Top Ten

November 8, 2016

Niagara's Saudi campus gets vote of confidence from ON premier

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne says she is satisfied that Niagara College is teaching both men and women in Saudi Arabia, reports the St Catharines Standard. In January of 2016, Wynne responded to reports of ON colleges operating male-only campuses in Saudi Arabia by saying that they were “unacceptable.” Since that time, however, she has reportedly learned that Niagara also trains female nurses at another Saudi school and operates a women-only campus. “My understanding with Niagara College is that they are teaching both men and women,” said Wynne. “I think it’s important that we bring our value system to break down these barriers where we can.” The St Catharines Standard reports that Wynne’s comments have garnered criticism from NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and PC Leader Patrick Brown. St Catharines Standard

Canadore signs MOU with social media platform tailored to trades professionals

Canadore College has announced that it will today sign an MOU with a unique social media channel designed specifically for individuals working in the trades. The social media platform Hard Hat Hunter reportedly allows individuals in the trades to highlight their education, skill sets, accomplishments, and experience to prospective employers and contractors. “When we were approached by Hard Hat Hunter about being their official educational partner, it was an easy step to take,” said Shawn Chorney, vice-president of enrolment management, Indigenous and student services at Canadore. In addition to trained professionals, Hard Hat Hunter gives companies the opportunity to create an online web presence, post jobs, and gain access to free industry-related news and content. Canadore | Northern Ontario Business

NBSA calls for “sliding scale” on NB Tuition Access Bursary

The New Brunswick Student Alliance is calling on the NB government to institute “comprehensive PSE reforms” that include the introduction of a sliding scale for the province’s Tuition Access Bursary. “We have said before that the TAB was a solid first step,” says NBSA Executive Director Robert Burroughs, “but that improvements are needed. We believe that the introduction of a sliding scale would be the kind of sound, progressive economic policy that this province needs.” The document also recommends that the government make changes to the province’s Timely Completion Benefit while making new investments in mental health, international student health care, experiential learning, and the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action to increase postsecondary access for Indigenous students. NBSA

Fleming to enhance Sutherland, Frost campus facilities with major investment

Fleming College has received nearly $10M from the Canadian and Ontario governments to undertake major building projects at its Sutherland and Frost campuses. The project at the Sutherland Campus will use $7.6M of the investment to update existing facilities for nursing, biotechnology, physiotherapy and paramedic training. The Frost campus will use $2.3M from the investment to modernize its existing earth resources science and environmental science facilities, as well as to create a new geocentre. “We are pleased to welcome this funding announcement from our federal and provincial governments. After the recent opening of the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre, we are excited to embark on two more projects to further improve and enhance our specialized learning spaces on our campuses in Peterborough and Lindsay,” said Fleming President Tony Tilly. Canada | Fleming

WLU receives approval for User Experience Design degree offered with Conestoga

Wilfrid Laurier University will offer a new User Experience Design degree at its Brantford campus next fall, thanks to recent approval from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Capitalizing on a partnership with Conestoga College, the program will see students take courses from both institutions at the WLU Brantford campus and earn both a Bachelor of Design and a graduate certificate in Interactive Media Management within four years. “I am very excited that Laurier can now offer this innovate, in-demand degree to the community and beyond,” said Heidi Northwood, WLU Dean of Liberal Arts. “We are in a unique position to deliver both the knowledge and essential skills honed through study of the liberal arts ... and the hands-on applied skills that inform practices associated with improving products, services and interactive content.” WLU

Carleton receives $26.4M for sustainability and green initiatives

Carleton University has received $26.4M from the Canadian and Ontario governments for two projects that will support sustainability and green initiatives on its campus. The first project will perform energy-efficient retrofitting for the university’s infrastructure in an effort to build a more sustainable environment at Carleton. The second project will help develop Carleton’s Advanced Research and Innovation in Smart Environments project, a collaborative infrastructure project that aims to boost innovation in clean technology, health technology, and information and communication technologies. “This strategic investment furthers Carleton's leadership in green technology, digital communications, big data and cybersecurity research,” says Carleton President Roseann O'Reilly Runte. “We have made great strides in these fields, and we are committed to leading the way in the future—both in Canada and abroad.” Canada | Carleton

Discussing nonacademic career plans with an advisor requires care, risk evaluation

David McDonald provides advice to graduate students on how best to discuss nonacademic career plans with an academic advisor or supervisor. The author explains that the ideal situation sees a student attending a graduate school that is supportive of nonacademic career paths. Given that this is not always the case, McDonald provides a number of suggestions for graduate students, including weighing the risks of holding such a discussion, such as decreased support from a disappointed advisor, against anticipated benefits. McDonald advises students to test the waters and enter] into the discussion carefully, but unapologetically; and further encourages them to build a network of potential mentors for their nonacademic career planning. Inside Higher Ed

NB a postsecondary destination for francophone Manitobans

Francophone students from Manitoba have looked to New Brunswick in recent years for French-language postsecondary education, reports Maclean’s. The article notes that while Winnipeg’s Université de Saint-Boniface is “well-known in the French community for its general arts and education degrees,” students looking for more specialized university degrees have “no such solution.” The article also highlights how the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology has made significant efforts in recent years to retain trades students who might otherwise move to New Brunswick to study at the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. MITT Director of French Technical Chantal Simard says that the school is currently looking for French-speaking instructors both within and outside MB. “I foresee that I may have to be recruiting from other provinces,” says Simard. “New Brunswick or even Quebec.” Maclean’s

TRU continues to expand grad offerings with approval of new Master of Nursing

Thompson Rivers University has received approval from British Columbia’s Ministry of Advanced Education for its Master of Nursing program. The university reports that the approval marks TRU’s third new graduate program since May 2016, which marks a doubling in the school’s graduate offerings since that time. “We are excited to be offering a Master of Nursing program to be delivered by our School of Nursing which is well recognized nationally for its high caliber faculty and graduates,” said President Alan Shaver. The school has stated that it could begin offering courses in the new program as early as January 2017. TRU

UBC math students to save as much as $1M per year through open-access textbooks

The University of British Columbia reports that instructors in its Math department have saved students as much as $1M a year by adopting open or freely accessible textbooks. UBC states that the move has occurred in all first-year courses and most second-year courses, a trend that it says has been growing since 1997. In the 2016 academic year, instructors in 16 math courses have reportedly adopted open or free textbooks. UBC estimates that the 7,000 students currently enrolled in these courses are collectively saving between $608K and just over $1M for the year. UBC specifically highlights resources such as BC’s Open Textbook Project as resources that have contributed to the growing trend toward open-access course materials in the province. UBC