to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training. Despite the dramatic growth of the career college sector in the late eighties, Advanced Education devoted few resources to this new aspect of its mandate. This period was arguably the least transparent and accountable period for private career colleges (Cowin, 2013b). Following some adverse publicity about a few problematic career colleges, the province moved the regulation of career colleges out of the government bureaucracy in 1992. The new Private Post-Secondary Education Commission became responsible for all private institutions, not simply those providing career training. Close to 1,000 institutions had achieved their required 130 registration by 1996, and the total stabilized at 1,100 shortly thereafter (Private Post-Secondary Education Commission annual reports)20. The legislation creating the Commission also provided for voluntary accreditation of private institutions (compulsory registration by this time was little more than consumer protection for prepaid tuition fees). Little happened with respect to accreditation until the late 1990s when both levels of government indicated that accreditation would soon become a requirement for an institution’s students to remain eligible for such government supports as student financial aid (Cowin, 2013b). In the faith-based sector, the authorization of Trinity Western College to grant bachelor’s degrees in any subject was extended by the BC government in 1985 to include graduate degrees (at which time it was renamed to become a university). It had become a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, but this membership was controversial. Trinity Western subsequently endured other accreditation controversies and legal challenges based on its Christian worldview as it introduced new programs, but the university prevailed in each instance21. Roman Catholics opened two tiny, liberal education colleges in 1999. Corpus Christi College affiliated with the secular UBC and Redeemer Pacific College affiliated with the Protestant Trinity Western University. The Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) formed in 1987 as a partnership of what now consists of six seminaries, with graduate degrees awarded jointly by Trinity 20 A cautionary note about private institutions data is that sometimes branch campuses were counted as separate institutions and sometimes they were excluded, with only the head office counted. 21 In 2016, Trinity Western University has gone to court to challenge the refusal of law societies in three provinces to accredit graduates of its proposed new law school. 131 Western University and each of the seminaries. This was a different arrangement than had occurred on the UBC campus in 1970 with the formation of the Vancouver School of Theology in that UBC did not jointly confer degrees (Cowin, 2009). Organizations and Agencies Although the structure of the BC postsecondary system was not determined by the advisory and coordinating organizations and agencies associated with it, these bodies influenced its development. They are not the focus of this study, but their existence merits noting. During the 1970s, the provincial government had created several intermediary bodies to help guide the young public system. The three councils for colleges and institutes lasted only from 1977 to 1983, but the Universities Council existed from 1974 to 1987. Other groups (for students, for faculty, to forecast enrolment, to conduct institutional evaluation, and so on) formed as the system matured (Cowin, 2012b). During the period 1985 to 2000, new organizations tended to be specialized. The BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (established in 1989) made a large contribution to supporting student mobility among institutions and emerged as a principal source of research about public colleges and universities in the province. The Advanced Education Council of BC (established in1990) included all public institutions except the universities. It started to fragment as the new university colleges sought to stake their own territory and it disbanded in 2001 (Cowin, 2012b). By and large, the universities were wary of participating in BC system organizations. They tended to cooperate among themselves and not be part of such organizations as the Centre for Curriculum, Transfer and Technology (1996 – 2003) or the Centre for Education Information 132 Standards and Services (also 1996 – 2003). The Electronic Library Network (1989) is one of the exceptions to this generalization. Historical Moment: Continuing Education and the Canadian Jobs Strategy Unlike the Macdonald Era that preceded this historical moment and the Access for All moment that followed it, the Continuing Education and Canadian Jobs Strategy (CE and CJS) moment does not have single document to mark a decisive turn in BC postsecondary education. Rather, changes emerged gradually following an economic downturn in the early 1980s, with the exact nature and implications of new provincial and federal policies becoming evident only after several years. It was a moment characterized by financial restraint and attention to labour market strategies. The policy changes in this historical moment, ones that did not directly alter the sectorial structure of the postsecondary system but which had indirect consequences for its scope and balance, affected only two postsecondary sectors: public community colleges and private career colleges, with the latter benefiting at the expense of the former. Linking the sectors, and complicating the narrative, were continuing education offerings, both credit and non-credit, in the public colleges. Although continuing education was formally a component of the public college sector, its distinctive operational style and structures made it, for practical purposes, a quasi-sector. The outcomes of the CE and CJS moment were (a) modified internal structures and emphases in public colleges, especially regarding non-credit programming, that significantly reduced their service to non-traditional clienteles in terms of geographical and social reach, and (b) a dramatic expansion in the number of private colleges. Some temporary overlap between 133 public and private colleges also developed as public continuing education departments partnered with private institutions to access federal funding. The credit programs in public colleges that were affected by federal actions were (a) preparatory or academic upgrading of secondary level education (developmental or adult basic education in postsecondary parlance) and (b) non-academic, applied programs. The backdrop to the CE and CJS historical moment was a worldwide recession ending the economic boom that had supported public sector expansion in BC throughout the 1970s. In the early 1980s, the recession had become the deepest since the 1930s and BC, with its dependence on commodities, was affected worse than other provinces (Fisher et al., 2014). As a result of this severe recession, BC public colleges and institutes experienced a midyear reduction in their provincial operating grant in1982. For the 1984/85 fiscal year, they received a 5% reduction and advance notice that a similar cut was possible the following year (Beinder, 1986). The BC economy began to improve in 1985, however, and was again growing by 1986. The federal government had concluded that the recession was more than a cyclical downturn. Due to structural changes in the economy, it was realizing that some of jobs that had been lost were not going to return, and that new approaches for stimulating the economy were needed. The government commissioned several studies, such as the Allmand parliamentary task force report, Work for Tomorrow (Allmand, 1981), to examine, among other topics, the dilemma of simultaneous high unemployment and shortages of skilled workers. The task force determined that what were then termed manpower training programs were not achieving their objectives. Likewise, the federal Nielsen Task Force on Program Review (Prince & Rice, 1989; Task Force, 1986) called for better training of the long-term unemployed and a better matching of skills with the needs of the economy. 