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JSGS 854: Higher Education Policy

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Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy

JSGS-854: Higher Education Policy

Description: This course will examine the broad context in which higher education policy is made and evaluate a variety of policy initiatives launched by governments around the world. Students will become acquainted with the principal objectives of government in the higher education sector and the major policy challenges they confront.

The purpose of the course is to acquaint students with the principal objectives of government in the higher education sector, the instruments they have available, and the major policy challenges they confront. Some of these challenges are external to the sector, but many have their origins in disagreements regarding the appropriate role of higher education institutions in social and economic development. Students will leave the course with an understanding of

  • different traditions of higher education and the role of history in limiting policy options;
  • the specific Canadian experience with higher education policy, including the roles of different governments and the limitations that a federal form imposes;
  • the policy goals of governments relative to labour market requirements;
  • the political limitations placed on governments seeking to construct a justifiable distribution of costs and benefits;
  • innovation policies, including those associated with intellectual property, and the prospects of recruiting universities in national innovation systems; and
  • the role of internal governance arrangements in universities and colleges and their ability to satisfy demands for quality assurance and political accountability.

Faculty: Michael Atkinson

Source: Syllabus downloaded from on 13 January 2014. , on an intensive basis, through the month of May.  

Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Management Subject



Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles and the headings in the bibliography in the Syllabus suggest a number of the potential topics to be developed for the Atlas:

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Page created by: Ian Clark on 13 January 2014. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.



JSGS854_Fall 2011_S.pdfJSGS854_Fall 2011_S

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School of Public Policy and Governance