Top Ten

September 8, 2016

Growth of university tuition in Canada continues to outpace inflation

The cost of university tuition will rise to an average of $6,373 this year, up from last year’s average of $6,201, says Statistics Canada. Tuition costs reportedly rose in every province except Newfoundland and Labrador, where students pay the lowest tuition in the country at an average of $2,759 per year. Ontario students pay the highest tuition at an average of $8,114. When analyzed by discipline, tuition for dentistry programs was the highest at an average of $21,012, followed by medicine at $13,858, law at $11,385, and pharmacy at $9,738. StatCan also reports that compulsory non-tuition fees for things like athletics, student health services, and student associations also rose this year by 2.9% to an average of $873 per student. CBC

QC students fear province will “steal” $80M in funding freed up by federal budget

Quebec’s postsecondary students are worried that their provincial government will “steal” $80M in new funding generated by the federal government, reports La Presse. The money in question will reportedly be generated when the federal government eliminates tax credits for textbooks and education in January 2017, a shift that will free up an additional $80M in funds for QC. While other provinces have decided to redirect the savings into loans and grants for students, QC Minister of Higher Education Hélène David has reportedly not yet made a decision on the matter. La Presse

UNB to build Centre for Healthy Living with $24.9M investment

The University of New Brunswick has received $24.9M to support the creation of its proposed Centre for Healthy Living, a green facility that provides research and teaching space for UNB’s Faculty of Kinesiology and promotes healthy living strategies. Of the funds provided, $16.59M comes from the federal government and $8.3M from the NB government. UNB will reportedly be contributing another $11.1M. “The proposed Centre for Healthy Living has been a project that's been on UNB's priority list for almost a decade,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell. “Thanks to the generous support of our federal and provincial governments, UNB will have a new space to grow our nationally significant research cluster focused on health, wellness, physical fitness and health promotion that will help establish New Brunswick as a leader in preventative health care.” Canada | UNB | CBC

BC announces additional $3.6M to support Aboriginal Service Plan

The BC government has announced nearly $3.6M of funding for 11 BC colleges, institutes, and universities in the form of the new Aboriginal Service Plan funding. A BC release states that the funding comes in addition to the one-time amounts provided to the other 14 public postsecondary institutions in the province. “Our government wants Aboriginal students to have the opportunity to access and complete the post-secondary education and training they need to take advantage of these opportunities,” stated Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson. A BC release explains that the funding will go towards programs and services such as Elders-in-residence programs, outreach workshops, and language revitalization programs. BC (1) | BC (2)

Saskatoon students find new bargaining power in housing market

A rise in vacancies in the Saskatoon rental market has given students much more bargaining power than they are used to, according to a University of Saskatchewan student union representative. uSask Students' Union Vice-President of Student Affairs Renata Huyghebaert says that in the past, students have felt a crunch in the housing market as they have rushed to find accommodations for the fall semester. This year, however, Huyghebaert notes that students are regularly haggling with landlords over prices and are seeing “a lot of rental incentives that were offered so it's easier to find an apartment in a prime location in the city.” CBC

Yukon app helps students navigate campus life safely

Yukon College has developed a new social media app that helps students stay safe by connecting them to safety and security resources. The new app will reportedly connect students to campus maps, academic resources, and orientation-week activities in addition to providing security information. Users of the app can quickly connect with security officers, call 911, or sound a panic alarm. The app will also help students book counselling appointments and access the college's online learning management system. “We will be encouraging our students to download it,” said Erin Johnston, project manager for the app's development. “We have already rolled it out to our staff and so the feedback has been great.” CBC

Four solutions for Canada’s overeducated, underemployed

Canada ranks among the top OECD countries when it comes to educational attainment, writes Marie Bountrogianni for the Globe and Mail, yet “many Canadians with post-secondary degrees are working in jobs that do not take advantage of their abilities and do not require a post-secondary education.” The author refers to this situation as “mal-employment” and notes that it is especially pervasive among immigrants and young people. Bountrogianni outlines four initiatives that both employers and employees can pursue to address this issue: make specialized training available to internationally educated professionals; encourage and participate in workplace mentorship programs; take advantage of the flexibility of distance education; and partner with educational institutions to design the training you need. Globe and Mail

Undergrad education should include research experience, writes UA contributor

“Undergraduate students … who conduct or participate in research projects find this work transforms their undergraduate years,” writes Diane Peters for University Affairs. The author argues that participating in research projects during an undergraduate education can provide students with key hands-on experience while preserving the benefits of an academic context. The author highlights several stories illustrating the value of such experience to students studying in Canada, yet concludes that widespread success will ultimately “only happen if there’s the right funding for faculty and support for things like curriculum development.” University Affairs

McGill to establish satellite medical campus in Outaouais

McGill University is establishing a McGill Faculty of Medicine campus in Outaouais in an effort to keep more doctors in the West QC region. “It's not a theoretical benefit,” commented QC Premier Philippe Couillard. “People assume because someone is born somewhere they will naturally return to that region once they finish their medical training. It's not true. What counts is where you've been trained.” The medical school will open in 2020, according to CBC, and will take 24 new students into a mostly French-language, four-year program on a yearly basis. McGill and l’Université du Québec en Outaouais have also announced that they will be collaborating on the development of health-care training programs in the region. CBC | McGill (1) | McGill (2)

UFV to help Arts grads market skills to employers

The University of the Fraser Valley plans to change its Bachelor of Arts degree in order to help students better market their skills, according to News 1130. “‘We can say I was a bachelor of arts student with a major in history,’ but to break it down to what’s transferable and what an employer will understand; they were missing that piece,” explains College of Arts Associate Dean of Students Alisa Webb. Webb states that the changes, which will reportedly take effect Fall 2017, will include added courses on topics such as quantitative and scientific literacy, as well as the introduction of an ePortfolio in an effort to make skills “more overt.” News 1130