134 Government thus faced two problems: a short-term decline in revenues due to the recession and a long-term shift in the character of the labour market. These pressures in and of themselves may not have been sufficient to cause changes in public educational policies, but they were a strong incentive for any government that was inclined to consider making changes – and governments were indeed disposed to do just that. Both BC and the nation had recently elected right-wing governments. Promising a regime of fiscal restraint, the BC Social Credit party was re-elected in 1983 and immediately introduced a harsh restraint budget that sought (unsuccessfully) to reduce the provincial public sector by a quarter through dismissals, privatization, and reorganization (Fisher et al., 2014). Federally, the first Conservative majority government in over two decades was elected in 1984 with a promise to lower the deficit. Indications that policy changes were under consideration had been evident during the mandates of each government’s predecessor. At that time, the BC Ministry of Labour was responsible for regulating private career colleges. In its 1981 annual report (British Columbia, 1981), the Ministry hinted that the private vocational sector could be a viable complement to the public system. It also reported that a modest number of grants (325 grants of up $500 each) had been made available to students in private colleges by way of financial assistance. Then in its 1984/85 annual report, it explicitly said that a further expansion in the number of private training institutions was foreseen and that students from all parts of the province were increasingly finding individualized instruction at private colleges to be a major attraction. Federally, concern about Canadian labour market policy (McBride, 1998) had led to three major assessments in rapid succession: Allmand (1981), Dodge (Canada & Dodge, 1981), and the Economic Council of Canada (1982). The emerging consensus was that Canadian 135 occupational training programs were unable to provide training in the middle and high skill areas (Witter, n.d.), that labour demand and supply were disconnected, and that institutional training needed to be more aligned with high demand occupations to rectify or prevent skills shortages (Fisher et al., 2006). With the above economic and governmental considerations as context, attention will now turn to specific provincial policy changes regarding continuing education and then to the introduction of the federal Canadian Jobs Strategy. Finally, the overlap and interactions between the two will be discussed. A shift in the approach of the BC government to continuing education was the first alteration to appear in this historical moment. It represented an abandonment of its short-lived interest in policy development for the field, as well as a simple withdrawal of a certain type of funding over a two-year period. The federal initiative that followed was more a redirection of funding from the public sector to the private sector, with the repackaging of programs and grants making it difficult to know if funding levels actually remained the same. Continuing education has been a complex term in BC with each postsecondary institution defining and structuring its continuing education operations according to its own vision and circumstances. It had been seen as serving two basic purposes: (a) technical empowerment and (b) access to basic education as a civic right (British Columbia, 1992). Its association with volunteerism and learner autonomy linked it with entrepreneurial activity, while its social activism connected it with equity and compensatory education (British Columbia, 1992). For the purposes of this analysis, the only distinction that needs be noted about the continuing education activities of the various institutions was the difference in the late 1970s and early 1980s between continuing education in the university sector compared to the public 136 colleges and institutes sector. This difference explains why the forces described below did not affect universities (in the long run, though, dissimilar dynamics have brought the college and university sectors to a similar entrepreneurial, cost-recovery orientation for continuing education). Universities did not receive targeted funding from government for continuing education, and so changes to their continuing education operations arose from causes other than financial exigency. UBC reorganized its continuing education operations several times, with tensions surfacing about the role of liberal education versus cost-recovery operations22. The UBC Senate modified its definition of a diploma program in 1994 so that continuing education could offer and credential post-baccalaureate programs. Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria used continuing education as a vehicle for opening facilities in the central business districts of their respective cities, and, especially in the case of the University of Victoria, to provide leadership in the provision of postsecondary distance education for the province. In the mid 1970s, both federal and provincial governments began to fund adult (continuing) education in school districts, colleges and institutes (British Columbia, 1992). The provincial grants to BC colleges in support of continuing education were unrestricted, provided that the courses and activities fell within the vague category of continuing education. Colleges used some of this funding for technical and professional development courses, but much was allocated to general interest and personal and community development purposes where registrants may have had less ability to pay the full costs of tuition (British Columbia, 1992). 22 The lack of consensus at UBC about continuing education was reflected in a 1981 report, Looking Beyond (Kulich, Taylor, Tetlow, & University of British Columbia, 1981). In its preface, UBC president Douglas Kenny stated that the university needed a comprehensive, long-range policy on continuing education. 137 Community colleges took seriously the emancipatory and democratic function of continuing education, ranging from basic literacy through community development courses and activities. Universities at that time also had personnel who embraced a popular and social justice conception of continuing education, but with no earmarked funding from government, continuing education at universities differed qualitatively from college offerings. The introduction of continuing education funding for colleges and institutes led to a new continuing education division in the Ministry of Education, formed in 1976, to provide leadership and coordination for the colleges and institutes (Cowin, 2010). By 1982/83, BC colleges and school districts were serving almost 400,000 students23 annually, an increase of 53% in seven years (British Columbia, 1992). A Statistics Canada study of adult education participation in Canada found that community colleges were the largest providers of continuing education in BC, followed by voluntary organizations, employers and school boards, and then other organizations, in that order (Deveraux, 1984). With the onset of financial restraint in the early eighties, the provincial government trimmed postsecondary budgets across the board. Along with this undifferentiated quantitative reduction, it made some more severe, targeted cuts that qualitatively changed public colleges. According to Beinder (1986), Ministry of Education officials felt that the college system was overextended. They therefore clamped down on funding for facility leases in 1983 to encourage greater utilization of large campuses and to foster distance education. With minor leases (facilities that were located away from a main campus in areas with small populations) no 23 The enrolment data were reported as students, but it is unclear whether this represents unduplicated headcounts or course registrations. Given the size of the figure and the technical challenges of producing unduplicated counts, I suspect the measure was course registrations and that students were duplicated. 138 longer funded, many storefront operations in small towns and on First Nations reserves that were operated by college continuing education departments could no longer afford to remain open. The geographic reach of colleges was sharply curtailed, although the number of students affected was small. Colleges argued, unsuccessfully, that many of their storefront classrooms served at-risk populations who were less likely to come to a distant, larger campus or to succeed in distance learning environments. A more profound change to college continuing education came in 1981 when a new Minister of Education (and subsequently Premier), Bill Vander Zalm, called a halt to the provincial policy development process for continuing education, and then eventually dismantled the continuing education division and publicly announced the intention of the Ministry to discontinue providing leadership in the field (Selman, 1988). In addition, over a two-year period beginning in 1982, funding for general interest continuing education was eliminated. The only BC government funding for continuing education that remained was for job-related courses, known as part-time vocational training. Colleges responded in different ways to the continuing education funding cuts, in several cases drawing upon other revenue sources to varying degrees to maintain at least a skeleton of general education offerings. By the late 1980s, when the economy was healthier, all colleges were again providing some non-government-funded continuing education programs and services. In aggregate, they then served a little over 5,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students, where one FTE represented between 600 and 800 hours of instruction, depending on the nature of the instruction (British Columbia, 1992). This volume of instruction was similar to that delivered by a medium-sized college but involved many more students because most registrants were enrolled in very short courses. 