Top Ten

May 29, 2013

uWindsor and MLSE sign strategic partnership

A new strategic partnership was announced yesterday between the University of Windsor and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE). It is the first agreement of its kind for either organization, and will allow for new student internships, and research and promotional opportunities. uWindsor’s business, human kinetics, computer science, statistics, and communications programs stand to gain the most; however, the university gains rights to host student and alumni events at the various games, as well as to send faculty to work with MLSE executives, which will benefit the campus as a whole. The university also gains the rights to use the logos of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, FC, and Marlies clubs for promotion and recruitment, and the uWindsor logo will be displayed at the MLSE venues. uWindsor News | CBC

UVic begins construction of athletics centre

Tuesday marked the start of construction for the University of Victoria's $77-million Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA). The centre will house a 2,000-seat gym, an 18-metre-high climbing wall, a rowing centre, weight-training space, a sports injury clinic, field house, squash and raquetball courts, a rugby centre, and space for CanAssist to develop devices to help individuals with disabilities. UVic president David Turpin says CARSA is the biggest construction project since the institution opened -- and is a great legacy for UVic's 50th anniversary. Victoria-Times Colonist

UoGuelph adopts "pathways" for transferring college students

The University of Guelph is among the first institutions in Ontario to approve new "pathways" for students transferring from college to university. The new transfer pathways apply to 4 UoGuelph bachelor programs: bio-resource management, commerce, computing, and science. The pathways are designed to help college students Ontario-wide, including streamlining admission processes and clearly recognizing transfer equivalency. "Our goal is to look at how we can attract and sustain (transfer students) by improving services and transparency," says UoGuelph's provost. The pathways will be reviewed at least every 5 years. In January 2012, UoGuelph launched a working group tasked with exploring ways to recruit and retain college transfer students. UoGuelph News Release

Minor cuts at MHC’s Brooks campus

Medicine Hat College’s Brooks campus will be cutting one program and rotating out another, according to the Brooks Bulletin. The Open Learning Centre (OLC), a service geared to students who learn at their own pace while upgrading high school subjects and completing college preparatory courses, will not run a spring 2014 program. The Alberta-based college will continue to run the OLC in the fall and winter semesters, but the spring enrolment numbers are too low to merit continuing the spring option. A second program, Office Tech, will be cut in the upcoming fall semester. College president Ralph Weeks told the Bulletin that the decision to cut Office Tech is not entirely budget driven, but, as it does not warrant annual scheduling, the college hopes that by trimming excess now, programs like Office Tech could be reinstated in the future. Brooks Bulletin

New facilities for student housing, services at ÉTS

The Université du Québec’s École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) has announced plans to build a multi-faceted student residence and services building. The Student House will offer an under-one-roof approach, including housing, a medical clinic, pharmacy, and offices of Student Services and the Student Association. With a planned investment of $35 million, the building will occupy approximately 135,000 square feet over 5 floors. Construction is set to begin by the end of summer 2013, with completion slated for 2015. uQuébec News (in French)

Alberta educators to province: don’t meddle

The provincial government should not micro-manage how cuts are made at universities and colleges, say leaders from 4 of Edmonton’s PSE institutions, in reaction to the Minister of Advanced Education’s musings about creating common curriculum across campuses to save money. The 4 leaders agreed that each institution should maintain its own identity, making its unique decisions about how to deal with the cuts mandated recently by the government. “There is some perception that the system is broken and that’s just not right. It’s highly efficient and we’re competing with the best in the world,” said Doug Goss, chairman of uAlberta’s board of governors, in response to negative messages coming from government as of late. Edmonton Journal

Manitoba expands workplace-based early childhood education program

A new partnership with Université de Saint-Boniface and an expanded partnership with Assiniboine Community College will give 70 more child-care professionals access to Manitoba's workplace-based early childhood education diploma program, the provincial government announced Tuesday. The new partnerships mean the program will start training a total of 135 ECEs this year. The province will invest more than $2 million over 2 years to support the expansion of the accelerated program that trains child-care professionals to become ECEs, says Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, who adds the initiative provides more rural training and, for the first time, training in French. Manitoba News Release

New Conference Board resource identifies skills that support innovation

Skills, attitudes and behaviours of individuals are central to an organization's ability to innovate, according to Innovation Skills Profile 2.0 (ISP2.0), a resource launched Tuesday by the Conference Board of Canada. Designed for use by employees, employers, educators, students and governments so that they may become more innovative, ISP2.0 identifies the skills needed to generate ideas, take calculated risks and be entrepreneurial, and develop interpersonal relationships. "Skills consistently rank in the top three or four factors cited by business leaders as being necessary for successful innovation within their organizations. Skills are the enabling component of the innovation process and a lack of skills is a huge impediment to greater innovation in Canadian organizations," said the Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning Research at the Conference Board. Conference Board News Release | Innovation Skills Profile 2.0

Few academic jobs, but Canada’s need for PhDs grows

Some perspective and thought is in order before jumping to conclusions about the current over-supply of PhDs, says Brent Herbert-Copley, VP Research Capacity, at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Although there is a current pessimism about how to make good use of “the stream of doctoral grads from Canadian universities” at a time when unemployment rates for grads remain in the single-digits, Herbert-Copley argues that the news isn’t all bad. First, he says, new PhDs are graduating into an increasingly complex, globalized labour market, which creates new opportunities for work beyond Canada’s borders as well as in emerging fields like business analytics, educational software, or the video games industry. Second, Herbert-Copley points out that not all PhDs need to go into academia. He notes that universities are grappling with how to link doctoral studies more effectively with a range of jobs beyond academia – whether that’s through increasing numbers of internship opportunities for students from across the campus, more creative use of digital technology, or more flexible approaches to the dissertation. Finally, he says, it’s worth remembering that, despite Canada’s recent increase in PhDs, the country still graduates fewer PhDs per capita than the US and other major competitor countries. This means that it is not clear that Canada produces too many PhD candidates. Globe and Mail

US university graduates’ employment outcomes vary by major

New data from Georgetown University confirms that those with a university education fare better in the job market than those without. However, it also reveals that graduates’ employment rates and earnings still depend greatly on what they studied. Median earnings among recent US university graduates range from $54,000 for engineering majors to $30,000 for arts, psychology and social work, as well as life and physical sciences. People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology; unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7%) compared with mathematics (5.9%) and computer science (8.7%). Unemployment rates are relatively low for recent graduates in education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%) health and the sciences (4.8%) because they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations. Alternatively, unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8%) or law and public policy (9.2%). Georgetown News Release | Full report | Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)