Top Ten

November 21, 2016

UManitoba strike having profound impact on international students, says student leader

The ongoing faculty strike at the University of Manitoba has affected many students, but has had a particularly harsh impact on international students, says Steffan Aganbi, the University of Manitoba Students’ Union’s International Students Representative. Speaking with Metro, Aganbi notes that there are roughly 5,100 international students at UManitoba, reflecting about 17% student population, and they pay tuition fees that are an average three times more than those of domestic students. “There’s a lot of noise,” Aganbi argues. “They’re all saying, the UMFA (University of Manitoba Faculty Association) is concerned about students. The university administration is concerned about students,” he said. “We’re the real stakeholders here. International students pay a lot of money and I’m sure Canadian students do (also) pay a lot of money. And we are not being considered at all.” Metro

MUN student resigns from board of regents, citing bullying

A student representative on Memorial University’s board of regents has resigned, citing bullying by other board members as a prime reason. “I was constantly being made to feel like my comments were lies, that I was being fed misinformation from the union,” says Brittany Lennox, who submitted her resignation last week. Lennox says that she would like to give specific examples of the bullying she experienced, but cannot due to a confidentiality agreement. In a statement on MUN's website, board of regents chairwoman Iris Petten expressed surprise at Lennox's resignation, stating that she was unaware of any conflict between Lennox and other boards members. “It is disappointing that this sensitive matter has now been made public on the MUNSU website before we had an opportunity to explore her concerns,” Petten added. “The students, elected alumni, community leaders and administration officials who serve on our board will be examining the concerns that have been raised and will determine the appropriate course of action.” MUNSU | MUN | Telegram

MTA partners with Parks Canada for experiential learning opportunities

Mount Allison University and Parks Canada have signed an MOU to create new experiential learning opportunities for students within Canada’s National Parks and National Historic Sites in southern New Brunswick. Course offerings under the partnership will include an environmental science research methods field camp, as well as a three-day trip geared toward students of fine arts photography. “This collaboration has much potential to benefit both our students and Parks Canada,” says MTA Provost Jeff Ollerhead. “It gives students a chance to step outside the classroom or studio and apply what they are learning in a real-world setting.” MTA

As student entitlement rises, so does belief in professor’s bias: THE contributor

“Accusations of liberal bias among faculty are nothing new,” writes Will Grant for Times Higher Education. “Yet in recent years, ideological differences between faculty and students seem to have taken on a new character.” Grant refers to research showing that students’ belief that their professors are politically biased increases with students’ fixation on grades and academic entitlement. “Put simply,” says Grant, “as students expect more and more that they should receive high grades regardless of performance, as students consider more and more that grades rather than learning are the purpose of being at university, then they’re more and more likely to attribute instructors’ behaviour to bias.” Grant argues that this problem is caused by a university system that increasingly treats students as customers, adding that although professors cannot solve this problem immediately, they can work address it by “allowing students to have ownership of their own views, while still teaching students to differentiate between fact and opinion.” Times Higher Education

UNB launches $110M It Begins Here campaign

The University of New Brunswick has launched its $110M It Begins Here fundraising campaign, which it says is the most ambitious in the school’s history. $55M of the funding target will reportedly be allotted to financial support for undergraduate and graduate students, while the other half will be used to enhance UNB’s faculties and academic programs. UNB adds that the campaign will also create opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning through internships, co-op placements, and study abroad experiences. “The future begins here,” says UNB President Eddy Campbell. “It begins with you and me, and I firmly believe that UNB can accomplish anything with the support of our alumni, friends and community partners.” UNB

UWaterloo partners with Chinese university to offer cotutelles

The University of Waterloo has signed an MOU with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) that will provide the opportunity for certain doctoral students to take part in a cotutelle, or a dual doctoral degree program offered by the two universities. “Waterloo is pleased to build on our excellent relationship with HKUST, one of the world’s leading universities,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur of Waterloo. “Doctoral students from a variety of disciplines will now have an exceptional opportunity to create academic and research collaborations with leading experts in their fields and benefit from the culture of innovation at both universities.” UWaterloo

Freedom to fail allows faculty to get creative with pedagogy

“Faculty need the freedom to fail on their way toward pedagogical creativity,” writes Chronicle Vitae contributor Jonathan Rees in a reflection on his recent experience using a new educational-technology tool in the classroom. Rees highlights the difficulties he experienced while trying to use an online tool for peer review, but goes on to note the many ways that students benefited from the opportunity. The author further comments on how working in an environment that “actively rewards pedagogical experimentation” allowed for this experience, and reflects on the benefits of being able to share these successes and experiences with other faculty. Chronicle Vitae

MSVU's Centre for Women in Business receives $500K from RBC

Mount Saint Vincent University has received $500K from RBC to support its newly named RBC Centre for Women in Business. The funds mark part of a 10-year partnership that will see the centre become home to the RBC Alliance of Young Women Entrepreneurs program. MSVU President Ramona Lumpkin said that the partnership will “build a future without boundaries, and an entrepreneurial ecosystem for women that encourages the next generation of community, business and social innovation. RBC’s leadership does not go unnoticed by our broader community. Their commitment to communities makes us all better, and we feel fortunate to have their important support.” MSVU

Canadore launches student bystander training program

Canadore College has introduced a training program for its students and employees as a part of its efforts to prevent sexual violence and other violent acts on campus. Bringing in the Bystander is built on the belief that all community members must take an active role in ending sexual violence before, during, and after incidents occur. The program allows students to engage in role-play scenarios, create their own bystander plans, and commit to a bystander pledge. “Over the last number of years, we have been working with government, sister institutions and community partners to develop policies surrounding sexual assault and violence,” said Michael Miscio, Canadore’s manager of health, safety, security and environmental. “This program has the power to prevent sexual assault and mitigate its consequences by encouraging people to see themselves as potential bystanders with the ability to stop an assault before it happens.” Canadore

Depressed academic job market may benefit public culture, writes Chronicle contributor

“If an intellectual renaissance is underway, the catalyst has been the spate of little magazines that have appeared in the past decade or so,” writes Evan Goldstein for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The author highlights several young intellectuals as members of a new intellectual generation, describing how they spread their knowledge and opinions by taking on roles outside of the academy. “Like their early-20th-century predecessors,” Goldstein notes, “today’s new public intellectuals are almost uniformly on the left. To the extent that they share a political agenda, it is to challenge neoliberalism.” Goldstein remarks that as the academic job market and working conditions within the academy continue to deteriorate, more and more former scholars are engaging the non-academic public in a way that makes “public culture [grow] richer and younger.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)