Top Ten

January 30, 2018

NB signs funding MOU with UNB, MtA, UMoncton; STU calls agreement unfair

The Province of New Brunswick has signed a MOU with the University of New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, and the Université de Moncton. These agreements are intended to provide stable tuition for students and predictable multi-year funding for universities. “Supporting our publicly funded universities is vital to the social and economic well-being of our province, and we will continue to make students a priority,” said Post-Secondary Education Minister Roger Melanson. CBC reports that the fourth publicly funded university in the province, St Thomas University, has refused to sign an agreement with NB on the basis of an “unfair” funding framework.

NB | CBC

KPU closes applications from international students, citing at-capacity enrolment

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has closed applications from all international students enrolled in 2018 after reaching its capacity, reports Richmond News. The article explains that KPU’s international enrolment has grown 41% since last fall. “We never had these many applicants from international before,” said KPU media specialist Tatiana Tomljanovic. “As of Jan 24, we received 2,519 international applications for the summer semester, compared to 1,209 international applications for the 2017 summer semester.” Tomljanovic added that the institution does not know when it will reopen international applications at this time.

Richmond News

General education must go beyond box checking

“The road to general education curricula is paved with good intentions,” writes Colleen Flaherty, but a program designed as “a laundry list of distribution requirements” can quickly become stale and purposeless. Flaherty explores how US colleges and universities have adjusted their curriculum and strategy with general education programs to make them meaningful, interesting, and engaging for students. The article showcases general education curriculum such as Ripon College’s Catalyst, which was developed backwards from a set of determined skills that students would want to learn or need to be able to demonstrate by the end of their general education.

Inside Higher Ed

YorkU contract faculty, teaching assistants vote 85% for strike mandate

Contract faculty, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants at York University have voted 85% in favour of a strike mandate. “When instructors are given the resources they need to deliver a quality education,” said Julian Arend, CUPE 3903 Vice-President for contract faculty, “the biggest winners are thousands of undergraduates who rely on them to provide them with the tools they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.” YorkU issued an open letter to its community asserting that the university “remains committed to a negotiated settlement with no strike.”

Newswire | YorkU

StFX to launch seven living learning communities in residence

St Francis Xavier University has announced that it will launch seven new living learning communities in its residences, allowing students to live in a community tailored to their specific academic or lifestyle interest. Each community is associated with one or more faculty departments and organizations. “Living learning communities are a new initiative offered through Residence Life next year where students will live with other students, peers with similar interests,” explained StFX Residence Education Coordinator Kerri Arthurs. The communities to be offered include academic communities such as one for first year students enrolled in the Humanities Colloquium, interest-based communities such as EcoLiving, and lifestyle LLCs such as Quieter Lifestyles.

StFX

ULaval pulls form asking job candidates to disclose HIV status, abortions

The Université de Laval has pulled a form that asked job candidates to disclose personal health information, such as HIV status, previous pregnancies and abortions, and any history of treatment for cancer. ULaval has also reported that its hiring process is currently under review. “It's a standard practice in human resources to verify if a person has particular conditions that mean we need to adapt their work environment,” said Vice-rector for human resources Lyne Bouchard, who admitted that some of the questions “contravened the values” of the university. Human rights lawyer Stephanie Fournier told CBC that the questionnaire is discriminatory and violates Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

CBC | The Star

Algoma, local CMHA partner on mental health services for athletes

Algoma University and the Canadian Mental Health Association Sault Ste Marie are partnering on the adoption of the Talk Today program, making Algoma the first university in Canada to adopt the program. The partnership will see CMHA train 120 student-athletes, 20 coaches, and three full-time staff through the safeTALK workshop on topics such as recognizing signs of suicide, how to connect others to the appropriate resources, and more. The program will also see a CMHA mental health coach serve as a liaison for student athletes and provide access to mental health resources, referrals, and resources.

Algoma Thunderbirds

RRC cuts management positions, MB confirms provincial PSE expected to cut management 15%

Red River College has cut 10 of 67 senior staff positions after Manitoba officials informed the college that the provincial order to cut 15% of public sector managers applied to PSE. Four universities stated that MB Premier Brian Pallister did not issue the directive to them, but Education Minister Ian Wishart issued a release stating that the institutions are expected to make the cuts. “The premier and members of our cabinet have conveyed clearly and repeatedly that we expect all publicly funded entities — including post-secondary institutions — to follow this lead and participate in their own 15 per cent reduction of senior management,” stated Wishart.

Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

 

Humber, Festo Didactic launch five-year partnership addressing skills gap

Humber College and Festo Didactic, Inc have announced a five-year partnership agreement that will address the skills gap between industry needs and educational programming. Under this agreement, Humber will become the exclusive postsecondary partner for delivering Festo’s proprietary training courses in the Greater Toronto Area. “Festo's collaboration will strengthen Humber's track record of providing leading advanced manufacturing and mechatronics education to our students and the community,” said Humber President Chris Whitaker. “This partnership brings the future of Learning Systems education to Humber, and shows the importance of industry partners working with students on emerging technologies.”

Newswire

 

Brandon, BrandonU, ACC sign MOU committing to further collaboration

The City of Brandon, Brandon University, and Assiniboine Community College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will drive collaboration on research and innovation in areas of mutual benefit. While the three parties reportedly have a good relationship, Brandon Mayor Rick Chrest explained that the MOU would help the three parties to better tackle regional concerns, such as labour shortages. “Collaboration is truly at the heart of what academics do, and there are many exciting opportunities for Brandon University students, faculty, and staff to contribute in new ways to enhance our community,” said BrandonU Interim President Steve Robinson. ACC President Mark Frison added that the collaborative projects would provide new learning opportunities to students.

BrandonU | Brandon Sun