Top Ten

November 18, 2016

THE releases Global University Employability Ranking 2016

Times Higher Education has released its Global University Employability Ranking 2016, and five Canadian institutions have made the top 100. The University of Toronto was Canada’s highest ranked institution at #14, while McGill (#18) and University of Montreal/HEC (#44), University of British Columbia (#46), and McMaster University (#75) rounded out the top 100. When the rankings turned specifically to Canada and Canadian employers, however, the numbers changed. uToronto remained in first,  followed by McGill (2), UBC (tied 3), the University of Waterloo (tied 3), McMaster (tied 5), Queen’s University (tied 5), and York University (tied 5). THE (Global) | THE (Canada) | THE (Explanation of ranking)

Embattled uToronto professor to debate legislation on gender identity

University of Toronto Professor Jordan Peterson will take part in a debate this Saturday on Bill C-16 and the gender provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code. Peterson gained widespread media attention last month for his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns. The Queer Caucus of CUPE 3902, which is “the trade union that represents 7,000 sessionals, TAs, and other contract instructional staff at the U of T,” has issued an open letter asking people to boycott the event, arguing that “human rights are not up for debate.” uToronto Media Relations Director Althea Blackburn-Evans has told the Toronto Star that “academic freedom is [the University of Toronto’s] reason for being in many ways,” adding that “the university’s mandate is to foster discussion and debate around topics that can often be very controversial.” Toronto Star

Edmonton Journal staff call for necessary upgrades to AB’s postsecondary infrastructure

Alberta’s PSE campuses are facing a significant backlog of deferred maintenance, writes the Edmonton Journal, “but these aren’t ivory towers that Albertans can afford to let crumble.” The newspaper’s editorial staff argue that PSE institutions and their buildings are “public assets, paid for collectively by Albertans, just like bridges, hospitals and K-12 schools,” and it is therefore “irresponsible to let assets fall into disrepair.” The editorial highlights how the province's government has earmarked $777M for the PSE institutions. Yet this commitment must be combined with a willingness on the part of government and private donors to provide funds for essential upgrades. “Post-secondary players and backers need to embrace a more pragmatic approach going forward and put more focus on taking care of what we’ve already got before even more buildings are added into the mix,” the article concludes. Edmonton Journal

HEC Montréal to create social enterprise incubator

HEC Montréal and its IDEOS centre have partnered with the Yunus Centre to create a Yunus Social Business Centre, which will reportedly be the first of its kind in Canada. The centre will be driven by the values of Nobel Prize-winning Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, and will work with Canadian firms to develop projects that have a social impact. “The goal is to have large Canadian companies contribute their expertise to socially innovative projects,” explains HEC Professor Barin Cruz, who cites the creation of a low-cost yoghurt in Bangladesh as an example of how such partnerships have improved the lives of vulnerable groups. “A social enterprise is organized in such a way as to be financially sustainable,” adds Cruz. “Its main objective is its social impact, but at the same time the business sells goods and services in order to be self-supporting.” HEC Montréal

CICan launches $19M project to support prosperity, opportunity in Kenya

Colleges and Institutes Canada has announced the launch of the Kenya Education for Employment Program. The $19M initiative will be funded by the Canadian government and will work to provide increased economic opportunities for graduates from technical and vocational education and training institutions in Kenya. The program will specifically focus on agriculture and energy in order to provide employment and self-employment opportunities for youth while supporting greater gender equality, green economic growth, and poverty reduction. “CICan is excited by this opportunity … to help Kenyan postsecondary institutions deliver accessible and gender-responsive skills training programs that meet the needs of the local industry,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. “This program will also support the Government of Canada’s priorities in the areas of poverty reductions, women’s equality, the inclusion of youth and vulnerable populations and clean economic growth.” CICan

How to foster classroom compassion after the US election: UA contributor

“What do I plan to do post-[US] election?” writes Queen’s University Professor Erin Clow. “I plan to make my syllabi and classroom a site of active resistance, resistance to the politics of distrust and division, resistance to the politics of crushing negativity.” Clow reflects on the backlash she sees happening against progressive politics, and on her role as an educator in combatting a dark new ideology of “us” versus “them.” The author notes that pursuing this course will require a professor to present students with “a world of compassion, optimism and possibilities” rather than “a world of negativity and overwhelming problems.” The author concludes with a call for greater compassion in everyday teaching, and for instructors to engage one another in the fulfillment this goal. University Affairs

UNBC report shows barriers, lack of data around sexual assaults

A report from the University of Northern British Columbia reveals that the school developed a task force to address barriers to sexual violence reporting, a lack of data on the issue, and gaps in existing policies, reports the Prince George Citizen. The Prince George Citizen notes that the number of occurrences of sexual violence on campus is redacted from the report, which UNBC Associate VP Barb Daigle explains is due to factors such as concerns around validity and personally identifying information. A new steering committee is reportedly working on addressing the provincial requirement for every university to develop a stand-alone sexual violence policy. Daigle adds that recent discussions with the new committee were focused on building trust and confidence in the campus approach. Prince George Citizen

UPEI signs agreements with three international universities

The University of Prince Edward Island has signed memorandums of understanding with three universities: the Universidad da Vinci de Guatemala, Intec institute de Formation Technique Professionelle in Haiti, and Galen University in Belize. The agreements will reportedly see UPEI and each institution explore and mutually collaborate on a multitude of activities, including faculty and student exchanges, research/consulting contracts, and program collaborations.“These MOUs mark the first time that UPEI partnered with universities in Central America and Haiti,” announced UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “ This historic occasion will allow the University to offer more academic and research opportunities to students, faculty, and staff.” UPEI

YorkU to create research chair, partner with music school thanks to $2M gift

York University has announced that it will partner with the Regent Park School of Music and create a new research chair in music education with support from a $2M gift. York Professor Emeritus Allan Carswell announced the donation on behalf of the Carswell Family Foundation at a recent event, adding that the new Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts will benefit more than 1,300 children by working to enhance community music and art programs. The partnership between York and the RPSM aims to bolster community music programming and research, increase reach and impact on students, and enhance community music education initiatives in Toronto. “It is an honour to thank the Carswell Family Foundation for this incredible gift, which will strengthen evidence-based research in music education and music programming, and transform the lives of children for years to come,” said YorkU President Mamdouh Shoukri. YorkU

Fleming creates diploma-degree pathway with Limerick Institute of Technology

Sporting Goods Business graduates from Fleming College will now be able to complete a degree in their field at Ireland’s Limerick Institute of Technology. A new 2+2 pathway will allow eligible students from Fleming’s 2-year Sporting Goods Business diploma program to enter directly into a third year of LIT’s Honours Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies with Sport Management program. “We’re excited to provide Sporting Goods Business students the opportunity to continue their studies after graduating from Fleming College,” said Charlie McGee, Coordinator of the Sporting Goods Business program at Fleming. “The combination of college and university education plus global experience can assist graduates with their career goal of working and progressing in the evolving international sporting goods industry.” Fleming