Top Ten

April 24, 2018

BC students call for increased services, controlled tuition for international students

Students in British Columbia are expressing concern that the services offered to the province’s international students are not keeping up with demand. The Prince George Citizen reports that BC has seen its international student population skyrocket from 90,037 in 2010 to more than 136,000 in 2017. A report released last week by the BC Federation of Students argues that the tuition dollars of international students have been propping up the budgets of colleges and universities, and calls for government regulation of international student fee increases. Prince George Citizen (1) | Prince George Citizen (2)

ON public-private college partnerships create unacceptable risk to PSE: provincial report

Partnerships between public and private Ontario colleges have created unacceptable risk for students, the province, and the quality of PSE, according to a new report from the ON government. Simona Chiose notes that the report has led to a moratorium on such partnerships, in which a student studying at a private college could work toward a credential from a public institution. The report found that the ON government does not have the tools to monitor the quality of the student experience at the private-branch campuses, including whether they are meeting academic standards. It further noted that the colleges have been informed that their agreements are not consistent with the intent of the federal government’s policies for recruiting international students. Globe and Mail

Why public funds should not be spent on vocational training: Fernández-Armesto

“There is little evidence of any consequent benefit to the country, the economy or the world from professionally oriented courses,” writes Felipe Fernández-Armesto, adding that “most seem designed to benefit businesses by sparing firms the costs of in-house training.” The author contends that while vocational training is important, it stands to reason that it is only as important as the market deems it to be. In other words, the author argues that public subsidies should never go toward vocational programming because if such programming were truly needed by the market, both businesses and students would happily pay for it. Rather, the author concludes that public funds should only subsidize areas “where other incentives don’t reach,” such as academic fields of study. Times Higher Education

NB, BC look to higher ed to help address teacher shortages

School districts on opposite coasts of Canada are reportedly facing a shortage of qualified K-12 teachers. CBC reports that more than 200 teachers and principals in New Brunswick are set to retire this year, and that there are not enough education graduates to replace them. Crandall University Education Internship Co-ordinator Ken Frost notes that while there has been a shortage for years in specialty areas such as French immersion, this shortage is now affecting all areas of the curriculum. In British Columbia, the Prince George Citizen reports that ever since schools went on a hiring spree in response to a 2017 Supreme Court of Canada decision, “there are simply not enough new teachers graduating from … university education programs” to meet demand. CBC | Prince George Citizen

NOSM partners with US school for cross-border Indigenous health project

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine and University of Minnesota Medical School Duluth have announced a joint cross-border program that focuses on health and education opportunities for Indigenous peoples in Northern Ontario and Northern Minnesota. According to a NOSM press release, the program will facilitate a new First Nations and Métis Centre of Excellence for NOSM based on an existing program at Duluth. NOSM Interim Director of Indigenous Affairs Darrel Manitowabi stated that the partnership will improve Indigenous healthcare delivery by “developing and improving existing Indigenous health profession programs, sharing knowledge and experience on providing culturally sensitive care and mentorship, as well as curriculum and programming to improve the health status of First Nation, Métis and Native American peoples.” NOSM

UWindsor receives $4.5M for green retrofit

The University of Windsor states that it will refurbish several air handling units thanks to a $4.5M investment from the provincial government’s Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofit Project. According to UWindsor Manager of Facility Planning, Renovation and Construction Danny Castellan, the old units were out of date and physically inaccessible to maintenance workers. “We are very pleased that [the province] has supported this project,” added UWindsor President Alan Wildeman. “It will allow us to begin the process of modernizing these important campus facilities and further reducing our environmental footprint.” UWindsor

Faculty union awaits $2.4M after Labour Board rejects UManitoba’s appeal

The Manitoba Labour Board has dismissed the University of Manitoba’s appeal of an unfair labour practice ruling, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. In light of the dismissal, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association has reportedly demanded full payment of $2.4M in damages. “We’re disappointed that the administration challenged the labour board’s directive to apologize for what happened. For that reason alone they should be required to pay the full damages,” stated UMFA President Janet Morril. According to the Free Press, the provincial government told UManitoba not to disclose the details of Bill 28, which mandated wage controls on 120,000 public workers in 2016. Winnipeg Free Press

MHC, Grasslands Public Schools to offer dual credit programming

Medicine Hat College will reportedly offer dual credit programming for Grasslands Public Schools high school students for the 2018/19 academic year. According to an MHC press release, the partnership is part of a larger strategy by Grasslands to make its programming more personalized, flexible, and community-centred while streamlining education. “In some cases a student could finish high school and have their first year apprenticeship complete,” said Assistant Superintendent Sean Beaton. MHC

UBC Board of Governors votes to fund rapid transit expansion

After initially rejecting plans to extend rapid transit to UBC, CBC reports that the university’s Board of Governors has now voted to help fund a potential expansion project. Jill Drews, a spokesperson for TransLink, stated that the announcement is “encouraging,” but added that no funding agreement currently exists for such an expansion. Vancouver Point-Grey MLA David Eby told CBC that he would welcome a line extension, as bus traffic has long been a concern for local residents. CBC adds that UBC has not disclosed how much it would invest in the project. CBC | Global

Lakeland upgrades veterinary teaching space

Students of the veterinary health sciences at Lakeland College will soon have a new and much larger space in which to learn and practice skills that will prepare them for the future. A Lakeland release notes that the upgraded space, called the Animal Health Clinic, is scheduled to open on its campus this fall. The space will reportedly feature new equipment and more lab space to accommodate more students looking to enter the program. “Fitting everyone into the lab space right now is difficult, and it’s difficult giving everybody enough time to use the instruments and get familiar with them,” said first-year animal technician student Heidi Silver. Lakeland