Top Ten

July 16, 2015

$75 M for BC’s trades training providers

British Columbia has announced $75 M in funding for the province’s trades training providers. The funding was announced in partnership with the Industry Training Authority (ITA), the organization responsible for the coordination of BC’s trades system. In response to the Skills for Jobs Blueprint and the McDonald Report, both the province and ITA have moved toward a demand-driven trades training system, which will allocate funding based on the perceived need for particular trades. “Our goal with the Skills for Jobs Blueprint has been to ensure British Columbians are first in line for jobs in our growing, diverse economy,” said Premier Christy Clark. BC | Camosun | Kelowna Now | Journal of Commerce

CAUBO announces 2015 award winners

The Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) has announced the winners of its 2015 Quality and Productivity Awards. The awards are split into two categories: Themed, for submissions on this year’s topic (Achieving and Demonstrating Operational Efficiency) and Open, for submissions on any other topic. This year, WesternU has come out on top, winning prizes in both the Themed and Open categories. The other prizewinners in the Themed category were YorkU and St Jerome’s U; in the Open category, the other winners were UBC and uMontréal. Honourable mentions went to McGill, MTA, and HEC Montréal. Full Report

Trent begins construction on $1.97 M athletics field

Trent University has begun construction on a new $1.97 M sports field. The field is located in Peterborough and will feature a large baseball field, a field for soccer, rugby, and lacrosse, and space for parking and pedestrian walkways. Trent kicked off the construction of the field by announcing its receipt of a $100 K Field of Dreams Grant from the Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition to donating the land for the fields, Trent has contributed $250 K toward construction. The City of Peterborough will contribute $1.5 M. Trent | Peterborough Examiner | MyKawartha | City of Peterborough

International physical therapy bridging program expands to MHC

Medicine Hat College will be the third site to partner with the University of Alberta to offer the Alberta Internationally Educated Physiotherapists Bridging (AIEPB) program, which prepares internationally trained physical therapists for work in Canada. Offered both in-person and remotely via synchronous learning technology, the program helps students learn the skills necessary to succeed in Canada and to prepare for the licensing exam. “[The program is] a true example of how partnerships and technology can provide today’s learners flexible options that ensure they get the most out of their time with us,” said MHC Program Coordinator Grace Torrance. MHC | Medicine Hat News

uManitoba expands Brandon program to recruit rural physicians

The University of Manitoba will expand its Brandon satellite medical residency program after all of the trained doctors in its first cohort opted to practice in the region. Established in 2013, the satellite program was designed to expand post-graduate training of physicians in an effort to recruit more physicians in rural areas. The expansion includes the creation of two new programs: a third-year training program in emergency medicine for family physicians and an anesthesia residency training program undertaken in collaboration with the College of Medicine Winnipeg campus. uManitoba | Brandon Sun (Subscription Required)

New HEQCO report explores challenges facing university-designed social media

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) examines the reasons why a social networking pilot project called “Whiteboard” undertaken by the University of Toronto’s history and religion departments failed to become sustainable. The project was developed in an effort to create a social media space to help students identify other students with similar interests, connect with faculty, share course content, and track their academic progress. The report found that despite significant investment, the platform failed to create a user experience comparable to commonly used platforms like Facebook. It also found that many students considered social media to be a “frivolous” means for engaging on academic interests. The study drew upon three years of website usage data. HEQCO Summary | Full Report

Canadian parents most likely to expect their children to pay for university, survey says

A recent report from HSBC has found that Canadian parents are the most likely to expect their children to help pay for university tuition. According to the 2015 survey of 5,550 parents in 16 countries, more than two thirds (68%) of Canadian parents expect their child to help finance their postsecondary education, which is well above the global average of 40%. Furthermore, less than half of these parents (48%) believed that completing an undergraduate degree was necessary for their children to achieve life’s most important goals. Parental attitudes toward gender and education figured prominently in the report, with 56% of parents believing that their daughters needed an undergraduate degree compared to only 40% believing the same for their sons. HSBC | Full Report

COTR recognized for best international student experience for third consecutive year

The International Graduate Insight Group has recognized the College of the Rockies as the best institution in the world for overall international student satisfaction. This is the third consecutive year COTR has been named the top school in Canada in this regard and the second consecutive year it has received the title for best in the world. The designation draws upon the Graduate Insight Group’s International Student Barometer, the largest annual survey of international students in the world, covering the four categories of student arrival experience, learning, living, and support. Among the 183 institutions from 18 countries rated, COTR ranked first in all four categories. COTR

Former dean emphasizes strategy, uniqueness in PSE marketing

Margaret Andrews, a former Associate Dean at Harvard University, making the point that all university marking sounds the same, writes that when a person covers up the institution name in university promotional materials, “it can be difficult to know which one you are reading about.” She suggests that universities everywhere could benefit from a more targeted marketing strategy informed by high quality research. Andrews adds that in an industry where standing out is a constant challenge, universities must stop mimicking the language of their competitors and focus on building a unique identity to attract prospective students. University World News

New report examines financial feasibility of university MOOCs

A recent white paper from Extension Engine investigates whether it is financially feasible for universities to follow private companies like Coursera and edX in an attempt to offer monetized MOOCs. Based on a survey of 136 US colleges and universities, the white paper proposes four revenue models by which universities might offer sustainable MOOCs. The most popular of these models was the for-credit online course that students pay for, which 71% of surveyed schools reported using. 58% of institutions reported pursuing grant money to support research in online pedagogy through MOOCs, but the report found that investments associated with this strategy often went unrecovered. edSurge | White Paper