Top Ten

June 29, 2015

ON commits $97 M over three years for FNMI education

Ontario has announced $97 M over the next three years to support access to postsecondary education and training opportunities for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit learners. $5 M of the funds will be used to support the nine Aboriginal-owned learning institutions in the province. As well, the Aboriginal Student Bursary Fund and Indspire will each receive $1.5 M next year to support Indigenous students in financial need. ON also released an update on its Aboriginal Postsecondary Education and Training Policy Framework, highlighting a series of goals and early success stories. The Framework was implemented in 2011 to direct improvements to Aboriginal education policies and practices. ON News Release | Framework Report

$5.4 M partnership between uAlberta and Alberta Cancer Foundation

The University of Alberta and the Alberta Cancer Foundation have announced a $5.4 M research partnership to develop a molecular approach to fighting cancer. The Foundation will contribute $2.4 M and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Applied Virology will contribute $3 M. Research Assistant Professor Khaled Barakat will lead the “dream team” of researchers. “This partnership with the University of Alberta and Li Ka Shing Institute will allow researchers to look at novel ways of treating cancer, where they target the immune system rather than the tumour itself,” said Alberta Cancer Foundation CEO Myka Osinchuk. Edmonton Journal | uAlberta Release

Illegal student housing an issue in Winnipeg

The City of Winnipeg is dealing with a number of cases of illegal student housing and has released a report that assesses the situation and provides examples from other jurisdictions. Residents have been complaining of single-family dwellings being converted into illegal rooming houses and, according to city councillor Janice Lukes, the problem is getting worse, especially around the University of Manitoba. The city hopes to work with uManitoba to address known housing shortages on campus, and will use the new report to inform possible solutions. Lukes said she plans to hold a community open house in September to discuss options and get guidance from residents. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press | Full Report

Indigenous content to be added to business and nursing curriculum at UBC campuses

UBC’s Sauder School of Business and UBC Okanagan’s School of Nursing are both introducing Indigenous content into curriculum. Sauder has recently hired adjunct professor Amie Wolf, who will develop First Nations programming as part of a larger effort in the business school to focus on values, ethics, and social responsibility. Wolf and other Sauder officials said that Indigenous awareness is crucial to the development of modern business students. Likewise, UBCO revealed new curriculum this week that teaches nursing students how to deliver culturally respectful treatment to First Nations patients. Both of these initiatives are in alignment with recommendations from the recent report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Vancouver Sun | CBC

Linamar pledges $0.5 M to Conestoga for scholarship, job placement program

Guelph-based auto parts manufacturer Linamar Corp has pledged $0.5 M over five years to create a unique scholarship program for students entering Conestoga College’s Mechanical Technician – General Machinist two-year diploma program. Six students per year will have roughly half the cost of their program covered for the first year, with the possibility of renewal for the second. Upon successful completion, graduates will be offered full-time employment at Linamar. “Skilled trades people are quite simply the cornerstone to success in our business,” said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz. “This partnership will allow us to encourage our smartest and most innovative young people into a career in manufacturing to our mutual benefit.” CBC | CTV News | Waterloo Record | Conestoga News

Canadian PSE institutions ranked on social media performance

Toronto-based technology company Engagement Labs has ranked Canada’s colleges and universities on their social media reach and engagement. According to their eValue score, the top institution on Facebook is the University of Manitoba and the top institution on Twitter is the University of Toronto. The scores are based on a number of factors, including active user base, timeliness of content, and the frequency of shares and retweets. “It is imperative for universities and colleges to utilize social media as it plays a critical role in both recruitment and as a news source for existing students and staff,” said CEO Bryan Segal. Engagement Labs Release

CBIE developing training program for international student advisors

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) has announced it is working to develop a professional development program for International Student Advisers (ISAs). The federal government requires that counsellors offering student-related immigration advice have the Regulated International Student Immigration Advisers (RISIAs) designation. ISAs that complete the new program will be eligible to write the RISIA qualifying exam. The program needs to be accredited by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, and CBIE hopes to submit its program design proposal by early fall. The design process has taken into consideration input from PSE institutions, such as being offered in English and French, having flexible delivery and scheduling options, and reflecting different provincial/territorial immigration legislation. CBIE News Release

Students in NS worry about impending tuition increases

Members of the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) at the Truro, Nova Scotia campus are concerned about tuition increases in the upcoming school year. NS recently lifted a 3% cap on tuition increases, allowing one-time “market modifier” increases to select programs such as agriculture, engineering, and pharmacy. The tuition cap for international and graduate students has been eliminated as well. John Hutton, DSU’s VP Academic, suggests universities like Dal should freeze tuition at the institutional level in order to “keep young people in province and reduce tuition fees to make [education] affordable.” NS’s Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan said that she believes that PSE institutions plan to introduce increases slowly to “minimize the impact on students.” CBC

YorkU, German university sign MOU to support research, student exchanges

York University has signed an MOU with the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. The agreement was signed at the second annual “Brain in Action” program retreat, an initiative jointly funded by NSERC and the German Research Foundation (DFG). The goals for the MOU include supporting teaching and research exchanges, undergraduate and graduate student exchanges, and supervision and networking of doctoral candidates. “This MOU is particularly important to advancing research in neuroscience as led through York’s Centre for Vision Research,” said Robert Haché, YorkU’s Vice-President Research & Innovation. York News

Most academics are Facebook friends with their students, survey shows

According to a recent survey of 308 US academics, more than half, 54.4% of respondents, count current and former students among their friends on Facebook. Furthermore, while most friend requests are made by the student, about 23% of respondents said that they had initiated the request. Asked about their level of engagement with students, only 7.5% said that they communicate with students “several times a week or daily.” The researchers found that respondents who interacted more frequently felt that this made them appear more professional to their students. Improving students perceptions “could bleed over into a student’s impression of the instructor’s teaching,” said study author Susan Sarapin of Troy University. Times Higher Education