Top Ten

December 5, 2017

Critics must meet Peterson head-on: Wells

It seems indisputable that Jordan Peterson is now the most famous professor in Canada, writes the University of Toronto’s Ira Wells. Yet while Peterson might be correct in some cases about universities failing to protect freedom of speech, Wells argues, few of his supporters “have bothered to qualify that he is dangerously wrong about everything else.” Wells argues that Peterson tends to fold his defense of free speech “into a politically reactionary and often downright paranoid world view that appears designed to curry favour with the alt-right.” While many have tried to deal with Peterson’s views through non-engagement, Wells contends that that effectively countering Peterson's arguments “lies not in silencing offensive arguments or in preaching to students but in cultivating the critical-thinking abilities that will allow them to recognize Peterson’s fallacies for themselves.” The Walrus

BASE told to “prove” need for more support for black students

Members of the Black Association for Student Expression at the University of Waterloo have allegedly been told by UWaterloo’s equity office to prove that there is a need for more on-campus services for black students. “That kind of discouraged and disappointed us,” said BASE Vice President Fiqir Worku, who added that she felt that her group should not be required to prove a need due to the province’s recent development of a Black Youth Action Plan. UWaterloo Spokesperson Matthew Grant stated that the school “takes the well being of its students seriously, including concerns around racialization, adding that the university has recently undertaken a number of initiatives dedicated to cultural understanding and awareness – including the creation of the AVP role focused on human rights, equity and inclusion. CBC

Teaching-stream positions risk entrenching problems created by precarious employment: Riddell

“It is time we exposed one of the worst-kept secrets that threatens high-quality higher education: our increasingly precarious workforce,” writes Jessica Riddell. The author argues that the worsening job opportunities for recent PhD graduates are leading universities to create teaching-focused tenure-track positions. Riddell argues that doing so implicitly treats research and teaching as concerns that can be separated, which can end up framing the classroom as “a static space for knowledge transmission rather than a rich, engaging space for the creation of new modes of thinking and learning.” Katja Thieme of the University of British Columbia, however, contends that while the risk Riddell highlights might exist, “there are also good models that demonstrate how this dichotomy can be avoided.” University Affairs | Medium (Thieme)

Queen’s partners with Northern, Cambrian, SaskPolytech on BTech program

Queen's University is partnering with Northern College to offer a new diploma-to-degree program that will help ease the transition from college to university. The Timmins Press reports that the Queen's online Bachelor of mining engineering technology (BTech) program was launched last year to serve college-educated technologists and technicians who are looking to advance their career. Students gain transfer credits from their college diploma and complete a customized bridging curriculum before being admitted directly into the third year of the program. Queen’s signed articulation and transfer agreements with Northern College, as well as Cambrian College and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to “map out a clear pathway to graduation for alumni of the partner institutions.” Timmins Press

Niagara receives first Audubon certification in Canada

Niagara College has reported that it is the first postsecondary education institution in Canada to be designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The designation was achieved through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program due to the quality of the college’s environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, water quality and conservation, and more. The certification involves programs and departments across the college, including the School of Environmental Horticultural Studies, the NC Sustainability department, and Facilities Management Services. “We are proud of this recognition,” said Environmental and Horticultural Studies Associate Dean Alan Unwin, “but it will only inspire us to do more to protect and enhance the diversity of life that exists at this campus well into the future while involving students in every possible way.” Niagara

UWindsor offers counselling for international students in their own language

The University of Windsor has adopted a new 24-hour counselling service that aims to provide extra support to students, especially international students. Called “Keep Me Safe,” the program makes both advisors and supporting materials available in English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, or Spanish. CBC reports that if a student would like to speak to someone in a different language, Keep.meSAFE can access licensed counsellors in up to an additional 30 languages. “[International students] would come in when things were really bad,” says Mohsan Beg, the clinical director of UWindsor's Student Counselling Centre. “So we felt that we needed something that would help give some support earlier in the process.” CBC

Conestoga Interior Design degree receives CIDA accreditation

The Bachelor of Interior Design degree program at Conestoga College has been awarded a six-year accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). A Conestoga release reports that the accreditation will permit graduates of Conestoga’s program to pursue registration as interior designers with the profession’s provincial regulator. “We are very pleased at this validation by CIDA, which affirms the high standards for quality and professionalism set by Conestoga in our efforts to prepare students for successful careers,” said Julia Biedermann, Executive Dean of Conestoga’s School of Engineering and Information Technology. Conestoga

UQO launches ecology and environment program unique to QC

Université du Québec en Outaouais has announced that it will offer a new bachelors program in ecology and the environment in Autumn 2018. The multidisciplinary program is reportedly a unique offering in the province, and UQO Rector Denis Harrisson stated that it will pave the way for the implementation of other programs bearing UQO’s unique signature in the natural sciences. François Lorenzetti, director of UQO’s Natural Sciences department, noted that the program will lead to a broad variety of employment opportunities and work placements. The program will also lead to graduate programs in the natural sciences that are offered at UQO. UQO

NIC launches Tourism and Hospitality training in Port Hardy

North Island College has announced that it will offer a two‐year, part‐time Tourism and Hospitality Management certificate at its new Thunderbird Mall campus in January 2018. The program will be similar to NIC’s full‐ time certificate in the Comox Valley, but NIC will now also offer the program part-time to improve access for students. The college is also introducing a 24-week Carpentry Foundation Harmonized certificate program in Port Alberni that will allow students to earn credits toward their Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification. The program will see students learn about residential framing, footing and wall forming, site layout, and more. NationTalk | NIC (1) | NIC (2)

NorQuest opens new child care centre that teaches cross-cultural values

NorQuest College has opened a new child care centre in downtown Edmonton that will prepare children for an increasingly multicultural community and country. A college release reports that the centre’s learning environment embodies intercultural awareness from music, language, multi-ethnic staff, cultural scripts, and the diverse backgrounds of the children it serves. “Our onsite child care centre is not only removing barriers to education for students but further teaching our next generation leaders about cross-cultural awareness and understanding,” says NorQuest President Jodi Abbott. “This is more important now than ever before.” NorQuest