Top Ten

September 6, 2017

Canadian universities hold steady in global rankings

Canadian universities have done well to maintain their global positions in this year’s Times Higher Education World University Rankings, says the rankings’ editorial director Phil Baty, but they will need to continue improving to keep up with the pace of competition. The University of Toronto was the highest-ranked Canadian institution in this year’s rankings, coming in at #22 on the list. It was followed by the University of British Columbia (#34), McGill University (#42), McMaster University (#78), University of Montreal (#108), and the University of Alberta (#119). Canadian stakeholders warn, however, that the rankings of the country’s institutions will see a general trend downward if the country does not invest more in research. Globe and Mail | Times Higher Education

“Why is Indigenization so difficult?” ask Four Worlds authors

Indigenization efforts often begin with the best of intentions, write Michael Bopp, Lee Brown, and Jonathan Robb, but “it is not unusual to see what turns out to be a complex change and development processes falter, or even stall somewhere along the way as the rubber hits the road in terms of actual implementation.” The authors explore what success looks like when it comes to Indigenization in PSE, then describe some of the most common barriers to achieving this success. These barriers include a lack of basic knowledge about Indigenous peoples and cultures, intercultural incompetency, and the mistaken belief that Indigenization can occur without a comprehensive transformation in the structures of an institution. Four Worlds

McGill creates new bursary to support youth in care

Students who have gone through the youth in care system will benefit from a new bursary at McGill University that is designed to increase access and student success for members of this group. The “Youth in Care Bursary” will offer a minimum of $5K per year for up to four years to students coming from the child welfare system. “If you're able to support a student in that first year when they are transitioning out of care, they are more likely to succeed. So that first year of post-secondary is pretty crucial,” says Arisha Khan, a former child in care and McGill student who helped develop the new bursary. One of the goals listed on the university's site is to “increase the number of current or former foster care youth enrolled in and graduating with a McGill degree.” CBC

PQ will not restrict access to English-speaking CEGEPs: Couillard

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has said that he will not force francophone students to attend French CEGEPs, as has been proposed by some Parti Québécois members. Last week, Couillard was asked about a proposal put forward by a group of PQ activists that would restrict access to English-language CEGEPs in order to protect the French language within the province. “There is no question,” Couillard said. “I want to be clear; we will not do that.” He added that the PQ should “solve their internal problems” and stop acting on “linguistic panic.” “Most francophone parents in Quebec, and I … have spoken to them in all regions of Quebec, would really like to give their children, at the college level, the opportunity to do some schooling to become bilingual,” said Couillard. Montreal Gazette

MUN student union member resigns, trades accusations with other member

A member of Memorial University’s student union executive has resigned after an allegedly months-long conflict with another member of the group. The union’s director of campaigns Ladan Mowlid cited “ongoing harassment and physical intimidation” from the union's director of advocacy, Matthew Barter, as her reason for departing. Barter, however, tells CBC that he was the target of “harassment and ableism” from Mowild over the past four months.” In a Facebook post, Mowlid said that other members of the union's executive told her Barter’s behaviour can be attributed to his disability. “I understand that certain characteristics can be attributed to specific types of disabilities,” she wrote. “However, these mitigating circumstances should not enable or allow one to oppress and harass another individual nor should it excuse them from being held accountable.” CBC

Canadian co-op programs beginning to blend academics and industry

Co-op programs in Canadian PSE are slowly but surely blurring the lines between academia and industry, writes Simona Chiose for the Globe and Mail. Chiose highlights the efforts of several schools that are working directly with industry to ensure that students are ready to contribute to their new workplaces immediately after graduating. Chiose notes that universities in countries like Germany have long embraced curriculum designed by corporations, while Canadian schools have not been quick to do so. “While we want a graduate to be job ready, we don't essentially prepare a graduate to work for a [particular] company,” says Ishwar Puri, dean of the faculty of engineering at McMaster University. “That graduate has to have a longevity in the job market.” Globe and Mail

Waterloo, ON students face apartment move-in delays

Many students arriving in Waterloo to begin the academic year have learned that their apartments are not move-in ready. CBC reports that as of last Thursday, only 799 of 2,289 bedrooms expected to open this fall had been approved for occupancy. “It's chaotic already starting school in a new city for the first time, and then on top of it, I don't even have a place to live,” said Charlotte Hings, a tenant at Waterloo's TheHub apartment complex. Hings says that she received word of the issue only four days before her move-in date. The Federation of Students at University of Waterloo has reportedly approached the Waterloo Region Community Legal Services (WRCLS) to host a presentation for students on legal options and solutions for tenants for companies not meeting deadlines. CBC | Waterloo Region Record

People can “challenge whatever they like,” says Carleton interim president

“These days, if you don’t respond quickly, then you’re obviously hiding something,” says Interim Carleton University President Alastair Summerlee while speaking about how universities respond to controversies. Speaking with the Ottawa Citizen, Summerlee highlights some of the criticism Carleton has faced in the previous year over the approval of its sexual violence policy and the alleged lack of transparency in board decisions. Summerlee says that he will encourage students, staff, and all members of the university community to challenge the way things are done at the school, adding that “if we don’t help students learn how to do it, what hope do we have for society when they graduate?” Ottawa Citizen

UVic launches sexual violence prevention office

The University of Victoria says that it is creating a new office and staff team to support students with sexual violence prevention and education. The school’s sexualized violence education and prevention resource office will give students access to a central campus locations where they can drop by to find out more information about sexual misconduct policies, report an incident, or seek support. “UVic had policies and resources in place to address sexual harassment in the past, but this new policy and new office address the issues more directly and effectively with increased education and training,” Leah Shumka, Sexualized Violence Education and Prevention Co-ordinator at UVic. CBC | UVic

ECUAD opens new $122.6M campus

Emily Carr University of Art + Design has officially opened its new $122.6M campus. The new purpose-built building will be the new home to the school, which has been based since 1980 on Vancouver’s Granville Island. The Vancouver Sun reports that roughly 2,300 faculty, staff and full-time students, as well as another 3,000 continuing-studies students, will have to revise their commuting plans in order to get to and from the new East Vancouver campus. The building’s exterior features vertical dashes of colour that are reportedly based on the paintings of the school’s namesake, Emily Carr. Vancouver Sun | Globe and Mail