SSH News: Financial aid, health care policy, and Canada-Quebec relations

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This week, student financial aid made headlines in Canada and the UK, for different reasons. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives published a report on July 17th comparing student eligibility for financial aid and the complexity of application processes across provinces. Discussing highlights from the report, with a focus on Ontario, the Toronto Star writes that, in addition to confusing students and their parents, current financial aid systems “do little to guarantee equity among students.”

Financial aid is also causing worries in the UK, where a group of MPs responsible for scrutinizing university policy has found that the system is becoming financially unfeasible. An article in The Guardian paints a bleak picture of “government … heading towards a multibillion-pound black hole in the funding of universities” due to bad debt collection, among other factors.

This week’s Federation blog post highlighted the crucial role that the SSH play within the broad label of S&T. On that note, we’re looking forward to a new publication entitled Health Care Policy and Opinion in the United States and Canada, co-authored by four Canadian political science professors, including Federation president Antonia Maioni, and a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan, comparing public perceptions, in the US and Canada, of each country’s own healthcare system and that of its neighbour. The authors look at elements of convergence and divergence in American and Canadian opinion, and how these perceptions influence policymakers.

In an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail, Federation president Antonia Maioni discussed the Laval school of social science, and what it meant for Canadian federalism and Canada-Quebec relations. The piece, which was prompted by the passing away of Vincent Lemieux, a member of the Laval school, questions the ability of scholars and politicians in Canada today to “engage in the kind of collective purpose that the Laval school inspired in its students.”


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