Postsecondary Education in British Columbia
244 pages, 6 x 9
5 tables, 3 charts, 1 map
Release Date:01 Aug 2019
Release Date:15 Nov 2018
Release Date:15 Nov 2018
Release Date:15 Nov 2018

Postsecondary Education in British Columbia

Public Policy and Structural Development, 1960–2015

UBC Press

The historical literature about postsecondary education in British Columbia, as in many jurisdictions, is fragmented. Scholarly works have tended to recount the development of a single institution or a single sector: colleges and universities, vocational colleges, apprenticeship, or continuing education. And not all sectors, whether comprised of public or private institutions, have received equal attention.

Postsecondary Education in British Columbia brings the pieces together. Dividing the years since 1960 into three periods, Robert Cowin first provides a comprehensive overview of the emergence and evolution of the contemporary provincial postsecondary system as a whole. He then defines three distinct theoretical lenses – social justice, human capital formation, and marketization – and applies each in turn to an analysis of five significant transitions. This dynamic systems approach, in which Cowin examines interactions across sectors, allows him to delineate the cumulative and complementary ways in which sectors have affected one another.

Postsecondary Education in British Columbia provides a thoughtful critical analysis of the role of social justice, human capital, and the market in the development of institutional arrangements – the distribution of institutions by size, mission, type, and location – and of the public policy that has shaped education in the province.

This book will appeal to higher education, public policy, and public administration scholars in Canada and the United States. Provincial education policy makers and college and university administrators will also find it of interest.

Cowin’s work serves as an exemplary contribution to Canadian higher education literature. Tamara Leary, Canadian Journal of Higher Education
[...]the author impressively balances breadth and depth across substantive content and theoretical analyses. Theresa Shanahan, Historical Studies in Education
This is a story that has not been told. Postsecondary Education in British Columbia looks at the history of the whole sector, including institutions that are frequently excluded from the discussion in British Columbia. It is the most comprehensive account of a provincial system of postsecondary education to date. Glen A. Jones, professor of higher education, University of Toronto
Robert Cowin is a former director of institutional research and planning at Douglas College, a community college in BC. He has worked for the Universities Council of British Columbia and in the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Job Training. He has prepared numerous reports for BC postsecondary policy makers and served on several province-wide committees.

1 Introduction

2 Setting the Stage

3 Policy Rationales

4 Clear Intentions (1960–79)

5 Assumptions Challenged (1980–99)

6 Cynicism (2000–15)

7 Conclusion



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