The Development of PSE Systems in Canada: A Comparison Between British Columbia, Ontario and Québec (1980–2011)

  • Donald FisherEmail author
  • Kjell Rubenson
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 41)


The work on academic capitalism, marketization and accountability leads into a discussion of the re‐ structuring of the state and the relation between globalization theory and state theory. A major line of debate is whether globalization leads to convergence or divergence when it comes to the formulation of internal policies. As a way of contributing to this debate, this chapter compares three case studies of the evolution of higher education policy in three Canadian provinces between 1980 and 2008: British Columbia, Ontario and Québec. The work is housed in the developing tradition of policy sociology and draws on both documentary analysis and interviews. This investigation comes at a time when governments across the political and ideological spectrums have subscribed to the belief that investment in higher education will translate into economic security and economic development at the individual, provincial and economic levels. We argue in this chapter that as higher education has become more central to the legitimization and accumulation functions served by the state, so higher education policy has been more closely tied to economic and social development. We conclude that higher education policy at the federal and provincial levels has been driven by a changing political and economic imperative.


International Student Accumulation Function Political Ideology High Education Policy Liberal Government 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EDSTThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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