Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Kathy Brock

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Using a radical political economy approach, this thesis examines how changing global economic and political pressures have forced the Ontario government to reconsider their policies toward higher education. Specifically, this thesis describes and analyses provincial government initiatives toward universities in the period 1985 and 1995, and assesses what these changes mean for understanding the functions of Ontario universities in the present era of global economic change. The thesis argues that Ontario universities historically have served three primary functions: ideological, vocational, and research. In the period under study the Ontario government established an industrial strategy that focused on those industries that could be internationally competitive in high-technology sectors of the economy. As a result, the research function gained in importance, as the Ontario government sought to induce universities to increase their linkages with industry. The vocational function remained an integral component of the universities’ mission, receiving increased attention from government to insure that students were properly trained for the post-Fordist world of work. Finally, the university continued to operate as a site of ideological reproduction for a capitalist and patriarchal society.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season