Institutional collaboration could drive NS economy forward

February 24, 2015

Cape Breton University board member Pat Bates is calling for a new, collaborative mission for Nova Scotia’s PSE institutions. In an op-ed for the Cape Breton Post, Bates suggests that policy makers in Cape Breton should consider the example of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when they think about the future. Pittsburgh, he says, endured the collapse of the steel industry and has revived itself in part because it has pursued new opportunities afforded by the education sector. He says that collaboration between institutions including CBU, Nova Scotia Community College's Marconi and Strait Area campuses, and St Francis Xavier University could fuel a powerful economic engine for the province and open up new areas of specialization. Such an initiative, Bates argues, would be a better use of provincial funding than a narrow focus on heavy industry, which is being challenged by changing technologies and consumer preferences as well as by the rise of developing economies. CBU President and Rethinking Higher Ed contributor David Wheeler has previously advocated a "super-university" model for Halifax, which he says could play a role in "building the industries of the future."  He told Academica Group that he believes Bates’ analysis “effectively extends the argument to the role of the regional universities,” which include StFX, Acadia, and CBU. Cape Breton Post