Drawing on his 40 years working in higher education, Michener’s Principal of the School of Applied Health Sciences, Harvey Weingarten, has written a book, Nothing Less Than Great: Reforming Canada’s Universities.
Harvey began writing in September 2019 when he had just finished nine years as President and CEO of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, where he did research and analysis on higher education in Ontario and around the world.
“In that role, my job was to think about issues, challenges and opportunities concerning post-secondary education, conduct deep research and analysis of these issues, examine best practices around the world and advise government and institutions on how to improve access to and quality of higher education,” he says.
His goal for the book was to talk about post-secondary education in an informed, evidence-based and data driven way. To do so, he addresses some of the fundamental questions someone may ask about higher education, such as: Is it worth going? Does it teach students what they need to learn? Are Canadian institutions sustainable and of high quality?
“Among other recommendations, we need a rethink of undergraduate curricula to increase the emphasis on fostering skills over transmission of content,” says Harvey. “I wrote this book to help the public understand Canada’s higher education system – its strengths, challenges and how it might change to better serve its students and the country.”
The Public Policy Forum also recently published a case study about the Michener Institute of Education at UHN based on a report written by Harvey about improving the linkages and alignment between the worlds of university and work. The case study highlights Michener as an example of a distinctive, focused institution that is managed, regulated and operated in a different way than other colleges and universities in the country.
“I think Michener is an excellent example of the diversity of institutions we need more of in Canada,” says Harvey.