139 Turning now to the national scene, the federal government had introduced the Canada Manpower Training Programme under the Adult Occupational Training Act of 1967, and then replaced it with the National Training Programme in 1982 (McBride, 1998). These programs enabled the federal government to purchase training, mainly from provincial community colleges, of a vocational nature as well as English as a Second Language and Adult Basic Education instruction. The original emphasis was on public providers of training because the government feared that on-the-job training could easily become just a subsidy to industry (Dupre, 1973). By the mid 1980s, the federal government had come to perceive public colleges as slow both to respond to new labour market demands and to wind down programs for which demand had declined (McBride, 1998). Furthermore, an inordinate amount of the training was, in their eyes, being devoted to the Basic Training for Skill Development (BTSD) program, an upgrading of basic academic skills that federal officials viewed as simply rectifying deficiencies in provincial secondary education (Rubenson & Gaskell, 1987). The federal government was also seeking to shift funding from lower-level to higher-level skills training (Fisher et al., 2006). The new Conservative government of 1984 introduced the Canadian Jobs Strategy in 1985, with full implementation coming in mid 1986. The strategy replaced all former training employment programs and represented the largest reform in labour market policy since the introduction of employment training programs in the 1960s (Prince & Rice, 1989). It consisted of a set of programs targeted to specific clienteles, such as Aboriginal persons and the long-term unemployed. The implication was, according to Prince and Rice (1989), that all previous job creation programs were perceived by the current government as short-term, ad hoc, make-work schemes. 140 The Canadian Jobs Strategy explicitly promoted training by the private and voluntary sectors, reflecting the skepticism of the federal government about the cost effectiveness and responsiveness public colleges (Cowin, 2010). This fostered dramatic growth in private career colleges as public training funds were redirected to such institutions (Auld, 2005; Sweet & Gallagher, 1999). In the five years following 1986, direct federal purchase of training in public colleges halved, destabilizing their vocational programs, especially in the first few years of the new regime (Witter, n.d.). In the private sector, in contrast, BC Ministry of Labour annual reports indicated that the number of registered private career colleges in BC tripled in a decade, from 165 in 1980 to 500 in 1990/91 (Cowin, 2013b). Along with reducing and refocusing their programming, one of the responses of BC colleges to the Canadian Jobs Strategy was to use their continuing education departments to serve as subcontractors to deliver training on behalf of private and non-profit organizations that were receiving Canadian Jobs Strategy funds. Public colleges also increasingly bid in partnership with private trainers and voluntary organizations; lacking educational expertise and capacity, these other organizations fronted bids but turned to public institutions to actually deliver significant portions of the contracts that they were awarded (Cowin, 2010). Vocational instructors in BC community colleges were dismayed by the change in federal policy, claiming it had deprived, betrayed and devalued the public postsecondary vocational education system (Vocational Instructors Association of BC, 1991). Other criticisms of the Canadian Jobs Strategy were that it reduced the absolute amount of funding for training, weakened quality assurance (audits by the federal government concerned financial propriety, not educational standards and outcomes), and increased the possibility of duplication of services across providers (McBride, 1998; Witter, n.d.). 141 Analysis: Continuing Education and the Canadian Jobs Strategy Moment Social Justice It is difficult to find evidence that any concern for social justice influenced the actions of the BC government in reducing public expenditures, especially with respect to continuing education, in the early 1980s. The government seems to have sacrificed portions of the emancipatory and democratization mission of community colleges in light of financial exigencies. Nevertheless, a couple of considerations temper this stark conclusion slightly. While causing the closure of many storefront college facilities through a refusal to continue funding minor leases, the government claimed that affected students had an alternative, namely to make greater use of the relatively new Open Learning Institute and the Knowledge Network of the West educational television service. When educators responded that distance education was not especially viable because the students who accessed storefront centres were typically not the successful, confident students who seem to perform adequately in less social, distance education settings, the advice of educators was suspect in that they had a vested interest in keeping the storefronts open – they and their colleagues were employed there. Regardless of the sincerity of either government or college personnel, or even the soundness of their arguments, the point is that the government felt it had to offer a substitute means of accessing postsecondary education for the vulnerable students who would be affected by storefront closures. The withdrawal by the BC government of funding for non-vocational continuing education greatly reduced the ability of colleges to equip and empower marginalized populations. Possibly reinforcing other factors leading to this decision was a perception in government that some continuing education activities were becoming more political than 142 educational. This perception was exacerbated by the belief of the Ministry’s executive director for continuing education, Ron Faris, that school districts and colleges were not making sufficient effort to serve disadvantaged persons (Selman, 1988). His continuing education division attempted to change institutional priorities and, in some instances, was perceived by field personnel as interfering with local programs and priorities. Receiving mixed messages from constituents around the province about the accomplishments of general continuing education and knowing that he had to make financial cuts somewhere, a new Minister of Education, Bill Vander Zalm, was not predisposed to protect this particular budget item. The picture at the federal level was more complex, and it is too facile to conclude that a transfer of funds from the public to the private postsecondary system automatically meant that the welfare of needy or vulnerable citizens was unimportant to government. Perhaps the bigger concern is the inconclusively documented suspicion that the Canadian Jobs Strategy ultimately reduced overall training funds across all sectors, but it is difficult to unwind the budgetary strands to confirm this. When the Mulroney government came to power in 1984, it explicitly established social justice as one of the four overarching priorities to govern its decisions for the next few years (Prince & Rice, 1989). The government did not necessarily agree with its political opponents as to what constituted social justice, but it nevertheless felt that its conception of social justice was worthy and important. Under the Canadian Jobs Strategy, a right-wing government, which might have been expected to be concerned with promoting individual rights, chose to define social justice and equity in terms of groups of disadvantaged people for whom compensatory efforts were needed: the Canadian Jobs Strategy explicitly focused on women re-entering the work force, youth, the 143 long-term unemployed, Native Peoples, disabled persons, visible minorities and social assistance recipients. In contrast to the emphasis in BC on social justice during the Macdonald era as access to education for individuals, the federal emphasis in the Canadian Jobs Strategy was on compensatory programs for groups of people. Whether the federal goals were ever actually achieved is irrelevant to the policy intent that ultimately propelled the reshaping of the private career college sector in BC. Human Capital Formation In response to an economic recession that had come to be viewed as heralding a structural change in the economy and not merely a cyclical downturn, efforts to improve the skill level of the workforce and to help displaced workers retrain for participation in the new economy became key policy goals for both the BC and the federal governments. The provincial concern for human capital formation was evident in its decision to continue funding the part-time vocational component of continuing education offerings in public colleges and institutes, despite rapidly phasing out all other types of continuing education funding as a cost-saving measure. The priority accorded labour force development over other educational purposes was clear. The involvement of the federal government in postsecondary education has been driven by economic and labour market considerations, but its actions during the Continuing Education and Canadian Jobs Strategy historical moment were more nuanced than those of the BC government. Rather than providing general funding for vocational programs as the province had done, leaving individual colleges free