Top Ten

April 5, 2016

Generation Y should follow a new financial timeline

Members of Generation Y are particularly concerned about milestones such as buying a house, building a career, and retirement, says Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail, and the solution to these concerns may lie in devising a new timetable that allows milestones to happen later in life. While current thinking expects postsecondary education to be accomplished between 18 and 25 years of age, a career to be obtained at graduation, and retirement before 65, Carrick outlines a new timetable that accounts for increasing lifespans and longer career trajectories. This new timeline recommends that students complete PSE by 30 to give themselves the opportunity to work and pay off debts. These individuals can then expect to spend about five years working in jobs unrelated to their training before gaining a career that their degree has qualified them for. Under the new new timeline, Gen Y members can expect to buy a house by age 38 and retire at 70. Globe and Mail

uOttawa student leaders demand “culture change” in response to union’s budget crisis

Newly elected student leaders at the University of Ottawa are calling for a “culture change” in the school’s Student Federation, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The call for change comes primarily in response to the $515 K deficit that the Federation’s leadership will inherit from the previous student government. SFUO Board of Administration member Nicholas Robinson says that he’s “appalled” by the financial situation and that “a lot of the people responsible for this mess have already graduated and are going to get away without being held accountable.” SFUO announced last week that it would make staff reductions to help control the deficit. Ottawa Citizen

Canada commits $62 M to patient-centred health research networks

Canada’s Minister of Health Jane Philpott announced last week that the federal government will invest $62 M to support five cross-Canada research networks focusing on chronic disease. The funding will come through Canadian Institutes of Health Research as part of Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), which aims to connect researchers, health professionals, policy makers, and patients across the country to improve the health of Canadians living with chronic diseases. An additional $126 M will be contributed by partners, including universities, hospitals, industry, health charities, and provincial agencies. The networks will be hosted by McMaster University, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, and McGill University. Canada (Release) | Canada (SPOR)

UBC distinguished professor looks to “institutional investors” to lead fight against climate change

“Institutional investors need to be innovative in how they encourage a shift away from short-termism,” writes UBC Distinguished Law Professor Janis Sarra, and a good example of such innovation can be found in recent efforts by universities to incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles into their investment strategies. Sarra specifically praises the efforts of University of Toronto President Meric Gertler in directing $6.5 B of his school’s assets into a long-term strategy to fight climate change. Gertler and uToronto recently elected to pursue this strategy instead of fully divesting from fossil fuel producers, in part because their plan reportedly aims to address climate change beyond these producers, which only account for 25% Canada's greenhouse gas emissions. Globe and Mail

McGill students look to peers to tackle rising demand for mental health support

McGill University has seen a 35% rise in demand for mental health support services since 2010, writes the Montreal Gazette, and students at the school are looking toward peer support as just one way of lightening the burden on institutional resources while making sure students get the help they need. One student leading these efforts is Ryan Golt, who yesterday helped launch the three-day event, Stronger Than Stigma: McGill Students for Mental Health. “Awareness is my weapon against a silent killer that lurks deep inside too many of us,” says Golt. “We need to rally together to do something about it. Not in some lab and clinical trial, but among ourselves.” Montreal Gazette

Royal Roads, Chair Academy partner to develop higher ed leadership

Royal Roads University has signed a new partnership agreement with the Arizona-based Chair Academy to develop leadership in higher ed administration. The new partnership includes a credit transfer agreement that will allow graduates of the Chair Academy’s programs to receive credit for Leading Education Change in Higher Education Environments, a course offered through the Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration and Leadership program at Royal Roads. “We’re excited to partner with the Chair Academy and recognize their highly valued leadership training program by giving their alumni additional opportunities to develop their leadership skills and thrive in their postsecondary profession,” says Royal Roads President Allan Cahoon. Royal Roads

More control means better learning for students

Students learn better when they take an active role in learning, writes James Lang for the Chronicle of Higher Education, and one of the best ways to encourage this approach is to give them more control over their learning process. Lang frames his discussion with the categories of performance-based learning and mastery-based learning, where the first refers to students who learn only with an aim at “performing” their knowledge on tests or assignments, and the second refers to students who want to master a subject based on their self-directed interest in it. Lang concludes that the success of teaching hinges on creating more mastery-based learners, and he concludes by offering three concrete strategies for achieving this goal. Chronicle of Higher Education

StFX and NSCC sign agreement for information technology students

St Francis Xavier University and Nova Scotia Community College have signed an articulation agreement that will allow NSCC graduates from certain concentrations of the two-year Information Technology diploma program to enter directly into an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science at StFX. “This agreement is especially important as universities across North America aren’t graduating enough students in computer science,” explains Wendy MacCaull, Chair of StFX’s Department of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. “There is a huge demand for computer science graduates. These skills make students very marketable and very much in demand.” StFX

“Underground advisors” and institutions could gain from collaboration

The increased emphasis on student success needs to avoid alienating the faculty and staff members who devoted themselves to supporting students on the margins long before the issue was trendy, writes Byron White in Inside Higher Ed. White discusses the faculty and staff members who have informally supported students outside of the formal advising structure, and touches on the many tensions that arise between institutions and these “underground advisors.” White encourages institutions to collaborate with these informal advisors more often by recording successful efforts, holding information forums, and enlisting these advisors more effectively in the student success agenda. Inside Higher Ed

Academics feel pressure to embellish research impacts to secure funding, study says

Some academics feel as though they need to exaggerate or embellish the possible future impact of their work when applying for research funding, according to a recent UK study. While many academics feel as though the future impact of their research is not immediately apparent, places like the UK and Australia require academics to include the predicted impact of their research when applying for research funding. In these cases, many reportedly felt that “it was almost inevitable to have to inflate and embellish claims about how much impact a piece of work would have in order to secure funding.” Thus, the study points to the sense of moral conflict and potential threat to integrity that can come as a result of competitive higher education funding. Quartz | Study