Top Ten

July 14, 2017

YorkU battle over copyright fees could have far-reaching effects on Canadian PSE

York University has lost a legal battle with Access Copyright after the Federal Court of Canada found that the university’s use of intellectual property did not constitute “fair dealing.” YorkU ended its relationship with Access Copyright in 2011 over rising costs, opting instead to implement guidelines that were intended to ensure materials copied for course packs and online class materials only used a portion of any protected work that was small enough to be considered “fair dealing” and exempt from copyright fees. Yet in a decision released this week, the court found that YorkU’s guidelines, which permitted copying up to 10% of a protected work, did not constitute fair dealing. Experts say that the ruling with have far-reaching effect on other Canadian universities, a number of which have implemented principles similar to YorkU’s. Globe and Mail

Predictive model finds success in determining likelihood of students dropping out: HEQCO report

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has found that a mathematical model can predict which students are most likely to leave PSE before completing their program. The report describes a project that saw researchers at Mohawk College and the Education Policy Research Initiative develop and test a predictive model that categorized incoming students at Mohawk based on their risk of leaving early. The study found that when the predicted levels of leaving were compared to actual leaving rates, the model performed well. “Overall the findings suggest that employing administrative and related student-level data to develop and then use predictive models of student retention represents a promising practice to assist institutions in better understanding student retention,” write the researchers. HEQCO | Report

UBC creates largest ever endowed scholarship with $6M donation

The University of British Columbia has created its largest ever endowed scholarship with the support of a $6M donation from the Constance Livingstone Friedman and Sydney Friedman Foundation. A UBC release notes that the donation more than triples the size of the endowment for the Friedman Award for Scholars in Health, which provides opportunities for graduate and medical students in the health sciences to learn from global experts in their respective fields. “These scholarships will provide recipients incredible opportunities to expand their research internationally and bring that knowledge back to UBC,” said UBC President Santa Ono. UBC

New federal funding for WIL must be available to all PSE students: CICan

Colleges and Institutes Canada has released an open letter to all members of parliament and senate insisting that funding for new work-integrated learning opportunities be accessible to students of Canada’s colleges and institutes. Until now, Mitacs internships have been open only to university graduate students, yet Budget 2017 appears to suggest that all postsecondary students and graduates will be able to access the program. “However,” a CICan release states, “there now seems to be some uncertainty about that shift and questions as to whether students and graduates from colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics will be eligible for the program.” “It is absolutely essential that eligibility for Mitacs internships be expanded to include college and institute students and graduates,” says CICan President and CEO Denise Amyot. CICan | Open Letter

Acadia receives $3M to commercialize green insect management technologies

Acadia University will work to develop a commercial line of natural pesticide alternatives with the support of $3M from the Canadian government. A federal release reports that researchers at the school are developing a commercial line of innovative, clean technology products that will protect the environment and decrease damage to Canada’s crops and forests caused by native and foreign insects. “Development of effective, affordable tools for pest management using pheromones and other naturally-derived products ensures sustainable solutions for the future of Canada’s agriculture and forest industries,” says Kirk Hillier, the project’s principal investigator and professor of biology at Acadia. Canada

McGill residence floor fellows unionize, UoGuelph staff ratify agreements

Floor fellows at McGill University, or students who are responsible for a number of activities in residences, have recently unionized and secured a wage of $13.15 an hour. The role was previously voluntary in nature, and volunteers were compensated with free meal vouchers and room and board. However, it was determined that the students as employees, and these students have since signed their first collective agreement entitling them to] an income, holidays, overtime, and a grievance process. The University of Guelph and members of United Steelworkers Local 4120 have also tentatively ratified a renewal collective agreement as of June 20th. USW Local 4120 represents about 850 administrative, clerical, and technical employees at the institution. La Presse | UoGuelph

Fanshawe offers new flexible, modular food services program

Fanshawe College has announced the launch of a Food Service Worker certificate program, which will be offered in a flexible, modular format to better support students. With multiple intakes offered throughout the year, students will be able to begin their studies every six to eight weeks, and will be offered one-on-one support from registration to program completion. “We aim to meet the needs of people looking for flexible ways to get into the job market quickly by offering a reasonable all-in-one cost and personalized, concierge-level service to help students from their first interaction with Fanshawe until the day they're career-ready,” explained Greg Yantz, chair of the Woodstock/Oxford Regional Campus. Fanshawe

Global survey finds that one in five MBAs runs at a loss

A survey of global business school leaders conducted by the Association of MBAs has found that one in five global MBAs runs at a financial loss. The survey found that the majority of leaders felt that an MBA was a key part of a business school’s offerings, but that the programs can create a greater demand on internal resources and lead to internal friction. “They reflect well on the school and its postgraduate programmes in general, help to generate closer links to industry, and produce a highly supportive alumni network with high-level connections in the international corporate world,” explained one respondent. Times Higher Education

MHC introduces new BEET program to keep up with industry, technology

Medicine Hat College has announced that it will be launching a two-year built environment engineering technology program to replace the current computer aided drafting and design diploma program. The change was intended to address emerging and new technology in the sector, and to better position the program for ASET certification. “The program was multi‐disciplinary already ‐ teaching in the core areas of the built environment, mechanical design technology, civil design technology, and building design technology – but we wanted to address the long-term sustainability of the program, and make sure we remained relevant to both students and industry,” explained BEET/CADD program coordinator Peter Kelly. MHC

Winnipeg, UWinnipeg partner on Dutch elm disease research

The City of Winnipeg’s Urban Forestry Branch and the University of Winnipeg have partnered on Dutch elm disease research. The partnership will see the two parties work together to identify and prioritize the early removal of infected trees. “We are losing 2 to 3% of our elm trees annually,” commented UWinnipeg Professor Richard Westwood. “If this field project works, we could significantly slow the loss of our much-loved elm trees.” The pilot project will be conducted in areas of the city with a high density of urban elm trees on both public and private property, and is expected to run for three years. UWinnipeg