York to host international workshop on higher education policy-making

Close up view of Paul Axelrod

What is the effect of turbulent economic conditions on policy-making in postsecondary education? Do decision makers develop policy differently than in the past? Are current policy decisions transformative or temporary in their impact? These and other questions are the subject of a Faculty of Education international workshop, March 15 to 17, to be held at the Novotel (North York) Hotel.

The public conference, which is organized and sponsored by the Faculty of Education, brings together a cohort of scholars from Canada and around the world. They will present papers and explore both the process and substance of policy formation in higher education. Some of the keynote presenters are:

Frans van VughtFrans van Vught, president of the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities, will present his paper “EU Innovation Strategy: Challenges for Higher Education in Europe”. Van Vught is a member of the Group of Societal Policy Advisers of the European Commission and president of the Netherlands’ House for Education and Research. From 1997 to 2005, he was rector and president of the University of Twente. He was also the founding director of that university’s Center for Higher Education Policy Studies, the world’s largest higher education research centre. He has published widely (and in several languages) on these issues and has been consultant for many international organizations, governments and universities.

Nelly StromquistInternational education Professor Nelly Stromquist, from the University of Maryland, will present “Globalization and Policyscapes: Ruptures and Continuities in Higher Education.” Stromquist specializes in issues related to social change and gender, which she examines from the perspective of critical sociology. Her research interests focus on the dynamics of educational policies and practices, gender relations, and equity, particularly in Latin America. She is author of numerous articles and several books.  She was a Fulbright New Century Scholar during 2005-2006 and is former president of the Comparative and International Education Society.

Harvey Weingarten,Harvey Weingarten, president and CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), will deliver his paper “How to Influence Government Higher Education Policy: A Manual.” Prior to joining HEQCO in 2010, Weingarten was president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. He has served on many boards and councils including the Science, Technology and Innovation Council of Canada, which advises the federal government on issues related to science, research and development and innovation policy; the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC); the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research; the Alberta Ingenuity Fund; the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network; and Shad Valley.

Qiang Zha York education Professor Qiang Zha will discuss “China’s Move to Mass Higher Education from a Policy Perspective.” His research interests include comparative higher education, international academic relations, globalization and education, the internationalization of higher education, East Asian and Chinese higher education, differentiation and diversity in higher education, theories of organizational change, and research methods in education. He has written and published widely on these topics.

Sheila EmbletonProfessor Sheila Embleton, a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Language, Literatures & Linguistics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and former vice-president academic and provost of York University, will present “Canada-India Collaborations in Postsecondary Education.” Embleton’s areas of scholarly interest are historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, dialectology, mathematical/statistical methods in linguistics, onomastics, Peircean semiotics, and women and language. She is currently president of the International Council of Onomastic Sciences, vice-president of the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, a member of the executive of the International Linguistic Association and a member of the Centre for Research on Language Contact (CRLC). She is a member of the board of MITACS (Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems).

 Paul Axelrod“This is an exceptional group of participants whose papers will be the basis for an original anthology on policy-making and higher education,” said York education Professor Paul Axelrod (BA ’72, PhD ’80), workshop convener and former dean of the Faculty of Education at York University. “The discussions will permit an exploration of Canadian challenges in a global context. “

For registration information and a full conference program, visit the Postsecondary Policy-making in Turbulent Times website and follow the links.