The University of Waterloo is considering a new idea for students applying for first year in the near future: alternatives to tuition money.
“We have to acknowledge that we’re going to run out of innovative ideas in the future. I mean there are so many new and exciting innovations happening all the time at the University (of Waterloo) that we may hit a point where innovations simply run dry” said President Furidaun Hamdullaper in a phone conversation with The Honk yesterday morning. President Hamdullaper went on to say “our Committee for Innovation has projected a potential drop in new ideas in the year 2034. This is assuming that our rate of Innovation Consumption continues at our current rate, of course. We’re really trying to ensure that we don’t hit Peak Innovation too hard.”
The University is currently looking at a system in which applicants can present a series of ideas for research to the University which, upon acceptance, will be cataloged and stored by University of Waterloo Strategic Innovation Reserve and can be drawn upon in the case of a university wide drop in the number of ideas being generated by professors. The students will then be given a deduction from their tuition, based on a scale currently unknown, depending on how good an idea they present. Once the ideas are recorded they are submitted for copyright and catalogued, then placed in the Innovation Reserve facility, currently being built underneath the Math and Computer Building.
Dr. Jim Lamanche, a sitting member on the Committee for Innovation and professor of Metaciviltronic Engineering, highlighted some of the problems currently facing professors at UW during a recent interview with The Honk. “We have about 100 years of innovations left, that’s undeniable, but with the higher number of graduate study students and the continued development of colleges into more traditional ‘university’-esque areas of study we’re seeing a growing stress on various universities Innovation reserves. That’s a scary thing, especially since these colleges are outside the influence of the United Universities and want to expand their use of Innovations at a potentially exponential rate. Also they have a great deal of Innovative ideas readily at hand, while universities are having to expand far beyond traditional comfort zones into potentially bizarre, mundane and potentially dangerous areas of study”
The United Universities, a council that, according to their website, is committed to “maintaining inter-university peace and security, developing friendly relations among universities and promoting social progress, better research standards and academic rights” released a report in 2011 stating that many of the top universities have already have similar reserves. The report believed that there could be up to 4.1 million ideas in reserves similar to the one UW is implementing. Approximately one hundred thousand ideas are used globally every day, so there is currently debate over how long those ideas will last once Peak Innovation is reached.
None, however, have implemented the “Innovation for Learning” program that UW is considering. “It’s just another way we are a top innovator in our field” President Hamdullaper said, “we want to attract the most idea-rich students from all over the world while maintaining ahead of the curve.”
The proposition is going to a general debate in May, with a hopeful implementation date of 2015.