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UBC Publications

UBC Reports Mar 20, 1969

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Dr. O. M. Solandt, centre, chairman of the
Science Council of Canada, hinted that
Canadian universities can expect increased
funds for research at a news conference at
UBC last week. For details, see story below.
Also taking part in the meeting with news
men were Dr. Roger Gaudry, right, vice-
chairman of the Council, and Dr. Patrick
McTaggart-Cowan, former president of
Simon Eraser University who is now executive director of the Council. Photo by UBC
Extension Photo Services.
t ■*
A substantial increase in federal research funds flowing into Canadian
universities was hinted at during a
meeting of the Science Council of
Canada at UBC last week.
And there are other indications that
the chief beneficiaries of these federal
grants are likely to be researchers in
the social sciences.
The increased emphasis on research in the social sciences stems
directly from broad statements of
science policy which the Council has
been developing since it was formed
almost three years ago to advise the
Canadian government on scientific
development in Canada.
Dr. O. M. Solandt, chairman of the
Council and a noted scientist who is
vice-chairman of the Electric Reduction Company of Canada, told a news
conference in Cecil Green Park, the
UBC Alumni Centre, that the Council
had already made recommendations
to the government advocating a broad
change in the balance of Canada's
scientific effort.
This switch, he said, would involve
more emphasis on applied research
and the use of science and technology
for the achievement of social goals
such as the improvement of life in our
cities, the elimination of poverty, and
helping in the problems of getting
Indians and Eskimos into the 20th
century and assisting with Canada's
problem of national unity.
He said that the term "science
policy" involved the development of
an outline of strategy about how best
to use science in the interests of the
The Council, he said, has concentrated on trying to find out what is
going on in Canada scientifically and
developing ideas about how the current situation might be altered in pursuing national goals.
"Broadly," he said, "the direction in
which we see the needs for change in
Canada is that there has been a tendency to do rather more research work
in government laboratories and rather
less in universities and industry than
appears to be desirable."
Dr. Roger Gaudry, rector of the University of Montreal and vice-chairman
of the Council, said the advisory body
is deeply concerned about the growth
of research in the universities and had
begun discussions of a report on federal government support of research
in Canadian universities by former
UBC president, Dr. John B. Macdonald.
He said it was hoped that in the near
future the Science Council would
come up with fairly broad and precise
recommendations to the government
on the future funding of research in
the universities.
Dr. Macdonald himself said, in an
address to the Vancouver Institute at
UBC in mid-February, that the government must provide substantially
more money for research in the social
sciences and humanities.
In his speech, which was based on
a two-year study of federal government support of university research,
Dr. Macdonald echoed Dr. Solandt's
statement that research in the social
sciences was necessary to find ways
of solving the problems of crime, poverty and other social ills.
Dr. Macdonald's 600-page report
contains 77 recommendations and is
currently being printed. It will be released sometime in April.
Dr. Macdonald, who is now executive vice-president of the Committee
of Presidents of the Universities of
Ontario, also drew attention in his Vancouver Institute address to the imbalance in the distribution of research
He said that 94 per cent of the $9
million in federal research grants to
UBC in 1967-68 went to the natural
sciences, engineering and health. Only
five per cent went to the social
sciences and one per cent to the
On the national scale in the same
year the federal government granted
some $77 million, Dr. Macdonald said.
But with 47 universities eligible to
share the money, one got 18 per cent,
five got 50 per cent and ten got 83 per
cent of the total.
There were indications during the
Science Council news conference at
UBC that the Council would expect a
clearer science policy to be articulated within the universities themselves.
Dr. Patrick D. McTaggart-Cowan,
former president of Simon Fraser University and now executive director of
the Council, said universities are going
to have to do a far more conscious job
of articulating a science policy.
They would have to decide which
areas to emphasize in their research
effort and where centres of excellence
were to be established, he said.
Dr. Solandt also made it clear that
the Council would try to direct a fair
proportion of resources to problems
of particular importance to Canada.
"The idea of specialization is very important in any Canadian science policy," he said. UNIVERSITY EDUCATION FOR
says KEITH R. BAGOO, a UBC graduate
(BA'62, MEd'68), who now teaches biology
at Vancouver City College. His forceful
views on University education, expressed
above and in the article which follows, were
contained in a "position paper" presented
recently to a course in higher education in
the faculty of education.
Instead of trying, as at present, to
give everybody a quantity and not a
quality education, the higher education scene should return to the time
when the university was the realm of
the scholar, and a community of ideas
and scholarship.
It is my fervent belief that not everyone in pursuit of a university education
has the tenacity, intellectual capability,
and creativity demanded by this institution. It is my suggestion then that
there should be a university for those
who really want it and those who
qualify for it, and other institutions for
those who are genuinely after well-
defined vocations.
"Universities should once again
become research centres where
research findings for practical
application are initiated."
