Top Ten

May 18, 2016

Public policy programs see boost in applications with new federal government

Most public policy programs at schools across Canada have seen a 20 to 25% increase in applications this year, reports CBC, and the quality of these applicants is also reportedly increasing. Kathy Brock, a Queen’s University professor and president of the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration, suggests that this may be partially due to the new federal government’s message of ‘sunny ways.’ “Students seem to be enthusiastic about going into the federal public service again. They see it as a choice employer, somewhere they’d really like to start,” says Brock, who later adds that “up to this year, we’ve seen students tending to favour the provincial government, municipal governments or the non-profit sector. Now we see them targeting the federal sector as well.” CBC

International medical residents struggle with culture shock, says AB report

Graduates of foreign medical schools often face a significant clash of cultures when they pursue two-year family medicine residencies in Canada, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. The report notes that while Canada relies heavily on international medical graduates, many of these graduates may struggle with unfamiliar cultural experiences, such as being taught by female instructors, working with the mentally ill, and having difficulty with the nuances of English. “In some countries, males look after males and females look after females,” said Olga Szafran, associate research director in the University of Alberta’s family-medicine department and the study’s lead author, “but we can’t be selective in the kind of patients that our physicians end up treating.” National Post

Ceremonial groundbreaking marks milestone at Trent

Trent University has broken ground on its new Trent Student Centre.  “This project started with a conversation between the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) and Trent University many years ago,” said TCSA President Alaine Spiwak, “the building of our new Student Centre is symbolic of the growth of Trent, and we are eager for current and future students to utilize this fantastic space on campus.” The project has been driven primarily by the university’s students, who have provided $10.5 M of the needed $16 M through a special levy, with an additional $3 M raised by Trent’s board, staff, faculty, and alumni. The student centre is expected to be completed by September 2017. Trent

Exploring 21st-century innovations in the classroom

“Although the sage-on-the-stage model still dominates,” writes Mark Robbins of the Conference Board of Canada, “there is a great deal of research suggesting more efficient and effective ways of imparting knowledge.” Robbins discusses a number of revelations that have changed higher education in the 21st century, such as expanding access to higher education by providing online or blended learning options for courses, or bringing together people from multiple disciplines to collaborate on classroom pedagogy. While many of these changes have been positive for higher education, Robbins also touches on the challenges that have come with implementing and adapting to these new strategies. Conference Board

Fleming, Royal Roads offer new diploma-to-degree pathways

Royal Roads University and Fleming College have signed a new agreement that will allow graduates from three Fleming diploma programs in the field of Tourism to complete degrees at Royal Roads. Eligible graduates will be able to enter into the third year at Royal Roads' Bachelor of Arts in Global Tourism Management or Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management. “Such pathways recognize the valuable education students receive at Fleming College‎ and are a testament to the academic excellence of the College,” said Fleming School of Business Dean Maxine Mann, “these pathways attract students with a global perspective who will become our next industry leaders.” Fleming

How do higher ed websites succeed?

“Whether in information technology, marketing or even academics, rarely does anything get done before knowing what other institutions did,” writes Karine Joly for University Business, and digital marketing is no exception. While many institutions track and collect web traffic data associated with their website, Joly notes that most do not invest significant time or resources into analyzing the data, which for Joly renders this information “meaningless.” After conducting years of benchmarking reports, Joly concludes that social media engagement does not always get the results that institutions think it will, and that organic search engine traffic is the main contributor to website visits. University Business

Selkirk partners with Suriname tech school to develop, enhance geriatric nursing practices

Instructors in Selkirk College’s Nursing Program are helping to develop and implement improved standards in geriatric nursing education in Suriname, South America. According to a Selkirk release, increasing life expectancy in Suriname has led to a growing need for enhanced training in geriatric nursing, and Selkirk has helped meet this need by collaborating with a Suriname-based technical school. “I believe geriatric nursing is receiving a higher profile in the country and the respect it deserves as a nursing specialty. In turn it will only help to improve the quality of care an older adult receives in the country,” says Selkirk faculty member and curriculum developer Tammie Clarke. Selkirk

Sheridan students help people with autism prepare for life, career with new software

Students at Sheridan College have developed a new software designed to help people on the autism spectrum develop essential life and career skills, reports CTV News. Known as Motify, the software was developed by Sheridan students for the purpose of providing individuals on the autism spectrum with with the tools they may need to develop the skills that are essential to completing postsecondary education and acquiring full-time work, such as interview preparation and time management. Reflecting on the game-like experience of the software, developer Keisha Alcott noted that “when you play a game and you fail one time, you look at what you did and you adapt to it. You say: 'OK, I did badly this time, let me change what I did.' And that is an amazing skill that sometimes people with autism have trouble with—adapting to change.” CTV News

Should PSE students pay to work an unpaid internship?

“In many ways, students are paying for the privilege to work.” This is the criticism that some US students are directing at the increasingly common practice of universities charging students tuition to work unpaid internships. The argument for these internships, reports Inside Higher Ed, is that the students are being paid with school credits. But “academic credit is not a currency,” argues Intern Nation author Ross Perlin, who suggests that universities have advanced beyond the realm of unpaid internships and into a world where students pay for the supposed privilege to work. The reason schools do this is simply because they can, adds Perlin, who views these internships as “just another way for universities to make money.” Inside Higher Ed

UCalgary Qatar, Community College Qatar establish joint education program

The University of Calgary in Qatar and the Community College of Qatar have signed an agreement to establish a joint education program that will ultimately lead students to complete a Bachelor of Nursing degree. In what is being called the 1+3 collaborative program, students will begin their education at the Community College of Qatar and complete their Bachelor of Nursing studies at the University of Calgary in Qatar. Dean and CEO of UCQ Kim Critchley commented that “UCQ is pleased to be collaborating with CCQ. This joint effort is part of our objective to promote the nursing field and improve access to a world-class education for everyone.” UCalgary