Students are not cash cows 0
Premier Christy Clark has a plan to create jobs, and she took all of last week flitting around the province to tell us about it, in the super-extended director's-cut version of a press conference.
At least we know the premier's tour staff aren't going to be counted among B.C.'s unemployed anytime soon.
Clark's week-long series of announcements didn't contain any 'never seen before' footage. The plan is more job-hopeful than job-creating, and is practically void of any job targets.
What Clark's strategy lacks in ingenuity, it makes up for in mind-boggling ideas. Clark is pinning a big part of her job creation hopes on an unlikely source: students.
Citing the fact that they generate jobs and cash into the economy, Clark plans to significantly increase the number of international students studying at B.C.'s high schools and universities.
She even proposed creating an international education council to lure more high-tuition paying foreign students and their cashed-filled wallets to the province. The problem is there already is another council which does exactly the same job.
B.C.'s education system is not a tourism board.
The purpose of our universities and colleges is to educate and train the future generation of the province, not to make a profit. Students are investments, not cash cows.
Clark didn't mention how she would avoid the inevitable capacity issues that will arise with her plan to attract all these foreign students. There are only so many spots in B.C.'s universities and colleges. What about domestic students? If universities are forced to choose between profitable foreign students and money-losing students from B.C. - which do you think they will choose?
Ironically, Clark chose to make this announcement at B.C.'s Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, an institution which many hope will address the shortage of young professionals in the interior. Filling it up with foreign students defeats its purpose of giving local students the chance to stay in the interior to study, and find a job.
Our education system should be about educating British Columbians, not raising revenue to balance Clark's public spending habit.