to choose whatever specific programs to offer for whatever reasons they thought important, the federal government attempted to target its funding. In addition to targeting certain groups that were disadvantaged in the labour market, as discussed 144 above, the federal government abandoned temporary, make-work programs and attempted to invest in medium and long-term skills. The shift of the federal government in the mid 1980s from a focus on public postsecondary institutions to private institutions and the workplace marked the beginning of a turn from previous notions of human capital formation as both a public and a private good, reorienting policy from public investment in education towards individual investment (Haddow, 1998; Stewart & Kerr, 2010). By the early 1990s, the federal government was backing even further away from a national role in skill development as it began decentralizing administrative control of federal expenditures through Labour Market Development Agreements negotiated on a province-by-province basis. Reflecting on the mid 1980s from a college perspective a decade later, Knowles (1995) claimed that postsecondary resource allocations in Canada had increasingly come to be determined by perceived demands for vocational and occupational training. She noted that for most colleges, their initial forays into the contract training market (a subset of cost-recovery continuing education where a third party funder determines which students are eligible to enroll in the course) had emerged in the 1980s, often beginning with computer and technology training. In short, notions of human capital formation were important in the Continuing Education and Canadian Jobs Strategy moment, but they seemed to be taking on new meanings in terms of the role of the federal state. Marketization Marketization was also a significant theme in the Continuing Education and Canadian Jobs Strategy historical moment, but it may be that it was less of an ideological driver of 145 educational policy than a pragmatic response to a changing international environment and an opportunity to save money. At the same time as the federal government sought a new job training strategy that would lead to more relevant curriculum to help the Canadian economy adjust to a changing global economy, an important intended beneficiary was also government itself as the funding body: it hoped it would get the instruction it wanted in a more responsive and cheaper manner. By the mid 1970s, global economic problems such as stagflation (persistent unemployment during high inflation) had made it clear that Keynesian policies were not working (Harvey, 2007). The first wave of neoliberalism in the English-speaking world had been prefaced in Australia under Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser in 1975, but it was the election of Margaret Thatcher in Britain in 1979 and Ronald Reagan in the USA in 1980 that brought this ideology to the forefront. The election of Brian Mulroney in 1984 resulted in a campaign in Canada to end Keynesian-style “big government” (Steger & Roy, 2010). By the mid 1980s, neoliberalism had arrived in Canada as a powerful political ideology. In British Columbia, the 1983 Speech from the Throne (British Columbia, 1983) announced the government’s intention to downsize government by eliminating some activities and by transferring other activities to the private sector. It declared that the government believed the road to economic recovery lay in the private sector. The brief mention of education in the throne speech said that any initiatives would occur in the context of fiscal restraint and enhanced productivity. Despite the privatization rhetoric, BC public colleges experienced mainly financial restraint – funding cutbacks that forced continuing education, for example, to become more entrepreneurial and cost-recovery, emulating the private sector – with only a few programs, such 146 as customer relations training for taxi drivers and hairdressing programs, actually transferred to the private sector (Beinder, 1986). It remained for the federal government, a few years later, to start a large scale shift of instructional funds – that is, designated funding that was separate from transfer payments to the provinces for education (Leblanc & Canada, 1987) – from public to private colleges. The BC government reduced its grants to public colleges, quit collecting continuing education data, stopped providing leadership in that field, and stood back to observe the consequences. It let colleges and institutes do whatever they wanted with respect to general continuing education and storefront campuses; the institutions just would not receive government funding for these purposes. Continuing education had always operated in something of a market environment in that a significant portion of instructional costs were offset by tuition revenue, with government grants used more for infrastructure and to subsidize specific courses. With the loss of government grants, institutions reduced or eliminated offerings that were not cost-recovery and generally treated continuing education even more a market commodity than as a public service (British Columbia, 1992). The long-term structural impacts were to create (a) a pseudo private sector divisions within public sector institutions and (b) depending on the bidding rules of various training contracts that have come and gone over the years, some overlap between public and private sectors to develop programs in partnership, with continuing education personnel serving as the bridge between the two sectors. The federal government was ideologically sympathetic to neoliberal approaches and its practical experience was that provincial education systems were neither responsive, flexible, nor informed about the skills that were actually used in the workplace (Witter, n.d.). It wanted to 147 introduce competition in adult training to address these perceived shortcomings. In doing so under the new and sweeping Canadian Jobs Strategy, it not only shook up public colleges, and prompted some cooperation between private and public institutions, but it led to the tripling of the number of private career colleges in BC. Marketization was an important component of this labour market and educational policy. Historical Moment: Access for All As this chapter returns from analysis to recounting an historical narrative, the timeframe shifts from the early and mid 1980s to the late 1980s and early 1990s. This second historical moment in the Assumptions Challenged period concerns two postsecondary sectors, namely public universities and colleges. A new form of institution, the university college, emerged from these two sectors. Some commentators have suggested university colleges came to constitute a distinct sector of their own. Like the Macdonald Report of 1962, the Access for All report and strategy of 1988/89 appeared to arrive suddenly from nowhere, involving extensive but quick community consultations, receiving broad endorsement, and (moderately) changing the size and structure of the public postsecondary system. However, it too was actually the culmination of years of work and advocacy efforts. Once again, the primary beneficiary was academic education. Unlike the Macdonald Report, though, Access for All was a government initiative – one of the infrequent occasions when the BC government has shown systematic leadership in postsecondary education. Also unlike the Macdonald Era, politics took an unwelcome twist from the point of view of Ministry of Advanced Education officials: with the establishment of the University of Northern British Columbia, officials feared this departure from the government 148 plan in a region with a small population would doom the new university to low enrolments and high costs24. Two streams of complementary advocacy in the prior decade provide the backdrop for the Access for All moment. One concerned the performance of British Columbia in postsecondary education relative to the Canadian average. The other reflected community aspirations in the interior of the province for a local university. Around 1980, the institutional research office at the University of Victoria began analyzing per-capita degree and enrolment rates in BC relative to other Canadian provinces and to the national average, including consideration of university transfer enrolment and what was then called career/technical education in colleges. (Vocational education, a separate data set at Statistics Canada that used different measures, was excluded from the analysis.) The results showed that BC was not keeping pace with other provinces. In 1981, the intermediary body for BC universities, the Universities Council of British Columbia, funded the University of Victoria to publish a report, A Widening Gap, to present interprovincial participation and credential data (Gallagher & Merner, 1981). While the absolute numbers of students and credentials awarded in BC were rising, the per-capita measures showed that BC had been “steadily declining over the last fifteen years. Currently the Province is at or near the bottom of the national ranking in almost every comparison” (Gallagher & Merner, 1981, p.1). 