Today's Top Ten

July 20, 2017

Students react to YorkU, Access Copyright decision

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations has issued a release stating that it is “deeply concerned” with the recent Federal Court ruling against York University in its legal battle with Access Copyright. The ruling determined that the fair dealing guidelines followed by many Canadian postsecondary institutions were not a fair and justifiable implementation of the Supreme Court’s test to determine copyright infringement. CASA argues that this ruling might limit students’ access to quality PSE in the future. “The Federal Court’s ruling has the potential to disrupt the balance between protecting both user and creator rights, which could result in excessive copyright infringement claims,” said CASA Executive Director Michael McDonald. CASA

New BC government should reappoint all PSE board positions immediately: opinion

The new British Columbia government should act quickly to replace all of the province’s postsecondary board members if it wishes to remain true to its mandate, writes University of British Columbia Professor Charles Menzies. The author adds that over the past 16 years, appointments to university and college boards in BC have been filled with “corporate lawyers, realtors, and CEOs.” Menzies argues, however, that “we need to bring onboard community organizers who have worked to solve homelessness and affordable housing issues. We need to have the voices of organized labour sitting at the governance table. We need neighbourhood organizers who have been involved in their communities.” For this reason, Menzies calls upon the government to replace all of the province’s board appointments within weeks of being sworn in. UBC

Medical schools must do more to help students transition into careers

Medical schools must do more to expose students to career exploration and planning if they are to ensure that students make the most of their training, writes Derrick Rancourt, a professor in the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. Rancourt points out that trained physicians in Canada face a 16.1% unemployment rate, which is more than double the national average of 7.1%. The reason for this, the author argues, is that uninformed medical students “mistakenly choose overcrowded specialties and then fail to find suitable residences and full-time positions.” Rancourt adds that teaching medical students how to transition from their training into a career is vital, especially in light of the immense resources required to train a new physician. Troy Media

Renaming Ryerson is about addressing colonialism, not sanitizing it: opinion

There is a “certain irony” to the fact that many people are insisting that Ryerson University continue to be named after a man whose ideas were pivotal in the creation of residential schools, writes Doug George-Kanentiio for CBC. The author responds specifically to an editorial by Angela Wright, who argued earlier this week that renaming Ryerson University would only push Canada’s colonial history out of view. George-Kanentiio argues, however, that “changing Ryerson's name would do little more than rescind the name of a man who was an integral part of one of the most shameful aspects of Canadian history.” The author points out that cities like Mumbai and Iqaluit have been renamed in order to address the legacy of colonial rule. “Renaming should reflect the need to speak honestly about our common experiences and our past,” the author concludes. “The name ‘Ryerson’ should not be part of our future.” CBC

SaskPolytech students create VR game for the visually impaired

Two Saskatchewan Polytechnic students have developed a virtual reality game in an effort to make VR more accessible for the visually impaired. Amanda Braun and classmate Josh Couse created Project Vireo as a simple “shooter style” game that the students have customized to make it easier for the visually impaired to engage with. Extreme colour contrasts and larger sizes of characters are among such features, which players can customize in a way that best suits them. “Game developers, to me, have a responsibility to try and widen the reach of their games. Try and make entertainment available to as many people as possible,” said Braun. Regina Leader-Post

Despite controversy, participating in rankings has benefits for students

Institutional rankings are often a source of much controversy, as Brian Leiter writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and rankings published by the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education have been questioned for their methodology. However, “I am not a knee-jerk opponent of rankings; far from it,” writes Leiter, who later adds that “serious assessments of the academic quality of graduate programs are an enormous asset to foreign students, to students at non-elite universities, and to students at elite universities with eccentric biases that would be unknown to the undergraduates.” With this purpose in mind, Leiter encourages participation in the rankings, as well as lobbying for organizations to improve their surveying practices. Chronicle of Higher Education

HEC partners with Lebanese university on joint study program

HEC Montréal has strengthened its bonds with the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik in Lebanon by signing an agreement to launch a joint Essentials of MBA program. HEC reports that it has partnered with USEK for over 20 years on a number of initiatives. The new EsMBA program is reportedly designed for executives from the Debbanne Saikali Group, a group of Lebanese companies from sectors such as agriculture, energy, and telecommunications. The first cohort of EsMBAs are expected to graduate in Summer 2018. HEC

Study finds link between student evaluation critics and low Rate My Professors ratings

Researchers who are critical of student evaluations of teaching are much more likely to have a below average score on Rate My Professors than researchers who defend the value of such evaluations, according to a new study. Based on these findings, the study’s author suggests that “researchers’ personal attitudes” towards student surveys “might influence their research findings.” Overall, the study found that professors who were critical of student evaluations were 14 times more likely to have a below-average score on Rate My Professor than “apologists” who had written positive papers about such evaluations. Times Higher Education | Study

Peterborough approves Trent research park plans

The Peterborough Examiner reports that the master plan and draft subdivision plan for a new Trent University research park has been approved by the Peterborough committee members. “We see this research park as something that is going to invigorate Trent by making green employment opportunities available,” commented Trent President Leo Groarke. “We are excited about moving forward.” The council reportedly met the plans with praise, as well as concerns related to the project’s impact on the local ecosystem and how local First Nations groups were being consulted. Peterborough Examiner

The challenges of bringing millennials into PSE administration

“[As] people in leadership positions start to leave higher education, it will be increasingly important to take measures to ensure that the best and brightest of Generation Y stick around,” writes James Wicks. The author notes that while researchers have been trying to better understand millennials for at least 15 years, higher ed institutions still face problems in trying to integrate them into administrative positions. One of the reasons for this, Wicks notes, is that many millennials consider educational institutions to be “among the least innovative and satisfying places to work.” To address this issue and more, Wicks offers a series of tips on how to better integrate millennials into PSE’s administrative culture. Inside Higher Ed