Top Ten

March 8, 2018

Reports of sexual assault on NS campuses far below national average

PSE institutions across Nova Scotia reported a total of 24 sexual assaults between August 2016 and September 2017, or 0.55 incidents per 1,000 students, according to the Chronicle Herald. The article adds that the province's reported numbers fall well below the national rate of 70 disclosures per 1,000 students. According to St Francis Xavier University Student Union President Annie Sirois, NS’s real rate of campus sexual assault is “absolutely higher than (what’s being reported to administrations).” According to Students Nova Scotia executive director Tristan Bray, the low number of disclosures inhibits universities from evaluating the efficacy of their sexual assault prevention programs. Chronicle Herald

Aging professoriate placing stress on PSE budgets: HEQCO

The Globe and Mail reports that the proportion of Ontario university faculty over the age of 65 has grown from nearly zero to 9% since the federal government abolished mandatory retirement in 2006. Meanwhile, the number of professors aged 45 and under has declined by 9%, according to a recent HEQCO report. HEQCO President Harvey Weingarten voiced concern that an aging professoriate “has more of a constraining influence on the opportunity for renewal." The HECCO report adds that if all faculty retired by 66, universities would have the capacity to hire 2,000 younger faculty at the average starting salary. Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development said that it is in discussion with institutions about how best to renew faculty ranks. Globe and Mail

The forces shaping the rise of WIL

Co-op education has increasingly come under the banner of “work-integrated learning,” writes Moira MacDonald, as schools look to internships, service learning, practicums, field education, entrepreneurial incubators, and capstone research projects as ways of providing students with community and industry experience. The push for these opportunities comes from several directions, the author adds. Students and their parents, for example, place an increasing level of importance on experiences that will help students find good jobs after graduation. Government, on the other hand, sees these placements as an opportunity to bolster the knowledge economy. The private sector further regards WIL as a way to create more job-ready graduates. University Affairs

USask student leaders propose new Indigenous students’ union

Indigenous student leaders at the University of Saskatchewan say that they want to create an independent students’ union to better address the needs of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students on campus. Indigenous Students’ Council President Regan Ratt-Misponas was joined by representatives of three other student groups in calling on USask administrators to recognize the proposed Indigenous Students’ Union. “It’s about being able to have a platform for our authentic Indigenous student voice to be heard,” said ISC president Regan Ratt-Misponas. USask Vice-Provost of Indigenous Engagement Jackie Ottman said that her meetings with the ISC and other groups have been positive, and that the university supports student groups looking to formalize their governance structures. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Students, professors call for UPEI to be covered by province’s Freedom of Information Act

Students and professors at the University of Prince Edward Island are calling for the university to be included under the PEI’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation. Currently, the university and municipalities are not regulated by the act, which is undergoing review. have reportedly all recently made submissions to the government related to the matter. “It is long overdue that we bring Prince Edward Island up to speed with every other province and territory in Canada in bringing its post-secondary institutions under FOIPP legislation,” said UPEI Student Union Vice President Taya Nabuurs. CBC

UBC receives $24M gift to support healthy aging

The University of British Columbia has received a $24M donation to its Faculty of Medicine that will expand research in support of healthy aging. The donation comes from UBC alumnus Edwin SH Leong, and marks the largest gift that UBC’s medical school has ever received from an individual. “This visionary donation will enable UBC to create a centre of excellence in healthy aging, where leading researchers from across disciplines can devise innovative strategies for extending longevity and improving quality of life,” said Dermot Kelleher, dean of the faculty of medicine at UBC. UBC

QC education students lobby for internship compensation

Education students from across Quebec are lobbying the Minister of Higher Education for paid internships, reports La Presse. According to Antoine Côté, spokesperson for the Campaign for Interuniversity Claims and Actions for Students in Internship Education, education students with professional and academic obligations feel underserved. Côté added that these same students also feel that the government prioritizes medical students, while noting that unpaid internships comprise the entirety of education students’ final semester, leaving them in a financially precarious situation. La Presse

A sober look at the reality of student debt, postgraduate precarity

Each year, thousands of students across Canada graduate from PSE to enter the “real world,” writes Anissa Calma-Brown, who adds that “for many of them, thanks to the rising cost of tuition, there will be an extra weight around their necks in the form of student debt.” The author notes that the converging forces of student debt, rising housing costs, and a precious job market make postgraduate life extremely difficult for many of today’s graduates. “My student loan will be like an anchor holding me back until I have it all paid off — in my eyes — only then will I be free,” says Marjan Asadullah, a student in the journalism program at the University of Toronto. The author notes that while governments have attempted to address this crisis, most efforts remain “a relative drop in the bucket” compared to what it will take to solve the problem. Financial Post

Four ways to dismantle systemic discrimination in your institution: Cote-Meek

“As a university administrator, I recognize that we cannot simply stand back or bury our heads in the sand and not be affected by what is happening in broader society,” writes Sheila Cote-Meek, vice-president, academic and Indigenous programs at Laurentian University. To this end, the author highlights four ways that people working in PSE can begin addressing racialized and gendered violence on campus. The first is understanding the systemic barriers facing women. The second is to create more holistic management and administrative practices. The third is to stand up and speak out when one hears and sees things that are inappropriate. “Finally, when you attend any meeting,” the author concludes, “take a moment to look around and see who is there and, importantly, who is not. Ask yourself some critical questions about representation.” University Affairs

YorkU to build new School for Continuing Studies

York University has announced that it will build a new School of Continuing Studies building on its Keele campus in order to create new programs for recent graduates, working professionals, international students, and new Canadians. Last month, the university’s Board of Governors approved a total project budget of $50.5M for the design and construction of a new building. A YorkU release states that the School of Continuing Studies plans to break ground on the project in 2019 with an aim to holding classes in the building beginning in 2021. “The creation of a new, stand-alone home for our School of Continuing Studies is another important step forward in improving access to post-secondary education at York,” said President Rhonda Lenton. YorkU