Top Ten

January 10, 2018

Maclean’s ranks graduation rates of Canadian universities

As part of its University Guide 2018, Maclean’s has released a list of Canadian Universities with the highest and lowest graduation rates. The rate is calculated based on the percentage of full-time undergraduate students who began in Fall 2007 and graduated within seven years. The schools with the five highest calculated graduation rates are Queen’s University (89.5%), Western University (86.6%), McGill University (85%), Université Laval (83.7%), and Université Sherbrooke (82.7%). Maclean’s also notes that graduation rates are not included in its annual university rankings calculations. Maclean’s

Confusion over book title puts U of T professor back on bestseller list

Confusion over the title of a new bestseller chronicling the first year of the Trump White House has landed a University of Toronto professor back on the Amazon bestseller list. The Globe and Mail reports that in 2008, University of Toronto professor Randall Hansen published a book titled Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945. Hansen tells the Globe that he joked with colleagues at a conference last week about having the same title as Michael Wolff’s tell-all book about US President Donald Trump, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. When Wolff's book was released this week, Hansen said he logged onto Amazon and found his own book had made it onto three bestseller lists. “The book is 10 years out and it had been languishing for years and suddenly it was on three bestseller lists,” Hansen said. Globe and Mail | CBC | Toronto Star

UBC receives $4.9M for global Buddhist academic network

The University of British Columbia has received a $4.9M donation from the China-based Liuzu Temple of Chan Buddhism to lead an international network of universities to advance the study of Buddhism and East Asian cultures. The donation will fund the creation of the Tianzhu Global Network for the Study of Buddhist Cultures, an international partnership of universities including UBC; McMaster University; the University of California, Berkeley; Ghent University; Harvard University; and the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO). “Academic partnerships like these create an opportunity to foster international collaboration between different disciplines around the study of Buddhism, and to place UBC at the forefront of scholarly exchange in religious study,” said UBC President Santa Ono. UBC

CCTG at Queen’s announces major cancer trial collaboration

The Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) at Queen’s University has announced a multi-year, multi-trial collaboration with the US-based Cancer Research Institute (CRI) that aims to accelerate the development of new cancer treatments. Queen’s reports that this new five-year partnership will combine CRI’s expertise in immunology research and therapy with CCTG’s expertise in the design and execution of clinical trials to improve the practice of treating cancer and to enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. “International collaborations and partnerships are essential to the success of clinical trials and are critical in moving the cancer research agenda forward,” says CCTG Director Janet Dancey. “We will leverage the strengths of both CCTG and CRI in this strategic collaboration, to bring important improvements in cancer therapies to the patients who need them.” Queen’s

UWindsor research project receives $6.3M boost to study Great Lakes in real-time

A University of Windsor-led research effort to track changes to the Great Lakes ecosystem has received a big boost from the Ontario government. CBC reports that the “Real-time Aquatic Ecosystem Observation Network” (RAEON) is a $15.5M initiative that will allow researchers to monitor the Great Lakes and other freshwater bodies in real-time. Last year, the project received $6.4M from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. This Monday, ON Minister of Research, Innovation and Science Reza Moridi announced that the province would be contributing an additional $6.3M. “This really keeps the University of Windsor at the very leading edge of Great Lakes and freshwater research in Canada,” said the project's lead researcher, Aaron Fisk. “There's no other university in Canada that can match the instrumentation and expertise that we really have on the Great Lakes.” CBC | UWindsor

US colleges not tracking suicides, despite prevention investments

Most public US colleges do not track suicides despite making significant investments in its prevention, reports the Associated Press. Prevention advocates told AP that the data is necessary in measuring success and identifying life-saving trends. However, many key factors—such as ethical concerns, limitations on data collection, and the perceived impact on institutional image—play a part in limiting institutions from collecting information. The article goes on to discuss institutional opinions and efforts related to the collection and use of data related to student suicides. Montreal Gazette(AP)

Gap in use of tablets from high school to CEGEP raises questions about preparation, relevance  

CEGEP students who graduated from high schools that use tablets found that tablets are rarely used or useful in the CEGEP classroom, according to a study conducted by Université de Quebec au Chicoutimi. The study followed 80 youth who used a tablet during secondary school and found that graduates experience a “break” when they arrive at a CEGEP, which raises questions about the relevance of using a tablet in high school and about broader methods of preparation for CEGEP. Président directeur général of Fédération des Cégeps Bernard Tremblay noted that the issue with the tablets is not a fault of the CEGEP, as teachers have the autonomy to choose their pedagogy, and tablets are likely not adapted to the needs of their students. Journal de Montréal

Canadore to offer E-Apprenticeship Program

In a reported first for Ontario, automotive service technician apprentices will be able to earn educational hours online through Canadore College. “This new delivery option is remarkable because it becomes more cost-effective for the students by giving them the chance to stay in their home communities and remain working while still providing a highly-interactive educational experience,” explained Canadore Dean of Trades and Technology Mark Lamontagne. Lamontagne added that the model was designed to mirror on-the-job training provided by employers, and that it includes constant interaction with employers, instructors, and other apprentices. The inaugural hybrid apprenticeship program is anticipated to begin delivery in Fall 2018. NationTalk

Why it’s dangerous to make revenue generation the main goal of an online education offering

If your school is pursuing online education in order to make more money, “then I can guarantee that things will not end well,” writes Joshua Kim for Inside Higher Ed. The author warns of the unforeseen consequences that can arise when an institution chooses revenue generation as the main goal of an online education offering. Such education, Kim states, should be based on the institution’s academic strengths and not solely on perceptions of market demand. “This method will first force a series of honest, and sometimes difficult, campus conversations on what the institution truly does better than other places,” Kim concludes. “There will be winners and losers in any such conversation, and the role of leadership is to have the discipline and courage to invest in areas of comparative strength.” Inside Higher Ed

Ownership of Nipissing’s Bracebridge campus transferring to Dewey Educational Group

In a reported first for Ontario, automotive service technician apprentices will be able to earn educational hours online through Canadore College. “This new delivery option is remarkable because it becomes more cost-effective for the students by giving them the chance to stay in their home communities and remain working while still providing a highly-interactive educational experience,” explained Canadore Dean of Trades and Technology Mark Lamontagne. Lamontagne added that the model was designed to mirror on-the-job training provided by employers, and that it includes constant interaction with employers, instructors, and other apprentices. The inaugural hybrid apprenticeship program is anticipated to begin delivery in Fall 2018. NationTalk