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For the next academic year, tuition at the University of Saskatchewan will rise by an average of 2.5%; the increase was approved by the board of governors in December. Tuition in the College of Arts and Science, the largest college, will rise by an average of 2.7% to $6,773. “In most programs, the total cost of tuition and fees will continue to be lower than the median cost of similar programs at other Canadian medical-doctoral universities,” said uSask Board Chair Greg Smith. The largest increase is in Veterinary Medicine, up 5.0% to $9,114. Tuition rates in Engineering and Dentistry will remain unchanged. Global News | CBC | Saskatoon StarPhoenix | uSask

uSask increases tuition by an average of 2.5% Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

Collaboration in global science has become a dominant concern for the 21st century, and Canada will need to do its part if it wishes to be among the world’s top research countries, writes Dalhousie University’s Vice President of Research, Martha Crago. Recent reporting from UNESCO has shown several significant trends in global science research, including “a radical shift from basic to applied science worldwide and a relative decrease in public spending on research while private spending on research and development is increasing.” However, Crago is quick to point out that Canada is moving in the opposite direction of this trend, with business investment in R&D decreasing. Canada as a whole will have to deeply consider how it will respond to these numbers moving forward, Crago suggests, and whether it will do so by investing more in R&D, pursuing more international partnerships, or some mixture of the two. University Affairs

Canada must keep up in the collaborative world of global science, writes Dal VP Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the University of Ottawa's Head of Sports Services, Marc Schryburt, has resigned his post. That article goes on to add that Schryburt, who was hired for the position less than a year ago, had recently taken a leave of absence from his role for "undisclosed reasons." This loss for the department comes at a time when the university is reviewing an alleged misconduct that the school's Student Federation has connected to uOttawa's Sports Services, stating that "an alleged aggressor" in the reported incident was "a varsity athlete." Julie Tam has been confirmed as Acting Director of Sports Services as the department begins searching for a replacement for Schryburt. Ottawa Citizen | SFUO

Head of uOttawa Sports Services resigns Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

CBIE has released a new brief reviewing the current status of international education leadership and gaps identified in this area of the international education sector. The brief identifies eight unique types of leadership that are plotted on a quadrant based on their position (internal or external) and level of flexibility (flexibility or stability). CBIE study leaders compared the responses of emerging and experienced leaders on the nature of their current roles and the roles they identified as needing strengthening in the future. The groups agreed that it was important to improve their skills as mentors, innovators, and brokers. The brief makes a number of recommendations, including increased collaboration between new and veteran leaders in the field. CBIE

CBIE releases brief on International Education Leadership Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

Université de Québec à Montréal has signed a 5-year partnership agreement with Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), which renews an agreement that the two organizations first signed in 2009. The agreement is designed to facilitate joint projects for BAnQ’s personnel and UQAM’s teachers, lecturers, language teachers, executives, professionals, and graduates. “It is no coincidence that UQAM was the first university to establish a partnership with Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec,” said UQAM Rector Robert Proulx. “The missions of our university and BAnQ converge in many respects, including the role of our institutions in the democratization of access to knowledge and the promotion of culture.” UQAM

UQAM renews partnership with Quebec National Archives Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

Carbon emissions have declined by 13% at 343 American colleges and universities since 2007, according to a report released this week by the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute and the company Sightlines. The report also found, however, that energy use at the institutions only declined by 2% over the same period. Further, the total 13% decline in carbon emissions belied the fact that overall emissions at the schools only decreased by 5%, which is roughly the same as that reported by other industries. The report also noted that public institutions reduced their emissions on average more than private institutions. Chronicle of Higher Education

US colleges cut emissions well, but not energy use Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

Online education provider Udacity has announced that four of its “nanodegrees”—microcredentials developed in collaboration with industry partners—will come with a job guarantee. After enrolling in a “Nanodegree Plus,” students who cannot find a job within six months of completion will be given a complete refund of their tuition. Students enrolled in the program will pay $299 per month, $100 more than a vanilla nanodegree, for an average of six to eight months. The credentials initially backed by the job guarantee are in Android development, iOS development, machine learning, and web development. “The ultimate objective of education is to find people a job,” said Udacity CEO Sebastian Thrun. Udacity | WIRED | Fortune | Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Udacity offers job guarantee for some credentials, backed by tuition refund Top Ten 01/15/2016 - 03:30 01/15/2016 - 03:30

Ontario’s universities are no longer publicly funded, but only “publicly assisted” now that the student's share of costs is greater than the government's. So says the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA), which is calling for a tuition freeze to be implemented in the province’s tuition framework for 2016–17. The shortfall resulting from the lack of tuition increases should be made up by the government, the group says. “Quite simply, we’ve crossed an important line. The end of public higher education in Ontario is not just symbolically significant, it has a real financial impact on young people’s success,” said OUSA President Spencer Nestico-Semianiw. Toronto Star | OUSA

OUSA calls for tuition freeze, says ON universities no longer publicly funded Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

After a two-year battle that involved the Ontario Human Rights Commission, York University and one of its students have reached a settlement where, effective immediately, students will not be required to disclose their diagnosis to receive accommodations for a disability. YorkU will still require an assessment from a doctor to confirm that the student has a legitimate condition that may require supports. According to the Toronto Star, Human Rights Commissioner Renu Mandhane has said that her office will be reaching out to persuade other higher education institutions across Ontario to “bring their policies in line.” Toronto Star

YorkU to change requirements for mental health accommodations Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Canada’s National Research Council will wait a minimum of two more years for a new computer system, and in the meantime, its researchers will have to work on an older system whose security has been compromised. These are the findings of an Access to Information request made by the Canadian Press. In July 2014, the NRC was forced to shut down its computer network after hackers repeatedly breached systems that housed sensitive research, trade secrets, and personal information. The following 12 months were supposed to see a $32.5 M overhaul of the network, and while many of the new and enhanced security measures are in place, the CP has said that the documents it obtained show that the new system will not be fully ready until July 2018. Ottawa Business Journal (CP)

NRC network overhaul more than two years behind schedule, writes CP Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Queen’s University and St Lawrence College have announced that they will launch a new joint Bachelor of Science (Honours) advanced degree/diploma in biotechnology. Through this program, students enrolled in the new Biotechnology Specialization Plan at Queen’s University will be able to earn credit towards the Advanced Diploma in Biotechnology at SLC, and vice versa. “The university training will enhance participants’ theoretical and research training, while the college environment will give them hands-on technical expertise,” says Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “This partnership with Queen’s University truly puts our students first,” added SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. “Providing students with access to two outstanding institutions will help them prepare for a successful career in the field after graduation.” Queen’s | SLC

Queen’s, SLC partner on biotechnology program Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Ranjit Chandra, formerly a researcher at Memorial University, has been stripped of his membership in the Order of Canada amid accusations of scientific fraud. The directive to remove him was made in December, but was only published this week. Chandra had been an officer of the order, the second highest rank, since 1989. Last fall, BMJ retracted a study by him that purportedly showed the benefits of infant formula. The following month, he lost a libel suit against the CBC regarding a three-part documentary aired in 2006, examining the fraud allegations. Only a handful of individuals have been removed from the Order since its creation in 1967, generally due to criminal convictions. CBC (CP)

Former MUN researcher Chandra expelled from Order of Canada Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Canada is not unique in having PSE entities made up of two or more affiliated institutions, writes Moira MacDonald, but these affiliations do have especially deep roots in the country’s history of higher education. This history goes back to a time when Canadian universities were largely considered "an initiative of religious groups seeking a place to train the next generation of clergy in communities big and small.” Today, however, there are many advocates who argue for the unique benefits of affiliated colleges, which can often offer students the recognition of a degree from a major institution while preserving the modest class sizes and professor-student interaction of smaller institutions. University Affairs

Understanding Canada’s affiliated and federated colleges Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Manitoba has announced that it will provide $25 M for new and upgraded science laboratories at the province’s universities and high schools. $5 M will go to providing industry-standard equipment in “world-class facilities” at universities, while the remaining $20 M will go to construction and upgrading of high school labs. “We’re investing in high school and university science labs to make sure the scientists of tomorrow learn the techniques they need to get good jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields,” said Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum. As with earlier funding announcements, this funding is dependent on the outcome of the upcoming election, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Winnipeg Free Press | MB

MB allocates $25 M for science lab upgrades at universities, high schools Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

While the mandating of Indigenous content across all curricula is an important development in some PSE institutions, writes Adam Gaudry, decision-makers will need to think long and hard about how to ensure this effort achieves its goals. Gaudry is Métis and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, and he points out that Indigenous content requirements have been in place at uSask for a long time. According to Gaudry, the difference is in the application of requirements across all of a university’s faculties and departments. To help achieve the desired goals, Gaudry recommends that universities pursue three key components of implementation: a clear rationale for mandating Indigenous content, a critical mass of experts in the area with sufficient job security, and support for existing programs that have already been doing this work for years.

Schools implementing mandatory Indigenous content must do so with care, says uSask professor Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

“Willful ignorance is when we know that there are other ideas out there, but we refuse to consider them,” writes Lee McIntyre, a research fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University. This phenomenon is something one can find in those who deny climate change or embrace the anti-vaccination movement, but it can also be found on both sides of campus debates over tolerance and censorship. McIntyre finds from his research that “ideologically motivated denial doesn’t start with politics. It starts with a set of innate cognitive weaknesses shared by all of us.” It exists on both the right and left sides of the political spectrum, he adds, and if we wish to make progress on these campus debates, we must be instantly skeptical of anyone who begins a sentence with the phrase, “I refuse to believe.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

CHE contributor examines “willful ignorance” on campuses Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Men’s attractiveness can play a significant role in their academic career, writes Sun Young Lee, an Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the University College London School of Management. Lee draws on a recent study she performed in collaboration with the University of Maryland, London Business School, and the Insead Business School to conclude that men’s level of physical attractiveness might put them at both an advantage and disadvantage in faculty hiring decisions. For example, writes Lee, “junior faculty members working in an institution where tenure processes are highly competitive may feel threatened when they interview candidates for junior faculty positions who appear more competent.” Contrary to student-focused research in the US, Lee’s work found that “female candidates’ looks did not affect their perceived competence.” Times Higher Education

University faculty want to work with, but not compete with attractive male peers Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Learn how to motivate and teach students by integrating advanced technology and game design into the classroom.
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Five key trends reshaping and accelerating the higher education landscape Top Ten 01/14/2016 - 03:30 01/14/2016 - 03:30

Scotiabank announced yesterday that it will donate $2.2 M to create the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics at Queen's University's Smith School of Business. The new centre will be designed to help professors and students from Queen’s work closely with Scotiabank personnel to perform applied research in customer analytics. "Our customers expect simple, seamless and personalized services; and data and analytics are key to making this possible," said Michael Zerbs, Executive Vice President at Scotiabank. "At Scotiabank, we know that partnerships, such as this one with Queen's, are essential for driving success and evolving with our customers' expectations." Scotiabank

Scotiabank gives $2.2 M to create new analytics centre at Queen’s Smith School of Business Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

Manitoba has announced that $30 M of its $150 M provincial contribution to the University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign will target Indigenous achievement, research excellence, and the student experience. $5 M will go to an Indigenous Success Fund, providing scholarships and bursaries, as well as mentorship and outreach programs. A further $5 M will go to undergraduate scholarships and bursaries. However, the Winnipeg Free Press notes that the university will only receive the $30 M if the party that wins the April 19th provincial election approves Premier Greg Selinger’s pledge. Selinger told the paper that the NDP has promised to pay its full pledge over seven years, but that “every budget, every year, has to be passed by whatever government.” Winnipeg Free Press | Winnipeg Sun | Metro News | MB

$30 M promise to uManitoba may hinge on election outcome Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

The University of Alberta, in partnership with Parks Canada and the Alpine Club of Canada, will offer what is reportedly the world’s first MOOC in interdisciplinary mountain studies. The course will consist of “a highly interactive series of 12 video chapters” focusing on a variety of themes that will include quizzes, tests, and exercises throughout the chapters. The MOOC will be made available at a fee for university credit, or for free online. Executive Director of mountain parks for Parks Canada, Pat Thomsen explains: “Using real-life examples from Parks Canada, this MOOC provides participants, whether at home, school or work, with a valuable opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the parks’ mountain environments.” uAlberta | Edmonton Journal

uAlberta forges partnership with Parks Canada on world's first mountain studies MOOC Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

An undergraduate experience offers many valuable learning outcomes, yet students can benefit more from these outcomes when they are clearly stated and practiced, writes Queen’s University’s Peter Wolf for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Looking back on his own experience as an undergraduate, Wolf argues that “though I certainly needed to create my own meaning of my undergraduate experience, knowing and practicing what was intended would have furthered my ability to make sense of the many seemingly disparate learning experiences that were part of my postsecondary education.” HEQCO

Learning outcomes need to be intentional, practiced, writes Queen’s Associate Vice Provost Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

Colleges and Institutes Canada has released a list of 16 trends and topics it will follow closely in 2016. Notable entries include the integration of Syrian refugees into Canada’s colleges and institutes, infrastructure spending, collaboration across the postsecondary continuum, and helping Canadian students pursue opportunities to study abroad. Another significant trend for CICan is the growth in applied research in Canada’s colleges and institutes. This trend is closely linked to these institutions’ ongoing efforts to establish and grow business incubators and to help Canada’s small to medium-sized enterprises stimulate economic growth and innovation. CICan

CICan highlights “sixteen things to watch” in 2015 Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

Langara College has received a new name, conferred upon it by the Musqueam First Nation Elders. The new name is snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ (pronounced sno-WAY-ith LAY-lum), meaning “house of teachings” in the Musqueam language. The school will keep its current name as well, using both names interchangeably. “What we’re looking for with this is making sure the duality we share is recognized,” said Langara President Lane Trotter. “We are on Musqueam’s unceded territory. We are Musqueam’s college. We are Vancouver’s college. And we need to reflect that.” Trotter also told CBC that over the next few months, the college will be making new investments in Aboriginal education and services. CBC

Langara receives new name, meaning “house of teachings” in Musqueam language Top Ten 02/15/2016 - 23:50 01/13/2016 - 03:30

It’s harder for young people to get ahead today than it was for their parents, according to new research by UBC’s Paul Kershaw. Young people face pressure from two sides: housing prices, mortgages, and child care are more expensive, while wages are lower, meaning that young people must work more hours to maintain the same purchasing power as their parents. “Hard work doesn’t pay off like it did in the past,” said Kershaw. “The major costs of living are skyrocketing while our income is declining. And housing is at the centre of a dramatic deterioration of the standard of living in younger Canadians.” Kershaw argues that there are a number of possible solutions, including more dense and varied housing in urban centres and “taxing wealth” rather than property. CTV News

Today’s youth have it harder than their parents, says UBC prof Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

Contrary to the claims of many university mission statements, most UK lecturers either view "third stream" activities as a hindrance to their careers or do not know about them. These findings come from a recent study by researchers at the University of Sunderland, which describes third stream activities as those which engage businesses and communities in projects such as commercializing research, licensing innovations, and providing consultancy services. Opinions on these activities varied from a vice-chancellor who saw them as “more important than ever” to a lecturer who was not sure if third stream activities had “a role within our faculty.” Times Higher Education | Report

"Third stream" activities not a priority for scholars, UK study says Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

According to a newly published study, student evaluations of teaching (SETs) are actually better at gauging the gender bias and grade expectations of students than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness. The study follows on earlier work to analyze some 23,000 evaluations from over 4,000 students of nearly 400 instructors. The study’s findings held over two different universities and across a broad range of topics. They found that the bias against female instructors could be strong enough to cause them to receive lower SET scores than less-effective male instructors. The study concludes that the onus should be placed upon universities to show that relying on SET for employment decisions does not have a disparate impact on women or underrepresented minorities, and if they cannot, “SET should not be used for personnel decisions.” Inside Higher Ed

Student evaluations measure gender bias, grade expectations better than teaching effectiveness Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

However bad you might think the US student loan crisis is, it is probably even worse, writes Mark Kantrowitz for TIME. Excessive student debt has caused a growing percentage of American graduates to delay life decisions such as getting married or starting a family, and has also led an increasing number to work undesirable part-time jobs for more hours than they wish. Kantrowitz argues that a main driver of this steep rise in debt is “because government grants and support for postsecondary education have failed to keep pace with increases in college costs. This has shifted much of the burden of paying for college from the federal and state governments to families. The government no longer carries its fair share of college costs, even though it gets a big increase in income tax revenue from college graduates.” TIME

The US student loan crisis is worse than you think Top Ten 01/13/2016 - 03:30 01/13/2016 - 03:30

Thompson Rivers University has signed proposals with two of India’s largest schools, I K Guraj Punjab Technical University and Chandigarh University. The agreements will allow students to complete the first half of a tourism management or computing science program in India, and the second half on TRU’s Kamloops campus. “In the 21st century, the world has become smaller and smaller and we need to provide students the opportunities to gain global competency while exposing our faculty to international collaboration,” said TRU Associate Vice-President International and CEO Global Operations Baihua Chadwick. “I have no doubt these initiatives will enhance TRU’s academic and professional competitiveness.” TRU

TRU signs proposals with two Indian universities Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

Vancouver Island University has received a $500 K donation from The Joyce Foundation to support its Youth in Care Tuition Waiver program. The funds will be used for ongoing support bursaries for students over the age of 24 in the program. “Young people who age out of care, and find themselves losing the majority of BC government support by age 24 require additional support in the form of bursaries to help them achieve their educational goals,” said VIU President Ralph Nilson. In 2013, VIU became the first PSE institution in BC to begin offering a tuition waiver for youth in care. VIU

VIU receives funding from Joyce Foundation for Youth In Care tuition waivers Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

Despite both early and recent challenges, Algonquin College and Niagara College have indicated that they will continue their efforts to establish financially sustainable campuses in Saudi Arabia. Algonquin and Niagara opened campuses in the country in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and both have reportedly had to adjust to unpredictable circumstances. Algonquin Vice President, International and Strategic Priorities Doug Wotherspoon told the Ottawa Citizen that the college’s initial efforts were misled by information provided by Saudi Arabia. Instead of receiving the high-caliber applicants it had expected, the school reportedly found that “many students arrived with poor English, sub-standard math, and also lacking basic study skills such as taking notes and using a desktop computer.” After three years, however, Wotherspoon says that things are improving, and that the college is committed to the success of the campus. Ottawa Citizen

Colleges push to make Saudi campuses financially sustainable Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

Students at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus are joining calls for a “fully funded tuition freeze,” according to the Brantford Expositor, arguing that tuition is rising too quickly. “[By] your fourth year, your tuition will have risen almost 10% since your first year. This is faster than inflation, faster than government contributions, and faster than students can afford,” said Laura Bassett, WLU Student Union Vice-President of University of Affairs. Student leaders are calling for the government to increase its contribution to universities while decreasing the contribution from students, keeping overall funding levels the same. “We’re asking for a time out on unfair cost-sharing, a time out on mounting debt, and a time out on tuition hikes,” said Bassett. Brantford Expositor

Students at WLU’s Brantford campus push for tuition freeze Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

With the 2015 opening of its campus in Casablanca, Quebec’s LaSalle College and the LCI Education Network now have 22 campuses spread across 12 countries. Officials from the institution are quick to note both the challenges and successes of such a decentralized network of schools. A primary goal, according to LCI President Claude Marchand, is ensuring that a campus meets quality standards that will allow students to pursue a world-class education while also attaining a diploma that is approved and recognized in their local region. Another significant priority is building a reputation, adds Marchand, as “the challenge with opening so many schools abroad is that we basically need to rebuild a new reputation each time.” Exportwise

The challenges, opportunities of "exporting" Canadian education Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

A new course on Mi’kmaq history, offered both online and in-class at Cape Breton University, has surpassed more than 2,200 registered students, and is still growing. The course launched yesterday evening, and covers a range of topics, including the Mi’kmaq creation story, oral history, and traditions, as well as the legacies of residential schools and the impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. If all goes well with this course, according to instructor Stephen Augustine, it will become mandatory for all CBU students, regardless of program. Though courses on Mi’kmaq history and culture have been offered at the university for decades, this one is designed specifically with the recommendations of the TRC in mind. Chronicle Herald

More than 2,200 students register for Mi’kmaq history course at CBU Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

Momodou Sallah, a lecturer in youth, community, and education at De Montfort University (UK), emphasizes the importance of preparing students for a globalized world and the impact that global experience can have on an individual's outlook and success. Sallah was named Most Innovative Teacher of the Year by Times Higher Education for taking a group of undergraduates studying youth and community development to the Gambia twice a year to gain first-hand experience. “We live in an increasingly globalized world and there is competition for our graduates to be globally competent and literate,” Sallah said. “Whether universities like it or not, we need to produce graduates who have got this knowledge and attitude, and it is only a matter of time before more and more universities are forced to do it.” Times Higher Education

Universities must prepare students for globalized world, says THE Most Innovative Teacher of 2015 Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

When tracking the engagement of students enrolled in international MOOCs, it is not enough to determine what proportion of students come from specific countries, writes a contributor for the Chronicle of Higher Education. When one investigates how student engagement can vary by gender between different countries, for example, this information might provide instructors crucial insight into how they can achieve higher quality and more equitable learning outcomes for an entire cohort. Student motives for taking a MOOC can also vary significantly, and these variations can sometimes show patterns that MOOC designers and instructors can use to guide the development of future courses. The contributor concludes, “I love teaching in the MOOC realm—it has advantages and possibilities that just aren’t there in other forms of teaching—but what we’ve seen in this work helps us understand that we’ve got a long way to go yet in terms of making a MOOC work for everyone around the world.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Tracking, responding to student engagement in international MOOCs Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

John Warner, writing for Inside Higher Ed, imagines what would happen if every adjunct and contingent faculty member suddenly refused the courses they were offered. Half of the courses in a typical English department at a large US state university would be unfilled, creating pressure on departmental budgets that depend on the revenue from these courses to finance small seminars. “Currently, the only thing that allows some of these courses to continue is that they are taught by faculty who, in too many cases, are making less than a living wage,” Warner writes. He concludes that “without these faculty, there are institutions that would not reach the bare minimum threshold to be considered functioning,” and that therefore, the instructors deserve to be paid a living wage. Inside Higher Ed

Adjuncts deserve a “living wage,” writes IHE contributor Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

The gulf between the privileged and underprivileged in university entry rates in the UK is wider than previously thought, and according to a new government analysis, all progress in closing it has stalled. The report shows that those students identified as “the most privileged” may be three times more likely to attend higher education than those identified as the “least privileged,” in contrast to the 2.5 times suggested by previous figures. One vital gap addressed by the new research is the fact that prior numbers had not given significant attention to gender or ethnicity. According to the study, 45% of the most privileged group were enrolled in university, compared to 14% of the least privileged group. Times Higher Education | Report

Inequality in UK higher ed access greater than previously thought Top Ten 01/12/2016 - 03:30 01/12/2016 - 03:30

Manitoba has increased annual funding for PSE by $27.9 M, bringing the total to $710.8 M, an increase of 4%. The majority of the funding will go to the province’s universities, with the balance going to colleges and new programs. “We know that our colleges and universities provide opportunities for youth and help drive our economy,” said Premier Greg Selinger. Some of the larger targets include $844 K for a joint midwifery program at the University College of the North and the University of Manitoba, $1 M for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at uManitoba, and $3 M for graduate students at uManitoba. CBC | Winnipeg Sun | MB

MB increases PSE funding by 4% Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

The Université de Sherbrooke has announced that its major funding raising campaign, “Promising Futures, Shared Passions” has now raised more than $47 M. A full $19 M of this comes from within the university community itself. The funds will go toward a series of projects designed to “address Quebec’s various economic, cultural, social, and environmental challenges.” “By carrying out these projects,” said Campaign Chair Normand Legault, uSherbrooke “will have an unprecedented impact in the community, creating fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurship, both of which are needed in Quebec.” uSherbrooke (English) | uSherbrooke (French)

uSherbrooke fundraising campaign raises $47 M Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

A group of UBC professors has reportedly signed an open letter apologizing for not doing more to protect the school’s students and alumni from sexual assault. The letter, dated Jan 6th of this year, had received 69 signatures from various UBC departments as of last Thursday evening. It claims that the university’s channels for reporting sexual harassment and assault were inadequate and caused additional harm to victims. “We apologize to the people affected for not doing and not demanding better,” it read. “We, as a group of UBC faculty members, wish now publicly to acknowledge this harm that resulted from a failure of UBC to take as seriously as it should its duties of care to members of its community.” UBC has appointed an independent investigator to look into how the school responded to complaints of sexual harassment and assault from a number of female students against a single male graduate student. Globe and Mail

UBC faculty group apologizes for school’s response to sexual assault Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

The Conference Board of Canada has released a research report exploring ways to enhance partnerships between business and PSE. The report, entitled “Partnering for Performance,” aims to help various education stakeholders better understand the value of partnerships with business and to advise them on how to pursue these partnerships in an ethical and beneficial way. “Partnerships between post-secondary education and business are crucial to Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity,” it says. “They enhance student learning, facilitate research and commercialization, and increase local and regional economic development.” Conference Board

Conference Board explores business, PSE partnerships Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

A project with the campus bookstore has allowed undergraduate students at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business to learn about collaboration in a diverse work environment. The students work in groups of 15 to manage the marketing and promotion, product management, and accounting and operations for one Beedie product at the bookstore, all while working under a $150 budget. Andrew Gemino, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at Beedie, states that students “had to work together, iron out their differences and come up with one presentation for [the group of] 15 people.” Globe and Mail

Campus bookstore project gives SFU students hands-on experience Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

The Justice Centre of Constitutional Freedoms reportedly says that university campuses are no longer safe places for free expression. “Today a lot of people believe very strongly that they have a legal right not to be offended by what they see and hear,” says founder John Carpay in response to Laurentian University’s recent removal of a professor, later adding that, “if you believe in freedom of expression that means everybody sooner or later is going to hear something they find deeply hurtful and deeply offensive.” In the center’s grading of Canadian universities for freedom of speech last year, Laurentian received a ‘B’ for policies, and an ‘A’ for standing up for free expression on campus. CBC

University campuses no longer safe for free expression, says free speech group Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

The Sustainable Building Design and Construction Program at Fleming College has partnered with Abbey Gardens and Haliburton Solar and Wind to build what is reportedly Ontario’s first off-grid Alternative Energy Presentation Centre. Students in the program will design and build the structure between May and August of this year. “We are so excited to be working with Abbey Gardens and Haliburton Solar and Wind,” said Fleming Training Officer Ted Brandon. “These organizations’ vision and mission align directly with the goals of the Sustainable Building program.” Fleming

Students at Fleming to build Alternative Energy Presentation Centre Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

Nova Scotia needs to take bold action to stem the outflow of its younger generations, writes a contributor to the Chronicle Herald, and such action should start with the elimination of postsecondary tuition. The author notes that NS students pay “some of the highest tuition fees in the country,” and nearly triple what baby boomers did 30 to 40 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. The piece goes on to criticize the current NS government for deepening this problem by raising tuition fees on a generation of students that already graduates with an average $37 K of student debt. The author concludes that NS should immediately eliminate tuition fees for the Nova Scotia Community College and roll university tuition back 20%, culminating in an eventual elimination of all PSE tuition in the province. Chronicle Herald

Time to eliminate tuition in NS, writes Chronicle Herald contributor Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

The question of what a college graduate should know has been around for a long time and is not going away any time soon, writes Columbia University Professor Nicholas Lemann for the Chronicle of Higher Education. While the matter of core competencies and job-based skills is a slightly more settled matter in professional schools, it is highly contested  in US colleges with liberal arts programs. Ultimately, Lemann believes that all programs should work toward a suitable balance between “practical” skills and a more “academic” pursuit of complex knowledge for its own sake. Yet one thing administrators must take into account, he writes, is that students enjoy being able to choose their own courses “from a large menu of options.” It is this element of student freedom, and not just faculty resistance, that often prevents colleges from imposing a slate of core courses teaching a limited number of practical skills. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

The role of students in deciding what graduates should know Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

The New Brunswick Student Alliance has expressed concern about the way NB is allegedly “changing its tune” about potential cuts to PSE in the province. A statement from the group cites a recent release in which NB claims it will consider reducing or freezing university operating grants to save between $15 M and $45 M per year. Previous government communications had mentioned the development of a performance-based funding model as another way NB might save these funds. “All year long, students in this province have felt as though government has been pushing their interests aside,“ said NBSA Executive Director Lindsay Handren. “This new revelation only serves to reinforce that sentiment.” The NB release states that the government must consider such cuts and freezes to “prevent New Brunswick from reaching a crisis situation where it can no longer afford to fund critical services like health care and education.” NB | NBSA

NB considers cutting, freezing PSE operating grants Top Ten 01/11/2016 - 03:30 01/11/2016 - 03:30

Sheridan College has received a software grant from Siemens, valued at $22 M, which will provide the school's students with access to the same software used by leading manufacturers in automotive, aerospace, medical devices, and shipbuilding, among others. The software licenses will be integrated into the curriculum at Sheridan’s School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and Technology, and will support applied research projects at the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT), both located at Sheridan’s Davis Campus in Brampton, Ontario. “We are deeply honoured and excited by this generous grant from Siemens, which will allow us to integrate a critical industry tool into our engineering curriculum,” said Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky. Sheridan

Sheridan receives $22 M software grant from Siemens Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

The time has come for Ontario to stop losing talent, companies, and ideas to the US and to become a “supercluster” for innovation, according to three of the province’s university presidents. Writing in the Globe and Mail, Patrick Deane (McMaster University), Meric Gertler (University of Toronto), and Feridun Hamdullahpur (University of Waterloo) argue that although ON has an enviable education system and immigration record, a federal dependence on natural resources has left the country vulnerable to the ups and downs that are common to these markets. For this reason, the university leaders insist that Canada make a more targeted investment in innovation and entrepreneurship, which can thrive on volatility rather than being destabilized by it. The piece goes on to offer six key areas of government policy that can help universities create a regional hub for economic development, particularly in Southern Ontario. Globe and Mail

Southern ON should become innovation “supercluster,” say three university presidents Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

Vancouver Island University and Simon Fraser University have signed an agreement that will allow engineering students to complete their first year of studies at VIU before transferring to SFU’s engineering school. Students also have the opportunity to transfer to UBC (Point Grey campus) or the University of Victoria. The common first-year curriculum means that students do not have to decide where to take their second year until after they have completed two terms at VIU. “This is a fantastic opportunity for students who live in the mid-Island region,” said VIU Engineering Coordinator and Professor Brian Dick. “Taking their first year at VIU allows them to … decide what program, and which institution, is best suited for their interest.” VIU

VIU, SFU agree on first-year transfer program for engineering Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

Due to the high participation and success rates of many immigrants in PSE, “welcoming Syrian refugees … is a humanitarian act from which we will … likely benefit in the long run,” said authors Ross Finnie and Richard Mueller. The authors, respectively director and associate director of the Education Policy Research Initiative at the University of Ottawa, discuss how the participation and success at PSE for first- and second-generation children of immigrants exceeds that of their Canadian-born peers. “Children of immigrants are more likely to attend university … than their Canadian-born counterparts, and more likely to major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics … the very areas in which policy makers say Canada needs more talent.” Globe and Mail

Incoming refugees promising for Canada, research says Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

After a speaker at an event held at Mohawk College reportedly endorsed the building of an Islamic caliphate, the college has said that the sponsoring group will not be welcomed back. When the event was booked at the college, it was reportedly described only as a refugee crisis lecture. Further, the booking was made under an individual’s name, not under the name of the group, which has experienced controversy in the past. Jay Robb, spokesperson for Mohawk, described the variety of initiatives the college is undertaking to support refugees. “Going forward, we will be doing our homework,” said Robb. “Will we be booking this group again? No. Not at all.” Toronto Sun

Group that gave pro-caliphate speech at Mohawk not welcome to return Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

Conestoga College has entered into a Curriculum Sharing Agreement with Sprott Shaw, one of the largest private colleges in BC, to allow students to enrol in both colleges simultaneously and graduate with credentials from both. Sprott Shaw will deliver the Conestoga-based curriculum in BC, with oversight from Conestoga. “We are very pleased to work in partnership with Sprott Shaw to provide more students with access to Conestoga’s career-focused programming,” said Conestoga VP of Academic Administration Barbara Kelly. “This agreement will also provide graduates with access to additional education and employment opportunities in both Ontario and British Columbia, as they apply their skills and knowledge in the pursuit of successful futures.” Conestoga

Conestoga partners with BC’s Sprott Shaw for dual credential initiative Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

Many of Canada’s scientists are still expressing guarded optimism over the Liberal majority government elected in October of 2015, writes Times Higher Education. While many applaud the government’s expressed commitment to restoring funding cuts, “unmuzzling” researchers, and creating more transparency around higher ed decisions, others are still waiting to see how these commitments play out in official policies and budgets. According to David Robinson, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, the government could make a significant impact on Canadian research by creating national standards for higher education in the same way it has for healthcare. Leaving it to the provinces to manage higher education can introduce what Robinson calls “real inconsistency” across the country, and a national set of standards could provide meaningful consensus on issues such as tuition fees and the transfer of PSE credits. Times Higher Education

Scientists cautiously optimistic about research, higher ed prospects under Liberal government Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

Current and former students of Michael Persinger are reportedly rallying in his defense after he was removed from teaching a first-year course earlier this week. One student explained that Persinger’s use of language was educational: “You have to be able to know how to handle yourself in situations that you might be offended in, be able to rise out of that and give your educated response.” Another student explained that Persinger warned students at the beginning of the course that they should take another class if they were uncomfortable with his language. A student from 2003 commented on the fact that “I found, because of the way that he taught, I managed to retain the information that he was trying to teach you a lot better. You were so focused.” Toronto Star

Current and former students defend Laurentian professor Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

While many US colleges are implementing mandatory courses to promote diversity, questions remain on whether these courses are effective, writes the Chronicle of Higher Education. Common criticism of the courses often focuses on how they do not produce "real" results or how they allegedly politicize education by "promoting an ideology of social justice." But just as important for some critics is the fact that colleges almost never implement these courses except in response to student protests. "Very rarely are these diversity requirements born out of the goodness of the hearts of faculty who just want to do it because it’s the right thing to do," said Shaun R Harper, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Chronicle of Higher Education

Why do US colleges implement diversity courses? Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

Times Higher Education has reached out to its bloggers and social media followers to ask for predictions on what trends will emerge for British higher education in 2016. One university Vice-Chancellor predicted that institutions will become more vocal about their concerns regarding the “doomsday scenario” that might hit PSE if Britain leaves the European Union. Other predictions foretell of growing clashes over the measurement of teaching excellence, increasing demands for employability from students, and an increasing emphasis on active learning. Times Higher Education

THE compiles PSE predictions for 2016 Top Ten 01/08/2016 - 03:30 01/08/2016 - 03:30

The Law Society of BC has announced that it will appeal the BC Supreme Court’s legal decision requiring the society to accredit graduates of Trinity Western University’s proposed law school. The society argues that the court erred in finding that proper procedures were not followed in an earlier referendum. The society is calling upon the court to instead address the Charter rights issue raised by the case. “The Law Society believes the interests of the public and our profession are best served by our appellate court addressing and resolving this fundamental constitutional issue,” said Society President David Crossin. The society plans to file detailed grounds for appeal within 30 days. CBC | Globe and Mail (CP) |

TWU law school decision to be appealed by BC law society Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

Laurentian University has said that its decision to remove psychology professor Michael Persinger from a course does not concern academic freedom. “A faculty member cannot ask a student to sign a document, a memorandum of understanding, as a condition to take his or her class,” Laurentian Provost Robert Kerr told CBC. In so doing, Persinger violated school policy, according to administrators. “I certainly would not have forced them to sign anything,” said Persinger in an interview. “What I did do however was to ensure that if they would feel uncomfortable about my style of teaching or about the content of the course, they would have the opportunity to go somewhere else.” CBC

Laurentian says decision to remove prof not about academic freedom Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

“I thought the purpose of universities was to research and explore new ideas,” writes Matthew Lau in the Financial Post. Yet he argues that “it turns out this is not the case if the research contradicts the climate hysteria peddled by the left.” Lau goes on to say that campaigns for divestment from fossil fuels fail to acknowledge that such campaigns will neither affect the share price of companies nor do anything to protect the environment. He also argues that the culture of “moral superiority” in Canada's student unions has created an atmosphere that does not allow people to challenge the current consensus of climate science. When faced with the question of divestment, Lau concludes that he would rather divest from a students’ union than from a fossil fuel company. Financial Post

Students should divest from union, not fossil fuels, writes Post contributor Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

The student volunteer centre at the University of Ottawa will be renamed the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement, in honour of the outgoing chancellor and former governor general. “I’m honoured by the University’s touching tribute. … To see my name associated with such a centre, one that fosters community engagement as well as a connection and openness to the world, makes me extremely proud,” said Jean. The Centre, originally inaugurated in October 2011, provides information on volunteering in the region, across the country, and around the world, supporting more than 4,000 placements every year. uOttawa

uOttawa to rename volunteer centre in honour of Michaëlle Jean Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

A violin concerto by Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen, long thought lost, has been rediscovered by librarians at the University of Toronto. The work is believed to have been performed only once, by renowned Canadian violinist Kathleen Parlow, in 1909. The score for the work was donated to the library after Parlow’s death in 1963, but it was separated from the rest of the collection. “We are delighted that the Halvorsen violin concerto has been found,” said Acting Head Librarian Suzanne Meyers Sawa. “We are so happy to be a part of the restoration of this work to the repertoire, and we look forward to participating in the symposium next summer where we will hear the piece performed for the first time in more than a century!" Toronto Star | Slipped Disc | uToronto

Missing violin concerto rediscovered at uToronto Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

Campus Technology has predicted that over the course of 2016, the number of public-private partnerships between postsecondary institutions and service providers for managing online degree programs for international students will increase. Online proctoring is also set to become mainstream, and one in 10 colleges will acquire a new constituent relationship management system. The next few years are predicted to be a “matter of trial and error” for the higher education industry. With flat traditional enrolment, low adult numbers, and slow-growing online enrolment, analysts report that successful colleges will be those that are “well branded … willing to grow … [and] niche players with a distinct message that the market values.” In an upcoming piece for the Academica Forum, Cape Breton University President David Wheeler will further explore the ways in which online education and information technologies will transform higher education. Campus Technology

Campus Technology issues predictions for 2016 Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

“College presidents can't solve all of society's problems,” writes the Huffington Post, “but they do have a responsibility to join student activists in efforts to address systemic racial bias.” This was the general opinion that emerged from a recent interview the newspaper conducted with three US college presidents: Pomona College's David Oxtoby, Muhlenberg College's John Williams Jr, and Davidson College's Carol Quillen. The three presidents discussed what they had learned from the many campus-based protests of 2015 and especially from the growing awareness around racial conflicts. Ultimately, the presidents agreed that the role of colleges is to create cultures that make it as difficult as possible for individuals to espouse racist or oppressive views. As one president put it, “what I'm talking about is creating a culture where people who come to [college] with racist attitudes don't feel comfortable—they feel uncomfortable." Huffington Post

US college presidents reflect on 2015 protests, campus racism Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

A decline in the power and value of US for-profit colleges has led some institutions to convert to non-profit status to help cope with a changing economic and legislative landscape. At the height of the for-profit college growth in 2010, these colleges enrolled more than one in 12 US students attending a degree-granting institution; yet this number has fallen by 26% since then. The introduction of the “gainful employment” rule has also led to funding penalties to for-profit colleges whose students do not fare well enough on the job market. Some prominent for-profit institutions like Herzing University have made the transition to non-profit status to secure better government funding. Others have transitioned into legal entities known as “benefit corporations,” which are protected from liability if shareholders pursue a public good at the expense of profits. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

