Top Ten

September 29, 2014

KingsU launches new Leder School of Business

The King’s University in Edmonton has launched the Leder School of Business, thanks to $12 M in donations and commitments. The new business school is named after founding donor John Leder, President of Edmonton-based Supreme Group. The Leder School will offer programs and courses in 5 streams: Global Learning, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Accounting, and Distance Learning. KingsU is also working on the development of a Centre for Applied Learning within the Leder School. Students will have the opportunity to participate in international internships and exchanges in order to foster global awareness. “The Leder School of Business will offer business programs unique in western Canada, but also give students the critical and strategic thinking needed to succeed in business and life,” said President Melanie Humphreys. KingsU was one of the AB university colleges recently authorized to change their names to university. KingsU News

BC tuition waivers come with strings attached

BC’s Representative for Children and Youth Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond is “appalled” to learn that as PSE institutions continue to offer tuition waivers and bursaries to foster children and former youth-in-care, the BC government is cutting back equivalent amounts from other support funding given to these youth. In one case, an 18-year-old foster child was awarded a $1,300 college bursary only to have the same amount deducted from the tuition funds granted by the Ministry of Children and Family Development. “The whole point of universities doing this is basically to lessen the load of the financial burden of kids in care. It was not for the ministry to freeload and deduct the money from kids in care,” said Turpel-Lafond. The ministry defended the action by explaining that as a foster child, shelter and food costs are already covered, so it is acceptable to cut back the funds allocated for tuition. Turpel-Lafond said it would have been “decent” to let the teen keep the money for other expenses, such as tutoring or school supplies. Vancouver Sun

Langara releases its first-ever academic plan

Langara College has released its first Academic Plan, identifying priority areas to guide Langara’s growth and development through 2019. The 5 priority areas are Learning and Teaching; Student Support; Aboriginal Initiatives; International Initiatives; and Environmental, Financial, and Social Sustainability. The Plan is based on 18 months of consultations with faculty, staff, students, and external advisors, and is meant to be a living document that will be reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. Each of the priorities will be executed by an Academic Plan Action Group and will rely on active support and participation from the Langara community. “The Academic Plan identifies who we are as an institution, what we believe in, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. It builds on what we are doing well, identifies where we can grow, and is designed to be adapted in response to new opportunities and challenges,” reads a statement by Provost and VP Academic and Students Brad O’Hara. Langara News Release | Academic Plan

Majority of Canadian med students come from 6 schools

When it comes to applying for medical school, competition can be fierce, and the question of which school to attend for a pre-med program can be a tough one.Maclean’s recently took a look at the first-year cohort attending Canada’s 14 English and bilingual medical schools to determine where the students had most recently studied, finding that a majority (78%) had attended an institution with a medical school on campus. More than half (52%) attended one of 6 schools—McMaster University, University of Toronto, Western University, McGill University, University of British Columbia, and University of Alberta. Although these schools are known to be difficult, and therefore potentially one might graduate with a lower average, university administrators insist that they do not favour graduates from one school over another. Grades are making up less of the admissions criteria too, with things like MCAT performance, awards, past employment, volunteer activities, and other criteria rising in influence. The bottom line: students shouldn’t worry about avoiding the “hard schools,” but they also shouldn’t worry if they attend a smaller school, so long as they make sure to “round out their education with a rich resume.” Maclean’s

Sheridan signs on as inaugural Canada Makes partner

Sheridan College has announced that it will be an inaugural member of Canada Makes, a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit organizations that promote additive manufacturing. Canada Makes focuses on technologies including 3D printing, reverse engineering of 3D imaging, and the creation of medical implants and replacement human tissue. “Sheridan’s Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) is one of the most sophisticated applied research labs for commercial 3D production on an academic campus in Canada. Through Canada Makes, we’re proud to provide SMEs across Canada with access to additive and direct digital manufacturing capabilities that would not otherwise be within their reach,” said Sheridan President Jeff Zabudsky. Sheridan News Release

