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Lazy, entitled, apathetic, disengaged, these are just some of the words that are used to mis-categorize and label post-secondary students. The reality of the average Manitoban student strings together a series of part-time jobs, incurs large amounts of student debt to pay for tuition and figuring out how to make their food budget stretch until another pay day. 
Manitobans recognize that universities play a variety of important social roles, well beyond preparing people for successful careers. University research plays a foundational role in advancing our understanding of the world, helps develop solutions to critical social problems, and contributes from the ground up in innovating new processes, materials, and technologies.
In today’s rapidly changing economy, a truly affordable and accessible post-secondary education system needs to be a top priority. The current system, with its high up-front costs and resulting unsustainable levels of student debt, acts as a barrier for many people to full participation in the economy, which impacts everyone. 
The Winter 2016 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves offers a thoughtful and multifaceted collection on the subject of Oral History (the process of recording, preserving, and disseminating our understandings of the past through life narratives), education, political engagement, and youth.
Despite taking in record amounts of revenue during the economic boom years, Saskatchewan’s government failed to maintain K-12 education funding as a percentage of our provincial GDP. The report, Underinvesting in Our Future by Dr. David McGrane, demonstrates that we are currently spending the lowest amount on K-12 education, measured as a percentage of GDP, in modern Saskatchewan history. Since 2007, K-12 education funding has fallen from an average of 3.08% of GDP to only 2.6% of GDP.
Economists have estimated that low literacy levels cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars annually (Gulati 2013; McCracken and Murray 2010; Sharpe et al.
The Catholic Church ran more than half of Canada’s residential schools. In these schools they immersed Indigenous children and youth in Catholic culture.
This issue of Our Schools/Our Selves is an opportunity to explore much of what has resulted from the fallout of...well, let's just say more than a decade of neglect, downloading, and diminishment.
Early childhood development plays a critical role in a person’s health and welfare throughout their life, affecting everything from scholastic success to employment to physical health. This translates to significant consequences for the economy: It’s estimated that every new dollar invested in programs that support healthy childhood development (e.g., parental leave, income support, child care) returns $6 to the GDP over a child’s lifetime. Unfortunately, Canada has the weakest public funding for early childhood development among wealthy countries.
Appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press December 4th, 2015. I teach in the department of Urban and Inner City Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Our program is located on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg’s North End.  A large number of our students have grown up poor. Some have not known anything but poverty. Others come from the suburbs to learn about urban and inner city issues from a different perspective. The diversity in our classrooms leads to some very interesting discussions.