Top Ten

February 6, 2017

US political climate could provide major boon to Canadian higher ed

The current political climate in the US may add a significant injection of cash into the Canadian economy through an increased flow of international students, Universities Canada President Paul Davidson tells the Canadian Press. According to a 2014 federal study, international students have an economic impact of roughly $11.4B on the Canadian economy, which is higher than the amount created by softwood lumber, financial services, or wheat. Davidson adds that Canadian universities have also seen a surge in interest from “Nobel-calibre” researchers who are considering a move to Canada after Donald Trump’s election in the US and Brexit in the UK. “This isn't going to happen overnight, but the phones started ringing in mid-November and they haven't stopped ringing,” says Davidson. CBC

UWindsor students vote yes to $73M athletic complex expansion

Undergraduate students at the University of Windsor have approved the construction of a new athletics facility. CBC reports that the motion to approve the construction passed with a 64% majority, with students voting to pay $125 annually in additional fees to fund the project beginning in 2019. The project received criticism from some who argued that the additional fees would unfairly burden students, but UWindsor Dean of Human Kinetics Michael Khan says that the new centre will be invaluable for students' physical and mental health. Khan adds that the next step will be to solicit written approval from all of the school’s student presidents before putting the centre to the board of governors for final approval. Khan tells CBC that he is hopeful that the new complex will be completed in three to four years. CBC | Windsor Star | Windsor Star (Criticism)

International students at career colleges need equal access to work permits, says NACC

The National Association of Career Colleges has issued a statement calling on the Canadian government to offer international students at regulated career colleges the same access to a post-graduate work permit as those from publicly funded institutions. The release notes that 25,000 international students studying each year at a Canadian career college are currently not eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit, an option that is open only to  international students from public institutions. “International students who attend Canada’s regulated career colleges deserve fair and equal treatment, and that includes access to the post-graduate work permit,” said NACC CEO Serge Buy. “In light of recent immigration concerns south of the border, Canada needs to ensure that all eligible international post-secondary students are welcomed to this country and have equal access to the benefits of living and studying here.” NACC

UNBC builds Wood Innovation Research Lab

A Wood Innovation Research Lab is being built by the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George to provide students in the Master of Engineering in Wood Design Program more space to work. These students have previously conducted work through the Wood Innovation and Design Centre, which was created by the BC Government to spur research on new uses of wood and encourage new jobs and markets in the industry. “We really needed a much larger lab facility in order for our students to build much larger wood structures to do everything from testing how wood is put together to seismic events to large-scale wood models,” said UNBC President Daniel Weeks, who noted that the program has received international interest. The project received $4.5M in combined federal and provincial funding, and the City of Prince George provided UNBC with the land for the building. CBC | Prince George Citizen | UNBC

FSIN, USask partner on support for First Nations students

The University of Saskatchewan has signed an agreement with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations that will see the two work together to improve the academic success of First Nations students. The agreement also commits the USask president and FSIN Chief to each present the initiatives that their organization or institution has undertaken to support and serve Indigenous students on an annual basis. “Our young people are seeking educational opportunities that will lead to productive careers,” said FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron. “These types of improved relationships will ensure our First Nation students get their educational needs met. Many of our First Nations students have graduated from the U of S and others are currently enrolled, therefore we advocate on their behalf to ensure their success in exercising the inherent and treaty right to education.” The Star Phoenix | Nation Talk

Durham to receive $1M from City of Oshawa to support Centre for Collaborative Education

Durham College has announced that it will receive $1M from the City of Oshawa to support the construction of its new Centre for Collaborative Education. The multi-level, 75,000-square-foot facility will be home to departments such as the School-College-Work Initiative and its affiliated Centre for Success program; the Centre for Indigenous Peoples; the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Transitions; and the Spark Centre; among others. “This generous donation is a strong reflection of Durham College’s longstanding relationship with the City of Oshawa,” said Durham President Don Lovisa. “It not only represents an investment in education but in the broader Oshawa community, which we have proudly been a part of for the past 50 years.” Durham

Dealing with controversial speakers on campus is only going to get harder: IHE contributor

“[T]he climate at many colleges and universities has become more polarized,” writes Kevin Kruger for Inside Higher Ed, and the resulting rise in student activism “will not be easy for colleges and universities to manage.” The author highlights the cancellation of a speaking engagement last week at UC Berkeley that occurred when protests over the event became violent, and notes that the task of keeping students safe while creating space for dissent has grown increasingly difficult. However, Kruger adds that even as institutions “should embrace ideas all along the political spectrum, we can’t and shouldn’t be value neutral.” Institutions need to make their positions known, Kruger argues, especially on issues of inclusion, diversity, and human dignity. “Allowing student organizations to bring controversial speakers, even those who preach hatred and intolerance, will be painful and challenging to many of our students,” Kruger concludes. “But in the end, unless cost issues or safety issues are insurmountable, we must support the basic rights of free expression.” Inside Higher Ed

Camosun partners on pathways with English language providers

Camosun College has partnered with six English language schools to provide students of these schools with the opportunity to enter Camosun programs after meeting the college's English requirements. A Camosun release notes that the six schools boast recruitment offices or education consultants in a combined 55 countries.The college’s release also notes that the language providers have a presence in markets where Camosun has only recently begun recruitment efforts, such as Africa and Latin America. The agreements “mak[e] it possible for greater flexibility and suitability for the students’ personal education timeline,” said Camosun International Director Christiaan Bernard. Camosun

triOS, Eastern College offer bursaries to laid-off HMV employees

triOS College Business Technology Healthcare and Eastern College have responded to the closure of all Canada-based HMV stores by offering $1.5K bursaries to employees who have been laid off as a result. The bursaries will also be available to the thousands of employees who have been laid off due to the closures of other retail chains including Danier, Jacob, and Smart Set. Recipients of the bursaries will be able to put them toward career training diploma programs. “As career colleges, triOS and Eastern College provide training to get laid-off employees back into the workforce,” says triOS Corporation President Stuart Bentley. “Our bursary is a financial contribution to help people explore their career options.” triOS

MUN Black Students' Association forms to provide sense of unity

“We thought, if nobody's going to help us, we'll help ourselves,” says Ladan Mowlid, President of the Black Students’ Association at Memorial University. Mowlid tells CBC that the decision to form the group in August 2016 was inspired by her discussions with peers about their experiences at the university. "I was oftentimes the only person of colour in my classroom, so I felt like that in itself was already hard to adjust to,” adds Mowlid. She explains that she has contacted the Black Business and Professional Association of Toronto to help business and commerce students at MUN find placements, and that she is hoping to help engineering students find placements as well. CBC