Top Ten

July 10, 2017

Rise in Canadian international enrolments goes well beyond “Trump Effect,” say experts

Canada would still be seeing its record number of international postsecondary enrolments this year if Hilary Clinton had won the US election. That is the message being put forward by many Canadian experts in international student recruitment. These experts argue that Canada’s low currency, welcoming immigration policies, and streamlined visa processing are the key forces behind the country’s skyrocketing international enrolments. The PIE News reports that while China continues to be the country’s largest source country, India and Vietnam saw the biggest rise in representation in 2016, with the number of Indian students climbing 57% and the number of Vietnamese students climbing 55% over just one year. While experts admit that some of the impact might have come from the election of Donald Trump, they add that Canadian institutions cannot count on this effect for long. The PIE News

UManitoba students demand money-back guarantee in event of strike

Students at the University of Manitoba say that they want a money-back guarantee to protect them against a possible repeat of last year’s three-week faculty strike. The UManitoba Students Union has stated that it wants the school and its faculty to reach a new collective bargaining agreement by September 19, which is the day before students can withdraw with a full refund of their fees and without academic penalty. UMSU president Tanjit Nagra said in an interview last week that students want a guarantee from the university that if there is no deal by the UMSU deadline, the university will guarantee a full refund and academic amnesty to any student who requests such accommodations after that date, regardless of whether another strike occurs. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

URegina moves toward becoming a smoke-free campus

The University of Regina says it is moving toward becoming a smoke-free campus. Starting in September 2017, the university will no longer permit smoking or the use of any tobacco products in any building or vehicles on university land. Further, the school plans to reduce the number of designated outdoor smoking areas from 19 to three located near student residences. “The University of Regina is committed to providing a safe, healthy and clean place for everyone who comes to our campus to study, work, visit, and live,” said Dave Button, Vice-President (Administration). The new policy will also recognize tobacco as an integral part of cultural practices, and will still permit tobacco to be burned on campus in accordance with the school’s current policy on Smudging/Pipe Ceremonies. Saskatoon StarPhoenix | CBC | URegina

Moving forward in the “evolution of learning outcomes”

The evolution of learning outcomes has three distinct phases, writes Harvey Weingarten for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. The first phase, the author notes, is identifying and listing the skills that students should be learning. Canadian higher ed is currently located in the second phase, Weingarten adds, which is the development of tools to assess how well students are learning the skills identified in phase one. Weingarten suggests that the preliminary findings from phase two suggest that “we are not seeing as much development of these essential attributes as we would like.” Eventually, this second phase must lead to the third phase, which is developing the pedagogical strategies to better teach the desired skills. “Meeting the third phase challenge requires a re-dedicated and invigorated commitment in our colleges and especially our universities to the educational component of their mandate and to the scholarship of teaching,” Weingarten concludes. HEQCO

Niagara invests $70M in redeveloping campuses

Niagara College is investing $70M in redevelopment at its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. At the Welland campus, redevelopments will include a justice studies expansion, a new cafeteria, a student activity centre, the construction of classrooms at the Pavilion building to accommodate the school's hairstyling program, and the development of courtroom mockups.  At the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus, construction is underway for a fitness centre, gymnasium, and agri-food research building. The construction has been funded by $29M from the college, $23M from Niagara College’s student administrative council, and $16M from the provincial and federal governments. St Catharines Standard

Athabasca, RAIC renew partnership agreement

Athabasca University and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada have renewed their partnership agreement for the next five years. The original agreement saw the development of the RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca, which the university says is Canada’s first online architectural education program that supports RAIC's Syllabus Program and offers its own credentials in architectural studies. The program serves general interest students, Syllabus students, and internationally trained architects, all of whom can work toward credentials such as the RAIC Syllabus Professional Diploma in Architecture, a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, or a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture. Athabasca

HEC Montréal receives renewed AMBA accreditation

HEC Montréal has received renewed accreditation by the Association of MBAs of the United Kingdom for a five-year period. HEC Montréal reports that this means its business school will continue to hold AACSB International, AMBA, and EQUIS accreditation in management education, reportedly making it one of two schools in the country to hold these three accreditations. “The renewal of this accreditation is very significant for us, since the process considers not only the quality of the School and its programs, but also everything that goes into students’ experience in the MBA program, even including the impact on their later careers,” says HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry. “We meet these demanding standards by drawing on all our resources. This mark of recognition reflects well on our entire community.” HEC Montréal

UoGuelph to build $15.5M “world class” beef research centre

The University of Guelph has announced that it will build a new $15.5M beef research centre in Elora, Ontario to help researchers improve livestock health and welfare. Funded by UoGuelph, the Beef Farmers of Ontario, and the provincial and federal governments, the centre will be operated in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This new facility will expand and elevate our hub for world-class bovine research in Ontario,” said UoGuelph Vice-President, Research Malcolm Campbell in a release. Campbell added that the centre will include leading-edge technologies and will be “an exceptional example of the potency of university-government-industry collaboration.” CBC

UMoncton, CSRPA partner on research and development

Université de Moncton’s Shippagan Campus and the Commission des Services Régionaux de la Péninsule Acadienne (CSRPA) have signed a research and development partnership agreement in document management. The collaboration will enable the two institutions to develop procedures and tools to facilitate the management of sustainable information and highlight the importance of good information in organizations. UMoncton and CSRPA will work together to develop procedures and tools to improve information management, essential document preservation, and the optimal dissemination of information. UMoncton

Fostering more engaged senates

“Professors have long complained about faculty-senate lethargy, and they have questioned how much the governing bodies are able to accomplish,” writes J Clara Chan for the Chronicle of Higher Education. Yet with tensions rising between administrators, faculty, and students, the author notes, more professors are calling attention to the importance of strong faculty governance. One of the biggest barriers to such governance, the author adds, is the “vicious cycle” that occurs when faculty become disengaged from the senate and begin to think of it as an ineffective body. The author goes on to trace a number of paths toward fostering more engaged and effective faculty senates. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)