I believe we can take the measure of a country via its education system. The North American model, and likely many others around the globe, allows, rather depends on, corporate and private funding. What does this indicate about priorities? The Federal government manages to find money to fund military ventures, and massive corporate bailouts (Kinder Morgan and Trudeau a tragic current example), yet fails to secure funding for (higher) education. Allowing corporations to fund Canadian universities opens the floodgates of advertising, otherwise known as social narrative propaganda. This must have an impact on the mindset of our students, and I fail to see how it could be beneficial.
Corporations, like Nestlé - currently extracting millions of litres of BC spring water for pennies, have an unrepentant focus on their bottom line. They gain access to the nations impressionable minds, advertising on the buildings and the easy distribution of products around campus. Humans are highly trainable, if we allow corporations into the fabric of our education system, they will invariably seek to train consumers. Some European models have escaped this path, and it would be wise of North America policy makers to take note. Corporate interests aside, the goal of education is to promote growth. Personal growth, community growth, knowledge, and applied skills growth. These ideals will struggle to survive if there is not a separation of (in)corporation and education.
Author: Jannine Parke