Top Ten

April 20, 2015

WesternU senate votes against non-confidence motion in Chakma

A motion of non-confidence in 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. London Free Press

Everest students join US push for loan forgiveness

Some former students of the now-defunct Everest College are demanding that the Ontario government refund loans taken out for what they say are “worthless” degrees. These students add their voices to the so-called “Corinthian 100”—a group of US students who attended Corinthian Colleges’ Everest, Heald and WyoTech subsidiaries—who are also calling for debt forgiveness. “It’s a dirty diploma,” says Karen Zahoruk, a graduate of Everest’s Hamilton campus. She fears that the college’s “tainted” reputation is limiting her job prospects. Ontario has already limited debt and extended repayment timelines for students affected by the Everest closure. CBC

Canada commits $130 M for global education

Canada has promised $120 M for a four-year extension of its commitment to the Global Partnership for Education, as well as a further $10 M to UNICEF for education in crisis-affected areas, including Syria. “This will make a real difference in the lives of children in developing countries,” says International Development Minister Christian Paradis. “It will help to ensure they have access to quality education, which is vital to help them move out of poverty and build prosperous futures.” According to a recent global survey, Canada’s share of GDP dedicated to development has declined significantly, putting Canada in the bottom half of OECD countries in that category. Maclean’s | Plan Canada Release | Canada News Release

CCA chief executive shares plans to modernize the organization

The National Post has published an article looking at Canada Council for the Arts' CEO Simon Brault's plans to modernize the organization. Brault plans to implement a new funding model, based on "fewer and clearer programs and simplified processes" for grant allocation. According to Brault, CCA will reduce the number of programs served by grants from 146 to fewer than 10. Brault also wants the grants process to better recognize applicants' need, and wants CCA to be better positioned to demonstrate the results of its programs. Finally, he said that he would like CCA to be more strategic with its initiatives. A full report on the new system is expected in June. National Post

NL must invest in education to ensure economic prosperity

A new Conference Board of Canada report says that NL is too reliant on the oil sector and that its economy is at risk as a result. In order to improve its economic competitiveness, NL is encouraged to increase education levels and match skills training with labour force needs. The report also recommends that the province work to strengthen ties between PSE institutions and the private sector. The Conference Board found that NL "is clearly a low performer when it comes to university completion and adult skills," but finished in the middle on other education and skill indicators compared to competitors. Nevertheless, the report says that anecdotal evidence points to a skills gap that will likely be exacerbated as an aging population exits the labour force. Report Summary | Full Report | Chronicle-Herald

CEGEP wrestles with how to prevent radicalization

The Montreal Gazette has published a piece looking at how Montreal CEGEP Collège de Maisonneuve is wrestling with why some of its students have fallen prey to radicalization. "When this happens, you feel very guilty for not having saved a child. Because that's how we see it here, as saving a student," said Brigette Desjardins, Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at Maisonneuve. The CEGEP has implemented anti-radicalization programs, and has created an anonymous form that students and staff can use to report any concerning behaviour. The CEGEP is also working with a social worker from a local anti-radicalization centre. However, Desjardins says that there are rarely specific signs that students have embraced extremist ideologies. "Was there a typical profile? The answer is no," she said. Montreal Gazette

Ryerson's Digital Media Zone rebrands

Ryerson University's Digital Media Zone celebrated its fifth anniversary on Thursday, unveiling a new logo and revised brand. The Digital Media Zone has officially been renamed DMZ, a name that is "more reflective of the startup community we serve," said Brendan Dellandrea, the incubator's Director of Marketing and Communications. Dellandrea noted that digital media and content startups represent just a small segment of the companies that have been fostered at DMZ. "We've outgrown that narrow niche. We're now home to all types of startups who are involved with solving some sort of problem with technology," he said. He noted that many have been using the nickname "DMZ" for the incubator since its inception. Ryerson News ReleaseFinancial Post

Acadia spin-off company offers multimedia case-study platform

Acadia University has launched a new spin-off company, Casenet Media Inc. Casenet offers a cloud-based, multimedia platform for business case studies. Developed by Conor Vibert and Michael Sheppard, professors at Acadia's FC Manning School of Business, the platform can be used in place of traditional business case studies. “Students spend much of their time connected to the online world through social media and their smartphones, and video is pervasive. But in many business school classrooms, print still reigns ... Casenet is a video-based response to this disconnect," said Vibert. Casenet has signed a distribution agreement with publisher John Wiley & Sons Canada to reach educational institutions across Canada, and is also looking at the corporate training market. Acadia News Release

MRU prof takes high-tech approach to improving geography education

Mount Royal University professor Lynn Moorman is partnering with local technology experts to help improve students' basic geographic knowledge and skills. Working with the PYXIS innovation, a firm that specializes in global grid technologies, Moorman is using advanced geospatial software to demonstrate to students connections and interactions between things such as traffic flow, wildlife migration patterns, and watersheds. Her project is intended to make geography more accessible to a digitally savvy generation by providing a hands-on learning experience. "It's a globally connected world, and for us to succeed as a society and as an economy, we need to ensure that growing generations are familiar and comfortable with the geography of their country and the world as a whole," Moorman said. MRU News

ACT report advocates distinction between workplace and college readiness

The non-profit testing firm ACT has released a new report calling for a clearer understanding of the differences between workplace readiness and college readiness. 4 categories of skills are identified as contributing to success after high school: core academic skills, cross-cutting capabilities, behavioural skills, and navigation skills. The new framework distinguishes between 3 levels of workplace readiness, with increasing levels of specificity: “work” readiness, “career” readiness, and “job” readiness. With this report, ACT says it has “refined and deepened its ground-breaking research into the requirements for success in postsecondary education and the workplace.” Inside Higher Ed Full Report