Top Ten

July 21, 2015

Three Canadian universities make the CWUR top 100

The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) has released its 2015 list of the world’s top 1000 universities. Three Canadian universities have made the top 100: the University of Toronto (#32), McGill University (#42), and UBC (#62). CWUR boasts that it is the only global ranking that measures quality and prestige without relying on surveys or submissions of data from the universities themselves. Altogether, there were 33 Canadian universities in the top 1000 in the world. Harvard again topped the CWUR list; eight of the top ten schools are in the US. CWUR Release | Complete Rankings

MB announces First Jobs Strategy, $1.5 M to connect grads with workforce

The Manitoba government has released its First Jobs Strategy, which is designed to provide more support to university students entering the labour force. This is accompanied with the announcement of a $1.5 M fund to support the creation of an employment connection program. The program will include the creation of a primary point of contact for new grads entering the workforce, new co-op opportunities through partnerships with postsecondary institutions, and more entry-level public service job opportunities. “Working together, we will make sure [young people] have the exposure to the opportunities waiting for them, connections with future employers and the support they need as they start their careers,” said Jobs and the Economy Minister Kevin Chief. MB

Ryerson commits to help Syrian refugees settle in Toronto

Ryerson University has attracted nearly 100 student and faculty volunteers to help resettle 44 Syrian refugees in the GTA. The volunteers responded to the university’s call to support Lifeline Syria, a movement that aims to secure sponsorship for 1,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years. In January, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said that Canada would resettle 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next three years. Ratna Omidvar, Executive Director of the Global Diversity Exchange at Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management and Chair of the Lifeline Syria steering committee, said, “as an individual, I don’t know what I can do to solve that geopolitical problem. But … I know I can do this. In Canada, we have the capacity. We can do this.” Globe and Mail | Ryerson

VIU launches health promotion program with focus on Aboriginal communities

Vancouver Island University has created the Community Health Promotion for Aboriginal Communities certificate program, in collaboration with the Inter Tribal Health Authority (ITHA). The new program, being launched at VIU’s Parksville/Qualicum Centre, is reportedly the first of its kind in BC. Students will gain introductory skills in community health education, health promotion, injury prevention, and community development within Aboriginal communities. Students will also complete a practice-based learning experience through ITHA or the First Nations Health Authority. The province provided almost $100 K for the development and first delivery of the program, which will be offered in a blended format with both online and weekend courses. VIU

RDC responds to increased Alberta funding

With the additional funding from the Alberta government provided in the recently passed interim supply bill, Red Deer College has announced that it will receive a 2% increase in operational funding, providing “sustainable, long-term funding [to] enhance learning for students.” The additional funding allowed RDC to revisit its 2015–16 budget. The college will reinstate one semester of French, offer continuing education courses in both English and French, offer additional courses in high demand areas (e.g., biology, chemistry, social work), and provide additional resources for support positions in the Library Information Common, student funding office, and student advising/recruiting. RDC

UoGuelph business dean calls for “sustainable commerce” in leadership education

Business schools and universities in general must teach the concept of “sustainable commerce” to future leaders, writes Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics. Reflecting on her recent address to the United Nations General Assembly of the Global Compact, Hughes adds that for all forms of education, “engaging in transformational change is essential to the survival of humanity and the planet.” In order to achieve this kind of change, Hughes calls on governments to support curricula and cultures in which this new paradigm shift might take place. This includes challenging business school rankings that place undue emphasis on the salaries of graduates, which in Hughes’ opinion “plays into the ‘greed is good’ agenda.” Globe and Mail

Cambridge researcher calls for less subjectivity in peer review process

Scientific journals should adopt a “quantifiable, binding scoring system” in their peer review processes to become more transparent and objective, writes David Kent, a group leader at the University of Cambridge in the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. By quantifiable, Kent means that peer reviewers should be asked to assign a submitted article a numerical score that the journal would be forced to reveal upon publication. Further, Kent believes that editors of scientific journals should be “bound” to their peer reviewers and compelled to publish material that receives a grade above the designated threshold. Kent concludes that these changes would introduce more transparency in scientific publishing and help mitigate editorial bias. University Affairs

Social networks and peer pressure can boost youth voter turnout, say experts

A panel of experts tells the Canadian Press that peer pressure might be the most effective tool to get young people to vote in the 2015 Canadian federal election. This strategy might help mitigate the fact that fewer than 39% of eligible voters aged 18 to 24 cast ballots during the 2011 election, according to Elections Canada. A recent international survey released by the Broadbent Institute found that a primary reason for this low turnout is likely the low level of confidence that voters between 18 and 35 have in politicians. However, experts look to the campaign of US President Barrack Obama in 2008 for lessons on how social media can encourage youth to vote through peer support or even peer “shaming.” CTV Atlantic (CP) | Broadbent Report

Enrolment officers often at odds with students when it comes to effective recruitment

Prospective students and university admissions officials often have very different ideas about what recruitment strategies are effective, writes Chronicle of Higher Education contributor Eric Hoover. According to a series of surveys presented at the recent ACT annual Enrollment Planners Conference in Chicago, enrolment officers are often mistaken about what channels prospective students use to choose a university. For example, many officers believed that teenagers no longer used Facebook when the surveys showed that the number of students using this tool to research universities grew from 58% to 67% since 2012. Further, while 70% of students said they used social media to research PSE institutions, only 4% said they wanted this channel to provide their first point of contact with these institutions. Chronicle of Higher Education

Parents of millennials undeterred by rising university costs

Families are spending more on college and university, but parents are in fact becoming less concerned about the security of their investment, says Inside Higher Ed. A recent study by the US student loan provider Sallie Mae found that despite the rising cost that university is placing on families, the number of parents saying they were “extremely worried” about their child’s job prospects following graduation dropped from 27% in 2014 to just 13% in 2015. Forbes contributor Todd Hixon suggests that this lack of concern is deeply rooted in the minds of the parents of millennials, who much more than previous generations are willing to spend money “to cherish and protect their Millennial children.” Inside Higher Ed | Forbes