Top Ten

August 22, 2017

More QC anglophones choosing to study at Francophone universities

A growing cohort of anglophone students in Quebec are choosing to attend francophone universities, reports the Montreal Gazette. The students are reportedly doing so in order to improve their French, study in their field of choice, and increase their chances of finding work in the province. Francopohone universities are also reportedly tailoring new recruitment strategies toward attracting anglophone students to boost their enrolments. A study released this summer by the Office de la langue française found that in 2002, just 5.9% of the Quebec-born students who listed English as their mother tongue opted to attend a French university. By 2014, that number had risen to 9.5%, which marks a rise of 83% in just over a decade. Montreal Gazette

USask requests approval of $90M bond for “critical” infrastructure renewal

The University of Saskatchewan is seeking the SK government’s approval to borrow $90M by issuing a bond in that amount to cover the cost of renovating five prominent buildings on USask's campus beginning this year. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that the renovations still “won’t come close” to addressing a $330M backlog of “critical deferred maintenance” for the university’s infrastructure. “The risks associated with not proceeding with the critical capital renewal are substantially greater than the risks of the U of S accruing a reasonable amount of debt and capitalizing on historically low interest rates,” university administrators said in the institution’s latest operations forecast. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Students turning to the humanities for direction in troubling times

The “political turmoil currently playing out on the international stage has been an unlikely boon for the humanities because it has drawn our attention—in the starkest terms possible—to the importance of close reading, critical thinking and ethical reasoning,” writes Jessica Riddell. The author notes that since the 2016 US election, students are searching for ways to understand the world around them. In order to do so, Riddell adds, these students must not “pretend that there is a singular answer or indivisible truth.” Rather, the author argues that the humanities can teach students to embrace complexity, discomfort, and disorientation. Riddell concludes that ultimately, this struggle can move students toward “a truth that is more inclusive, more nuanced, and richer for the struggle.” University Affairs

CEGEP introduces “chronopédagogy” for student learning benefit

Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon has decided to try “chronopédagogy,” a new pedagogical approach that takes into account the biological clock of students to promote their academic success. The college decided to modify its schedules at the beginning of the school year to allow most freshmen to start their classes at 9 AM instead of 8 AM, and teachers have been advised of the importance of planning classroom content for the time of day. Le Journal de Montréal explained that in Fall 2016, 70% of new students had three to five courses that started at 8 AM, while in the upcoming Fall 2017 term, 77% will have fewer than three courses beginning at 8AM. Journal de Montréal

Medix, Westervelt colleges merge, create “educational powerhouse”

Two of London, Ontario’s largest career colleges, Medix College and Westervelt College, have announced that they are merging. The announcement follows the acquisition of Westervelt by Medix. Westervelt President Don Thibert stated that the merger has created an “educational powerhouse” with the most accredited programs offered by any career college in the province. “Eventually, we will consolidate Westervelt and Medix together,” explained Thibert. “But once we work with the ministry on the consolidation, we hope that will happen in the next month or so, we’ll eventually come out as operating as Westervelt College in all three locations.” Westervelt’s current building will be shut down, with students moved to the Medix building in London, ON. London Free Press | Global News

UoGuelph, Professional Staff Association reach tentative agreement

The University of Guelph and the union representing more than 800 professional and managerial employees at the school have reached a tentative agreement for a renewed compact. The two parties have been without an agreement since the previous one expired on May 1, 2017. “The parties’ negotiation teams worked diligently to reach an agreement that is fair and that recognizes the important contributions of professional and managerial employees at U of G,” said Kelly Bertrand, chair of the Professional Staff Association, and Martha Harley, UoGuelph associate vice-president (human resources) in a joint statement. Compact details will remain confidential pending ratification by PSA membership and UoGuelph's board of governors. UoGuelph

Dal receives $2.2M for engineering campus from Irving Oil

Dalhousie University has received $2.2M from Irving Oil to support a $64M renewal of its engineering and architecture campus. A joint release from Dalhousie and Irving says the funding will go towards the construction of design labs, engineering facilities, and learning spaces. The funds will also be used to provide more than $700K in scholarships to engineering students at Dalhousie over the next 10 years, with recipients being offered co-op opportunities with Irving Oil. A new state-of-the-art, 450-seat auditorium on Dal's Halifax campus will be named the Irving Oil Auditorium in recognition of the donation. Medicine Hat News (CP)

Algonquin partners with HealthCareCAN to deliver health programs

Algonquin College has signed a multi-level agreement with HealthCareCAN for the delivery of health-science and health-related online professional development programs. The partnership will allow Algonquin College to broaden its program offerings to adults working in the health care sector who are seeking to upgrade their skills through professional development. “One of our strategic mandates is strengthened partnerships with both alumni and employers,” said Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen. “Our new relationship with HealthCareCAN and its professional development division, CHA Learning, is important to doing both.” Algonquin

McMaster students tour Fukushima disaster site in Japan

A group of students from McMaster University is touring parts of Japan in order to learn more about the impact of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Five graduate students from McMaster's radiation sciences program arrived in Japan last Wednesday for a 10-day exploration of the Fukushima region, where they are spending time in a restricted zone and staying with families affected by the disaster. The students are part of the Fukushima Ambassador Program, which is designed to teach students from around the world about the physical, economic, and social consequences of the disaster. Hamilton Spectator | Medicine Hat News (CP)

UAlberta nursing students create scholarship in memory of murdered peer

Nursing students at the University of Alberta have created a new scholarship to honour a peer who was stabbed to death in Edmonton in December 2016. The school’s undergraduate nursing associate voted this spring to increase its membership fees by $2.50 per student to fund the new annual award dedicated to former student Rachael Longridge. The effort was spearheaded by association president Marnie Colburne, who says that her deceased friend was an inspiration to those around her. “She just inspired everyone around her without putting anyone down,” Colburne told the CBC. “She's just such a nurse, always wanted to be a nurse.” CBC