Top Ten

November 16, 2017

ON college students take to courts, airwaves over strike

Frustrated Ontario college students are putting pressure on colleges and faculty to end a strike that has lasted for nearly five weeks. On Tuesday, a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the province’s 500,000 students seeking tuition and fee refunds from the colleges based on lost class time. The lawsuit is also seeking full refunds for students who choose to drop out. In Ottawa, the Algonquin Students’ Association has also launched a $20K media campaign urging their teachers to vote in favour of the latest offer from the College Employer Council. “We’re just trying to find any way to influence or get students back to class” and are not picking sides, said student union President Victoria Ventura. Toronto Star

Canada will need to invest in international promotion to maintain current momentum

Canada is seeing record enrolments from international students, but it “has a long way to go to really developing its international reputation in diverse markets,” says Andrew Barkla, chief executive officer of Australia-based IDP Education. A recent piece by Maclean’s highlights how Canada will have to do more to position its PSE offerings for an international audience if it wants to continue to see its current level of success. The article notes by way of comparison that Canada spends roughly $5M a year in overseas marketing compared to $40M by New Zealand. The article concludes with a discussion of the various supports that institutions are putting in place to help international students succeed. Maclean’s

ECUAD receives $2.5M gift for Ian Gillespie Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media

Emily Carr University of Art + Design has received a $2.5 M donation from Vancouver real estate developer Ian Gillespie. $1.5M of the donation will go towards ECUAD’s Big Idea capital campaign. The remaining $1M commitment will go towards scholarships, research grants, and new equipment for the Ian Gillespie Faculty of Design and Dynamic Media. “Design is emerging as one of the most important areas of the creative economy,” said ECUAD President Ron Burnnett. “These funds will provide our students and faculty with the resources they need to excel, explore, and think differently about creativity and how it shapes our world.” ECUAD | Vancouver Sun

UCalgary partners with Australia’s University of Sydney to provide project leadership training

The University of Calgary has partnered with the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership at the University of Sydney in Australia to create a joint initiative in Advanced Project Leadership. Twenty-two Alberta industry leaders from diverse industries took part in a masterclass to kickstart the project, where they discussed the importance of leadership in projects, explored the challenges facing senior executives in governing and leading capital-intensive projects, and identified the need for building leadership within project teams. “This partnership is mutually beneficial,” said UCalgary Vice-Provost (International) Janaka Ruwanpura. “We are looking forward to bringing our strengths together and working with industry to develop an intensive executive education program.” UCalgary

Canada, QC provide HEC Montréal with $5M for telecommunications network

HEC Montréal has announced that it will be receiving nearly $5M from the federal and provincial governments in order to upgrade its telecommunications network. HEC will be installing a new high-capacity network, including new fibre optics and modernized components. As a result, the new network system will be able to support teachers and researchers who need to transmit large amounts of data quickly. $1.9M comes from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, while the remainder is being provided by the Quebec government. HEC  

MSVU to introduce program in nonprofit leadership

Mount Saint Vincent University has announced that it will offer a new program in nonprofit leadership that it says is the only one of its kind in the Atlantic region. An MSVU release sates that the program will prepare students for careers that make a difference in the world. Students in the Mount’s new program will learn about the many facets of nonprofit leadership: staff and volunteer management, board governance, finance management, marketing, and strategic planning. Applications for the program are now being accepted, with the first entering class beginning September 2018. “We are a university founded on the principles of social justice and remain unique in the strength of that emphasis,” said Peter Mombourquette, Chair of the Department of Business and Tourism at MSVU. MSVU

Study explores opportunities, barriers for online learning in Canadian PSE

Enrolment rates for online studies in Canada has increased 10% to 15% a year over the past five years, according to a recent study by Ryerson University Visiting Professor Tony Bates. The survey of over 100 Canadian institutions also concluded that the main challenges to expanding online learning in Canada's colleges and universities came down to resistance from faculty, lack of government supports, and a lack of resources (particularly tech support staff). Bates predicts that the future of Canadian higher ed with embrace blended learning, or a combination of online and in-class learning, as technology becomes a bigger presence in higher ed. Globe and Mail

UNB project devoted to immigrant retention gets $400K cash infusion

The Pond-Deshpande Centre at the University of New Brunswick is looking to encourage more economic immigrants to stay in the province. CBC reports that this week, the New Brunswick and Canadian governments announced a combined $400K for NouLAB, a joint venture of the Pond-Deshpande Centre and the New Brunswick Social Policy Research Network, to pay for the costs of running a “social innovation lab” that brings together stakeholders from every sector to brainstorm ideas to increase immigrant retention. Then, the lab will get to work on putting some of those ideas into practise, and tracking how successful they are over a three-year period. “You get all the data, so you see the problem at a 360-degree view instead of just pieces of the pie,” says Pond-Deshpande Executive Director Karina LeBlanc. “So it's really a collaborative endeavour.” CBC

How economically vulnerable institutions can reduce costs, improve revenue from technology

Economically vulnerable institutions would greatly benefit from opportunities to come together and collaborate on solutions for the unique and difficult challenges that they face, writes Joshua Kim, especially when it comes to technological challenges. To this end, Kim makes five key suggestions on the steps that these schools could take to improve their technological strategy: start online programs immediately; make the institution’s technology budget fully transparent; eliminate campus-based technology services in favour of renting services; shift from paid productivity tools to free, cloud-based applications; and commit to a future where technology is revenue-positive for the institution. Inside Higher Ed

SNP celebrates completion of new campus renovations

Six Nations Polytechnic recently celebrated the completion of renovations to its new campus with an open house. Visitors to the open house were able to learn about the many renovations that have been made to the campus over the last year. Over 70,000 feet of cable were installed to support the building’s IT systems, nearly 1,500 solar panels were installed on the roof, and 400 trees, shrubs, and perennials were planted around campus.  “We believe in our students above all else, and hope that these renovations will foster a learning environment that will lead to even greater success and happiness for every one of them,” SNP President Rebecca Jamieson said in a statement. Brantford Expositor