Universities and colleges produce highly-skilled workers, they conduct research which can lead to innovations, and they are a portal to the global community. They are an important gateway for new immigrants, many of whom are highly skilled. And they are important employers of local labour and purchasers of local products. They are a unique resource available to the entire community. And yet their contribution to social and economic development often goes unnoticed.
A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) demonstrated the valuable contributions which higher-education institutions make to their societies. Atlantic Canada was one of only fourteen regions in the world which was included in this study.
Are Memorial University and the College of the North Atlantic pulling their weight in improving the quality of life and the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador? How are they currently contributing? What else could they be doing? How will proposed post-secondary policy changes affect the role of the University and the College?