Top Ten

April 20, 2016

New NS budget “misses the mark” for student support, says StudentsNS

Postsecondary students in Nova Scotia are criticizing the provincial government for “missing the mark” on higher ed in its 2016-17 budget. With a reported surplus of $17 M, the budget is the first to be balanced since 2013. A release from Students Nova Scotia states that the new fiscal plan provides few supports for postsecondary students, however, and the group adds that it had hoped to see NS follow the recent examples of Ontario and New Brunswick in providing free tuition for low-income students. According to Students Nova Scotia Chair Fallis Thompson, “this government chose not to invest in student assistance, under-represented communities, or the health of our international students.” Among the budget’s provisions for students and recent graduates was $3.2 M to support 150 summer jobs and 75 public sector placements, and 600 co-op positions that will come from partnerships with employers. CBC | Global News | StudentsNS

Learning pods, amphitheatre featured in UCalgary’s new teaching and learning institute

The University of Calgary has officially opened the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, a new centre that aims to promote educational research while providing students with hands-on learning opportunities. The Institute’s construction was supported by a $40 M donation from the Taylor Family Foundation. A UCalgary release states that the building features “beautiful spaces for students to work together—from pods seemingly floating in space, to a giant amphitheatre full of light.” The space will provide further support to instructors looking to share and experiment with new approaches to teaching and learning. CTV | Calgary Herald | UCalgary (Opening) | UCalgary (Taylor Family)

HEQCO releases new guide for work-integrated learning

Work-integrated learning (WIL) is growing in popularity among higher ed institutions, writes the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, which is why it is crucial to develop a set of best practices for it. To this end, HEQCO has released a new guide to help faculty, staff, academic leaders, and educational developers both build and improve WIL programs. The guide focuses on WIL experiences such as internships, placements, co-ops, field experiences, professional practice, and clinical practicums, providing concrete recommendations on how to maximize the outcomes of these experiences. HEQCO | Guide

“We are adults,” say students contesting uAlberta residence management

Students at the University of Alberta have asked for an independent inquiry into how the school manages its campus residences, reports the Globe and Mail. The students argue that thorough investigation is needed to address the alleged poor maintenance of living spaces, unfair practices by residence staff, and long-standing complaints about harsh punishments for students. “We don’t like paternalism when it comes to students. We are adults and we have the capacity to help make decisions,” said Students’ Union President Navneet Khinda. uAlberta Deputy Provost Wendy Rogers replied that ensuring the residences are a safe environment is the university’s top priority, adding, “the students are adults, they can make their own decisions, but we are very concerned with the quality of life that we have and we don’t want backroom kinds of behaviour.” Globe and Mail

BC court strikes down free speech appeal by pro-life student club at UVic

The BC Appeal Court has denied an appeal from a pro-life group based at the University of Victoria that faced sanctions by UVic’s student society following an on-campus demonstration in 2013. The group, called Youth Protecting Youth, was accused of harassing students and had its outdoor space booking privileges suspended by the student association. The panel of three BC Appeal Court judges ruled that the group’s appeal to free speech protections under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms did not apply to the university’s regulation of its outdoor space, reportedly leaving the group with no basis for its charter argument. Lethbridge Herald (CP) | National Post | CBC

New study discusses young Canadians’ election engagement, optimism for new government

“With voter turnout among this age group up a projected 12 percentage points, young Canadians can no longer be regarded as apathetic and unengaged,” says David Coletto, author of a recent study on the attitudes of young Canadians. The study suggests that Canadian youth may have swayed the federal election last year, a finding that supports the results of last year’s StudentVu Federal Election survey. According to the study, postsecondary students were more likely to vote in the October federal election than those who were not enrolled in postsecondary education. Postsecondary students were also particularly optimistic about the Trudeau government, with 65% stating that they felt the government would have a positive impact on their lives. CASA | Report

WLU Lazaridis Institute, Deloitte, TMX Group collaborate to support Canadian tech firms

In an effort to help Canadian technology companies grow into globally competitive enterprises, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises has announced that is collaborating with TMX Group Limited and Deloitte Canada. “Together we will provide the right mix of resources to help these companies maintain their trajectory and scale-up to become important drivers of our economy,” said Deloitte managing partner for Waterloo Region Peter Barr. Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Dean Micheál Kelly added, “these exciting relationships will help accelerate the development and roll-out of programs within the Lazaridis Institute by leveraging the strong corporate brands of both Deloitte Canada and TMX Group, and their experience in working with Canadian technology companies.” WLU

Durham to build new Centre for Collaborative Education with $22 M from ON

Durham College has announced plans to build a new Centre for Collaborative Education, which will increase the number of practical programs and experiential learning opportunities available to students. The Centre will benefit from a $22 M investment announced yesterday by the Ontario government, and will feature a business incubator, modernized classrooms, and space for the Global Class Initiative, which will offer online lectures that connect Durham students with instructors and student peers from around the world. “The new Centre for Collaborative Education is a direct reflection of … our ongoing commitment to building a high-quality and sustainable post-secondary education system that meets the needs of our students, the local community and today’s economy,” said Durham President Don Lovisa. ON | Durham

Offering participation points in the classroom favours extroverts

Introverted students experience aspects of education in a very different way than their extroverted peers, according to Emma Tranter. The author examines the way that factors like in-class participation can accidentally disadvantage introverted students, and how a misunderstanding of shyness or introversion can cause instructors to incorrectly evaluate their students’ understanding of the material. “I think one of the big problems we have is that we don’t ask both our extroverted and our introverted students to push themselves beyond their comfort zone,” says Montclair University Associate Professor Emily Klein, “we ask introverted students to do it all the time, but we never ask extroverted students to do it.” University Affairs

More Canadian PhDs leaving academia to become entrepreneurs

A growing number of Canada’s PhDs are opting out of the academic job market to start their own businesses, writes Brenda Bouw for the Globe and Mail. A driving force behind this trend is the decline in the academic job market, the author adds, but another key factor is the growing number of PhDs who have succeeded in starting their own businesses. “Being a doctoral student and being an entrepreneur aren’t that different,” says Rob Annan, chief research officer at Mitacs, “you have to be very self-directed. … You work ridiculously long hours for uncertain outcomes. You’re hoping for the big hit on your ideas – and it’s your own cleverness that helps you sink or swim.” The article also examines how universities across Canada have responded to this trend by launching entrepreneurship programs. Globe and Mail