Top Ten

December 4, 2017

Universities essential to ON’s health, social development

Ontario universities are crucial to the ongoing health and social welfare of the province, according to a new report from Ontario’s Universities. The report also encourages ongoing and growing collaboration between governments, employers, and universities in order to ensure that the province has a strong talent and research pipeline. Furthermore, the report suggests that postsecondary institutions work more closely with employers, adding that the province should provide sustained funding to ensure that small and medium-sized companies can offer experiential training. The Globe and Mail reports that in many areas, the expectations of families and employers are at odds. Globe and Mail

AB extends tuition freeze into 2018-19 academic year

The Alberta government has announced that it will continue its postsecondary tuition freeze into a fourth consecutive year. The commitment will reportedly cost the government $17M in backfill payments to compensate for the inability of universities and colleges to raise more tuition revenue. The freeze applies to 20 public postsecondary institutions and will reportedly apply to apprenticeship tuition as well, while it will not apply to private institutions. The Edmonton Journal reports that existing mandatory non-instructional fees will also continue to be frozen at all 26 postsecondary institutions and no new fees can be introduced or implemented in 2018-19. As with previous years, international student tuition will not be covered by the freeze. Edmonton Journal

Montreal must work to retain its international graduate students

An economic development agency in Montreal is encouraging international students to remain in the city after graduation as the city’s unemployment rate nears record-low levels. The Montreal Gazette reports that more than 32,000 international students study in Montreal each year, yet only 20 to 25% end up staying in the city. The agency says that retaining students in the city is crucial for the city’s aerospace, information technology and life sciences sectors, which are all in need of skilled workers. The article includes interviews with several international students who say they are on the fence about staying in the city. Montreal Gazette

ON internship exemptions extended to career colleges under Bill 148

The passing of Bill 148: Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017 entails a “significant victory for Ontario’s career colleges,” writes Career Colleges Ontario CEO Sharon Maloney. New changes to the bill have ensured that interns from career colleges will no longer be required to be considered employees for the purpose of the province’s Employment Standards Act.  “Extending the internship exemption to career college students has been a key issue in our advocacy efforts for a long time,” writes Maloney, adding that “with this arbitrary barrier to student success corrected, we have made a great stride closer to our goal of a fair and level playing field for our sector and its students.” Career Colleges Ontario

URegina asks community for help in renaming Language Institute Building

The University of Regina says it will rename the Language Institute Building in order to better reflect what happens at its learning centre. CBC reports that while the building was once used exclusively for the study of the French language, it has since become a hub where people can study all disciplines in French. “The more provocative way to cast it or describe the process is to say oh, the name is not french enough,” said Emmanuel Aito, the director of La Cité Universitaire Francophone and the chair of the renaming committee. “A more realistic perspective is ​to admit that the activities in the building have evolved.” The university has reached out to faculty, staff, students, and the broader community for suggestions on the centre’s new name. CBC

Humber, Shenzhen Polytechnic launch new opportunity for media and info tech students

Humber College has launched a new opportunity with Shenzhen Polytechnic in China that will allow students in select School of Media Studies and Information Technology programs to go on exchange and still earn credits. “It’s a great opportunity to dive deeper in a subject of their field of study, with the added benefits of being a multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, project-based, learning experience that will allow them to accumulate skills and knowledge that are extremely valuable and sought after by employers,” says Humber Dean of School of Media Studies and Information Technology Guillermo Acosta. Humber

UWindsor plans to help students connect, collaborate with “Collaboratory”

The University of Windsor has announced that it plans to turn a section of its library into something called a Collaboratory, which it says will provide “UWindsor's most inquisitive minds with state-of-the-art dynamic space to share their findings and develop collaborative relationships with partners both on campus and globally.” The initiative is reportedly part of an effort to get more students to use the school’s library facilities in new and exciting ways. “What we're trying to do is not only let them get together in groups, but give them all the tools they need to also do their work,” explained UWindsor Librarian Karen Pillon. “So maybe have a librarian present, have the technology they use and some whiteboards.” The Collaboratory is reportedly in its planning stages, and a fundraising campaign to support the project will continue until next summer. CBC

NIC, McDonald's partner on credit for business degree

North Island College and McDonald’s Canada have signed an agreement that NIC says is a first-of-its-kind on Vancouver Island. McDonald’s restaurant managers will be able to receive up to 20 per cent of their NIC Bachelor of Business Degree credits when they complete McDonalds Management Training Courses. “It benefits so many students,” said NIC Associate Dean, Arts, Science and Technology Bill Parkinson. “Many students bring work experience into the classroom. Our comprehensive review of the McDonald’s management training modules found the courses met the learning outcomes for many NIC business courses and with this partnership, we’re creating greater access for students who may not have thought a degree was possible.” RestoBiz | NIC

TRU, Punjabi university establish pathway for students to study and work in BC

Thompson Rivers University and the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University have signed a memorandum of agreement that enables students from the Punjabi institution to study and work in British Columbia. TRU explains that the agreement will see students study for two years in India, then transfer to TRU in Kamloops to complete their degree. Students who complete their degree in two years at TRU will then reportedly be eligible for a three-year work permit in Canada. TRU

Number of students with special needs exploding on campus: UQAM instructor

Accommodation requests have not only grown exponentially in universities, but they have changed course,”says Université du Québec à Montréal instructor Julie Martin in an interview with La Presse. The article notes that while motor, visual, or auditory impairments were once the most common reason for accommodation requests, those with emerging disabilities such as Attention Deficit Disorder are becoming much more common in such requests, along with mental health disorders and learning disabilities. While there used to be one or two students per class who asked for such accommodations, Martin says that she now frequently sees six requests for every fifty students. La Presse