Canada’s public higher education system is in trouble. The economic and social benefits of the Canadian university system are widely seen as a public good, which raises a pressing question: Why should we aspire to anything less than a great system? For that to happen, everything about the way universities currently operate, from the boardroom to the classroom, must change – but this kind of operational and public policy transformation will not be easy.
Nothing Less than Great provides an expert analysis of the current state and challenges of Canada’s university system, looking for positive change by reclaiming what a university is meant to offer for society and for citizens. Harvey P. Weingarten begins with the fundamental question that all students must ask about higher education: Is it worth going to university? From there, he stresses the need for transparency about what universities do and what they accomplish, addresses the importance of modernizing curriculum to emphasize skills over content, and provides recommendations for reform.
Exploring how universities might – and should – change to reclaim their central purpose for Canadians, Nothing Less than Great will be of interest to anyone who cares about the future of our country and the important role universities play in determining that future.
About the author
Harvey P. Weingarten is Principal of the School of Applied Health Sciences at the Michener Institute of Education at UHN and a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute. He was formerly Vice-President (Academic) and Provost at McMaster University, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Calgary, and President and CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
"Nothing Less than Great is an honest and insightful attempt to stress the current and urgent necessity of putting the word "great" into our academic institutions. It's an urgent plea to not be frightened of innovation, even if it sometimes fails. And that's a good message to hear from a profoundly intelligent and incisive mind at such a critical juncture on so many fronts."
<em>Literary Review of Canada</em>
"Nothing Less than Great benefits from this experience and knowledge of institutions across the country with which [Weingarten] dealt during his time as president of Calgary. He knows the nuances of the relationship between Ontario universities and the government from his time at HEQCO. The book is chock full of data culled from a wide array of studies and secondary sources."