Top Ten

September 23, 2015

MB partners on development of Aboriginal language strategy

Manitoba has announced a new partnership with educational leaders in the province to promote and protect Aboriginal languages. The Manitoba Aboriginal Languages Strategy is designed to respond to recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and is part of MB’s plan to improve Indigenous education. The new strategy was developed with guidance from Elder representatives from all seven recognized Indigenous language groups in MB. The goals of the strategy include developing a system for sharing resources and expertise, creating a partnership agreement to keep Aboriginal languages alive, establishing an Indigenous research group focusing on Aboriginal languages, developing a communication strategy to promote Aboriginal languages, and promoting and developing land-based teacher training for the purpose of producing more fluent speakers/teachers. CBC | MB

MSVU Faculty Association votes for strike mandate

The Mount Saint Vincent University Faculty Association (MSVUFA) has voted in favour of a strike mandate, according to a statement from the association released Friday. The association and its 145 members have been without a work contract since June 30th of this year, and their statement said that negotiations for a new collective agreement are “at an impasse.” Of the 93% of members who voted on the strike mandate, 88% voted in favour of it. However, MSVUFA President Linda Mann said that the mandate “doesn’t mean we’re walking out on strike anytime soon. … In fact, it may actually mean that we are far less likely to go on strike because our membership really supports the mandate we have.” CBC

ON university presidents sign pledge to encourage student voting

The presidents of Ontario's 20 publicly funded universities have signed a pledge to encourage students to vote in the upcoming election. The pledge requires these presidents to help circulate electoral information, make voting stations available, and encourage voting groups on their campuses. Council of Ontario Universities Chair and McMaster University President Patrick Deane said that “voter turnout by our young people is disappointingly low, and yet our democratic society depends on the participation of our young people.” COU

John Abbott, Saint-Laurent instructors vote for strikes

Instructors at two Quebec CEGEPs, John Abbott College and Cégep de Saint-Laurent, have voted in favour of strikes if their negotiations with the government do not improve. This week, the faculty union at John Abbott released a summary of the government’s positions on topics such as salary, retirement, and overall workload to illustrate its reasons for dissatisfaction. Reports indicate that Vanier College and Dawson College also plan to hold strike votes within the next week as part of a growing body of academic institutions responding to recent cuts in provincial education funding. CBC | CTV News

Centennial College, Samsung announce new training partnership

Centennial College has announced that it will partner with Samsung Electronics to train students to become certified Samsung product technicians. The new initiative, known as the “Samsung Pathway,” will integrate two new courses into Centennial’s Electronics Engineering Technician Diploma curriculum. In addition to their Centennial diploma, students who complete the programming will receive industry-recognized certification as Samsung technicians from Samsung Electronics Canada. "Partnering with an innovative technology company like Samsung is a logical progression of the real-world learning opportunities we provide our students," said Centennial President Ann Buller. Samsung

NSCADU to move out of historic Halifax property

NSCAD University has announced that it will move its Fountain campus out of the historic downtown Halifax property that has been home to the school since the 1970s. The property is made up of 23 interconnected Victorian buildings that would require a large sum of money to repair and upgrade. NSCADU’s board of governors decided last week that moving the campus was the best long-term decision to address rising costs and improve student experience. The university said that it hopes to move to an integrated campus by 2019. Cape Breton Post | Chronicle Herald

Mohawk launches “City School” to bring PSE to high-needs communities

Mohawk College has announced that it will launch a “City School,” a three-year program that brings a series of workshops and courses to youth, adults, and seniors in six of Hamilton’s “high need priority” neighbourhoods. The initiative's first step is to introduce residents to the postsecondary learning model, which these residents will be able to do from within their home communities. “I’ve been so impressed the way neighbours take care of each and help each other out and if you’re in a classroom setting it’s going to be a lot more relaxing if you’re beside your neighbour,” said Eva Rothwell Centre Executive Director Michelle Gellatly. AM 900 CHML

Students weigh in on postsecondary cost as an election issue

Students and student leaders across the country are weighing in on the cost of PSE as an election issue. Lakehead University Student Union President Roman Jakubowski spoke with CBC, saying that education has become too expensive in part because of a lack of federal assistance. Kenya Rogers, of the University of Victoria Students’ Society, wrote in the Times Colonist that PSE was “frustratingly low on [politicians’] radar” in this election, saying it is time for Canada to “own up to its obligations” and “fully fund” PSE. In a colloquy published in the Brock Press, Stephen Chartrand and Chace King debated the merits of free postsecondary education. Academica recently polled its StudentVu panelists for their thoughts on the federal parties' platforms. CBC (Jakubowski) | Times Colonist (Rogers) | Brock Press (Chartrand) | Brock Press (King)

Toronto Sun examines benefits of work-integrated learning

What exactly is work-integrated learning (WIL) and why has it become such a hot topic in higher education? asks the Toronto Sun. The article goes on to distinguish WIL from experiential learning by emphasizing WIL’s “structured integration of theory and practice” through opportunities like apprenticeships, field placements, co-ops, mandatory professional practice, internships, applied research projects, and service learning. The article highlights the benefits of WIL by drawing on a 2014 multi-phase study that Academica Group completed for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO); the study found that Ontario university graduates who had participated in WIL had a lower unemployment rate overall. Further, employed college and university grads with WIL experience were more likely to feel qualified for and satisfied with their jobs. Toronto Sun

Study questions value of large research teams

Scientific research teams can become counterproductive when they grow too large, according to a recent article published in the journal Science Advances. The article, titled “Multinational Teams and Diseconomies of Scale in Collaborative Research,” examined the citation rates of 24 million life and physical sciences research papers and checked these rates against the makeup of the teams that produced them. Their study found that a paper’s citation rate per capita decreased as the number of authors in a research team grew beyond roughly 20. However, the study also found that citation rates rose when more countries were represented within the research team. Inside Higher Ed | Full Report

Which wealthy US colleges leave low-income students with most debt?

More than a quarter of America’s 60 wealthiest universities leave their low-income students owing an average of more than $20 K in federal loans, reports Pro Publica. The news organization analyzed new data released by the US Department of Education to determine which universities left low-income students with the largest debts. The article focuses specifically on universities with higher than $1 B endowments that leave students heavily in debt. New York University and University of Southern California scored poorly in the analysis, while wealthy schools like Vasser College and Columbia University were found to offer better support to their low-income students, graduating them with far less debt. Pro Publica | Department of Education