For-profit colleges in US look to explore restructuring options in face of tightening restrictions Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

The salaries of university leaders in the UK has little correlation to the prestige of the universities that employ them, according to Times Higher Education. The highest-paid vice-chancellor at any UK university for 2013-2014 was Neil Gorman of Nottingham Trent University (at £623 K), although the school ranked in the 601-800 range for the THE World University Rankings. Leszek Borysiewicz of Cambridge, in contrast, received £344 K despite his school being ranked 4th. The study also found that of the 20 highest-paid leaders in UK universities, only two were women. Times Higher Education

UK university leaders’ pay has little connection with schools' prestige Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

Teaching Support Centres can play a vital role in encouraging innovation in teaching and learning at the institutional level, writes Thomas Carey for Inside Higher Ed. He suggests that many teaching support centres currently include a mix of long-term initiatives, short-term targeted projects, and ongoing base activities. Each of these activities present different opportunities and challenges, as does balancing the mix. Carey states that innovation is often underdeveloped, and that its development requires both serious strategy and a willingness to accept failure. He concludes that “the best approaches seem to include separate institutional initiatives for teaching support and for innovation in teaching, reporting to a common executive … who can build the bridges between those units, … and lead in establishing the Innovation Strategy for Teaching and Learning.” Inside Higher Ed

Teaching support centres can spur innovation Top Ten 01/07/2016 - 03:30 01/07/2016 - 03:30

Ontario’s ombudsman Barbara Finlay has announced that as of January 1st, she has the authority to investigate complaints at universities. While many institutions have internal integrity commissioners, those who are unhappy with how these commissioners have handled a case can now appeal to the provincial ombudsman. “New Year’s Day [was] an important day for accountability in Ontario,” said Finlay. “We look forward to being able to help thousands of people resolve their problems with ... universities, just as we have done for 40 years with provincial government issues. We have spent months preparing for this new responsibility, which more than doubles the number of public sector bodies within our jurisdiction.” Metro | Ombudsman ON

ON ombudsman given power to investigate university complaints Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

Laurentian University psychology professor Michael Persinger has been removed from teaching a first year psychology course, pending an investigation, after the Dean was made aware of a Letter of Understanding that Persinger had issued to his class. The letter informed students that Persinger would likely use language in class that was deemed “not in compliance with Laurentian University Policies” according to a statement issued by Laurentian. Persinger claims that students appreciate being able to “ask any question they want, no matter how politically incorrect, and we will discuss it in a rational way, using data more than emotional argument, … political correctness and … social agendas.” The Laurentian University Faculty Association has reportedly filed a grievance for violation of academic freedom. CBC

Laurentian removes professor from first-year psychology course over language waiver Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

In the spirit of new year’s resolutions, Contact North | Contact Nord has released its “wish list” of ten developments it hopes to see in online learning in 2016. The list includes calls for better data collection and expanded access to broadband for all Canadians. It also highlights outreach to Indigenous populations and previously disadvantaged groups as a top priority, citing online learning as an effective means to reach a variety of people. The wish list recognizes and commends the movement toward new funding models that can enhance online learning and effective assessment. The organization says its goals could “stimulate real change and development for learners and enable learning providers to accelerate their journey towards transformation.” Contact North | Contact Nord

Contact North releases 2016 online learning “wish list” Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

The president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Warren Thomas, has criticized Algonquin College’s institutional presence in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the wake of the state's execution of 47 prisoners on January 2nd. OPSEU Vice-President and Algonquin Professor Jack Wilson added that Algonquin’s presence in Saudi Arabia is “completely unacceptable,” although he acknowledged that a lack of sufficient government funding was a significant factor in the situation. Ontario colleges “offer the specialized skills that today’s employers seek, and encourage new investment in the province,” according to Thomas; yet he insisted that “Algonquin College needs to get out of Saudi Arabia, and the Liberals need to give colleges the means to do their job: providing the education that will bring jobs and prosperity to the province.” OPSEU

OPSEU President asks Algonquin College to leave Saudi Arabia Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

UBC Political Science Professor Mark Warren is leading a team of more than 45 researchers at 25 institutions in a pioneering study of participatory democracy. The project, called Participedia, cites various crowdsourced projects as its inspiration for calling on hundreds, possibly thousands, of individuals to collaborate for increased understanding of democratic institutions. “We’re essentially trying to establish a new field of study,” said Warren. “We’re trying to form that data, so that people will begin to study these areas with the depth and seriousness that they now study elections.” UBC

UBC poli sci prof pioneers new field of study Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and two partners have reportedly purchased a stake in US university student housing for $1.4 B. CPPIB will own a 49.5% stake in the venture, as will its partner, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. The remaining 5% will be owned by the Scion Group LLC. The official statement from the group claims that the investors will work to secure more student housing in the future. Last year, the CPPIB purchased a stake in student housing based in the UK. The current transaction is expected to close in the middle of 2016. Bloomberg | CoStar | Marketwatch

Canada Pension Plan invests in US student housing Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

A new tracking method created by the US-based National Center for Education Statistics has found that completion rates for students attending two-years colleges are on the rise. Under this new method, NCES extended the tracking period from 100% to 200% of the normal time students take to earn an associate degree. The shift in tracking period resulted in an increase in graduation rates for full-time, first-time undergraduates from 18% to 36% in 2010. Rates also increased for students at fewer-than-two-year institutions, from 38% to 67%. An NCES report from 2010 found that 17% of students earning an associate degree completed in the traditional two years while 43% completed in two to three years; another 40% finished in three to six years. Inside Higher Ed | Report

New US data shows increase in graduation rates for two-year students Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

Six universities from Canada, the USA, Europe, and Australia are discussing establishing a system that allows MOOCs to be recognized and accredited between partner institutions. This would ideally allow students to take courses with a number of different institutions to complete a module. Delft University of Technology Vice-President of Education and Operations Anka Mulder explains that “universities can only consider integrating a MOOC in a regular programme if it is good quality and produced by a reliable university they know and have worked with before,” and so the development of such a system will require work in defining and testing the weight and level of various MOOCs. “The potential of this scheme is huge, but we need to think about it clearly,” Mulder added. Times Higher Education

Six universities discuss global credit transfer system for MOOCs Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

A new study, conducted at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, has found that looks matter when it comes to grades, but only for women. Among similarly qualified female students, those who were more physically attractive earned better grades, but for male students, there was no significant difference; the results held regardless of whether the faculty member teaching the course was male or female. Rey Hernández-Julián, one of the study’s authors, said he found the results “troubling,” suggesting that there might be a need for tools at colleges and universities to help address implicit biases. Inside Higher Ed

Better-looking female students get better grades, says US study Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was advised to privatize a set of publicly funded universities and to allow them to “sink or swim” in connection with consumer demand, according to newly released records from England's National Archives. The advice came from Lord Beloff, who had previously served as Vice-Chancellor of the private University of Buckingham, in a seminar to discuss education in 1985. The record adds that the proposal won support from several of the event’s attendees, who believed that the move would “prompt greater competition between universities” and “make education more demand-led.” Critics of the proposal, however, cited soaring student fees and a greater dependence on philanthropy as sources of concern. Times Higher Education

Thatcher told to privatize universities, let them “sink or swim,” according to newly released records Top Ten 01/06/2016 - 03:30 01/06/2016 - 03:30

In the fall, Ontario announced that it would give $19.4 M to the University of Toronto to help secure a collaboration with JLabs, a biotech subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Yet the majority of the money, $18.3 M, will go to fund work on the MaRS West Tower, according to an Access to Information request made by the Globe and Mail. According to the Globe, this grant “renews questions about how much Ontario is spending to turn MaRS West into the engine of innovation the provincial government envisioned,” and whether ON has put more money into the project than publicly declared. Globe and Mail

Provincial funds for uToronto collaboration to be spent on MaRS West Tower Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Cape Breton University President David Wheeler says that his university is looking at ways to educate students from around the world online as part of its plan to stay viable. CBU is considering setting up satellite campuses in other parts of the world, like the Canadian International College in Cairo, which is affiliated with CBU and the University of Ottawa. David Wheeler has also reportedly spoken with other Canadian universities about establishing a shared space in London, England. Online courses pose another possibility for the institution, says Wheeler, where the institution “could have hundreds of students … who never even see the campus.” CBC

CBU will look to online, international education, says president Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

India’s Union Cabinet has approved the renewal of an existing MOU with Canada that will commit both countries to enhanced cooperation in higher education. The countries originally signed an MOU in June 2010, which offered the possibility of renewing the agreement for a further five years. The MOU reportedly aims to recognize “the immense potential of collaboration between Higher Education Institutions of Canada and India and to further develop the existing bilateral relations in the field of Higher Education and Research.” Approval for the MOU was issued directly by the Union Cabinet and its chair, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. NDTV | Business Standard

India approves renewal of higher ed MOU with Canada Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

The first dean of York University’s Schulich School of Business passed away last month at the age of 91, leaving behind a legacy that a Globe and Mail contributor describes as one of “grand vision.” The commemorative piece outlines the career of Jim Gillies, from his service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII to his professorship at UCLA and eventual role as Dean of the business school at YorkU. Gillies is credited with helping to create the business school largely from scratch, incorporating curriculum that included study of the public, private, and non-profit sectors; a separate non-profit leadership MBA; and a part-time MBA. He was also one of the pioneers of the now-essential “strategy study” component of the MBA, in which students create reports on real-life businesses and present those reports to company executives. Globe and Mail

Remembering a business school pioneer Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Current criticism of “coddled” university students often focuses on specific examples that do not do justice to the mental health difficulties faced by most of those enrolled in PSE, writes McGill University Assistant Professor of Psychology Rob Whitley. While many media pieces suggest that students are hypersensitive, Whitley contends that these pieces often neglect the many significant sources of stress that today’s students face, such as soaring debt, an increasingly precarious job market, and rising rent and housing prices, to name a few. Whitley adds that all of these stress factors are even more powerful for those students from less fortunate socioeconomic backgrounds, and he asks his readers to think twice before they broadly characterize an entire generation of students as coddled or oversensitive. Montreal Gazette

Calling students “coddled” is simplistic, harmful writes McGill professor Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Holland College is set to open the Florence Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown later this month. The space features a 303-seat theatre, a large stage, and advanced lighting and sound technology. “The journey has been transformative. There have been a lot of challenges along the way but now we're very close to being finished. And we’re all thrilled with the outcome,” said Michael O’Grady, Vice-President of Innovation Enterprise and Strategic Development. The space, formerly used as a gymnasium, has been restored to its original 1930s art deco style. The Guardian

Holland College to open new performance hall Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Several universities in Ontario have experienced challenges in the creation of student entrepreneurship programs, according to documents obtained by the Globe and Mail. Using an Access to Information request, the Globe obtained documents concerning one-time grants to ten universities, ranging from $950 K to $1.6 M, from the Campus-Linked Accelerator program intended to encourage the institutions to pay more attention to entrepreneurship. The documents show that some within government were unclear about the program’s aims and that external reviewers questioned the approach taken by some of the programs. Globe and Mail

ON universities struggle with entrepreneurship programs Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Providing education for international students has become a major growth area for Windsor, according to the Windsor Star. While international students make up 11% of the student body at the average Ontario university, they make up 20% at the University of Windsor. “If suddenly all the non-resident, international people left the University of Windsor, it would be same if they all left Canada. There’d be a huge impact,” said uWindsor President Alan Wildeman. Over the past five years, international graduate enrolment has risen from 29% to 54% and international undergraduate enrolment has risen from 7.4% to 9.3%. International students who remain in the country after completing their credential can also provide a substantial benefit to the region. Windsor Star

International students a boon for Windsor schools, economy Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Hua Hsu examines last year’s discussions on the “emerging archetype of the hypersensitive college student,” and argues that this “alarm about offense-seeking college students may say more about the critics of political correctness than it does about the actual state of affairs.” Hsu explains that the general attitude on campus towards political correctness is more modest than media coverage makes it appear, and notes that what these protests and sit-ins across America “share in common is a desire by students to hold their institutions accountable.” Last year, a study by Academica Group similarly found that Canadian students are generally less polarized on the issue of trigger warnings, an issue often associated with hypersensitivity, than many critics make them out to be. New Yorker

Offense-seeking student myth says more about critics than students Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Lake Superior State University in Michigan has released its 41st annual list of words and phrases that should be banned from the English language. Among the words slated for banishment in 2016 are “stakeholder,” “problematic,” “price point,” and “manspreading.” Contributors to the list often found that certain words were so commonly used that they glossed over gaps in a person’s thinking. The word “problematic,” for example, was viewed as a word that could imply critical thinking without offering anything substantial beyond the mere use of this word. ABC

“Stakeholder,” “problematic,” should be banished from English language, says university’s annual list Top Ten 01/05/2016 - 03:30 01/05/2016 - 03:30

Happy New Year, and welcome to Academica’s Canadian Higher Education Year in Review! Your Top Ten editorial team has combed through the 2,500-plus stories we covered this past year, striving to find the ten that best defined the year in Canadian higher ed. Whether it’s political correctness, executive salaries, employment prospects for today’s graduates, or Canada’s renewed commitment to Aboriginal education, our list reflects some of higher ed’s greatest challenges and successes in 2015.
Methodology—In selecting our 2015 list, we focused on which stories were most-read throughout 2015, which were significant to different types of institutions, which received the widest media coverage, and which did the best job of representing the country’s many regions. We have reproduced these stories in their original form to provide a snapshot of how they appeared when they first broke. In many cases, we have also added helpful postscripts to provide context for the ongoing debates and decisions that followed these stories through the rest of the year.
Without further adieu, here are the top stories of Academica’s 2015 Canadian Higher Education Year in Review.

2015 Canadian Higher Education Year in Review Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

January 6, 2015—Dalhousie University has partially suspended the 13 fourth-year dentistry students involved in the Facebook scandal that came to light last month, prohibiting them from participating in clinical activities. A statement released yesterday by Dal President Richard Florizone and Dean of Dentistry Thomas Boran said that the decision to suspend the students was made on December 22, but was not announced over the holidays “to ensure the appropriate supports were available for students.” The Faculty of Dentistry Academic Standards Class Committee will conduct a review of the situation and the individuals involved from a professional standards perspective; the committee has the authority to create remediation plans or to recommend academic dismissal. Dal also said that decisions will be made this week about rescheduling the postponed fourth-year exams and fourth-year classes. The restorative justice process that was triggered by informal student complaints will continue as planned. In addition, 4 Dal faculty members have filed a complaint, and several Dal alumni have said they would not be donating to the school this year as a result of how administration handled the scandal.

Postscript: Following these suspensions, Dal initiated a restorative justice process designed to comprehensively address the multiple harms inflicted by the Facebook group and its members. In early March 2015, the school lifted its suspension on all members of the dentistry group except one. In late June, Dal released a report based on an institutional investigation into the Facebook group. The report found that the incidents surrounding the group were enabled by a broader culture of misogyny at the dentistry school. Dal President Richard Florizone said that he accepted the findings of the report, and that he hoped to implement the majority of its recommendations within 24 months. Dal Statement | Toronto Star | CBC (suspensions) | Global News | Globe and Mail | CBC (alumni)

Dal suspends 13 dentistry students involved in misogynistic Facebook group Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

April 20, 2015—A motion of non-confidence for Western University President Amit Chakma was defeated by the institution's senate on Friday. During the meeting, senators who opposed the motion emphasized the need for the university to move past the issue, citing Chakma's apology and planned "listening tour" as evidence that he was prepared to earn back the university's support and that he deserved a second chance. They further argued that a successful non-confidence motion could prolong the damage done to the university's reputation. Supporters of the motion, however, argued that the controversy had undermined Chakma's credibility as the leader of the institution, and questioned his priorities as President. In a subsequent vote, the senate also voted against a motion of non-confidence in board of governors Chair Chirag Shah. 

Postscript: In the wake of this vote, WesternU released the results of a review of its practices regarding presidents' compensation. The school's board of governors responded to these results by announcing that it would change its contract negotiation practices. The report found that the university's board had acted in good faith when it originally awarded Chakma double pay for working during a paid administrative leave, while adding that the move was an exception to common practice in Canada. The chair of WesternU's board of governors later announced that he would step down at the end of 2015. London Free Press

WesternU senate votes against non-confidence motion for president Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

July 14, 2015—Marie Bountrogianni, Dean of Ryerson University’s G Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, writes in the Huffington Post that continuing studies must play a vital role in closing Canada’s skills gap. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canada loses $24.3 B annually in economic activity because employers cannot find employees with the right skills. However, a recent survey by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling found that only 29% of Canadian employers offer career management programs, although 71% said they believed employers should provide such programs. Building on these statistics, Bountrogianni lays out six ways in which continuing studies can play a vital role in addressing Canada’s skills gap. Huffington Post

Continuing education can play major role in closing Canada's skills gap, says Ryerson dean Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

August 11, 2015—UBC President Arvind Gupta abruptly resigned on Friday, with the university announcing that Martha Piper would serve as Interim President until a new leader is identified. Gupta was slightly more than one year into a five-year term. A statement to the board authored by Faculty Association President Mark MacLean said that a resignation this soon marked “a failure point in the governance of the university.” Kris Olds, writing for Inside Higher Ed, said that “this type of unexpected leadership transition is hugely significant,” adding that “UBC's communication about this issue, to-date, is inadequate.” Piper said that she is confident the institution can weather any uncertainty arising from the transition.

Postscript: In the wake of Gupta's resignation, UBC investigated allegations that the chair of its board of governors had attempted to intimidate a UBC professor who criticized his alleged role in Gupta's resignation. In October, UBC released the results of its investigation, which found that the university had not sufficiently protected the professor's academic freedom. In the wake of these findings, the Chair of UBC's Board of Governors resigned from his position. Globe and Mail (Questions) | Inside Higher Ed | Vancouver Sun | Globe and Mail (Resignation) | UBC

UBC president abruptly resigns, leaving many unanswered questions Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

August 12, 2015—St Thomas University is in need of a new logo for its Welcome Week festivities after discovering that the one it had developed was identical to the logo used by Disney’s The Lion King for 15 years. Jeffrey Carlton, a spokesperson for the university, said that the likeness escaped everyone’s notice. Coastal Graphics, the design firm responsible for the logo, said that it was an “oversight” on their part. The logo has only been used digitally; no merchandise has been ordered. STU Students’ Union President Megan Thomson said a new logo is in the works, noting that “it will be another lion, but definitely different.” CBC

STU pulls welcome logo after discovering it is identical to Lion King logo Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

September 30, 2015—It is time for news outlets to give more honest information about how PSE choices will affect a person’s future, writes Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson. Among the greatest fallacies, she adds, is the argument that going to university will always offer a higher earning potential than any other educational pathway. Robinson points out that this argument is usually based on numbers from the baby boomer generation that do not give realistic projections for students graduating from university today. Robinson concludes that the pathway to strong earning potential increasingly runs through colleges, as she points out that in the past five years alone, the number of Canadians who attend college after obtaining an undergraduate degree has nearly doubled from 7% to 13%. Globe and Mail

University is not the only ticket to high earnings, writes Polytechnics Canada CEO Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

November 20, 2015—The leaders of all 24 postsecondary institutions in Saskatchewan have announced their commitment to work together to close the education gap for Aboriginal people. The province-wide commitment is reportedly the first of its kind in Canada and will see universities, colleges, and polytechnics working together and consulting with Aboriginal communities on how the province can best bring Aboriginal educational attainment up to the same level as non-Aboriginal. The agreement acknowledges the role that Canada’s history of residential schools has played in the current education gap and has pledged to undertake its work in consideration of the findings of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Postscript: Less than a month after this story, Manitoba introduced the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, a initiative designed to ensure that all students and teachers in the province learn about Indigenous history and culture and the legacy of residential schools. In mid-December, every PSE institution in the province signed the Indigenous Education Blueprint to ensure the implementation of recommendations from the TRC. uSask | CBC | Turtle Island News | Times Colonist

SK PSE institutions commit to closing Aboriginal education gap Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

November 24, 2015—A free yoga class offered at the Centre for Students with Disabilities, which is run by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, has been cancelled due to concerns that the class represents the cultural appropriation of traditional Indian practices by Western culture. In an interview with Radio-Canada, Student Federation President Roméo Ahimakin said that while there were no direct complaints about the class, it was suspended “as part of a review of all their programs to make them more interesting, accessible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of students.” He added that the class could possibly return in the future in a “more accessible” version. The class's instructor challenged the cancellation, saying, "we're not going through the finer points of scripture. We're talking about basic physical awareness and how to stretch so that you feel good."

Postscript: This story would go on to garner extensive media coverage and editorial commentary both in Canada and around the globe, with many commentators arguing that the banning of this yoga class was indicative of the "hypersensitivity" of today's PSE students. The story would become one of many stories in 2015 highlighting a growing debate between student activists who agitated for more equitable campus cultures and critics who claimed that political correctness was stifling freedom of speech in PSE. CBC | National Post | Washington Post

uOttawa yoga class cancelled over “cultural appropriation” concerns Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

November 25, 2015—Observing that fewer than one in five Canadian PhDs are employed as full-time faculty, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada explores the variety of positions held by these graduates while summarizing the challenges they face in transitioning to a non-academic career. The transition can be difficult, said study author Jessica Edge, because “a lot of employers now don’t know what the skills of a PhD graduate are, and so they don’t know what to do with them.” According to the study, just 2% of positions advertised over a three-month period in the fall of 2014 required a PhD. Furthermore, while there is an earnings premium of roughly $13 K for a doctorate over a master’s, the additional time spent in school means that it can take years for them to catch up financially.

Postscript: In a response to this story, Richard Wiggers of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario challenged the quality of the data used to support the Conference Board study's conclusions. He argued that better data might reveal that the employment prospects facing today's PhD graduates are much better than the previous study suggests. Globe and Mail | CBC | Full Report

Most PhDs employed outside academia, yet barriers remain, says Conference Board Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

December 7, 2015—Canadian college students no longer look like what many Canadians think they do, writes Maclean’s. While many may believe that the average college student passes into college directly out of high school, these students no longer form a plurality at these institutions. The article cites a 2015 study by Colleges Ontario showing that while 33% of college students came directly from high school in 2014-15, 44% of incoming students already possessed previous PSE experience. This increasing trend has made many colleges into what some call “finishing schools,” where students with prior PSE will enrol to develop more job-specific skills than previous programming might have given them. “They come in not just with one degree, they come in with two or three, just looking for that extra piece that will make them employable,” said Nancy Johansen, Program Coordinator of the Marketing Research and Business Intelligence Program at Algonquin College. Maclean’s

“Average” college student is no longer what many Canadians imagine Top Ten 01/04/2016 - 03:30 01/04/2016 - 03:30

An independent review has cleared the University of Calgary and its President, Elizabeth Cannon, of any wrongdoing in the creation of the Centre for Corporate Sustainability (formerly the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability). “Nobody from the university was found to have done anything inappropriate in the context of our policies and procedures, or in the context of academic freedom,” uCalgary Board Vice-Chair Gord Ritchie told CBC. The review, conducted by retired Justice Terrence McMahon, concluded “unequivocally that Dr Cannon’s involvement in matters arising from the operation of the Enbridge Centre was proper, responsible and required of her as president to protect the reputation of the University of Calgary as an institution that honours its commitment to donors.” CBC | Globe and Mail | CTV News | Metro | Calgary Herald | uCalgary

uCalgary, Cannon cleared of wrongdoing in Enbridge investigation Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

Nine of Manitoba’s universities and colleges have signed the province’s Indigenous Education Blueprint in an effort to comprehensively implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The blueprint’s goal is to use the next five years to “transform Manitoba into a global centre of excellence for indigenous education, research, languages and culture,” according to the Winnipeg Free Press. Signatories of the agreement are Assiniboine Community College, Brandon University, Canadian Mennonite University, the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Red River College, University College of the North, the University of Manitoba, the Université de Saint-Boniface, the University of Winnipeg, and the Manitoba School Boards Association. Winnipeg Free Press

Manitoba PSE institutions sign Indigenous Education Blueprint Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

The Association of Professors at the University of Ottawa has taken exception to raises given to two senior administrators, contending that they violate a province-wide freeze on public sector wages. After receiving what in their view was an insufficient response from the university and from the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, according to the Ottawa Citizen, the association is taking its case to court. “We were so, you could say, ‘insulted’ at the lack of response from the board of governors, and even the minister, that one of the only ways left to get the information we want, and to figure out if this was legal or illegal, was to bring it to the courts,” said Association of Professors Presient Jennifer Dekker. “We’ve read the law. We think it’s illegal.” In a letter to uOttawa’s board, President Allan Rock said that “the salaries provided to our executives remain compliant with provincial law.” Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa faculty union sues over administrative pay raises Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

As many PSE institutions seek out new attempts to “indigenize” their campuses and provide more Indigenous-themed programming, Douglas Quan of the National Post notes there are some critics who think these efforts are more complex than they have been made out to be. The spectrum of critique is wide and varied, spanning those who believe that mandatory Indigenous-themed programming will become an empty “pro forma” gesture to those who are concerned that some approaches to history will further entrench deep cultural antagonisms. Yet Wab Kinew, the University of Winnipeg’s Associate Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs, reminds readers that, “I appreciate the input that critical theory can make building an insight in the indigenous space, but we shouldn’t use those things as an excuse for inaction.” National Post

Critics wary of current frameworks for campus “indigenization” Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

New research estimates that there are currently 10,600 international students enrolled in Canadian “pathway programs” and that this number will reach 17,500 by 2020, reports the Canadian Bureau for International Education. The article notes that nearly 30% of all international undergraduates enrolling in Canadian universities come via pathway programs, which are designed to offer these students the language and cultural skills they will need to function in Canadian PSE. The article also notes that although Canada has had recent success in the coordination of its pathway programs, it still lags behind world leaders like Australia and the UK in key areas. The Pie News

Pathway programming for international PSE students improving, yet challenges remain Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

A Concordia University student who is suing the Montreal police claims that she was assaulted by an undercover officer pretending to be part of an anti-austerity demonstration last Friday evening. The student claims that she was pushed to the ground after informing fellow protesters that she recognized a police officer among a group of protesters wearing black clothing and masks. The student is currently suing the city and police over the $6.5 K in fines she received while participating in student protests in 2012. On Saturday, Police Constable Louis Héroux said that while inserting undercover officers into protests is not a standard practice, the department will use it when it judges that “certain protests might go sour.” When asked about the alleged assault, Héroux said that he was unable to obtain specific information about the incident. Montreal Gazette

Concordia student alleges she was assaulted by undercover officer at anti-austerity protest Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

Langara College and the Toronto District School Board signed an MOU to provide a seamless pathway for TDSB adult learners. This agreement offers new opportunities in postsecondary education for for newcomers to Canada and international students currently attending TDSB adult high schools and ESL centers. TDSB students who have completed grade 11 and 12 English courses at TDSB, and who have completed secondary education in or outside of Canada, are eligible to be admitted to Langara. “Working together enables us to provide our international learners programming with clear learning outcomes,” said TDSB International Recruitment Manager Omar Awara. Langara

Langara signs MOU with TDSB to benefit adult learners, newcomers, and international students Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

The University of Lethbridge has announced that it will offer two new doctoral degree programs, the first of their kind at the university, beginning in September 2016. These programs will be the PhD in Population Studies in Health and the master’s and PhD in Cultural, Social and Political Thought. “We’ve offered graduate studies here at the U of L for more than 30 years and now, for the first time, we have doctoral programs in the social sciences, the health sciences and the humanities,” said Robert Wood, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. uLethbridge

uLethbridge creates two new PhD offerings Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

“All I’m asking for is a little respect seeing as I pay you £9,000 a year.” So read a poster campaign in an unnamed British university, leading an anonymous academic, writing in The Guardian, to observe: “I could not help but become annoyed at the blunt, consumerist language.” Continuing this theme, they argue that “these young people weren’t behaving like university students, they were behaving like customers.” The article concludes with a fanciful response: “Hey student—all I’m asking for is a little respect, seeing as how much you pay makes no difference to my wages, yet the level of support I am forced to offer you takes up 80% of my time despite the fact that teaching still only equates to 33% of my workload. But I’ll be in the office until 9pm anyway because if I don’t publish two papers by the end of the year, I’ll be fired.” The Guardian

Students are “behaving like consumers,” argues anonymous UK academic Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

While some colleges make significant efforts to recruit and support low-income students, the manner in which these colleges describe those programs can have a significant impact on students, according to a new paper. When messages from a college have a “warm” tone toward potential low-income students, says lead author Alex S Bowman, these students’ confidence is stronger than when a college has a “chilly” tone toward these same students. Bowman goes on to give examples of these tones, and concludes that some colleges with admirable support for low-income students might inadvertently undermine this support with improper messaging. Chronicle of Higher Education  (Subscription Required)

Messaging matters for US colleges seeking to attract, support low-income students Top Ten 12/22/2015 - 03:30 12/22/2015 - 03:30

Researchers from McGill University and the University of Toronto have received a financial contribution from Merck Canada Inc and an additional $5 M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funds will be used to develop new and improved treatments for tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. “By taking advantage of complementary expertise, the University of Toronto and McGill University have a wonderful opportunity to play a leadership role on the global stage” said Aled Edwards, Director of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and Professor at the University of Toronto. McGill | uToronto

McGill, uToronto researchers receive over $5 M for malaria, tuberculosis research Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

Sheridan College has received just over $1 M worth of technology from Cisco Canada as part of the latter’s Technology Legacy Plan. Sheridan will use the technology in its Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) to advance education, applied research, and digital innovation. “This Legacy gift provides SIRT with a platform for the next stage of research innovation in digital film production,” said Cisco Canada President Bernadette Wightman. Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky added that “the Cisco technology will expand our research potential. It will also grow SIRT’s technology platform, […] helping this dynamic sector to work together more effectively.” Sheridan

Sheridan receives $1 M donation from Cisco Canada Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

An arbitrator has awarded a 10% wage increase to the University of Northern British Columbia Faculty Association as part of a new five-year agreement. This is the first collective agreement that UNBC and the Faculty Association have negotiated. According to a press release from UNBC, affected members of the Faculty Union will also be eligible to receive the Economic Stability Dividend that is available to other public sector employees in BC. The university has stated that the school is “committed to working more closely with the Faculty Association to build strong relationships that will allow the parties to address areas of concern prior to the next round of negotiations.” UNBC | Prince George Citizen (10% Raise) | Prince George Citizen (Five-Year Contract)

Arbitrator awards UNBC Faculty Association 10% raise in school’s first collective agreement Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

Queen’s University has announced that Canadian philanthropist Seymour Schulich and the school’s Principal Daniel Woolf have partnered to create a rare book collection within Queen’s Library. The new Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection will be home to 400 volumes from the two donors’ personal collections, with Schulich contributing an additional $1 M to Queen’s Library for the project. Speaking of their “shared interest in rare books,” Woolf said, “I am pleased Mr Schulich entrusted Queen’s with his material, and I am excited that we are working together to build a collection that will enrich the teaching and learning experience at Queen’s.” Queen’s

Philanthropist, Queen’s principal create rare book collection Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

After surveying more than 1,000 students, UniversityHub has compiled its list of Canada’s ten best university libraries. Queen’s University’s Stauffer Library came out on top, with special recognition for its 1923 Reading Room, dubbed the “Harry Potter Room” by many students. Next on the list was McGill University, with special mention going to the Birks Reading Room in the Birks Building. Third place went to UBC, with special mention to the Law Library at Allard Hall, the campus’s newest and most modern study space. Huffington Post

UniversityHub ranks Canada's ten best university libraries Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph has received a $1 M donation. Given by Lindy Barrow, the funds will be used to create the Lindy Barrow Minimally Invasive Procedures Suite, reportedly the first such facility at any Canadian veterinary teaching hospital. The technology in the suite helps reduce the need for major surgery, resulting in less pain for animals and faster recovery times. “This generous gift will allow us to take techniques that have become the standard of care to the next level,” said OVC Dean Jeff Wichtel. “It helps us raise the bar of teaching and knowledge in veterinary medicine to help pets live better, healthier lives.” UoGuelph

UoGuelph’s Ontario Veterinary College receives $1 M to support new surgical suite Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

Brock University’s newly appointed president may face significant concerns about enrolment and finances as Ontario reviews its current university funding formula, writes Simona Chiose for the Globe and Mail. Wendy Cukier of Ryerson University is set to begin her role as president at Brock in September 2016, and as Chiose notes, one of her early challenges will be to raise Brock’s profile among potential students from the Greater Toronto area. As Cukier says, “There are huge opportunities to build the brand, to build the reputation, to build the linkages to the GTA. … A lot of people see Niagara as much farther from Toronto than it actually is.” Cukier has also highlighted Brock’s success in service learning and well-rounded program offerings as potential differentiators for the school moving forward. Globe and Mail

Incoming Brock President will look to GTA, service learning to address future challenges Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

Great Plains College has partnered with the Cypress Health Region to increase opportunities for students to receive Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) programming in the Swift Current, SK region. The health region is recruiting across the province to meet anticipated demand for a new long-term care facility in the city. While the college has in the past delivered part-time CCA programs brokered with Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the new agreement will see a full-time CCA program offered from March to July 2016. “This is a perfect example of how college programming can meet industry need—we were asked to respond quickly and were able to do just that,” said Great Plains President David Keast. Great Plains

Great Plains partners with health region for continuing care program Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

Critics who have claimed that US student activists pose a threat to freedom of speech need to consider the ways in which their criticism directly supports the status quo, writes Angus Johnston for Rolling Stone. In the past year, he writes, countless writers have characterized student activists as hypersensitive complainers who cannot abide opinions contrary to their own. But Johnston argues that “unacknowledged here is the obvious: That students have very little direct power on the contemporary American campus. Administrators have lots of power. Trustees have lots of power. Faculty have quite a bit. But students have very little. And so a call to resolve campus disagreements by reasoned debate is a call to allow the people who have been setting the rules to continue to set the rules.” Rolling Stone

There is no “PC crisis” in US student activism, writes Rolling Stone Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

There is mounting evidence to show that PSE is making America a more unequal country, writes Jon Marcus for the Hechinger Report. The author cites the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education in noting that students from high-income families are eight times as likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree by the age of 24 compared to students from low-income families. Figures like these, and the cultural forces producing them, lead Marcus to conclude that despite its reputation as a social leveler, “higher education has instead become more segregated than ever by wealth and race as state funding has fallen and colleges and universities—and even states and the federal government—are shifting financial aid from lower-income to higher-income students.” Hechinger Report

American PSE makes inequality worse, not better Top Ten 12/21/2015 - 03:30 12/21/2015 - 03:30

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has announced funding of more than $266 M for 2015–16 to support research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. The funding comes in the form of 820 new grants and some 2,500 new scholarships and fellowships. The largest funding comes in the form of Partnership Grants, which range from $2 M to $2.5 M over 5–7 years. The largest grant, for a project on big data surveillance, went to principal investigator David Lyon at Queen’s University and 15 other co-applicants and collaborators. Also included in the announcement are Partnership Development Grants, Insight Grants, and Insight Development Grants, as well as master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral funding. SSHRC (release and full results)

SSHRC announces $266 M in grants for 2015–16 Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

A University of Toronto advisory committee, created by President Meric Gertler, has recommended that the institution divest from fossil fuel companies that “blatantly disregard” efforts to combat climate change. The committee singled out ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Peabody Energy (the world’s largest coal producer) as “clear examples” of companies that uToronto should sell its shares in. The process of reviewing the recommendation is already underway. “I will conduct due diligence as appropriate, and I will respond to the report sometime in the new year,” said Gertler. “In the meantime, I hope and expect that the report will draw attention and close study across our broad community.” Financial Post | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star | Hamilton Spectator (CP) | uToronto | Full Report

uToronto committee recommends partial divestment Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

UBC has hired Paula Butler, a Vancouver labour and employment lawyer, to examine the institution’s response to concerns of sexual harassment and sexual assault raised by some students last month. A summary of the report from the investigation will be publicly released in February, according to Sara-Jane Finlay, UBC’s Associate Vice President, Equity and Inclusion. “We had recognized that this had been an incredibly complex case. We wanted to have someone independent come in and look at the policy and process, and ensure that it served us in the best way possible,” said Finlay. Globe and Mail | CBC (CP) | UBC

Independent reviewer to examine UBC’s response to sexual assault complaints Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

The University of Windsor has announced that it will permanently close and demolish Clark Residence after conducting a feasibility study on the status of the building. Clark Buildings I and II, built in the 1980s, will be demolished due to “the age of the buildings, the extensive nature of renovations needed, and the shifting demographics of students seeking residence accommodation,” according to uWindsor. Clark Residence, closed earlier this year, originally accommodated about 150 residents, and the school claims that there is adequate space to meet resident needs for next fall. As with Electa Hall, which was also closed earlier this year, the land space for Clark Residence will be reportedly be retained as a green space for future needs. uWindsor | CBC | Windsor Star

uWindsor to demolish residences in need of extensive renovations Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has released three policy papers over the last few days. In the first paper, titled “Reforming Ontario’s Student Financial Assistance System,” the organization examines ways to increase the accuracy and flexibility of government aid. In the second paper, titled “Promoting Success in the Broader Learning Environment,” the authors explore ways to support student success with extra-curricular programming. Finally, in “Teaching and Assessment,” the authors make a number of recommendations concerning the reimagining of student assessment and the prioritization of teaching excellence. OUSA (financial assistance) | OUSA (learning environment) | OUSA (teaching and assessment)

OUSA releases policy papers on financial assistance, learning environment, teaching and assessment Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

Carleton University and St Lawrence College have established new student transfer pathways between their institutions. Recipients of two-year diplomas and three-year advanced diplomas at SLC will be eligible to receive up to five and seven credits respectively in a Carleton Bachelor of Arts Program. (Five credits represent one year of full-time study.) Fast-track pathways for Carleton graduates to access SLC programs are also being identified. "This model of strong collaboration is built on mutual understanding and appreciation for a shared commitment to quality and service to our students and the community," said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. SLC President Glenn Vollebregt added, "this agreement will provide our students with additional opportunities to assist them in achieving their career aspirations." Carleton

Carleton, SLC establish transfer pathways Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

Trent University has announced that it has selected Ameresco Canada for a $15.5 M project to renew and upgrade campus infrastructure for the purpose of enhancing comfort, saving energy, and reducing Trent’s carbon footprint. The project includes upgrades to 26 buildings, and is expected to save the institution more than $1.5 M in energy costs annually over nine years. Trent Vice President, Finance and Administration Steven Pillar said, “this project will yield immediate cost-savings for Trent University, but more importantly, it will result in an over-achievement of our energy reduction targets set in our five-year Energy Conservation Plan and a simple payback of nine years.” Bob McCullough, President of Ameresco Canada, added, “students, faculty and staff will not only benefit from the campus improvements, the community will also benefit from lower greenhouse gas emissions.” Trent | Amaresco

Trent partners with energy firm for $15.5 M for campus upgrades, renewal Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

The Ontario College Application Service has launched a mobile app that will allow users to access the complete apply-to-college experience through a mobile device. According to OCAS, the app allows users to create an account, explore and save favourite college programs from across the province, request transcripts from other educational institutions, pay for and submit applications, and monitor their offers of admission. “We really listened to what our applicants were saying,” said OCAS Director of Service Delivery Paul Wemyss. “We believe our app delivers the best college application experience in a format that’s easy to use.” OCAS

OCAS releases apply-to-college mobile app Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

