Top Ten

May 1, 2017

NB free tuition plan not effective in improving PSE attainment rates: new report

New Brunswick’s free tuition program for low-income students is not effective in improving PSE attainment rates, according to a new report from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies. CBC reports that the study’s author Patrick Webber has argued that while there is room for financial considerations in a bursary program, the ability to pay is not a significant factor for low-income students compared to other factors like parental expectations or high school achievement. For these reasons, Webber says that he would support a bursary program that is based on financial need and a student's merit coming out of high school. Yet Robert Burroughs, the executive director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance, argues that Webber’s plan would be detrimental to low-income students. “What I'm hearing is ... New Brunswicker taxpayers shouldn't be subsidising poor kids to go to school,” said Burroughs, “That's the underlying message that I'm hearing here, which is fundamentally problematic.” CBC

MUN, NL government contest university’s financial reporting

Tensions have flared between the senior administration at Memorial University and the Newfoundland & Labrador government over MUN’s finances. The Telegram reports that last week, NL Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne alleged that MUN has historically misreported some of its financial data in a way that makes it impossible to determine whether the school’s administration is “more bloated than other schools in Canada.” MUN President Gary Kachanoski has since stated that Byrne’s allegations are “completely unfounded and not correct.” In an interview with St John’s Morning Show, MUN Vice-President of Academic Noreen Golfman added that “it's distracting, a bit demoralizing,” in response to Byrne’s claims. CBC (Golfman response) | Telegram (Kachanoski) | Telegram (Byrne accusations)

Students will not need to start repaying provincial portion of OSAP until they earn $35K

Recent graduates in Ontario will not have to start repaying the provincial portion of their OSAP loans until they earn $35K a year, thanks to a change in the new ON budget. Prior to the change, students needed to begin repaying their provincial OSAP funds after earning $25K per year. Other changes to the program mean that students will no longer see their level of financial assistance impacted if they have a Registered Education Savings Plan. The province will also give mature students, which refers to anyone out of high school for four years or more, the same access to OSAP supports as younger students. The budget also includes new funding to support ON’s recently announced $190M Kick-Start Strategy, which aims to create 40,000 work-related learning opportunities over three years. CBC

Student Association gives $1.25M to BVC

The Students Association of Bow Valley College announced last week that it will donate $1.25M to the school’s ongoing Quest for Best campaign. The announcement was made at a board of governor’s meeting with all board members, college leaders, and SABVC executives in attendance. “This tremendous act of generosity and commitment by our Students Association is an investment in Bow Valley College's quest to be the best comprehensive community college in terms of learner success,” said BVC President Laura Jo Gunter. Student Association President Arshit Dhingra added, “we are proud to continue to provide students with resources that create opportunities to have the most enjoyable and successful college experience possible.” BVC

AB college nearly quadruples enrolment for First Nations students after adopting new technology

A northern Alberta college for First Nations students is seeing dramatic changes in enrolment and retention rates after transforming its teaching methods and interactions with students. Located eight hours north of Edmonton, Kayas Cultural College recently upgraded its videoconferencing equipment to create what college representative Kyle Trumpour says is “basically a giant tablet you’re hanging on the wall [that is] is allowing us to create what I like to call a seamless virtual classroom.” The technology reportedly tracks the movements of instructors who may be on different campuses, and displays whatever they write on the tablet’s surface from other locations. Since the changes were made, enrolment at the school has leapt from 13 students in the winter 2013 semester to 50 students in the winter 2017 semester. Global News

WLU data platform to provide “invaluable insight” on growth of Canadian companies

A new data platform at Wilfrid Laurier University will offer new ways to track the growth of Canadian companies, reports CBC. Developed at the Lazaridis Institute, the new national data platform will examine things like financial performance, how much business a company is doing, and company size to provide businesses, incubators, and funders with the information they need to grow Canadian companies. The information gives “invaluable insights into why companies fail or succeed,” said Kim Morouney, executive director of the Lazaridis Institute and associate dean in the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. Morouney added that the data offers “a comprehensive picture of the evolution of Canadian companies from early to late stages, giving Canada a world-leading competitive advantage in innovation.” The platform received a $2.5M investment from the federal government last Thursday. CBC

Centennial partners with Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals on paid internship pilot

Centennial College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has partnered with the Toronto branch of the Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals on a pilot project that will provide graduating students with the ability to work in top Toronto restaurants and learn from industry-leading chefs and managers. The CAFP Student Leadership Program has been designed to help recent graduates get real-world experience and provide mentor support to develop specific skill sets. “Our role as educators is to give students the skills they need to be successful in their careers,” says Joe Baker, Dean of the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts. “But we know their future depends on their ability to transition into the workforce. ... This partnership bundles leadership and mentoring into their first job, which will provide tremendous value to them for years to come.” Centennial | Canadian Insider

MRU to create Social Innovation hub, upgrade infrastructure with $5M investment

Mount Royal University is set to reduce its energy use, cut operating costs, and create a more comfortable space for teachers and students with a new $5M federal investment. The funds will be used to upgrade the energy and ventilation systems at MRU’s main campus building, and will also allow the school to create its new Social Innovation Hub. A federal release states that the hub will provide working and learning space where businesses and organizations with a strong social purpose will come together to learn, innovate, and collaborate on projects. “Mount Royal University is grateful to receive this generous funding,” said MRU President David Docherty. “Through our Social Innovation Hub, we can bring students, businesses and non-profit organizations together to create positive change in our community.” Canada | MRU

NS budget offers significant benefits to students: StudentsNS

StudentsNS has issued a statement commending the Nova Scotia government on its investment in PSE in its 2017/18 budget. The release highlights $3.4M in new funding to expand the province’s Student Assistance program and the introduction of the “Innovate to Opportunity” program as items of particular significance. The NS budget further implements StudentsNS’s recommendations to increase the weekly loan allowances from $180/week to $200/week and expand loan forgiveness from the first four years of an undergraduate degree to five, among new work-related provisions for graduate students. “We are thrilled to see the budget release,” said StudentsNS Chair Collette Robert. “Although we do recognize there is more work to do, we acknowledge that the provincial government is committed to investing in students, and we look forward to working together in the future.” StudentsNS

JIBC, Canadian Police College sign articulation agreement

Students of the Canadian Police College will now be able to transfer credits from some of their courses into two graduate programs at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. The two institutions recently signed a letter of articulation stating that students who successfully complete the CPC Tactical Intelligence Analysis course and Strategic Intelligence Analysis course can transfer credits toward either JIBC’s Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Analysis or its Graduate Certificate in Tactical Criminal Analysis. “We are pleased to further cement the relationship between CPC and JIBC through this letter of articulation,” said JIBC President Michel Tarko. “We welcome the CPC students who seek to further their educations and expand the career opportunities available to them through this collaboration between our two institutions.” JIBC