Top Ten

July 14, 2015

KPU cuts varsity athletics program due to funding prioritization

Last week, Kwantlen Polytechnic University announced that it would be eliminating its varsity athletics program due to budget constraints. The school will continue its soccer, golf, basketball, and badminton programs through the end of the 2016 school year, but will then cease operations. The decision was made after determining that the costs necessary for the program to become competitive were unfeasible. The $750,000 cost of the program is not being cut from the budget, said Vice Provost of Students Jane Fee, but rather being reallocated to benefit a “broader sporting community” at the institution. Surrey Now | KPU

Judge rules that uOttawa hockey players can sue school

A $6 M class-action lawsuit filed by 22 suspended hockey players against the University of Ottawa may proceed, an Ottawa judge has ruled. The judge did strike down the portion of the lawsuit alleging that uOttawa President Allan Rock acted dishonestly or in bad faith. The trial will proceed on the players’ claim that the university itself acted negligently. The lawyer representing the students said that while they were disappointed in the judge’s decision to strike down a portion of the lawsuit, they were pleased that the suit would proceed. The lawyer representing uOttawa did not respond to a request for comment from the Ottawa Citizen. Ottawa Citizen

CFS vows to fight MUN budget cuts

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) says it will fight the 30% residence and tuition fee increases proposed by Memorial University its new budget. MUN made the decision to increase tuition rates for graduate medical students 2.5 months after NL announced nearly $50 M in cuts to the university and lifted its 16-year provincial tuition freeze. According to the CFS and The Independent, the university backed down on a matching tuition increase for international students that was said to be part of the original MUN budget. CFS-NL Chairperson Travis Perry celebrated the omission of this item as a victory and said that the CFS will continue to fight all increases to student fees going forward. The Independent | CFS

New study shows Aboriginal women closing employment gaps

A new report suggests that Aboriginal women are outperforming other groups in labour market growth and have shown the greatest employment recovery since the recession when compared to Aboriginal men and non-Aboriginal people. The report, by TD Bank economist Brian DePratto, uses de-aggregated data from the 2011 National Household Survey and other sources, discovering that although there are persistent gaps remaining, overall the gaps are narrowing between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women when it comes to employment rates and wage growth. Employment growth has been particularly strong in sectors such as education, finance, and professional services, reflecting increased rates of postsecondary attendance and graduation. Globe and Mail Toronto Star | Full Report

uWinnipeg signs MOU with Ukrainian university to establish school in Lviv

The University of Winnipeg has signed an MOU with the Ukrainian Catholic University to establish an international private school in Lviv, Ukraine. According to the release, this will be the first international school in that city. The school will blend Canadian standards with a Ukrainian curriculum that allows students to receive diplomas from both countries. “Canada has a vibrant Ukrainian community [and] this school will help strengthen these ties with a cross-pollination of culture and language through education between the two countries,” said uWinnipeg President Annette Trimbee. uWinnipeg

New data on the best and worst provinces for student debt

New data compiled by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) reveals that where a person attends university has a major impact on tuition rates and future student debt. The data show that the average cost of tuition for a four-year degree can range from as high as $25,228 in Ontario to as low as $9,660 in neighbouring Quebec. When explaining the discrepancies, CCCS said that provincial politics play a major role in the costs associated with higher education. The organization said, “part of the reason Quebec’s [student] debt levels are so low is [that] student protests have kept them that way.” Huffington Post | CCCS Report

uWindsor’s business school announces World Health Innovation Network

The Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor has announced the launch of the Odette World Health Innovation Network (WIN), reportedly the first Canadian health innovation centre with formal collaborative ties to the US. The centre will use these ties to spur health system innovation to support the commercialization of health and life science products. The centre will be led by Anne Snowdon, formerly the academic chair of the International Centre for Health Innovation at Western University’s Ivey School of Business. uWindsor

Continuing education can play major role in closing Canada's skills gap, says Ryerson dean

Marie Bountrogianni, Dean of Ryerson University’s G Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, writes in the Huffington Post that continuing studies must play a vital role in closing Canada’s skills gap. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canada loses $24.3 B annually in economic activity because employers cannot find employees with the right skills. However, a recent survey by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling found that only 29% of Canadian employers offer career management programs, although 71% said they believed employers should provide such programs. Building on these statistics, Bountrogianni lays out six ways in which continuing studies can play a vital role in addressing Canada’s skills gap. Huffington Post

More US students believe they don't need to buy textbooks, survey finds

A report by the National Association of College Stores (NACS) has found that an increasing number of students are not purchasing textbooks for university courses because the students find them to be unnecessary. The survey examined undergraduates on 23 American campuses and found that students spent an average of $563 on course materials during the 2014–15 academic year compared with $638 the year before. While it is true that the rise of textbook-rental programs might contribute to this lower figure, the report’s project manager also noted that most students who do not buy textbooks “see the materials as recommendations rather than requirements.” Chronicle of Higher Education | NACS

Lumina works with US PSE institutions to create credential registry

The Lumina Foundation is giving $2.25 M to fund the creation of a credential registry, which will help users compare the quality and value of credentials issued by colleges and universities across the US. The web-based system will draw upon information received directly from issuing institutions and use a system similar to that which is currently used to determine students’ eligibility for transfer between institutions and programs. The registry will be built by George Washington University, Southern Illinois University, and Workcred, a non-profit affiliate of the American National Standards Institute. Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education | Campus Technology