Top Ten

August 25, 2017

On “snowflake” students and kinder classrooms

“Right-wing pundits have lately spent a lot of energy bemoaning the quality of today’s universities” and the oversensitive “snowflake” students who are enrolled in them, writes Daniel Heath Justice. The author adds that that the academics who share this same view are “particularly troubling,” as their anger “results from the privilege of never having had their authority questioned and not knowing how to deal with it in thoughtful and productive ways.” Justice goes on to describe the countless struggles that he has seen his students undergo while trying to obtain a university degree, and adds that “if a bit of generosity in our teaching can help them … then it’s our duty as teachers to provide it. To do otherwise is an inexcusable moral and professional failure.” The Walrus

StatCan releases report on the effect of pre-immigration Canadian university education

Statistics Canada has released a report on the effect of a pre-immigration Canadian university education on the earnings of immigrants. The report studied national longitudinal data from 1991 to 2006 as it related to three groups: immigrants who are former international students in Canada, foreign‑educated immigrants who had a university degree before immigrating to Canada, and the Canadian‑born population. The researchers concluded that Canadian‑educated immigrants on average had much lower earnings than the Canadian‑born population but higher earnings than foreign‑educated immigrants. They further noted that the impact of Canadian work or study experience was not in the length of the experience, but in the “realized market value of the Canadian work or education experience.” StatCan

QC Higher Ed Minister refuses to ban the consumption of marijuana on campus

Quebec’s Higher Education Minister Hélène David says that she will not impose a ban on the consumption of marijuana on the province’s PSE campuses. When asked about her stance on the subject, David said that she wishes to wait until QC’s regional consultation on cannabis has finished its work. QC institutions, however, say that they are eagerly awaiting guidance from the government on what to do when marijuana becomes legal. “Since legalization is planned for July 2018, the government must make its intentions known quickly so that Quebec universities can prepare themselves,” says McGill University media relations officer Justin Dupuis. Journal de Montréal

Ryerson introduces “all-gender” option for student residence

Ryerson University has announced that it will introduce “all gender” housing on its campus and will not require students to disclose their gender identity when applying for residence spaces. Ryerson Director of Housing and Residence Ian Crookshank says that the university has also expanded the number of gender category options on applications to “represent a non-binary spectrum.” Students will select whether they would like to live in all-gender housing. If they choose that option, they do not have to disclose their gender identity and will be housed with students “from all different gender identities.” If they do not choose that option, they will be asked to disclose their gender identity and make it known that they want that taken into account when being placed. CBC

U of T acquires four acres of downtown Toronto land

The University of Toronto has announced that it has acquired four acres of downtown Toronto land to provide the school more space for innovation, academics, teaching, and housing. The land is currently home to six buildings leased to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. “Really, this is the first time in a generation that the university’s had an opportunity to acquire such a significant piece of property,” said the university's vice-president of operations, Scott Mabury. Funding for the $123M purchase will reportedly come from capital reserves, cash, and a 25-year mortgage. The rent paid by CAMH will help cover the costs of the mortgage. Metro | U of T

UPEI boosts recruitment efforts in eight new countries

The University of Prince Edward Island has begun recruiting in eight new countries in an effort to grow its international enrolments. CBC reports that this year, the university has begun working with recruiters in countries that include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Latin American countries, and parts of the Caribbean. “We're always looking for new markets,” says Barb Campbell, director of recruitment and international relations at UPEI. Current figures show that the efforts are paying off. While the university had only 400 international students registered five years ago, they have roughly 1,000 registered for September 2017. CBC

UWinnipeg introduces new writing certificate

The University of Winnipeg is offering a new 30-credit-hour Certificate in Writing that it describes as the only certificate of its kind in Manitoba. The program is designed to boost students’ practical writing skills, and is offered either as a supplement for UWinnipeg undergraduate students or as a stand-alone credential for graduated professionals and high school graduates. “Writing skills are in high demand from almost every sector,” said UWinnipeg professor Jennifer Clary-Lemon. “Graduates of our certificate program seeking employment or advancement in a variety of fields will bring to the job market an increased confidence in writing, knowledge of genres, revision practices, written conventions, editing, and attention to style.” UWinnipeg  

Seneca program to become pathway to PFP designation

The Globe and Mail reports that effective next month, the Canadian Securities Institute plans to recognize Seneca College’s financial planning graduate certificate program as an education pathway to the CSI’s personal financial planner designation. “With this program and all my programs, the common theme is always partnership with the professional body to ensure the students are out the door job-ready,” says Karen Murkar, chair of Seneca’s School of Accounting and Financial Services. While graduates of the program will still need to pass the CSI exam and meet a three-year work experience requirement to earn the designation, the agreement means that they will not need to take additional CSI courses after graduation. Globe and Mail

ON must find a way to end the exploitation of contract faculty: WLU Faculty Association president

“Decades ago, the hiring of contract professors was seen as a short-term solution to fill a short-term gap in a university's faculty roster,” writes Michele Kramer, adding that today, “Ontario universities have come to rely upon this highly qualified group of low-cost and flexibly employed educators to maintain programs while keeping their costs as low as possible.” The author highlights Ontario’s Bill 148 as a forward step in providing better working conditions for many ON employees, yet notes that the bill “does nothing to limit the use of discontinuous and sequential contracts.” The author concludes by demanding that ON’s MPPs review Bill 148 and debate changes that can address the inequities faced by Ontario's contract faculty. Waterloo Region Record

NSCC waterfront campus renamed Ivany Campus

Nova Scotia Community College’s Waterfront Campus will be called the Raymond E Ivany Campus, or Ivany Campus, in honour of the former president of both NSCC and Acadia University, Ray Ivany. “[Ivany’s] tireless work in promoting the vision of a strong, community college system that would strengthen economic and social prosperity won the support of the provincial government in the form of a landmark, $123-million investment,” said NSCC President Don Bureaux. Campus Student Association President Akash Pandey added that “the legacy of Ray Ivany's vision is contained within these walls and extends to each student that passes through the campus and leaves with a heightened sense of purpose and self-worth.” NSCC | Chronicle Herald | The Coast