The United Kingdom ranks first in international undergraduate student satisfaction, ahead of Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, according to new research from the UK Higher Education International Unit at Universities UK. However, Canada and the US outstripped the UK in terms of market share growth: Canada has seen 70% enrolment growth since 2007–08, compared to 46% for the UK. This translates into a 20% market share increase for Canada, compared to 3.1% for the UK, 7.6% for the US, and negative figures for Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. “Rising competition from the ‘sleeping giant’ of the international sector, the US, is proving significant, as is the offer from Canadian universities,” said the report. “The significant fall experienced in recent years in Australian international undergraduate enrolments illustrates the potential fragility of this market.” Chronicle of Higher Education | International Unit | Full Report

UK first in international student satisfaction, but Canada growing faster Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

The Council of Graduate Schools has released its report on enrolment in US graduate programs and for the first time has broken out the data by degree level. The data show that the vast majority (77%) of first-time international graduate students were enrolled in master’s and certificate programs, but proportions varied by country of origin. First time Indian and Saudi Arabian students were most likely to be enrolled in master’s programs, but first time South Korean students were most likely to pursue doctoral study. Nearly eight of ten international graduate applications in Fall 2015 came from either China or India. Engineering remains the most popular field again this year, but computer science and mathematics are quickly catching up. Chronicle of Higher Education | Times Higher Education | Full Report

Most international grad students in US enrolled in master’s programs Top Ten 12/18/2015 - 03:30 12/18/2015 - 03:30

A new potential treatment for drug-resistant prostate cancer developed by researchers at UBC has been licensed by the Roche pharmaceutical company for more than $140 M, making the deal the most lucrative of its kind in UBC history. Researchers Paul Rennie and Artem Cherkasov of the Vancouver Prostate Centre developed the drug to help treat cancers that mutate and render conventional treatments ineffective. The terms of the new agreement will pay UBC and VCHRI an up-front payment of up to $140 M in US dollars. Yet Brad Wheeler, Technology Transfer Manager at the University-Industry Liaison Office, added that, "as much as that sounds—and it is a lot—the real money is in the royalties, which could exceed $140 million by quite a bit." UBC | Vancouver Sun

UBC researchers reach $140 M licensing agreement for cancer drug Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

Canada’s colleges and universities lack a coordinated focus on sexual violence prevention and response, according to a briefing note prepared by Status of Women Canada for then-minister Kellie Leitch last March, obtained by Metro under the Access to Information Act. “More could be done, particularly to encourage bystander intervention and involvement,” it adds. The note also observes a lack of comparable national data, and suggests that the government may need to examine an approach like America’s Clery Act, which compels institutions to release data about campus crime. The new federal government said it would not comment on the previous government’s commitments, but that the new minister “will work with experts and advocates to develop a federal gender violence strategy and action plan.” Metro

Colleges and universities fall short in sexual assault prevention and response, says government document Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

Queen’s University has announced a $10.7 M contract with international energy services company Honeywell to enhance the sustainability of its operations. The contract is part of the institution’s Energy Matters project, designed to reduce both its carbon footprint and energy bills. “Climate change is a significant global issue and Queen’s is committed to doing its part to improve our environment through its operations,” said Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. The cost of the project will be funded by future savings, with full payback expected after 12 years. Queen’s

Queen’s makes $10.7 M investment in sustainability Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

The Faculty of Education at York University will be developing an enhanced Bachelor of Education in Technological Education program with the aid of a $444 K grant over two years from Ontario's Technological Teacher Education Collaborative Initiatives Fund. YorkU will prioritize the use of this fund in online courses, part-time offerings, provision of greater access for Aboriginal students, instruction in the French language, and development of courses based on geographical need. Dean of the Faculty of Education Ron Owston said that “the grant will allow us to address key issues such as meeting the demand for quality teachers and developing innovating ways to educate future technological education teachers." New program pathways developed through the initiative are set to be introduced in the 2017-2018 academic year. YorkU | Inside Toronto

YorkU enhances BEd in Technological Education Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

Camosun College has announced that it will partner with BC to provide English language training to new immigrants to Victoria who are looking for work in high-demand jobs. These job categories will cover the construction, engineering, and health sectors, among others. Camosun will use new funding from BC to enrol three cohorts of students in English for Career and Professional Integration, English for Construction and Engineering, and English for Health Careers. “Camosun is very pleased to receive this important funding and we look forward to working with the Ministry and our community partners on future project-based language training initiatives that support refugees and other immigrants in our community,” said Camosun’s VP Student Experience Joan Yates. Camosun

Camosun, BC partner to provide job-related language training Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s statement that all law students must learn more about Aboriginal peoples’ interactions with the justice system, law schools have been examining the many ways that this statement and ensuing recommendations could be implemented. The Peter Allard School at UBC and the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University have both established a mandatory course in Aboriginal law and intercultural training. Whether such a course is mandatory or optional, Aboriginal resource lawyer Merle Alexander explains that there is a practical aspect to being able to meet the growing demand for lawyers who are able to practice treaty law. “If students knew that taking Aboriginal law courses would be key to them getting a job," he said, "they would take the course.” Globe and Mail

Canadian law schools investigate best way to implement TRC recommendations Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

Quebec has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with striking student employees at the Université du Québec à Montréal. The group of nearly 3,000 teaching assistants and researchers represented by the union SÉTUE has been on strike since December 7th, and the union still needs to approve the agreement before it can come into effect. The striking employees have been without a contract since the end of 2013, according to CBC. CBC

Striking UQAM teaching assistants reach tentative deal with province Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

Simon Fraser University has signed the Paris Pledge for Action, joining governments and institutions from around the world in its support for a new global agreement aimed at limiting temperature rise to less than two degrees Celcius. “This pledge is further evidence of SFU’s commitment to promoting a safe and stable climate,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “Consistent with our new energy utilization policy, SFU will continue to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by making the goal of being powered entirely by renewable energy an institutional priority.” SFU | Paris Pledge

SFU signs climate action pledge Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

American postsecondary enrolment has declined by 1.7%, the fourth straight annual decline, and an increase over the 1.3% decline last year, according to the latest data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The decline was driven particularly by decreases at four-year for-profit institutions (13.7% decrease) and two-year public institutions (2.4% decrease). The only sector to see a slight increase was four-year public institutions, at 0.4%. Declines for students older than 24 were much higher than for those 24 and under, particularly at two-year public institutions. The characteristics of the students and institutions seeing the largest declines suggest that they are driven by a slowly improving job market, according to Inside Higher Ed. Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education | Full Report

American PSE enrolment declines for fourth straight year Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

A pair of private foundations led by the billionaire Koch brothers contributed more than $23 M to US college and universities in 2014, reports TIME. Further, the high education-centred Charles Koch Foundation finished the 2014 fiscal year with $528 M in its accounts. With this level of financial power comes a certain level of control over the cultures of PSE institutions, adds the article's author, who argues that “almost all of the higher education programs the Koch foundations fund cleave to the brothers’ philosophy of promoting free markets and laissez-faire capitalism in the United States.” Perhaps the most disquieting aspects of this influence are “control over curriculum, and more recently, obtaining personal information about students.” TIME

TIME examines Koch brothers’ influence over US colleges Top Ten 12/17/2015 - 03:30 12/17/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has released a statement in support of Professor Root Gorelick, an employee of Carleton University who has reportedly refused to sign an agreement “that would prevent him from speaking publicly about open sessions of Carleton University board meetings.” The statement goes on to say that Gorelick is the only member of Carleton’s 32-person board who has refused to sign the agreement. CAUT Executive Director David Robinson has suggested that the university has a “vendetta” against Gorelick, adding that “it’s pretty outrageous that a public institution like a university would prohibit any discussion on the part of any board member of public meetings.” CAUT | CityNews | Ottawa Citizen

CAUT releases statement in support of Carleton Professor’s refusal to sign new agreement Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

Yukon College has announced that it will not renew a contract with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to host the Enhanced Language Training program, an initiative offered to help immigrants settle in their new community and connect with job opportunities. Yukon Dean of Applied Science and Management Margaret Dumkee cited financial concerns for the program’s cessation, saying, “the costs to deliver the program have increased and the funding the College receives to run the program has not always covered the expenses involved in delivering it.” Yukon has offered its support to CIC in transitioning the program to a new provider. Yukon | CBC

Yukon to stop hosting Enhanced Language Training program Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

Lambton College has announced that it has partnered with Bluewater Health to create a new corporate training program designed to strengthen leadership competencies for those working in the healthcare sector. The program was first launched for a select group of Bluewater employees in spring 2015. The leadership program is designed to explore various aspects of human resources, finance, and quality assurance, in addition to healthcare legislation. Lambton President Judith Morris said, “this program will assist those already working in a healthcare setting to gain a stronger understanding of the industry and further develop the skills needed to deliver quality healthcare to a diverse segment of the public.” Lambton

Lambton and Bluewater Health partner to develop Healthcare Leadership program Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

The University of Manitoba and the Association of Employees Supporting Education Services have successfully negotiated a new four-year collective agreement. This agreement includes a series of general salary increases of approximately 1% to 2% per year to occur over a four-year period, starting April 5, 2015, the expiry date of the former contract. uManitoba reports that the institution and AESES “utilized a collaborative approach to bargaining, referred to as interest-based bargaining” to negotiate the agreement. AESES, which represents nearly 2,600 support staff workers, states that 91% of voters chose to accept uManitoba’s contract offer. uManitoba | AESES

uManitoba reaches four-year agreement with staff union Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

Students at Mount Saint Vincent University were expected to deliver 350 postcards to the university’s board of governors in protest of a proposed 20% tuition hike on Tuesday, according to the Chronicle Herald. “We’ve seen students that are struggling to pay rent, struggling to afford food and we just don’t see how this matches the university’s mandate of social justice,” said Jon Grant, Vice President of Advocacy for MSVU’s Student Union. University Spokesperson Gillian Batten has reportedly told the Herald that MSVU has been consulting with students, faculty, and staff over the past several weeks on a possible tuition adjustment. Chronicle Herald

MSVU Students protest proposed tuition hike Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

“Not only is tackling mental health issues vital to addressing the health outcomes of students who need services the most,” writes Karen Young for HEQCO, “it is also critical to show students, who will one day be in positions of power, the transcending importance of addressing mental health issues.” Young goes on to highlight three key areas for improving mental health support for young people: intersectionality, or acknowledging how mental health issues can often combine with other pressures faced by those from marginalized backgrounds; actionable awareness; and the development of a shared sense community and belonging. HEQCO

Youth leader offers three keys for student mental health support Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

Niagara College and the Anishinabek Educational Institute have renewed a partnership designed to provide high-quality academic programs for Anishinabek students. The renewed partnership will be in effect for five years and will aim to improve Anishinabek students’ access to programs and boost student retention efforts. “We’re extremely pleased to renew this important partnership, which will see Niagara College and Anishinabek Educational Institute pursue our shared goals of providing high quality academic programs, and meeting the economic needs of the communities we serve,” said Niagara President Dan Patterson. Niagara | AEI

Niagara renews partnership with Anishinabek Educational Institute Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

Confederation College and the Couchiching First Nation have signed an MOU to collaborate on the creation of a Trades School. Under the terms of the agreement, Couchiching would provide the facility near Fort Frances and Confederation would deliver programming in skilled trades and engineering technology. “This partnership with Confederation College will continue to honour the location where education has always happened for the Anishinaabe,” said Chief Sara Mainville. “This partnership will help to address the shortage of skilled workers and provide increased access to post-secondary education for Indigenous learners in our region,” added Confederation President Jim Madder. Confederation

Confederation, Couchiching First Nation sign trades school MOU Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

People from more affluent and better-educated neighbourhoods are much more likely to enrol in MOOCs than the average American, according to a study recently published in the journal Science. The researchers examined more than 160,000 students who took nearly 70 MOOCs offered by Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They found that each additional $20 K in neighbourhood median income increased the odds of MOOC participation by 27%. For each year-based increase in neighbourhood average educational attainment, the odds of MOOC participation increased by 69%. “Our findings raise concerns that MOOCs and similar approaches to online learning can exacerbate rather than reduce disparities in educational outcomes related to socioeconomic status,” said the study. New York Times | Full Study

MOOC students from more affluent, better educated neighbourhoods Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

It is time for PSE institutions to talk more about the qualities that make a graduate employable and less about employment numbers, writes Johnny Rich for Times Higher Education. However, Rich acknowledges the “Babel-like babble” that can often prevent students from recognizing the attributes they need to acquire in order to make an impact in the workplace. For this reason, the author offers a three-part definition that can help make employability more measurable. This definition comprises the three elements of what Rich calls knowledge, social capital, and skills. Times Higher Education

We need a better definition, measurement of employability Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 03:30 12/16/2015 - 03:30

Carleton University has begun construction on a $52 M health sciences building, which will feature open-concept research labs, providing greater access to students and encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration. The seven-storey building, which will house the neuroscience department and the newly created health sciences department, is set to open in August 2017. “The new Health Sciences Building will be a great addition to our campus as we continue to provide the best research facilities possible for our researchers and our students,’’ said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. Carleton

Carleton begins construction on $52 M health sciences building Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

The Joyce Foundation has donated $2 M to Cambrian College to fund a new bursary that will help approximately two dozen students in financial need pay for tuition and textbooks. This is the largest single gift to Cambrian’s awards and bursary program in the college's history. “Access to affordable education is critical to student success,” said Cambrian President Bill Best. “Thanks to the generosity of The Joyce Foundation, many students whose financial situations would have prevented them from attending postsecondary will be able to pursue their education at Cambrian.” Preference for the bursary will be given to students from Northern Ontario. Cambrian | Sudbury Star | Northern Life

Cambrian receives $2M donation from The Joyce Foundation Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

McMaster University has announced that its new testing lab will make it a “world leader in nuclear safety research.” The $24 M Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems, which is expected to be fully commissioned by the middle of 2016, will help scientists develop better knowledge of the behaviours exhibited by various materials when they are exposed to radiation and extremely high temperatures over long periods. “We will get a better understanding at the level of individual atoms of just how this process works,” said Facility Director John Luxat. “We'll be able to pull samples apart and see what their stresses are and how long it takes for cracks to develop.” Hamilton Spectator | EurekAlert!

McMaster's $24 M nuclear research lab set to be commissioned by mid-2016 Top Ten 12/16/2015 - 00:49 12/15/2015 - 03:30

Collège Boréal and York University’s bilingual Glendon Campus have signed a bilateral articulation agreement. Under the terms of the partnership, graduates of Glendon’s Drama Studies Program can be admitted to Boréal’s second-year Stage Management Technician diploma program. Likewise, graduates of Boréal’s Stage Management Technician program can enrol in Glendon’s Dramatic Arts Program, applying 42 credits toward a Specialized Honours BA. “We are happy to work with Collège Boréal to expand the postsecondary program offerings in French,” said Glendon Principal Donald Ipperciel. “The development of such institutional partnerships … allows Glendon to continue supporting student mobility.” Boréal

Boréal, YorkU ink bilateral articulation agreement Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

Last week, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta granted “The King’s University College” in Alberta the right to change its name to “The King’s University.” King’s initially registered “The King’s University” as a legal trademark in 2014, but needed to wait for a decision from the Legislative Assembly to make the change official. King’s Board of Governors Chair Bill Diepeveen said, “we are thankful that the Legislative Assembly has passed this new Act and changed our name. As I said when this process began, it recognizes us for what we are, a full-fledged university with all that entails.” King’s

AB Legislative Assembly approves King’s name change Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

Canada might wish to emulate Germany if it wants to improve its apprenticeship system, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. The report highlights Germany’s “nimble reform process” and its collaboration between governments, businesses, and other stakeholders as two of the primary factors behind its creation of highly employable apprentices. The study concludes that “Canada should look to the ongoing improvement process in Germany to inform its own efforts to enhance apprenticeship opportunities and systems.” Report

Look to Germany for improvements to apprenticeship, says Conference Board report Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

The recommendations outlined in Ontario’s recent “Focus on Outcomes, Centre on Students” report offers reasons for both hope and concerns, according to a press release from the Canadian Federation of Students. “While some of these recommendations are aligned with student concerns and priorities,” the response says, “some of them open doors towards policies that could sacrifice quality, access and affordability for political expediency.” The response highlights the “performance-based funding” model mentioned in the ON report as one potential site of conflict with student needs, citing studies that have allegedly “shown it to produce the opposite: encouraging poor behaviour such as arbitrarily raising admissions standards and increasing short-term certificate programs to inflate graduation rates.” CFS

CFS responds to ON funding model report with hope, concern Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

A new study published by the academic journal Science has examined the economic impact of doctoral study by tracking more than 3,000 graduates from eight Midwestern research universities. The study found that graduates in engineering, math, and computer science earned around $65 K annually within one year of graduation, more than double the roughly $25 K earned by arts and humanities doctorates. It also found that more than 40% of PhD recipients from the former group were employed by private industry. The study is “one of the first to use hard data to provide direct evidence of some of the benefits” of research universities, according to Association of American Universities (AAU) President Hunter Rawlings. Times Higher Education | TheScientist | Vox | Full Study

US PhDs in engineering, math earn twice as much as arts PhDs Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

Students from underprivileged backgrounds are less likely to consider studying abroad because they have had fewer “cultural opportunities” while growing up, according to a new German study. The survey of 5,800 prospective PSE students was not the first to determine that “underprivileged” students were less likely to study abroad, but according to author Nicolai Netz of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies, it was one of the first to examine why this is the case. He added that “our study shows, and I think this is the new thing, that the decision to study abroad reaches back to your social origins, to very early in your youth and your time at school.” Times Higher Education

Interest in studying abroad “reaches back into your social origins,” says new study Top Ten 12/15/2015 - 03:30 12/15/2015 - 03:30

The BC Supreme Court has reversed a decision by the Law Society of BC to deny accreditation for graduates of a proposed law school at Trinity Western University. The Law Society originally denied accreditation over concerns that the law school violated Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms for requiring prospective students to sign a covenant promising to refrain from all sexual intimacy outside of heterosexual marriage. The 43-page Supreme Court decision was issued Thursday by Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson. It defended its ruling TWU by citing the BC Law Society’s “breaching its duty of procedural fairness and neglecting to fully consider the school’s [TWU’s] charter rights.” Critics of TWU have argued that the ruling is insufficient, suggesting that it made its decision based on procedural grounds and not based on the deeper human rights issues at stake. Toronto Star | Global News | VanCity Buzz | The Province | TWU | Law Society of BC

TWU wins legal decision for law school accreditation Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

Ontario’s proposed changes to its university funding formula could lead to fewer program options and diminished benefits from research, according to a response published by the province’s universities last Wednesday. Drawing on months of consultation with students, universities, and employers, Ontario’s recent “Focus on Outcomes, Centre on Students” report suggests that universities commit more resources to undergraduate teaching and less to research. Critics of the proposed changes argue that the province arrived at its conclusions by presenting sector stakeholders with a false proposition pitting undergraduate education against research. “Our mission is to find new and better ways to make the research experience available to as many undergraduates as possible. It’s not either-or, it’s both,” said University of Toronto President Meric Gertler, adding that, “if there is a premise circulating in this process that being good at research excellence comes at the expense of undergraduates, it’s a premise that I do not accept.” Globe and Mail

ON universities fear diminishing role of research in wake of ON report Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

The University of Northern British Columbia’s senate is formally opposing the process that was used to select former Conservative cabinet minister James Moore as chancellor. A majority of members voted to have UNBC president Daniel Weeks inform the school’s board of governors that it did not sufficiently consult with the senate regarding Moore’s appointment. The appointment of Moore has faced backlash from a number of alumni, students, and faculty members. Brian Menounos, a faculty senator and the Canada Research Chair in Glacier Change, says “a chancellor is supposed to unify a community, not divide it. The amount of controversy this has caused, and division at the university, is really unfortunate.” Prince George Citizen | Globe and Mail

UNBC senate formally opposes chancellor appointment Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

Trinity College in the University of Toronto has received two alumni donations totalling $1.75 M for mental health initiatives. Anne Steacy has donated $1.5 M to established the Anne Steacy Counselling Initiative, which will support core staffing in mental health and wellness, including on-site student counselling. Michael Royce and Sheila (Northey) Royce have also committed $250 K for Trinity’s health and wellness program. “Supporting students goes beyond providing an excellent educational experience—healthy development of the whole person is crucial if we are to enable our students to fulfill their enormous potential. Nothing is more important in this regard than mental health and wellness,” said Trinity Provost Mayo Moran. uToronto

uToronto’s Trinity College receives $1.75 M for mental health program Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

The University of Manitoba has signed an MOU with the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba (TRCM), committing to collaborate on a number of issues related to Treaty education. The initiatives include seminars on Treaty issues for students, faculty, and staff; workshops on integrating Treaty awareness into curriculum; and a Treaty Ambassador program for students. “[uManitoba] appreciates the opportunity to work closely with the TRCM as we further enrich our community with Indigenous perspectives,” said President David Barnard. “We feel confident that this MOU will inspire individuals and empower the kind of change that will help us build healthier relationships and stronger communities,” said Treaty Relations Commissioner James Wilson. Winnipeg Sun | uManitoba

uManitoba signs MOU with Treaty Relations Commission Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

Parkland College has been selected to partner with Sault College on a new education project in Tanzania. The two colleges will work with Arusha Technical College under the framework of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP), a five-year program funded by the Canadian government. The goal is to develop a pre-technology bridging program, with Parkland providing student support, marketing, essential skills, and gender mainstreaming and Sault providing technical expertise and curriculum development. “We are proud to work on this important project and improve the lives of many young people in Tanzania,” said Parkland’s Director of Academics and Student Services Kami DePape. Parkland

Parkland, Sault partner for education project in Tanzania Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

“Canada continues to writhe from a lack of an integrated and co-ordinated national approach to post-secondary education,” writes Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon for the Times Colonist. Yet he sees hope in the federal government, which must “turn its attention to helping Canadians meet those commitments and solve today’s complex issues, both internationally and domestically.” Cahoon argues that “universities can and should be part of the solution,” but that they need help in the form of “sustained support” for the granting councils and funding to address the more than $8 B in deferred maintenance. Times Colonist

Universities can be the catalyst for “real change,” says Royal Roads president Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

Graduate students at Memorial University of Newfoundland have called upon the school to cut salaries for MUN executives instead of reducing services at its library. MUN recently announced that it is considering the cancellation of its subscription to 2,500 academic journals in order to remain within its operational budget. While MUN has cited increasing costs and a high US dollar as motives for the considered cancellation, professors and students at the university see the potential cuts as part of "a troubling trend to put research and graduate studies on the chopping block when budgets are tight," according to Graduate Students' Union Representative Hassan Nejad. The group argues that the university’s budget problems are more deeply connected to administrative costs than research-related costs, as Nejad added, “if our institution needs to find savings, it should be looking to administrative excess, not something as important as access to up-to-date research." CBC

MUN grad students, professors call for cuts to “administrative excess” Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

Using the phrase “the real world” to refer to life outside university is an undermining practice, according to Alison James. She argues that the phrase falsely defines life inside the university as a pretend world, and the resulting binary devalues a student’s experiences in the academy as being fake or insubstantial. The author warns that the term is often used to justify behaviors that hamper learning, such as giving humiliating feedback on assignments and deeming it a "favour" because it will supposedly prepare students for a much harsher "real world." James urges readers to pick a different term—paid, professional, outside—that better defines what they mean and allows students to embrace the unique and valuable opportunities offered in higher education. Times Higher Education

Five reasons not to call life outside PSE “the real world” Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

“Advocates for public colleges know a degree has value beyond increased wages for their graduates,” writes Eric Kelderman for the Chronicle of Higher Education, “now they are trying to convince everyone else.” Kelderman highlights what he sees as a growing movement to expand the value of public colleges beyond the “financial payoff of earning a degree.” Yet at the same time, he notes that US policymakers have become ever more interested in work-force preparation and performance metrics. While many stakeholders seem to acknowledge that public colleges need to serve a broader public good, the author concludes, there seems to be very little consensus over how to accurately measure an institution’s success in this regard. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

The difficulty of restoring the “public” in public US college Top Ten 12/14/2015 - 03:30 12/14/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3902 (CUPE 3902), the union representing teaching assistants, sessionals, and postdocs at the University of Toronto, has filed an unfair labour practice complaint against the university. The complaint, filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board, accuses uToronto of “bargaining in bad faith.” The union alleges that they were provided incorrect information concerning the Graduate Student Bursary Fund. “[uToronto] lied about our members' funding levels, then allowed us to negotiate the end to a 4-week strike based on incorrect data they supplied. They bargained in bad faith at a tense time when honesty mattered more than ever,” said CUPE 3902 Chair Ryan Culpepper. uToronto has not yet responded to requests to comment. CUPE 3902 | The Varsity

Union files unfair labour practice complaint against uToronto Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

Ontario should gear its university funding model more toward the quality of students’ experience and less toward the quantity of students enroled at a school, according to a new provincial report released today. Former ON Deputy Education Minister Suzanne Herbert led a five-month consultation with the province’s university stakeholders to develop recommendations for updating ON’s 50 year-old university funding formula. The resulting report, named “Focus on Outcomes, Centre on Students,” suggests that the province will use performance-based funding strategies to encourage institutions to become more teaching-focused. “The whole exercise is based on students and how we can increase the quality of their learning experience, so we see these recommendations as a good roadmap for designing a new funding formula,” said Reza Moridi, ON’s current Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Toronto Star | Globe and Mail

ON report calls for student-centred revisions to university funding model Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

Over the past two decades, the number of international students admitted annually to Canada has nearly tripled, according to a new study by Statistics Canada. Entitled “International students who become permanent residents in Canada,” the report examines the number and characteristics of international students as well as their transition to permanent residence. For the earliest cohort studied (1990 to 1994), a plurality were enrolled in primary or secondary school; for the most recent cohort (2010 to 2013), a plurality were enrolled in non-university postsecondary. The report suggests that students from countries with “lower levels of economic development and less favourable social and political environments” were more likely to seek permanent residence in Canada. StatCan | Full Report

Number of international students in Canada triples over past 20 years Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

“Every university in Canada should mandate Indigenous content,” writes University of Winnipeg President Annette Trimbee and uWinnipeg Vice-President of Indigenous Affairs Wab Kinew. The article notes that uWinnipeg and Lakehead University have already instituted mandatory Indigenous content, but calls upon all of Canada’s other universities to do the same. The article’s authors insist that any institute proposing to deliver higher learning must fulfill the ethical demands of living and working within Canada. They argue that, “whether or not you have Indigenous blood, if you live in this country, at least a part of your identity is Indigenous. It is time that every Canadian recognizes that – first, because it is the truth; and second, because denying Canada’s Indigenous character is partly responsible for the continued inequities faced by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people.” Globe and Mail

Indigenous content should be mandatory across all Canadian universities Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

Mississauga’s city councillors are beginning to question whether it is the city’s responsibility to inject funding into the University of Toronto Mississauga, writes a contributor for the Brampton Guardian. The author goes on to suggest that this line of questioning raises the even broader issue of whether Canadian municipalities in general should be counted on to fund universities. In the case of Mississauga, one city councillor was quoted saying that funding UTM is “a misuse of taxpayers money.” Mayor Bonnie Crombie, however, argued that it is smart for the city to fund such a significant generator of economic activity, adding, “we need this for the higher value jobs it’s providing and the economic spinoff it’s creating.” Brampton Guardian

Should Canada’s cities be funding universities? Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

According to a recent study by CBIE, lengthy study permit processing times pose a concern for Canada’s global competitiveness by limiting both the effectiveness of the federal International Education Strategy and the effectiveness of PSE recruitment efforts across the country. Nigeria was particularly noted as a site needing improvement, as there was an 18-month average processing time in Nigeria, one of Canada’s biggest source markets, while Chile had an average wait of 9 days. “We’re probably one of the most difficult countries for Nigerian students to study in, but they’re the fastest growing group of students who are coming to Canada,” said CBIE research manager Janine Knight-Grofe. Pie News | CBIE (Subscription Required)

Canada’s global competitiveness possibly hindered by study permit delay Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

Fleming College has signed an MOU with the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative (RLPJI) committing to develop internships, field placements, and student projects. The Rice Lake Plains are Canada’s easternmost prairie landscape and are known for their oak savanna and historical prairie habitats. Through the agreement, Fleming will promote employment opportunities and assist with outreach and educational events.  “Fleming College’s membership on the RLPJI will put us ‘at the table’ with key representatives of the existing partners that will lead to additional applied learning opportunities for our students,” said Fleming’s Dean of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences Linda Skilton. Fleming

Fleming, Rice Lake Plains partner to provide hands-on learning Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

Northern Lakes College has announced that it will partner with ATAP Infrastructure Management Ltd to develop a wastewater training program to help address a critical demand for wastewater professionals in Alberta. Northern Lakes President Ann Everatt has said that the initiative will create “a premiere training program, providing practical job readiness training.” The program will delivered in a live online format to allow students to undertake the training while working and living in their home communities. Students will also have the opportunity to tour a treatment plant, conduct water tests, and assist with the day-to-day activities of professionals working in water stewardship. Northern Lakes

Northern Lakes announces partnership to enhance wastewater training Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, which seeks to challenge race-conscious admissions at American postsecondary institutions. The case first reached the court in 2013, but was sent back to a lower court for further review; earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear it for a second time. Several of the justices voiced disappointment at the lack of additional information more than two years ago. The questions revolved largely around UT Austin’s particular admissions scheme, in which 75% of applicants are drawn from the top 10% of students in their high school and the other 25% are admitted using a process that considers race as one of many factors. The court is expected to issue a final ruling on the case by next summer. Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed | Oral Arguments (Transcript)

US Supreme Court hears oral arguments in affirmative action case Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

It is no secret that the increasing emphasis on applied research and employability has caused some to criticize philosophy programs, writes Simon Blackburn for Times Higher Education. Yet he reminds readers that there remains “some distinction between obtaining results and interpreting them.” While engineers and technologists will often produce valuable and practical results, he argues, the world still needs a class of trained experts to study what these results might mean in a broader philosophical context. Times Higher Education

Can philosophy survive in a world demanding immediate, practical results? Top Ten 12/11/2015 - 03:30 12/11/2015 - 03:30

York University has announced that it will establish the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health to support study and research on global health issues. The building is named in honour of Victor Phillip Dahdaleh in recognition of his “transformational” donation to the university in October. “We are thrilled that Dr Dahdaleh shares our vision to build on York’s strength in global health,” said YorkU President Mamdouh Shoukri. “The Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health will serve as a focal point for international dialogue and collaboration in health innovation, research, and teaching that will have global impact and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives now and in the future.” YorkU

YorkU creates Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

A new study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has found that first-year engineering students exposed to increased experiential learning opportunities attained higher performance scores and project grades. The study also found that experiential learning improved students' belief in their own ability to achieve certain levels of attainment. More specifically, the use of prototyping was found to improve students' ability to visualize their designs compared to students who did not use this method. HEQCO (Summary) | HEQCO (Report)

Engineering students benefit greatly from simulation groups, says HEQCO study Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

NSCAD's board of governors has voted to increase tuition fees, but only for some full-time students, reports CBC. The school will raise tuition by nearly 27% over three years for full-time students taking five or more classes per semester. Board Chairman Jeff Somerville stated that the revised fees “will not affect full-time students taking three or four classes per semester, or part-time students taking one or two classes per semester." A news release from NSCAD further states that the change is intended to “ensure NSCAD’s future as a sustainable, strong and independent university of art and design, while impacting the lowest number of students, and ensuring students have the ability to choose how and when they are affected.” Last week, students at the school were reported holding a sit-in and dropping classes in protest of the changes. NSCAD (Release) | NSCAD (FAQ) | CBC | The Coast | Chronicle Heral

NSCAD's board approves 27% tuition increase for portion of full-time students Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

The University of Saskatchewan has had $9.8 M cut from its provincial operating grant, according to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. This is in addition to $20 M already held back by the university to help the province balance its budget. The university was initially told it would receive a grant of $315.6 M for 2015–16, but will now receive only $305.8 M. A portion of the funds, $1.35 M to support water security research, will be deferred; the balance, $565 K for a scholarship fund and $7.9 M for capital spending, will be dropped. “We weren’t anticipating these kind of holdbacks and one-time reductions,” said VP of Finance and Resources Greg Fowler. “This can be weathered, but it is quite difficult.” The reductions come in the wake of similar cuts to other SK PSE institutions last month. StarPhoenix

SK cuts $9.8 M from uSask’s annual grant Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

The Université de Quebec à Montreal has obtained a court injunction to guarantee access to its facilities after striking UQAM teaching assistants and researchers blocked the doors of several pavilions earlier this week. The nearly 3,000 student employees represented by the union SÉTUE have been without a contract since December 2013, and have recently gone on an unlimited strike. UQAM recently announced that a conciliator had been named in order to facilitate a settlement between the two parties. “The university wishes to reach a negotiated settlement as soon as possible and is confident that conciliation will help the parties to achieve this,” said André Dorion, Vice-Rector of Human Resources, Administration, and Finances. UQAM’s temporary injunction will stay in effect until December 18th. Montreal Gazette | CBC (1) | CBC (1)

UQAM wins injunction against striking student employee Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

Confederation College has signed a Collaboration Framework Agreement with New Gold Inc to better support skills development in the local and regional mining industry. The collaborative work may range from identifying skill gaps to training and education delivery. “This document … solidifies an ongoing relationship with New Gold and enables us to take that relationship to the next level,” said Confederation President Jim Madder. “The work we will now be able to do will contribute to a comprehensive approach in addressing the needs of the mining industry.” CBC | Chronicle Journal | Confederation

Confederation, New Gold sign mining collaboration agreement Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

Alberta’s Deputy Minister of Advanced Education Rod Skura has said that all new for-profit business venture proposals are on hold, pending the creation of new guidelines based on the auditor general’s findings, released in October. “We don’t want to necessarily forbid a good idea from coming forward, so I would say we will look at those on a case-by-case basis … but we will be looking at it from the perspective of making sure we’re properly addressing the recommendations,” said Skura. He said that new policy and guidelines will be drafted over the coming year, clarifying that there is no intention of shutting down existing ventures. Edmonton Journal

AB halts new PSE business ventures following auditor’s review Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

Last week, the University of the Fraser Valley created three new partnerships with Chinese institutions to provide new opportunities to UFV's students in the fields of aviation, agriculture, criminology, social work, kinesiology, psychology, and continuing education, among others. As part of a five-city, nine-day trip through China, university representatives signed agreements with Shanghai’s EasyFly Aviation, Liaoning University, and Tsinghua University. The first agreement will to provide employment for pilots graduating from the UFV Bachelor of Business Administration Aviation program; the second will improve student exchange and faculty collaboration; and the third will explore common research areas and continuing education programs. UFV

UFV forges three new partnerships with Chinese institutions Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

Many experts from across academic disciplines have called for immediate change in Canada’s PhD programs, writes David Kent for University Affairs; but it is important to understand the implications of these experts' recommendations before moving forward with them. Kent breaks down the call for PhD restructuring into three basic categories: provide better data on PhD outcomes, modernize the PhD, and reduce PhD enrolment. He argues that disseminating more information about the outcomes of PhD graduates might not address the root problem because high-functioning students tend to believe that they can overcome nearly any statistical challenge. In Kent’s words, PhD graduates “don’t believe that they are ‘average.’” University Affairs

Three ways to transform Canada’s PhD programs Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

General education at the university level is a form of freedom, writes Michael Clune for the Chronicle of Higher Education, adding that, “today’s students are being deprived of that freedom, and we educators are to blame.” Clune criticizes the increasing emphasis on producing “job-ready” graduates in universities, and warns that if this trend continues, it might be disastrous for both North American culture and innovation. Further, he reminds readers that they should be wary of just how quickly the adoption of a job-centred approach to higher education has taken effect. He concludes that “by surveying the various attacks on general education, one might assume that its goal—to expose students to forms of knowledge beyond their majors—is controversial. But it’s not.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Decline of general education could spell disaster for universities, society Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

Over the past two decades, many colleges have begun offering baccalaureate degrees and become more research-intensive. Yet one could argue that the processes for approving new research at colleges has yet to be adapted to their unique institutional needs.

