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It's time for targeted cuts to university subsidies

For the 2019/2020 academic year, Canadian universities were federally and provincially subsidized to the tune of $4,150,884,000 and $14,736,433,000, respectively. While the first question that should be answered is: What are students getting for their tuition money? The second question, just as important, is: What are taxpayers getting for subsidizing other people's tuition?


To answer either or both of these questions, we have to ascertain what the universities are giving us for our money besides part-time babysitting services for those suffering from protracted adolescence. For the purposes of this present inquiry, let's focus on whether the academies are turning out people who'll not only be able to find work, but be able to put 4-years of investment to work in their field of study.


According to StatsCan, 28.5% of arts and humanities students and 26% of social and behavioral science students are graduating only to find work of the sort that typically requires a high school education at most. (Their counterparts in engineering and maths see numbers 1/5-1/6th these. Those in biology and unspecialized 'science' are doing better, but only by ~9-15 points.)


Obviously, we're getting more bang for our buck out of the sciences and engineering than from the humanities. Harry Potter or gender-fluidity specialists may be popular on TikTok or Tumblr, but they're doubtful a boon to our economy, granted they're not finding work in their field (whatever that might be outside of HR departments), and when they find work, it is work they didn't need to go to school for.


If someone wants to study Harry Potter or philosophy or Shakespeare, by all means! They just should not expect someone else to pay to indulge their fancy. Subsidies should move the economy along and bolster the nation, not cater to pet interests or finance narcissistic bouts of madness. It is precisely for this reason that subsidies for trade schools and practical science programs make so much sense: we are facing a dearth of tradespeople, and desperately need more people to be trained-up and deployed.


Referring back to the StatsCan data on matriculation and job finding in the field of study, it's clear that subsidizing nursing programs, for instance, is a sound investment. The super-majority of people enrolled will find nursing jobs. Conversely, it's clear from the data (and common sense) that Canada doesn't need or want another woke anthropologist. All this to say: we should divest and invest accordingly.


It looks as though Pierre Poilievre is willing to trim the fat, to keep money in Canadians' pockets, and to make the nation run more smoothly. While wasted subsidies to universities is as much a provincial issue as it is a federal issue, change starts at the top. Hopefully once Pierre has defunded the CBC, he can cut off the corrupt, bloated, and indifferent academies




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