Top Ten

November 9, 2017

Fund program to send students abroad, report urges federal government

Canada needs to redouble its efforts to send PSE students abroad if it wants to prepare a workforce that can build trade and economic relations with emerging markets, says a new report. Released on Wednesday, the report urges the federal government spend $75M a year for five years run a program that will help tens of thousands of students study and work abroad as part of their undergraduate education. “This is a long-term investment in the ability of our country to be engaging with those societies, and not just economically, but in other areas as well,” said Roland Paris, one of the report's co-authors and university research chair in international security and governance at the University of Ottawa. Globe and Mail

ON college faculty vote scheduled for next week

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has scheduled a vote next week for college faculty who have been on strike since October 16th. A spokesperson for the College Employer Council (CEC), which represents the province's 24 colleges, says that the vote will take place between November 14th and 16th. The vote reportedly came at the request of the CEC, which also requested that faculty suspend the strike until the vote is held. Warren “Smokey” Thomas, president of the union representing the striking faculty, said that at the time of the vote’s announcement, the union believed a deal was close after negotiations continued over the weekend. The vote reportedly came as a surprise to the union, which says that it will not suspend the strike and will advise members to vote no on the colleges' current offer. CBC | London Free Press | CP24

UBC shelves drafted statement on freedom of expression

The University of British Columbia has reportedly shelved a recently drafted statement on freedom of expression. A working group of nine professors and administrators from across the university submitted the two-page draft to UBC President Santa Ono at the end of September, and the draft was expected to be unveiled at a board of governors meeting. However, the president’s office has decided not to proceed, and will instead rely on existing policies and remarks from past president Stephen Toope. The Globe and Mail outlines the opinions of those who believe a new statement is needed, as well as those who wished that a broader consultation had been conducted on the matter. Globe and Mail

UAlberta Faculty of Native Studies offers PhD for first time

The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies’s first cohort has begun to undertake a PhD through the faculty, which the Edmonton Journal calls a “watershed moment for the province’s largest university.” “It was a bit strange that we didn’t have a PhD program,” said Faculty Dean Chris Andersen. “We are super excited because we are building a discipline and we are building a discipline institutionally from the inside out. It’s something that we worked our tails off to achieve.” The doctoral program is a three-year compressed program, which Andersen explains is in order to avoid burnout and get students into careers more quickly. Edmonton Journal

Campuses anything but equitable, says new research

A recent book has pulled the curtain back on the pay inequity and unequal hiring processes faced by racialized university faculty, writes Jackie Wong. The book, titled The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities, explores the covert racism that is often reported by professors, but not represented in any form of official statistics. The findings come from interviews with 89 faculty members across Canada. Wong goes on to outline a number of policy recommendations that the book puts forward to help address the problem of equity in Canadian academe. University Affairs

UOIT, faculty association reach tentative agreement

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the UOIT Faculty Association were recently able to bypass a strike and reach a tentative agreement. “I’m very pleased that we were able to avoid a strike,” says UOIT Faculty Association President Mikael Eklund. Eklund explained that workload had been a major issue for faculty, as well as compensation. 800 students also reportedly signed an open letter in support of the faculty. “The teaching faculty is a valuable and important part of our faculty at the university; they help us deliver a great education to our students,” said UOIT Director of Communications and Marketing John MacMillan. “We’re pleased that we’ve been able to arrive at a tentative agreement.” Durham Region

New AB dual credit program improves student access, long-term sustainability

The Alberta government has made changes to its dual credit program in order to improve student access and ensure long-term sustainability for the program. “Many students have said that dual credit has had a big impact on their decision to stay in school and that it has helped them get a head start on their post-secondary education and careers,” said AB Minister of Education David Eggen. “In some instances, students have been able to complete post-secondary with less financial debt.” The new Alberta Dual Credit Framework will reportedly function as AB's new guiding framework for dual credit. NationTalk

McMaster launches research centre to cultivate medicinal cannabis knowledge

McMaster University and St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton have launched the Michael G DeGroote Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) in order to cultivate and share medicinal cannabis knowledge. The centre will conduct research, share evidence-based information, and create a network of professionals interested in further understanding medicinal cannabis. “Medicinal cannabis use is skyrocketing in Canada and the number of possible conditions keeps rising, but the state of the evidence is often quite poor,” said centre Co-Director James MacKillop. “There is an urgent need for rigorous, objective, multidisciplinary research on medicinal cannabis. That need was the impetus for creating this centre.” McMaster

Students find new opportunities in transfer agreements between Douglas, SFU, UVic

Engineering students at Douglas College can now complete their bachelor’s degree at Simon Fraser University or the University of Victoria. Douglas has partnered with these universities on transfer agreements that allow engineering students from Douglas to transfer directly into the second year of the bachelor of engineering program at either institution. “By entering into these transfer agreements, Douglas students will have more options available to help them achieve their academic and career goals,” said Brian Chapell, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Douglas College. Douglas

Durham Catholic, King’s sign pre-admission agreement for international high-school grads

King’s University College and Durham Catholic District School Board have formed a partnership to support international students who are interested in continuing their studies in Canada after graduating from high school. A formal MOU signed on October 24th offers international students graduating from the DCDSB pre-admission to King’s. Final acceptance is based on student grades and other admission criteria. The agreement aims promote co-operation in international student recruitment, academic training, and collaborative research. Durham Region