Read More→

Academica Forum

Enhancing the research approval process at Canada’s colleges Top Ten 12/10/2015 - 03:30 12/10/2015 - 03:30

The University of Alberta and the Mexican government have signed an MOU for a $16 M partnership focused on helping Mexico grow its hydrocarbon sector. After 75 years of being state-run, Mexico's oil and gas sector has been opened to private investment, attracting international companies that will require a skilled labour force. Researchers from uAlberta will work with Mexico’s energy ministry on a number of tasks, including identifying research opportunities, increasing student mobility between Canada and Mexico, and working with Mexican institutions to offer high-quality training in the energy sector. uAlberta | CBC (1) | CBC (2)

uAlberta signs $16 M energy MOU with Mexico Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

Okanagan College is among the institutions eligible to receive $1 M in funding from the LNG Canada Trades Training Fund to support pre-apprentice and apprentice students in a variety of trades programs. Okanagan offers ten of the 15 “high demand” trades programs prioritized by the fund. “This new Trades Training Fund is exciting news, particularly for employers, but also for our students and potential students looking to pursue an apprenticeship,” said Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship Steve Moores. Okanagan | KelownaNow | OkanaganLife

Okanagan eligible for $1 M for high demand trades Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 11:05 12/09/2015 - 03:30

Memorial University’s library is reportedly set to cancel its subscription to about 2,500 academic journals in order to deal with a tight budget and increasing costs. Between a weak Canadian dollar and rising subscription costs, the library is not able to stay within its current journal budget. According to MUN Head Librarian Lorraine Busby, the institution does not have the money to increase the library’s funding. Faculty at the institution are in “panic mode” since receiving the list of journals that are being considered for discontinuation, says MUN Political Science Professor Scott Matthews, who sees cancelling the journals as “essentially gutting our ability to fulfill those core missions of teaching and research.” CBC

MUN cancels journal subscriptions to meet library journal budget Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

A recent piece published by Maclean’s arguing that Canadians are increasingly choosing college over university was “short on data and big on tired myths,” according to Paul Davidson, President and CEO of Universities Canada. Davidson goes on to argue that 92% of Canadians believe that investments should be made in colleges, university, and polytechnics, not in choosing between them. He says that between mid-2008 and mid-2015, roughly twice as many new jobs were created for university graduates as for college and trades graduates combined. “Through a growing number of partnerships with colleges and polytechnics, universities are providing students with unlimited pathways to achieve their education and career goals,” he concludes. Universities Canada

Universities Canada responds to Maclean’s article on colleges Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

“Ontario, Canada, and the world face three big challenges around social cohesion, environmental stewardship and economic prosperity, and how we get those to connect,” said Ontario’s lieutenant-governor in a visit to the Waterloo region this Monday. Elizabeth Dowdeswell toured a number of innovation hubs, incubators, and businesses to talk about the themes she believes are important to Ontarians. Among these themes were science and technology, which Dowdeswell argued should be concerned with their impact on people’s quality of life in addition to their focus on knowledge for knowledge’s sake. “I think it is really important to have communities thinking about not only what draws people here, but what sustains them, what keeps them here over time," she said. The Record

ON lieutenant-governor speaks to importance of innovation, quality of life Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

20,000 professors from Quebec’s CEGEPs will receive salary raises of nearly 5% on average in a new tentative agreement reached with the province, reports La Presse. This gain concluded negotiations last Sunday between QC and the Alliance of Professors and College Teachers. La Presse also reports that these negotiations were focused primarily on working conditions and not salaries, but the province offered the salary concession as a means to introduce consistency across pay scales between CEGEP instructors and primary/secondary school teachers. Because the job class for CEGEP instructors was considered a “mixed” category in prior negotiations, it had not before been evaluated with respect to pay equity, which attempts to account for differences in gender between primary/secondary schools teachers and CEGEP professors. La Presse

CEGEP professors receive 5% raise in tentative agreement Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

The University of Calgary has launched a new, campus-wide mental health strategy, for all students, faculty, and staff. The plan comes in response to growing demand for mental health services. A 2013 survey found that 90% of students had felt overwhelmed, 64% felt lonely, 58% felt overpowering anxiety, and 8% had seriously contemplated suicide. The strategy makes 28 recommendations across three areas and implementation will begin in 2016. “This strategy addresses the holistic needs of our entire campus community,” said Provost Dru Marshall. “It recognizes the importance of support, collaboration, and work-life balance for optimizing mental health and well-being.” CBC | 660 News | Calgary Herald | Metro News | CTV News | uCalgary

uCalgary launches campus-wide mental health strategy Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

Thompson Rivers University has signed a new agreement with Maple Leaf Educational Systems (MLES) that will offer guaranteed employment to 20 BC-certified teachers who move to work in China. The agreement will take effect after the teachers have successfully completed TRU’s Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education programs and obtained BC Teacher Certification. “TRU has an excellent reputation in China as does Maple Leaf Schools. This is a partnership that will have long-lasting benefits to us all,” said TRU’s CEO of Global Operations Baihua Chadwick. TRU

TRU reaches new guaranteed employment agreement for BC-certified teachers in China Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

The prospects for tenure-track employment facing Canada’s PhD graduates may not be nearly as dire as some might believe, writes Richard Wiggers of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Drawing on a recent report from the Conference Board of Canada, Wiggers argues that the claim that only 18.6% of PhD graduates find tenure-track employment is based on potentially misleading data. Because the data comes from the 2011 national census, it includes all immigrants who are into the country with a PhD as part of the overall group of PhD holders not employed in a tenure-track position. For this reason, Wiggers argues, we need to track PhD graduates through their “online footprint” to gain a more accurate sense of how many new PhD graduates find tenure-track employment in their field. Wiggers concludes by suggesting that the results of such a study might be much more encouraging than the numbers currently circulating on the subject. HEQCO

Better data may reveal stronger prospects than thought for Canada’s PhDs Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

According to two recent surveys, just 21% of parents of prospective college students in the US believe that the cost of a four-year degree is worth “the value it delivers.” For high school guidance counselors, the figure was nearly twice as high, as 37% “strongly agreed” that the cost was worth the value. The surveys were conducted in October and are based on results from 539 parents and 235 counselors. The concern, according to the researchers, arises not from a declining value in the PSE degree, but rather the rising cost. “We know from talking to parents and high school counselors that the takeaway isn’t that they don’t believe in the value of a college degree—they’re really concerned about the high sticker price,” said Michael Boothroyd, a representative from a firm conducting one of the surveys. Campus Technology

Just 21% of US parents think PSE is worth the price Top Ten 12/09/2015 - 03:30 12/09/2015 - 03:30

According to data in the OECD’s newly released Education at a Glance 2015 report, the cost of Canadian postsecondary tuition is among the highest in the world. The report looked at average annual tuition, adjusted for purchasing power parity, and found that at $4,761 USD, Canada ranked fifth; the UK, US, Japan, and South Korea were the four most expensive countries. Eight countries on the list had an average tuition price of $0. While the report noted that high tuition could discourage students from entering PSE, it also noted that Canada has the highest level of total tertiary education attainment. In a recent article for the Academica Forum, Andrew Parkin questioned this narrative, showing that Canada still has room for improvement in educational attainment. Huffington Post | Full Study

Canadian postsecondary tuition among the highest in the world, says OECD Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

The College of the Rockies has signed two agreements with the University of Victoria, one on dual admission and the other on guaranteed admission. Under dual admission, eligible high school students can apply for admission to both institutions and be guaranteed a spot at UVic after two years at COTR. Under guaranteed admission, eligible current COTR students are guaranteed a place in selected UVic degree programs. “At College of the Rockies, we recognize that each student has their own path to follow when pursuing postsecondary education, and we are committed to creating new opportunities for students in the East Kootenay region to reach their goals,” said COTR President David Walls. COTR

COTR, UVic sign two partnership agreements Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

The University of the People is allegedly the world’s first non-profit, near-tuition-free, accredited online university, and according to Barbara Balfour in the Globe and Mail, this institution is changing lives. More than 2,000 students representing over 150 countries are enrolled in the university, which offers bachelor degrees in areas such as business administration and computer science. The institution is staffed and advised by volunteer professors around the world. “The high quality of the education is very compelling,” says John Gerzema, of the business administration advisory board, “it’s as if the world’s best universities are volunteering to teach the world’s most eager students.” Globe and Mail | UoPeople (Mission Statement)

Nearly-free university gives students an opportunity Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

A small group of university-based researchers in Canada has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from soft-drink makers, packaged-food trade associations, and the sugar industry, reports the National Post. The article goes on to argue that the research produced by these scientists often results in studies and opinion articles that agree with the general business interests of those companies. Citing a Spanish study from 2013, the Post reports that while only 17% of company-supported research has found a link between sugary beverages and body weight, more than 80% of research performed without such funding has found such a link.  National Post

Debate over soft-drinks, sugar industry spreads to Canadian researchers Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

Diana Oblinger, president emeritus of Educause, explains that technology is changing the opportunities available in postsecondary teaching and learning. She argues that postsecondary institutions can define higher education in the connected age by integrating the digital world with the physical world. She concludes that “learning is what our institutions do first and foremost and in the connected age we can connect with each other, we can have interactive experiences, deeper and richer experiences, such as games-based learning environments, simulations and transnational exchanges with people.” Vancouver Sun

Digital age brings opportunities in virtual internships and collective intelligence problem-solving Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

More than three thousand inmates in Canada’s federal correctional institutions are currently participating in an educational program, according to Ian MacAlpine writing in the Kingston Whig-Standard. Michael Reid is one inmate who earned his high school diploma in prison and began taking business courses from Northern College in 2009. “I used to make decisions without even thinking. But now, with an education, I just look at life in a different perspective,” he said. However, it is becoming more difficult for inmates to earn college credentials and “virtually impossible” to earn a university degree, as access to the internet is considered a security violation. “That day will come where there’s a computer station and that guys can only log into the University of Toronto or Humber College or wherever he’s going,” said Lee McNaughton, who has taught at the Collins Bay institution for 16 years. Kingston Whig-Standard

Canada’s correctional system provides education opportunities to inmates Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

“Freedom of speech is already in grave peril on university campuses,” writes the National Post, adding that there is little reason to expect that it will improve any time soon. The piece reflects on Quebec’s Bill 59, which would give the Quebec Human Rights Commission new powers to combat any form of expression that promotes “fear of the other.” The bill will reportedly allow the QHRC to take legal action against any public expression of speech deemed to fit under its definition of hate speech, regardless of whether there has been a public complaint. The article goes on to note that the new President of the University of Ottawa, Jacques Frémont, has been the driving force behind the bill as the President of the QHRC. The article quotes Frémont announcing his intention to use the bill against “people who would write against … the Islamic religion … on a website or on a Facebook page,” concluding that the passing of such a bill is evidence of an increasing crackdown of freedom of speech throughout Canada and on its campuses. National Post

New QC bill threatens freedom of speech on campuses and beyond, writes National Post Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

Habitual use of part-time contract lecturers by universities is taking its toll, argues Rachel Brighton in the Chronicle Herald. She cites the example of one such instructor, Jennifer Miller, who “quit in frustration” after 15 years of short-term contracts. The pressure created by the use of temporary contracts is “making smart people sick,” according to Miller. Karen Foster, an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University, is conducting a survey of contract instructors across Nova Scotia, and she argues that they are “not getting equal pay for equal work, and that’s the moral wrong that’s really driving the research.” Academica Group is currently working with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario on a similar study in Ontario, with results to be published early next year. Chronicle Herald

University must revisit contract teaching system, argues op-ed Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

The Chronicle of Higher Education has released an analysis of the salaries earned by US private college presidents in 2013, finding that 32 individuals received more than $1 M. The schools with the highest-paid presidents included Columbia University ($4.6 M), University of Pennsylvania ($3 M), and High Point University ($2.9 M). The study also found that presidents routinely received additional forms of deferred compensation exceeding $1 M. When interviewed about these numbers, several administrators suggested that the size of a president’s compensation should be in proportion to the size of an institution’s ambitions for the future.  Chronicle of Higher Education | TIME | Report

CHE releases compensation data for US private college presidents Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

A significant population of community college students in the US is reporting high levels of food and housing insecurity, according to a new study released last Friday. 13% of respondents reported experiencing some form of homelessness while attending community college, and more than 50% reported some level of food insecurity. In a New York Times op-ed about the study’s results, co-authors Sara Goldrick-Rab and Katharine Broton wrote that, “such high rates of food and housing insecurity among hardworking college students indicate that the nation faces a serious crisis.” On Saturday, the New York Times also ran an article reporting on how colleges are financing their growing demands for capital projects by increasing the cost of student meal plans, thus exacerbating students’ challenges with food security. Inside Higher Ed | Report | New York Times (Op-ed) | New York Times (Meal Plan Costs) | Cap Times

Significant number of community college students face homelessness, food insecurity Top Ten 12/08/2015 - 03:30 12/08/2015 - 03:30

The University of British Columbia has hired Mary Ellen Boyd, a former BC Supreme Court judge, to investigate the “serious allegations” made against Steven Galloway last month. Galloway, the former chair of the creative writing department at UBC, was suspended with pay, pending an investigation. Annabel Lyon, acting co-chair in creative writing, sent a memo to students stating that the investigation process had begun and that UBC “is proceeding as expeditiously as possible.” National Post | Ubyssey | CBC | Globe and Mail

UBC appoints former BC Supreme Court judge to investigate allegations against Steven Galloway Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

Saint Mary’s University has received $2 M from the Joyce Foundation to create the Joyce Foundation Bursaries Fund, which will help pay for the educations of Nova Scotia students with demonstrated financial need. A major portion of the gift will be dedicated to students attending SMU’s Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities. “Saint Mary’s has a tradition of inclusiveness and student support that dates back more than 200 years,” said SMU President Robert Summerby-Murray, who added that “this generous donation from The Joyce Foundation enhances our ability to meet the financial needs of students, helping us achieve our goal of ensuring that university education is accessible to all academically-qualified students in Nova Scotia.” SMU

SMU receives $2 M from Joyce Foundation Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

The proportion of Canadian engineering students who are women has remained stagnant in spite of efforts to increase it, writes Karen Seidman of the Montreal Gazette. Focusing specifically on Quebec, Seidman notes that women make up only 13.7% of engineers in the province, and only 18% of undergraduate students enrolled in QC engineering programs. Further, 13.8% of engineering faculty members across Canada were women as of 2014. Seidman adds that this stagnation is occurring at the same time as female enrolment numbers are steadily increasing in other traditionally male programs, such as medicine and law. Montreal Gazette

Number of women in medicine, law increasing—why not engineering? Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

Students at NSCAD University are protesting a proposed tuition hike. Last Thursday, a group of students camped outside the office of the president, waiting to speak with her. At 4pm, they were able to see her, but some members of the group were disappointed with the results. “A lot of students felt attacked. It was very emotional. Students are very disappointed with our president,” said Student’s Union Vice-President Jade Peek. CBC reports that some students are filling out forms to drop classes in protest of the proposed increase of 37% over three years. “It’s a completely unrealistic number for less facilities, less programs, and the loss of staff that we’ve experienced in the past year,” said NSCAD student Grace Stratton. As of last Friday, CBC reported that the university has not responded to interview requests. CTV News | CBC | Chronicle Herald

NSCAD students stage sit in, drop classes to protest tuition hike Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

Despite losing a student referendum earlier this week, the University of Windsor intends to complete a $73 M renovation of the St Denis Centre. The referendum results illustrated that students did not object to the renovations, but were against the expectation that they would pay 75% of the project’s capital costs, explained J D Trapeh, President of the uWindsor Student Alliance, “we need to look at other financial options.” Dean of Human Kinetics at uWindsor Michael Khan stated that the process’s next steps would include a review of the referendum, with a closer look at why graduate students voted against it, and evaluating future options. Windsor Star

uWindsor intends to complete $73 M renovation, despite results of student referendum Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

A number of Carleton University staff, faculty, and students are criticizing proposed amendments to the school’s statement on confidentiality for its board of governors, reports CBC. The board’s bylaws are currently under review by the university, and this week, a group of six organizations submitted a list of recommendations to help make the school’s decision-making process more transparent. Carleton has acknowledged its receipt of the group's submission, but it will not review any proposed bylaw changes until January. Critics of the university's initially proposed amendments have claimed that they will stifle freedom of speech and make the university’s decision-making more opaque. Carleton has responded that its board’s meetings will remain publicly available via live streaming and that the school will retain proper transparency.   CBC | Ottawa Citizen

Six-organization group submits recommendations for changes in Carleton governance Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is cancelling its Proof of Principle grant program, which was designed to help scientists commercialize their research, according to the Ottawa Citizen. The article adds that the program is being shut down as part of ongoing reforms, and scientists looking to commercialize their research will instead apply to a more general grant program. While CIHR contends that its support for commercialization is stronger than ever, critics fear this is not the case. Kathleen Marsman, an Ottawa-based patent agent who chaired the Proof of Principle peer review committee, says that the cancellation leaves a “crucial gap.” Ottawa Citizen

Cancellation of CIHR commercialization grant leaves “crucial gap” Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

Canadian college students no longer look like what many Canadians think they do, writes Maclean’s. While many may believe that the average college student passes into college directly out of high school, these students no longer form a plurality at these institutions. The article cites a 2015 study by Colleges Ontario showing that while 33% of college students came directly from high school in 2014-15, 44% of incoming students already possessed previous PSE experience. This increasing trend has made many colleges into what some call “finishing schools,” where students with prior PSE will enrol to develop more job-specific skills than previous programming might have given them. “They come in not just with one degree, they come in with two or three, just looking for that extra piece that will make them employable,” said Nancy Johansen, Program Coordinator of the Marketing Research and Business Intelligence Program at Algonquin College. Maclean’s

“Average” college student is no longer what many Canadians imagine Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

UBC’s board of governors has approved a tuition increase of 37% over the next three years for international students enrolled in most of its undergraduate programs. The new fees will apply only to new students of the university. There are currently 12,000 international students at UBC, making up nearly 20% of the students on its campus. Under the new fees, international students will see their tuition rise 15% for each of the next two years, and 7% in 2018. The school had initially proposed an 11% increase for 2018, yet revised this number to 7% after hearing concerns from students. UBC expects that the new fees will bring in an additional $10.6 M in 2016, $36.3 M in 2017, and $61 M in 2018. The school has said that more than half of the additional funds will be used to “support excellence in research, teaching and learning and the student experience.” Vancouver Sun

UBC to increase tuition for international undergraduates by 37% Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

The American scientific system, which after World War II chose universities as the home for high-risk research, now prizes “predictability over boldness,” according to Roberta B Ness, Vice President for Innovation at the University of Texas School of Public Health and author of the new book The Creativity Crisis. While touring the country and encouraging scholars to engage in “radical, divergent” research, she heard the same concern over and over: “If I were to propose really innovative ideas, I’d never get a promotion. I’d never get tenure.” Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Paul Voosen spoke with many scholars who advocated various ways to reconfigure the system of incentives to prioritize bold research. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

US scientific system prizes “predictability over boldness,” says critic Top Ten 12/07/2015 - 03:30 12/07/2015 - 03:30

Ontario universities are improving their efficiency through a variety of partnerships, collaborations, and cost-saving measures, all while still improving services for students and staff, according to a new report by the Council of Ontario Universities. The report discusses a number of multi-institution projects that were conducted using the $45 M Productivity and Innovation Fund provided by the Ontario government. It highlights the way that various ON universities have improved their use of technology to make their campuses safer and to better manage information. Further, the report finds that these institutions have enhanced their facilities and operations to reduce waste and improve student experience while modernizing their administrative processes through collaboration, improved human resources, and space management. COU | Report

ON universities becoming more efficient, survey says Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

Manitoba has introduced legislation that would mandate the First Nation, Métis and Inuit Education Policy Framework, which would ensure that all students and teachers in the province learn about Indigenous history and culture and the legacy of residential schools. “Following the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report last summer, we share a responsibility to educate students about what happened in Canada’s residential schools and move forward in a spirit of reconciliation, mutual understanding, and respect,” said Education and Advanced Learning Minister James Allum. “By educating our future generations, we can learn from our past actions and work together to build a more inclusive and just Canada.” CTV News (CP) | MB

MB introduces legislation requiring students, teachers to learn Indigenous history Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

Students at the University of Windsor have voted against the imposition of a fee that would have gone toward the construction of a $73 M addition to the campus sports facilities. The voting, conducted over Tuesday and Wednesday, was actually three votes rolled into one. Three separate groups—full-time undergraduates, part-time students, and graduate students—all needed to vote in favour of the initiative for it to pass. While undergraduates and part-time students narrowly approved the initiative, 54% of graduate students voted to reject it. If it had passed, the fee would have added $125 to existing student fees, rising to $176, for 22 years beginning upon completion of construction. CBC | CTV News | Windsor Star

uWindsor students vote against funding $73 M athletics complex Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

Queen’s University is the recipient of Rembrandt’s “Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo” (1658) from Alfred and Isabel Bader. The Baders were already among the university’s most generous benefactors, having given more than 200 paintings over the years. “I am grateful the Baders have entrusted us with this remarkable work of art,” said Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. The university was already the only venue in Canada to possess multiple Rembrandts. “This third Rembrandt really extends the collection, and it harmonizes beautifully with paintings we have by artists in Rembrandt’s orbit in the 17th century,” said curator Jacquelyn N Coutré. New York Times | Kingston Whig-Standard | Kingston Herald | Queen’s Journal | Queen’s Gazette

Queen’s receives third Rembrandt painting Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

BCcampus has announced its receipt of a $525 K donation in US dollars ($703 K CAD) from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to support the Open Textbook Project in British Columbia. The BCcampus initiative works to help PSE faculty “find, adopt, and adapt open resources to better meet the needs of students” by making textbooks and required course materials available free of charge. The donated funds will be used to develop and implement ancillary resources to supplement the use of open textbooks—resources that might include presentations, test banks, videos, and homework systems. BC was the first province in Canada to launch a government-sponsored open textbook project. BCcampus

BCcampus receives $700 K+ donation for Open Textbook Project Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

Students from the Ted Rogers School of Management have learned valuable lessons while pursuing activities outside of the classroom, writes Jennifer Lewington for the Globe and Mail. In recent years, these students have engaged in volunteer efforts such as the greenhouse project in Canada’s high Arctic, the After Breast Cancer charity case competition, and volunteering with low-income children in Cartagena. The Rogers School is currently developing a co-curricular record for students in a pilot project that, if successful, could be used across Ryerson University. With this record, says Rogers Dean Steven Murphy, “you also graduate with a record of everything you have done while you have been at Ryerson as a student.” Globe and Mail

Ryerson builds on efforts to enhance non-classroom learning for business students Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

“There isn’t a single global challenge or opportunity facing the world today … that doesn’t require scientific research for its solution,” writes Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. This is why Canada must do everything it can to increase the quality of its “scientific diplomacy.” Bernstein uses this phrase to refer to the collective political decisions a country makes around the production and dissemination of scientific research. Bernstein believes that Canada should invest in the production of better science for five key reasons: the products of science can change the world, science is a global activity that transcends language and politics, the culture of science is one of openness and evidence, today’s most pressing challenges require coordinated global research, and science is crucial to trade and economic development.   iPolitics

Canada must become a model for “scientific diplomacy” Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

York University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nanjing Normal University to support student/faculty exchanges and the development of academic programs, among other initiatives. The signing came in the wake of a trip that York undertook to China last month as part of a delegation led by the Council of Ontario Universities. “York is enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue building collaborations to advance research, as well as, facilitate student and faculty exchange opportunities with Nanjing Normal University,” said YorkU Vice-President Research & Innovation Robert Haché. YorkU

YorkU signs MOU with Nanjing Normal University Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

As protests continue to emerge at US PSE institutions, some administrations are struggling to keep up with growing lists of demands, writes Scott Jaschik for Inside Higher Ed. In the case of Hamilton College, the author finds that the total number of demands could amount to as many as 80. These demands include better sensitivity training for students, faculty, and administrators. But in some cases, they also call for outright bans of white professors assuming leadership positions in departments that study “demographics and societies colonized, massacred, and enslaved.” Jaschik argues that while many of these demands are understandable, administrations might need significant time to understand and implement them.  Inside Higher Ed

US administrators struggle with escalating student demands Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

A national movement protesting the treatment of minority students at US postsecondary institutions held a national day of collective action yesterday. Drawing from numerous protests across the US, a group known as the Black Liberation Collective has emerged as a major voice uniting the different movements under the #StudentBlackOut hashtag, which allows these groups to report on their protests and demands through a unified steam on the Twitter social media site. In an interview with David C Turner III, one of the Black Liberation Collective’s national organizers, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that one of the day’s goals was to “reiterate to college leaders, students, and others that black activism isn’t going away anytime soon.” The Black Liberation Collective organized a similar day of action across the US on November 18th. Chronicle of Higher Education | NBC

#StudentBlackOut movement holds second national day of action Top Ten 12/04/2015 - 03:30 12/04/2015 - 03:30

The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Engineering has received a $5 M donation from Stanley and Dorothy Pauley to support the construction of a new electrical engineering building. This is the second large gift to the university from Stanley Pauley, who graduated from the school in 1949, and his wife Dorothy. “[Pauley's] contributions ensure that our outstanding students and faculty have the best equipment in the best laboratories—an investment not only in our students’ success, but in our province’s success as well,” said uManitoba President David Barnard. Construction on the new building will begin in late 2017. CBC | Winnipeg Sun | Metro News | uManitoba

uManitoba receives $5 M donation for electrical engineering Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

North Island College will be using $2.1 M in funding to bring 24 programs to a number of communities across the North Island in the next two years. These programs were developed as a result of NIC’s ongoing communication with North Island residents, and they include programs such as health assistant and plumbing foundation programs in Comox Valley, a new Electrical Foundation program in Port Alberni, and a new Aboriginal education assistant program in Mount Waddington. “We’re very proud that we will be offering six programs in Aboriginal communities in partnership with local First Nations,” said NIC's VP Learning and Students Lisa Domae. NIC | My Comox Valley Now

NIC uses $2.1 M in funding to introduce 24 new programs Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

Dalhousie University opened its new $38.5 M Collaborative Health Education Building, which is expected to bring together thousands of students studying in nine different areas of health in a new interprofessional learning environment. The building includes a 200-seat classroom, an open-concept learning commons, and simulation labs. “We know that as the health care system and care becomes more complicated, it is more and more important for teams to work together,” said Dal President Richard Florizone, who added that this collaborative approach will allow students “to get to know each other and understand and respect the role of each others' professions.” Dal | Chronicle Herald | Metro News

Dal celebrates opening of $38.5 M Collaborative Health Education Building Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

The Ontario College Application Service has announced that it will launch its new College-Branded User Interface (CBUI) in partnership with La Cité collégiale. The CBUI will serve as an online platform that delivers a uniquely college-oriented application process for applicants interested in applying to single programs at single colleges in Ontario. OCAS CEO Karen Creditor praised La Cité’s involvement in the project, saying, “not only was their spirit of innovation essential in creating this new doorway for applicants, but through their insight and close collaboration, we have also been able to raise the bar on how we meet the needs of our Francophone students.” OCAS

OCAS, La Cité launch college-specific application platform Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

The Mount Allison Students’ Union (MASU) is reportedly protesting tuition fee increases for correspondence courses at Mount Allison University. The current fee structure at MTA charges full-time students $7,465 with no additional cost for correspondence courses, explains Vice President Communications for the MASU Tina Oh, while the new fee structure will introduce an additional $746.50 for a correspondence course. According to Oh, this charge is unfair because it financially compromises accessibility and flexibility. MTA’s academic calendar states that full-time students taking correspondence courses and taking more than 9 credits per term, the minimum for a full-time student, will be charged additional tuition fees as of January 2016. CBC

MTA Students’ Union protest fees for correspondence courses Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that it is implementing gender-neutral bathrooms on its campus. Starting in early 2016, 100 single-stall washrooms will be converted and will be given signs saying “gender neutral accessible washroom.” uSask Women and Gender Studies Professor Manuela Valle-Castro said, “the bathroom is one of the ways we can start re-socializing ourselves, rethinking about gender, about sex, and about what are the assumptions that are underlying the gendered bathrooms.” Several other institutions in Canada have implemented gender-neutral washrooms this year, including Brandon University and MacEwan University. CBC | Global News

uSask implements gender-neutral bathrooms Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

University Canada West has partnered with Global University Systems to announce the launch of a new scholarship program valued at $800 K. The program’s most significant prize will be the Founder’s Scholarship, which was established in celebration of UCW’s 10th anniversary. This scholarship will provide approximately $25 K for up to 20 full-time undergraduate students per year. “For many smart and capable students, one of the biggest challenges in pursuing a post-secondary degree is figuring out how to fund it,” said UCW President Arthur Coren. “These scholarships are designed to help solve that problem and to provide students with an outstanding university education.” UCW

University Canada West invests $800 K in new scholarship program Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

Foresters, an international financial services provider based in Toronto, has awarded 1,000 scholarships to students across North America. The scholarships reward students for academic excellence and commitment to volunteerism and are valued at $8 K with possibility of renewal. One of the scholarships will go to Katelyn Greer, who will attend Western University in the fall, partly in recognition of a charity golf tournament she has organized, which has now raised more than $200 K. Foresters

Financial firm awards 1,000 scholarships to North American students Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

60% of professors working in the US believe that trigger warnings are harmful to academic freedom, according to a new report by the US-based National Coalition Against Censorship. Despite this stance against the practice of including these warnings, the report also quotes numerous instructors who say they have changed the way they teach in order to avoid offending students. Inside Higher Ed reports that while the report shows a clear discomfort with trigger warnings, it does not in say “exactly where—if anywhere—the line between thoughtful pedagogy and chilling free speech should be drawn.” Last month, a survey of Academica’s StudentVu panel found that over two-thirds of 1,500 respondents said they supported the use of trigger warnings for certain types of material. Inside Higher Ed | Report

Majority of US professors believe trigger warnings harm academic freedom Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30, a social media platform for academics that allows the sharing of research, now has more than 29 million registered users who have shared more than 8 million papers. These large numbers have some scholars expressing concern that a private for-profit company is benefiting from the labour of academics without giving anything back. “ [is] kind of piggybacking off a public university system, but they’re doing nothing to sustain it,” said Gary Hall, a professor and co-founder of Open Humanities Press.'s CEO Richard Price defended his service, likening it to Google, also a free service that depends on its users for revenue. “One shouldn’t be childish,” he said, “and say Google shouldn’t exist.” Other academics have recently raised concerns about the proliferation of academic social networks. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Scholars express concern about’s role Top Ten 12/03/2015 - 03:30 12/03/2015 - 03:30

“Colleges have long been considered the poor cousin in the family of post-secondary institutions,” writes Maclean’s, yet this view is very quickly “proving to be as anachronistic as a typewriter.” The article explores the reported rise of youth unemployment with the country’s perceived “skills gap” to argue that young Canadians—and especially their parents—will have to get over the traditional view of colleges and polytechnics as “lesser” PSE options if today’s youth are going to thrive. As the North American economy continues to change, colleges and polytechnics are emerging as the smart choice for many students considering PSE. Maclean’s

Colleges, polytechnics quickly becoming “smart choice” for many PSE students Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

A new study conducted by the Research Universities’ Council of British Columbia (RUCBC), which tracked outcomes for graduates from BC’s six research universities, has found that “the vast majority of students … are finding good jobs and earning good salaries.” The study found that more than 92% of grads were working, most of them in their chosen field. For 2012 graduates, the median salary was $50 K, compared to $30.4 K for those without a university degree. “[This study] shows that there’s a high degree of correspondence between the skills and educational attainments that students get while at university,” said Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter. Globe and Mail | Prince George Citizen | 250 News

BC university grads get “good jobs,” says RUCBC study Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

Carleton University's board of governors has issued a statement alleging that the Ottawa Citizen failed to correct a “number of inaccuracies” in a recent article about the university's alleged "gag order" on its board members. According to this statement, the Ottawa Citizen failed to mention that the school's communiqués did address the allegations made by the CAUT and CUASA, and the newspaper incorrectly states that the board adopted a new policy when it only amended an established statement about maintaining appropriate confidentiality. The board also responded to criticisms about the open meetings by Biology Professor Root Gorelick, insisting that open session meetings are publicly streamed and accessible to the public. Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte has also written a letter addressing the CAUT's concerns about transparency in Carleton's board of governors meetings. Carleton (Board) | Carleton (President's letter to CAUT) | Ottawa Citizen

Carleton responds to CAUT criticsm, Ottawa Citizen reporting Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

“[Life] isn’t about success,” write Barry Fishman and Caitlin Holman in a recent piece for HEQCO. More specifically, life is not about success in the traditional, perfectionist sense that many higher ed grading systems tend to imply. The authors instead argue that “life is about progress and often, learning from what doesn’t go the way you planned.” This emphasis on learning from failure leads the authors to argue for the integration of “gameful learning” into current approaches to teaching and grading. The authors conclude that gameful learning seeks to address the gaps that are created when students work to avoid mistakes more than they work to pursue innovative and sometimes risky ideas. HEQCO

Higher ed grading encourages avoidance of mistakes, not pursuit of ideas Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

Assiniboine Community College and the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology have signed an MOU in which they pledge to more formally collaborate on new and existing program partnerships. The agreement aims to improve transfer opportunities, international student growth, joint program delivery/development, and the usage of existing capacity. “[ACC is] delighted to partner with MITT in this innovative agreement, which will further opportunities for our students. This cost-effective approach to providing training will allow increased opportunity and great flexibility for our students,” said ACC President Mark Frison. ACC |

ACC, MITT sign formal collaboration MOU Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

The Graduate Student Society (GSS) at UBC has launched, a website that encourages graduate students to share their experiences of harassment and discrimination. GSS President Tobias Friedel said that the timing of the launch is connected to the recent criticism that UBC has not responded quickly enough to complaints of harassment. The site is part of a “multi-faceted approach” advocated by the GSS. Friedel noted that “[graduate students] are very vulnerable and exposed. Their academic success is dependent on research funding, TA positions, and the support and approval of their faculty advisor. This often results in a reluctance to file complaints for a fear of alienating advisors, department heads, or university administrators.” CBC (CP) | 24 Hours | | UBC GSS |

UBC’s grad student society launches harassment reporting site Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

Several private product testing labs in Ontario and Quebec are concerned that a new product testing lab at Fanshawe College that received $8.1 M from the federal government could hurt their businesses, according to the Financial Post. “It’s quite disappointing to see taxpayer funds going into a project to compete with private sector labs,” said Derwyn Reuber, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre of Independent Laboratories. “Collectively, the private sector labs can conduct all the testing that this lab can do.” Fanshawe Associate Vice-President Ben Cecil responded to these concerns by saying that Fanshawe is “not going after any clients of existing labs. We are going to explore new markets and new opportunities and get products more quickly to market than they have in the past.” Financial Post

Private labs concerned new Fanshawe facility will have unfair competitive advantage Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

An anonymous person identifying her or himself as a university senator created a petition last week asking the University of Northern British Columbia to reverse its decision to install James Moore as the school’s new chancellor. By Monday evening, the petition had garnered more than 900 signatures, among which were the names of alumni, faculty, and students. Much of the criticism of Moore’s appointment centers on his past role as a cabinet minister in various positions under the federal Conservative government. UNBC Board of Governors Chair Ryan Matheson said that the school plans to "move forward by continuing to have the discussion, by having open dialogue about this and understanding the concerns from the faculty and from the staff and from the alumni." Prince George Citizen (Faculty response) | Prince George Citizen (Online Response) | CKNW

Appointment of new UNBC chancellor faces backlash Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

Underemployment among US college graduates has dropped from 10.2% to 6.2% since the economic recession of 2010, and unemployment has trended downward to 5%, according to a recent study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. According to the study, both unemployment and underemployment rates are starkly lower for college graduates than for those who have not completed college. The study also noted that racial differences in underemployment declined as education levels rose, as differences between African Americans’ and Whites’ underemployment rates were cut nearly in half for college graduates. Chronicle of Higher Education | Report

Underemployment has fallen among US college graduates since 2010 Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

University presidents and trustees in the US will inquire “routinely” into the admission status of individual applicants, according to a new investigation by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Based on a review of 1,950 pages of emails from 13 public universities across the country, the investigation found that powerful university figures will often have conversations with admissions departments about the status of the children of colleagues, personal friends, or business associates. However, the Chronicle adds that such stories outlining the “admissions advantages for the nation’s power elite are nothing new, and individual cases of apparent favoritism are often met with shrugs.” Ultimately, the report suggests that it is up to the public to challenge universities on these preferential practices, and that thus far, that challenge has not come in any large or sustained way. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

College executives in US “routinely” become involved in admissions decisions Top Ten 12/02/2015 - 03:30 12/02/2015 - 03:30

QS has released its “Top 50 under 50” for 2015, a ranking of the world’s top 50 universities under 50 years old. This year, the University of Calgary was named the top institution in both Canada and North America. “This international recognition demonstrates that the University of Calgary is now positioned among the best young institutions in the world,” said uCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon. Concordia University and the Université du Québec were also listed in the 61-70 ranking range. QS | uCalgary

uCalgary, Concordia, uQuébec featured in QS’s “Top 50 under 50” Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has condemned Carleton University’s board of governors for a new policy that will reportedly ban board members from commenting publicly on the meetings they attend, a policy that applies until the end of a board member’s lifetime. The CAUT calls this policy a violation of institutional transparency and has threatened to blacklist the university if the policy remains in place. In this case, blacklisting would see the CAUT issue a public recommendation that academics refuse to take jobs or attend conferences at Carleton. Carleton has responded that it has undertaken the new policy out of “confidentiality obligations,” adding that “fulsome candid discussion and debate by Board members is to be conducted at meetings, not retrospectively following a meeting in an online or public forum.” Ottawa Citizen

CAUT criticizes Carleton over alleged board “gag order” Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

Brock University has received a $2.5 M donation from the Joyce Foundation to establish the new Joyce Foundation Bursary, the largest single bursary fund in the school’s history. The funds will be used to cover the full costs of tuition for multiple students each academic year. “This is one of the most significant gift announcements in the history of our school,” said Brock University President Jack Lightstone. “This generous donation from The Joyce Foundation will open the door to postsecondary education for an untold number of students in the years to come.” Brock

Brock receives $2.5 M for bursary program Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

The University of Waterloo has announced that it will create the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation (ICCA) in partnership with the Intact Financial Corporation. Funded by a $4.25 M donation from Intact, the centre will be based at uWaterloo’s Faculty of Environment and will be led by Professor Blair Feltmate. Two of its programs will work on reducing the impact of severe precipitation on Canadian communities and identifying extreme weather vulnerabilities of various Canadian industries, respectively. “Addressing the effects of climate change and extreme weather is a pressing challenge for everyone. This unique national partnership applies Waterloo’s research excellence in a way that serves communities across the country,” said uWaterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur. uWaterloo

uWaterloo receives $4.25 M from Intact for climate adaptation centre Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

According to Statistics Canada, enrolments in public postsecondary institutions rose 1.2% for the 2013/14 academic year, bringing the total to more than 2 million. International enrolment rose even more quickly, up 2.5% over the previous year, and now accounts for nearly 10% of total enrolments. Enrolment rose the most in Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia. Roughly 60% of enrolments were at the bachelor’s level or above. 56.3% of all students were women, but this proportion was only 45.6% for international students. Enrolment rose fastest in the category of architecture, engineering, and related technologies. StatCan | Hamilton Spectator (CP)

Canadian PSE enrolment up 1.2%, now topping 2 million, says StatCan Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

Canadian university graduates with disabilities have both a greater difficulty finding employment than their peers and face a wage gap, according to a new study. “There’s a gap of approximately $4,000 between graduates with and without disabilities, and that’s just two years after graduation,” said University of Guelph Professor of Sociology and Anthropology David Walters, one of the study’s authors. He later added that “the even bigger challenge is in finding full-time employment. The unemployment rate for graduates with a disability is twice as high as for those without one.” Liberal arts, business, and engineering graduates with self-disclosed disabilities had a greater difficulty in finding employment than those in the sciences and health care. Guelph Mercury | UoGuelph

UoGuelph study finds graduates with disabilities have more difficult finding employment, face wage gap Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

Student leaders representing over 140,000 professional and undergraduate students are traveling to Queen’s Park to meet with MPPs and key decision makers. These Ontario University Student Association (OUSA) representatives will lobby for “key changes and updates to the university funding formula, targeted investments in work-integrated learning opportunities, and an overhaul of educational tax credits.” OUSA President Spencer Nestico-Semianiw explains that these are the “core mechanisms in our universities are still built for the world of a half-century ago,” adding that “we need to have a university system better adapted to the present if we want students to be ready for their futures.” OUSA

OUSA representatives ask for changes in funding, WIL opportunities from ON universities Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

“The RW [real world] can be a heartless place,” writes Holland College’s Rick MacLean for the PEI Guardian, “people want what they want, when they want it. They don’t much care about your personal problems.” MacLean responds to what he sees as an hypersensitivity in present-day PSE students and argues that while it is important for students to fight for a better world, “trying to create a little bubble where no one’s feelings ever get hurt … [is] not education." MacLean concludes that students must learn to thrive in environments that are often harsh and upsetting if they wish to survive after graduation. After all, he writes, “education is supposed to challenge people’s assumptions, about themselves and their world. And that can be uncomfortable.” The Guardian (PEI)

Education should confront students with “real world” discomfort Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

As the semester wraps up and the season of student evaluations of teaching begins, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports on work performed by the IDEA Center, a 40-year-old nonprofit that strives to improve learning in higher education. The center says that it has developed a tool, now used by many US institutions, that it believes can overcome two of the main critiques of student evaluations: poor questions and misused results. The center also argues that student evaluations should form just one part of evaluating teaching, alongside peer observation and self-reflection. Last year, Academica partnered with several Ontario colleges to develop a more effective student evaluation tool. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Can student evaluations be improved? Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

“The desire to measure attainment, progress and calculate ‘added value’ is becoming increasingly pervasive” in higher education, writes an anonymous contributor to The Guardian. On a basic level, these metrics may be valuable for introducing much-needed transparency and accountability into teaching and administrative decision-making. Yet the author argues that there may be unintended consequences from reducing everything to metrics, which begs the question: “will endless measuring turn them into better, more engaged, students, or simply more cynical ones?” The author concludes that some of the most important aspects of higher learning are the ones that are most difficult to measure; therefore, we should spend just as much time celebrating what cannot be measured as we do searching for new performance indicators. The Guardian (UK)

PSE performance metrics may have unintended consequences Top Ten 12/01/2015 - 03:30 12/01/2015 - 03:30

The University of Victoria has received a $2 M endowment to cover tuition for undergraduate students who otherwise would not be able to afford PSE. The Youth in Care Student Endowment, established by the Sisters of St Ann, will build on a $217 K uVictoria pilot program established last year that provides tuition waivers for students who have difficulty paying for postsecondary studies. “The university shares our conviction that postsecondary education be available to those most in need as well as to those whose families can support them,” said Sisters of St Ann President Marie Zarowny. uVictoria President Jamie Cassels said, “this generous gift from the Sisters of St Ann is a legacy that will enable disadvantaged youth to pursue their life’s dreams through higher education.” UVic| Chek News

University of Victoria receives $2 M for Youth in Care Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 12:01 11/30/2015 - 03:30

Kirsty Duncan, the new federal Minister of Science, promised more support for basic research in a major speech at the Canadian Science Policy Conference last week. One of her goals, she said, is to “get the right balance between fundamental research to drive new discoveries and commercialization of ideas.” The new government has also begun the process of appointing a federal science adviser. NDP science critic Kennedy Stewart argued that “science has really taken a beating” in recent years and called on the new government to put money back into the field. Ottawa Citizen

