Top Ten

May 27, 2016

THE highlights uWaterloo, Canada’s co-op education model as drivers of global success

Graduates from the University of Waterloo are the second most frequently hired group in Silicon Valley, second only to graduates from Berkeley, writes David Matthews of Times Higher Education, and one of the biggest reasons for this success is the fact that uWaterloo is home to the world’s largest co-op education program. Matthews cites data from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario to show that students who access co-op education report higher levels of satisfaction with their education and lower levels of student debt. Other Canadian universities are now ramping up their efforts to create more co-op placements for students, although Matthews also notes that “the work of maintaining relationships with large numbers of employers and coordinating placements is huge: at Waterloo it takes 150 staff occupying an entire building on campus to manage the cooperative effort.” Times Higher Education

UNB budget to include a 5% tuition increase with 3% rebate for NB students

The University of New Brunswick’s 2016-17 budget includes a 5% tuition increase that comes in response to a two-year funding freeze from the provincial government. UNB President Eddy Campbell announced in a news release that, “UNB, like other universities in the region, has faced considerable challenges, and difficult yet necessary decisions had to be made in developing this year's budget.” Students from NB will receive a 3% tuition rebate, leaving out-of-province and international students to be most affected by the increase. The new budget also includes an increase in scholarship and student aid funding and a non-salary spending freeze on items other than scholarships, library acquisitions, and other critical procurements. CBC

York creates “unparalleled studio experience” with support of $2.5 M donation

York University has created a new state-of-the-art media facility for students and teachers to use “pioneering motion media technologies.” The new AMPD Motion Media Studio @ Cinespace was created with the support of a $2.5 M donation from the Mirkopoulos family of Cinespace Film Studios. A York release states that the new facilities will “offer students unparalleled experiential learning opportunities, with hands-on training in new media technologies as well as direct exposure to the industry they are preparing to join.” “I am delighted to acknowledge the incredible impact of this gift by the Mirkopoulos family, one of York University’s most valued supporters,” said York President Mamdouh Shoukri. York

Arts and science graduates more likely to pursue further PSE, survey finds

A study released this week reveals that university arts and science graduates are more likely to pursue further education following completion of their program. The survey, conducted in 2014 by the Maritimes Provinces Higher Education Commission, examined graduate outcomes two years after graduation for students from the class of 2012, and revealed that a higher proportion of applied and professional degree graduates entered the workforce directly from school, rather than pursuing additional studies. MPHEC plans to conduct a follow-up study of the same population six years post-graduation. CBC

Students need the freedom to pursue higher ed for the right reasons: UBC prof

We must give students the freedom to pursue higher education for non-economic reasons if we want them to contribute to a just and democratic society, writes UBC Assistant Professor Christopher Martin. In a recent pamphlet titled, “Should Students Have to Borrow?” Martin argues that the tuition fees associated with higher ed today force many students to choose whatever programs give them the “best chance of getting a job that would allow them to repay [their] debt.” The main issue with this model, Martin adds, is that it disregards the other values associated with higher education, especially those that encourage students to contribute to the public good. For this reason, Martin suggests that governments use taxation to create an “allocation model,” in which students receive an initial allocation of free postsecondary education, followed by entitlements for further education for individuals who can demonstrate a “consistent record of contribution to society.” Times Higher Education | Martin Pamphlet

New agreement to establish UQÀM “Montreal House” on Shanghai university campus

The Université de Québec à Montréal has signed an agreement with Shanghai Normal University that will see UQÀM establish a “Montreal House” facility on Shanghai’s campus. The facility will specifically link UQÀM’s School of Management Sciences and Shanghai’s School of Finance and Business, while promoting the Quebec education system, the teaching of French in Shanghai, and new student exchange opportunities between the two schools. UQÀM

Royal Roads to explore joint master’s program with South Korean university

Royal Roads University and Sookmyung Women’s University of South Korea have signed an MOU to explore a potential joint master’s of arts in leadership program. Building upon previous partnerships between the two institutions, the agreement includes curriculum sharing and faculty exchange through a program that will foster leadership in women in both countries. BC Premier Christy Clark feels strongly about increasing ties between the province and South Korea: “It is a great honour to receive this recognition from one of the most-respected universities in South Korea. Links between universities like Sookmyung and Royal Roads will lead to more trade, investment, and research links, as well as jobs and opportunity, on both sides of the Pacific.” BC

Carleton launches new centre for home energy research

Carleton University has officially opened its new Urbandale Centre for Home Energy Research. The 1,600-square-foot facility has benefited from $1.5 M in funding from Canada, Ontario, and a number of industry partners, including the facility’s namesake, Urbandale Construction. A Carleton release states that the facility “will be a test bed for innovative concepts that challenge the traditional way houses are designed and built, with a goal of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the Canadian residential sector.” “This project combines the expertise of engineers and architects so it’s not only good science, but it’s attractive as well. It’s an interdisciplinary project, and it’s supported by the community,” said Carleton President Roseann Runte. Carleton

CNA could grant applied degrees under new NL legislation

A bill introduced last week in Newfoundland and Labrador proposes to allow the College of the North Atlantic to grant applied degrees. Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills, noted that “there is a growing trend, and a growing labour demand, for applied technical colleges such as the College of the North Atlantic to be able to move into applied technical degrees.” Colleges in six other provinces already offer applied degrees to students. One of the new legislation’s aims is to expand programming and increase enrolment for CNA, in addition to addressing current labour market demand for graduates with applied degrees. CBC

Are western schools “shock proofed” against a decline in Chinese student applications?

Universities in the western hemisphere have come to depend on applications from Chinese students, writes Times Higher Education, but this dependence raises significant questions about how well these schools have “shock proofed” themselves against a potential decline in such applications. While the volume of Chinese students choosing to study abroad is still rising, the article notes that there are three main factors that might cause these numbers to either flatten or decline: “an ageing Chinese population, a slowing Chinese economy, and an increasingly oppressive political environment that sees a Western education as a threat.” Times Higher Education