Editorial – On the Bubble

I was going to write an article discussing the report, recently accepted by the AU Board of Governors, that explains how AU is in danger of being insolvent in only two years, but Bethany Tynes sent in an article this week that did a much better job of looking at the issue than I was doing. In it she takes a look at the recent history and how the issues the report brings forward are not new, and raises questions as to whether the conclusions the report comes to are ones that will truly address the problem AU is having.

The university has been quick to put out releases trying to quell the fears of students that they might not be able to finish their degrees, and I tend to land on the University’s side on this matter. Having to close a university That’s accredited in both the United States and Canada would be a major blow to the prestige of any government, and especially to an NDP government as they typically portray themselves as those who prioritize education and health-care for the people over business. So the chance of Athabasca University having to close operations under the new Alberta NDP government seems extremely unlikely. Something will be figured out.

But this doesn’t meant that there’s nothing to worry about. How this has played out in the past, and how it is continuing to play out, so far, is that AU seeks further “cost efficiencies”, that is, ways that it can get away with spending less on the service it is providing. Unfortunately for AU, they are doing this in an environment where there is growing competition for distance education. So while I don’t see a near, or even far, future, where a student will be unable to take their degree from Athabasca, I’m, more and more, seeing a future where students simply don’t want to. And that would be huge shame to me. If for nothing else than it would end the AU tradition of Convocation that quite a few students, whether actually at the ceremony or just watching from home, have enjoyed and taken inspiration from. So much so, that this week we have two articles on the recent convocation ceremonies, and one more on deck for next week. Obviously, convocation is something that has inspired writers for The Voice Magazine, so I’m hoping that their stories will inspire you.

If not, we also have a new article from Barbara Godin, where she takes us to The Inn in Windsor, and introduces us to a remarkable woman, who has shaped the lives of many disadvantaged youth in the area. We also take a look at how you soon might be able to upload your brain to the internet, and the inevitable downside that comes along with being able to download the internet into your brain.

But first, we have our feature article with potential Olympian, Natalie Allport. Natalie is a student who’s taking full advantage of AU to get her business degree while getting on with the business of slopestyle snowboarding. We also need more students who are willing to be interviewed and share their stories with their fellow AU students. Those who do will get some nifty new Voice Swag, and will be among the first to see what the new Voice logo will look like when we do our full update later on this year.

Until then, enjoy the read!

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