Federal science minister promises support for fundamental research Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

The NSCAD University board of governors was forced to delay its decision on an alleged tuition hike of 37% over three years after a reported 100 students gathered outside the meeting room. NSCADU’s Board of Governors confirmed that they planned to consider a one-time market adjustment for tuition at the meeting. The student group was allowed to participate in the meeting, but was asked to leave when the issue of tuition rates arose and when the vote took place. Student Union councilor Grace Stratton said, “they called it a conflict of interest. It was really unacceptable. So we refused to leave.” The meeting was adjourned without a vote taking place. NSCAD | Chronicle Herald

Student protest postpones NSCADU tuition fee vote Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

Classes at Nipissing University will resume this morning following a tentative deal between the school and the Nipissing University Faculty Association. The new contract still remains to be ratified by union members and the school’s governors. Members of NUFA first went on strike at the school’s North Bay, Bracebridge, and Brantford campuses on November 2nd, and classes have been suspended since then. The school plans to close its Bracebridge location once the students currently attending that campus have graduated. CTV News | North Bay Nugget | CBC

Nipissing and NUFA reach tentative deal Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 16:40 11/30/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Bureau for International Education presented its annual Excellence Awards last week at its 49th annual conference. The awards went to PSE representatives from across the country whose areas of focus included peer education, program collaboration, and cross-border broadcasting. CBIE president and CEO Karen McBride presented the President’s Award for Distinguished Leadership in International Education to both Ann Buller of Centennial College and Vianne Timmons of the University of Regina. The Pie News (Full list of honorees)

CBIE presents 2015 excellence awards Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

St Mary’s University has signed an MOU with Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM) and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians (UNSI), the two Tribal Councils representing all Nova Scotia bands. Under the terms of the agreement, SMU will continue to collaborate on the development of the recently launched Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek: Mi’kmaw Place Names Digital Atlas and Website, as well as transfer the site to the Mi’kmaw Nation. SMU | Ta’n Weji-sqalia’tiek Website

SMU, Mi’kmaw Nation sign MOU to collaborate on digital atlas project Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

The Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) has released its State of the Nation 2014, which concludes that Canada’s “poor business innovation performance” is a “profound and urgent … challenge.” The STIC, an advisory body within the federal government, concluded that despite efforts to the contrary, innovation performance has continued to worsen. “Canada has fallen behind its global competition on key performance indicators. … In 2013, Canada ranked 26th among international competitors on business enterprise expenditures on research and development as a share of gross domestic product,” said STIC member Sophie Forest. STIC | Full Report

Canada’s “poor business innovation performance” is an urgent challenge Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

The Students' Union at the University of Saskatchewan is asking that the school make Indigenous content a mandatory part of every one of its programs, reports CBC. The union has also asked that the university convene a committee of faculty, students, and Indigenous leaders to determine how the mandatory programming could best be implemented. "If you're a graduate of university in Saskatchewan, you really do need to understand the ramifications of past cultural aspects that have faced indigenous people, including residential schools," said Gabe Senecal, Vice-President of Academic Affairs at the Students' Union. These calls for mandatory Indigenous content come in the wake of an historic commitment made by SK's PSE institutions to close the Aboriginal education gap. CBC | | Global News

uSask Student Union demands mandatory Indigenous content Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

From 2008 to 2013, the proportion of low-income high school students in the US who enrolled in college dropped from 55.9% to 45.5%, according to a new report from the American Council on Education (ACE). While rates for all students have gone down, they have decreased most for low-income students, with a drop of 18.6%. The report offers several possible reasons for the drop, including misunderstandings around cost or a decrease in the perceived value of a college credential. The data are “worrisome,” said the report, for “at the same time that low-income individuals are enrolling in college at lower rates, the majority of young adults in the precollege education pipeline are from those same low-income communities.” Inside Higher Ed | ACE

Fewer low-income US students attending college, despite increasing aid Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

A number of administrations at major American colleges have agreed to the demands of campus protesters, writes Brian Domitrovic for Forbes, but few people realize that the extremely high tuition fees at these schools can help account for these concessions. Domitrovic argues that when universities charge very high tuition fees, they are more bound to meet the demands of students. In other words, “how does one bounce a student who is forking over $65K? One doesn’t. One asks if that is with or without ice." For this reason, the author concludes that "college presidents have become glorified flight attendants, dutifully responding to the specific requests of their high-paying seat-holders.” Forbes

How high tuition explains the success of US college protests Top Ten 11/30/2015 - 03:30 11/30/2015 - 03:30

The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) has received $65 M from IBM Canada Ltd, which will enable it to expand its focus to include mining, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and digital media, as well as double the number of postsecondary institutions in the consortium. The consortium is jointly led by the University of Toronto and Western University, and now consists of 14 postsecondary institutions plus Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). “This latest investment will enable SOSCIP to add new areas of research focus. It will also support more opportunities for students and post-doctoral fellows to gain skills and experience in high-tech settings,” said uToronto President Meric Gertler. uToronto | Western

ON computing consortium receives $65 M from IBM Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 08:52 11/27/2015 - 03:30

The Simon Fraser University Library has received a donation of a film collection from Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment valued at $1.8 M. This is the largest donation received by the institution to date. “We’re very honoured that SFU sees value in our collection and we’re grateful that it will be preserved for the future,” said Force Four’s John Ritchie. “I think it’s a tribute to the crews, directors, producers, and all the people who have contributed to films and television programs in the collection through the years.” SFU

SFU library receives film collection valued at $1.8 M Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

Nearly 900 support staff, faculty, and community members signed a petition to ask that Athabasca University remain located in Athabasca. A report released in June suggested that insufficient funding and changing enrolment patterns experienced by Athabasca could lead the institution to close its doors by 2017. The institution has relied increasingly on out-of-province student enrolment in online programs, reportedly resulting in less funding from the government. A reported one-third of the 1,100 workers from the institution live in Athabasca. Mike Dempsey, Vice-President of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, explained that the institution's closure “would be a huge loss to the community.” Edmonton Journal

Petition calls on government to keep Athabasca University in Athabasca Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

The Women’s Executive Network has released its 2015 list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, and a strong group of Canadian PSE leaders has made the list. This year’s honorees include Jodi Abbott, President and CEO of NorQuest College; Kathy Kinloch, President of the British Columbia Institute of Technology; Rhonda Lenton, VP Academic and Provost at York University; Sabine Mai, Professor of Physiology at the University of Manitoba; Cheryl Regehr, VP and Provost of the University of Toronto; and Blaize Horner Reich, Professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University. WXN | NorQuest | YorkU | uManitoba | SFU

PSE leaders named among Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

In a recent piece for Maclean's, Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute outlines the ten steps that Canada should take in order to become a leader in science. According to these steps, Canadian research must be careful in its choice of areas of scientific investment, opting for those where a new breakthrough can be made rather than attempting to follow in other researchers’ tracks. Smolin encourages research groups to encourage diversity among its scientists in favour of building “a Canadian scientific community that looks like Canada.” He strongly encourages research groups to embrace risk, to encourage and directly support young scientists with the resources they need, and to be honest about the results and progress made in their research. Maclean's

Ten steps to become a leader in science Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 13:08 11/27/2015 - 03:30

There is reason for hope amidst all of the seemingly bad news facing PSE in Nova Scotia, writes Cape Breton University President and Academica Forum contributor David Wheeler. Responding to the difficult conclusions of a recent report from the NS Auditor General, Wheeler argues that “positive change may finally be on the way” in the form of new policy initiatives. For example, he applauds the recent efforts by the One Nova Scotia Coalition to establish PSE institutions in the province as “anchors for regional economic and social development and innovation.” He also finds encouragement in the province’s recent decision to eliminate “emergency funding” for universities, which Wheeler argues has often served as a method of putting NS universities on an uneven playing field. Chronicle Herald

There is reason for hope in face of NS university troubles, writes CBU President Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

Trent University has signed an MOU with the City of Peterborough to move forward with the creation of the 85-acre Trent Research and Innovation Park, to be located on Trent’s East Bank. The centre, located on Trent land and developed in partnership with the city, will both capitalize and work to commercialize the research of the university while providing co-op and employment opportunities for Trent students. “The Trent Research and Innovation Park has the potential to transform the community the same way the formation of Trent fifty years ago did,” said Trent President Leo Groarke. Trent

Trent, Peterborough sign MOU to create research park Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

Stephen Ferguson, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa and a career investigator with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, is advising students not to pursue a career in science “due to the dismal outlook we are facing.” Ferguson’s dismay is due in part to recent changes at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Ferguson, who has many scientists in his family, also said that he has “actively pushed [his] own children away from science.” Many other scientists told the Ottawa Citizen that the CIHR changes pose a fundamental threat to their research. Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa prof advises students against pursuing a career in science Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

PSE institutions are acting against their long-term interests when they fail to introduce a sufficient amount of diversity into their staff and faculty, writes Willemien Kets for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The author goes on to argue that she and her research colleagues have found growing evidence for the connection between diversity and high-performing research teams. Citing a study from 2014, Kets argues that research teams with more diverse members routinely receive more citations on their publications than teams with less diversity. Further, Kets’ own mathematical modelling demonstrates that more diverse groups predictably produce more unorthodox and innovative ideas than less diverse groups. When it comes to promoting diversity within a PSE institution, Kets’ conclusion is simply, “stop hiring people who look like you.” Chronicle of Higher Education

More diversity, more innovation Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

Is a high discount rate on tuition a sign of clever strategy or of desperation, asks Kellie Woodhouse of Inside Higher Ed. Simply put, it can be both. Woodhouse goes on to examine how some colleges have successfully raised revenues through the targeted use of discounts. Yet these discounts for first-year students have sometimes gone as high as 60% since the recession of 2008, as more families begin to question how they will send their children to college. Woodhouse concludes that in some cases, colleges are not able to “discount” their way out of financial trouble, as these discounts can grow so large that they stop increasing net revenue for their institutions. “Among colleges that do close,” Woodhouse writes, “expect to see a trend: growing discount rates paired with shrinking enrollments. Inside Higher Ed

When are tuition discounts too high? Top Ten 11/27/2015 - 03:30 11/27/2015 - 03:30

The University of Winnipeg has approved the construction of Leatherdale Hall, a 5,877 square-foot multi-use space to be built at its downtown campus starting next year. Made possible by a $2.5 M gift from Douglas W and Louise Leatherdale, the $4.75 M building will be home to a canteen, two high school classrooms, and a common room with a lecture area. “It will also serve as a wonderful meeting place for the surrounding community and become a vibrant centre of academic life in the heart of downtown Winnipeg,” said Douglas Leatherdale. Construction is set to begin in the fall of 2016, with completion slated for early 2017. CBC | CJOB | Winnipeg Sun

uWinnipeg receives $2.5 M gift, approves $4.75 M multi-use space Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released a new study on the effects of a university teaching certificate program. The study examined the University of Windsor’s University Teaching Certificate (UTC) program, reportedly the first such program in North America to be accredited by the UK-based Staff and Educational Development Association. While the study had a relatively small sample and the authors warned against broad generalization, they found that after taking the program, participants displayed a “more student-focused approach to teaching, an increase in philosophies associated with actively engaging students in the learning process, an increased focus on discipline-specific knowledge and skills, and greater confidence.” HEQCO | Full Study

HEQCO study finds positive effects from university teaching certificate program Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

Canada is suing both UBC and former dentistry faculty member Christopher Zed over an alleged misuse of $10.6 M in federal funds. The concern is over federal funding from Health Canada, provided from 2002 to 2013, that was intended for the provision of dental services to First Nations people living in Haida Gwaii. The statement of claim alleges that of the $10.6 M provided, only $7.3 M was actually used for the clinics. Millions of dollars allegedly went to unexplained deposits by Zed to his personal accounts and to non-UBC credit cards. UBC told the Globe and Mail that they have not yet received the statement of claim and will need time to review the document before commenting. Globe and Mail | CBC | Vancouver Sun

Canada files suit against UBC, former dentistry professor over misuse of funds Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

The University of Ottawa has announced that it plans to investigate the alleged “misconduct” of a student-run club in response to an anonymous complaint. University officials have yet to release the details of the alleged misconduct or the nature of the complaint. According to the university’s announcement released on Tuesday afternoon, the alleged misconduct occurred in February 2015. Police were contacted at the time, but no charges were laid. Thus far, the university has said that the student-run club currently under investigation is “independent of the university’s sports services.” The press release also stated that the university has hired an “independent investigator” to look into the issue further. Ottawa Citizen | Metro | CBC | uOttawa (Release)

uOttawa hires investigator to look into student-run club’s “misconduct” Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

Tuition fees could rise significantly for international students at UBC over the next few years, pending the approval of a recent report by senior administration. The report stated that UBC currently charges international tuition at a rate “substantially below that of … peer intuitions,” and proposed increasing international undergraduate and graduate tuition by nearly 40% over the next three years to bring in an additional $67 M to UBC. Jenna Omassi, Vice-President of Academic and University Affairs for UBC’s student society, expressed concern at the possibility that these increased tuition fees could decrease diversity on campus. Vancouver Sun

UBC report proposes to increase international tuition fees Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

Canada’s PSE sector is not giving graduates the right skills to drive economic growth, says CIBC CEO Victor Dodig. In an interview with the Canadian Press on Tuesday, Dodig said that Canada’s economic fate might rest in the hands of entrepreneurs who can commercialize new ideas and technologies. Yet these entrepreneurs, he added, need better training and support from the country’s PSE sector. Dodig gave credit to several institutions—including Ryerson University, the University of Alberta, and McMaster University—that have built hubs to boost innovation. Yet he concluded that “there needs to be a much more forceful debate — (a) much more forceful effort in terms of driving that agenda going forward." CBC (CP) | Globe and Mail

Canada needs more innovative, enterprising grads, says CIBC CEO Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

“Heads should roll” at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, according to Michael Rudnicki, an instructor at the University of Ottawa and director of the regenerative medicine program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Rudnicki’s comments come in response to a series of changes that he says have “radically altered the grant delivery system and the system for evaluating grants has been done in a way that distorts the entire process.” Rudnicki has specifically called for the dismissal of the man he holds responsible for implementing the reforms, CIHR President Alain Beaudet. In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, however, Beaudet defended his reforms, saying that they were necessary in order to properly represent the changing, multidisciplinary makeup of current research panels and projects. Ottawa Citizen

CIHR President should be swiftly replaced, says uOttawa instructor and stem cell researcher Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

International enrolment at Canadian schools increased by 10% from 2013 to 2014, according to a new report by CBIE. Students came primarily from China, India, South Korea, France, and Saudi Arabia, with 33% of the international student population coming from China. Just over half of the surveyed international students reportedly intended to apply for permanent residency after their studies. The survey revealed that international students were largely satisfied with their experience, with 95% reporting that they would recommend Canada as a study destination. “International education is critical to the future of Canada and Canadians,” said CEO and President of CBIE Karen McBride, who highlighted pathway programs as a great opportunity for Canadian higher education. The Pie News | CBIE

International enrolment in Canada increases by 10% from 2013 to 2014 Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

Despite the wave of bad news recently facing America’s large for-profit college sector, one can find reason for hope in a recent partnership between Strayer University and the US division of Fiat Chrysler (FCA), reports The Atlantic. The for-profit college and auto company have created two new programs that will provide a Strayer education not only to FCA’s car dealership employees, but also to all of their immediate family members. The deal between Strayer and FCA will cover all of the costs of taking Strayer’s programs, meaning that participating students will not have to take out loans or pay for textbooks to earn an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. The incentive for Strayer is to have thousands of additional students enroled at its online and/or physical campuses. For FCA, the project shows a significant investment in its workforce and offers a strong incentive for workers from rival companies to flock to FCA.
The Atlantic

New programs give reason for hope in America’s for-profit college sector Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

The Chronicle of Higher Education is reporting that an analysis of several newly created “white student union” pages at postsecondary institutions across the US and Canada bear the hallmarks of having been created by a single person or a small group of people. Furthermore, these individuals likely have little to no connection to the actual schools themselves. Nevertheless, schools have been quick to distance themselves from the pages; New York University’s Director of PR said, “we reject … efforts such as this to derail or distort candid, thoughtful discourse on race.” One such group was found associating itself with Western University earlier this week. Chronicle of Higher Education | Medium

“White student union” pages are fake, with little connection to colleges Top Ten 11/26/2015 - 03:30 11/26/2015 - 03:30

Forty institutions associated with the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) are offering scholarships to cover full tuition costs for 200 Syrian refugees. The initiative is based on a pilot program that NACC launched last year that worked with over 5,000 newcomers across Canada who were facing foreign credential recognition issues. Serge Buy, CEO of NACC, explained that “having the opportunity to obtain skills and training needed here in Canada will help these newcomers to support their families and be successful in our communities—and we all can benefit from that.” NACC will work with the federal government, provincial governments, and other stakeholders to create an effective application program. NACC | CBC | Digital Journal

Canadian private colleges offer $2 M in scholarships to Syrian refugees Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

Observing that fewer than one in five Canadian PhDs are employed as full-time faculty, a new report from the Conference Board of Canada explores the variety of positions held by these graduates while summarizing the challenges they face in transitioning to a non-academic career. The transition can be difficult, said study author Jessica Edge, because “a lot of employers now don’t know what the skills of a PhD graduate are, and so they don’t know what to do with them.” According to the study, just 2% of positions advertised over a three-month period in the fall of 2014 required a PhD. Furthermore, while there is an earnings premium of roughly $13 K for a doctorate over a master’s, the additional time spent in school means that it can take years for them to catch up financially. Globe and Mail | CBC | Full Report

Most PhDs employed outside academia, yet barriers remain, says Conference Board Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

The University of Ottawa has reportedly become the first Canadian university to sign the Montreal Carbon Pledge. Under the pledge, investors commit to measuring and publicly reporting the carbon footprint of their portfolios. “I’m proud to see uOttawa taking this meaningful step. We know that it is possible to achieve good returns on our investments while at the same time being environmentally responsible,” said uOttawa President Allan Rock. In addition to its commitment to investment decisions that consider environmental, social, and governance issues, the university is also moving to reduce its consumption of water and fossil fuel energy. uOttawa | Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa signs global carbon pledge Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

The Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) has urged NS to introduce more accountability into the decision-making processes of university administrators and to find better ways to measure the financial status of universities. One of the group’s primary points of contention is the alleged lack of transparency they see in university administrative decisions. "This opacity surrounding the basic governance of our schools has now caused faculty associations and organizations like ours to have to become detectives about our own institutions," said ANSUT Spokesman Matthew Furlong. The concerns of ANSUT echo those made by NS’s auditor general last week. CBC 

University teachers petition NS for more transparency in PSE administration Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

The incorporation of online learning into Canada’s PSE programming is “the new normal,” according to Contact North | Contact Nord’s new report titled “The Future of Higher Education.” The report cites a recent address by Seneca College President David Agnew that points out how new developments can help make PSE more affordable and accessible for Canada’s students. The report also outlines seven specific trends that are contributing to the challenges and opportunities produced by the growth of online PSE. These trends are broken down into the broad categories of demography, structural complexity, changing student expectations, costs and competitiveness, internationalization, technological developments, and global competitiveness. Contact North (Report)

New report deems online learning component “the new normal” for PSE Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

Based on media reports, one might think that “the students of North America's universities … endure a fresh calamity every week or so,” writes Neil Macdonald for CBC. The article comes in response to a number of conflicts that have emerged on North American campuses over the past year, including the recent decision to cancel a yoga class over concerns of cultural insensitivity and the ban of costume or dress that could be seen as similarly insensitive. Macdonald criticizes what he sees as an oversensitivity on the part of today’s university students, writing that “some of these young people, who are among the Western world's most privileged sons and daughters, its elites in training, have developed such extreme sensitivity that they sound like damaged soldiers returning from combat.” CBC

Students can sound like “damaged soldiers” when discussing issues of sensitivity, tolerance Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

“Universities clearly have money if they can afford to compensate their executives as generously [as they do],” argues Larry Rousseau in the Huffington Post. Rousseau highlights the large salaries collected by current and former presidents of universities and contrasts them with the experiences of sessional lecturers and postdoctoral scholars who “can earn as little as $25,000 and are excluded from the benefits plans that other full-time staff at the university enjoy.” According to Rousseau, “too many university administrators act like corporate managers” rather than as the leaders of institutions of the public good. Huffington Post

Universities have funds to pay all workers fairly Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

There is no conceivable reason for not creating more diversity in PSE faculty, administration, and leadership, writes Amit Mrig for Forbes. Although issues of diversity have been discussed and debated for decades on North American campuses, Mrig argues that “we have now reached a tipping point that will place this issue front and center on leaders’ agendas today and into the future.” One of the most important places to introduce more diversity, he adds, is on the boards of universities and in the formal practices these universities use for talent acquisition and retention. Forbes

Improving PSE diversity is more than just the right thing to do Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

More than half of graduates from the most selective universities in the US end up working in the finance, consulting, and high tech sectors, according to a new study published in the journal Sociology of Education. While students often arrive on campus confused about possible career paths, the culture of the institution, as well as the presence of on-campus recruiters, quickly solidifies in their minds the boundary between “high status” and “ordinary” occupations. The study concludes that because of these forces, “elite campus environments have a large, independent role in the production and reproduction of social inequality.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | Full Study

Why do elite US universities “funnel” grads into consulting, finance, tech? Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

Once again, the OECD’s compendium of education statistics reveals that Canada is the most educated country in the developed world. But this conclusion can be deceiving, writes contributor Andrew Parkin, who shows why Canada still lags behind other countries in several key areas.

Find out more→

Academica Forum

A Fresh Look at Educational Attainment: How Canada Can Be Number One and Still Have Room to Grow Top Ten 11/25/2015 - 03:30 11/25/2015 - 03:30

A former University of British Columbia graduate student has announced that she intends to file a human-rights complaint against UBC with the BC Human Rights Tribunal by the end of the year. She stated that she approached the school administration multiple times from 2011 onward to report having been sexually assaulted, but the university failed to act on her report. Another student who experienced sexual assault at the school stated that "this process has made me a victim of procedure and of bureaucracy. … The system is broken from start to finish." UBC Interim President Martha Piper issued a statement of apology acknowledging that "the process took too long." Associate Vice-President of Equity and Inclusion Sara-Jane Finlay announced that UBC intends to launch a formal investigation into the university’s response to accusations of harassment and sexual assault. The student who reportedly committed the assaults and harassment is no longer a student at UBC. CBC | CBC (2) | CTV News | Vancouver Sun

Graduate student launches human rights complaint against UBC Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

The University of Winnipeg senate has approved a requirement, proposed earlier this year, that all undergraduate students take at least one Indigenous studies course. It will take effect for all new students beginning in the 2016–17 school year, and does not affect graduation requirements for current students. “This is a proud, joyous, and historic day for the University of Winnipeg community,” said President Annette Trimbee. The institution is reportedly the first to require a full course in Indigenous studies for all students. Currently, the University of Regina has an Indigenous studies requirement for arts students and Lakehead University requires one course with at least 50% Indigenous content. CBC | Global News | Winnipeg Sun | iPolitics

uWinnipeg senate approves first-in-Canada Indigenous course requirement Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

An anonymous donor has provided the University of Regina with $1 M to support four brain research projects. These projects were selected through a call for brain research proposals in July 2015 and will work specifically on neuroplasticity, dementia, attention, and neurological diseases. uRegina President Vianne Timmons said, “through the generous support of this anonymous philanthropist the University will be able to engage in research that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of countless people suffering from injuries and diseases affecting the brain.” uRegina

uRegina to fund brain research with $1 M anonymous donation Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

A free yoga class offered at the Centre for Students with Disabilities, which is run by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa, has been cancelled due to concerns that the class represents the cultural appropriation of traditional Indian practices by Western culture. In an interview with Radio-Canada, Student Federation President Roméo Ahimakin said that while there were no direct complaints about the class, it was suspended “as part of a review of all their programs to make them more interesting, accessible, inclusive and responsive to the needs of students.” He added that the class could possibly return in the future in a “more accessible” version. The class's instructor challenged the cancellation, saying, "we're not going through the finer points of scripture. We're talking about basic physical awareness and how to stretch so that you feel good." CBC | National Post | Washington Post

uOttawa yoga class cancelled over “cultural appropriation” concerns Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning has partnered with the University of British Columbia to offer northern students access to university course credits from the latter institution. Under the partnership, UBC’s Glen Coulthard will spend half his time teaching at Dechinta. One goal of the partnership is to increase opportunities for students from the north to attend university in the south. “[It’s] really important for me to make sure that students are supported,” said Coulthard, “to cut back on the alienation and these other sorts of barriers that students tend to experience when they go south for university.” CBC | MyYellowknifeNow

Dechinta, UBC partner to offer university course credits Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

Western University staff are investigating a Facebook community page created over the weekend, titled "Western White Student Union." The unknown administrator of the page has written in a statement that the group’s purpose is to "unapologetically provide a creative space for white bodies" to discuss "whiteness." Campus police and WesternU IT services are working to identify the creators of the page. WesternU has released a statement stating that the group is not sanctioned by the institution, and that "every member of the Western community has the right to study, work, and conduct his or her activities in an environment free of harassment and discrimination." The Facebook page is part of a recent trend in such messaging targeting Ontario's campus communities. CTV News | Western | AM980

WesternU investigating “Western White Student Union” Facebook page Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

Canada has been very successful at reversing the “brain drain” that many feared would begin happening in the 1990s, writes the Toronto Star. According to the article, Canada managed to  attract and retain a large group of talented researchers the 1990s and 2000s with a number of strategic programs. In the year 2000, for example, the Canada Research Chair program created 2,000 funded positions to attract the world’s best researchers. Since then, experts have said that Canada’s research environment is better than it ever has been. The challenge now, concludes the Star, is to continue retaining Canada’s home-grown talent, as one researcher notes, “we’re always churning out really smart young people, and we need to make sure they have opportunities here in Canada.” Toronto Star

How Canada stopped, reversed the much-feared “brain drain” Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

The life of a student union leader in Canada can be extreme in both its challenges and rewards, writes Maclean’s. Some of these representatives will routinely work 12-hour days balancing their schoolwork and union responsibilities. Acting as a union leader also means that these students must risk alienating high-ranking figures in the university, government, and private sector in order to defend the rights and interests of the students they represent. But with all of this work and responsibility comes significant rewards, especially when it comes to applying for work after graduation. One leader noted that when she first interviewed for jobs after university: “I can guarantee you that I didn’t go through one interview where it [my union experience] wasn’t one of the first questions asked.” Maclean’s

Student union leaders open to significant challenges, rewards Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

The nationwide attention that is often given to local college campus protests makes it difficult if not impossible for protesters to trust the media, writes Vox. The article goes on to argue that this lack of trust can arise simply from the fact that students participating in these protests will be much more hesitant to voice their true opinions if they know their words will be reported through national media; further, their remarks will likely be “read by hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people, many of whom interpret and comment on them without a shred of good faith.” This lack of trust no doubt contributed to the recent decision from protesters at Smith College in the US to ban any media members who would not openly declare their support for support for the protesters’ cause. While Vox is sympathetic to the protesters’ position on this situation, it notes that banning media from events could make for a larger national news story than allowing them to attend. Vox

Making sense of media bans at US college protests Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

A bid by graduate students at the New School in New York City to unionize has reached the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Some experts believe that taking the case signals a willingness by the board to overturn its 2004 ruling that graduate students at private universities cannot unionize because their relationship with the university is primarily academic rather than economic. The NLRB has gone back and forth on this issue over the past two decades, in what one expert called “ping-pong jurisprudence” resulting from the fact that its members are politically appointed by the US president. Chronicle of Higher Education

New School grad students petition NLRB for union status Top Ten 11/24/2015 - 03:30 11/24/2015 - 03:30

Five Canadian universities have each received grants of over $1 M to search for a cure for ALS. The funding comes from the ALS Canada Research Program, Brain Canada, and a number of ALS societies across Canada. The funding will be disbursed to projects based at the University of Alberta ($2.9 M), Université Laval ($2.5 M), Université de Montréal ($1.7 M), the University of Manitoba ($1.6 M), and the University of Toronto ($1.4 M). Overall, the initiative will commit $15 M to researchers across Canada working to cure ALS. Much of the funding for this initiative will come from the money raised by last year’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” international campaign. “ALS research has come a long way in the past decade,” said uMontréal researcher Christine Vande Velde, “and these research investments can only help further explore answers to this complex disease." ALS Society of Canada | Winnipeg Free Press | uManitoba | Times Colonist 

Canadian universities receive more than $10 M to search for ALS cure Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

Alberta and Canada should make more of an effort to build relationships with OPEC countries, according to a new report from the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. The recommendations of the report run counter to the opinions of many North American oil stakeholders who have criticized the OPEC member countries for intentionally flooding the global oil market. Yet report author Robert Skinner said that these views were unfounded. “It’s not some kind of nefarious geo-political scheming,” he said, adding that OPEC countries have simply followed market forces to guide their decisions. Financial Post | Report

AB and Canada should forge deeper bonds with OPEC, says new uCalgary report Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has concluded an investigation it began in 2013 into alleged violations of academic freedom at Brock University. The ad hoc committee found that Brock’s handling of complaints made under its Respectful Work and Learning Environment Policy violated the academic freedom of five individuals and has called upon the university president to publicly apologize. According to the report, respectful workplace policies have become more common across North America, but because their purpose is to “regulate expression … they must put respect for academic freedom and freedom of expression front and centre.” CAUT | Full Report

CAUT finds that Brock violated academic freedom Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

OCAD University has launched its “Ignite Imagination” fundraising campaign, which aims to raise $30 M from private sources and additional $30 M from public and government sources over the next six years. The university has already raised roughly $15.6 M from private sources. The campaign is focused around four pillars: enhancing student experience, fostering faculty innovation, enriching academic programming, and building and renewing infrastructure. “By 2018, OCAD University will be transformed through campus expansion in the heart of Toronto’s creative district and through enhanced student experience,” said OCADU President Sara Diamond. OCADU | Campaign Website

OCADU launches $60 M “Ignite Imagination” fundraising campaign Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

A team of cancer researchers at the University of Alberta will receive $3 M over three years from the Alberta Cancer Foundation to support research on colorectal cancer. The team, led by Michael Weinfeld, aims to block the ability of cancerous tumours to repair themselves after chemotherapy or radiation treatment. “This research could make current treatment for colorectal cancer more effective and could help reduce the dosage of the current drugs we use,” said Weinfeld. uAlberta | Alberta Cancer Foundation

uAlberta receives $3 M for colorectal cancer research Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

Western University’s Governance Review Task Force has released its report to the board of governors. Noting that it “has been a very difficult year for Western,” the task force found an “opportunity to review governance policies and procedures.” The report makes a total of 22 recommendations in three areas: relationships with the community (9 recommendations), structure of the board (9 recommendations), and role of the board (4 recommendations). The report found that the board often acts without sufficient dialogue; “one of the most common observations [they heard] was that the Board appears disconnected and insulated,” said the report. London Free Press | Full Report

WesternU releases governance review task force report Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

UBC announced last week that it had temporarily suspended the head of its creative writing department while the university investigates allegations made against him. No details have been released about the nature of the allegations directed toward UBC Professor and novelist Steven Galloway, but the university has stated that it is “conscious of not compromising the process going forward.” The creative writing department’s Interim Co-Chair Annabel Lyon said she was shocked by the news, adding, "as someone relatively close to this on the inside, you know, I think we all need to talk a step back and remember that confidentially is owed to many people involved." UBC’s Dean of Arts Gage Averill has reminded the university and the public that at this time, the allegations made against Galloway have yet to be investigated. National Post | CBC | Toronto Star

UBC suspends head of creative writing department Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

Durham College has signed a five-year contract to work with Vietnam’s Hau Giang Community College (HGCC) to develop a technical vocational program in the sector of post-harvest production. Canada will fund the project, which will be undertaken by Durham’s School of Science & Engineering Technology and Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment in partnership with Agriteam Consulting Ltd. The goal of the project is to have HGCC benefit from Durham’s expertise in in the areas of food and pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and food sciences. “It was an honour to host the rector, vice-rector, and dean from HGCC,” said Mark Herringer, Executive Director of International Education at Durham. “We’re looking forward to many more opportunities for both institutions to work together as DC shares its experiences combining the areas of science and technology with post-harvest production.” Durham

Durham to partner with Vietnamese college on post-harvest production Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

Demand for diversity training is rising for many reasons, writes the Chronicle of Higher Education, but questions linger over whether or not it works. Many PSE officials often turn to diversity training to address mounting tensions or moments of crisis, especially with the recent protests over race relations at the University of Missouri. Yet the fact remains that diversity-education programs have existed for many years now “without appearing to have solved much of anything,” writes the Chronicle. In 1997, for example, a Bryn Mawr College study estimated that 81% of colleges had tried holding workshops for students to discuss their experiences of racial bias. While students reported experiencing positive effects in these workshops, the Chronicle concludes that “only recently have researchers begun to know if the workshops actually change how people think and feel.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Does diversity training in PSE work? Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

New information from the UK’s Office of National Statistics has revealed that women working full-time in higher education were paid 11.1% less than men, which is 2.4 percentage points lower than this same figure for the previous year. For all higher education staff, the gap shrunk by 1.3 percentage points to 14.7%; this compares to 19.2% for the wider economy. University of Northampton Vice-Chancellor Nick Petford, who has chaired a working group on gender pay, said that these figures show that higher ed is “making real progress in tackling the gender pay gap.” Times Higher Education

Gender pay gap shrinks at UK universities Top Ten 11/23/2015 - 03:30 11/23/2015 - 03:30

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) has officially broken ground on its new Spruce Grove Campus, which will be home to the polytechnic’s Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator program beginning in September 2016. The new campus is designed to help NAIT meet the growing demand for crane operators in Alberta and beyond by expanding its apprenticeship program. NAIT can currently accommodate up to 276 Crane and Hoisting students each year at its leased site in Nisku, but this new campus may increase this number by more than 80%, depending on the number of apprenticeship seats designated by AB. NAIT President Glenn Feltham said, “the need for crane operators in our province is significant. With billions in development happening in downtown Edmonton alone, Alberta needs a highly skilled workforce to build the required infrastructure.” NAIT | Edmonton Journal

NAIT breaks ground on new Spruce Grove campus Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

The new Youth Futures Education Fund, established to assist former foster children in attending college or university, has disbursed $200 K to eleven institutions that currently waive tuition for these students. The fund now has $776 K, in part due to a donation from Coast Capital Savings. “Access to postsecondary education directly impacts outcomes for young people—and nowhere is this more evident than with former foster children who have aged out of care and for whom the traditional family network of supports is not available,” said Coast Capital Savings’s Maureen Young. Vancouver Sun

BC fund helps former foster children attend PSE Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

Yukon College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining has signed an MOU with the engineering firm CH2M to provide students greater access to expertise and field lab possibilities. CH2M staff will engage in guest lectures and provide lab experience to students in water sampling, groundwater monitoring, and mine reclamation. “CH2M is delighted to support learning and research endeavours at Yukon College, we are deeply committed to supporting programs that enrich our communities,” said CH2M Regional Managing Director Alan Cary. Yukon

Yukon College, CH2M sign MOU to provide expertise, field opportunities Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

The leaders of all 24 postsecondary institutions in Saskatchewan have announced their commitment to work together to close the education gap for Aboriginal people. The province-wide commitment is reportedly the first of its kind in Canada and will see universities, colleges, and polytechnics working together and consulting with Aboriginal communities on how the province can best bring Aboriginal educational attainment up to the same level as non-Aboriginal. The agreement acknowledges the role that Canada’s history of residential schools has played in the current education gap and has pledged to undertake its work in consideration of the findings of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. uSask | CBC | Turtle Island News | Times Colonist

SK PSE institutions commit to closing Aboriginal education gap Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

International students encounter a unique set of challenges when arriving at campuses outside their home countries. These challenges often have negative consqueqnces for the students' academic and personal wellbeing, leading to poor retention rates. Academica Forum contributor Dr. Rod Gillett provides insight into how current PSE professionals can help address these challenges.