24 This concern was an accurate forecast. In 2013/14, the University of Northern British Columbia enrolled 2,853 fulltime equivalent (FTE) students (which was only 82% of the target enrolment set by the Ministry of Advanced Education), compared to 16,649 FTE (100% of target) at the University of Victoria. With operating grants of $49.3 million and $190.4 million respectively, the grant per FTE student at UNBC was $17,400 compared to $11,400 at the University of Victoria. Sources: Annual audited financial statements and Institutional Accountability Plans and Reports submitted to the BC government. 149 Moreover, participation rates in the outlying regions of the province were below even the BC average. Although geographic access was thought to be an important explanatory factor for the low rural rates, the report cautioned that it fell short of a complete account of the situation. With an economic recession in full force in the early 1980s, the timing to rectify the “widening gap” was inopportune; the public finances were simply not available. Nevertheless, the Universities Council continued to advance variations of this theme in periodic submissions to the BC government until the government disbanded the Council (for other reasons) in 1987. When Ministry officials began preparing background analyses in 1988 as part of the accessibility initiative of the BC government, the bureaucrats were thus familiar with participation rate and credentialing arguments as well as with the data available to make them. The other prior stream of advocacy efforts, concerning aspirations for universities in the interior of the province, extended over a longer period and was more diffuse. The precedent was the private Notre Dame University of Nelson, in the southeast region of the province (Cowin, 2009). Closing in 1977 after years of financial struggle, it had garnered such strong local support that the BC government reopened the campus in 1979 as the David Thompson University Centre. When the government closed the campus again in 1984 dues to budgetary restraint and high costs per student, the local community was again upset. In Prince George, in the central north of the province, the Catholic Church opened the tiny Prince George College in 1962 and offered Grade 13, drawing in part on federal funding for Aboriginal students. The aspiration of Bishop Fergus O’Grady was to eventually offer four years of university and the young college did go so far as to have three small cohorts of students complete two years of university transfer studies (McCaffray, 1995). When the College of New 150 Caledonia opened in 1964 with public funding, the Catholic college decided to withdraw from postsecondary education and to operate as a secondary school instead. Not all Prince George residents supported the establishment of the College of New Caledonia, given that the city already had a postsecondary vocational school. Along with questions about the cost of the college (under BC legislation at that time, local residents were responsible for half of the operating costs), some residents feared that a new college would jeopardize the chance of the city ever having a full university (McCaffray, 1995). In 1978, the dean of university programs at the College of New Caledonia, Frank Gelin, argued for the college to become Prince George University (McCaffray, 1995). Prince George thus had a long history of wanting a university of its own. In the Okanagan valley, in the southern interior of BC, the three main cities pushed for a postsecondary institution in the late 1950s and early 1960s, each vying for the right to become a college or university town (Freake, 2005). Vernon had already purchased one hundred acres of property and the mayor of Kelowna had hired a consultant in 1959 to do a feasibility study for a junior college. John Macdonald had recommended in his report (Macdonald, 1962) that a four-year college be established at Kelowna within eight years, emerging from a two-year college that should open immediately. This did not occur, but the dream of a degree-granting institution in the Okanagan did not die. Against this backdrop of longstanding regional aspirations for interior universities in Nelson, Prince George and the Okanagan, and more recent concern that BC was not keeping up with national postsecondary developments, the Access for All historical moment began at a political convention in 1986 at which the governing BC party, the Social Credit party, chose a new leader to replace premier William Bennett. Delegates were concerned about public 151 complaints of overcrowding and lack of access to postsecondary institutions, fee increases and inadequate student aid (Bullen, 1991). Institutions were complaining about the financial cutbacks they had endured in the earlier eighties. The newly chosen premier, William Vander Zalm gave his new minister for postsecondary education, Stanley Hagen, two tasks: to improve student financial assistance and to increase access to postsecondary education (Bullen, 1991). Sweeping changes to financial aid, to be implemented over three years, were announced in March 1987. The process for enhancing student access proceeded more slowly. A former assistant deputy minister (and former president of Camosun College), Grant Fisher had returned from a medical leave into a position as head of the policy and planning branch of the Ministry. His task was to establish a base of information about postsecondary access and university transfer in BC (Bullen, 1991). Working with a small team of Ministry staff and consultants, Fisher produced a dozen papers, some of which picked up themes from the University of Victoria’s work mentioned above on participation and credential rates. With the Ministry uncharacteristically well briefed and proceeding in a well orchestrated manner, the next step occurred in February 1988 when Minister Hagen struck one provincial and eight regional access committees (a government-wide regionalization plan was concurrently launched, mainly for economic development purposes) to garner public input and to prepare a report. The goal was to complete the postsecondary report by the summer so that it would coordinate with the government-wide planning initiative. The Provincial Access Committee met this deadline, issuing its report in June 1988. At the same time, two groups independently advocated for the establishment of interior universities. The report from Kelowna, in the view of the chair of the Provincial Access 152 Committee, Les Bullen, envisaged a natural growth from the existing college and harmonized well with the report of the Access Committee (Bullen, 1991). The Prince George initiative, on the other hand, did not harmonize either in process or substance with the Provincial Access Committee. In fact, the Prince George group came to view government officials as producing slanted briefings that steered priorities to southern regions of the province (McCaffray, 1995). The Interior University Society in Prince George, incorporated in the autumn of 1987, therefore chose to interact directly with provincial politicians, making an end run around the Provincial Access process. In March 1988, soon after the launch of the Provincial Access Committee, community members from Prince George met directly with selected cabinet ministers to lobby for what was no longer framed as a Prince George university but rather as a university for the entire north. This regional approach increased the demographic base to over 300,000 people, although spread over vast distances. It also provided a way to differentiate this university proposal from other proposals in non-metropolitan BC by emphasizing the distinctive needs and character of northern regions. Drawing upon the work of a Swedish consultant, Urban Dahloff, a network university using a mix of face-to-face and distance delivery methods, working closing with the three northern community colleges, was proposed (McCaffray, 1995). The Provincial Access Committee made many recommendations, with the key structural change to the public postsecondary system being a proposal to create university colleges: the offering of third and fourth year courses by community colleges in midsize interior communities under the educational auspices of BC’s existing universities. This would bring degree-level programs to the hinterland without the attendant financial overhead of the research mandate of universities. The Committee explicitly left the door open for university colleges to continue 153 operating in partnership with universities, to develop into comprehensive degree-granting regional colleges, or to eventually become autonomous universities25 (British Columbia & Provincial Access Committee, 1988). The provincial government accepted this recommendation, announcing three university colleges in 1989 and later adding two more. After receiving the report of the Provincial Access Committee, Minister Hagen agreed to a university in Prince George and struck an implementation planning committee in 1989. He and some of his staff visited Scandinavia and other parts of Canada with small, remote universities, coming to the conclusion that a centralized university model, such as at Lakehead University in Ontario, was more appropriate for BC than Scandinavian models that worked in a different educational milieu (Bullen, 1991). The University of Northern British Columbia was thus established as a rather traditional, North American university, to the chagrin of the Interior University Society (McCaffray, 1995). The access work culminated in March 1989 when the provincial government announced the Access for All strategy (Hagen, 1989). Along with the creation of university colleges and the promise of a university in Prince George, 15,000 student spaces would be added to university programs in colleges and universities across the province. Three thousand of these spaces were to be added in the first twelve months. In contrast to the expansion of academic education, only 1,000 spaces would be added immediately to non-university programs and no promises were made for expanding non-university programs in the following years. 