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Higher learning?

This Magazine Staff

Two recently announced educational institutions to be based in the Vancouver area provide an interesting view of the direction of higher education in 2006.

Today, the Dalai Lama is in Vancouver to announce the establishment of the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education.

From the Times of India:

“This is purely educational, not political,” he said on Thursday.

The Dalai Lama said religious institutions have lost their power and that moral and ethical guidance is now provided through education.

“We have to live together. We must educate in this respect,” he said.

In late August the World Trade Organization announced its new World Trade University would be headquartered in Chilliwack, B.C., eliciting boasts from the city’s mayor that it is becoming a “university town.”

Does it reflect poorly or positively on public universities that a religious leader (albeit one devoted to peace) and a global institution criticized for its religious approach to free trade see fit to “educate” students with their version of events?

My sense is that these developments, though curious, are better than having religious and corporate stakeholders holding ever more influence over university curricula. At least you know what positions these institutions will be teaching from.

And hey, can’t you just imagine going to a varsity football game between the DLCPE Buddhas and the WTU Fatcats? Now there would be a rivalry!

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