HEQCO report calls for better integration of numeracy across PSE

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) finds that non-STEM PSE students lack sufficient opportunities to develop their numeracy skills. Moreover, the report suggests that Ontario is falling behind other jurisdictions when it comes to numeracy. “While there is broad consensus that literacy skills are essential for work and life in general, there is less consensus about numeracy, even though both are defined as essential skills by a number of sources,” the report says. It argues that numeracy is too often segregated into particular courses. Moreover, the report says that PSE institutions do not collect enough data regarding the numeracy skills of incoming students. The report calls for further integration of numeracy in PSE courses of study and calls on PSE institutions to implement numeracy assessments for incoming and outgoing students. HEQCO News ReleaseFull Report

Ontario MTCU mandate letter outlines top priorities

Ontario has published a letter from Premier Kathleen Wynne detailing the mandate of the province’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The letter identifies 3 core priorities: helping people choose their path; ensuring an accessible, high-quality, and sustainable PSE system; and building Ontario’s integrated employment and training system. The letter calls on MTCU to improve apprenticeship completion rates; to better identify and meet the needs of under-represented learner groups, including Franco-Ontarians and students with disabilities; and to ensure that timely and relevant labour market information is readily available to all stakeholders. The letter also directs MTCU to focus on key outcomes for students, institutions, and the economy; to ensure that the Ontario Online system is ready to provide online courses for credit beginning in 2015; and to work to reallocate funding from the least effective training programs to the most effective. 2014 Mandate Letter

Generation Z looks for socially responsible companies, employers

Students in Generation Z—a term used to describe persons born after 1997—prefer to support companies and brands that reflect their values of social and environmental responsibility. The Globe and Mail reports that brands that are able to successfully earn the loyalty—and the business—of Generation Z tend to have a strong charitable platform, demonstrate transparency, and use smartphones and social media to reach their desired audience. Health has also been identified as a key concern of Generation Z. These values influence not only what Generation Z consumers buy, but where they like to work. Companies that are able to successfully recruit loyal employees offer perks including fitness facilities, concierge services, and open systems of communication. Generally, members of Generation Z value ethical companies and social consciousness, and believe in the power of their dollar to make change in the world. Globe and Mail

College enrolment in US declines for second year

College enrolment in the US has dropped for the second year in a row, according to new data from the US Census Bureau. Although the decline of 463,000 enrolments from 2012 to 2013 put the 2-year cumulative total at almost one million, it follows an expansion of 3.2 M between 2006 and 2011. The majority of the drop in enrolment occurred at 2-year colleges, which experienced a 10% decline from 2012–2013. Enrolment at 4-year colleges grew slightly, by 1%. The enrolment drop was equally divided between older and younger students, with enrolment of those 21 and younger falling by 261,000 and of those 25 and older by 247,000. Earlier this year, the US Department of Education predicted that PSE enrolment would grow by 14% from 2011–2022, but that the rate of growth would be much smaller than the increase seen in the previous 14 years. Inside Higher Ed  | Census Bureau News Release

Suffolk University suspends controversial ad campaign

A provocative ad campaign launched this summer by Boston area Suffolk University has been put on pause, reports Inside Higher Ed. The campaign promoted Suffolk as anti-elite and a destination for hard-working students. Print ads that read “Suffolk students rely on their will to succeed, not their father’s will,” and “A university whose students have their nose to the grindstone instead of stuck up in the air” were described as attempts to separate Suffolk from the “noisy market” of Boston’s elite PSE institutions. Although the ads received some negative feedback on social media, the ad agency that produced the ads said there was also a lot of positive feedback. Greg Gatlin, VP of Marketing and Communications at Suffolk, said the decision to pull the campaign and explore other ideas is based on new leadership and “a desire to increase the university’s visibility in a larger region.” Inside Higher Ed