Top Ten

August 29, 2016

Don't prioritize paying for child’s education over saving for retirement, says Globe contributor

“Choosing a mattress is second in complexity only to choosing a postsecondary school—and figuring out how to pay for that education,” writes Tim Cestnick for the Globe and Mail. The author offers a series of tips for people planning to contribute financially to someone's education, and begins by advising parents not to redirect retirement savings to pay for PSE, stating that “there are no scholarships, grants or government-guaranteed loans for your retirement.” Other tips include looking to grandparents for help, getting the most out of student tax breaks, and following a clear education funding plan. Globe and Mail

UBC President looks to engage entire community to improve UBC governance

“I want to hear from faculty, staff, and students and shape a collective vision of where we want to go,” says UBC President Santa Ono in an interview with Global News. Ono’s comment comes in response to the question of how he plans to meet the governance challenges faced by UBC since former President Arvind Gupta’s resignation in August 2015. “Universities are incredibly resilient institutions and I don’t know of any university in their history that hasn’t had periods of challenge,” Ono says, adding that he is not “a top-down kind of person” and that he plans to draw on his successes as President of the University of Cincinnati to improve UBC with the help of the entire university community. Global News

Mandatory Indigenous programming signals new direction for Canada, writes Guardian

“The adoption of mandatory indigenous courses at two Canadian universities comes as indigenous issues are increasingly in the spotlight in the country,” writes The Guardian. The article outlines how decisions by the University of Winnipeg and Lakehead University to mandate Indigenous course requirements come at a time when the Canadian government has signaled that Indigenous issues will be one of its top priorities. While the implementation of such course mandates has involved challenges, Lakehead University Professor Peggy Smith says that “we’re at this point in time in Canada, particularly following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where Canadians understand there’s been something structurally and terribly wrong with the relationship with indigenous peoples and we need to change it.” The Guardian | CFNP

Little achieved by arguing about “coddled students,” say IHE contributors

“If the reporting is to be believed, higher education is reeling from the effects of liberal inclusion and permissive parenting,” write Magdalena Barrera and Shelley Lee for Inside Higher Ed. Yet the authors argue that viewing recent campus conflicts as battles between “hypersensitive students” and “fearful campus employees” is an easy way of sidestepping the specific contexts that inform each campus conflict. The authors contend that media coverage tends to focus on extreme stories to solicit emotionally charged reactions from viewers. Barrera and Lee conclude that “simplistic characterizations of student protesters do little to advance the goal of achieving equity in higher education.” Inside Higher Ed

Sparing students the “firehose of information” by taking orientation online

“Blasting participants with a firehose of information” can leave students feeling more overwhelmed than comfortable when entering a postsecondary institution, writes Campus Technology. That is why a US university has created the “New Student Welcome Online Experience,” a suite of videos, text, quizzes, checklists, and rewards designed to help students learn about their new school at their own pace. The article highlights specific features of the new online orientation and chronicles how university leaders were able to convince the institution to revise its established attitudes toward orientation. Earlier this year, members of Academica’s StudentVu panel weighed in on what makes for an effective and fulfilling orientation experience. Campus Technology

OPSEU opposes colleges, McDonald’s agreement

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says that it opposes a recent agreement between McDonald's Canada and Colleges Ontario that offers advance placement to McDonald’s employees who have completed internal company training courses. In a release, OSPEU President Warren Thomas says that the agreement will devalue college business diplomas in the eyes of employers. Thomas adds that the agreement “sets a chilling precedent for outsourcing public education to private corporations,” and calls upon the ON government to invest more in schools rather than shifting the responsibility onto private corporations. The Record (CP)

CEGEPs do not face enrolment crisis, says Fédération CEO

CEGEPs have forecasted a 1% decrease in enrolment this year, but Fédération des CEGEPs CEO Bernard Tremblay maintains that this is not an "upcoming crisis." La Presse reports that nearly all CEGEPs have been affected by a decline in students, yet Tremblay asserts that this decline is due to a number of factors, including demographic decline, budget cuts, and changing job market needs. "CEGEPs are working hard to maintain the quality of their services on the whole territory after years of budget cuts. In this context, the stability of the student population is a further very encouraging," said Tremblay. La Presse | Fédération des cégeps

UoGuelph professor discusses why it's okay to accept funding from industry

University of Guelph Professor Beth Parker discusses how she responded to questions and concerns that arose after Nestlé Waters Canada donated $460K to support her groundwater research in Wellington County. “There's nothing wrong with the questions and I actually welcome those questions in some ways, as long as the context is understood," said Parker, who explained that Nestlé has provided the funding, but will not have influence over the research. “Nestlé will see it, they'll perhaps even provide feedback or input to it, but not exclusively, and certainly not controlling it, because that's not favourable to our outcome, which is to do work that advances the state of the science,” added Parker. CBC

Centennial partners with TTA to provide mandatory training to new cab drivers

Toronto’s taxi industry has tasked Centennial College with providing mandatory training to all of the city’s new cab drivers retroactive to May 4, 2016. A Centennial release states that the program that will include an English assessment and training in customer service, cultural sensitivity, GTA road knowledge, and defensive driving. “We expect this program will support professionalism and best practices in the taxi industry,” said Philomena Comerford, CEO of Baird, MacGregor Hargrave Insurance. The program will replace the City of Toronto’s own driver program that ended on May 4, 2016. Training is slated to begin early this fall at Centennial’s Ashtonbee Campus in Scarborough. Centennial

Time to shift the view of undergrad binge-drinking as “rite of passage,” says Chronicle Herald

“The freewheeling frosh week of yesterday is not the norm and no longer acceptable,” writes the Chronicle Herald. Reflecting on the 2011 alcohol-related death of an Acadia University student, the editorial highlights the ways that Acadia and other institutions have worked to address the problems associated with campus binge-drinking, particularly during Frosh Week activities. Such drinking is “often seen as normal and expected behaviour and frequently condoned by society, parents and peers,” says Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer Robert Strang. Yet the Chronicle argues that in the coming semester and beyond, “everyone needs to remain vigilant” in ensuring that students can have fun without risking their future. Chronicle Herald