Top Ten

February 27, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada to hear conflicting appeals on TWU law school

The Supreme Court of Canada has announced that it will hear two appeals involving Trinity Western University’s law school’s attempt to have its future graduates accredited as lawyers. The Canadian Press writes that the cases brought before the Supreme Court “pit gay and lesbian rights against religious mandates,” as TWU has been accused of discriminating against the LGBTQ community through its community covenant. TWU won an appeal in British Columbia after the province’s law society attempted to deny accreditation for its graduates, but lost a similar appeal in Ontario. The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society lost twice in court against TWU and has said it does not plan to appeal. National Post (CP)

CBIE launches Learning Beyond Borders initiative to boost study abroad

The Canadian Bureau for International Education has announced the launch of Learning Beyond Borders, a program that partners with Canadian PSE institutions in a coordinated effort to get more students to study abroad. As part of the effort, CBIE has invited educational institutions representing all levels of education, including both postsecondary schools and K-12 school boards, to collectively improve on Canada’s low rates of study abroad participation. A CBIE release states that institutions can get involved by committing to address internal barriers to learning abroad and by participating in peer discussions with institutions across the country. A number of institutions have already joined the initiative. CBIE

WLU provost responds to National Post editorial on admissions, research practices

“It was disappointing to read Dr. Michael Carroll’s characterization of enrolment and research strategies at Wilfrid Laurier University,” writes Deborah MacLatchy, WLU Provost and Vice-President: Academic. MacLatchy’s response to the former dean’s critical editorial in the National Post notes that WLU maintains high admissions standards, with an entering grade average of 83.4% and a student retention rate of 88.7%. The response also highlights WLU’s high employment rate for graduates, as well as the school’s number-one ranking in Maclean’s magazine for student satisfaction in Autumn 2016. The response concludes with a defense of WLU programming that provides additional support and consideration for students with lower grades. On this issue, MacLatchy states, “My colleagues and I are happy to work at a university that is willing to err on the side of student needs and not turn away students who are capable.” WLU

Students born outside Canada more likely to pursue PSE, says HEQCO study

Students born outside Canada are more likely to enroll in PSE than domestic students, according to a new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. These students were also more likely to enroll in university than college, a tendency that was especially prominent among students from higher-income neighbourhoods. By contrast, Canadian-born students living in lower-income neighbourhoods were the least likely group to register in a college or university, with nearly 45% of this group not pursuing any PSE. The study also found that regardless of place of birth, course selection and academic performance in Grade 9 courses were major factors driving postsecondary participation. HEQCO | Report

VCC partners with Samsung Tech Institute to offer product-specific training to students

Vancouver Community College has partnered with Samsung Electronics Canada Inc to provide students with practical hands-on training on how to operate, diagnose, and service select Samsung digital home appliances. The partnership will fall under the banner of the Samsung Tech Institute in Canada, which created the Samsung Tech Institute at Centennial College in 2015. Graduates will be certified Samsung Home Appliance Technicians upon completion of the program and will receive an Award of Achievement from VCC. “At VCC, we’re always looking for innovative ways to meet the needs of industry, and this partnership presented the perfect opportunity,” said VCC President Peter Nunoda. “The exclusive framework of knowledge students will receive and first-hand exposure to the Samsung brand and technology will directly impact the careers of our graduates.” VCC

US study looks at what international students want from their professors

International students studying in the US say that they would like their professors to make more of an effort to better understand students’ diverse perspectives and to offer helpful feedback, according to a new US-based study. A survey of 662 international students at 23 colleges and universities found that many of these students want their professors to provide more feedback (35%), seek to understand international students’ perspectives (33%), make classroom materials available after class (32%), provide examples of completed assignments (32%), and provide non-US examples in course contents (28%). The study notes that due to the fact that 12% of surveyed students were native English speakers, their presence could have skewed some of the survey’s overall figures, such as the percentage of respondents who said they would like their professor to speak more slowly or clearly. Inside Higher Ed

YorkU’s IP Osgoode, CIGI forge new partnership to boost innovation

IP Osgoode, the intellectual property law and technology program at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, has partnered with the International Law Research Program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation to expand student-focused innovation. The new initiative will reportedly aim to support start-up companies, entrepreneurs, and inventors with business issues relating to intellectual property. “We believe the time is right to take the Innovation Clinic to the next level,” said IP Osgoode’s Founder and Director, Giuseppina D’Agostino. “Things are working well here, and we think they can also work elsewhere. Our goal is to help under-resourced inventors make their ideas come true and go to market.  We are grateful to CIGI for helping us in this endeavour, and we’re delighted that this collaboration with CIGI will allow us to continue to offer our students a unique experiential learning opportunity.” YorkU

US professor explores harsh challenges facing transgendered PSE students

“The question of transgender students’ rights has provoked a national debate, but little has been heard from the people at the center of the controversy,” writes Lee Gardner for the Chronicle of Higher Education. In an interview with Gardner, Northern Illinois University Assistant Professor Z Nicolazzo discusses the difficult realities facing transgendered students in PSE, particularly after the White House’s recent decision to rescind a number of protections given to these students by the previous administration. Nicolazzo discusses how many transgendered students think of virtual landscapes and the internet in general as a better place to build community than the physical world, the pitfalls of administrative attempts to quantify the number of transgendered students at a school, and the shortcomings of nondiscrimination policies. Chronicle (Subscription Required)

Lighthouse Labs software development school gains Private Career College status in ON

Web development bootcamp provider Lighthouse Labs has gained Private Career College status in Ontario. A Lighthouse Labs release states that one of the first steps the company took after its Toronto opening was to apply to become a Private Career College, a status that now makes the school eligible for Second Career Ontario, the Canada Ontario Job Grant, and eventually, the Ontario Student Assistance Program. The status also commits Lighthouse Labs to ensure that its refund policy, code of conduct, and dispute resolution process comply with the Private Career College Act, with the college submitting financials to the ON Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development every year. Lighthouse Labs

UNBC student society tables plan, gets help from university to tackle debt

Four months after revealing a $100K debt, the University of Northern British Columbia student society has announced that it is financially stable and on track to recover from its debt, thanks to long-term planning and short-term cuts. Northern Undergraduate Student Society President Arctica Cunningham said that the group has made cuts to some salaries and events in an effort to stabilize the society, and that it was able to use a loan from UNBC to pay the City of Prince George for the U-Pass system. Cunningham said the society has worked with the business community and UNBC to draft a four-year plan to help manage the budget and to create debt management and purchasing policies to guide future boards. UNBC