The Western Network is one of five major research networks in education and training launched Dec. 5 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to identify the links among learning and economic success, training and Canada's international competitiveness, and education, innovation and the evolving training needs of Canada.
Led by Educational Studies Prof. Jane Gaskell, the network will investigate various research topics such as how the educational choices made by different learners--including women, seniors and visible minorities--and types of educational programs offered affect labour market outcomes.
Gaskell emphasized the importance of the network's collaboration with many people in different disciplines and its close links with partners outside the university.
"This improves not only the quality and the impact of the research, but also its complexity," Gaskell said.
"We hope to produce research that will tell us more about what the outcome of education and training are, and what kinds of programs achieve what kinds of results for whom."
In total, SSHRC will invest $5.6 million in the program. Senior researchers based at universities in B.C., Ontario and Quebec will head the five networks, with more than 140 colleagues from universities in all 10 provinces also participating. They will collaborate with representatives from approximately 150 community organizations, industry, school boards and provincial government departments.
The Western Education and Training Research network will receive a grant of $225,000 per year for the next five years.