Top Ten

December 19, 2016

Canada, QC announce $1.1B for university, CEGEP upgrades

Universities and CEGEPs throughout Quebec will receive nearly $1.1B in new funding to perform infrastructure upgrades. The funds will come from the Government of Canada, the provincial government, the institutions themselves, and private donors. The funding’s announcement was made last Friday morning by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and QC Premier Phillippe Couillard. “Our government has started an important shift to ensure the educational success of everyone from children to adults,” said Couillard. “In a constantly changing world, our ability to work together so that all children can achieve their dreams will contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of Quebec.” Canada | CBC | La Presse

ON colleges express concern over extension of 3% tuition fee cap

The Ontario government has announced that colleges and universities in the province will be allowed to raise their tuition fees an average of 3% each year for the next two years, reports the Toronto Star. The announced 3% is an extension of an allowable increase already in place, which the government hopes will provide stability to schools as the province looks to revamp its PSE funding model. Colleges Ontario President Linda Franklin, however, said that while the announcement might work for universities, ON’s colleges already charge some of the lowest tuition fees in Canada, and might fall further behind as a result of the cap. “We had asked the government to recognize that colleges are different and to develop a tuition formula specific to colleges,” Franklin said. “They have chosen not to do that.” Toronto Star | Globe and Mail

We must prepare students for today’s jobs and tomorrow’s, writes RRU president

Today’s colleges and universities “face challenges in adjusting their programs and offerings to reflect and meet the changing demands” of the workforce, writes Royal Roads University President Allan Cahoon. While British Columbia has responded to a skilled labour shortage with targeted funding for in-demand jobs, the president adds that “the critical issues today’s decision makers face are not neatly addressed by a traditional singular discipline-based education.” Cahoon argues for a stronger focus on training students in complex problem solving and critical thinking, creativity and cognitive flexibility, teamwork and service orientation, social intelligence, and effective communications. “The good news,” he concludes, “is universities are adapting and equipping the workforce with the competencies not only needed for today’s jobs, but for tomorrow’s as well.” Times Colonist

Medical students have “alarmingly high depression prevalence,” says study

A review of over 180 studies from around the world, including over 129,000 medical students, has found that medical students are at high risk for depression and suicidal ideation. “Medical training is extremely demanding and stressful at times,” says Ontario medical Students Association Co-chair Justin Cottrell. “There has been a growing body of evidence for years, demonstrating that this stress may exacerbate or lead to mental illness in some individuals.” Study co-author Douglas Mata noted that the high demands associated with medical school, such as overnight shifts and sleep deprivation, are contributing factors to suicide and depression risks. CBC

Lakeland uses inverted leadership at student-run crop farm

“What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. But it’s what I do that I really understand,” says Lakeland College President Alice Wainwright-Stewart, quoting Confucius. The president recently spoke with Maclean’s to highlight how a student-run crop farm at Lakeland allows students to participate in high-stakes learning and to take full responsibility for an agri-business enterprise. As part of the school’s crop technology program, students are divided into teams and take charge of different aspects of running the farm, such as production, operations, finance, marketing, research and public relations. Each team provides a report at a weekly meeting. The approach to learning demonstrates a form of what the college calls “inverted leadership” or bottom-up learning. “We couldn’t stand up in front of a class and mimic this,” says Lakeland Dean of Agricultural Science Josie Van Lent. Maclean’s

Canada convenes National Reconciliation Council, gives $10M to NCTR

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba has received $10M from the federal government. The announcement of funds last week also included the creation of the National Reconciliation Council, which will reportedly serve as an independent, national oversight body that will report annually on the progress towards reconciliation in Canada. Organizing the council was the fifty-third Call to Action put forward by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “The University of Manitoba is pleased to see continued support from the federal government for the crucial work of Reconciliation,” said President David Barnard. “Today’s announcement ... will further enhance the NCTR’s ability to preserve the stories of Canada’s Residential School system Survivors, and support understanding and healing for them and their families, Indigenous peoples and all Canadians.” UManitoba

QC health insurance company accused of paying illegal subsidies to student associations: La Presse

L'Alliance pour la santé étudiante au Québec, a company in Quebec that managed the insurance of over 100,000 QC students, has had a fine of $80K sought against it by l'Autorité des marchés financiers for allegedly paying illegal subsidies to student associations in exchange for contracts, reports La Presse. The payments in question were reportedly made as part of the “false and misleading” information given to student associations by employees of the firm ASEQ, while providing a way to illegally share commissions, according to the AMF. The article notes that a student association at UQAM was able to bail out its $15K strike fund with the illegal subsidies. Joint recommendations from the ASEQ and AMF have reportedly been filed with the Tribunal des marchés financiers. La Presse

It’s time for Canadian schools to teach students about sales, writes Globe contributor

“Sales can be a dirty word for Canadians, often evoking the image of a seedy used car salesman lying to an unwitting customer to get a problem-laden vehicle off the lot,” writes Gwenaële Montagner for the Globe and Mail. Yet sales, the author argues, are the lifeblood of any company, and therefore, any economy. Yet even with its demonstrable impact, Montagner notes, sales are not taught in most of Canada's formal schooling. “Anyone looking at the curriculum of major business schools in Canada and around the world might think that sales are not a crucial function of an organization,” says the author, adding that sales is often absorbed into marketing. “It’s time to change perceptions,” Montagner concludes. “Sales skills are critical life skills that can and should be systematically taught in high school, in undergraduate programs and in higher education.” Globe and Mail

OCADU receives $1M donation from Four Seasons Hotel founders

OCAD University has received a $1M donation from Four Seasons Hotel founders Rosalie and Isadore Sharp  to support the enhancement of the façade of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion. “We are very grateful to Rosalie and Isadore Sharp for supporting our strong tradition of experiential learning that takes place both in the studio and in the community,” says OCADU President Sara Diamond. “This flexible, multi-use student complex will provide dedicated, maker-based work areas, as well as spaces for collaboration and engagement with visiting artists and designers.” A release from OCADU notes that the Sharps have donated over $9.5M to the university since 1998. OCADU

“They have a pulse”: ACC opens health simulation labs with donor support

Assiniboine Community College has announced the launch of two new health care simulation labs. The labs offer students access to what ACC says are “some of the most advanced learning tools available to students across the country.” The labs benefited from $240K in contributions, which included $100K from an anonymous donor. The mannequins used in the health simulation labs are reportedly able to mimic human patients, with an ACC release noting that “they have a pulse; breath and convulse; respond to drug doses and IVs; and secrete blood, mucous, sweat and urine.” “We are grateful for the generous support of our community members who have made these labs possible for our students," said Tammy Johannson, President of the ACC Foundation. Brandon Sun | ACC