It’s time to ask different questions about innovation in Canada

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 9.40.48 PMCreso’s latest column in University Affairs: After five decades of telling ourselves the same story, can we start asking different questions about innovation?

When it comes to generating reports on science and innovation policy, Canada is undoubtedly a powerhouse. Earlier this month, the Council of Canadian Academies released Competing in a Global Innovation Economy: The Current State of R&D in Canada, the latest installment in this tradition. The report was competently written, although predictable in its main conclusions. Read full text

Creso quoted in the Hill Times on the SR&ED program

Screen Shot 2017-09-23 at 11.23.08 AMCreso was quoted in the story With key tax credit under microscope, biotech firms say it should stay, be improved. The article discusses the SR&ED program from the perspective of biotech companies. Excerpt:

Creso Sá, a professor with the University of Toronto’s Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education, isn’t a fan of SR&ED, noting its size, complexity, and lack of measurable impact. He said comparable economies generally have a mix of direct and indirect support… [Read full article]

What is driving the internationalization of Canadian higher education?


Creso wrote for University World News on his talk at the World Education Services and Boston College Center for International Higher Education Summer Seminar “International Education in a New Political Climate”, held on 22-23 June 2017 at Boston College.


Many believe that this is Canada’s moment – an opportunity to increase the inflow of international talent into Canadian higher education. Politics and economics have been part of this narrative.

Politically, the rise of neo-nationalist populism tied to xenophobic sentiment in the United States and the United Kingdom have cast Canada in a bright light. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has vocally espoused Canada’s openness to the world, very publicly welcoming refugees since last year while the United States, the United Kingdom and parts of Europe recoiled from the influx of immigrants. Full article

Safe spaces could endanger funding for Canadian universities

Screenshot from 2017-04-20 12-36-19Creso wrote an op-ed for Times Higher Education on Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer’s proposal to withold federal research funding from universities that do not support free speech on campus.

Canada’s opposition Conservative Party elected a new leader at the end of May. Andrew Scheer, a young career politician, has been consistently described as a friendlier version of Stephen Harper, the former prime minister whose fractious relationship with scientists, particularly over the environment, has been well documented.

But for all the moderation ascribed to him – understandable in the context of a party whose ranks include a couple of embarrassingly obvious Donald Trump impersonators – one of his policy positions is “no free speech on campus means no federal grants”. Read full text.

Emma Sabzalieva awarded a Vanier Scholarship

Emma Sabzalieva was awarded a Vanier Scholarship for the remainder of her PhD studies. Her project is titled How does higher education respond to major institutional change? The fall of the Soviet Union and universities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

A holder of a United Kingdom’s Leverhulme Trust scholarship for the first two years of her program, Emma has recently defended her thesis proposal and will soon be conducting her fieldwork in Central Asia.

Congratulations Emma!


Entrepreneurship Learning Panel at Congress 2017

screen-shot-2017-05-27-at-1-20-11-pm.pngCreso Sá organized a panel on The Ecology of Entrepreneurship Learning in Higher Education, to be held at Congress 2017.

Day/time: Tuesday, 14:30 – 15:45

Place: Eric Pallin Hall (EPH) 142, Ryerson University

The Symposium will comprehend four interactive sessions:

1. How do entrepreneurship programs promote themselves?

Roger Millian, Marc Gurrisi | University of Toronto

In this session, participants will consider the attributes and value propositions entrepreneurship programs articulate to students through their promotional materials.

2. Why do students join entrepreneurship programs and what do they seek to achieve?

Donna Heslin | University of Toronto-Mississauga

This session will present findings of a survey of students participating in entrepreneurship programs in colleges and universities. The survey investigates the reasons why students join entrepreneurship programs, as well as the outcomes they intend to achieve

3. The role of experiential learning in entrepreneurship programs

Christopher Holt | University of Toronto

This session will engage participants in a discussion about the role of experiential learning in the curriculum of entrepreneurship degree programs, based on a review of current practice in Ontario universities and colleges. Participants will contemplate how different models of experiential learning have been embedded in the curriculum.

4. Assessing entrepreneurship learning outcomes

Linda Vranic, Alon Eisenstein & Emina Veletanlic | Impact Centre, University of Toronto

This session will engage participants in a discussion on structured assessments of learning outcomes from participation in non-curricular entrepreneurship activities. The discussion will center on the design and implementation of assessment tools and how to ensure that we are preparing students for the opportunities that lie ahead, both nationally and globally.

Superclusters: Rhetoric and Reality

Creso wrote on the recently announced superclusters initiative in the CIHE Blog:

cihe-colors-logo-01Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains announced the federal government’s “superclusters” initiative yesterday. This had been in the works for a while. We already knew that the idea was to support a handful of projects across the country involving industry and universities in technology sectors deemed to hold high innovation potential, which Canada could excel on. We also knew that the government had earmarked $950 million for this initiative, hoping to create jobs, launch new firms, and help them scale. Read full text.

Chris Holt presents at the CCSBE conference

Chris Holccsbe logot presented the paper the “Institutionalization of Entrepreneurship Education in Ontario”, co-authored with Creso Sá, at the 2017 conference of the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The conference took place at Laval University, Quebec City.

The paper argues that Experiential Learning Theory provides a useful foundation to understand how different modalities of entrepreneurship education support students’ learning. It proposes a framework encompassing curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities currently available in Ontario colleges and universities.