One of my professors has done a longitudinal study on students from three BC high schools, analyzing their work experiences and decisions on higher education pursuits. She has collected a vast body of data over the 22 years, data that might well inform educational policy. However, the BC Ministry of Education has never been interested in seeing her work.
There continues to be a disconnect between academia and the “real world.” I catch myself using this phrase frequently, even though universities, including UBC, are increasingly forging partnerships with community to inform and enrich each other’s work and to attempt to resolve some of society’s most dire issues.
I was happy to see that at the upcoming Canada Green Building Council national conference in June, there is one stream where PhD students will be presenting their work. The pre-conference sessions, called Pushing the Boundaries: Net Positive Buildings, are hosted by UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA). The sessions are marked “invitation only” – giving them a veneer of academic exclusivity (change is slow to happen). No doubt every one will be scrambling to get an invite, including me. If we are going to build lasting change, there’s no more time for us and them.