Canada’s emphasis on skills in PSE out of step, says QuestU President

May 13, 2014

North American PSE’s emphasis on job-ready skills puts it out step with the rest of the world and the needs of employers, writes Quest University Canada President David Helfand. Helfand says that at a recent Conference Board of Canada meeting, employers consistently said they wanted but could not find people with persuasive communication skills, the ability to collaborate and solve problems, and the resilience to learn from failure. These skills, Helfand argues, are the ones most needed in the 21st century, and are precisely those offered by a liberal arts degree. Helfand says that the current emphasis in Canada on “closing, transmuting, and even denigrating liberal arts education” will put the country at a significant disadvantage compared to places like Hong Kong and India, which are beginning to offer innovative liberal arts programs for students. Helfand is responding in part to British Columbia’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint. Globe and Mail