Top Ten

February 16, 2017

Montreal knocks off Paris as world's top city for students

Montreal has beaten out London, Berlin, Boston, and Tokyo as the world’s best city for students, according to rankings compiled by Quacquarelli Symonds. The Montreal Gazette reports that Montreal’s desirability, affordability, and positive reviews from students propelled it from seventh place in 2016 to first place 2017. Montreal’s ranking was reportedly influenced heavily by the experience of students who have studied there. “A lot of people want to study in London, but those who have studied in London don’t necessarily have as positive an experience as they do in other places,” said Ben Sowter, head of research for QS. Other Canadian cities on the list included Vancouver (10th) and Toronto (11th). Ottawa received a first-place ranking in a category based on student perceptions. Montreal Gazette

Over half of Canadian PSE graduates would not pursue the same program again: study

Just under half of Canadian Millennials with a postsecondary degree say that they would complete the same education if they could do it over again, according to a new survey released by the Counseling Foundation of Canada and a number of partners. Slightly over half of respondents said that they would pursue a different type of PSE or something other than PSE. The survey also found that Millennials’ top career priorities were a good work-life balance, financial security, wealth generation, and job flexibility. Making an important contribution to society also had a strong level of importance for some Millennials, but not for others. Counseling Foundation of Canada

QC student strike of 2012 responsible for $1.5K in annual savings per student: study

The Quebec student strike of 2012 has allowed full-time university students to save $1,465 annually since that time, according to a new study. Conducted by the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques, the study suggests that if tuition hikes planned by the Charest government prior to the strike had been carried out, a full-time student would now be paying $3.8K for the academic year rather than $2.3K. Study author Philippe Hurteau concludes that it would be difficult to attribute the cost difference to anything other than the strike, which was held to protest against tuition hikes and to increase access to higher education. “Afterwards there were, to be sure, more political, more social interpretations (of the strike),” says Hurteau. “And the (protest) movement went beyond the strike itself. … People wanted to question neo-liberalism and a lot of other things. But as far as the objectives of the strike are concerned, you cannot help but conclude it was a success.” Montreal Gazette | La Presse

CFS visits Ottawa looking to collaborate on plan for tuition-free PSE

The Canadian Federation of Students is asking the federal government to collaborate on a plan for tuition-free PSE, reports the Orillia Packet. The CFS has prepared a document outlining some of the ways that federal and provincial governments might work toward achieving a tuition-free model across the country. The CFS also wants to see the implementation of the Post-Secondary Education Act, a piece of legislation modelled after the Canada Health Act to provide universal access to all forms of PSE with no up-front costs through federal and provincial funding. The group is also calling for a return to a funding model in which the federal and provincial governments are required to spend an equal amount on PSE. Lakehead University student Jonathan Cowper notes that between 1977 and 1996, this model was eroded by a decline in the federal share of funding. Orillia Packet |

MRU mourns two flight instructors killed in plane crash

Leaders from the Mount Royal University community are expressing their grief at the loss of Jeffrey Bird and Reynold Johnson, MRU flight instructors who were killed in a plane crash on Monday. This week, MRU President David Docherty spoke to reporters to express his condolences to the families and students of the two men. “These were individuals who, flying was their life and they wanted to teach others to fly and fulfill their dreams so it’s been very difficult,” Docherty said. Both instructors are reported to have been highly experienced pilots. Calgary Herald | CBC

UBC board votes for sustainable investment fund to be free of fossil fuel companies

The University of British Columbia board of governors has approved the framework for an investment fund that will be free from fossil fuel companies, reports the Canadian Press. The university has rejected prior calls from advocacy groups to divest entirely from fossil fuels, but last year it established the $10M Sustainable Future Fund to invest in companies with low carbon dioxide emissions. Donors to the fund can contribute over time and the university will increase the fund if it performs well in the coming years, with potential increases of $5M in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Stephanie Glanzmann, who has been advocating for complete divestment with the group UBC350, vowed to continue the push for full divestment. “Although we’re taking this as a win, we have a long way to go,” said Glanzmann. “We intend to continue advocating and keeping a close eye on their actions moving forward.” Medicine Hat News (CP)

“It really hurts,” says retired NWT social worker of proposed cuts to program

The closure of a social work program at Aurora College would negatively impact the health and wellbeing of people in the Northwest Territories, according to the Association of Social Workers in Northern Canada. Retired social worker and ASWNC board member Dawn McInnes tells the CBC that social work programs are especially important in the NWT, adding that she will regularly “break down in tears” over the proposed cancellation of Aurora’s two-year program. McInnes says she's hopeful the decision to cut the social work program will be overturned, but she knows it will take work. McInnes met yesterday with NWT Premier Bob McLeod to discuss cancelling the planned cut. CBC

How to get the most out of a service committee

“If you’re an administrator, it’s easy to make faculty members distrust you,” writes Peter Monaghan for the Chronicle of Higher Education, who argues that it is critical that administrators understand the keys to morale-building collaboration in PSE. Drawing on interviews with both faculty and administrators, the author offers a number of tips for anyone looking to get more impact out of service committees. These suggestions include rotating service on duty-heavy committees, hiring new faculty members, and revising curricula. Other tips include asking new faculty members how they would like to serve based on their expertise and interests. Further, the author recommends that schools protect junior faculty members from excessive service duties so they can improve their chances of earning tenure. Chronicle (Subscription Required)

MB youth in care receive $1M to improve access to PSE

Youth who have been in the care of Manitoba’s Child and Family Services will now have more opportunity to access PSE, thanks to a $1M gift from The Joyce Family Foundation. The funds will be used to support the University of Manitoba’s Youth in Care Tuition Grants, a program that supports those who are currently in or have been in Child and Family Services to attend UManitoba. This is the first gift of its kind the Joyce Foundation has made in MB. “The University of Manitoba is grateful for the vision The Joyce Family Foundation has demonstrated in supporting this program,” says UManitoba President David Barnard. “We are committed to providing opportunities for young Manitobans facing extraordinary challenges in pursuing their paths to success and fulfillment.” UManitoba

Canada’s international credential assessors find new resource in web portal

The recognition of international academic credentials in Canada has found new support in a web portal launched by the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. The new portal offers information and extensive resources to support the assessment and recognition of international academic credentials. These resources include a step-by-step guide on how to assess an academic credential issued outside Canada, a Quality Assurance Framework, and a competency profile for an academic credential assessor. Academic credential assessors across Canada will also have access to additional resources through a special interface, which will feature access to detailed profiles on the education systems and academic credentials of 12 countries, along with how they may compare to education systems in Canada. CICIC