The literature about postsecondary education in British Columbia has largely focused on public colleges and universities, while paying less attention to vocational colleges, apprenticeship, continuing education, and private institutions. Robert Cowin addresses that gap. He provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the contemporary provincial postsecondary system and examines the role of social justice, human capital formation, and marketization during five significant transitions. This dynamic approach provides a thoughtful critical analysis of the development of the institutional arrangements – the distribution of institutions by size, mission, type, and location – and policies that have shaped education in the province.
Robert Cowin is a former director of institutional research and planning at Douglas College, a community college in BC. He has worked for the Universities Council of British Columbia and in the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training. He has prepared numerous reports for BC postsecondary policy makers and served on several province-wide committees.