The university should once again
become a research centre and initiator
of research findings for practical application, entered only by those who have
demonstrated the zest, enthusiasm,
scholarship and inventiveness required of the researcher.
The university of today, say one like
the University of British Columbia, is
a heterogeneous conglomeration of all
kinds of students. Some are in search
of a sound education which may later
lead to a life of research, writing and
the application of newly-found knowledge to social and industrial needs.
Others are to be trained or educated
so that they may obtain a vocation or
job which will provide the security and
prestige demanded by our society.
Others  are   planning  to  enter  well-
2/UBC Reports/March 20, 1969
established professions such as medicine and law.
A fourth group of students are there
simply because they have been conditioned from the earliest age to the
idea that the university is the place to
be. This fairly large group has accepted the belief that "it isn't what you
learn, but the friends you make that
matters," and "a college education is
a desirable thing." Faced with the task
of satisfying so many student objectives, and placed in a democratic
society dedicated to the education of
its citizens, plus the justification of its
presence to taxpayers and politicians,
the university has become a huge
metropolis with its students, professors and administrators meandering
hopelessly and without direction and
a clear purpose. As a result, the student finds himself in an environment
that is dark and bleak. He is confronted throughout most of his first two
years with indifferent counselling, endless bureaucratic routines, gigantic
lecture courses, and a deadening succession of textbook assignments and
bluebook examinations testing his
grasp of bits and pieces of scattered,
unrelated knowledge.
As John H. Schaar, political science
professor at Berkeley puts it, "the
difference between the last two years
of a student's education and the first
two is chronological rather than qualitative."
"The current educational community
is characterized by alienation
between students and professors
and students and their goals."
What we end up with is an educational community characterized by
alienation between students and professors, and between students and
their goals. The time has come when
the educational institution must very
clearly define its roles and objectives
so that this "alienation gap" can be
bridged. The time has come when the *
educational institution must begin to
take each student seriously so that
there is complete satisfaction of his
educational goals.
As Harold Taylor, former President
of Sarah Lawrence College, has said,
"The mark of a true university is
whether or not it takes its students
seriously." By any reasonable measurement or standard, today's multiversity has not attained that goal. It
therefore becomes necessary for the
university and all educational institutions to clearly and precisely state
their functions so that students may
be able to select the particular institution which best satisfies his objectives.
Before  I  delve  into the form and
functions   of   alternative   institutions
which will satisfy many differing needs,
there are two comments which seem    ■*-,
to reflect the present education scene. SSES IS WASTEFUL
Firstly, James Bryant Conant, former
president of Harvard, in his book
Education And Liberty, when discussing this problem, said:
'What is  needed perhaps is not an extension
our year college and university enrolment but
valuation of ivhat is the ideal education for
m erent sorts of boys and girls irrespective of
"*   their family income."
Secondly, Andrew Hacker of Cornell
University, in an article titled
"The College Grad Has Been Short
Changed," said:
"the vast majority of undergraduates are not
greatly concerned with the quality of the education they are receiving. The millions of teenagers
filling up our colleges and universities are there
' ' for career purposes. Most of today's students are
not intellectuals, nor are they capable of being
so. They have no ideas of their own to put forward and they want to be told what they have to
know. Eight out of ten students have nothing to
say or add to the educational process.   We must
•ut that most young Americans have no genu-
interest in, or talent for, the intellectual life."
These two statements seem to reflect
the change and reevaluation that is so
badly needed.
The first major change I propose is
a return to the old German system of
making the university a research-centred institution. This is the place
where total intellectual interplay and
development will take place. This is
the place where only those who reveal
k a strong dedication to research and
a high level of academic performance
and inventiveness will congregate.
The selection of graduate students
will definitely not depend on social and
economic standing, but on strict academic performance.
"A research-centred institution
will attract high calibre
students and brilliant
minds in all fields of research."
This kind of institution will, in time,
'attract not only high calibre students
but brilliant minds in all fields of research. In time it will attract the
finance of industry and government.
This support will not only provide the
expensive equipment necessary but
jvwill liberate students and professors
from the more tedious routines of
teaching, which is often disliked by
both parties. Already in the United
States, certain universities are being
singled out by the federal government
as excellent research centres, and as
a result are benefitting from large government grants for basic and applied
research. In one fiscal year, six universities received 57 per cent of the
total federal government research
grants amounting to more than a
billion dollars. With this kind of financial help these universities can concentrate on basic research and applied
knowledge and its application, thus
helping the community and industry-
at-large. The university will become,
as Alfred North Whitehead put it, "the
place where the adventure of thought
meets the adventure of action" in an
atmosphere of full autonomy and self-
"Career-oriented institutions
would serve the needs of students
whose primary aim
is 'know-how' and job efficiency."
The next change is the founding of
institutions which are career-oriented.
They admit, educate and transmit
knowledge to those seeking a job —
people who want to be chemists,
physicists, teachers, business administrators and so on. These people are
not primarily concerned with education for the sake of education, nor are
they interested in being the discoverers or pioneers of new knowledge.
