Top Ten

February 26, 2018

GPRC moves closer to becoming university

Grande Prairie Regional College has been granted the authority to award degrees in addition to certificates and diplomas. The announcement came last Thursday from Alberta Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt, who noted that the new arrangement will help Grande Prairie retain its younger population. “Too many people have to leave for Edmonton or Calgary or other places to complete their university degrees right now, and the problem with that is they never come back,” said Schmidt. GPRC President Don Gnatiuk said that the announcement is “probably the proudest moment in my career at GPRC,” adding that the school will begin in early March to develop degree programs in education, science, and the arts. CBC | GPRC | AB

VIU Automotive building gets major facelift

The Marine, Automotive and Trades Complex at Vancouver Island University is undergoing at $20M redevelopment project that will drive positive change for students. An overhaul of the university’s Automotive building will include a new addition with a larger tool crib and an apprenticeship lab; a renovated customer service area designed to look like a dealership; a reconfigured shop area that fits up to 24 vehicles; and renovated classroom spaces to promote more dynamic learning opportunities. “It’s a whole new shop inside,” says VIU Automotive Program Chair Dean Cadieux. “We treat the program like a business so students get realistic training in a facility similar to what they would find in the workforce.” VIU

Growth mindset an asset for career success

When it comes to ensuring a successful career, a growth mindset can be an academic’s greatest asset, write Alexander Clark and Bailey Sousa. Clark and Sousa describe the concept of a “fixed mindset,” where a person associates their accomplishments with their set abilities and attributes, and explain how this can limit ambition and creativity. The “growth mindset,” in comparison, focuses on how people can bring their best efforts to work with the hope of learning from the results. A growth mindset, the authors write, can also make employees seek out more difficult work;improve their performance levels; and lower their levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Times Higher Ed

UVic receives fair trade campus designation

The University of Victoria has officially been recognized as a fair trade campus by the Canadian Fair Trade Network. Student groups such as the UVic Sustainability Movement and the UVic chapter of Engineers without Borders have reportedly hosted fair trade education and awareness events on campus over the past two years leading up to the designation. “Achieving the designation has been a collaborative campus-wide effort”, says UVic Director of Campus Services Jim Forbes. “The Office of Campus Planning and Sustainability, University Food Services, the UVic Students’ Society and other student groups have all worked together towards this important goal.” UVic

Queen Elizabeth Scholars program announces $5.8M in funding for 20 universities

The most recent round of the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program has awarded $5.8M in funding to support 650 students in 20 Canadian university-led projects. A news release notes that the funding will help undergraduate and graduate students enrich their academic, professional, and cross-cultural skills while contributing to global projects led by participating Canadian universities. “The QES program has truly created a dynamic group of young people who are changing our world and are instrumental in enhancing the work of community foundations at home and abroad,” said Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada. Queen Elizabeth Scholars (English) | Queen Elizabeth Scholars (French)

Skill mismatches, over-qualification remain a persistent problem in Canada: Robinson

Canada remains near the top of the world when it comes to educational attainment, but skills gaps and over-qualification remain persistent problems, writes Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson. The author cites data from Statistics Canada showing that the over-qualification rate for bachelor’s degree holders exceeds 20% in several fields of study. One of the reasons for this, Robinson adds, is that many Canadians fail to understand the difference between degrees based in theory and those based in applied knowledge and skills. “So while we celebrate the success of degree attainment, we must differentiate and harness programs that have a positive impact on the labour market too,” the author concludes. The Province

Raises for executives at ON institutions move forward, but slowly: Chiose

As the Ontario government looks to lift a freeze on management salaries in the public sector, only a handful of plans submitted by universities and colleges have been approved and posted online for public feedback, reports Simona Chiose. The author notes that according to ON’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, none of the frameworks in question contain a pay hike exceeding 5% annually. Chiose adds, however, that increases could continue for years “as universities and colleges try to close the gap between what a position currently pays and what each institution has determined is a competitive salary.” Globe and Mail