Top Ten

June 5, 2017

CASA applauds federal report for tracing connections between PSE accessibility, poverty reduction

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations has commended a federal study for highlighting affordable post-secondary education and school-to-work strategies as key to reducing poverty in Canada. The report finds that Indigenous youth continue to face significant barriers to PSE, and recommends that the federal government explore options to increase access to federal initiatives that will help Indigenous students pursue PSE. “We were pleased to see the investments made in both Budget 2016 and 2017 towards making post-secondary education more affordable for students,” said CASA Board Chair and Students’ Association of Mount Royal University President, Shifrah Gadamsetti. “That being said, there are too many people for whom post-secondary is still out of reach for financial reasons, and others who are struggling to find gainful employment post-graduation.” CASA | Report

Hong Kong-based USask alumnus donates $1M to create scholarship

Hong Kong resident Patrick Man Pan Yuen has donated $1M to create a scholarship at the University of Saskatchewan. The scholarship has been created in memory of Yuen's mentor, Donald Baxter, who taught neurology at the university’s medical school when Yuen was a student there. A university release notes that Yuen and Baxter co-authored a paper in 1963. “I was completely thrilled,” said Yuen in the release. “I learned from him the great importance of being meticulous and taking great pride in everything you do.” The gift will be matched by USask's Global Institute for Food Security through an annual contribution over 25 years. One to two graduate students from either mainland China or Hong Kong will be awarded $40K a year to study at USask for up to three years under the supervision of a GIFS researcher. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Providence residence building destroyed by fire

A residence building at Providence University College that was in the midst of renovations was destroyed by fire last week. CBC reports that around 5pm Thursday, an employee of the school noticed smoke billowing from the Bergen Hall residence. RCMP and fire departments soon arrived to fight the flames, but were reportedly unable to save much of the building. Providence Spokesperson Cherry Wiebe tells CBC that the school does not yet know the full extent of the damage, but is not expecting to salvage much. “By the looks of it, it will most likely have to be torn down and then we'll start from scratch,” said Wiebe. It is reportedly still unclear how the fire started. CBC | Global News

UNB, STU, NBCC partner on tri-campus sexual assault strategy

The University of New Brunswick, St Thomas University, and New Brunswick Community College have partnered with the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre to develop a tri-campus sexual assault strategy. In this partnership, the three institutions have committed to providing approximately $80K per year for three years to provide full-time support and advocacy for complainants, promote public awareness, and develop education and training for student leaders and staff. “Over the course of the year, it became evident that sexual assault does not respect institutional nor campus boundaries,” says Mark Walma, UNB Assistant Vice-president, Student Services. “With UNB, STU and NBCC located so closely together, the three institutions recognized that it would be most effective if we worked together.” UNB | CBC

Canada increases financial support for veterans pursuing PSE

The Government of Canada says that it has made it a priority to improve the benefits and services for Canadian veterans and their families, which includes increasing support for pursuing PSE. Budget 2017 reportedly acts as a comprehensive package that recognizes the role of caregivers, aids families, supports mental health, and pays for the education and training that Veterans need to pursue work in their post-military lives. This includes an Education and Training benefit that will provide up to $80K in financial support for Veterans to achieve their education and employment goals through college, university, or technical education. These funds will be available to cover tuition, course materials, and some incidentals and living expenses. Veterans Affairs Canada

Keyin, Dublin Business School establish partnership for business students

Newfoundland and Labrador's Keyin College and the Dublin Business School located in Ireland have grown their memorandum of understanding into an official business education partnership. The partnership allows graduates from Keyin’s two-year Business Management, Business Information Technology, Business Management/Human Resource Management, or Professional Business Accountant programs to complete a third year of studies at the Irish school and receive an honours degree in business. “This is an exciting partnership with an extremely prestigious college in Ireland,” said Keyin President Ralph Tucker. “It offers a unique opportunity for students at Keyin College to obtain a diploma in one country and a degree in another.” Advertiser | The Telegram | Keyin

Western-African partnerships rarely amount to more than “visits”: SA minister

Partnerships between Western universities and African higher education institutions rarely amount to more than “visits,” says Naledy Pandor, South Africa’s Science and Technology Minister. “It’s been rare for me to observe partnerships between ourselves and international collaborators that result in the presence of a permanent, dedicated scientific institution that will produce world-class research from the African continent,” commented Pandor at a recent conference. “We tend to have partnerships of visits…not partnerships of building permanent capacity.” Pandor raised this concern in light of a conversation about research integrity and ethics, and further highlighted the need for the country and continent to build their own permanent research capacity. Times Higher Education

RRC to create new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre with support of $500K donation

Red River College has received a $500K donation from the Gene Haas Foundation to build its new Skilled Trades and Technology Centre, which is scheduled to open next year at the college’s Notre Dame Campus. An RRC release states that the centre will house new laboratory and shop space, as well as classrooms for up to 1,000 students training in high-demand trades and technologies. The building will be home to leading applied research, technology and innovation in the fields of robotics, automation, advanced manufacturing, and more. “Not only will our Skilled Trades and Technology Centre expand our applied learning environment, it will foster a collaborative approach within our program areas that will have a positive impact on our pre-employment training, applied research projects, and overall student success,” said RRC president Paul Vogt. RRC

The challenges and benefits of working while pursuing PSE

“With the average undergraduate university program costing $6,373 in tuition for the current academic year, up about 40 per cent from 10 years ago, it is little wonder that many students feel the need to support their studies with part-time work,” writes Paul Attfield for the Globe and Mail. The author highlights how schools like York University, Concordia University, and Dalhousie University help students find employment and balance this work with their academic commitments. The benefit of doing so, Attfield writes, is not only a lower debt load for students, but invaluable work experience that will give them a leg up when trying to find employment after graduation. Globe and Mail

Academic culture is too dominated by “the dreaded should”: IHE contributor

“‘Should’ is a word I’ve heard rather often from colleagues in my career, and it often carries with it an expectation that one is not doing enough in some way, shape or form,” writes JE Sumereau for Inside Higher Ed. The author argues that for many academics, the weight of what they have accomplished is nothing compared to what they have not accomplished, or what they should be working on at a given moment.” While the author admits that the culture of the “dreaded should” is actively encouraged in academia, it can have destructive consequences on people’s wellbeing. “Until those conditions can be changed,” the author concludes, “I … wonder what little things each of us can do in our own lives to ease the dreaded should we face and help to lessen the negative consequences of such patterns.” Inside Higher Ed