Top Ten

November 28, 2017

ON international college students weigh difficult options post-strike

International college students in Ontario face a difficult choice between continuing their studies or withdrawing due to the unforeseen challenges posed by the province’s recent college strike. The Toronto Star reports that international students currently have the option to apply for $500 in hardship relief and continue with new, compressed course schedules; or they can withdraw from school for a full refund, which would potentially jeopardize their study permits and future immigration prospects. “You came, you made a long-term plan, you forecast your expenses and your time. I think the international students are the ones who are most affected,” said Silvia Sansoni, a Humber College student from Brazil. Toronto Star

UAlberta launches hostel program for commuter students

The University of Alberta has launched a hostel program that will allow commuter students to rent a room on campus when the roads become dangerous. The Commuter Study Hostel is located on campus and has 14 single rooms that are each equipped with a desk, a bed, wi-fi, and access to a shower. The centre was soft-launched in September and has already seen students book rooms for the night. Meghan Reiser, the supervisor for residence life at the Lister Centre, says that the institution expects to see an uptick in bookings during exam season as the winter weather rolls in. CBC

NSCC readies to move Marconi campus to downtown Sydney

Nova Scotia is reportedly moving ahead with plans to move the Marconi campus of the Nova Scotia Community College to downtown Sydney from its current location on the Sydney-Glace Bay highway. Last week, NS Premier Stephen McNeil said that an RFP had been issued to study the best way to relocate the campus. The study will reportedly look at potential uses for the current campus, as well as potential building sites for the new campus. NSCC president Don Bureaux said that he was excited about the prospect of designing a new campus “from the ground up” in order to meet the needs of the community and its students. “We can co-create something very special—quite frankly, something very magical—to make sure that our students learn in ways that help the community the most,” said Bureaux. CBC

Disdain for higher ed grows amidst some US demographics

Higher education advocates are growing concerned at declining funding levels and a growing disdain for PSE across the United States, reports the Washington Post. The article notes that after adjusting for inflation, states spent $5.7B USD less on public higher ed in 2016 compared to 2008, while 800,000 more students were enrolled in 2016. Further, more than 44 million Americans are paying off student loans, including a growing number of people over 60. Over this same period, a growing number of critics have argued that institutions should behave more like businesses and focus more on training for jobs. Democratic Senator Steve Farley, however, argues that government and public institutions “should be run like a family. We should be raising our children to be the best people they can be.” National Post (Washington Post)

PhD advisors must take more responsibility for students’ career outcomes: Van Wyck

“We live in a new normal when it comes to the outcomes for graduate students,” writes James Van Wyck, adding that “the academic job market isn’t in crisis. It’s simply found a new baseline.” In this new reality, the author argues that professors who supervise graduate students must take more responsibility for those students’ career outcomes, especially when those outcomes do not involve working in academia. The author adds that professors too often “outsource” career advising for PhD students to other professionals. To help address the new reality of career outcomes, the author recommends that professors stop dismissing non-academic career preparation as beyond their purview and begin taking a strategic, long-term approach to training. Inside Higher Ed

RCMP investigating series of alleged sexual assaults at StFX

RCMP in Antigonish, Nova Scotia are reportedly investigating a series of alleged sexual assaults on the campus of St Francis Xavier University in fall 2017. An 18-year-old woman contacted police on November 22nd to report that she had been sexually assaulted over the weekend. RCMP report that they arrested two men in connection to the case, and that they were later approached by a second 19-year-old woman who alleged that one of the men under investigation had assaulted her twice on campus. A 19-year-old Halifax man is facing three charges of sexual assault. Charges connected to the original complaint are pending against an 18-year-old Truro man. CBC

Western, McMaster benefit from agreements between ON and China 

The Ontario government and Chinese government have announced over $1B in partnerships and research agreements at signing ceremonies in Beijing and Nanjing. Among the announcements made at these ceremonies were significant partnerships for Western University and McMaster University. Western has signed a $3.35M agreement with the China Automotive Battery Research Institute (CABRI) to establish a joint laboratory to develop solid-state batteries for electric vehicles. McMaster has signed a $5M agreement with Dajiang Environmental Corporation to collaborate on the research, development and commercialization of smart water technology and related sensor technologies. Dajiang will also set up a subsidiary at McMaster Innovation Park. ON (1) | ON (2)

UQAT introduces unique rural social work course at Mont-Laurier centre

The Université de Québec a Abitibi-Témiscamingue has announced that it will be offering an exclusive and unique social work course at its Mont-Laurier center in January 2018. Stéphane Lapointe, director of the Mont-Laurier center, explained that the course was built from scratch to address the specific needs and realities of rural communities, and has not existed at any other university before. The course was developed from the recognition that social work must be conducted differently in rural areas and urban areas, and so the course was built around three axes: Rurality, rurality’s impact on the characteristics of locals, and the forms of intervention that best suit the context and ethics of rural life. UQAT

NWCC students eligible to transfer to Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Northwest Community College students are now eligible to transfer to the Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi, Finland. “Our goal is to provide adventurous pathways coming into our college and going out of the college,” said NWCC President Ken Burt. “Wherever our students want to go, we want to help them be successful.” Students studying business, arts, science, engineering, and fine arts at NWCC will now be able to complete their degree at Lapland University. In many cases, students who study at NWCC for two years would only need to complete one year at Lapland to finish their degree. NWCC

UCN receives GAP certificate from Canadian Council on Animal Care

The University College of the North has announced that it has been awarded a Certificate of GAP – Good Animal Practice® from the Canadian Council on Animal Care. The credential recognizes that UCN follows ethical and humane principles in all teaching and research activities involving live animals. “Achieving the Certificate of Good Animal Practice is an important milestone in the evolution of UCN’s teaching and research programs,” says UCN Vice-President, Academic and Research Dan Smith. “This achievement reflects the strength of UCN’s research practices and ensures UCN’s continued eligibility for federal research grants.” UCN (PDF)