Top Ten

November 13, 2015

Five Canadian universities make top 100 in THE’s 2015 Global Employability Rankings

Times Higher Education has released its 2015 Global Employability University Rankings, and five Canadian universities have made the top 100. The ranking aims to assess universities based on the employment prospects of their graduates. The University of Toronto was the top-ranked Canadian institution at 10th place overall, while McGill University placed 21st overall and the University of British Columbia placed 39th overall. Rounding out the top 100 were the University of Montreal (#44) and McMaster University (#86). According to Times Higher Education, the rankings are created from the combined votes of 2,200 recruiters and 2,400 managing directors of international companies or subsidiaries. Times Higher Ed

Ryerson receives $8 M gift for student innovation and entrepreneurship

Ryerson University has received an $8 M gift from the Jack Cockwell family and the Brookfield Partners Foundation to support the university’s new Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Created earlier this year, the institute aims to fund research and incubate projects related to innovation and entrepreneurship. The donation brings the Cockwell family’s all-time contributions to Ryerson above $28 M, a fact that Ryerson Board of Governor’s Chair Janice Fukakusa acknowledged: “Jack Cockwell’s generosity to Ryerson University has created extraordinary opportunity for students. His support encourages and inspires the young innovators and entrepreneurs who will be the drivers of our emerging economy.” Ryerson

uManitoba receives $2 M gift to build MS research program

The University of Manitoba has received $2 M from the Waugh Family Foundation to construct a world-class multiple sclerosis research program in the university’s Faculty of Health Sciences. uManitoba will undertake the project in partnership with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. The funding will also be used to support ongoing research projects and a new endowed research chair in MS to be named for the Waugh family. uManitoba has announced that it also plans to grow the chair’s endowment to $5 M. Rick Waugh, President of the Waugh Family Foundation, said, “my family and I are proud to stand with the University of Manitoba and the MS Society to help end MS. It is our hope that this gift will build on the university’s outstanding MS research program, and eventually lead to a cure.” uManitoba

Men’s issues groups the “new bogeyman” at Canadian campuses

Men’s issues groups have become one of the most common targets of campus censorship or outright bans in recent years, writes Martin Patriquin for Maclean’s. The author goes on to argue that in the past two years alone, groups at four Canadian universities have attempted to ban men’s issues groups and events. Patriquin focuses specifically on the recent case at Ryerson University, where the Students’ Union denied a fourth-year student’s request to form a group called the Men’s Issues Awareness Society. Banning these groups only strengthens their resolve and resentment, concludes Patriquin, who suggests that the only productive way to address the problems with these groups is to let these problems express themselves instead of banning them from public discussion. Maclean’s

Colleges want funding from federal government for much-needed improvements

Colleges across the country are looking to the new Liberal government for facility and equipment funding, reports the Globe and Mail. “Many of our colleges and institutes are unfortunately at or near enrolment capacity, which is resulting in wait lists for programs in high-demand fields,” says CICan’s President and CEO Denise Amyot. The colleges also hope to receive federal support to improve adult learning programs, improve Indigenous access to postsecondary education, and provide state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to their students. Vice President, Academic at Nova Scotia Community College Rosalind Penfound says, “we need every person in the working-age population able to work.” Globe and Mail

"Failure" of Graduate Education deserves understanding, not laughter

The “failures” experienced by today’s graduate students are no laughing matter, writes Melonie Fullick in a critical response to the recent book, 57 Ways to Screw up in Grad School: Perverse Professional Lessons for Graduate Students. Fullick argues that the book’s tone toward graduate students is insensitive and inappropriate for such a pressing topic. Further, she challenges one of the book’s central points, which is that “a small group of students actually want to screw up.” Fullick concludes that the opinions found in the book (and among those who share its views) may be valuable for some students; yet the lighthearted tone of the discussion leads her to ask why the advice is put in “terms that are exclusionary to some students, and infantilizing to all?” University Affairs

Yik Yak shares students’ user data with police following possible threats

The anonymous social media service Yik Yak, which has recently been targeted for its role in on-campus bullying and public threats, has released user data to US police. Police recently used this information to make a number of arrests, targeting students who were suspected of making threats on Yik Yak against students and faculty at schools such as the Missouri University of Science and Technology, Charleston Southern University, and Fresno State University. The app’s fine print explains that the service can disclose a number of user details, including IP addresses and GPS co-ordinates, to the police in the case of an emergency, or if police provide a subpoena, court order, or search warrant. Canadian Business

Concordia not to retract asbestos report despite conflict of interest

Concordia University does not plan to officially retract a report on Quebec’s asbestos industry despite its acknowledged failure to notice a conflict of interest, reports the Montreal Gazette. The report in question deals with public relations in Quebec’s asbestos industry and was written by John Aylen of the John Molson School of Business, who has direct relationships with this industry. “The reality is that it’s an official report endorsed by Concordia University, a report that’s full of false information that will help sell asbestos and promote the misinformation that asbestos is safe,” said Kathleen Ruff, Senior Advisor with the Rideau Institute. A formal inquiry conducted by Concordia revealed that the “author’s previous involvement with the asbestos industry was dealt with inadequately,” and the university will reportedly assess the process that allowed the report to be published. Montreal Gazette

Using technology to solve higher ed challenges requires aligned leadership

Technology alone will not solve equity challenges or improve student outcomes unless it is used to create new systems, behaviours, and student experiences, according to Inside Higher Ed’s Serena Klempin. The article discusses the findings of Klempin's recent investigation of colleges that engaged in creating technology-mediated change. Klempin and her team identified four key leadership approaches to effective change: presidential, visionary, technologically focused, and divided. Ultimately, they found that it was “only when both senior and project leaders were aligned around an adaptive vision of change (a visionary leadership approach) that structures, processes, and attitudes were altered.” Inside Higher Ed

Overcoming stigma, proper supports essential to helping young mothers attend PSE

Attending PSE as a young mother can pose a number of challenges, but many women can successfully balance the demands of both with proper support from their institutions, writes a contributor for The Guardian. The article goes on to profile several women who managed to balance having children with attending PSE, although it admits that there is often a negative stigma attached to women who have children in their teens or early twenties. When asked about the stigma, one of the interviewees replied, “when I was pregnant there was a lot of surrounding negativity that my life was over and I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything with a child.” The article concludes that overcoming this kind of stigma and demanding proper support from institutions can go a long way toward making PSE more available to young mothers. The Guardian