AAU'S Public Policy Paper Series
Atlantic Canada’s population of 18-21 year-olds continues to decline, while more and more young people are enrolling in the region’s 17 universities. This policy paper, the sixth in a series published by the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU), argues that this 30-year trend is positive for the region. Indeed, one key to the region’s future, as its population ages, will be educating the next generation of knowledge workers at universities in Atlantic Canada. Increasing enrolment at universities across Canada in general, and in this region in particular, will help drive our ongoing economic success.
The Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) has just published a comprehensive research study which measures the extensive social and cultural contribution of universities in Atlantic Canada. Thriving Together: Universities and Community in Atlantic Canada,1 shows that hundreds of thousands of Atlantic Canadians take advantage of the rich range of programs and events offered by universities, not only on campuses, but in communities at home and abroad. Here are a few (2009) highlights from the report:
In early October, the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) convened an Atlantic Leaders’ Summit in Halifax, drawing together business executives, economists, market researchers, university presidents, utility executives, and energy experts from inside the region and beyond. The focus was energy issues in North America, writ large. In a compelling presentation opening the event, Roger Gale, the CEO of GF Energy LLC, outlined a few inconvenient truths about the electricity sector in North America1.
This policy paper reviews the impact of the university sector as a vital economic force on its own merits, and argues that the universities must continue to be a leading force in the overall economy if Atlantic Canada is to thrive and prosper into the future.
Atlantic Canada’s universities lead the region’s research and development (R&D) effort, and are prime movers in its knowledge economy. This has been widely acknowledged and well documented. What has been less well understoood is the standard of excellence achieved by researchers in Atlantic Canada. Today, this is changing dramatically, as university-based scientists forge new ground in finding effective treatments for kidney disease and cancer. University researchers are also enhancing the region’s worldwide reputation for excellence in ocean-related studies – research that seems more urgent in the wake of the recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.