Top Ten

June 16, 2016

UAlberta student accuses company of “intimidation” after arrest in Uganda

A University of Alberta student has accused a private school company of using intimidation tactics while he was researching its schools in Uganda last month, reports CBC. Ugandan police reportedly arrested Curtis Riep on May 30 based on allegations of trespassing and impersonation while he was researching the school’s low-fee private institutions. “This has been like nothing I've ever experienced,” he told reporters. BIA has since acknowledged that it made the allegations that led to Riep’s arrest, claiming that he impersonated a BIA employee to illegally enter five of BIA's schools. “We are open to anyone that wants to come and see the way we work,” said BIA spokesperson Lucy Bradlow. “For purely safety reasons, we can't allow someone around young children that's pretending to be someone he's not.” CBC

Resilience can be taught, says new HEQCO study

The ability to cope, bounce back from adversity, or navigate challenges is something students can learn and develop through education, according to a new study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Titled Measuring Resilience as an Education Outcome, the report reviews 17 measures of resilience, all of which are self-reporting scales that measure perceived resilience among older adolescents, young adults, and adults. From these, the report identified five metrics that were most promising for further consideration in the context of PSE. HEQCO | Report

McGill researchers to create better brain maps at new R&D centre

McGill University has announced that it will establish a new research and development centre whose mission will include supporting the development of enhanced maps of the brain.  According to a McGill release, the centre will support a McGill research team in its efforts to produce significantly higher-resolution maps of the brain using technology provided by the EMC Corporation. “EMC’s next-generation technologies, being harnessed by McGill University, provides researchers an advanced and agile foundation for healthcare and life sciences professionals to store, protect, share, and analyze their most valuable asset: information,” said Mike Sharun, EMC Corporation of Canada Country Manager. “Ultimately, this research ... will have true value for healthcare providers worldwide.” McGill

How do universities ensure proper ethics in international partnerships?

Universities will sometimes compromise on principles like academic freedom, gender equity, and freedom of speech when establishing campuses in other countries, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed. The author highlights some of the takeaways from a recent conference on the subject, which brought experts together to discuss some of the ways that schools can structure their partnership agreements to better protect their institutions' values internationally. As one US higher ed leader notes, there is always the “challenge of bringing liberal education to societies and environments which are difficult, where it’s not familiar, where you’re not used to doing this type of education and where you might have creeping authoritarianism.” Inside Higher Ed

How job market data is changing PSE program design

Community colleges across the United States are using labour market data to design and launch new programs, writes Arielle Martinez for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The author looks specifically at the Kentucky Community and Technical College system as an example of a PSE network that is using labour market data to ensure that new and existing programs are aligned with employers’ needs while providing graduates with the greatest opportunities for employment. “With the process of determining where to spend limited work-force-training dollars and what programs to offer that will benefit students and the community, I think that being faster in collecting data will help colleges make these difficult decisions,” explains David Blaime, a senior executive with the American Association of Community Colleges. In its program feasibility research, Academica Group has also found that labour market data is essential to determining whether an institution should proceed with a new program offering. Chronicle of Higher Education

SFU, Surrey, French centre partner on health technology innovation

Simon Fraser University, the City of Surrey, and France’s Societe d’Acceleration du Transfert de Technologies have signed an MOU to collaborate on health technology innovation. The MOU is primarily intended to facilitate the exchange of scientific information and technology trends, which is anticipated to lead to initiatives such as the creation of an international innovation network and startups competitions, as well as the creation of a foundation for joint grant applications. SFU President Andrew Petter comments that “as Canada’s ‘Engaged University,’ SFU is keen to contribute its strengths in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to these collaborations in an effort to find creative solutions to critical global healthcare challenges.” SFU (1) | SFU (2)

Look beyond employment rates to see how PhDs are doing: Dalgleish

“We know that PhDs get jobs after they graduate,” writes Melissa Dalgleish in a commentary on PhD employment research. “What we don't know is how hard it is to find those jobs, how long it takes, if those jobs are fulfilling and pay well and use the skills we've worked to help them acquire.” Dalgleish calls for a shift away from the analysis of employment rates when measuring PhD success, and instead advises researchers to “ask the right questions” on topics such as the usefulness of the skills and experiences gained from graduate school, the ease of the transition into the non-academic working world, and graduates’ confidence in their capacity to identify and use classroom-developed skills. Melissa Dalgleish

Four ways to help students persist with difficult course material

David Gooblar of Chronicle Vitae outlines four ways that instructors can encourage students to persist in the face of course material that they don’t understand. Some instructors may leave exams behind too quickly, but Gooblar recommends taking the time to go over the results with students in class and ensuring that they understand where they went wrong. Other recommendations include giving a follow-up quiz after each test focusing on the most difficult material; giving two-stage exams that are taken first individually, then as a group; and building a draft phase into assignments to give students the opportunity to make use of feedback prior to the final version. Chronicle Vitae

RRC student who suffered attack during work placement says she was not properly prepared

A Red River College student has accused a behavioural health centre of putting her in harm’s way after she was attacked during a work placement, reports CBC. Jackie Healey was reportedly left 99% percent blind in one eye after being beaten by residents at the Behavioural Health Foundation (BHF) centre in Selkirk, Manitoba. The student later told CBC that she could not recall receiving any instructions from either her college or BHF staff about how to respond to physical aggression. “Nobody told me, ‘If this happens or that happens—this is what you do,’” said Healey. “I'm still so new to it I didn't realize how dangerous it was.” Healey added that she wants to complete her program in child and youth care at RRC, but plans to focus on recovering for the time being. CBC

Twitter can be an essential counselling tool, says IHE contributor

“Engagement with diverse students requires that faculty and staff members develop new social-media strategies to reach students,” according to Alfreda James of Inside Higher Ed. The author recounts how she came to view tools like Twitter as essential to her role as a grad students' career counsellor, and offers three core lessons for anyone in her field looking to make better use of the technology when counselling graduate students. These lessons include acknowledging the high expectations of these types of students, the dangers of ignoring social media, and viewing Tweets as “hints” about student attitudes that offer part—but not all—of an overall picture. Inside Higher Ed