Top Ten

November 9, 2015

HEQCO releases two studies on international students in Canada

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released two new studies examining the international student population in Canada, with a particular focus on Ontario. In the report titled “International Students in Ontario’s Postsecondary Education System, 2000-2012,” researchers from Wilfrid Laurier University found that the average international student in Canada is male and attends college in the GTA. While the total number of international students in the country has grown, the number attending college has risen more quickly. In “The Global Competition for International Students as Future Immigrants,” researchers from York University and the University of Guelph explored ways to improve the experience for international students. They found that many ON universities have programs that target first-year students but lack supports for upper-year students. They also documented a need to “enhance interactions between international and domestic students.” HEQCO (Policies, Populations) | HEQCO (Global Competition)

AB legislation expanding salary disclosure to professors, other public-sector workers

The Alberta government has introduced Bill 5, which if passed would expand the disclosure of salaries to a variety of public-sector employees, including professors, physicians, and nurses. All employees earning more than $125 K per year would have their full compensation, including severance pay and pension contributions, disclosed publicly. “This government is committed to helping ensure Albertans know how public money is spent,” said Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley. “The bill follows through on our promise to improve transparency in our public sectors.” Finance Minister Joe Ceci has also said that the government is moving forward with a review of the province's agencies, boards, and commissions. The third phase of this review, in late fall 2016, would examine boards of governors at public postsecondary institutions. Edmonton Journal | CTV News (CP) | Metro | Global | Calgary Herald |  AB

Canada reinstates long-form census for 2016

Canada’s new government has reinstated the mandatory long-form census that was eliminated in 2010. “We need good, reliable data,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has welcomed the return of the census, saying “this sends a promising signal that the new government plans to support Canada’s research community and evidence-based public policy.” The new census packages will be ready for distribution by May 2 and will be sent to 2.9 million households across the country. CBC | CAUT | StarPhoenix

NipissingU strike fund receives $1 M from CAUT defence fund

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) Defence Fund has donated $1 M to the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) in support of its strike fund. The money will be used for strike pay, continuation of benefits, and access to emergency funds. Representatives from academic staff associations across Canada have joined NipissingU faculty on the picket lines. NUFA President Susan Srigley has said that no new talks are scheduled between the union and the administration. North Bay Nugget | | CAUT

ACC and Royal Roads establish transfer credit agreement for Hotel and Restaurant graduates

Assiniboine Community College and Royal Roads University have partnered to offer a block transfer credit that allows graduates from the Hotel and Restaurant Management program at ACC to further their education at Royal Roads. Successful applicants from ACC would enter into the third year of either the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management or the Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management programs offered at Royal Roads. “We’re always looking for ways to expand options for our graduates, helping them to grow and further their education in fields they want to build careers in,” said Dave Perkins, Chair of Business and Hospitality at ACC. ACC

Fire breaks out at uManitoba

A fire broke out in the south side area of the powerhouse at the University of Manitoba early Friday morning. According to uManitoba Spokesperson John Danakas, the fire started in the cooling area of the powerhouse. No people were injured in the fire, and uManitoba engineers are currently assessing the damage. The fire severely damaged a nearby room and may have impacted on-campus heating. Two of the boilers were damaged in the fire, but were later restored that same day by the institution. An arson unit is reportedly investigating the cause. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press | uManitoba

New report calls for more entrepreneurship in Canadian education

Canada and other G20 countries must do more to provide targeted education opportunities for future entrepreneurs, according to a new report by EY. The report notes that Canada is already implementing some admirable strategies to help entrepreneurs and is scoring well on a number of EY criteria including tax and regulation, access to funding, and entrepreneurial culture. However, it recommends that Canada find ways to incorporate these advantages more directly into its education system. "Canada needs to place more emphasis on experiential learning and entrepreneurship training in schools, as well as extracurricular programs,” said Colleen McMorrow, EY Partner and Canadian Strategic Growth Markets Leader. “In the long-term, this is what will help build an entrepreneurial mindset and convert innovative ideas into job-creating businesses." Newswire | Report

New PM benefits from liberal arts background

“Liberal-arts majors, rejoice. You’ve got a prime minister in your ranks,” writes Rosemary Westwood for Metro. The author is quick to point out that Canada’s new prime minister likely drew more heavily on his status as a Trudeau than on his liberal arts background during his successful election campaign. Yet she adds that Trudeau’s educational background has already left a mark on the diversity one sees in his new cabinet, as plurality has always been a particularly important concern of the liberal arts. Ultimately, it is difficult to say to what exact degree the liberal arts has benefited Trudeau, yet Westwood concludes that if all of the PM's pomp and hype is “just political propaganda, it’s of the public-inclusive, liberal-arts variety.” Metro

Use of “focus” drugs prevalent beyond college students

It is not only college students who use Adderall to improve focus and productivity, but young adults in general, writes Emma Pierson for FiveThirtyEight. US reports from 2006 and 2007 once claimed that college students aged 18 to 22 were twice as likely as non-college students to use the drug. Yet a National Household survey from 2013 reveals that this number is closer to 1.3 times as likely, meaning that a massive population of young people use Adderall for purposes unrelated to PSE. Young people who use non-prescription Adderall or Ritalin are more likely to be depressed than their peers and more likely to underperform at tasks, as one expert noted that in a college context, “these students tend to be lower-achieving students who procrastinate and do not study in advance, attempting to cram studying into one night with the assistance of Adderall to both stay awake as well as stay focused.” FiveThirtyEight

Obama admin attempts to “shame” accreditors into changing practices

The US has released a new package of “executive actions” designed to crack down on college accreditors, arguing that these accreditors are not holding colleges to high enough standards with respect to student evaluation. Yet even as these actions target accreditors explicitly, they are reportedly not as aggressive as many experts had predicted, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The US administration claims it has been significantly constrained by a Congressional ban that has kept the Education Department from setting accreditation standards connected to student outcomes. In the absence of such powers, the US has opted to push increasingly open transparency measures in an effort to “shame” accreditors into changing their practices. Inside Higher Ed