Top Ten

February 21, 2018

Property developers see attractive investment in PSE student housing

Private developers are looking to provide more residence-style student housing in order to take advantage of “growing global competition to attract students and demanding tastes among the current generation,” reports Janet McFarland. The author notes that a dearth of competition and the relative stability of the demand for higher ed housing are attractive to many developers and investors. The article adds that since 2015, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has invested almost $4B in student housing. “The U.K. and U.S. student-housing sectors have been evolving over the past 10 years from an entrepreneurial owner-operator business into an institutionalized investment class,” said Peter Ballon, CPPIB's global head of real estate investments. Globe and Mail

URegina pursues meeting with Chartwells after non-halal meat served as halal

The University of Regina is seeking an in-person meeting with Chartwells after non-halal food was advertised as halal in on-campus eateries on multiple occasions. “We can't trust this organization ever again,” said URegina Muslim Students’ Association President Muhammad Abdul Rehman, who emphasized that the mistake was also a concern for students with dietary restrictions. A similar incident reportedly occurred in the fall semester, after which URegina and Chartwells established practices to avoid a recurrence. “This is not simply a matter of mislabeling;” stated John Smith, URegina’s associate vice-president of Student Affairs, “it is disrespectful to our Muslim students, faculty and staff who rely on having halal meat as part of their University food service.” CBC

UNB considers developing commercial properties on its Saint John campus

The University of New Brunswick has stated that it could begin soliciting proposals for commercial development on its Saint John campus before the end of 2018. In an interview last Thursday, University of New Brunswick president Eddy Campbell said he would like to make it possible for commercial properties to open on the Saint John campus. “Given that there have been people in and around the university and the hospital who have been talking about the potential of commercial real estate to be developed on the campus in Saint John, I’m quite interested in pursuing that opportunity as a way of making the campus all the more attractive place to be,” said Campbell. CBC

Boréal expands services for newcomers in Sudbury

Collège Boréal has received funding through Ontario’s Newcomer Settlement Program to provide services in French for new immigrants to the Sudbury area. Boréal Director of Communications Marc Despatie notes that the school has been involved in resettlement services for several years in the areas of Toronto, Peel, Hamilton, London, Sarnia, Chatham, and Windsor. Lise Beland, Boreal's vice president for Toronto and Central Southwest, adds that providing these services “extends a hand so that people feel welcome, and that they have connections and that they can really succeed, especially in ... education and employment.” CBC

Federal government writes off $200M in student loans

The federal government has announced that it is writing off more than $200M in student loans. The Canadian Press reports that this is the third time in the last four years that the government has had to write off outstanding student loans. The government has reportedly worked to make it easier for graduates to pay off their loans by increasing the minimum annual income they have to make before they are required to make debt payments. The CP also notes that borrowers typically take between nine and 15 years to fully pay off their loans, and that the period usually overlaps with when Canadians are most likely to start a family. NationTalk (CP)

UManitoba to benefit from proposed housing developments

The University of Manitoba may soon benefit from housing developments being proposed near campus. A report from last year concluded that up to 150 illegal houses could be operating near the university, and that some students are living in unsafe conditions out of desperation for housing. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Paragon Design Build has proposed building a seven-storey, 104-unit residential complex near campus, while CTV News cites a proposal of two 13- to 15-storey buildings with 410 units. “We actually didn’t realize the extent of the rooming-house problem in the area,” said Nigel Furgus of Paragon Design Build. “There are quite a lot of (illegal) rooming houses in the neighbourhoods surrounding the university. We are hoping to be, that our project will be, part of the solution to the problem.” CTV News | Winnipeg Free Press

We must not become silent bystanders when free speech is attacked: Zimmerman

“On questions of free speech, our campuses are deeply divided. But only one side typically speaks up, while the other keeps quiet,” writes Jonathan Zimmerman. The author highlights a recent story about a US professor who was shouted down in class by students after he used a racial epithet when describing the course’s subject matter. Zimmerman criticizes these students for bullying the professor, yet directs even more criticism toward the students who failed to speak up in the professor’s defence. “Just as the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing, as Burke taught us, the only thing necessary for the triumph of censorship is for the rest of us to keep quiet,” the author concludes. “Speak up, people. Our freedom of speech depends on it.” Inside Higher Ed

Queen’s launches certificate program offering introduction to three Indigenous languages

Queen’s University has launched a new certificate program that will provide students with an introduction to three Indigenous languages—Mohawk, Inuktitut, and Anishinaabemowin—while also deepening their knowledge of Indigenous cultures. The program can be completed through full-time studies in one year or part-time over two years. “I am very excited by the recent unanimous Senate approval of this new certificate program, and by the prospect of the collaborative certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture,” says Queen’s Director, Indigenous Initiatives Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill). “Further, ensuring these programs are credentialed by the university ensures student eligibility for financial assistance and makes these important programs more accessible.” Queen's

Sault, CLA partner on developmental services program

Sault College and Community Living Algoma have partnered on the development and launch of a new eight-week Developmental Services Support Certificate program. The program focuses on professionalism, health and wellness, building relationships, and advocacy for community inclusion; and also guarantees all eligible graduates an employment interview with CLA. “Students will not only receive a top notch education in this field of study, but will also have an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and skills through a field placement and guaranteed employment interview with CLA for those who qualify,” said Sault Program Manager, Continuing Education Lori Crosson. “Together we are setting our students up for success and providing them with an incredible opportunity to achieve their employment goals.” Sault

US study finds MBA, law grads give poor review of programs

A recent survey of over 4,000 adults in the US who received a postgraduate degree between 2000 and 2015 has found that law and MBA program graduates did not feel very favourably towards their programs’ value and preparation for life outside of graduate school. The report found that only about one-fifth of law and MBA graduates felt that their program prepared them for life outside of graduate school; and that these two graduate groups generally felt that the program was not worth the cost. Gallup points to supportive/mentorship experiences and applied learning opportunities as critical assets in improving the postgraduate experience. Inside Higher Ed | Gallup