Read the article→   

Academica Forum

Achieving better integration, more fulfillment for international students Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

Nova Scotia Auditor General Michael Pickup is criticizing the province’s $25 M “Excellence and Innovation” fund for failing to deliver on its promised savings. The auditor’s office examined 10 of the 50 funded projects, finding that of the eight that submitted status reports, two did not generate the expected savings or revenue and three did not include an estimate. “We would have expected more from a $25 M fund,” said Pickup. The Association of Atlantic Universities told CBC that they had just received the report and were reviewing it, declining to comment on specifics. CBC

NS auditor general criticizes innovation fund for failure to deliver Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

Several universities across Canada have now implemented fall breaks, including more than half of the universities in Ontario. Meagan Campbell, writing in Maclean’s, spoke with several students to understand how they are using these breaks, finding that “most were going to hit the brakes, or the books, or a little bit of both.” The interviewed students—from Western University, the University of Saskatchewan, and Mount Allison University—all agreed that the breaks allowed them to relax and recharge for the remainder of the semester. Maclean’s

Universities respond to mental health crisis with fall breaks Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

More Canadian PSE institutions are finding new ways to use mobile technology to enhance student experience and learning outcomes, reports the Globe and Mail. Lambton College has invested in new mobile-friendly technology and encouraged its instructors to incorporate technology in interactive ways in the classroom, such as using apps to train students in job-specific skills or offering augmented-reality apps to enhance student learning. Athabasca University has similarly encouraged its instructors to use mobile apps to enhance their learning. On top of encouraging in-class app use, Ryerson University has launched Ryerson Mobile, a set of apps for aiding students in school-related tasks such as the booking of study rooms. Globe and Mail

More PSE institutions using mobile technology to enhance learning Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

Immigrant students are outperforming Canadian-born students in their educational success, says a recent report from a triennial study by Statistics Canada. Overall, immigrant students were found to have higher levels of high school and university education than Canadian-born students; they were also more likely to report that they expected to, and did, graduate from university. According to the study’s authors, background characteristics of immigrants, such as their country of origin, explained some of the interregional differences in university success. Canadian-born students whose parents were immigrants had similar regional patterns of success as third-or-higher-generation Canadian children. StatCan | iPolitics

Immigrant students have higher success rate in education, study says Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

Stagnant revenues from tuition is the "new normal" for colleges and universities across the US, according to an annual tuition survey by Moody’s Investors Service. The report said that both public and private institutions have projected a 2% increase in net tuition revenue for the coming academic year, which is in keeping with the findings of last year’s annual survey. This year’s survey drew on responses from nearly 170 institutions and found that almost two-thirds of all public institutions projected net tuition revenue growth below 3%. The agency reports the stagnant tuition revenue growth is largely due to “focus on affordability, flat or declining enrollment, and state-imposed limits.” Chronicle of Higher Education | Reuters | Moody's

Moody's projects “stagnant” tuition revenues for PSE institutions Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

It is important for PSE institutions to broaden some of their definitions of faculty scholarship if they want faculty to support their institutional mission beyond the classroom or peer-reviewed publication, writes Thomas Carey for Inside Higher Ed. However, the author also acknowledges that the renewed definition of scholarship should not become so broad that it includes nearly everything a faculty member could do. To this end, Carey offers a number of concrete examples of valuable scholarship activities that might not traditionally “count” as scholarship for certain institutions. What remains at the heart of these efforts, Carey maintains, is using PSE expertise to benefit communities beyond faculty’s normally assigned teaching and publishing activities.  Inside Higher Ed

Concrete ways to redefine what counts as faculty scholarship Top Ten 11/20/2015 - 03:30 11/20/2015 - 03:30

Université de Sherbrooke has launched the Entrepreneurship Centre of Sherbrooke, an initiative designed to foster entrepreneurial success and local development. The Centre will receive $60 M in investment over a ten-year span and will focus its efforts specifically in the key areas of quantum technologies, information technologies, transportation and renewable energy, and medical technologies. "Our strategy builds on our teaching and research initiatives as well as our close links with local stakeholders to foster the emergence of a major entrepreneurial center in Sherbrooke," said Jacques Beauvais, uSherbrooke VP, Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. "In a word, we want to connect to science-based entrepreneurship to support innovation." uSherbrooke (French)

uSherbrooke to receive $60 M over ten years for entrepreneurship centre Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

Saskatchewan recently revealed that it scaled back operating grants at a number of postsecondary institutions by $1.4 M to meet an unanticipated provincial budget shortfall. The two largest reductions were $539 K at the University of Regina and $606 K at Saskatchewan Polytechnic; 13 other institutions experienced cuts between $10 K and $35 K. uRegina President Vianne Timmons criticized the cuts, saying, “coming to the university halfway through the year to recover money does not seem fair.” SK Finance Minister Kevin Doherty had previously denied knowledge of the cuts, saying he just learned of them earlier this week after reporters started asking questions. CBC | Regina Leader-Post

Facing budget difficulties, SK cuts PSE by $1.4 M Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

UBC has just ended its seven-year fundraising campaign, dubbed start an evolution, with $1.62 B, surpassing its $1.5 B goal. This is reportedly the second-largest amount ever raised by a Canadian university. “I could not be more proud of our donors, alumni, and friends who have made this visionary campaign so successful,” said UBC Interim President Martha Piper. “I am particularly pleased that these magnificent numbers were achieved by 61,000 donors and 130,000 engaged alumni.” The funds will go to a variety of areas: roughly 30% each to academics, research, and infrastructure, with the remaining 10% reserved for student aid. Globe and Mail | Vancity Buzz | UBC

UBC raises over $1.6 B, surpassing fundraising goal Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

Cape Breton University President David Wheeler has said that his institution is looking to cut 10% of its $50 M budget, according to CBC and the Cape Breton Post. According to Wheeler, some 75% of the university’s costs are related to staffing. While 37 faculty and staff have volunteered to retire under an incentive program, Wheeler suggested that CBU still “need[s] to do more.” The university has reserved the right to refuse alternative offers that would not result in savings, spurring a complaint by the CBU Faculty Association to the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board. This has led to concerns about layoffs, something Wheeler says is premature. “It’s our intention to reduce our salary bill through voluntary means. And so that remains our absolute focus,” he said. CBC | Cape Breton Post

CBU cuts spur worries about possible layoffs Top Ten 09/20/2016 - 12:51 11/19/2015 - 03:30

The University of Calgary has opened a new law clinic that will offer pro bono legal services while providing the university’s law students an opportunity to gain valuable work experience. With the help of a $1 M donation from the Peacock Family Foundation, uCalgary’s Faculty of Law hopes that the new clinic will serve the public good, making legal advice and representation more accessible for those who traditionally cannot afford it. The clinic will focus on providing representation specifically in the areas of public health, human rights, equality, and environmental law. “I am so excited, and feel so privileged to be part of this,” said Molly Naber-Sykes, Executive Director of the Clinic. “We’ve had such huge issues in this province in terms of helping the voiceless and the vulnerable. And this will really help fill that need.” uCalgary | Calgary Herald

uCalgary opens pro bono legal clinic with help from $1 M donation Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

The Justice Institute of British Columbia has broken ground on a new welcoming facility for Aboriginal students at its New Westminister campus. The facility, funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, is designed to enhance support services for Aboriginal students at JIBC and to provide a space for non-Aboriginal students and staff to deepen their understanding of Aboriginal history and culture. President Michel Tarko described it as a “venue where First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, staff, and faculty can gather and support one another, and share our traditions and customs with non-Aboriginal students.“ JIBC

JIBC breaks ground on welcoming facility for Aboriginal students Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

A new program in Kitchener, Ontario would give students back half their rent after four years to help them pay off their loans. Called Scholarship Apartments, the program is quite straightforward, according to founder Arman Aryapour: “We provide an incentive program for [students] to stay in school, once they reside with us after the four years they’re automatically eligible for the bursary once they graduate.” The program already has a $1 M commitment from an investor, according to Aryapour, contingent on the program's being able to raise the other $800 K needed to purchase a building. CBC

Kitchener program would give students back half their rent to pay off loans Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

The rise of precarious employment has received growing attention in PSE in recent years, but such employment is not unique to PSE, reports CBC. According to current UN figures, over 200 million people in the world are jobless, which marks an increase of 30 million people since the beginning of the global recession in 2008. Further, even those who have managed to remain employed have seen the nature of work change dramatically. The UN has warned of the “widespread insecurity” that has crept through the global workforce, as short-term contingent employment replaces full-time work. The report claims that more than one in four members of the global workforce do not have stable employment, a number that could have far-reaching implications for the workforce of any individual country. CBC

Precarious employment not just a problem for PSE Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

Expected salary upon graduation is an important factor for anyone thinking about attending PSE, writes the Chronicle of Higher Education. But once a student has taken this factor into consideration, there are other important things to think about. Speaking with a number of PSE representatives, the article focuses on how expected salary is merely one factor among many when a prospective PSE student chooses what institution to attend—or whether to go to college at all. At one point, the article suggests that “for a student who wants to earn as much as possible with only a bachelor’s degree, the advice is pretty clear: Become an engineer.” Yet it concludes that this sort of advice must be weighed against other concerns, including the student’s desire or ability to excel in such a field. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

PSE students should think about salary and more before enroling Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

Asking questions of student success may be frustrating for those in the humanities and social sciences, but these questions have positive effects when they push faculty and administrators to define what outcomes they want for students, writes Paula Krebs, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bridgewater State University. While student success might be easy to measure for more vocational programs of study, Krebs admits that measuring student success in the humanities poses some unique problems: “the humanities curriculum centers on content rather than practice. What does the content of a history curriculum add up to if you don’t want to be a history teacher? A chemistry major becomes a chemist. What does an English major become?” She concludes that there are many intangible ways to think of success for this group; yet she also argues that those working in the humanities must be open to sitting down with employers to ask them what they would like to see from new graduates. Chronicle Vitae

Defining, measuring student success in the humanities is a worthy goal Top Ten 11/19/2015 - 03:30 11/19/2015 - 03:30

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has released two new studies investigating the challenges faced when universities and colleges work to improve PSE access for under-represented groups. The first report, titled “The Recruitment of Under-represented Groups to Ontario Colleges: A Survey of Current Practices,” looked at student recruitment efforts from 12 ON colleges to find that asking students to self-identify as members of under-represented groups created major difficulties for schools to understand what proportion of their students came from these groups. The second study shifted the question to universities and found that although universities engaged in many outreach efforts directed toward under-represented groups, “there was little evidence of formal evaluations of the effects of these activities.”  HEQCO | Report (Colleges) | Report (Universities)

HEQCO releases two new reports on PSE access challenges for under-represented groups Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

Former Memorial University professor Ranjit Chandra has been ordered to pay $1.6 M to CBC to cover their legal fees in a libel lawsuit. Chandra had alleged that CBC’s 2006 documentary, which reported that his published research was fraudulent, was libellous, and sought $137 M in damages. In July, an Ontario jury dismissed the claim against CBC, deciding that the report was true. In the decision, the judge said that Chandra “played a high stakes game … in the end, he failed abjectly.” CBC

Former MUN prof ordered to pay CBC’s legal fees in libel suit Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

Former St Francis Xavier University President Sean Riley, who retired in 2014, was reportedly allowed to collect more than $1.2 M for unused administrative leave, according to CBC. The media organization found the details in Riley’s final contract, from January 2011, which they obtained via a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act request. StFX Association of University Teachers President Brad Long has called the contract “egregious,” saying that the comparison between administrative leave and sabbatical payouts is a “fallacy.” Such contracts in Nova Scotia have come under fire within the past year. CBC

StFX union head calls $1.2 M payout to former president “egregious” Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

The University of Alberta has formally submitted its proposal for a $30 M centre for Aboriginal students as part of the institution’s commitment to reconciliation, said uAlberta President David Turpin during his installation speech on Monday. uAlberta reportedly has the country’s only Faculty of Native Studies, which Turpin referenced as a “strong foundation from which to move forward.” The Maskwa House of Learning will be built “in the spirit of working in partnership to answer the legacy of residential schools,” and it has the support of the Grand Chiefs of Treaties Six and Eight. Once completed, it will provide a home space for Indigenous students where they will be able to access necessary supports. Edmonton Journal | Speech

uAlberta to build Maskwa House of Learning Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

An arbitrator has dismissed a claim made by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) that Algonquin College’s use of part-time teachers in continuing education violates the school's collective agreement. The union alleged that a clause in the agreement required the college to give preference to full-time faculty in hiring decisions. The college argued successfully that the clause only refers to sessional and partial-load instructors, not part-time instructors. Arbitrator Norm Jesin found no evidence that the use of part-time faculty “resulted in the erosion of the bargaining unit.” Algonquin declined to comment on the case and OPSEU did not respond prior to the Ottawa Citizen’s print deadline. Ottawa Citizen | Full Ruling

Algonquin’s use of part-time faculty does not violate collective agreement Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

Choosing the right PSE institution is the first major decision in many young people’s lives, writes the Chronicle Herald, and it can be daunting process. The article draws on the advice of Adam Robertson, Associate Registrar and Director of Recruitment at Dalhousie University, and Kyle Steele, Manager of Student Recruitment at Mount Saint Vincent University. Robertson and Steele suggest that prospective PSE students should base their decisions on several core factors, including an institution’s specific program offerings, location, cost, and ability to fulfill the student’s academic and social goals. Further, both Robertson and Steele recommend that students visit an institution before choosing to enrol whenever possible. Chronicle Herald

Halifax university leaders offer advice on choosing PSE institutions Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

“Universities are among the most enduring institutions in society because they are educators, generators of new ideas, and engines of social, cultural and economic prosperity,” writes University of Alberta President David Turpin for the Edmonton Journal. But perhaps just as importantly, he adds, universities demand critical inquiry and “hold us all to account.” Turpin goes on to trace the University of Alberta’s history as an institution of the public good, arguing that one of the reasons Canada’s universities enjoy so much trust among Canadians is their “freedom to undertake curiosity-driven research, research that may have no immediate utility, but from which we know all major social, scientific and technical innovations flow.” The editorial concludes with a call on Alberta’s public and private sectors to collaborate to “provide leadership in research, teaching, service, community engagement and international partnership. Let us, together, play a leadership role in building a better Canada.” Edmonton Journal

uAlberta President calls for AB universities to lead new era in Canadian PSE Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

York University has announced that it will partner with Ontario’s Ministry of Education to conduct a feasibility study for data collection. The study will explore the possibility of gathering additional province-wide data to increase the understanding of ON’s student populations and school communities. The study will review current data collection requirements, identify points for the ministry and school boards to consider, and examine rationale and risks. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Ministry in gaining valuable insight into aspects of education that are very consistent with our commitment to equity and social justice,” said YorkU Education Dean Ron Owston. YorkU

YorkU partners with ON to conduct innovative student research Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

American universities do not remain the best in the world despite their messiness and seeming anarchy, writes former Senior Vice President of Tufts University, Sol Gittleman. Rather, he argues that these universities remain the best precisely because they are so fractured and diverse. In a piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Gittleman argues that the common belief that American universities have declined from a “golden age” of higher education is nothing more than a myth. By revisiting major eras of American’s PSE history, Gittleman attempts to show how US universities have always thrived because of their messiness and internal conflict. He concludes that one of the reasons these universities will remain so great is that no institution would ever intentionally reproduce the failures that got US schools where they are. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

American universities benefit from mistakes, messiness Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

Recent articles have falsely described students as “shuffling zombies” who are “poised to collapse emotionally at the slightest provocation,” argues New York writer Jesse Singal, yet “when you put [these issues] in context and look for real evidence that kids are getting more fragile – there’s a lot less here than meets the eye.” Singal argues that these types of articles must offer substantive evidence rather than hard-to-quantify cultural observations to sufficiently support their claims. Singal adds that finding such evidence “is hard to do, because such evidence doesn’t really exist." Victor Schwartz of the Jed Foundation explains that these derogatory articles do not take into consideration how health and counselling centers’ roles have changed over time. “It looks like there are more and more sicker students," he said, "but the metrics aren’t necessarily there to support [this].” New York

The ‘Fragile College Student’ is a myth Top Ten 11/18/2015 - 03:30 11/18/2015 - 03:30

The University of Alberta has announced that it plans to open a new $40 M residence to accommodate 520 first-year students by 2018. The announcement was made by incoming uAlberta President David Turpin, who recently outlined his vision for encouraging the scholars and students of his university to become more involved in issues facing Edmonton and AB. Turpin said that the project is part of uAlberta's renewed effort to “provide more opportunity for engagement with the community, internships, co-op placements so they can contribute in the community and bring ideas back to campus.” Edmonton Journal

uAlberta set to begin work on new $40 M student residence Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

The postsecondary system in Ontario requires transformational change, writes Seneca College President David Agnew. Before this change can happen, he explains, “it’s necessary to acknowledge some inconvenient, perhaps even uncomfortable, truths about our postsecondary system.” For Agnew, these uncomfortable truths include a lack of accountability in some PSE structures and a lack of multilateral collaboration between universities, colleges, and polytechnics. As a start, he writes, “we need a true partnership between colleges and universities that dispenses with notions of hierarchy and rests instead on the principle that we are the building blocks of a student-centred system with different but complementary strengths.” Agnew concludes that it is only by having a unified strategy that Ontario’s PSE institutions can successfully address changing student needs and rising competition in the international labour market. Toronto Star

Seneca President calls for solution to Ontario’s “postsecondary puzzle” Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

Simon Fraser University has announced several institutional agreements and partnerships that have come out of a recent visit to China and Hong Kong by SFU President Andrew Petter and Vice President of Research Joy Johnson. These agreements include the signing of a Letter of Intent to create a big data centre, a Memorandum of Agreement to create a commercialization and acceleration network, and a Letter of Intent to support collaborative research in the Humanities. “SFU has been a pioneer in forging partnerships in China and Hong Kong,” said Petter, adding, “these agreements break additional new ground in extending and deepening our relationships with major universities and organizations, consistent with SFU’s goals of engaging the world.” SFU

SFU creates new partnerships in China, Hong Kong Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

The University of Calgary has reportedly stated that the uCalgary Studens' Union does not and cannot own the campus-based MacEwan Hall building under current Alberta law. The claim was made as part of a statement of defense uCalgary made against a lawsuit recently launched against the university by the Students' Union disputing ownership of MacEwan Hall. Citing AB’s Post-Secondary Learning Act, the uCalgary statement says that the university’s board of governors “shall not, without the prior approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, sell or exchange any interest in land” owned by uCalgary. CBC | Calgary Herald

uCalgary cites AB law, says student union cannot own MacEwan Hall Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

Globe and Mail writer Jenna Zucker examines a long-standing conflict at Queen's University as a primary example of the issues involving harassment and academic freedom in Canadian PSE. Queen’s Office of the Provost ultimately found Shirkhanzadeh guilty of workplace harassment after a decade-long dispute, but a report by the Canadian Association of University Teachers characterized Shirkhanzadeh as a suppressed whistleblower, however, saying that “rather than deal with the allegations in a fair and impartial manner, it [Queen’s] seeks to silence the whistleblower to preserve its own reputation.” Queen’s Provost Alan Harrison said that the university takes its responsibility to maintain a harassment-free workplace seriously, and that it "investigates, and acts upon, findings of harassment accordingly.” An independent arbitrator has been brought in to hear Shirkhanzadeh’s case, although no date has been set for a hearing. Globe and Mail

Queen’s dispute a good example of academic freedom and harassment issues Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

Laurentian University will expand its French-language and bilingual programming in the schools of engineering and management in 2016, reports say. The Bharti School of Engineering will launch bilingual bachelor’s degree programs that offer at least 50% of their classes in French in the areas of Chemical, Mechanical, and Mining Engineering. The Faculty of Management will offer a Bachelor of Business Administration entirely in French, as well as specializations in accounting, business, entrepreneurship, finance, international management, marketing, and human resources. “It was an obvious choice to include these disciplines in the expansion of our French-language programming at Laurentian University,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux. Laurentian | Northern Life

Laurentian to offer 10 new French-language or bilingual programs Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

The leader of Newfoundland and Labrador’s NDP announced last Friday that he would roll back recent tuition and residence fee increases in NL if his party were to win the upcoming provincial election. Speaking at a news conference, Earle McCurdy argued that NL “can't afford to put up more barriers for young people at a time when our demographic profile suggests we're an aging population." He went on to criticize the governing Progressive Conservatives for allegedly cutting $20 M from Memorial University's operating grant this year and declining to provide an additional $20 M to assist MUN with its pension obligations. CBC

NL NDP promises to eliminate increases in PSE tuition, residence fees Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

Daniel Cohn of York University and Rafael Gomez of the University of Toronto have recommended that Alberta limit the release of public salary figures to the top-paid decision-making executives who otherwise end up lost in the “annual media Gotcha! frenzy.” The call comes in response to AB's recent decision to add professors, doctors, and public sector workers to the public list. AB currently discloses the salaries of government employees who make over $104 K per year. Gomez states that lists disclosing salaries create envy and job dissatisfaction, and both he and Cohn say that “salary disclosures must be paired with explanations, including performance measures, so taxpayers know they’re getting their money’s worth.” Edmonton Journal

AB should revise its Sunshine list to improve utility, say academics Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

A professorship in today’s university is “widely seen as the pinnacle of achievement for staff in higher education,” writes Times Higher Education contributor James Derounian. But this claim only presses him to ask, “what – in 2015 – should a professor be?” Derounian highlights a trend in recent decades for the public to think of university professors as being similar to secondary school teachers. Yet many professors subscribe to the idea that they are different from secondary school teachers because professors must assume that their students are filled with an insatiable thirst for knowledge from day one. According to this view, it is not the professor’s job to convince students whether a given subject is worth learning, and Derounian concludes that this response might not be entirely suitable for today’s PSE classroom, suggesting that in an age of change in PSE, the concept of what a professor should be remains murky. Times Higher Education

Is it becoming more difficult to define “professor”? Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

Public universities in the US have paid for their sports programs by charging more than $10 B in mandatory fees to university students, according to a recent examination by the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Huffington Post. The review drew this number from an inflation-adjusted analysis of financial reports provided to the NCAA by 201 public universities and secured under public records requests. This news arrives at a time when increasing student fees have sparked protests at some PSE institutions. Chronicle of Higher Education

US students charged more than $10 B to subsidize college sports programs Top Ten 11/17/2015 - 03:30 11/17/2015 - 03:30

BC has announced that it will invest $18.9 M in new trades training facilities at the Silver King Campus of Selkirk College. The investment is part of BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and will be used to fund the renewal, replacement, and demolition of existing buildings at the Silver King Campus. “Ensuring trades students have access to the best training available in modern facilities such as the new Silver King trades facilities will help students get the right skills they need,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “As part of BC’s blueprint, we have a plan that is aligning education and training with occupations that are in demand.” Selkirk | NationTalk

Selkirk receives $18.9 M for new trades training facilities Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

As much as 40% of Canada’s recent university graduates are overqualified for their jobs, according to the federal Parliamentary Budget Officer's Labour Market Assessment 2015. The report noted that the number of recent university graduates maintaining jobs that matched their level of education had dropped from 62% in 1991 to 55% in 2014. College graduates, on the other hand, were found to be in an improved position. The overqualification rate for college graduates dropped from 37% in 2006 to 34% in 2014. The proportion of recent college grads who held positions that matched their education level reached 50% in 2014, an improvement from 45% in 1998. The parliamentary budget office has warned of the costs associated with rising rates of overqualification, stating, “these workers may face lower levels of job satisfaction and attachment, which could increase turnover rates for employers.” Globe and Mail (CP) | Report

Rate of “overqualified” workers worsens for university grads, improves for college grads Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

Canada needs external authorities to assess the issues that inspire on-campus activism and inhibit free speech, writes Robyn Urback of the National Post. “When your friends, your professors, your student newspapers are all telling you you’re right, it’s hard not to see why trying to get someone fired for what they said is a good thing,” she explains, highlighting how postsecondary institutions can act as groupthink incubators. She adds that “the reasons why these students are so vehemently upset does matter, but they do not excuse silencing dissenting views on campus—full stop.” The article concludes that external forces may occasionally need to intervene in on-campus issues to ‘pop’ the self-confirming bubbles that form in postsecondary communities. National Post

Colleges and universities need external forces to discourage anti-free speech activism Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

A new six-year, $4.5 M research project will closely examine Western Canada’s oil, gas, and coal industries for their political ties and their international connections. The project, titled "Mapping the Power of the Carbon-Extractive Corporate Resource Sector," will be conducted by three research partners: the University of Alberta Parkland Institute, the University of Victoria, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. The partnership will focus on mapping the way that the industry is organized, analyzing the sector’s influence on social services like the government, producing case studies on flashpoint issues, and the developing a publicly accessible, open-source corporate database. UVic | uAlberta | Edmonton Journal | Parkland Institute

uAlberta, UVic join $4.5 M research project assessing influence of Western Canada’s energy sector Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

Students from the College of the North Atlantic and Memorial University held rallies for affordable postsecondary education last week. Brittany Lennox, executive director of student life with the MUN Students’ Union, said that “affordable education is key to a strong economy in Newfoundland and Labrador.” The MUN rally was led by representatives from the Memorial University Students’ Union and the provincial chapter of the Canadian Federation. Fifteen similar events were held across Newfoundland and Labrador to maintain the tuition freeze that was introduced in 1999 and to reestablish funding to postsecondary funding. “We’re lobbying government … to keep the commitment to our tuition freeze and also to restore funding back to our college,” said CNA Student Body President, Hugh Smith. CBC | Compass

CNA, MUN students rally for affordable tuition Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

The Manitoba Liberals have reported that they would turn the provincial portion of Canada Student Loans into non-repayable grants if elected in the provincial election. Leader Rana Bokhari stated that prospective students should not be deterred from further education by the possibility of high debts, adding that “Manitoba students are paying too much for debt when they graduate from school.” In order to have their loans converted into grants, students would need to maintain passing grades and stay in a school until they graduated. The program would help more young people in MB and would reportedly not require students to remain in the province to qualify for the grant. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

MB Liberals want to turn provincial portion of student loans into grants Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

Cape Breton University has begun the construction of wind turbines near its Sydney campus with the aim of producing both power and profit for the university, reports CBC. CBU’s Director of Facilities Management Donnie MacIsaac stated that the university has borrowed $17 M so far to build the turbines and predicts that the turbines will generate “$400,000 or $500,000 a year in positive cash flow to the university." Funds from the turbine project will be committed to a trust and then spent at the discretion of CBU. CBC

CBU anticipates $500 K per year from wind turbines Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

Trent University President Leo Groarke has announced that he will contribute $50 K of personal money to create the Louis and Paul Groarke Philosophy Endowment in the names of his two brothers. The Groarke triplets are all professors of philosophy. The $50 K contribution is part of Trent’s $50 M fundraising campaign and will be used specifically to fund philosophy endowments at the university. “I was very fortunate to study philosophy,” said Groarke. “It makes you an independent thinker—ready to think outside the box, see different points of view, and weigh the evidence on all  sides. I wanted to pay something back to a discipline that gave me the skills and knowledge that gave me  a career as a professor and an administrator.” Trent | MyKawartha 

Trent President donates $50 K to philosophy fund named for his triplet brothers Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

Students from more than 110 colleges across the US held demonstrations on Thursday to protest rising student loan debt and to demand tuition-free public colleges. The protests also demanded at $15 minimum wage for campus workers. Dubbed by the press as the Million Student March, the demonstrations featured a number of protesters who called not only for tuition-free college, but debt-free college. According to the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the total volume of outstanding US student loan debt has more than doubled to $1.2 T, compared to less than $600 B in 2006. A group of demonstrators at Northeastern University were reported carrying signs that read “Degrees are not receipts” and “Is this a school or a corporation?” Globe and Mail | Washington Post | The Guardian

Students across US march over debt, free public college Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

While it is important to encourage diversity and equity on college campuses, it is very difficult for anyone to say what constitutes a definitive “win,” writes Eric Hoover for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Hoover highlights the recent resignation of two top administrators at the University of Missouri over charges that they were ineffectual about concerns of racism on campus. Yet while their ousting might provide some comfort to protesters, Hoover writes that “symbolic gains are not the same as systemic ones.” Changing the overall atmosphere of equity on a campus or in any environment is a long-term struggle, he concludes, and one of the most difficult challenges of this change lies in the fact that there are no tangible metrics for success, nor any people in a position to take direct responsibility for these metrics. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Defining a “win” difficult in struggles for campus equity Top Ten 11/16/2015 - 03:30 11/16/2015 - 03:30

Times Higher Education has released its 2015 Global Employability University Rankings, and five Canadian universities have made the top 100. The ranking aims to assess universities based on the employment prospects of their graduates. The University of Toronto was the top-ranked Canadian institution at 10th place overall, while McGill University placed 21st overall and the University of British Columbia placed 39th overall. Rounding out the top 100 were the University of Montreal (#44) and McMaster University (#86). According to Times Higher Education, the rankings are created from the combined votes of 2,200 recruiters and 2,400 managing directors of international companies or subsidiaries. Times Higher Ed

Five Canadian universities make top 100 in THE’s 2015 Global Employability Rankings Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

Ryerson University has received an $8 M gift from the Jack Cockwell family and the Brookfield Partners Foundation to support the university’s new Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Created earlier this year, the institute aims to fund research and incubate projects related to innovation and entrepreneurship. The donation brings the Cockwell family’s all-time contributions to Ryerson above $28 M, a fact that Ryerson Board of Governor’s Chair Janice Fukakusa acknowledged: “Jack Cockwell’s generosity to Ryerson University has created extraordinary opportunity for students. His support encourages and inspires the young innovators and entrepreneurs who will be the drivers of our emerging economy.” Ryerson

Ryerson receives $8 M gift for student innovation and entrepreneurship Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

The University of Manitoba has received $2 M from the Waugh Family Foundation to construct a world-class multiple sclerosis research program in the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences. uManitoba will undertake the project in partnership with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The funding will also be used to support ongoing research projects and a new endowed research chair in MS to be named for the Waugh family. uManitoba has announced that it also plans to grow the chair’s endowment to $5 M. Rick Waugh, President of the Waugh Family Foundation, said, “my family and I are proud to stand with the University of Manitoba and the MS Society to help end MS. It is our hope that this gift will build on the university’s outstanding MS research program, and eventually lead to a cure.” uManitoba

uManitoba receives $2 M gift to build MS research program Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

Men’s issues groups have become one of the most common targets of campus censorship or outright bans in recent years, writes Martin Patriquin for Maclean’s. The author goes on to argue that in the past two years alone, groups at four Canadian universities have attempted to ban men’s issues groups and events. Patriquin focuses specifically on the recent case at Ryerson University, where the Students’ Union denied a fourth-year student’s request to form a group called the Men’s Issues Awareness Society. Banning these groups only strengthens their resolve and resentment, concludes Patriquin, who suggests that the only productive way to address the problems with these groups is to let these problems express themselves instead of banning them from public discussion. Maclean’s

Men’s issues groups the “new bogeyman” at Canadian campuses Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

Colleges across the country are looking to the new Liberal government for facility and equipment funding, reports the Globe and Mail. “Many of our colleges and institutes are unfortunately at or near enrolment capacity, which is resulting in wait lists for programs in high-demand fields,” says CICan’s President and CEO Denise Amyot. The colleges also hope to receive federal support to improve adult learning programs, improve Indigenous access to postsecondary education, and provide state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to their students. Vice President, Academic at Nova Scotia Community College Rosalind Penfound says, “we need every person in the working-age population able to work.” Globe and Mail

Colleges want funding from federal government for much-needed improvements Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

The “failures” experienced by today’s graduate students are no laughing matter, writes Melonie Fullick in a critical response to the recent book, 57 Ways to Screw up in Grad School: Perverse Professional Lessons for Graduate Students. Fullick argues that the book’s tone toward graduate students is insensitive and inappropriate for such a pressing topic. Further, she challenges one of the book’s central points, which is that “a small group of students actually want to screw up.” Fullick concludes that the opinions found in the book (and among those who share its views) may be valuable for some students; yet the lighthearted tone of the discussion leads her to ask why the advice is put in “terms that are exclusionary to some students, and infantilizing to all?” University Affairs

"Failure" of Graduate Education deserves understanding, not laughter Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

The anonymous social media service Yik Yak, which has recently been targeted for its role in on-campus bullying and public threats, has released user data to US police. Police recently used this information to make a number of arrests, targeting students who were suspected of making threats on Yik Yak against students and faculty at schools such as the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Charleston Southern University, and Fresno State University. The app’s fine print explains that the service can disclose a number of user details, including IP addresses and GPS co-ordinates, to the police in the case of an emergency, or if police provide a subpoena, court order, or search warrant. Canadian Business

Yik Yak shares students’ user data with police following possible threats Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

Concordia University does not plan to officially retract a report on Quebec’s asbestos industry despite its acknowledged failure to notice a conflict of interest, reports the Montreal Gazette. The report in question deals with public relations in Quebec’s asbestos industry and was written by John Aylen of the John Molson School of Business, who has direct relationships with this industry. “The reality is that it’s an official report endorsed by Concordia University, a report that’s full of false information that will help sell asbestos and promote the misinformation that asbestos is safe,” said Kathleen Ruff, Senior Advisor with the Rideau Institute. A formal inquiry conducted by Concordia revealed that the “author’s previous involvement with the asbestos industry was dealt with inadequately,” and the university will reportedly assess the process that allowed the report to be published. Montreal Gazette

Concordia not to retract asbestos report despite conflict of interest Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

Technology alone will not solve equity challenges or improve student outcomes unless it is used to create new systems, behaviours, and student experiences, according to Inside Higher Ed’s Serena Klempin. The article discusses the findings of Klempin's recent investigation of colleges that engaged in creating technology-mediated change. Klempin and her team identified four key leadership approaches to effective change: presidential, visionary, technologically focused, and divided. Ultimately, they found that it was “only when both senior and project leaders were aligned around an adaptive vision of change (a visionary leadership approach) that structures, processes, and attitudes were altered.” Inside Higher Ed

Using technology to solve higher ed challenges requires aligned leadership Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

Attending PSE as a young mother can pose a number of challenges, but many women can successfully balance the demands of both with proper support from their institutions, writes a contributor for The Guardian. The article goes on to profile several women who managed to balance having children with attending PSE, although it admits that there is often a negative stigma attached to women who have children in their teens or early twenties. When asked about the stigma, one of the interviewees replied, “when I was pregnant there was a lot of surrounding negativity that my life was over and I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything with a child.” The article concludes that overcoming this kind of stigma and demanding proper support from institutions can go a long way toward making PSE more available to young mothers. The Guardian

Overcoming stigma, proper supports essential to helping young mothers attend PSE Top Ten 11/13/2015 - 03:30 11/13/2015 - 03:30

The Globe and Mail has released its 2015 Report on Colleges, which aims to provide students considering enrolling in Canadian colleges with the information they need to make an informed decision. The report includes a number of articles covering topics such as curriculum personalization, funding for facilities, and college business incubators. The report also includes a feature story about how many of Canada’s young workers are heading to college in response to the downturn in Canada’s oil sector, highlighting the advantages to be gained from colleges’ collaboration with companies and community organizations. Globe and Mail

Globe and Mail releases 2015 Report on Colleges Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

The University of Waterloo will break ground on Engineering 7 this afternoon. The new building comes in at an estimated cost of $88 M and will feature facilities designed to increase student-driven innovation, as well as research labs to aid in the development of emerging technologies. Part of the funding for the building will come from the university’s Educating the Engineer of the Future campaign, which just received $1 M from GM Canada. In a speech in Toronto on Tuesday, GM Canada President Steve Carlisle announced the commitment, challenging governments to increase their support for the automotive sector, a sector increasingly marked by accelerating change. uWaterloo | GM

uWaterloo breaks ground on new engineering building, receives $1 M from GM Canada Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

Dalhousie University’s senate has approved a fall reading break starting in November 2016. While the university had previously approved the idea, dates were only set this week. Dal Student Union President Dan Nicholson praised the university for being responsive to students, saying that a fall reading week had mental health benefits. “Being able to step back from the hectic school life, be able to sort of catch your breath and just relax a little bit is extremely helpful in terms of stress management and mental well-being.” Several other universities have added fall reading breaks in recent years, including the University of Winnipeg, Brock University, and Western University. CBC

Dal implements fall reading week Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

Former University of Saskatchewan Interim President Gordon Barnhart says that he is open to taking on a similar role with a different institution. Barnhart was responsible for stewarding uSask through difficult times following the firing of the school’s previous president in May 2014. In a recent interview with Global News, Barnhart said he was proud of the work he did as interim president and believes that he left uSask in a much better position than the one in which he found it. Barnhart applied for the permanent position of university president at uSask last year, but the university ultimately chose current President Peter Stoicheff for the position. Global News

Former interim uSask president open to new, similar role Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has released what it is calling the “largest-ever” survey of Ontario university students who identify as LGBTQ+; the survey received over 300 responses from across the province. While the survey shows a great deal of progress over the last decade, it also reveals areas for improvement. One in five respondents said that on-campus health care providers were “not respectful or professional” and “lacked the knowledge necessary to provide good care.” Nearly two in five students reporting feeling “sometimes” uncomfortable in class, while nearly a third said that they were “never” or “rarely” made to feel uncomfortable in class. OUSA | Full Report

OUSA releases “largest-ever” survey of ON LGBTQ+ students Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

Socially progressive protests undermine their own goals when they attempt to shut down dialogue instead promoting it, writes Marni Soupcoff for the National Post. Reflecting on recent calls for the resignation of Yale University’s dean, Soupcoff suggests that many progressivist groups are unwilling to listen to opinions counter to their own when it comes to issues of political correctness. While the author admits that problems like sexism and racism are still rampant and need addressing, “that can’t happen if students and professors are confined in their thinking and expression to an established order, regardless of how enlightened or salubrious that established order might be.” National Post

Universities losing ability to have reasoned, respectful debate Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

“University lawyers tend to be to be different than other lawyers in one crucial regard,” writes McMaster University Corporate Counsel, Brent Davis, “they are comfortable with (and, in particularly advanced cases, thrive on) variety.” Davis goes on to argue that while many lawyers in the private sector tend to specialize in certain areas of law, lawyers working for Canadian universities must constantly learn about different legal fields to support their employers. For example, a single university lawyer might have to deal with legal issues on real estate, intellectual property, sexual harassment, and labour all in a single week. For these reasons, Davis concludes that “to have any hope of even the smallest measure of success, the university lawyer must be a generalist at a very high level.” University Affairs

University lawyer must be gifted “generalist,” writes McMaster counsel Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

Union groups at McGill University have expressed frustration at the pension that former Principal Heather Munroe-Blum recently started collecting. The Montreal Gazette reports that Munroe-Blum, who retired from her position as principal in 2013, is entitled to a supplementary pension of almost $284 K per year in addition to the almost $87 K she gets from regular pension plans from McGill and the University of Toronto. These revelations come as McGill persists in a climate of fiscal austerity, prompting McGill’s Support Employees Union President to say, “It’s extremely hypocritical. … That’s an absolutely massive pension. It’s appalling.” Montreal Gazette

McGill employees frustrated by pension paid to former principal Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

According to a report released by the US College Board, real tuition and fee prices have increased in the 2015-16 year. Adjusting for inflation, the average tuition and fee price of a full-time year at a public four-year institution is $11,814, a cost that has allegedly risen by about 3.4% per year since 2005-06. Average net tuition and fee prices for a full-time public two-year institution have declined since 2005-06. The highest in-state tuition and fees were reportedly found at Penn State University Park ($17,514), University of New Hampshire ($16,986), and University of Vermont ($16,738). Chron | Report

College Board releases tuition and fees of US flagship universities Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

Following protests against the chancellor and system president at the University of Missouri, it is clear that racism on American campuses is again a matter of national concern, writes Beckie Supiano of the Chronicle of Higher Education. Supiano also notes a racial disparity among college leaders, as most full-time faculty members, recently hired presidents, and head coaches for top football programs are white. The referenced study found that white students are overrepresented in the most selective colleges, while African-American and Hispanic students are overrepresented in open-access colleges, a disparity that has increased since 1995. The studies authors concluded that race had a unique negative effect on college and career opportunities for racial minority students. Chronicle of Higher Education | Report

US colleges marked by racial disparity Top Ten 11/12/2015 - 03:30 11/12/2015 - 03:30

Carleton University will receive $1.8 M over nine years from Cisco Canada to establish a new Research Chair in Sensor Technology for the Internet of Things. The new role will be held by Mohamed Ibnkahla, who comes to Carleton from Queen’s University, where he worked as a professor for 15 years. “With this chair, Carleton and Cisco confirm a strong partnership dedicated to bringing the technology of the future to the service of society. With the work of Dr. Ibnkahla and his colleagues, we will contribute to Ottawa’s well-deserved reputation as a smart city,” said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. Ottawa Business Journal | Carleton

Carleton receives $1.8 M from Cisco for new research chair Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

Simon Fraser University and Hanhai Zihye Investment Management Group have signed an MOU that will lead to the creation of the Hanhai – SFU China-Canada Commercialization & Acceleration Network (C2-CAN). The mission of C2-Can will be to support the commercialization of advanced technologies developed in China and Canada, connecting innovators and entrepreneurs with necessary resources. “C2-CAN will enable Canadian entrepreneurs and early-stage companies to reach across international borders,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “The accelerator program will facilitate the development of sustainable, high-growth businesses, while expanding opportunities for collaborative research and commercialization of technology.” SFU

SFU partners with Chinese firm to create commercialization and acceleration network Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

Trent University has received $1 M from David and Joan Moore to fund renovation of the university’s Bata Library. The donation will fund a space renewal plan for the library, which will look at developing more individual and group study spaces. Renovations are expected to start by 2017. “We chose the library because a university library is central to the learning and teaching process," said David Moore. “We were convinced that by imaginative planning and repurposing, this wonderful facility, Bata Library could better reflect the student needs of collaborative space and state of the art computing power.” With the receipt of this gift, Trent’s Unleash the Potential fundraising campaign has reached 85% of its goal. Peterborough This Week | Peterborough Examiner | Trent

Trent receives $1 M toward library renovations Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

Next September, graduates holding a Law Enforcement Studies diploma from the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) or a Criminal Justice diploma from Camosun College will be able to attend JIBC’s Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program on Camosun’s Lansdowne Campus. “We are very excited to expand regional access to the … program and offer it on Vancouver Island in partnership with Camosun College,” said Dean of the School of Criminal Justice and Security at JIBC, Mike Trump. The program can be completed at Camosun, at JIBC’s New Westminster Campus, or at Okanagan College’s Penticton Campus. It is available to graduates from relevant diploma programs at other institutions, such as criminology or criminal justice programs. JIBC | Camosun

JIBC and Camosun offer joint program Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

The campus of Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg was briefly locked down Monday night after the discovery of a nearby suspicious package. Winnipeg police blocked off the intersection of Grant Avenue and Shaftesbury Boulevard and prevented students from leaving the library. The lockdown was lifted after two hours when police confirmed the package was not a threat. CTV News

CMU campus briefly locked down due to suspicious package Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

Western University has reportedly reached a tentative collective agreement with the librarians and archivists represented by the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA). The new agreement still requires approval from the university’s Board of Governors and ratification by UWOFA, but once passed, it will apply to 49 librarians and archivists employed at Western. The tentative deal was reached on Friday, November 6 after two days of conciliation with Greg Long, a Ministry of Labour appointed conciliator. "I want to thank the negotiating team for all their hard work and commitment,” said UWOFA President Kristin Hoffmann. “They did a great job on behalf of our members. And I’m very thankful to our members for their support of the team.” Western | UWOFA

