Top Ten

April 28, 2016

UBC faculty, CAUT show differing levels of openness toward bans on student-teacher relationships

Faculty at UBC have said they are “absolutely” willing to discuss a ban on student-teacher relationships at the school, yet the Canadian Association of University Teachers has stated that such a policy “goes too far.” UBC Faculty Association President Mark Mac Lean told the Globe and Mail this week that he would be willing to canvas his faculty membership if UBC were to present a proposal for such a ban. CAUT Executive Director David Robinson, however, stated that existing conflict of interest policies cover the issue appropriately. Robinson added that “if a conflict-of-interest policy bans all intimate relationships between faculty and students, even when a direct professional relationship does not exist, then we believe that the [proposed] policy goes too far.” Globe and Mail (Subscription Required)

Will students be prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

“With the rapid pace of technological change and the disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, are post-secondary institutions preparing students for the jobs not of today, but of the future?” asks Selina Chignall of iPolitics. The author discusses the importance of and difficulties associated with preparing students for the alleged Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is defined by, “the fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.” University of Manitoba President David Barnard suggests that schools should teach “principles that are not limited to a particular technology.” iPolitics

UoGuelph, uWindsor to raise tuition fees for 2016-17

The University of Guelph and University of Windsor have announced that they will increase tuition fees for the 2016-17 academic year. UoGuelph says that most of its increases will be around 3%, while uWindsor is reportedly set to increase most tuition fees by 5%, in addition to increases made to meal plan and residence fees. UoGuelph has indicated that its tuition increase, combined with higher-than-expected enrolment, has freed the university from its previous need to find $7.8 M worth of savings in the school's operating budget. The tuition increases have garnered criticism from student representatives at both universities. Guelph Mercury (UoGuelph) | CBC (uWindsor)

Lethbridge College, faculty continue to contest vision of “academic transformation”

A new survey reveals that faculty at Lethbridge College continue to express a lack of confidence in the school’s administration. The Calgary Herald reports that at least 60% of surveyed faculty members replied that they had misgivings about the school’s top administrators, and that these numbers show a lack of progress in bridging the divide between the groups since faculty passed a vote of non-confidence in the board a year ago. Lethbridge CEO Paula Burns attributes these results to disagreement over the school’s vision for “academic transformation.” Burns added that faculty were now leading the effort to recraft this aspect of the school’s vision. Calgary Herald

George Brown becomes home to Canada’s first YouTube creator space

George Brown College’s Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology has become the first institution in Canada—and ninth in the world—to host a YouTube creator space. The incubator is designed to offer the training, networking, and production opportunities that people need to succeed in creating content for YouTube’s one billion users. Liam Collins, Head of YouTube Spaces Americas, said that the George Brown space is just the “latest effort to help support the next generation of artists, musicians, and entertainers to learn, connect, and create new content. A YouTube Space is much more than just a facility; it's a home away from home for creators and an environment for the community to socialize, collaborate, and grow together.” CBC | CP24 | Toronto Star | Inside Toronto | CTV | George Brown

How are Amazon, Google and Apple disrupting higher ed?

“What are the strategic intentions of companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple when it comes to higher ed, and how disruptive might they be?” asks Contact North | Contact Nord. The article devotes a section to each of these companies to explore how each is specifically positioned to disrupt higher education. Amazon, it states, is looking to take the same model it used to disrupt the bookselling world and bring it to the postsecondary sector. Google’s dominance in shared web applications and its Google Classroom project already make it a major educational player, and Apple’s iTunes University and thousands of education apps will continue to pose questions of how closely traditional institutions will partner with the private sector moving forward. Contact North | Contact Nord

Cégep de Sainte-Foy receives funding to build new $4.5 M research building

Cégep de Sainte-Foy will be able to build a new research building dedicated to housing the institution's two centres for the transfer of technology, a project expected to cost $4.5 M that will benefit from $3.3 M in funding from the Quebec government. The building will host the Centre for Teaching and Forestry Research and the Centre for Digital Imaging and Interactive Media, and will incorporate a number of features such as a cutting-edge laboratory for each group and increased office space. Moving these two centres will aim to improve administrative efficiency and encourage positive exchanges between their areas of focus. The building is expected to be completed in June 2017. La Presse | Sainte-Foy

New Brock program looks to address climate change implications for grape and wine industry

Brock University has announced that a team of its researchers will lead a five-year $1.4 M program to improve grapevine health, wine quality, market competitiveness, and the sustainability of the Canadian grape and wine industry. Project lead Debbie Inglis says that the program will work closely with industry partners in attempting to find solutions to challenges arising from climate change, adding that “the outcomes of this research program will continue to open new doors for Canadian wine while also increasing Canada’s reputation as a global leader in cool climate oenology and viticulture.” Brock

Should professors assume they can change their students’ personalities?

The idea that professors can change their students’ character rather than simply impart knowledge is garnering significant traction—and positive results—in higher ed, writes David Matthews for Times Higher Education. Most commonly known as “character education,” the concept implies that students do not have a fixed set of talents, and that their growth and success are inhibited when they believe this to be the case. One of the greatest barriers for students who come from challenging circumstances is the belief that their potential is fixed, say proponents of character education, and any policy devoted to promoting success for this group must be based on the premise that education can alter these students' outlooks and even their personalities. Times Higher Education

Niagara creating a green technology automotive laboratory with ON funding

Niagara College will be creating a green technology automotive laboratory for its Welland campus with help from $1.4 M in funding from Ontario’s Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund Program. Niagara “is a pre-emptive college—pre-emptive meaning anticipating the labour market, not only today, but for tomorrow,” said college President Dan Patterson, who explained that the provincial funding will help Niagara stay ahead of a constantly changing and advancing automotive industry. The program funding will be used to enhance the resources available to students in the Motive Power Technician, Motive Power Techniques, and Automotive Service Technician programs, and will expand the college’s capacity in the Automotive Service Technician program. Welland Tribune | Niagara College