Top Ten

August 2, 2016

uAlberta first in Canada to sign scholarship agreement with Bolivia

In a reported first for a Canadian university, the University of Alberta has signed a scholarship agreement with the Bolivian government. The partnership includes the launch of the uAlberta-Bolivian Ministry of Education Scholarship Graduate Program, which offers co-funding for Bolivian graduate students in  to conduct research at uAlberta, especially that which is related to the extractive and agricultural sectors. The program “will open the doors to our university for high achieving young professionals from Bolivia,” said uAlberta Vice-Provost and AVP International Britta Baron. uAlberta

Fanshawe forms training partnership with Peruvian military school

Fanshawe College has signed a new, four-year partnership agreement with the Armed Forces Public Technological Institute of Peru that will see Fanshawe provide leadership training to faculty and staff from the military school. Five deans and five instructors from the institute will take part in an intensive seven-day leadership program at Fanshawe. A team from Fanshawe will then travel to Peru alongside the leadership graduates to train 55 more faculty members. “This new agreement will have a significant impact on international relations for post-secondary education between our two countries,” commented Fanshawe President Peter Devlin. “Our partnership with Peru allows Fanshawe to broaden its global reach to new geographic areas of opportunity." London Free Press | Fanshawe

Measuring success by finances alone has consequences for higher education

Higher education may suffer undesirable consequences when the success is measured financially, “rather than (in) good teaching, scholarly achievements, national prominence and academic excellence,” argue authors Gordon Gallup Jr and Bruce Svare for Inside Higher Ed. Gallup Jr and Svare discuss the increasing reliance on and dedication towards getting grants and raising funds for the institution, and how this has had a negative impact on many aspects of the academy. “Funding is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself,” say the authors. “Academic freedom ought to include the opportunity to pursue research questions because they are intrinsically interesting or theoretically important, not simply because they are fundable.” Inside Higher Ed

SMU approved to join consortium offering Masters in Applied Health Services Research

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission has approved Saint Mary’s University’s membership in a consortium of universities in Atlantic Canada offering a Masters in Applied Health Services Research. The two-year program is offered in collaboration with Memorial University, the University of New Brunswick, and the University of Prince Edward Island. It entails eight web-courses, workshops, a residency, and thesis research. “Saint Mary’s has excellent research being pursued in health care systems, patient outcomes, and social, cultural and environmental factors that affect the health of populations, but this is our first graduate program where health is the main focus,” said Kevin Vessey, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research. SMU

Restrictive intellectual property policies at institutions raise concerns for tech community

“Each of Canada’s 98 universities has its own set of policies that determine what happens when staff and students create intellectual property with commercial potential in the course of their work or education,” reports Claire Brownell of the Financial Post, and as a result, many voices in the tech community are reportedly calling for universities to leave intellectual property to its creators. The article begins by examing the case of a graduate student from the University of Toronto who went on to sell the thesis that they developed while at uToronto. Brownell then goes on to discuss how these policies and agreements function at a variety of different Canadian institutions. Financial Post

Carleton president discusses importance of diverse approaches to programming

“While universities cannot and should not attempt to be all things to all people, they have all undertaken to achieve provincially mandated goals. The most successful do so in a balanced way that maintains stability and the fiscal health of the institution,” writes Carleton University President Roseann O’Reilly Runte in a response to a recent HEQCO publication that encouraged institutions to build on their area of expertise. Runte lists Carleton's diverse program offerings, collaborations, and entrepreneurial opportunities, and the impact that these have had on various stakeholders. Runte adds that other universities have also sported extraordinary innovations over the years, and concludes by noting how this approach has lead to the success of Carleton and other ON universities. Carleton

Enrollment managers often misconceived as “villains,” writes Chronicle contributor

Every story needs a villain. And in many higher-education narratives, the enrollment manager wears black,” writes Eric Hoover for the Chronicle of Higher Education, in a discussion of the misconceptions and complexities surrounding the role of the enrollment manager. Beyond the role’s general responsibilities, Hoover describes enrollment management as “the systematic pursuit of resources — revenue, specific kinds of students — that are often scarce,” and discusses how many concerns or misconceptions arise from managers trying to pursue multiple contradictory enrollment goals at once. Thus, Hoover concludes that “when tempted to declare that enrollment management is inherently good or evil, one should first consider the thorny nature of the job itself, as well as the limits of many institutions’ resources.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

To improve PSE completion rates, encourage students to keep looking forwards

Alexandra Logue of Inside Higher Ed discusses the potential benefits of motivating students to complete their program by focusing on what they have left to do, rather than what they have already accomplished. Logue draws on available research about academic momentum and delayed rewards in order to examine the many contributing factors to PSE completion, before going on to describe how these can be harnessed for the student’s benefit. Logue then makes a number of suggestions on how to better support students, including reminding students about what they need to do to reach the goal of graduation, ensuring that students can advance quickly without sacrificing learning quality, and continuing to conduct research on student completion rates. Inside Higher Ed

VIU halves tuition cost of CPHA program to improve accessibility

Vancouver Island University is using one-time provincial funding to reduce tuition for its Community Health Promotion for Aboriginal Communities (CPHA) program, making it more accessible. The CPHA launched last year in response to concerns of Vancouver Island’s First Nations communities to have skilled personnel help with members’ health needs. The certificate program offers training in community development and health education and promotion, and builds understanding of the social elements of health in First Nations communities. “VIU is committed to providing an affordable and culturally safe program,” commented Carol Stuart, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Human Services at VIU. VIU | Nation Talk

UNB and AUNBT reach tentative settlement for contract academic employees

The University of New Brunswick and the Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers have reportedly reached a tentative settlement for contract academic employees. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement,” says UNB Chief Negotiator Daniel Coleman. “Both the AUNBT and the University approached our bargaining with a problem-solving mentality based on mutual respect. My negotiating team and I appreciate the AUNBT’s professionalism and desire to continue to work together to further improve UNB’s learning and working environment.” UNB