Top Ten

March 22, 2016

ON looking to boost number of in-demand engineering degrees

Ontario is preparing to announce expansion plans for some of Canada’s most in-demand engineering degrees, writes Simona Chiose for the Globe and Mail. According to the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, only 40% of the province’s engineering graduates currently hold jobs in their field, due in part to the varying demand for different types of engineering specializations. “If you look at where the jobs are in Canada, it’s all around technology,” says OSPE CEO Sandro Perruzza. “Do we need to expand programs? I think we do, but we need to do it in emerging technology, in mechatronics, in nanotechnology, things you will need in five to 10 years.” Globe and Mail

Carleton board remains firm on requirement for members to publicly support its decisions

Carleton University has announced that it will not adopt a recommendation asking that its members be allowed to speak publicly about board issues, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The board's current code of conduct stipulates that its members “support all actions taken by the Board of Governors even when in a minority position on such actions.” The recommendation to reverse this requirement received widespread media attention when Carleton Professor and Board Member Root Gorelick refused to sign the new code. Prior to yesterday’s vote on the new board regulations, Carleton announced that it would adopt 2 of the 12 recommendations put forward by the school’s Graduate Students Association, which will allow contract instructors along with student and employee union leaders to hold board positions. Ottawa Citizen

Brock announces plan to hire task force, sexual violence response co-ordinator

Brock University President Jack Lightstone has announced that the university will hire a new sexual violence response coordinator and create a task force to review all policies dealing with sexual harassment, sexual violence, and unprofessional behaviour. The announcement comes in the wake of student and faculty criticism over the way Brock handled a recent sexual harassment complaint made by one of its former students. The student who filed the complaint responded to the announcement by noting that “a dedicated person, familiar with issues of sexual violence would have been a huge asset to both the university and myself.” Brock | CBC (1) | CBC (2)

Concordia initiative to offer $450/month housing in Montreal

Concordia University students will soon have access to housing in Montreal with a maximum rent of $450 per month, according to the student housing development group UTILE. With support from the Concordia Student Union, UTILE says that it plans to build a housing unit with 100 to 150 rooms that will serve as a model for affordable housing in the city. Thus far, the Student Union has raised $1.8 M from its membership for the initiative. "We have this immediate need for 4,000 rooms, and that's why this [housing] fund was created, so we can have this financial vehicle to be able to actually build more and more buildings like this,” said UTILE Co-ordinator Laurent Levesque. CBC

Postsecondary issues could define upcoming MB election, say students

Manitoba’s PSE students will be watching the province’s political parties very closely until they vote on April 19, according to student leaders. “It’s still early days,” says University of Winnipeg Students’ Association President Peyton Veitch, “but I would really like to hear all of the parties running talk about core issues of affordability and accessibility for postsecondary students.” Veitch pointed specifically to Ontario’s proposal to eliminate tuition fees for low-income students as an example of an “innovative policy idea” he would like to see from MB’s leaders. University of Manitoba Student Union President Jerimiah Kopp also pointed toward the conversion of provincial student loans to non-repayable grants as another valuable way MB could increase PSE affordability. “Education is not just for students, it’s for all of society,” he says. “Education is the way we grow our economy… solve social issues… create a society that is well-rounded.” Metro

CBU offers new community studies degree, first of its kind in Canada

Cape Breton University is now offering a bachelor’s degree in community studies with an honours/major in sport and physical activity leadership, which is reportedly the only program of its kind in Canada. The new program will prepare students for careers in sports management and administration, coaching, health and wellness, and outdoor leadership. “We discussed these new programs with industry and they were 100% on board. Graduates will be knowledgeable in a variety of interconnected areas,” said Department of Community Studies Chair and Associate Professor Pat Maher. The program will be accepting new students in September. Cape Breton Post

We need student-ready PSE more than PSE-ready students

In order to achieve college completion rates that are comparable to the most successful nations in the world, writes Byron P White of Inside Higher Ed, the US "must abandon once and for all the college-ready paradigm that has allowed higher education to deflect accountability. It is time that we fully embrace the burden of being student-ready institutions." White highlights how the college-ready student archetype is one that favours a narrow group of students who are already succeeding at US institutions, and often fails to serve students from minority groups as well. White encourages schools to give up the belief in a college-ready student paradigm, which he argues “prevents us from putting forth the full measure of creative energy, resources, and accountability required to significantly expand college attainment." Inside Higher Ed

Conestoga, Beijing Polytechnic sign MOU

Conestoga College and Beijing Polytechnic signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week that will allow Beijing Polytechnic students to complete their degree studies at Conestoga. “We look forward to building the partnership between our two Institutes of Technology as we prepare students to compete in the global marketplace and deliver quality programming that supports students from all over the world,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. Director of the International Cooperative and Exchange office at Beijing Polytechnic Hui Wang said, “Our students are encouraged to pursue degree studies internationally after completing their diplomas at home in order to meet the needs for a skilled workforce to support economic transformation and upgrades in Beijing.” Conestoga

Laurentian students petition city council to keep classes in Barrie

Laurentian students gave a presentation before the Barrie city council yesterday to express their views about the university’s decision to pull its program offerings in the city. When Laurentian first announced its decision, it reportedly gave affected students the option to finish their courses in Sudbury, complete only a three-year bachelor or arts degree, study online, or transfer to another university. But “our best chance [is] to allow all Laurentian students to stay,” argues Laurentian Students Union Vice-President James Westman, “and [to] grow the prospects of university education in Barrie, rather than letting them be exported to Sudbury, Orillia, and Toronto.” Laurentian has said that it will meet with every student registered at Barrie to come up with a degree completion plan that works for each individual, both academically and personally. Barrie Examiner

Chinese students focusing more on teaching, student satisfaction than on institutional status, reports THE

Chinese students are demonstrating an increasingly “open attitude” when applying to university, reports Times Higher Education, with many now focusing on an institution’s teaching quality and student satisfaction ratings. In an interview, British Council in China Director Carma Elliot said that although there has “traditionally been a strong preference among Chinese students for ‘elite’ institutions,” these students are now considering a wider range of factors. Elliot also noted that the competition to attract students from China is bound to increase in coming years, especially as more domestic Chinese institutions become attractive to these students. Times Higher Education