Top Ten

April 22, 2016

CBU students to protest proposed 20% tuition increase

The student union at Cape Breton University plans to protest a proposed 20% tuition increase to be implemented over the next four years, reports CBC. CBU initially announced the increase in 2015 after Nova Scotia said that it would allow universities to make a one-time market adjustment on tuition fees. Students have described the proposed increase as "discouraging" and "disgusting," but CBU President David Wheeler has said that the school’s current tuition of $6 K per year is well below the average for NS universities. "We're doing whatever we can to mitigate the situation," he added, "but ultimately provincial policy and indeed federal policy means that we have got to raise tuition because there's no way otherwise to balance our budgets." CBC

UNBC, CNC, NWCC partnership nursing program earns national accreditation

The Northern Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program, a partnership between the University of Northern British Columbia, Northwest Community College, and the College of New Caledonia, has earned an official accreditation by the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. Students are increasingly interested in accredited programs, says UNBC School of Nursing Chair Martha MacLeod, who adds that the CASN accreditation is "a voluntary accreditation and we seek that in order to test ourselves against national standards of excellence." The program offers a focus on providing healthcare to regional, rural, and remote communities of the north, and approximately 70% of the program’s graduates go on to work in Northern BC. NWCC | My Cariboo Now | 250 News

Design team selected for Nunavut Arctic College expansion, community centre

Nunavut and Arctic College have selected Toronto-based Teeple Architects and Winnipeg’s Cibinel Architecture to design the college’s expansion and a new community centre in Iqaluit. The facilities are scheduled to accommodate 269 students and 37 staff by August 2019. A release states that the facilities will include fine arts and multimedia classrooms, fisheries training classrooms, digital labs, kitchen classrooms, and other versatile learning spaces. “We're excited for this opportunity to create architecture that responds to Iqaluit and the Arctic in every sense—technically, contextually, culturally and socially,” says Teeple Architects President Stephen Teeple. Daily Commercial News

Should online courses analyze students’ faces to track engagement?

Can webcams and facial analysis software help online courses be more responsive to students’ changing emotions? This is the question that researchers at the Open University have begun asking, reports Times Higher Education. OU researcher Bart Rienties, however, argues that proponents of the idea still have to convince students that the benefits of this strategy would outweigh the potential loss of privacy. “In a normal university, a good teacher continually sees if students are paying attention, so distance education is at a disadvantage,” he notes, adding, “we have to find a balance between being able to tell students it would be useful because it can help us to overcome barriers and design new learning materials, and avoiding the ‘Big Brother’ feeling.” Times Higher Education

BrandonU sexual violence task force meeting documentation does not exist, finds CBC

A freedom of information request by CBC has reportedly revealed that there are no existing agendas or minutes from meetings held by Brandon University's task force on sexual violence between September 2015 and the present. According to CBC, 12 meeting dates and a partially redacted interim report are the only existing documentation that the three-member committee met in the period specified. “I think that it undermines what they are saying about taking sexual violence on campus seriously,” said former Brandon University Students Union President Carissa Taylor. BrandonU is in the process of developing a new sexual violence policy and recruiting a sexual assault education and prevention co-ordinator. CBC

McMaster, Students Union redirect funds from merit-based to needs-based grants

McMaster University and the McMaster Students Union have announced that they will redirect $250 K from merit-based scholarships to the undergraduate general bursary fund to support more needs-based bursaries. “Nearly a year ago we were elected on a mandate to improve accessibility and affordability,” says MSU’s Vice-president (Education) Spencer Nestico-Semianiw, “working with the University, this new investment in bursaries is a step towards reducing financial barriers for undergraduates.” McMaster Dean of Students Sean Van Koughnett adds that the school and union “were able to work together to increase bursaries for those in financial aid which will improve student retention and long-term success.” McMaster

Niagara, Nipissing partner for new business degree pathways

Graduates of Niagara College’s business administration program will be able to work toward a university degree without leaving the college’s campus, thanks to a new partnership with Nipissing University. These graduates will have the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Commerce or Bachelor of Business Administration through Nipissing on a full- or part-time basis, through a variety of classes offered on-campus or online. “We are delighted to bring this innovative program to Niagara College,” said Nipissing’s Dean of Applied and Professional Studies Rick Vanderlee, “this program has seen much success in other regions as it provides a flexible option for college graduates to complete their degree without having to relocate.” Niagara this Week | Nipissing | Niagara

Georgian, Lakehead sign MOU with Simcoe school board to recruit, support international students

Georgian College and Lakehead University have partnered with the Simcoe County District School Board to recruit and support international students. The groups have signed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding that will guide collaborative efforts to attract international students and support their transition through the different phases of schooling. Lakehead’s Orillia Campus Principal Kim Fedderson says that this approach "creates a pathway for students to move from primary and secondary school, through to college and university … When we're recruiting in China, India, Brazil, Malaysia, people are asking for that." Barrie Examiner | Orillia Packet | Lakehead | Georgian

Higher Ed will need new strategies to adapt to shifting future

As the industry sees a shift in student body demographics, job market demands, and access points to learning, higher education will need to find new strategies to adapt to shifting circumstances, writes Steven Mintz for Inside Higher Ed. Mintz encourages the development of new educational models that are more focused on outcomes and student success, more affordable and accessible, data-driven, and better aligned with the needs of the workplace. He also makes a series of recommendations for successfully navigating the sector's changes, which include adjusting course offerings with an eye towards new audiences, looking for opportunities to experiment in curricular design, and actively encouraging a personalized educational experience while scaling education. Inside Higher Ed

VIU meets age-specific care and services need with new Gerontology Graduate Diploma

Vancouver Island University is offering a new Graduate Diploma in Gerontology to prepare professionals from a variety of fields to work with an aging population. This interdisciplinary program will be especially valuable to the region, which expects to see substantial growth in the 75-and-older population over the next 20 years. “What makes this program unique is the interdisciplinary approach to gerontology,” explains Gerontology program chair Louise Stern, “we are exploring aging from a variety of different perspectives and disciplines taught by faculty from a variety of backgrounds and areas of training.” The program will be available to students holding a baccalaureate degree in any discipline from a recognized university. VIU