Network to seek learning, work links

by Connie Bagshaw
Staff writer

UBC has been chosen as the headquarters of the Western Education and Training
Research Network, which will examine and assess policy issues and initiatives
in education and training.

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

“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

The Western Education and Training Research network will receive a grant of
$225,000 per year for the next five years.