25 Poole (1994) found that, privately, government officials were in full agreement that the new institutions should not become universities, but that they felt the movement to university status would probably occur anyway due to political pressures, especially in the Okanagan. 154 Under the Access for All strategy, a special partnership would be explored by which the Open Learning Agency would grant degrees for the Emily Carr College of Art and Design (as it was then named). Among the other initiatives the government embarked upon, committees were formed to promote adult literacy and postsecondary education for Aboriginal students. A council on admissions and transfers was formed to facilitate student mobility among institutions. The Minister reminded his audience at the Access for All news conference that the government had recently committed some additional funding for adult special education, students with disabilities, and general student support services. The creation of university colleges attracted a fair amount of scholarly attention because they represented a new institutional type that complicated binary models of postsecondary education and which changed the internal operations and culture of institutions (Dennison, 2006; Dennison & Schuetze, 2004; Fleming & Lee, 2009; Gaber, 2002; Levin, 1994; Levin, 2003; Schuetze & Day, 2001; Skolnik, 2012). Whereas scholars focused on the implications of the university college model for educational providers – that is, for postsecondary institutions and sectors – and how distinctions among institutional types were blurring and becoming complicated, the documents cited above from committees and government officials focused instead on beneficiaries, that is, on students and communities. The goals of public servants and politicians were to find pragmatic ways of responding to educational needs, keeping costs manageable, and leaving the door open to further institutional evolution. The resulting ambiguity of institutional purpose and identity, and the development of an increasingly differentiated postsecondary system, were not prominent concerns for politicians nor Ministry staff. Once the simple model of three types of public postsecondary institutions in two sectors – universities in one sector and colleges and institutes in another sector – had been complicated in 155 BC by the introduction of university colleges, other variations followed. The openings of Royal Roads University in 1995 and the short-lived Technical University of British Columbia in 1999, and of two small Aboriginal-governed but publicly funded institutes in 1995, the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and the Institute of Indigenous Government, all introduced non-traditional components of governance and mission to the public system. The ambiguities associated with the university college model kept the door open to lobbying for a local university in the interior communities of Kelowna and Kamloops, lobbying that eventually resulted in the transformation of the two university colleges in those cities into a campus of the University of British Columbia and into a “special purpose” university, Thompson Rivers University (as discussed in the next historical moment). Analysis: Access for All Moment Social Justice Social justice considerations undergirded the work of the Provincial Access Committee, whereas the concurrent lobbying in Prince George and in the Okanagan region was driven more by human capital considerations. Nevertheless, lobbyists for a university advanced fairness arguments, especially in Prince George. The unmet enrolment demand for postsecondary education, and the desire that access be equitably distributed throughout the province, resembled the situation in the Macdonald era, namely that this was an issue of basic fairness for individuals. In this respect, the Access for All initiative can be seen as an effort to maintain the existing social contract. The report of the Provincial Access Committee not only asserted economic benefits, but also claimed that investment in education had social and cultural benefits (Provincial Access 156 Committee, 1988). Furthermore, the Committee said it was a social imperative to increase accessibility to all types of education, including personal enrichment, “for all who demonstrate the necessary competence, motivation and maturity to benefit from further education” (p.10). In other words, postsecondary education was viewed as something of a human right. The Minister spoke of education as a strong force in breaking the cycle of poverty and of social malaise, as fundamental to the democratic process, and to preserving the balance between human values and the technological world (Hagen, 1989). A new aspect of social justice in the discourse of the provincial government on postsecondary education was the Access Committee’s focus on under-represented groups (enumerated as people in small, remote communities; “Native Indians”; disabled students; and the prison population) and those needing literacy upgrading - a theme that was subsequently echoed in the announcement by the government about its strategy in response to the access report (Hagen, 1989). How much was actually achieved for equity groups over the succeeding years is in some ways irrelevant from the perspective of policy intent; what mattered was that these groups were viewed as important and deserving of special attention from government. The emphasis of the BC government on social justice was a marked contrast to its absence in the Continuing Education and Canadian Jobs Strategy (CE and CJS) historical moment a few years earlier. Not only had the economic recession ended and provincial revenues were rising, but a new premier and a new minister of advanced education were now in charge – a different environment with different actors that provided an opportunity for the postsecondary educational policy pendulum to swing back towards its historical balance among the various policy rationales. 157 A different way of framing social justice considerations in BC postsecondary education was forcefully articulated during this time and arose from geographical considerations. The perspective was not new in itself, but distinctive in finally succeeding in catching the attention of politicians in the seat of government, ultimately persuading them of its merit. The issue concerned differing values that could not be resolved on technical grounds, and therefore appropriately belonged in the political arena. The particular political process ran independently and parallel to the Access for All initiative, which, depending on one’s perspective, was either unfortunate or inevitable. Government officials, whose duty was to ensure public funds were expended efficiently and effectively, saw that government could provide a certain sum of money to expand costly postsecondary capacity in rural areas, knowing that the additional capacity would likely not be fully utilized. That same amount of money expended in the more populated southwest would provide a greater number places, all of which were likely to be used. It was difficult for them to justify not meeting a proven educational demand in metropolitan areas in order to fund more costly seats in non-metropolitan regions, some of which might not even be used. Their focus was on students, not on the students’ communities, and they seem to have viewed all students as needing to be treated as equally as possible. The question about “getting the most bang for the buck” was seen differently in the north. It was not a technical question about the efficient allocation of public resources, but one of values. For many northern residents, the fairness issue was not how to get the most output in terms of graduates from the least input of money, but rather concerned who benefitted from the wealth generated in the north: northerners or southerners. The mayor of Prince George in the late 158 1980s, John Blackhouse, described the situation as “we were tired of being treated like a colony, sick of exporting our resources, including our children” (McCaffray, 1995, p. 249). Northerners felt it was only fair that they should have the same quality of life as in the south, including local access to postsecondary education for their children and skilled labour that viewed northern communities as more than either temporary springboards for their