Top Ten

November 18, 2013

UPEI to get new engineering school

In PEI’s Throne Speech last week, The Honourable Frank Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, announced plans to establish a School of Engineering at the University of PEI. Calling it the “most transformative initiative of the decade,” the Throne Speech stated that the new engineering school would focus on sustainable energy, bio-resources, and mechatronics; according to a UPEI news release, the new program would be a “a unique project-based engineering education to be delivered through an industry-driven model with both local and global partners.” Currently, UPEI offers a diploma in engineering, but the new school will allow for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Design, which UPEI says would be unique to Atlantic Canada. The new school must first be approved by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC), but UPEI officials are hoping for the first student intake to be September 2014, allowing current diploma-stream engineering students to continue at UPEI. PEI News Release | UPEI News | Throne Speech

Emily Carr receives funding for digital studios improvements

The Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver has received $595,500 from the federal government through the Western Economic Diversification fund. The funding will go towards state-of-the-art motion capture, post-production, and 3D prototyping equipment, which allows students and faculty to conduct research in the film, health, and advanced materials sectors. In a statement thanking the government for the funding, Dr. Maria Lantin, Director of Research at Emily Carr stated, "This investment also benefits Emily Carr's industry partners by promoting partnered experimentation and innovation and providing access to state-of-the-art equipment that is otherwise unaffordable." Emily Carr News Release | WEDC News Release

MUN sees highest female engineering enrolment in Canada

Memorial University has the highest percentage of female first-year undergraduates in an engineering program at 29%. MUN officials credit ongoing goals of increased female recruitment to engineering. Factors such as MUN’s “long-standing tradition of graduating exceptional engineers, a co-operative education model, a unique process engineering program and North America’s only undergraduate program in ocean and naval architectural engineering,” as well as several scholarships and initiatives designed to support female students in engineering fields all contribute to the appeal of MUN’s engineering programs. Dr. Greg Naterer, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, hopes that “engineering can become a more traditional career option for women.” Prior to the release of MUN’s enrolment figures, Queen’s University was holding the top spot for female engineering enrolment at 28%. MUN News

Sheridan launches new visual identity, website

Ontario’s Sheridan College has launched a new brand campaign, including a new logo, website, and overall visual identity. The new campaign is “aimed at sharing and celebrating the people behind [Sheridan’s] innovations, accomplishments, and [their] bold plan for the future.” Sheridan’s new logo consists of the name Sheridan with the tagline “Get Creative” in Sheridan’s two primary colours of dark and light blue. The “S” in the logo utilizes 2 fonts, and signifies Sheridan’s creative journey, as well as speaking “to the versatility of Sheridan’s programs and degrees, ranging from arts to technology to vocational training.” The new website features drop-down menus for easy access to information, and graphics highlighting students and programs at the institute. Sheridan is unveiling its new visual identity across all print and media platforms in the coming weeks. Sheridan News Release | Campaign website

SMU president encourages efforts to increase international enrolments

Colin Dodds, President of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, recently published an op-ed in which he notes Canada’s ability to be an “international education powerhouse” based on increases in foreign student enrolment in Canadian PSE institutions and recent efforts by the federal and provincial governments to foster and support international students. Dodds remarks on the high numbers of international students at SMU, almost 30%, which has created a “globalized campus” benefiting all students, faculty, and the wider community. According to a 2012 federal report, international students generate an estimated $8 billion in annual spending across Canada, a significant economic contribution. “The more opportunities we create for our talented graduates, the more we are able to retain international students who have so much to offer to our region and to our country," states Dodds. Many Canadian PSE institutions have recently announced increases in international student enrolment and new initiatives to support these students, including Camosun and Selkirk Colleges and the University of Ottawa. The Chronicle Herald

Pearson announces plans to measure and report on learning outcomes

Pearson has announced a series of initiatives designed to measure and report on the impact of learning outcomes. In order to “ensure that its work is driven by an ever-clearer understanding of how it can maximise and measure its impact on learning outcomes,” Pearson made commitments to publish learning outcomes measures and targets alongside financial reports; create dedicated focus and incentives towards learning outcomes targets in all business areas; publish its “Efficacy Framework - Pearson's approach for ensuring its products and services enable students to learn what they need to make progress - for feedback and improvement;” and create a global research network to discuss and collaborate best practices and new developments. As part of the announcement, Pearson also published 2 reports designed to examine and improve education and learning outcomes. "Pearson's purpose is to help people make progress in their lives through learning. So, we better be sure that we can demonstrate that progress, in all we do, in a meaningful way,” stated John Fallon, Pearson's CEO. Pearson News Release

International student enrolments at all-time high in US

The number of international students studying in the US is at an all-time high, according to a recent report by the Institute of International Education. The number of foreign students studying at US institutions increased 7.2% in 2012-13 to 819,644, with the majority of these students coming from China, India, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. The report notes double-digit increases in the number of students from both China (21.4%) and Saudi Arabia (30.5%), while India (-3.5%) and South Korea (-2.3%) both recorded decreases. A separate report by the Council of Graduate Schools found that international graduate students from India saw a significant 40% increase in enrolments in US institutions, indicating the decline reported by the IIE report was largely focused on undergraduate students. Canada is the fifth largest supplier of international students to the US, and experienced an increase of 2% in 2012-13. Inside Higher Ed | University World News | Chronicle of Higher Education

ESU argues for universal access to PSE

In an article reflecting on 2 recent gatherings held in Thailand and Canada to discuss the future of higher education, the equality coordinator for the European Students’ Union, Aengus Ó Maoláin, is urging the PSE sector to adopt universal access to higher education policies. According to Ó Maoláin, “universities can no longer afford to act like elite institutions, and governments can no longer allow them to.” Universal social support for PSE is the only way to ensure true equity and to remove the perceived financial barriers and debt aversions, says Ó Maoláin. As he puts it, “It is time for the next generation to take responsibility for the promotion and proliferation of PSE as a universal opportunity, to take up the battle for education as a public good, a public responsibility and an inalienable human right.” University World News

India introduces legislation to allow for foreign university campuses

India is looking at changing the rules around foreign universities, announcing a policy that would allow foreign universities to set up satellite campuses as non-profit companies and issue foreign degrees recognized by the Indian government. Currently, a foreign university must have a partnership with a local PSE institution in order to establish a campus. With 50% of India’s 1.2 billion population aged 25 or younger, India is seeking ways to improve the PSE prospects in the country, including halving the necessary deposit to establish a campus. The new legislation specifies that foreign universities must be among the world’s top 400, and parent institutions will not be able to transfer profit out of India. The legislation is not yet approved. The PIE News

Student video leads to race-based discussion at UCLA

An eloquent video posted to YouTube by a junior at the University of California at Los Angeles criticizes the university for its lack of black male students, who make up less than 4% of the student population. The video’s creator, Sy Stokes, uses spoken word poetry to reveal enrolment numbers, including that only 48 of the 2,418 entering male students this year are black. In an interview, Stokes states he wants to draw attention to the issue to encourage UCLA to do more to reach out to young black males, as well as to prepare potential black male students for a less-welcoming environment than is touted by the university. In response to criticism of the video and affirmative action in general, Stokes commented that "People are talking about the issue, and that's what counts. Too much of the time, he added, nobody talks about these topics in a public way.” Inside Higher Ed