Top Ten

November 27, 2017

Indigenous PSE to independently grant credentials under proposed ON legislation

The Province of Ontario has introduced new legislation that, if passed, would allow Indigenous postsecondary institutions to independently grant degrees and diplomas to their students. The province's nine Indigenous governed and operated postsecondary institutions currently offer programs through partnerships with other colleges and universities. The Brantford Expositor reports that the government is also investing $56M over three years toward expanding the capacity of Indigenous institutes. “The proposed legislation will create an indigenous pillar in the Ontario postsecondary education system, a result of a unique policy co-creation process between our nine institutes and the Government of Ontario,” said Rosie Mosquito, Chair of the Aboriginal Institute Consortium. “In engaging in this process, together, we have set out on a meaningful and sustainable path toward reconciliation and to close the education achievement gap for our people.” ON | Brantford Expositor

Universities must find “radical middle ground” between expression, respect: Axelrod

Universities will need to rediscover a “radical middle ground” between promoting academic freedom and creating an inclusive environment in order to navigate today’s hyper-polarized climate, writes York University Professor Emeritus Paul Axelrod. Whereas “in the past, professors who demeaned women, spoke or behaved in racist ways (the history of sexism and anti-Semitism on Canadian campuses is well documented), or degraded and demeaned students, had free rein,” Axelrod argues that codes of conduct banning such language and behaviour are both positive and necessary. He warns, however, that “behavioural regulations can be too wide-ranging, ineptly applied, or taken to extreme by zealous advocates who seek to silence rather than intellectually engage their adversaries.” Universities will need to find a middle ground between inclusiveness and the expression of ideas, Axelrod concludes, if they are to continue upholding the core values of liberal education. Toronto Star

QC releases Economic Plan, disappoints Cégep federation

The Government of Quebec recently released the Québec Economic Plan, which announced a $2.4B surplus focused on two areas: “increasing the disposable income of persons living in poverty, while maintaining an incentive to enter the labour market; [and] fostering social participation, and inclusion.” As part of the plan’s aim to encourage educational success for all ages, $107M has been put towards higher education to hire 120 additional resources. However, the fédération des cégeps says that it is disappointed that only $7M of additional funding would be put towards cégeps, private colleges, and universities. The federation stated that this amount was well below QC’s current expectations and needs for pre-university and technical qualifications. Newswire | Fédération des cégeps

CDL-Montréal receives $4M injection from newest partners: BMO, RBC

HEC Montréal and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business have seen the first two partners announce their support of their Creative Destruction Lab Montréal (CDL-Montréal). The program, which is intended for massively scalable, science-based startups, received a combined $4M injection from the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada. Participants in the CDL-Montréal are coached by veteran mentors with backgrounds in private enterprise, science, and investment funds; and receive assistance with their business plans from HEC MBA students. Over 200 startups applied to join the first Montréal cohort, of which 28 were chosen and will begin on December 15th under the direction of HEC. HEC Montréal

YorkU, Fleming create new teaching degree pathway

Students in two Fleming College programs have a new pathway to earn teaching degrees at York University. A Fleming release states that eligible graduates of the college’s Computer Engineering Technology and Graphic Design – Visual Communications advanced diploma programs can now enter directly into YorkU’s BEd in Technological Education program. “This exciting new pathway opportunity will address the gap in the number of educators who specialize in the ever-expanding world of technology,” said Maxine Mann, Dean of Fleming College’s School of Trades and Technology and School of Business. “Further, this pathway to a degree will give an advantage to Fleming graduates through expanded career opportunities.” Fleming

ULethbridge reinstates professor accused of anti-Semitic views

A professor accused of espousing anti-Semitic views has been reinstated at the University of Lethbridge. The university confirmed the reinstatement of Anthony Hall in an email last Thursday, but did not comment further on the matter. Hall was suspended in October 2016 following comments he made in online articles and videos suggesting there was a Zionist connection to the 9/11 attacks and that the events of the Holocaust are a valid topic of debate. He maintains that academic freedom should ensure that he can promote his work as he sees fit. Globe and Mail | Global News

UWinnipeg’s MDP earns Cando certification

Graduates of the University of Winnipeg’s Master’s in Development Practice will now receive a certificate from the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando). A UWinnipeg release states that the MDP program is “the only program in the world to focus on how Indigenous knowledge and experience can help shape a sustainable path for development, rooted in culture and identity.” The release further states that the Technician Aboriginal Economic Developer certificate that graduates will receive from Cando will enhance students’ career prospects. “It surely enhances the professional opportunities for our students,” said Jennifer Ledoux, MDP career counsellor, UWinnipeg. “Networking opportunities offered to those with Cando certification will be a huge plus for our MDP graduates.” UWinnipeg

WesternU president Amit Chakma not to seek third term

Western University has announced that Amit Chakma will not seek a third term as the school’s president. “Having served as president since 2009, Dr. Chakma believes that periodic leadership renewal is a healthy, time-honoured practice of any great institution,” said Hanny Hassan, chair of Western’s board of governors, in a statement released last Thursday. Hassan said that Chakma and his team have put the university in a financially sound position while quadrupling first-year enrolments and appointing more women to senior leadership roles. Stephen Pitel, head of Western’s faculty association, said that his dealings with Chakma have been positive. “I would characterize it as a good relationship,” Pitel said. “I’ve had the benefit of having a series of informal meetings with him over the last year.” London Free Press | WesternU

KPU to use portfolios rather than grades to process admissions

Kwantlen Polytechnic University is looking to use portfolios rather than relying solely on academics and letter grades to process its admissions, reports Peace Arch News. The goal is part of an initiative called the Surrey Portfolio Pathways Partnership, which was spearheaded by KPU instructor David P Burns. Burns leads the Kwantlen Educational Policy Incubator (KEPI), which has partnered with the Surrey School District to develop a framework for accepting high school portfolios for postsecondary admission. The university and the district will reportedly work with six high school students to develop portfolios that will be used for actual admission to KPU next September. Five students will be admitted to the Faculty of Arts and one student to the Faculty of Science and Horticulture as first-year undergraduates. Peace Arch News