They have sacrificed temporarily a
general education for "know-how" and
efficiency on the job.
As such, the emphasis will be placed
on the development of curricula and
the teaching of subjects which are pertinent to the students' career. The
chemist would be taught chemistry
and related physical sciences and not
anthropology, history or Greek literature. The biologist would be exposed
to as much biology as possible, but not
English,   French,  and  psychology.
These extra subjects or disciplines,
which to the biologist or physicist
might be considered "frills," should
come later when the student is considering his total maturity and has lots
of spare time instead of occupying
badly-needed space.
"Separation will mean the
University can cease to be a
service station for the diversified
needs of the masses."
The emphasis at this institution will
be on teaching and not research. This
will be the only time in our history
when the undergraduate will get the
full attention of his teacher and when
the teacher will enjoy what he is supposed to be doing — teaching. As
improved instruction becomes more
common, the desirable educational
objectives of inquiry, critical thinking,
objectivity, respect for evidence, and
so on, will all be attainable within one's
field of interest. With this kind of
separation the university will cease to
be a service station for the diversified
needs of the masses, and will become
a Mecca of scholarship, ambition, and
To summarize:
—there is inequality in the natural
intellectual endowment of those seeking higher education, and
—there are differences in the level
of motivation, drive and intellectual
goals of these same people, therefore
—diverse institutions should be
established to cater to these inequalities and differences — universities for
the brilliant, devoted scholar and other
institutions for the student who is
career- or vocation-oriented.
This idea of inequality was eloquently expressed by Felix Schelling when
he said:
"True education makes for inequality, the
inequality of individuality, the inequality of success; the glorious inequality of talent, of genius.
For inequality, not mediocrity — individual
superiority, not standardization — is the measure
of progress in the world."
UBC Reports/March 20, 1969/3 Assistant professor of music John Swan, right, is both leader and performer in UBC's 20-piece jazz band.
Big band jazz is alive and well at the
University of B.C., thanks to a student
and a professor in the school of music.
Each week, a 20-piece student orchestra, under the direction of assistant professor of music John Swan,
gathers in the basement rehearsal hall
of the Music Building and spends two
hours poring over arrangements for
a type of music that has virtually disappeared from the entertainment
scene on this continent.
The weekly sessions are not an exercise in nostalgia, according to leader
Swan. He puts it very simply: "Playing
this kind of music will make these students better musicians."
The chief advantage for the students, Swan goes on to explain, is that
big band jazz is part of the contemporary cultural tradition. "Learning to
play Mozart," he says, "is important,
but the music of Mozart's time has
little relevance for the .student in the
second half of the twentieth century."
About half the band has had some
previous jazz experience, Swan says.
"For those who have had no jazz experience, this kind of music offers
them something entirely new. In playing jazz they're freed from the visual
aspects of music, and they learn to use
their musical ear — to hear better, in
other words."
All these sentiments are echoed by
Sharman King, a fourth year music
student, who was one of the prime
movers in getting the band organized
when UBC began its 1968-69 session
last September.
"This band just sort of happened,"
says King, who plays trombone in the
group. "One minute we were discussing the idea and the next thing we
knew we were in rehearsal."
Big band jazz, King feels, is a good
place to start learning about conte
porary music. Like Swan, he feels th
students benefit from having a familiar
musical framework within which to
"Many of these students," Swan
adds, "will become teachers in high
schools and will be expected to organize rehearsal bands. The experience
they get here as a member of a big
band will stand them in good stead
when that time comes."
Leader Swan, who holds music
degrees from the University of Toronto
and Yale University, is eminently
suited to drill a big jazz band. He plays
his trumpet frequently in Vancouver
nightclubs and at after-hours jam sessions, and is also a sometime member
of the Vancouver Symphony. At UBC
he teaches theory, orchestration, trumpet and brass instruments and also
finds time to compose and arrange.
The UBC orchestra has already
proved that it can produce big band
jazz worth listening to. Last December,
the band played a noon-hour concert
in the Music Building auditorium that
drew a near-capacity and enthusiastic
Swan and his sidemen will appear
again at the Place Vanier residences
for an evening concert on March 27
and will tour the Fraser Valley March
31 and April 1 with the University Concert Band.
■ ■ ^^ gm± Volume 15, Number 9 — March
■ ■■■■■ 20, 1969. Authorized as second
| I WtW | class mail by the Post Office
I|IJ||l Department, Ottawa, and for
^aj fU %0 Payment °f postage in cash.
d c d ft d t c Posta9e Paid -t Vancouver, B.C.
H fc H U H l _ Published by the University of
British Columbia and distributed free. J. A. Ban-
ham, Editor; Barbara Claghorn, Production Supervisor. Letters to the Editor should be addressed
to the Information Office, UBC, Vancouver 8, B.C.
4/UBC Reports/March 20, 1969


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