Tentative agreement reached between Western, UWOFA Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

The latest version of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has offered a “compromise between Canada’s previously liberal copyright regime and the demands of American copyright holders,” according to the Canadian Bar Association’s National magazine. According to reports, the deal initially contained a section forcing Canadian service providers to remove Internet content that was protected by US court rulings. The newer version, however, reportedly requires copyright holders to petition Canadian Internet service providers to give several rounds of warning to their clients before helping the copyright holders pursue legal action. CBA National

Revised TPP concedes to “liberal” Canadian copyright laws Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

University of Calgary Professor David Eaton has been named the inaugural NSERC/Chevron Industrial Research Chair, a position devoted to advancing the practice of hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" through technology and research. The announcement was initially slated to be part of a public event on Monday, yet the event's status was reportedly changed to private over the weekend. Calgary Herald contributor Stephen Ewart questions the timing of the change and suggests that it came in response to the criticism uCalgary has recently faced over its connections to corporate donors from the energy sector. Calgary Herald

Reporters not invited to event announcing Chevron-funded Chair at uCalgary Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe stepped down Monday in response to widespread student protests directed at his handling of alleged racial abuses on campus. Unrest at the university began in September 2015 when Missouri Students Association President Payton Head reported on his Facebook page that he had suffered repeated racial abuse on campus. The post went viral, and the lack of a strong reaction by Wolfe eventually motivated students and university faculty to engage in public protest at the school’s homecoming parade. Protests continued to escalate up until Monday, when Wolfe held a televised news conference to announce his resignation. Globe and Mail | National Post | CTV News | Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed

University of Missouri president resigns amidst escalating racial tensions Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

There has been an explosion in the number of outlets offering to rank colleges in the US ever since the 2008 recession, and this explosion may have created more confusion than clarity around questions of quality, reports The Atlantic. The most common metric for measuring the value of colleges today is ROI or return on investment, which often uses the average earnings of university graduates to give new applicants a sense of what salary they might expect to make after graduation. Others look at research capacity, students’ social mobility, and a host of “traditional” factors such as graduation rate, average GPA, faculty quality, and general student happiness. Doug Shapiro, Executive Director of Research at the National Student Clearinghouse, has even suggested that “the data are of such poor quality, that [ranking colleges] is completely misleading.” The Atlantic

Students potentially confused by growing number of college rankings outlets Top Ten 11/11/2015 - 03:30 11/11/2015 - 03:30

The University of Calgary has announced that it will launch an independent review of its Centre for Corporate Sustainability after a recent CBC investigation raised questions about the centre’s relationship with its one-time sponsor, Enbridge Inc. The investigation alleged that the university faced significant internal concerns about Enbridge’s influence over the centre and its impact on academic freedom between 2012 and 2014. uCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon said that she welcomed the review and recused herself from its processes along with uCalgary Board Chairperson Bonnie DuPont. Last week, Cannon also stepped down from a paid position as a director of the Enbridge Income Fund. CBC reports that a university representative has also stated that the coming review will focus only on the Centre for Corporate Sustainability and not on larger questions about corporate donations and academic freedom at the university. CBC | | Calgary Sun | Huffington Post | Calgary Herald

uCalgary calls for independent review of Enbridge donation Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

Georgian College has received $1.5 M from Algoma Central Corporation and Lower Lakes Towing for its new Marine Emergency Duties Training and Research Centre. Algoma Central, the owner and operator of Canada’s largest fleet of dry-bulk carriers, will contribute $1 M and have the Centre named in its honour. “Marine Emergency Duties training is critical to our industry and we are pleased to help make this training available in Ontario, where it has been absent since 2013,” said Algoma Central President Ken Bloch Soerensen. Lower Lakes Towing will contribute the remaining $0.5 M for the project. With these two gifts, Georgian has achieved its $7.5 M fundraising goal to build the new Centre. Georgian | Owen Sound Sun Times | Bayshore Broadcasting |

Georgian receives $1.5 M for marine facility, achieves fundraising goal Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College have signed an MOU that will enhance collaboration between the two institutions for the delivery of agriculture programming. The agreement includes a commitment to the development of the Centre for Agricultural Research and Agribusiness Innovation (CARAI) and the implementation of the Cor Van Raay Southern Alberta Agribusiness Program. It will also formalize several other initiatives that bring together partners from across the region. “We are eager to further the relationship we have with Lethbridge College and our area partners as we look to enhance research and academic programming in agriculture and agribusiness,” said uLethbridge President Mike Mahon. uLethbridge | Global News

uLethbridge, Lethbridge College collaborate on agricultural programming Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

MacEwan University students have voted 77% in favour of a measure to increase student fees by $35 per term to pay for a new $40 M Students’ Association building in downtown Edmonton. The fee increase will not begin until construction of the building is complete. “We have commitment from our students,” said Students’ Association President Brittany Pitruniak. “They want this space and they want it so much, they’re willing to pay extra. We don't take that for granted.” Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson praised the plan, saying he’s hopeful that it will benefit the university, the students, and the community as a whole. The board of governors still needs to approve the plan, but the university hopes to break ground in the spring, with a scheduled opening date in 2018. Edmonton Journal | Global News | CTV News | Edmonton Sun

MacEwan students vote for fee hike to fund new building Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

A delegation of representatives from Ontario PSE institutions has concluded its mission to China. The Council of Ontario Universities reports that numerous significant partnership agreements were signed by ON universities and their Chinese counterparts during the mission. OCADU, for example, reports that it has signed an MOU with Nanjing University to enhance collaboration on research, conferences, and other academic initiatives. Seneca College reports that its President, David Agnew, has also signed a number of MOUs with organizations such as the Jinling Institute of Technology and the Suzhou Industrial Park Institute of Vocational Technology. COU | OCADU | Seneca

Ontario PSE institutions conclude mission to China Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

The Investment Committee of the Queen’s Board of Trustees has chosen not to divest the university’s endowment and investment funds from fossil fuels. The committee made its decision after reviewing a report from the Principal’s Advisory Committee on Divestment: Fossil Fuels, which the university undertook in February 2015 in response to a request from a Queen's student group. The report did not dispute that climate change was a critical issue, yet it found that the case for divestment on the basis of “social injury” had not been made. The advisory committee also concluded that divestment was not an effective tool in mitigating the risks of climate change. “Queen’s is an academic institution whose core activities are teaching and research. The university’s endowment funds exist solely to further these activities and the university has an obligation to seek the best possible return on these investments in order to advance its academic mission,” said Don Raymond, Chair of the Investment Committee. Queen’s

Queen’s elects not to divest from fossil fuels Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

When it comes to university admissions, “the days of selecting students based solely on their grades have gone the way of cursive writing,” writes Douglas Quan for the Calgary Herald. Nowadays, he adds, a trend toward “holistic” admission practices has completely transformed the way that admission to PSE institutions is determined. Instead of relying entirely on a high school transcript, admissions officers will now ask students abstract face-to-face questions such as, “Fast forward 30 years. What would the title of your autobiography be?” Some critics have noted that this form of evaluation might give an unfair advantage to students who are “well-off financially, well-connected and naturally gregarious.” Yet proponents of the method have claimed that it in fact increases institutions’ opportunities to identify talent in students that might not be recognized by traditional academic grading. Calgary Herald

Good grades have lost importance for university admissions Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

Youth unemployment numbers are misrepresented by the inclusion of 15-year-olds in Statistics Canada’s category for ‘youth’, argues Philip Cross. The youth labour force reportedly has an unemployment rate of 13.5%, but Cross argues that this rate is largely increased by the unemployment of 15 to 19 year-old teenagers. Teenagers have a very different relationship with the labour market than 20 to 24 year-olds attempting to start their careers, and Cross recommends that StatCan stop recording workforce figures for 15 year-olds to rectify this issue. According to Maclean’s, this misrepresentation has “serious implications for the forthcoming Liberal plan, which involves a permanent $384-million-per-year Youth Employment Strategy … among other expensive innovations.” Maclean’s | MLI | StatsCan

Categorization skews youth unemployment numbers Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

A new study, presented last week at the Association for the Study of Higher Education, questions whether courses taught at more "prestigious" colleges and universities are of higher quality than those taught at others. The study draws on direct observation of nearly 600 courses at nine different institutions (three high prestige, two medium prestige, four low prestige). While the researchers were cautious about reading too much into a preliminary study, they found that high prestige institutions only outperformed lower prestige institutions on one measure of quality: the “cognitive complexity of the course work.” On two other measures there was no difference, and on the final two measures, lower prestige institutions actually outperformed high prestige ones. Inside Higher Ed

New study questions connection between teaching quality and institutional prestige Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

Open-access publishing companies shoulder more costs than supporters of the idea may anticipate, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Like traditional academic publishing, open-access often saves money through the volunteer efforts of peer reviewers and contributing authors, or through the online production and dissemination of materials. However, “the digital environment doesn’t get rid of the labor cost,” says Martin Eve, one of the directors of the Open Library of the Humanities. In order to run on a sustainable model that aims to cover the journal’s costs, open-access journals often need to be funded by grants, donations, or article-processing fees. Chronicle of Higher Education

Open-access publishing comes with costs Top Ten 11/10/2015 - 03:30 11/10/2015 - 03:30

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released two new studies examining the international student population in Canada, with a particular focus on Ontario. In the report titled “International Students in Ontario’s Postsecondary Education System, 2000-2012,” researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University found that the average international student in Canada is male and attends college in the GTA. While the total number of international students in the country has grown, the number attending college has risen more quickly. In “The Global Competition for International Students as Future Immigrants,” researchers from York University and the University of Guelph explored ways to improve the experience for international students. They found that many ON universities have programs that target first-year students but lack supports for upper-year students. They also documented a need to “enhance interactions between international and domestic students.” HEQCO (Policies, Populations) | HEQCO (Global Competition)

HEQCO releases two studies on international students in Canada Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

The Alberta government has introduced Bill 5, which if passed would expand the disclosure of salaries to a variety of public-sector employees, including professors, physicians, and nurses. All employees earning more than $125 K per year would have their full compensation, including severance pay and pension contributions, disclosed publicly. “This government is committed to helping ensure Albertans know how public money is spent,” said Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley. “The bill follows through on our promise to improve transparency in our public sectors.” Finance Minister Joe Ceci has also said that the government is moving forward with a review of the province's agencies, boards, and commissions. The third phase of this review, in late fall 2016, would examine boards of governors at public postsecondary institutions. Edmonton Journal | CTV News (CP) | Metro | Global | Calgary Herald |  AB

AB legislation expanding salary disclosure to professors, other public-sector workers Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

Canada’s new government has reinstated the mandatory long-form census that was eliminated in 2010. “We need good, reliable data,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has welcomed the return of the census, saying “this sends a promising signal that the new government plans to support Canada’s research community and evidence-based public policy.” The new census packages will be ready for distribution by May 2 and will be sent to 2.9 million households across the country. CBC | CAUT | StarPhoenix

Canada reinstates long-form census for 2016 Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Defence Fund has donated $1 M to the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) in support of its strike fund. The money will be used for strike pay, continuation of benefits, and access to emergency funds. Representatives from academic staff associations across Canada have joined NipissingU faculty on the picket lines. NUFA President Susan Srigley has said that no new talks are scheduled between the union and the administration. North Bay Nugget | | CAUT

NipissingU strike fund receives $1 M from CAUT defence fund Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

Assiniboine Community College and Royal Roads University have partnered to offer a block transfer credit that allows graduates from the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at ACC to further their education at Royal Roads. Successful applicants from ACC would enter into the third year of either the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management or the Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management programs offered at Royal Roads. “We’re always looking for ways to expand options for our graduates, helping them to grow and further their education in fields they want to build careers in,” said Dave Perkins, Chair of Business and Hospitality at ACC. ACC

ACC and Royal Roads establish transfer credit agreement for Hotel and Restaurant graduates Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

A fire broke out in the south side area of the powerhouse at the University of Manitoba early Friday morning. According to uManitoba Spokesperson John Danakas, the fire started in the cooling area of the powerhouse. No people were injured in the fire, and uManitoba engineers are currently assessing the damage. The fire severely damaged a nearby room and may have impacted on-campus heating. Two of the boilers were damaged in the fire, but were later restored that same day by the institution. An arson unit is reportedly investigating the cause. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press | uManitoba

Fire breaks out at uManitoba Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

Canada and other G20 countries must do more to provide targeted education opportunities for future entrepreneurs, according to a new report by EY. The report notes that Canada is already implementing some admirable strategies to help entrepreneurs and is scoring well on a number of EY criteria including tax and regulation, access to funding, and entrepreneurial culture. However, it recommends that Canada find ways to incorporate these advantages more directly into its education system. "Canada needs to place more emphasis on experiential learning and entrepreneurship training in schools, as well as extracurricular programs,” said Colleen McMorrow, EY Partner and Canadian Strategic Growth Markets Leader. “In the long-term, this is what will help build an entrepreneurial mindset and convert innovative ideas into job-creating businesses." Newswire | Report

New report calls for more entrepreneurship in Canadian education Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

“Liberal-arts majors, rejoice. You’ve got a prime minister in your ranks,” writes Rosemary Westwood for Metro. The author is quick to point out that Canada’s new prime minister likely drew more heavily on his status as a Trudeau than on his liberal arts background during his successful election campaign. Yet she adds that Trudeau’s educational background has already left a mark on the diversity one sees in his new cabinet, as plurality has always been a particularly important concern of the liberal arts. Ultimately, it is difficult to say to what exact degree the liberal arts has benefited Trudeau, yet Westwood concludes that if all of the PM's pomp and hype is “just political propaganda, it’s of the public-inclusive, liberal-arts variety.” Metro

New PM benefits from liberal arts background Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

It is not only college students who use Adderall to improve focus and productivity, but young adults in general, writes Emma Pierson for FiveThirtyEight. US reports from 2006 and 2007 once claimed that college students aged 18 to 22 were twice as likely as non-college students to use the drug. Yet a National Household survey from 2013 reveals that this number is closer to 1.3 times as likely, meaning that a massive population of young people use Adderall for purposes unrelated to PSE. Young people who use non-prescription Adderall or Ritalin are more likely to be depressed than their peers and more likely to underperform at tasks, as one expert noted that in a college context, “these students tend to be lower-achieving students who procrastinate and do not study in advance, attempting to cram studying into one night with the assistance of Adderall to both stay awake as well as stay focused.” FiveThirtyEight

Use of “focus” drugs prevalent beyond college students Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

The US has released a new package of “executive actions” designed to crack down on college accreditors, arguing that these accreditors are not holding colleges to high enough standards with respect to student evaluation. Yet even as these actions target accreditors explicitly, they are reportedly not as aggressive as many experts had predicted, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The US administration claims it has been significantly constrained by a Congressional ban that has kept the Education Department from setting accreditation standards connected to student outcomes. In the absence of such powers, the US has opted to push increasingly open transparency measures in an effort to “shame” accreditors into changing their practices. Inside Higher Ed

Obama admin attempts to “shame” accreditors into changing practices Top Ten 11/09/2015 - 03:30 11/09/2015 - 03:30

Researchers at York University have received $7.3 M in joint government-industry funding to breed honeybees that are more tolerant of harsh Canadian winters and more resistant to disease. Current estimates suggest that honey bees contribute more than $4.6 B to the Canadian economy each year through honey production and pollination. “It is very clear that we have to develop innovative solutions for bee health because bee declines will have serious consequences for Canada’s economy and food security,” said Amro Zayed, a biology professor and researcher in the Faculty of Science at YorkU. YorkU | EurekaAlert!

YorkU researchers get $7.3 M to breed hardier honeybees Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

The Yukon has announced that Yukon College will be renamed Yukon University when the college completes its transition into a university. According to Yukon College President Karen Barnes, “having a name for the future institution will help Yukon College staff with planning for and developing the next iteration of postsecondary education in the territory.” The college's Board Chair Paul Flaherty further explained that “this is more of a signal step to make it clear to the public that the transition is underway.” As part of its application process to Universities Canada, the college is currently preparing for a site visit from the organization to take place in the 2016–17 academic year. Yukon College

Yukon College to be renamed Yukon University Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

The University of Manitoba hosted the official opening of new space for The George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation yesterday on its Bannatyne Campus. The Centre was first established in 2008 through a partnership between uManitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority following a $2.5 M donation by the late uManitoba alumnus George Yee. The Centre’s mission is to improve knowledge translation, research collaboration, and patient outcomes in a healthcare setting. uManitoba

uManitoba cuts ribbon on George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

UBI Global has released its 2015 top ten rankings for North America’s best business incubation and acceleration centres. Ryerson University’s DMZ incubator placed first among North America’s incubators, while Université Laval’s Entrepreneuriat Laval placed first among accelerators. Other incubators featured in the North American top ten were Innovate Calgary at the University of Calgary (#3), TEC Edmonton at the University of Alberta (#4), Western Research Parks at Western University (#5), and Lead to Win at Carleton University (#7). The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute at York University placed third overall among business accelerators. Marketwired | Ottawa Business Journal | Carleton | DMZ

Five Canadian universities make North America top ten for business incubation Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

Thousands of CEGEP and university students took part in a province-wide protest against tuition fees yesterday. The 20 student associations united under the Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ASSÉ) reportedly represent over 50,000 students. The ASSÉ is protesting the lack of increased spending in education, the “pillaging of public services” by the provincial government, and the alleged possibility that Quebec will privatize health care and education in the province. These students will be joined by public sector workers, including teachers, in denouncing education cuts and stalled salary negotiations. This protest followed other budget cut protests and votes for strikes from local institutions. CBC | CTV

Thousands of students participate in QC anti-austerity protest Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

Université du Québec à Montreal, Université de Montréal, and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières have collaborated with Éducation Lanaudière to form a new regional university centre. The new Centre, named the Centre régional universitaire de Lanaudière (CRUL), will work to expand the PSE opportunities available to students from the Lanaudière region of Quebec. Recent research has found that approximately 80% of students from the area go on to pursue PSE locally if the desired courses and programs are available. UQAM (French)

Three QC universities team up to create regional university centre Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has opened a new expanded Simulation Centre at its Prince Albert campus. The centre provides students in nursing and health sciences programs with the opportunity to practice their skills in a hands-on learning environment. The centre will offer both low-fidelity and high-fidelity simulation areas; the low-fidelity area will provide students the opportunity to acquire specific patient care skills. The high-fidelity area will challenge students to work in situations where their skills and knowledge can be pulled together to determine appropriate care decisions. The new centre is reportedly part of SaskPolytech’s goal to become “the first-choice polytechnic in Canada by 2020.” SaskPolytech

Sask Polytech's Prince Albert campus opens expanded nursing, health sciences simulation centre Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

Justin Trudeau has chosen to absorb Canada’s Industry Ministry portfolio into the new ministerial post of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the decision clearly shows his intention to push Canadian business away from traditional industry and more toward a tech-based knowledge economy, writes Geoffrey Morgan for the Financial Post. On the surface, the move also hints toward increasing investments in R&D and innovation, and several representatives from Canada’s PSE sector have already applauded the move. “To the extent that governments can help, we need to help transform Canada’s manufacturing sector from low-end processing to higher-end value added activities,” said Walid Hejazi, Professor of Competitiveness at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. Financial Post

Trudeau merges industry and science in new cabinet Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

UK universities in a financial pinch should consider charging tuition fees based on the projected earnings of students, writes Dean Machin for Times Higher Education. To do so, these institutions would have to follow the American example of publishing data based on the earnings of their alumni. This data would work to determine what earnings students of specific programs could expect to make before entering those programs, thus making their investment in higher education a much more informed decision. Machin further argues that this shift could help universities significantly increase their revenue without unfairly placing the burden of an across-the-board tuition increase on students whose educational pathways might lead to lower earnings. Times Higher Education

Tuition fees should be based on projected future earnings Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

A member of the board of State College of Florida at Manatee-Sarasota has allegedly recommended that teaching applicants “place salary ‘bids’ along with their applications” that could ultimately determine hiring decisions. According to Robyn Bell, Assistant Professor at SCF and President of State College’s Faculty Senate, job candidates are currently asked to give an expected salary on their application, but they may write a nonnumeric response like “typical with salary schedule.” Greg Scholtz, Director of Tenure, Academic Freedom, and Governance for the American Association of University Professors, says that “this proposal is not about the best it can afford, but the cheapest it can buy. Unfortunately, in education as in everything else, you tend to get what you pay for.” Inside Higher Ed | Slate

FL college board member suggests teaching applicants bid for salaries Top Ten 11/06/2015 - 03:30 11/06/2015 - 03:30

Enrolment in Ontario’s colleges has reached a record high of 237,000 full time students, a 2.4% increase from 2014, according to a report released by Colleges Ontario. The number of university graduates enrolled in college has increased by 50% over the last 5 years, showing an increasing trend in students pursuing a combination of university and college education. “Many students are finding the programs that best fit their strengths and career ambitions are offered at colleges,” said Linda Franklin, President and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “In this economy, students need to explore the full range of options and find the programs that best suit them.” Colleges Ontario | CTV Kitchener | Northumberland View | Nugget

Ontario college enrolment increases to record levels Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

Alberta has announced that it will commit $10 M per year to restore a popular summer job program for the province’s students. The Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP) will run between May and August beginning in 2016 and will help fund jobs for 3,000 students. The program originally ran from 1972 until 2013, when it was put on hiatus by the governing Progressive Conservatives. The newly restored program will also be available for the first time to small businesses in the province. Premier Rachel Notley emphasized the importance of workplace experience for today’s students in the program announcement, saying, “work experience is absolutely crucial. Many students in Alberta today face barriers when trying to find work. They often get trapped in that Catch-22 situation where they can’t get a job without experience and they can’t get experience without a job.” Edmonton Journal | Edmonton Sun | CBC

AB restores $10 M student summer job program Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

Carleton University’s Zelikovitz Centre for Jewish Studies has announced that it will launch a new Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship (CHES) on Sunday as part of Holocaust Education Month. The date will mark the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a series of deadly attacks on Jews that occurred throughout Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938. Bringing together academics, educators, survivors, students, and community members, CHES will offer year-round programming that combats prejudice and racism while promoting respect for diversity, social justice, and human rights. Carleton

Carleton to launch new Centre for Holocaust Education and Scholarship Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

Two new student federations have emerged in Quebec following the decline of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ), which was a major force behind student protests of tuition hikes in QC in 2012. The new organizations are known as the Union étudiante du Québec (UEQ) and the Association for the Voice of Education in Quebec (AVEQ). “The Montreal Gazette has referred to both groups as “fledgling organizations,” and it is still uncertain how the groups will unite or diverge on various issues facing Quebec students. However, Concordia University Student Union President Terry Wilkings has noted that, “plurality in the student movement can only be positive.” He added, “just because [the federations are] different doesn’t mean they’ll be divided. Differences can be put aside for an existential threat.” Montreal Gazette

Two new groups emerge from QC student solidarity Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

A majority of Canadians have positive views on the country’s universities, polytechnics, community colleges, and CEGEPs, according to a recent survey by Abacus data. The study, titled “Canadian Universities: Public Reputation & Expectations,” found that 77% of Canadians had a positive impression of the country’s universities, compared to 64% for polytechnics, 63% for community colleges, and 59% for CEGEPs. Favourable views of of American, European, and online institutions were all below 50% by comparison. When asked to associate certain words or phrases with Canada’s universities, 80% of respondents chose “valuable research” and 76% chose “practical.” Report

Canada’s universities enjoy favourable reputation among Canadians Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

The Faculty of Applied Science at University of British Columbia has set a goal of 50% female enrollment in Engineering by 2020. The faculty plans to target traditional role models and young women in order to raise awareness about the realities of engineering through programs like student and parent outreach, professional days, and workshops for women in grades 8 to 10. “There are now more women available to enter industry positions, but there are also a variety of new grads who are used to working alongside their female peers,” said Jeanie Malone, VP of Communications for the Engineering Undergraduate Society, “this is how UBC starts to change the face of engineering culture [and] how we start to break down barriers and stereotypes.” Ubyssey

UBC Engineering sets goal of 50% female enrolment by 2020 Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

A new institute for Christianity and culture at the University of Prince Edward Island will receive $50 K a year for 10 years from St Dunstan’s University, as part of SDU’s $1 M donation commitment to UPEI. The new institute, reportedly to be called St Dunstan’s University Institute for Christianity and Culture, will put the donation towards financial supports for UPEI students in Catholic studies abroad, bringing in prominent Catholic speakers, and funding extracurricular activities for the religious studies department. “With leadership and support like that shown by the St Dunstan’s University Board of Governors,” said UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, “PEI will continue to evolve and deliver the exceptional learning experiences and opportunities that prepare our students for success.” CBC | Catholic Register

UPEI receives $500 K from SDU for new Christianity and Culture Institute Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

11 of British Columbia’s PSE institutions expect to save as much as $500 K through three joint procurement agreements for welding and electrical equipment. Earlier this year, BC announced that it would commit $12 M to 14 public PSE institutions to purchase new industry-standard trades equipment. The procurement falls under the province’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and is designed to support the education and training of students studying for in-demand jobs. “Joint procurement is one way to ensure that the investment we make in the public post-secondary system is maximized for the benefit of students,” said Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. “Savings achieved with these three procurement agreements mean students will have greater opportunity to develop in-demand skills by learning their trade on up-to-date equipment.” BC

BC PSE institutions look to save $500 K through joint procurement Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

The US College Board has released its annual “Trends in College Pricing” report, and this year the Chronicle of Higher Education has included tips to help industry experts explain the rising costs of university to the general public. The Chronicle names four specific groups of stakeholders whom experts might have to engage in distinct ways: professional parents with children, working single parent with child, grandparent, and high school guidance counsellor. The article suggests these groupings are useful because rising college costs may affect each group differently. The US College Board has also released its annual companion report on trends in student aid. Chronicle of Higher Education | Report (College Pricing) | Report (Student Aid)

Chronicle offers tips for how to explain rising college costs to regular people Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

Times Higher Education writer Mike Ratcliffe anticipates that a possible relaxation of UK standards could make it easier for UK institutions to award university degrees, but remains ambivalent on the subsequent effects on higher education as a whole. Under the UK’s current model, PSE institutions must go through a form of apprenticeship in which they establish a record of high quality programming before they can offer university degrees. Ratcliffe ultimately argues that if a loosening of standards occurs, “a crucial part” of any new development “will be the way that new providers are brought into the reputational range of the whole sector.” Times Higher Education

Should it be easier for new institutions to award university degrees? Top Ten 11/05/2015 - 03:30 11/05/2015 - 03:30

The University of Calgary and Enbridge Inc have denied that Enbridge interfered with the operations of a university research centre sponsored by the company. This claim comes in response to a CBC investigation that drew on uCalgary emails to suggest that between 2012 and 2014, significant concerns existed among the school’s faculty over Enbridge's influence on the centre's research. uCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon has noted that while some concerns about the centre were expressed over email, the school never received any formal complaints. She also acknowledged that between 2011 and 2012, the university could have done a better job of creating transparency in its decision-making around corporate sponsorship. The Canadian Association of University Teachers has voiced concern over the CBC investigation and has stated that it plans to look into the matter further. CBC | Leader Post | Lethbridge Herald | The Gauntlet | Calgary Herald  (CAUT)

uCalgary, Enbridge respond to allegations of interfering with academic freedom Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

Now is the time for Canada to realize its delayed transition from a “19th-century natural resource economy to a 21st-century knowledge society,” writes Concordia University President Alan Shepard. Despite Canada’s well educated population, he argues, job security is plummeting for young people. The country thus needs to follow through on a $200 M per year promise from the incoming Liberal government to support a new federal innovation agenda. Shepard cites a recent survey that found 59% of students from Generation Y (born in the 1980s and 90s) envision becoming entrepreneurs; yet only 27% of those surveyed reported receiving enough help from local entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. Montreal Gazette | La Presse

Concordia president urges Canada to invest in knowledge economy Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

The number of young working Canadians has dropped and remained low since the 2008 recession, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada. The numbers show that between 2008 and 2014, the number of teens aged 15 to 19 who were working or looking for work in the country declined by 6%. Among Canadians aged 20 to 24, participation in the labour force dropped by 2%. StatCan researcher André Bernard said that this decline was likely due to students choosing to remain in school. Meanwhile, the US census shows that nearly 28 million millennials are not enrolled in school and are making less than $10 K a year at their jobs. Experts have further suggested that the financial impact of the 2008 recession will likely still be visible in this generation for decades to come. CBC (StatCan) | Hamilton Spectator (US Census)

Statistics show lingering impact of recession on North American youth Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation began the opening ceremonies for its archives and offices yesterday on the campus of the University of Manitoba. The institute will house millions of records collected by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, some of which have been sealed for decades. Centre Director Ry Moran noted that while the centre offers crucial testimony on Canada’s history of residential schools, it will make a priority of protecting the survivors whose names and experiences are contained in the archives. “While we have a very pressing and very real mandate to make as much of the collection available as possible,” he said, “we’re also being told to do no harm in the release of the information and do things in as respectful a way as possible.” Globe and Mail

TRC National Centre to open doors at uManitoba Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

Northeastern University will launch its first international campus in Toronto in 2016. The Toronto campus will offer professional graduate programs that are tailored to the specific needs of regional learners and employers. It is the first comprehensive research university that the Ontario government has approved to offer multiple degree programs in the province without a local educational partner. “Toronto’s cul­ture of inno­va­tion and increased demand for a highly skilled work­force make it an excel­lent regional partner for North­eastern. We are excited to build a bright future together,” said Northeastern President Joseph Aoun. Northeastern | Newswire

Northeastern to launch first international campus in Toronto Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

Canadian students and educators are not receiving enough support when it comes to pursuing education or training opportunities abroad, according to an article recently published by the Conference Board of Canada. The author writes that only 3% of full-time university students and 1% of full-time college students in Canada have travelled abroad to study, compared to a full 25% of German students in bachelors or masters programs. For the article’s author, this lack of participation is due to a series of barriers that can be described as the four C’s, which are cost, curriculum, culture, and circumstance. The article concludes that Canada could do much more to help students overcome these barriers, and therein make them much more valuable once they enter the workforce. Conference Board

Canada must improve opportunities for study abroad Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

Young workers without a postsecondary degree in Toronto are “in big trouble,” according to a new report released this week by the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group. The report, titled "95 Months: Turbulent Times in Toronto’s Labour Market," attempts to chart the changes that have happened in Toronto’s economy since the recession of 2008. It found that university graduates within the city made twice as much as someone with no PSE, and nearly 30% more than those with college diplomas. During the first eight months of 2015, Ontario added 45,600 jobs for people 25 and older, yet all of these jobs “were concentrated among those with post-secondary credentials.” 91,000 people with high schools education or less lost their jobs during the same period. Toronto Star | Metro

Toronto job prospects grim for those without PSE, says new report Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

A Nova Scotia coalition of leaders from government, business, and PSE has begun rolling out its action plan for universities to take on a greater role in regional innovation. NS currently hosts nearly 56,000 PSE students, 40% of whom come from other provinces and territories. Part of the action plan’s goal is to ensure that more experiential learning opportunities are provided to as many of these students as possible. The plan’s overall approach is to place universities at the centre of innovation “ecosystems,” which are networks of people and groups that conduct and support innovative activity through research, commercial product development, and other activities. Dal

NS Coalition releases PSE innovation action plan Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

Employers in the UK are focusing less on academic qualifications and more on social traits such as empathy, emotional intelligence, and resilience, according to Times Higher Education. This claim builds on the argument that today’s students seek social purpose from their work more than a large starting salary. The author goes on to add that this change is no doubt part of the reason why large firms like Ernst & Young have dropped the degree classification portion from their job applications, citing that there is “no evidence” that scholastic success translates into professional aptitude. Times Higher Education

Major UK employers seeking soft skills, downplaying academic credentials in applicants Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

Chronicle of Higher Education contributor Kentaro Toyama examines the benefits and dangers of using gamification to motivate students in higher education. Gamification, defined as “the use of game elements such as point systems and graduated challenges for activities not usually considered games,” appeals to today’s students who have grown up in a digital world. Toyama explains that the debate is oriented around the question of whether to tailor material to student interest or to ask students to motivate themselves to focus; he ultimately argues that students need to develop self-motivation outside of a gamified environment. “A good teacher judiciously moves back and forth between tricks to elicit student interest and space for students to motivate themselves,” explains Toyama, “all with the long-term goal of building intrinsic motivation.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Gamification on campus could have negative effect on student self-motivation Top Ten 11/04/2015 - 03:30 11/04/2015 - 03:30

A strike by the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) has led the university to cancel classes at all of its campuses until the labour dispute is resolved. NUFA reportedly declared the strike in the early hours of Monday morning when talks with Nipissing broke down over concerns about staffing levels, pay, and a “meaningful participation in governance.” A release from NUFA states that the association and the university are still in significant disagreement over some of these issues. The university has responded that it hopes the two sides will soon come to an agreement that is “fair and reasonable.” NUFA | | BayToday | Nippising | CBC

Nipissing faculty association declares strike, classes cancelled Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

A recent CBC investigation has raised questions about the relationship between the University of Calgary and the pipeline company Enbridge. The report suggests that the university dismissed concerns about academic independence, the role of university research, and the credibility of researchers in an attempt to create the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability, a project that reportedly involved a 10-year commitment of $2.25 M from Enbridge. The university stopped pursuing the project in 2014, but not before at least one tenured professor allegedly left uCalgary over concerns that the new institute “would be perceived as little more than a corporate mouthpiece for Canada's largest pipeline company.” CBC | CAUT

uCalgary faced internal concerns over ties to oil industry, reports CBC Top Ten 11/22/2015 - 12:17 11/03/2015 - 03:30

A visit to the recent Ontario Colleges’ Information Fair revealed how ON’s colleges succeed and fail when trying to collect information from prospective students, write JP Rains and Steve Krysak. Even though the fair offers a significant opportunity for colleges to collect such data, the report found that “only a small number of colleges were featuring data collection as a central piece of a student’s booth visit.” The colleges that did feature such collection also varied substantially in terms of how easy or desirable they made it for prospective students to provide this data. Colleges singled out for having especially effective digital experience strategies included Fanshawe College, Cambrian College, George Brown College, St Lawrence College, and Centennial College. Shoshal Report

Report highlights digital experience successes at Ontario Colleges’ Information Fair Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

Lakeland College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Grande Prairie Regional College to expand access to emergency services training in northwestern Alberta. The MOU will help the colleges share information on industry trends, contribute to each other’s initiatives, and identify opportunities to increase access to emergency services training through further collaboration. The two colleges also plan to explore the possibility of joint strategy that will help expand and enhance partnerships with First Nations communities. Lakeland

Lakeland and GPRC sign emergency services MOU Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

Representatives from 11 Ontario universities and the Council of Ontario Universities will depart today on a trip to the Jiangsu province of China to expand partnerships with universities and businesses in the country. The mission will culminate on Friday with the signing of new and renewed agreements with Chinese partners from higher education and other sectors. ON Premier Kathleen Wynne and Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade Minister Michael Chan will also be attending the ceremony and signing the documents. The mission is expected to boost opportunities for partnerships in academic programming, research, and exchanges for both students and faculty. COU

14 ON Universities, COU, Premier Wynne to foster collaboration in China Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) has called on the federal government to support a financial aid system that supports equal access for all students by breaking down financial barriers. The policy paper recommends eliminating the current tax credit system in favour of expanding the Student Grants and Loans Programs, restricting public financial support for private for-profit institutions with low-value programs and high student loan default rates, and increasing enrolment in the Canada Learning Bond program for low-income youth. “Equitable policy changes in financial aid have the ability to positively affect students across the country,” said CASA Board Chair Erik Queenan. CASA

CASA calls on federal government to reinvest in student financial aid Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

Canadian universities are not doing enough to protect freedom of expression, write John Carpay and Michael Kennedy. The co-authors make this claim based on the findings of their 2015 Campus Freedom Index, released by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. According to the Index, only eight Canadian institutions received “A” grades while 41 received an “F.” The report adds that recent trends to stifle conversation by policing “trigger warnings,” “microaggressions,” and “safe space” only end up threatening “the ability of universities to foster an environment that facilitates intellectual discovery and social progress, noble pursuits that generally end up offending someone’s sensibilities.” National Post | Full Report

Many Canadian universities receive “F” grade on freedom of speech Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

More attention needs to be paid to the issue of student debt in Canada, according to finance columnist Rob Carrick. He references the results of a recent study that surveyed nearly 19,000 students at 51 US institutions and one Canadian institution. Student debt is not tracked systematically in Canada, and so while only a small number of Canadian students are in the sample, the finding that they consistently reported greater debt struggles than their American counterparts could be an indication of a larger problem. “One other thing we need to do,” Carrick concludes, “is stop dismissing student debt as an issue because we’re not as bad off as Americans.” Globe and Mail

Canada cannot dismiss the issue of student debt Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

Investing in instructors has a positive effect on the success of disadvantaged students in school and their successive careers, a new study says. Wake Forest University Associate Professor of Economics Amanda Griffith explained that disadvantaged students “can compensate for a lack of resources earlier in their educational experiences by attending institutions with high-quality faculty.” While the study does not directly address adjunct and part-time faculty, it suggests that increased use of adjunct faculty could have a negative impact on graduates. The study also found that more advantaged students receive greater benefits from investments in student services. Inside Higher Ed

Higher faculty pay has positive effect on disadvantaged students Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

Richard Vedder of the Centre for College Affordability and Productivity argues that “lazy campuses, where neither the students nor the faculty work terribly hard,” are currently in vogue. Estimating that the average student and faculty member work about 800 hours a year, compared to the 1200 hours of a typical eighth grader, he suggests that employers feel students are unprepared for the workforce because “people don’t work hard enough in the academy.” Vedder gestures toward a possible decrease in expectations for  student and faculty work as a main reason for this reported trend. Forbes

“Lazy campuses” in vogue in the US Top Ten 11/03/2015 - 03:30 11/03/2015 - 03:30

Last Thursday, a new, consent-focused sexual assault prevention program launched at the University of Calgary. The program, titled Creating a Culture of Consent, is a partnership between the university’s Women’s Resource Centre and the Consent Awareness Sexual Education Club. “So many of the sexual assault prevention strategies that we had grown up with … were quite victim blaming," said Emily Leedham, one of the program’s co-founders. “This project aims to create a campus culture where victim blaming is no longer tolerated and to make the campus an environment where survivors will feel supported regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation and relationship status,” said WRC Co-ordinator Nanako Furuyama. Calgary Herald | CBC | Metro News | Global News | uCalgary

uCalgary launches consent-focused sexual assault prevention program Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

The Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) at Simon Fraser University—which represents 1,500 teaching assistants, tutor markers, and sessional lectures—has voted to approve a Final Offer Selection process. As part of the agreement, TSSU will end its current job action and release student grades that have been withheld since June. Bargaining between the parties will continue to reach agreement on the outstanding items; any unresolved items that remain thereafter will be referred to an arbitrator. SFU | TSSU

SFU, TSSU proceed to Final Offer Selection, student grades released Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

Lambton College has received a $2 M donation from NOVA Chemicals to fund its new health research centre. This is the largest donation the college has ever received from any industry or company and the largest educational investment made by the chemical manufacturer. In recognition of the donation, the new $30 M facility will be named the NOVA Chemicals Health & Research Centre. The donation has brought the college’s capital campaign, launched earlier this year, to $33.3 M of its $45 M goal. | Sarnia Observer | Lambton

Lambton receives $2 M donation for health research centre Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