careers or locales to be avoided altogether. If revenue from their region could fund local postsecondary spaces, resulting in a comparable quality of life to that in the south, then they considered it irrelevant whether those spaces were more expensive than in the south. The University Advisory Council, a short-lived advisory group established by the BC government following its abolishment of the Universities Council of BC, articulated the divide in southern and northern perspectives by framing it in educational versus economic terms: “While recognizing that there are economic benefits which will accrue to a region in which a university is located, the Council feels that the educational need, not the economic benefit, should be the basis upon which university programing decisions are made” (Bullen, 1991, p. 27). A body based in the south, the Council recommended against establishing a separate interior university at that time. By the time the Provincial Access Committee was writing its report, the northern university advocacy campaign was showing signs of success with provincial politicians. The Access Committee was not about to embarrass its political masters. The committee said that although it had not been presented with justification for a new university based on enrolment demand, it was fully aware that the justification “may rest on much broader grounds” (p. 18). The government eventually accepted this broader justification, saying it was prepared to pay a 159 northern premium for a new university in recognition of the long-term nature of investment in education (Hagen, 1989). Human Capital Formation Both the Provincial Access Committee and the Minister in his subsequent announcement of the Access for All strategy articulated a comprehensive understanding of the purposes of postsecondary education, ranging from civic/democratic justifications through social and cultural to economic considerations. With respect to labour market contributions, the Provincial Access Committee said: Previous analyses, however, done in Canada and elsewhere, suggest that additional investment in advanced education and job training will have high pay-off value in terms of future economic, social and cultural benefits….The relationship between levels of education and unemployment…is particularly telling….It seems clear that countries with a well-educated labour force will have competitive edge in the emerging world economy. (p .6) Although not the only argument advanced by the Provincial Access Committee for expanding postsecondary education, human capital formation was certainly an important consideration. The provincial government adopted a similar stance. Although the Minister explicitly stated in the press conference to announce the Access for All strategy that postsecondary education was important for reasons other than economic ones, he nevertheless opened the press conference by referencing a consensus that the future prosperity of BC would depend on investments made in people, “Indeed, if we are to continue to prosper in an increasingly complex world, British Columbians must have access to relevant post-secondary education” (Hagen, 1989, p.4). 160 Whereas the provincial government took a balanced view of the purposes of postsecondary education, the advocacy groups for interior universities were much more focused on economic and labour market considerations. In fact, it was the Chamber of Commerce that spearheaded the Kelowna effort. Its report noted that as well as better access for students and enhancing the quality of life in the community, a university would nicely benefit a seasonal economy; the quieter summer in the academic school year would complement the employment cycles of the agricultural and tourist industries (Bullen, 1991). The Prince George community was well aware that not only did it have a cyclical, resource-based economy, but that the economy was changing structurally and the jobs lost during the recession of the early 1980s were likely permanent losses. The Regional Development Corporation saw a university as the single most important initiative towards stabilizing and growing the region’s economy (McCaffray, 1995). Similarly, Prince George Mayor Blackhouse, reflecting back on the successful campaign for a northern university, commented, “ a university would be a way to diversify the economy, changing the social fabric…Indeed when I lobbied for the university, I rarely mentioned education – usually only economics, social change, retention of young people” (McCaffray, 1995, p. 249). In assessing the Access for All policies, Fisher et al. (2014) identified two distinct but related sentiments at play: recognition of the instrumental benefits of education and a commitment to educational access as a democratic right. They concluded that the issue of social inclusion was not addressed by direct redistributive means but rather by investing in public postsecondary education as a spur to economic growth and general prosperity. Furthermore, they argued, this approach was in line with the human resource theory of the day. My view is that although this conclusion is a little too narrow an interpretation, one that does not adequately 161 acknowledge the comprehensive purposes articulated for education nor the explicit attention to under-represented groups in the Access for All historical moment, it nevertheless does draw attention to the implicit policy assumption that all segments of society would benefit from a well educated labour force and efforts to raise postsecondary participation rates generally. Marketization Given the importance of the private sector in the federal Canadian Jobs Strategy of 1985, that the party in power in BC in 1989 (Social Credit) was the same one as had announced in its 1983 Throne Speech that it intended to downsize government and rely more on the private sector, and given the recent abandonment by the provincial government of continuing education (except part-time vocational courses) to cost-recovery market forces, the absence of these forces in the Access for All moment just a few years later is striking. A healthier economy and different politicians – the BC government was now led by Bill Vander Zalm rather than Bill Bennett – do not seem the full explanation for their absence. I suspect that differing societal views regarding academic and non-academic education – the former being the emphasis of Access for All – are also part of the explanation, but this hypothesis would require a study of its own to confirm or refute. The ways in which marketization is relevant to the Access for All historical moment is subtler, long-term, and not directly linked to money. It has to do with the development of an institutional prestige economy in the public postsecondary system in which institutions and sectors competed with one another in different ways than the usual jockeying that is inherent in public sector budgeting. 162 The 15,000 seat expansion and the introduction of upper level instruction in university colleges had the potential for introducing competition for students among institutions, but this did not really occur because enrolment demand was so strong. Neither does the encouragement of such competition, a neoliberal strategy, seem to have been a policy intent. What seems to have been on the mind of government, though, was a question of legitimacy: would the degree programs delivered at university colleges be seen as credible and equivalent to those at universities? Its strategy for ensuring the legitimacy of these degrees was to have existing universities oversee the academic aspects of these programs and to award their own degrees to university college graduates, at least in the initial years. Whether colleges that had been successfully offering the first two years of a bachelor’s degree for a decade or two actually lacked the expertise to expand into upper division programming is moot, but the provision of the university quality assurance mechanism forestalled any potential debate. The new BC Council of Admissions and Transfer was given a mandate to address a variety of issues, one of which was to provide a confidential, neutral place where any issues of academic credibility among institutions could be discussed and potentially resolved before they escalated publicly. Despite these proactive steps by the government, Fleming and Lee (2009) found that “the university colleges legitimately engage in isomorphic behavior – emulating aspects of traditional university programming, faculty workload, and governance – to ensure their recognition and credibility as degree-granting institutions and in deference to professional practice norms supportive of quality programs” (p. 96). In small and subtle ways, the university colleges were drawn into the zero-sum prestige economy of university education (Levin, 2003), leading first to 163 the formation of their own advocacy group (which contributed to the dissolution of the Advanced Education Council of BC in 2001) and a campaign of their own for university status. Throughout the early 1990s, status issues were an ongoing source of debate and conflict within institutions. Dennison (1995) concluded that university colleges were reinforcing the latent academic drift among other BC colleges and institutes, that is, aspirations for degree-granting status. The scholarly interest noted above in institutional differentiation and the abandonment of a clear binary model is further indication of the beginning of reputational jockeying that emerged more fully in the next historical moment to be analyzed. The evidence does not suggest, however, that reputational jockeying was a policy intent of Access for All; rather, it seemed more of a consequence. 