Top Ten

August 15, 2017

ON requires better data on student suicides

Student suicide is a growing concern in Ontario PSE, but the province still has “an inconsistent patchwork of tracking systems which does not come close to being comprehensive” that it uses to monitor the issue, reports the Toronto Star. Public health authorities from around the world have reportedly called for comprehensive tracking of suicide deaths, yet the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario currently only tracks suicides by age group, and not by profession or student status. However, steps are being taken to make suicide data more accurate and available, according to Deputy Chief Coroner Reuven Jhirad. The Star reports, however, that there is no specific date for when these measures will be in place. Toronto Star | Waterloo Region Record

Program sees 80% success rate in keeping international graduates in NS

An initiative designed to encourage international students to study and stay in Nova Scotia has shown signs of success in its first cohort, reports CBC. Started by the non-profit group EduNova, the Stay in Nova Scotia program seeks to address the province’s declining population and workforce gaps by offering international students a range of services, such as help finding employment and developing professional networks, mentorships, and work placements. Michael Hennigar, director of marketing and recruitment with EduNova, says that the program is on track to meet its goal of keeping 80% of the class in the province for a year of work after graduation. CBC

US sociologists seek coordinated response to organized attacks on public scholars

Personal attacks on academics can feel “isolating and shocking,” but are “part of a well-funded, systematic attack on progressive academic ideals,” writes Colleen Flaherty. Reflecting on the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, the author describes a growing consensus among sociologists that an organized attack on academics will require an organized response. One of the keys to this organized response, the author notes, is a more unequivocal embrace of scholarship that is aimed at non-academic publics. The author goes on to offer other suggestions for how institutions can respond to attacks on their professors. Inside Higher Ed

Mayor to ask for greater share of government funding for Brampton university campus

The mayor of Brampton, Ontario will ask the ON government to provide a greater share of funding toward the city’s new university campus than was previously negotiated, reports the Brampton Guardian. Linda Jeffrey will reportedly lead a Brampton City Council delegation to Ottawa this week for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario's annual conference. “As the second fastest growing of Canada’s largest cities, Brampton is a key contributor to the economy,” Jeffrey said in a release. “This council is committed to working together with the provincial government in building a stronger future with enhanced transit connections, post-secondary education, a vibrant health and life sciences cluster, and a strong focus on innovation and excellence.” Brampton Guardian

Campuses referring students to off-campus mental health support at growing rates

“Demand for mental health services at Ontario universities and colleges has reached an all-time high,” reports the Waterloo Region Record, yet schools are struggling to keep up with the still growing demand. As a result, campus health staff are referring students to off-campus mental health services, which the Record reports “can leave major gaps in care, forcing students to navigate a confusing system in a sometimes strange city, often with the added barriers of long wait times and high financial costs.” While some have called for universities to offer more of these services, Casey Phillips of Nipissing University notes that universities are “not a treatment facility. We're meant for that brief therapy, we're meant to handle some of that lower level. (For) more complex cases we are reliant upon the community.” Waterloo Region Record

WesternU eatery gets $1.4M makeover to speed up service

The Spoke at Western University, an establishment owned and operated by the University Students Council, is undergoing a $1.4M renovation in order to improve kitchen efficiency and overall capacity. “Most of the work is in the kitchen to improve service and get [customers] their food faster,” explained USC spokesperson Jana Cernavskis, who noted that the floor area would not be expanded through the project. The restaurant portion inside the Spoke is also being renovated, with all booths being replaced by tables to increase capacity. “Booths are nice, but if you have one person sitting at a booth for six or seven that reduces the access for others,” added Cernavskis. The renovations are slated to be completed before the Fall term. London Free Press

Construction management skills gap filled by technical school degrees

Postsecondary institutions such as Thompson Rivers University, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Red River College, and SAIT Polytechnic are helping to fill a management, financial, and supervisory skills gap in the construction industry left by retiring baby-boomers, reports Jean Sorensen of Journal of Commerce. Representatives of the institutions describe how they introduced various degree programs related to construction management in response to industry demand. “They didn't want to wait 10 or 15 years for that person to gain experience,” states SAIT Construction Management Program Chair Sujeewa Wimalasena of current employers. Journal of Commerce

Queen’s signs agreement with Chinese Consulate to enhance student mobility

Queen's University has signed an MOU with The Education Office, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China that will see up to 10 Queen’s students per year offered a China Scholarship Council scholarship. This scholarship would allow them to complete part of their studies in China in order to further understand China, learn the Chinese language, or study at Chinese universities. The scholarship will be awarded annually to either five students for a full academic year, or 10 students for one term. Queen’s

CICan releases recommendations for budget 2018

Colleges and Institutes Canada has released its recommendations for the 2018 federal budget. Among the recommendations is a call for Canada to increase the current funding for college applied research to $100M per year, with an aim to increasing this number to $300M per year by 2022. The submission further recommends that Canada make a new investment of $25M per year in research support funding for college and institutes' applied research offices to stabilize their status as innovation centres in their communities and regions. Further, CICan recommends that the federal government invest more in adult basic education, essential skills training and upskilling for Indigenous people to improve labour market outcomes and support economic development in Indigenous, rural, remote, and northern communities. CICan | Full Submission

Canadore creates Indigenous Leadership and Land Internship

Canadore College has officially launched an internship program for Indigenous youth aged 15-30 who would like to learn more about how leadership can positively influence land guardianship and stewardship. “Indigenous communities continue to identify enormous gaps in filling employment needs related to environmental sustainability,” said Patricia Chabbert, business and Indigenous relations manager at Canadore. “This program will bring together knowledge keepers and community leaders to help youth prepare to take on these roles within their own communities.” The college has launched the program in collaboration with the Nipissing First Nation Economic Development Office and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Canadore