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ERIC Number: EJ960613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 96
ISSN: ISSN-1740-2743
Austerity, Ontario and Post-Secondary Education: The Case of "Canada's Capital University"
Fanelli, Carlo; Meades, James
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v9 n2 p216-240 Nov 2011
As austerity measures intensify around the world, the axe has come down particularly hard on post-secondary education (PSE). So-called education "reform" has shown itself to be a lightning rod for confrontation. In order to deal with unprecedented government budget shortfalls, caused, it must be recalled, by the lead agents of the capitalist class (its bankers, insurance companies and politicians), the public sector is now being strangled. The capitalist sector is, moreover, catching a second wind, and engaging further flagrant excesses as profitability once again reins supreme. Incredibly, rather than laying blame on the origins of the present (private sector-led) recession, budget shortfalls are being blamed on an allegedly bloated and inefficient public sphere, including the users and producers of those services. The targets include both private and public sector unions, as well as universal social programs that aim to provide a modicum of protection against the vicissitudes of the market. Increasingly, then, the public sector is becoming a prime space for privatization, whereby market mechanisms are increasingly being locked-in thereby extending commodification and marketization. This is creating new openings for the privatization of public assets and services as a means to pay for the crisis. In this article, the authors examine the nature of the recent austerity measures enacted in the wake of the Great Recession with a particular emphasis on Carleton University and Ontario. While similar in intent and form to austerity measures enacted across the United States and Europe, the Open Ontario plan and the "Public Sector Restraint Act" demonstrates how the working class is being forced to pay for an economic downturn thoroughly centered in the private sector. Further, the authors reflect on how these austerity measures impacted the most recent round of collective bargaining between Carleton University and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4600. They also show how CUPE 4600 worked with other labour unions and student associations on the Carleton campus to mobilize resistance to the curtailment of collective bargaining rights. (Contains 21 footnotes.)
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States