164 Chapter 6: Cynicism (2000 – 2015) Idealism, bolstered by a strong economy, about the contribution of education to the betterment of society characterized the 1960s and 1970s. Beinder (1983), for example, described the BC college movement in the 1960s: a unique social phenomenon bringing people together, creating a more tightly knit and understanding society…there was truly an element of missionary concern in what they did. They were clearly concerned about the life chances of people. That’s missionary business. (pp. 19-21) As assumptions about the postsecondary system were challenged in the 1980s and 1990s, the world had changed by 2000. In the years that followed, competitive and market-like behaviours in an uncertain environment became more evident in BC postsecondary education. Policymakers in the BC government and in educational institutions have continued since 2000 to seek better ways of serving the residents of BC, both individual residents and society as a whole. Paralleling this ongoing educational mission, however, has been a growing awareness that the survival of their organization, at least in its current form, could not be taken for granted. Attention to organizational self-interest intensified as funding and sources of student enrolment became more vulnerable in the globalized world of neoliberalism. The environment came to be perceived as one that provided incentives for public relations messages to displace balanced reports26, for institutions to pay greater attention to enhancing their status, and for game-playing to emerge in such aspects of public administration as the creation and reporting of key performance indicators. The cooperative working 26 For example, a number of rating questions in the 2016 administration of the Canadian Graduate and Professional Student Survey had three positive options (excellent, very good, and good), one neutral option (fair) but just one negative option (poor). This positively skewed scale ensured that not a single respondent would report to the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies of having had a bad or very poor experience at a Canadian university. 165 relationships of the 1990s between institutional personnel and government officials weakened and suspicions grew as to what the hidden agendas of the other might be. None of this was explicitly acknowledged, but official announcements and expressed postsecondary policy rationales became harder to take at face value. It is on this basis that I have chosen to label the period since 2000 as one of cynicism. Rather than openly debating the merits of alternative policy options for postsecondary education, decisions were increasingly taken behind closed doors and the official explanations viewed with skepticism by at least some stakeholder groups. Collaboration across public universities and colleges declined in favour of strategic alliances among subsets of institutions, all claiming to have student and societal interests at heart. Information and policy analyses about postsecondary institutions were held more tightly in order to maintain competitive advantage. Institutions dutifully repackaged their public plans and reports to reference the changing slogans of the provincial government27. I do not believe that this ethos was intentionally inculcated, but it developed nevertheless and stands in marked contrast to the heady, and in some ways innocent, days of the Macdonald Era. It may or may not be that the idealism of the 1960s served society better than the pragmatism of the past two decades in British Columbia. I am not recommending that BC should return to the past. Rather, my argument is simply that the nature of educational policy discourse has shifted from, to use Beinder’s term, missionary zeal to a tone that is more multilayered, and which perhaps has less savory layers that some actors recognize but acknowledge only to 27 In 2007, the BC Ministry of Advanced Education’s Service Plan listed five government-wide “Great Goals,” one of which was to make BC the most literate and best-educated jurisdiction in North America. In 2012, other governmental priorities replaced the Great Goals: jobs and the economy; families first; and open government and citizenship engagement. In 2015, families had disappeared and jobs had top billing, followed by taxpayer accountability principles (British Columbia. Ministry of Advanced Education, 2015). 166 selected audiences. The “Who ultimately benefits?” question at the heart of critical theory (Bohman, 2015) thus seems more germane today in terms of policy intent than half a century ago. (I am not arguing that the question has changed in importance in terms of policy outcomes.) Period Overview A new right-wing BC government in 2001 introduced some significant changes, a few of which resembled developments in Alberta and Ontario, to the postsecondary system over the following few years. One change opened the door wider for private and out-of-province universities to operate in BC. A second set of changes completed the redefinition of the degree-granting sectors, eliminating some institutions, transforming university colleges into a new form of teaching university, and granting public colleges and institutes some authority to grant certain types of baccalaureate degrees. A third set of changes altered the oversight of the apprenticeship system and private career colleges, and deregulated English as a Second Language training schools. The changes during the period since 2000 occurred with little planning. The new provincial government of 2001 had abandoned the previous administration’s Charting a New Course strategic plan of 1996 for the college, institute and university college sector. Only after expanding degree-granting authority, and changing apprenticeship and the regulation of private career colleges, did the BC government retain one of its former cabinet ministers, Geoff Plant, to prepare a new strategic plan for the entire postsecondary system, public and private. The resulting Campus 2020 (Plant, 2007) report did not sit well with the government. While government ministers made mildly supportive comments about the importance of the plan and acted on a key recommendation that probably would have been implemented in any event, 167 namely the transformation of university colleges into teaching universities, the majority of the recommendations were quietly ignored. As these alterations occurred, government leadership of public institutions and its accountability requirements, were complicated by the sometimes contradictory actions on the part of the BC government (Fisher et al., 2014), making it harder to assess which changes were significant and which were superficial. Public institutions were granted more freedom to determine their own enrolment and program mixes, yet at times the provincial degree approval processes and tuition caps imposed by government, along with central bargaining controlled by government, hamstrung institutions as they attempted to exercise this greater freedom. Annual performance targets were set for each institution by government, but the consequences of failing to meet targets were generally negligible. The messages from government have been mixed, often seeming more concerned with image than substance and exacerbated by a revolving door for ministers, deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers, some of whom had no background in educational administration (Cowin, 2012b). Reliable enrolment data for institutions outside the public system are difficult to obtain and are not comparable across sectors (Plant, 2007). The survey of the BC postsecondary system in Table 4 may be crude and uneven, but it is the best as is currently available and does succeed in portraying the general contours of the system. Refinements to the table are an essential next step towards a better understanding of the system as a whole. 168 Table 4: BC Postsecondary System, 2012/13 Sector Enrolment Notes Public institutions (25): Colleges (11) Institutes (3) Teaching universities (7) Research universities (4) 188,000 FTE: 44,000 FTE 16,000 FTE 40,000 FTE 88,000 FTE Serving 440,000 individuals who took at least one course of any duration during the year
UBC Theses and Dissertations
Public policy and the structural development of postsecondary education in British Columbia, Canada,… Cowin, J Robert 2017
Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.
- 24-ubc_2017_may_cowin_jrobert.pdf [ 2.04MB ]
- JSON: 24-1.0342720.json
- JSON-LD: 24-1.0342720-ld.json
- RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0342720-rdf.xml
- RDF/JSON: 24-1.0342720-rdf.json
- Turtle: 24-1.0342720-turtle.txt
- N-Triples: 24-1.0342720-rdf-ntriples.txt
- Original Record: 24-1.0342720-source.json
- Full Text