TÉLUQ, also known as the Télé-Université, is reportedly facing significant reorganization or even closure, according to La Presse. The possibility was confirmed to the newspaper by the Quebec Minister of Education François Blais. “We want more efficient practices,” said Julie White, a spokesperson for the minister. Noting that distance education has changed significantly since the founding of TÉLUQ in 1972, and that many universities now have their own distance programs, White said that “distance learning is, and will continue to be, important to us. But one wonders how it can be deployed in Quebec. Can it be better?” The university had merged with the Université du Québec à Montréal in 2005, but regained independence in 2012. La Presse

TÉLUQ faces possible closure Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

Nova Scotia’s Occupational Health and Safety division is investigating high radiation levels in Dalhousie University’s dentistry building after receiving an anonymous complaint. The letter was addressed to several local media organizations, and claimed that a staff member was “exposed to radiation beyond acceptable levels.” The university disputes this: Dal spokesperson Brian Leadbetter said that radiation levels had been elevated during mould abatement in May, but “not beyond acceptable” levels. Leadbetter said that Dal will “fully support” any review or investigation into its practices. CBC | Chronicle Herald

NS investigates claims of elevated radiation levels at Dal dentistry clinic Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

After a substantial show of support at the voting stations, young voters and student groups are preparing to push the Liberals to keep their campaign promises. Student engagement appears to have been higher this election than four years ago, with Elections Canada announcing that over 70 K people voted at the special election offices on postsecondary campuses. The Canadian Federation of Students reported that the wait time at some campuses was as long as an hour. The Liberals made a number of promises concerning student tuition grants and employment, and, according to CFS Chair Bilan Arte, the high student turnout has encouraged student groups to “make sure that the Trudeau government … does what it said it would do.” Hamilton Spectator (CP)

Students shift focus from federal election to campaign promises Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

Universities must rethink their education delivery style and the role they play in their students’ well-being, argues Emily Lennon. While many institutions attempt to address the program by increasing mental health and well-being supports across campus, and while postsecondary institutions are not fully responsible for their students’ health, Lennon points to the central functions of the institution as areas that need significant improvement for the sake of the students. “We need to rethink course loads, class sizes, pedagogy, and other facets of the university’s structural foundation,” explains Lennon, “because clearly this problem is only increasing.” Edmonton Journal

Universities must address system effects on student well-being Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

Next semester, UBC students will be able to analyze George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and the associated HBO TV series in a course called “Our Modern Medieval: The Song of Ice and Fire as contemporary Medievalism.” The course, which requires students to read the five-book series and watch the five seasons of the show in advance, reached its 16-person cap within three hours. “The monsters in Martin’s work are people. That’s quite scary for us,” explains Associate Professor Robert Rouse. “That’s one of the points of attraction, because it reminds us that we’re the real monsters, not dragons or orcs.” CBC | Metro News | Marie Claire | TIME

UBC to offer Game of Thrones course Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

Between 1990 and 2010, the portion of US bachelor’s degrees from for-profit schools septupled, but today, these same institutions are struggling. The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki notes that since 2010, Corinthian Colleges went bankrupt and enrolment at the University of Phoenix has fallen by half. The fundamental challenge is that the schools rely on financial aid and yet routinely over-promised and under-delivered. Graduates were left with significant debt—96% took out loans, averaging $40 K—yet earned less money and were more likely to be unemployed, according to a Harvard study. He calls on government to put more money into community colleges and public universities, as well as “rethink our assumption that college is always the right answer, regardless of cost.” New Yorker

The New Yorker explores the “rise and fall” of US for-profit schools Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

The Atlantic’s Victoria Clayton argues that academic writing must be clearer and less complex. An overly “opaque writing style” is nothing new in academia. Some researchers have argued that an opaque style is required to impress academic journal editors while others explain that the complex writing style comes from spending years of deep study in their field of expertise. “It’s easy to be complex, it’s harder to be simple,” said former University of North Carolina English Professor Deborah Bosley. “It would make academics better researchers and better writers, though, if they had to translate their thinking into plain language.” Atlantic

Academic writing must be clear, simple Top Ten 11/02/2015 - 03:30 11/02/2015 - 03:30

Maclean’s has released its annual university rankings in the categories of medical-doctoral, comprehensive, and primarily undergraduate institutions. McGill University has come out on top in the medical-doctoral category for the 11th year in a row. The second and third spots in this category went to the University of Toronto and UBC, respectively. Simon Fraser University took the top spot in the comprehensive category, followed by Waterloo University and the University of Victoria. In the primarily undergraduate category, the University of Northern British Columbia rose to the top spot, followed by Trent University and the University of Lethbridge. The University of Toronto took first place in the overall reputational ranking, followed by UBC and McGill. Queen’s University came out on top in the medical-doctoral category in Maclean’s first direct survey of students in a decade; the University of Guelph came first in the comprehensive category and Bishop’s University came first in the primarily undergraduate category. Maclean’s | McGill | SFU | UNBC | Queen’s

McGill, SFU, UNBC top Maclean’s 2016 rankings Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

Cape Breton University instituted a campus-wide lockdown yesterday after receiving an anonymous gun threat through the social media app Yik Yak, which has been used to make threats in the US. Students were either instructed to leave the main campus building or remain locked inside classrooms and the library. Police were called to campus, but found no evidence of a weapon after a thorough search. The lockdown ended later that same day and normal operations resumed. CBC | Chronicle Herald

CBU lifts campus lockdown after anonymous threats Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

Canadian universities have committed themselves to improving “the quality of life for Canadians through economic, social, and cultural innovation.” They outline five commitments: preparing students for work and life, pursuing excellence in all aspects, delivering enriched learning experiences, prioritizing research for in favour of the most pressing problems, and building Canada through collaboration with other sectors. “We don’t exist alone in the ecosystem and we want to build bridges to the private sector, to government, and non-profits,” says Universities Canada Chair Elizabeth Cannon. “We feel those partnerships need to be celebrated and even expanded.” Globe and Mail | Universities Canada

Canadian universities to strengthen ties between students, industry Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

McGill University launched the McGill Space Institute (MSI) earlier this week. The institute will examine fundamental questions in science about the universe’s origins and evolution, exoplanets, and the existence of extraterrestrial life. A recent donation of $1 M by the Trottier Family Foundation will be used for postdoctoral and graduate student fellowships. McGill scientists specializing in a wide variety of fields, from cosmology to astrobiology, will also be brought together at the institute. “Putting all these researchers together helps move the whole field forward by leaps and bounds,” explained MSI Director Victoria Kaspi, “A research centre catalyzes interactions—that’s how you get breakthroughs.” McGill | Montreal Gazette

McGill Space Institute to explore final frontiers Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal, has retracted a study by Ranjit Kumar Chandra on the benefits of infant formula, as a result of “scientific misconduct.” The journal made the retraction after receiving a copy of an inquiry conducted in 1995 by Memorial University, Chandra’s former employer. The journal also cited a 2006 investigation by CBC, which accused Chandra of “scientific fraud and financial deception.” Richard Smith, then the journal’s editor, called MUN the “real villain of the piece,” saying “it should have taken this much more seriously.” MUN said that they understood the decision to retract the article, but defended their reputation. “We have progressed over the years. We have learned a great deal,” said MUN Vice President of Research Richard Marceau. CBC (Retraction) | CBC (MUN) | Globe and Mail | BMJ (Release) | BMJ (Editorial)

Postscript: MUN responds to BMJ retraction (Nov 2, 2015)

Memorial University has responded to the charges from BMJ that it withheld the results of an inquiry into research conducted by former professor Ranjit Kumar Chandra. “Memorial University has established a number of policies and procedures that ensure the highest standards of ethical conduct and scholarly integrity are understood and practiced,” said MUN’s VP (Research) Richard Marceau. He further expressed regret that MUN did not partner with BMJ in a “timely and effective response” to the concerns raised by the journal. MUN | Full Response

BMJ retracts Canadian study, blames MUN Top Ten 11/01/2015 - 23:13 10/30/2015 - 03:30

Langara College and Queen’s University have signed a MOU allowing Langara students with a completed Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree to transfer into year three in Queen’s Faculty of Arts and Science. This partnership between a BC college and Ontario university is reportedly the first of its kind, and the two institutions have agreed to further discussions. Queen’s Dean of Faculty of Arts and Science Susan Mumm says, “Queen’s is proud to be leading the way in Ontario for developing increased mobility for students by extending our reach to British Columbia through great partners at Langara College.” Langara | Queen’s

Queen’s, Langara sign articulation MOU Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

While PSE offers many opportunities for face-to-face interactions with students, it does not provide much help for how to teach in blended and online contexts, according to Joy Mighty, Carleton University’s Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning. At a recent conference in South Africa, she presented her institution’s response to this challenge: cuOpen, a certificate program offering a variety of tools for online education. The 35-hour course takes the student through developing and teaching an online course. The course is free and unbranded, and has been used by several Ontario universities. University World News

Carleton develops cuOpen to teach best practices in online instruction Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau made a surprise appearance at Universities Canada’s annual meeting in Ottawa, sending a “powerful signal about a fresh tone,” according to Chair Elizabeth Cannon. “[Trudeau] talked passionately about the impact his own university education had on him, his life, his thinking. That was a very positive message,” said Cannon. According to spokeswoman Helen Murphy, Stephen Harper did meet occasionally with past Universities Canada chairs, but he never made an appearance at one of their membership events. Calgary Herald (CP) | iPolitics

Universities Canada “thrilled” by Trudeau’s tone, surprise visit Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

Colleges and businesses must integrate better with the academic and work experiences of students, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. According to the report, fully 70–80% of US college students are active in the labour market—some 14 million people, or 8% of the total labour force. Roughly 40% of undergrads and 76% of grads work at least 30 hours a week, with 25% of all students both working and studying full-time. The problem, however, is not only that some students may be working too much to be able to succeed in PSE, but that their work is also often not related to their field of study, a missed opportunity for them to gain valuable work experience before graduation. Inside Higher Ed | Bloomberg | Yahoo Finance | Full Report

US needs better connection between working students and education Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

Fully 81% of top tech officers at US colleges believe open education resources (OER) will be an important resource over the next five years, according to the results of the 25th annual Campus Computing Project survey. Yet just 38% report that their institutions encourage faculty to use open-resource content and only 6% of courses are actually using the resources. According to the survey, the top priority for IT leaders is helping faculty integrate technology in their classes, followed by hiring and retaining qualified IT staff, and providing adequate user support. Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed | Campus Computing Project

OER on the rise, helping faculty a top priority, says IT survey Top Ten 10/30/2015 - 03:30 10/30/2015 - 03:30

York University has received a donation of $20 M from UK-based business magnate and YorkU alumnus Victor Dahdaleh. The gift marks the single largest donation ever made to YorkU by a single alumnus, and it will be used to support the expansion of the university’s global health initiatives. “This historic act of generosity by Victor Dahdaleh will enable us to prepare the next generation of global health leaders, strengthen our research capacity, and advance our commitment to building stronger, healthier communities,” said YorkU President Mamdouh Shoukri. YorkU | InsideToronto | Newswire

YorkU receives $20 M, largest single gift ever from alumnus Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

McGill University has received a gift of $3.4 M from alumnus and long-time university supporter Yan P Lin. The funds will be used to establish the new Centre for the Study of Freedom and Global Orders in Ancient and Modern Worlds, which will reportedly research the history of the fundamental ideas, systems, and institutions that govern human life. Researchers associated with the Centre are already collaborating across faculties at McGill and with colleagues around the world, working on topics such as freedom of religion and global justice in the wake of colonialism. “Yan P Lin has been a constant and committed supporter of McGill for many years and I am grateful for this exceptional gift,” said McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier. McGill

McGill receives $3.4 M for new interdisciplinary centre Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

The new Alberta budget for 2015–16 will increase funding to the province’s universities, colleges, and technical schools by $280 M compared to last year. The funding will help support a two-year tuition freeze for students, a $40 M boost to base funding for schools, and a $183 M increase in student loans. $581 M of the $5.7 B overall budget will be set aside for eight major campus expansion projects. The funding announcement was met with relief by many higher education stakeholders, including Erik Queenan, President of the Students’ Association at Mount Royal University, who said that students were “really encouraged to hear the government is acknowledging the importance of post-secondary, especially in these turbulent economic times.” Calgary Herald | Metro | Gauntlet | Guelph Mercury

New Alberta budget adds $280 M to PSE funding, freezes tuition for two years Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

The Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) and Mohawk College have partnered to provide inbound customer support for Mohawk continuing education and postsecondary programming. The arrangement has been in a pilot phase for two months and is now set to go into full operation, drawing upon the resources available at OCAS’ current customer contact centre. “Tier 1 service is critical to customer engagement, and we’re pleased to be offering support for both Mohawk’s continuing education and postsecondary students,” said OCAS CEO Karen Creditor. “Given the capacity and expertise within our contact centre, delivering this kind of support is a natural fit for our organization.” OCAS

OCAS partners with Mohawk to offer expanded customer support Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

The incoming Liberal government’s campaign promises have strongly suggested that education will be one of their top priorities when they take power, writes Times Higher Education. The party’s platform includes a number of initiatives to strengthen Canada’s PSE and research communities in particular. The article highlights an interview from two years ago in which incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the “core of Liberal economic policy should be to make Canada the best educated country on Earth.” While no one yet knows how many of its PSE-related promises the government will end up fulfilling, the main priority expressed so far by the Canadian Association of University Teachers is the immediate restoration of the mandatory long-form census. Times Higher Education

Incoming Liberals made many PSE promises, but how many will they keep? Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

Ontario universities have announced their full support for new legislation introduced yesterday by Ontario to eradicate sexual violence and harassment in all parts of life, including PSE. "Universities believe that sexual violence is never alright and are stepping up to do their part to respond to a societal problem that we all know is unacceptable," said Bonnie M Patterson, President of the Council of Ontario Universities. COU has reportedly also convened a reference group to recommend a formal system for the public reporting of sexual violence that would introduce more consistency across PSE. COU | CBC (ON Bill)

COU voices support for new ON sexual violence legislation Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

The faculty of Mount Royal University have voiced strong opposition to a new code of conduct introduced by the university’s board of governors, reports Metro News. According to the report, the faculty’s most prominent concern is that the new code may have adverse effects on academic freedom due to its vague wording on what constitutes professional “wrongdoing.” MRU Faculty Association President Marc Schroeder has also accused the new code of making it mandatory for faculty members to inform the university about any of their colleagues’ activities that might be construed under the already-vague concept of wrongdoing. Metro

MRU faculty concerned over new code of conduct Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

UNESCO has announced that it will renew its UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environment at Université de Montréal for the next four years. Created in 2003, the chair has been responsible for a number of projects and international collaborations that have included urban design initiatives all over the world. “We are proud of the confidence expressed by UNESCO,” said current UNESCO Chair at uMontréal, Philippe Poullaouec-Gonidec. “This renewal reflects on all members of the UNESCO Chair and its international network of scientific cooperation.” uMontréal

UNESCO grants 4-year renewal on research chair at uMontréal Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

Student satisfaction scores have very little impact on the demand for university courses, according to a recent study looking at National Student Survey results from the UK. The study, titled “Student satisfaction, league tables and university applications: evidence from Britain,” finds that although NSS scores might have a correlation with a university’s position among student preferences, these preferences remain relatively unchanged from year to year. According to the report’s authors, “an institution moving from the bottom of the scale (around a 65 per cent NSS satisfaction score) to the top of the scale (around 95 per cent satisfaction) results in a degree course gaining only about seven more applicants for every 100 it already receives.” Times Higher Education | Report

Student satisfaction scores have minimal impact on university course applications, study finds Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

Students in the US who accessed student loans and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2014 had an average debt of $29 K, which was 2% higher than the previous year and a full 56% higher than students graduating ten years earlier. These numbers come from a recent report by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). The report is based on data from more than 1,000 individual colleges and universities representing more than 75% of all bachelor’s recipients. Overall, 69% of graduates in 2014 took out loans to help finance their studies. Inside Higher Ed | TICAS

US student debt grows by more than 50% in past decade Top Ten 10/29/2015 - 03:30 10/29/2015 - 03:30

The Université du Québec has said that it is very disappointed by a recent report that entertains the idea of abolishing the school’s head office due to budget cuts. The report, published by La Presse, indicates that Quebec Education Minister François Blais is considering the shutdown as a way to recoup the $15 M that the province spends on uQuébec’s head office each year. Going through with the move would force uQuébec to shift the responsibilities handled by its head office to 10 different institutions in its network. “Far from having run its course, the network [and its head office] represents a vital force for all regions and all of Quebec society,” uQuébec President Sylvie Beauchamp said in a public statement. Montreal Gazette

uQuébec angered by report that province might close school’s head office Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

The current downturn in Alberta’s economy makes now the best possible time to invest in postsecondary institutions, writes University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. While the times are financially challenging for many organizations, the low cost of borrowing can help Alberta make meaningful long-term improvements to its PSE sector. Cannon notes that uCalgary alone accounts for more than $8 B in economic impact to the province each year through its operating and research activities, not to mention the impact of its skilled graduates who go on to contribute to innovation within the province. Cannon concludes that PSE institutions “train Alberta’s future leaders, creators and entrepreneurs. New ideas spark innovation. Basic and applied research create economic diversity, increased productivity and investment.” Calgary Herald

Time is right for Alberta to invest in PSE, says uCalgary president Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

Canadian public institutions might need to consider asking race-based questions in their data collection if the country plans to address racial inequality more effectively, says uToronto Associate Professor Arjumand Siddiqi. She highlights the well-documented health difficulties facing racial minorities in the US, but says that current Canadian data does not tell us enough about how much these inequalities persist in Canada. When asked why public institutions do not currently collect race-based data, Siddiqi replies, “it is unclear why Canadians find it uncomfortable to systematically document the racial groups that we seem to readily identify as we go about our daily lives. Perhaps we assume that something about being Canadian makes us inherently not racist.” uToronto

Canadian institutions should contemplate more race-based data collection Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

There were approximately 420,000 academic articles published in 8,000 “predatory” journals in 2014, according to a new study in the journal BMC Medicine. Predatory journals are defined as publications that engage in a range of fraudulent activities, which include misusing the names of eminent scholars in order to appear more credible. In several cases, predatory publications were found promoting themselves by claiming that deceased scholars were members of their editorial staff. Others had stolen photos of living academics but had altered their names. The report also mentions that most academics publishing in these journals are likely to be aware of their fraudulent nature: “they probably submit to them well aware of the circumstances and take a calculated risk that experts who evaluate their publication lists will not bother to check the journal credentials in detail.” Ottawa Citizen | Report

Science faces growing problem of fraudulent publications Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

The librarians and archivists with the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) have voted 98% in favour of strike action. UWOFA and the university currently plan to continue in the bargaining process, but if the two groups are unable to find common ground, the recent vote gives UWOFA’s board of directors the authority to call a strike. “I want to thank the members for their overwhelming support,” said UWOFA President Kristin Hoffmann. “It will empower the negotiating team to work toward the best contract possible as we enter conciliation next week.” UWOFA | CAUT

WesternU librarians and archivists vote 98% in favour of strike mandate Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

The University of Toronto Schools (UTS) has signed a 50-year agreement with the University of Toronto to stay in the same university-owned building it has occupied since 1910. UTS was first created as an educational space for teachers in training, but has since developed into an elite high school with more than 600 students. The 50-year agreement is yet to be approved by the university’s governing bodies, but its expected passing will give long-term stability to both the private school and uToronto. “It’s a renewal,” said Jim Fleck, a philanthropist, former business professor, and entrepreneur who is chair of the school’s board of directors. “We are so entwined with the university that it would have a tremendous impact if we didn’t have this.” Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

uToronto signs 50-year agreement with UTS private school Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

The average instructor of a massive open online course (MOOC) is most likely to be a white male in his 50s with two decades of experience in academia but none in online education, according to a recent study from Indiana University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The survey took place in the spring and summer of 2014 and looked at 707 instructors who taught online courses through edX and Coursera. Out of a total of 162 respondents, 64% said they were male, and 74% said they were white. About two-thirds of the respondents, or 67%, said the MOOC was the first time they had taught an online course. Inside Higher Ed | Report

White men in 50s with no online education experience most likely to teach MOOCs Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

Canada’s incoming Liberal government might wish to consider earmarking tax dollars from the sale of marijuana to help lower tuition costs, writes Dan Darrah for The Eyeopener. In the US, states that have introduced a regulated market for marijuana like Washington and Colorado have collected $177 M and $83 M respectively in the first eighteen months of sales. Researchers at UBC have claimed that Canada could raise $2.5 B over a 5-year period from the regulated taxation of the substance. The author concludes that if Canada legalizes marijuana and channels its tax revenue accordingly, “the price of education resembling pre-1995 levels would look less like a pipe dream and more like a genuine possibility.”The Eyeopener 

Liberals should earmark marijuana tax revenue for PSE Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

The University of Saskatchewan has reportedly launched Canada’s first certificate program in Aboriginal Theatre. The 2-year wîchêhtowin Aboriginal Theatre Program will be offered through uSask’s Department of Drama and will prepare students for careers in theatre, television, film, and related industries. In Cree, wîchêhtowin means “we live together in harmony; we help each other; we are inclusive.” The program is coordinated by uSask Assistant Professor Carol Greyeyes, an award-winning actor, writer, and director. The inaugural class of eight students began the 30-credit program this fall. uSask | NationTalk

uSask launches Canada’s first Aboriginal theatre program Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

The past fifteen months have seen numerous attacks on the concept of “disruptive innovation” that has dominated conversations about innovation since the late 90s, according to a new article in the Boston Globe. The concept suggests that large and established institutions (like universities) can very quickly fail if they are unable to adapt quickly enough to new technologies and innovations (like online or competency-based learning). A new article from the MIT Sloan Management Review titled “How Useful is the Theory of Disruptive Innovation?” attacks the heart of this theory and suggests that its importance has been significantly overstated for the past decade. University Business | Boston Globe

Dominant “disruptive innovation” theory faces new criticism Top Ten 10/28/2015 - 03:30 10/28/2015 - 03:30

UBC Okanagan has announced that its four-year “start an evolution” fundraising campaign has raised over $100 M for higher education in the BC interior. The funds raised will go toward student-centered initiatives, improvements to facilities, and research activities. In the past year alone, 1,600 UBC alumni have volunteered, attended special events, or given back to the university in other ways. “This was a tremendously ambitious goal for our campus and community in just five years,” said Ross Langford, chair of the campaign team. “It gives me tremendous pleasure to announce we have exceeded our fundraising goal by nearly $100,000 and our engagement target by 20 percent.” UBCO

UBCO “start an evolution” campaign raises $100 M Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

Saint Francis Xavier University will receive a $5 M donation from Tim Horton’s co-founder Ron Joyce to establish a new centre for government studies. The donation comes through Joyce’s charitable group, the Joyce Foundation. The institute is to be named after former Prime Minister and StFX alumnus Brian Mulroney; its work will focus on the study of government, Canada-US relations, and global affairs for undergraduate students. It is expected to open in 2017. StFX | Chronicle Herald | Edmonton Journal

StFX receives $5 M from Tim Horton's co-founder Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology has opened a new $1.8 M trades training building with support from BC. The new 670-square metre facility is funded through BC’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, a data-driven initiative designed to align provincial funding and programs with in-demand occupations. The program will invest up to $185 M in the province and will fund new trades training facilities at Camosun College and Okanagan College as well. “The foundation of a strong, growing economy is a skilled workforce,” said Premier Christy Clark at the NVIT centre’s opening. “The new trades training building at NVIT will set up Aboriginal and other British Columbian students for success in good-paying, in-demand jobs they can depend on.” BC | Merritt Herald

NVIT opens new $1.8 M trades training building Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 09:58 10/27/2015 - 03:30

Saint Mary’s University’s board of governors has announced that the school will raise tuition fees for undergraduates by $194 to $540 annually over the next three years. This increase works out to be a total tuition increase of $582 to $1,520 over three years. Earlier this year, the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education gave all NS universities permission to implement a one-time tuition hike. However, the rise in tuition comes at a time when the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission has announced that 3,000 fewer students are attending NS universities compared to a decade ago. A representative from the Canadian Federation of students has said that this move “is only going to add to declining enrolment numbers.” CBC | Chronicle Herald

SMU raises tuition $194 to $540 annually until 2019 Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

Trent University has announced that it will partner with Nanjing University to create the new International Institute for Environmental Studies (IIES). The goal of the institute will be to study, preserve, and protect natural resources and the environment. Its method is to help faculty, researchers, and students around the world share ideas and collaborate to ensure that global problems are addressed on a global level. As part of the IIES project, Trent will build a 75-acre research park on its property in the north end of Peterborough and will work to bring the academic study of resources together with the private sector. Trent | Peterborough Examiner

Trent partners with Nanjing University to create International Institute for Environmental Studies Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

Holland College and Collège Acadie have announced a formal partnership designed to help PEI students pursue their college diploma in both English and French without having to move to the Canadian mainland. The two institutions have reportedly worked for some time on the agreement, which will allow both colleges to provide training in French and English. PEI officials hope that the partnership will lead to more bilingual workers living in the province, particularly in the health and education fields. "This is one where I think we'll all look back a decade from now and realize how important it really was for the two institutions to undertake this collaboration," said Michael O'Grady, Holland College VP for Innovation, Enterprise and Strategic development. CBC

Holland, Collège Acadie partner to provide bilingual degree Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

Université Laval has announced that it will maintain its benchmarks for sustainable development despite cuts in provincial funding. The university made this announcement in its 2015-2018 strategic plan, which it unveiled earlier this month.  Executive and Development Vice-Rector Éric Bauce told le Soleil, "it is true that we have less money, but the fact of these cuts does not mean that we will stop developing [sustainably].” The university currently spends more than $360 M per year on goods and services, and it reportedly plans to continue making these purchases in a responsible and sustainable way no matter how much it must tighten its belt. le Soleil

uLaval pledges to maintain sustainable development despite provincial cuts Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

PEI has announced that it will forgive the provincial student loans of any borrowers who develop a severe disability. Before now, people with severe disabilities could apply to have their loans forgiven, but they required a ministerial order from the province. The new measures have been adopted under the provincial student financial assistance program and are effective immediately. Anyone who qualifies for the severe permanent disability benefit under the Canada Student Loan Program will immediately have their provincial loans forgiven. "This new policy will lift the debt load from people whose disabilities prevent them from earning an income, and allow them to focus their energies elsewhere," said Advanced Learning Minister Richard Brown. CBC

PEI forgives student loans for those who develop severe disabilities Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

It is time for everyone to stop asking “when am I going to use this?” when thinking about the things one learns in a postsecondary classroom, writes a Chronicle of Higher Education contributor. She goes on to argue that the biggest problem with this question is that it makes usefulness the measure of all value. To this extent, she adds, “our obsession with utility — and our childish demands for it to reveal itself immediately lest we ‘waste’ a precious second of our time that could be better spent watching Netflix — reveals our ugliest selves.” The majority of the time, students ask this question when material bores them, not when they are genuinely wondering about what skills they may or may not need in the future. The solution, the author concludes, is to learn to be okay with not knowing how the things we learn today might benefit us tomorrow. Chronicle of Higher Education

PSE students should stop asking, “When am I going to use this?” Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

Although marketing efforts among universities have focused a lot on differentiation, there is in fact very little to distinguish the “vanilla” brand strategies of most schools, writes university Vice-Chancellor Claire Taylor for Times Higher Education. This brand samenesss can best be found in universities’ strategic plans, which blandly seek to “achieve common goals using a language of superlatives and meaningless aspiration: ‘to be world leading in x’; ‘to be the best at y’; ‘to be internationally renowned for z’." To address this problem, Taylor recommends that universities become more bullish in distinguishing themselves and take calculated branding risks. She concludes, “vision and courage are key - as is a determination to never, ever succumb to being a whiter shade of pale.” Times Higher Education

University strategic plans produce "whiter shade of pale," fail to differentiate Top Ten 10/27/2015 - 03:30 10/27/2015 - 03:30

George Brown College rose two spots to take first place in Research Infosource’s annual ranking of Canada’s top 50 research colleges for 2015. Since last year, George Brown’s research income has grown 53.5% to $14.2 M. Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe took second place at $9.4 M and SAIT Polytechnic came in third at $7.2 M. George Brown also took the top spot for number of research partnerships among large colleges, while Cégep de Trois-Rivières was on top for mid-sized colleges, and Cégep de La Pocatière took the top spot for small colleges. Sheridan College took the top spot for number of completed projects among large colleges, while Cégep de Trois-Rivières and Cégep de La Pocatière again garnered top marks for mid-sized colleges and small colleges, respectively. Research Infosource CEO Ron Freedman noted, however, that overall research income growth for colleges slowed substantially to 4.7% this year after two years of 30%+ growth. Research Infosource | Full Rankings | Winners Circle

George Brown comes out on top in Canada’s top 50 research colleges Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

The Globe and Mail has released its Canadian University Report for 2016. The report includes profiles of more than 60 PSE institutions across Canada and features articles to help prospective students choose a university based on factors such as location, cost, campus safety, and career aspirations. The report also analyses and explains current trends affecting higher education to help students grasp how their PSE fits into their personal plans and the job market both in Canada and abroad. One article titled “The Big Decision” offers an especially brief and convenient look at the factors that can or should influence students’ choice of institution. Globe and Mail | Globe and Mail (Big Decision)

Globe and Mail releases 2016 Canadian University Report Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

Western University has received a commitment of up to $2.5 M to support a program in insolvency law and corporate and financial restructuring at its Western Law school. The funding is part of a $10 M program that the Catalyst Capital Group is dedicating to this research area; it will be used over the next three years to support a range of programs for students and professionals alike. Western Law Dean Iain Scott said, “Catalyst’s generous gift will allow our faculty to enhance its research, teaching and student experience in this important area of law. … We are committed to the creation and implementation of a top-tier program that will be of value to our students and the Canadian professional community, including the judiciary.” WesternU

WesternU Law receives $2 M to support insolvency law, restructuring research Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

La Cité collégiale has opened its new Agri-food Research and Training Institute. At the institute’s inauguration, representatives from the University Institute of Technology in Lyons, France announced the beginning of a formal partnership between their school and La Cité that will allow for easier student, faculty, and research exchanges in addition to new avenues of collaboration, especially in the fields of nutrition and engineering. Since September, the new Agri-Food institute has offered six new programs in the field of food sciences. La Cité President Lise Bourgeois said that La Cité “wishes to contribute to the development of the agri-food sector in Eastern Ontario by diversifying the supply of programs and by training a skilled and qualified workforce in this blooming field.” La Cité

La Cité opens new agri-food institute Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

Red River College has received a $1 M Jetstream 31 aircraft to support its aircraft maintenance engineering program. The aircraft, along with associated equipment, manuals, and training aids, was donated by the Swanberg family, which once ran the Swanberg Air based in Grande Prairie, Alberta. The Swanberg family has also donated the same model of aircraft to Okanagan College and Northern Lights College, along with a 601 Challenger aircraft to SAIT Polytechnic. CBC | RRC | Winnipeg Sun |

RRC receives $1 M aircraft donation Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has released its 2015 Sustainable Campus Index. Four Canadian institutions were featured as Rising STARS, meaning an overall score increase of 15 points or more since last year: SFU, TRU, NAIT, and WLU. Several Canadian institutions were also named Top Performers in various categories: WesternU (Campus Engagement, Coordination & Planning), UVic (Air & Climate, Dining & Food, Purchasing, Coordination & Planning), uWinnipeg (Dining & Food), Dal (Transportation), MacEwan (Coordination & Planning), TRU (Coordination & Planning), uManitoba (Coordination & Planning), WLU (Coordination & Planning). The following Canadian institutions obtained a Gold rating: Dal, NSCC, Royal Roads, SFU, uLaval, uAlberta, UBC, uCalgary, UVic, and WesternU. AASHE | Full Index

Canadian institutions featured in 2015 sustainable campus index Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

Canada’s new Liberal government must act quickly and restore the mandatory long-form census for the year 2016, say more than 50 academics and experts in a letter to the Montreal Gazette. The letter insists that Canada cannot make informed public policy decisions without basic information about what is happening in its population, especially when these decisions affect marginalized groups. The Liberal government promised to restore the mandatory long-form census in their campaign, but it is not yet clear whether they will do so in time for next year. An article in the Toronto Star echoes the belief that the government should act as quickly as possible, adding that census information is vital to questions about transportation, immigration, employment, and a host of other policy issues. Montreal Gazette | Toronto Star

Canadian academics urge new government to swiftly restore long-form census Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

The use of the Bell Curve when grading exams destroys the intellectual and socioeconomic diversity of Canada’s law schools, argues a new article published in the Canadian Bar Association’s National. While the author admits that a strong body of research supports the use of the Bell Curve, he argues that the curve also “exacts immense psychological stress; it erodes dignity and diminishes self-worth for the majority.” He adds that success on exams using the Bell Curve does not necessarily translate into workplace ability, and for this reason, the Bell Curve can often create “a false sense of merit. So there is a culture of competition, arrogance, shame and suspicion pervading the law.” CBA National

Bell curves in law school create shame in many, false sense of merit in others Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

Inside Higher Ed has released the results of its 2015 Survey of Faculty Workplace Engagement. The polling firm Gallup used a 12-question measure of engagement, finding that just 34% of faculty were “engaged,” with 52% “not engaged.” They clarify that not engaged is not necessarily bad, as these faculty may still be productive and satisfied. However, the 14% of faculty who were “disengaged” are merely “physically present at work but emotionally disconnected.” 45% of tenure-track but not tenured faculty were engaged, compared to 32% of tenured and non-tenure-track faculty. The overall rate of faculty engagement is on par with that for the total US workforce. Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s 2015 faculty engagement survey Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

Student protests in South Africa turned violent last week when protesters broke through a police barrier outside the South African Parliament, prompting riot police to throw stun grenades at the swelling crowd. The students had gathered to protest a 10% tuition increase at the country’s largest university in Johannesburg, although the Globe and Mail reports that a general student movement has gained momentum over the past year due to dissatisfaction with a range of social issues, especially the slow pace of racial transformation at many universities since the end of apartheid. The movement is also fueled by poor youth employment, as more than 50% of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the country are currently unemployed. Globe and Mail | Metro

South African student protests turn violent Top Ten 10/26/2015 - 03:30 10/26/2015 - 03:30

The University of Calgary Students’ Union has taken legal action against uCalgary to determine the ownership rights of MacEwan Hall. The Calgary Herald reports that the union and university have been working on a new management agreement for the building for more than two years, but negotiations turned negative in September when the union protested the school’s claim to ownership of the building. According to the union, it possesses documents dating back to the 1960s that show it has a 55% ownership stake in the building. uCalgary officials have countered that they also have “50 years of documentation” demonstrating that the building is legally owned by the university. “We’ve got a mountain of evidence,” said Students’ Union President Levi Nilson. “They’ve only produced some of their evidence, but serving (the lawsuit) forces them to show their cards.” Calgary Herald | 660 News | The Gauntlet

uCalgary Students’ Union files lawsuit for ownership of MacEwan Hall Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

Wilfrid Laurier University has received formal opposition to its plan to place 22 statues of Canadian prime ministers on its campus. Opponents of the plan claim that the statues would be insensitive to First Nations and other minority groups and not properly representative of WLU’s diverse community. WLU’s senate passed a motion on Tuesday asking the school’s board of governors to cancel the plan, building on an existing petition and numerous statements from campus groups opposing the project. Joel Peters, Assistant Vice-President External Relations at WLU, said that the administration will meet with opposing groups to work toward a compromise. Globe and Mail | Waterloo Region Record | National Post

WLU to meet with opposition groups to discuss planned statues of Canadian PMs Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

The future of funding for some psychological counselling services at the University of Alberta has become uncertain, reports CBC. The school currently funds some of its psychological workers with a $1 M grant that has been issued to it over the past three years, but reports say that this funding has not yet been renewed for next year. uAlberta’s Student Union President Navneet Khinda said the funding is “in dire need of replacement,” as the school has seen a growing concern with suicide in recent years, but reportedly still has a month-and-a-half waiting list for students looking to access free mental health services. “There’s just not enough [counsellors],” Khinda said. “And honestly, I think it’s just pennies for the government of Alberta.” CBC

uAlberta students express concern over delay in AB mental health funding Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

Concordia University announced that it will make its downtown campus a home for the global operations of Academics Without Borders (AWB). The school will also offer additional support to help the organization boost higher education in developing countries. The new AWB office will explore how Concordia researchers, faculty, and administration can become more involved in projects all over the world. “Sharing our expertise with AWB partners in developing countries is a natural extension of Concordia’s educational mission,” said Concordia President Alan Shepard. “This allows us to widen the reach and impact of our long-standing commitment to exploration and innovation through research and teaching.” Suburban | RCI | Concordia

Concordia to host Academics Without Borders Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

The Council of Ontario Universities has released its annual Going Greener report, which helps track how Ontario Universities are becoming more sustainable in how they deal with food sustainability, conservation efforts, and the creation of partnerships that work toward a greener community. Some of the reports insights include: more than 200 sustainability focused programs being offered by Ontario’s universities, 41% of universities banning the sale of bottled water, 91% of campuses offering discounted or free transit passes to students, and 77% offering a car share station on campus. The Going Greener report first launched in 2009 and is now in its sixth year. COU | Full Report

COU releases 2015 Going Greener sustainability report Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

St Lawrence College and Queen’s University recently completed a three-year collaborative project to develop province-wide standards and guidelines for the use of academic accommodations for mental health. These online resources include recommendations on what students must provide to receive academic accommodations for a mental health condition, videos about the accommodation process, and an information and resource handbook for students with mental health disabilities in postsecondary education. “These resources can help universities and colleges support a growing number of students with mental health-related disabilities on campuses across the province,” says Queen’s project leader Mike Condra. SLC | Queen’s

Queen’s, SLC collaboration yields new mental health resources Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

Niagara College in Ontario has signed a formal MOU with Niagara University in New York, forming an international partnership aimed at strengthening education in the bi-national region. While the two institutions already have articulation agreements in place, the MOU expands the partnership to encourage research, promote collaborative programming, and expand the range of covered disciplines. “Together with Niagara University, we’re identifying opportunities to strengthen the economy and culture of our shared community,” said Niagara College President Dan Patterson. “This partnership creates new learning opportunities for students, leverages the expertise of faculty on both sides of the border, and capitalizes on our research and innovation activities.” Niagara | 610 CKTB

Niagara College, Niagara University sign MOU Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

In a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, UNC-Chapel Hill Assistant Professor Molly Worthen argued for a return to the traditional lecture, calling the “active learning craze … only the latest development in a long tradition of complaining about boring professors.” It is, she argues, an “attempt to further assimilate history, philosophy, literature and their sister disciplines to the goals and methods of the hard sciences”. Slate’s higher education correspondent Rebecca Schuman has responded, saying that Worthen’s article exemplifies “a bad habit that too many professors have: building their teaching philosophies around younger versions of themselves.” She concludes that “breaking up lectures with more involved instructional methods isn’t necessarily giving students what they want. But sometimes, it is giving students what they need.” New York Times | Slate

NY Times article stirs active learning debate Top Ten 10/23/2015 - 03:30 10/23/2015 - 03:30

A total of 72 women’s and civil rights groups have asked the US federal government to remind “academic institutions of their legal obligations to prevent and remedy all forms of prohibited harassment, including harassment through anonymous social media applications.” This request comes following numerous accounts of online bullying such as the anonymous rape and death threats posted on Yik Yak and directed at members of Feminists United on Campus at the University of Mary Washington, which is being investigated by federal authorities. Tech consultant Tracy Mitrano explains that monitoring or banning these apps comes with a number of serious complications, but institutions can “focus on changing campus culture via education, expanded counseling services, and partnerships with student groups and Greek life.” Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed |