Top Ten

October 27, 2016

Non-religious students more likely to radicalize than religious, says CEGEP survey

A survey of students at eight Quebec CEGEPs has defied many popular assumptions about religion and radicalization, reports the Montreal Gazette. One of the report’s core findings was that youths who were most supportive of violence were less likely to identify as religious than those who did not support violence. Further, second-generation immigrants were found to have a higher likelihood of being radical than first-generation immigrants. “It goes against our pre-conceived notions—this is not a problem with immigrants or religion but one that can affect us all,” said SHERPA Director and child psychiatrist Cécile Rousseau. Montreal Gazette | CBC | Fédération des Cégeps

ON announces plans to establish university presence in Brampton, Milton

The Ontario government has announced that it will approve the creation of two new university facilities in Brampton and Milton. The Brampton Guardian reports that Milton has already forged a partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University and committed funds to purchase a large parcel of land in anticipation of the move. Shortly after becoming mayor of Brampton, Linda Jeffrey reportedly convened a blue ribbon panel to create a plan for transforming Brampton into a university town. Laurier has released a statement applauding the province's move, with President Max Blouw saying that “we are pleased that the Ontario government is moving forward with plans to bring post-secondary educational opportunities to an under-served area of the GTA. A university campus will strengthen and complement [Milton’s] vision of a diversified workforce to drive economic prosperity and meet the evolving needs of Ontario’s economy.” Brampton Guardian | WLU

StFX to become home to $60M Brian Mulroney Institute of Government

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has announced plans for a $60M institute bearing his name that will be located at Saint Francis Xavier University. An alumnus of StFX, Mulroney reportedly raised $55M of the funds personally and donated an additional $1M of his own money. The Brian Mulroney Institute of Government will be housed in the planned $40M Mulroney Hall on StFX’s main campus. StFX President Kent MacDonald praised both the former prime minister and the donation, saying that Mulroney is “one of our greatest sons” and adding that the gift “absolutely will be the most transformative project in the history of this university in 164 years.” Globe and Mail

uLethbridge receives gift supporting innovation, entrepreneurship

Students at the University of Lethbridge who are involved with family and small businesses will be better supported and have enhanced opportunities through the institution, thanks to a $750K gift from RBC to ULethbridge’s AGILITY program and Faculty of Management. According to the Lethbridge Herald, the funding will provide support for many different initiatives, including the establishment of a minor in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise; the establishment of the RBC Family and Small Business Internships through the Co-operative Education Program in the Faculty of Management; and the creation of the RBC Family and Small Business Summit with a keynote speaker and accompanying seminar series related to family and small business. uLethbridge | Lethbridge Herald

Selkirk officially launches Silver King Campus renewal

Selkirk College has officially launched its $18.9M Silver King Campus renewal project with a groundbreaking ceremony and welcomed a joint federal-provincial investment of over $16M towards the project. The project will see the repurposing of three existing trades buildings, as well as the construction of a student commons building that includes a new cafeteria, multi-purpose open study area, student services offices, and Aboriginal gathering place. “This investment in the Silver King Campus renewal project at Selkirk College will help to create improved learning space for students of the trades and related technical training,” said federal Minister of Innovation, Science & Economic Development Navdeep Bains. “This will mean continued success for students and will ensure Selkirk College is best equipped for the future.” Selkirk is also receiving $187K in funding towards the purchase of trades equipment. Selkirk | BC (Renewal funding announcement) | BC (Trades funding)

ON institutions face lack of clarity on WIL legal issues, says HEQCO report

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario are facing a challenging lack of clarity on a number of legal issues that have emerged around work-integrated learning, according to a new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. The study combined in-depth interviews with WIL experts in legal and non-legal roles with a review of provincial and federal legislation and regulations, as well as legal cases dating back to 1990. Provincially, the report highlighted employment standards, health and safety, and human rights issues that may be potentially challenging to institutions. On a federal level, it found that institutions may struggle with legal concerns about intellectual property, employment insurance, and immigration law. More specific manifestations of these problems could include uncertainty about students' right to a minimum wage, statutory holidays, vacation pay, maximum work hours, and regular breaks. HEQCO | Report

TRU receives over $4M trades training boost

Thompson Rivers University has received $4.16M in new funding from the British Columbia government to provide skills training in high-priority trades seats. The investment will reportedly fund 1,588 seats in a number of trades that include electrician, welder, cook, heavy mechanical group trades, and carpenter. “Our trades programs are a first stop for many employers when they are searching for highly-skilled, job-ready graduates and apprentices, and today’s announcement allows us to build on that reputation,” said TRU Interim Dean of Trades and Technology Baldev Pooni. TRU

NS raises payment threshold for student loan Repayment Assistance Plan

Nova Scotia has announced that students using the province’s Repayment Assistance Plan will not be required to start repaying their student loans until they make $25K per year, an increase from the previous threshold of $20K. The move mirrors a similar change in the federal student loan repayment program and will take effect starting on November 1, 2016. “We are happy to hear that Nova Scotia is being proactive in giving more financial assistance to students who need it most,” said Students Nova Scotia Executive Director Sophie Helpard. NS Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan added that “every dollar counts when graduates are beginning their careers. We hope this change provides some relief to young people as they build their lives in Nova Scotia.” NS

UCalgary students, staff call for space to be renamed after late campus barista

Students and staff at the University of Calgary are asking their school to honour the memory of a beloved campus barista who spent the past ten years raising spirits at the university, reports CBC. The call comes following the unexpected death this month of Annette Schmirler, who had been manager of the Brew & Blendz coffee shop in UCalgary’s kinesiology building. “International students would say that she was the first kind person that they met,” says UCaglary Aquatics Director Dominique MacDonald. “People that wouldn't go for coffee for a year would go back and she would remember their name and their favourite order.” MacDonald adds that she has spoken to Penny Werthner, the Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, and has learned that UCalgary is “supportive” of doing something to honour the late barista. CBC

It’s time to get the most from Learning Management Systems, writes Contact North contributor

Higher education has reached a point where “all post-secondary faculty and students use educational technology–whether for classroom-based, blended or fully online learning and teaching,” writes Terry Anderson for Contact North | Contact Nord, which is why institutions need to know they are getting all that they can out of their Learning Management Systems. To help this effort, Anderson explains how any LMS must support the four core activities of content delivery, learning assessment, interaction and communication, and analytics. The author then turns to a discussion of new developments in LMS technologies and highlights some of the challenges still faced by even the most forward-looking institutions. Contact North | Contact Nord