Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Paper presented at the Higher Education in Transformation Conference, Dublin, 31st. May - 1st. April, 2015.


There are competing forces affecting university credibility. On the one hand there is credibility in the competitive academic environment that results in the expansion of the curriculum. And on the other hand there are the increasing pressures from outside the academy for university graduates to have economically relevant workplace skills. In this paper I analyze some of the difficulties that result from these competing pressures and speculate on how they might be resolved. The example of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is used as a new university in attempting to establish its credibility. I suggest that collegial review processes and culture will expand academic requirements to fill the available time and resources in the curriculum. I also point to a problem with innovation in curricula if the benchmark for program structures and quality assurance is a generalized university standard. If universities are to add additional components to degrees this will put pressure on the amount of time available for core academic programming as well as on the structure of that programming. Without a clear mandate and support structures to the contrary the most likely result is expanded programming for degrees.