Top Ten

May 20, 2016

Applied research at colleges, institutes supports over 5,500 Canadian businesses, says CICan report

More than 5,500 private-sector firms relied on research and development services provided by Canada’s colleges and institutes in 2014-15, according to a new report from Colleges and Institutes Canada. The report, titled “Applied Research: Partnered Innovation for Businesses and Communities,” found that the private sector was the largest source of investment in applied research based at colleges and institutes, committing a total of $80 M and representing 40% of external investment. The federal government followed closely behind with $74.6 M, or 38%. “Canada is fortunate to have this R&D infrastructure in place, through colleges and institutes, to support the innovation needs of SMEs,” said CICan President Denise Amyot, “applied research projects solve today’s problems and prepare the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to deal with tomorrow’s.” Hill Times | CICan | Report

The “knowledge economy” is a myth, writes Guardian contributor

“The idea of the knowledge economy is appealing,” writes Andre Spicer for The Guardian, but “the only problem is it is largely a myth.” The author argues that while many western countries are working to produce more university graduates, the truth is that “developed western economies … are not brimming with jobs that require degree-level qualifications. For every job as a skilled computer programmer, there are three jobs flipping burgers.” Spicer adds that no matter which country one looks at, the areas of highest employment growth are ones that do not require a large-scale bolstering of university education. In fact, Spicer argues, there has been a marked decline in demand for knowledge-intensive jobs since 2000, and it is these jobs that are under threat of being automated, not low-skilled ones. The Guardian

UVic School of Public Admin offers new diploma in Indigenous governance

The University of Victoria’s School of Public Administration is offering a new diploma program in Indigenous Community Development and Governance. A UVic release states that the program was inspired by the Calls for Action stemming from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The two-year, part-time program will reportedly include courses on governance; strategic planning; land, resources and economic development; human resources, and intergovernmental relations. The UVic release also states that the program is the first of its kind in BC using a blended teaching model of online courses and on-campus sessions. UVic

UBC's student society to create new service for students with addictions

UBC’s student society has approved the creation of a new support service for students who are experiencing problems with alcohol, substance use, and technology use, reports CBC. Known as Vice, the service will use trained volunteers to complement the range of supports that the school's Alma Mater Society currently offers, which include a food bank, a sexual assault support centre, and a program called Speakeasy, which provides peer support for students facing a number of different challenges. “Maybe you're not even suffering from an addiction,” said Hussam Zbeeb, student services manager for the AMS. “Maybe your family member is. Maybe you want to know what an addiction is in the first place. Any level on that spectrum—that's essentially the area of scope that Vice will be focusing on.” CBC

ON begins consultation on modernizing college funding

Ontario has announced that it has begun consulting with postsecondary stakeholders to discuss how the province should fund public colleges. This week, ON met with students, faculty, college leadership, and other participants to exchange ideas about how a revised funding model could enhance quality, build on current sector strengths while avoiding duplication, and ensure long-term sustainability. An ON release notes that these consultations will draw from recent discussions the province has had with PSE stakeholders on how to revise the province’s university funding model. The release adds that “funding postsecondary education in a more quality-driven, sustainable, and transparent way is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs.” ON

Arctic College organizing study abroad opportunities with Greenland

Nunavut’s Arctic College is currently organizing exchange opportunities with schools in Greenland to provide study abroad opportunities for their students. Arctic College President Joe Adla Kunuk commented that similarities between each country's land and language mean that “it will be an easier transition for students, not like going to Vancouver or Toronto.” Greenland also reportedly offers programs that are related to future job opportunities in Nunavut, but that are not currently taught in the territory. The exchange will allow students to study in Inuktitut, Greenlandic, and potentially in English, depending on their classes. CBC

uWindsor enrolment falls for fourth consecutive year, president warns staff

The University of Windsor has established a new budget model as a result of changing enrolments, reports CBC. While full-time undergraduate enrolment has continued to decline for four years in a row, the institution has seen increasing growth in areas such as international graduate student enrolment in professional Master’s programs. In a recent update, President Alan Wildeman added that “in this new model, all tuition revenues are assigned to the Faculties based on enrolment ... government grant revenues are being allocated to non-Faculty areas of the campus.” Wildeman explained that the “new model does put us in a position to be able to react to the Province’s directive” to more closely monitor how postsecondary institutions base their financial plans on enrolment projections. CBC | uWindsor

Dalhousie fitness centre to open for 200th anniversary year

Dalhousie has announced that its new fitness centre will be set to open in 2018, the year of the university’s 200th anniversary. The new facilities have been developed in response to a long-standing need for better fitness and recreation facilities on campus, and will feature qualities such as fitness space for cardio, strength training, and high performance workouts, multi-purpose fitness rooms for fitness classes, universal washrooms, and three new change rooms. The facilities aim to be fully accessible and are designed to target LEED Gold Certification. “Dalplex has served us well,” says Kathie Wheadon, director, facility & business services, Athletics & Recreation, “but we’ve outgrown it and students have long told us that they want updated facilities, modern equipment and bright, pleasant workout spaces.” Dal

ON suspends fast-track residence program for international students

Ontario has announced that it will temporarily close its fast-track residency program for international students due to a backlog of thousands of applicants, reports Simona Chiose for the Globe and Mail. Chiose notes that the closure lends further evidence that Canada’s recent strategies around Express Entry have made immigration into the country more difficult for certain groups. The closure will specifically affect the provincial nominee program for master’s and doctoral grads who earned credentials from an Ontario university. The province is estimated to be currently working its way through 7,000 applicants, nearly half of whom are expected to be recent graduates. Globe and Mail

Author explores the phenomenon of the “pink helicopter” parent

The image that many people have of “helicopter parents” is not as accurate as one might think, according to Jake New, author of Parenting to a Degree. In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, New argues that “often when people think of helicopter parents, they think of another group of helicopters that I called professional helicopters. These parents are focused on improving academic and career success for their children.” But New says that his research has uncovered a category of parents whose main focus is on “enabling their children to have the ‘best years of their lives,’” and New refers to this category as the “pink helicopter.” New explains that the word “pink” refers to how often this form of parenting targets young women, as many parents still consciously focus on the development of their daughters’ personalities to help them marry into a middle class lifestyle. Inside Higher Ed