Top Ten

August 30, 2017

ON begins process of creating province’s first French-Language university

Ontario has announced that it plans to create the province’s first French-language university to be governed by and for Francophones. In consultation with the francophone community, the province’s French-language University Planning Board has provided recommendations for the creation of a French-language university in Central and Southwestern Ontario. After reviewing the recommendations, ON will introduce legislation for the creation of the proposed university in the coming months. The current recommendations reportedly propose that the new university be located in Toronto, but Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas says that this would be a mistake, due to the school’s distance from Francophone clusters like Hearst, Timmins, and Sudbury. ON | CBC (Gélinas) | Globe and Mail | Inside Higher Ed | La Presse

USask med school dean says $42.8M faculty buyouts are “absolutely” worth it

The University of Saskatchewan’s medical school has spent $42.8M to buy out roughly 100 tenured physicians over the last two years, a decision that the school’s dean says is “absolutely” worth the investment. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that the buyouts cost the college $17.8M more than expected, but Dean Preston Smith argues that the expense was worthwhile. Smith maintains that the buyouts decreased the faculty from 250 physicians who filled the equivalent of 80 full-time teaching jobs to 130 filling the equivalent of 35 full-time positions. “It’s kind of (an) ‘If not now, when?’ kind of change. This had to happen if this was ever going to be the high-flying medical school that it has the potential to do,” Smith said in a recent interview. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

FNU reconciliation studies program gives fresh perspective on residential schools

First Nations University of Canada has introduced a new reconciliation studies certificate program that seeks to give a fresh perspective on the history of Canada’s residential schools. FNU Instructor Merelda Fiddler explains that the 18-credit program was born out of the “deficits” in education and curriuculm that had been noticed with respect to reconciliation efforts. CBC reports that the program “focuses on recognizing the shared history of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and the need to promote healing, equity and respect for … Indigenous cultures and values in Canadian Society.” “I think it's important that we acknowledge the past so we can make better choices in our community for getting over the traumas of residential schools,” said George Gordon First Nation Band Councillor Terry-Lynn McNab. CBC

New federal funding to support student work placements  

Thousands of students across Canada will have a chance to find work placements during their studies thanks to new funding from the federal government. The Liberals had reportedly promised to spend $73M over four years to support up to 8,700 work-integrated learning opportunities, but Labour Minister Patty Hajdu announced this Monday that the funding will create up to 10,000 positions. Over half of undergraduates students currently have the opportunity to work as part of their studies prior to graduation, but the goal is to see this opportunity made available to 100% of undergraduate students in the future, says Pari Johnston, vice-president, policy and public affairs at Universities Canada. “Students are asking for it,” she adds. “The demand is very high and we've seen a real increase in the number of co-ops being offered, which have more than doubled in recent years.” Times Colonist | Universities Canada | Globe and Mail | CBC

Lakeland, RCC sign agreement benefiting interior design students

Lakeland College has signed a five-year articulation agreement with the RCC Institute of Technology that will allow graduates of Lakeland’s interior design technology program to transfer most of their credits towards the CIDA-accredited Bachelor's of Interior Design program at RCC. “We are thrilled to welcome graduates of Lakeland’s interior design technology program to the BID at RCC,” said BID program chair Erin Melvin. “These students come into the program with a strong technical background and foundation that will enable them to thrive as they complete their degree.” The RCC program is available to graduates both online and at RCC’s Ontario campus, and will qualify graduates with enough work hours to write the National Council of Interior Design Qualification Examination and become registered interior designers. Lakeland

Multiple factors working together most likely to push women away from STEM: US study

A new paper published by researchers at Georgetown University has found that a complex combination of factors causes women not to major in STEM disciplines. The research found that factors such as academic environment, perception of STEM fields as university majors, and grades can all contribute to the decision not to major in these fields, especially if more than one of these factors are working together. “Understanding why women and men graduate with different majors is critical for understanding later occupational opportunities and other choices that can influence the gender wage gap,” the researchers write. Inside Higher Ed

Federal government faces continuing pressure to act on Naylor report

“Canada’s academic community has launched a full court press to encourage the government to adopt the recommendations of the report of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review panel, also known as the Naylor report,” writes Brian Owens. If fully implemented, the panel’s recommendations would see annual federal spending on research-related activities increase from approximately $3.5B to $4.8B over four years. The report has also called for better coordination between funding agencies and the creation of a national oversight body to advise the government on scientific priorities. The article describes how science advocacy groups, student groups, and Universities Canada are pushing for the federal government to implement the recommendations of the report. University Affairs

Fleming, SLC create new pathway for vet tech, wildlife tech students

A new educational pathway will offer new options to students and graduates from Fleming College’s Fish and Wildlife Technician program and St Lawrence College’s Veterinary Technology program. The schools recently signed a new bilateral articulation agreement that will allow qualified students and graduates from each institution to transfer credit and gain advanced standing. Qualified students and graduates from Fleming’s Fish and Wildlife Technician program will receive transfer credits equivalent to seven courses in SLC’s Veterinary Technology program, while students and graduates from SLC’s program will be credited for the equivalent of nine courses in Fleming’s program. Fleming

UBC vice-provost answers questions on international student enrolment

“In recent months, many people have asked about the impact of global events on international students wanting to study in Canada,” says a recent release from the University of British Columbia. To help clarify some of the issues impacting international enrolments, UBC Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Enrolment and Academic Facilities Pamela Ratner answers ten of the most common questions surrounding international enrolments. The questions cover issues such as how many international students study at UBC, whether these students displace domestic students, and whether it is academically easier for an international student to gain acceptance into UBC. UBC

Perfectionist students need to beware of mental strain: Dal psychologist

Students returning to school this fall should be wary of the mental strain that can be caused by perfectionist tendencies, warns Dalhousie University researcher Simon Sherry. In a recent study, Sherry and researchers from Western University, Lakehead University, York University, and UBC found links between perfectionism and suicide. The research has found that the overarching need to be perfect can create a number of academic problems across a wide age range, from public school to medical school. “Perfectionism is associated with a lot of anticipatory anxiety,” says Sherry. “In other words, in advance of events, perfectionists are often profoundly stressed by those events.” The Chronicle Herald reports that these stresses can lead to procrastination, public speaking anxiety, anxiety about stats or math, fear of failure, and fear of success. Chronicle Herald | Journal of Personality (Study)