I took Professor Mark Hunter’s course on Geographies of Education (GGRC50) at University of Toronto – Scarborough Campus (UTSC) in my final year of my undergraduate degree. This course has completely changed how I view the education system from kindergarten all the way to post-secondary. Through course readings I was able to understand how much of an impact there is on children when certain decisions are made about their education, usually by parents who always want the best for them. Decision such as opting for private school so children can develop social capital rather than going to public school or enrolling children into extra-curricular activities.
This report looks at a culmination of students who came from different educational backgrounds and how they navigated their time at UTSC. I was excited to be apart of a project that focused on why students feel pushed out of UTSC, it’s not something that is openly talked about. You may have heard about a classmate or a friend of a friend who just left and you don’t know why. There is no widely advertised service or brochure from the university that directs students on how to transfer out to another educational institution. Even if that is not the case, there is no support or follow-up for students who leave or “drop-out”.
I am hopeful that the University Worlds report will shed light onto the experiences and hardships that students face in efforts to obtain a degree from an institution that prides and markets itself on prestige. Even being apart of this project, I was able to relate to some aspect of each the case studies, especially how students face immense pressure to keep up with course loads and how it affects their mental health. This report starkly displays the counter-culture that exists within the institution and the university should take concrete steps to address issues that students face by proving more support to address anti-black racism, mental health, and social/economic inequities.