Top Ten

May 7, 2018

ON calls for international tuition transparency, predictability

A new report released by the Province of Ontario calls on universities to make international fees more transparent, reports the Globe and Mail. While the province has capped domestic tuition increases at 3% per year, no such cap is said to exist for international students. Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development Mitzie Hunter stated that the province would like to see “predictability” for international tuition costs, although Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance President Andrew Clubine says that there exists no mechanism through which the province can address tuition predictably or set caps on increases. Globe and Mail

UPEI’s plan for Egypt campus raises questions for Green Leader

The University of Prince Edward Island’s announcement about a planned campus at the University of Canada in Egypt was met with concern by provincial Green Party Leader Peter Bevan, CBC reports. Citing Egypt’s record of human rights violations, Bevan asked if the government is “concerned that our province's public money and our province's identity and brand will contribute to legitimizing such an undemocratic regime[.]" According to a UPEI release, however, the initiative is funded entirely by UCE, which has reportedly signed a consortium agreement with Cape Breton University and Memorial University as well. CBC states that UPEI will offer BSc degrees in Sustainable Design Engineering, Mathematical and Computational Sciences, and Environmental Sciences, in addition to a Bachelor of Business Administration. CBC

McMaster approves budget for $100M transit hub

McMaster University has reportedly approved the budget for a $100M transit hub that will link future LRT service to the city’s HSR buses and GO Transit buses.  The 200,000 square-metre hub will also include space for student and commercial spaces. “There is an opportunity with LRT and with the transit hub project to consider improvements to traffic management and flow,” says McMaster Director of Communications Gord Arbeau. “The goal is to facilitate ease of connection, allowing the community to quickly and comfortably move from HSR and GO buses to the LRT and vice-versa.” Work is scheduled to begin in 2019, continuing through to 2024. Hamilton Spectator

Provincial investment to benefit UNB grad students

A University of New Brunswick release states that graduate students are now eligible for research funding from an $11.4M initiative by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. “This is incredibly exciting news for the UNB community, its graduate students, and for research in New Brunswick,” said VP Research David MaGee. “This announcement means that we will be able to attract and retain more of the world’s best and brightest graduate students.” According to UNB, over 100 graduate students have benefited from NBIF funding to date. The announced investment will reportedly support NBIF’s Research Innovation Fund, Research Assistantship Initiative, Research Technician Initiative, and graduate student scholarships. UNB

Picketers engage in day of action as YorkU strike nears tenth week

As the York University strike nears its tenth week, labour leaders from across Ontario descended upon the campus for a day of action, with picketers reportedly preventing vehicles from entering the campus. “Typically they have been letting cars in and out and they are still on strike so today we will be doing things a little different to get the employers’ attention and the governments’ attention,” Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley told CP24. YorkU administrators have sought binding arbitration, a move that the union has reportedly decried. The province, meanwhile, has launched an inquiry to investigate the dispute. “You can’t negotiate a collective agreement if you don’t talk to your counterparts,” Buckley added. CTV

Expanding Mohawk buys heritage site from province, city

Mohawk College has bought Century Manor, a former psychiatric hospital, from the Province of Ontario and City of Hamilton for $9.5M, reports the Hamilton Spectator. Mohawk President Ron McKerlie told the Spectator that the purchase gives the college “room to grow,” but added that the Board of Governors has not yet decided how to use the land. McKerlie also confirmed that Mohawk has allocated an additional $9M to renovate the dilapidated site, which reportedly boasts a heritage designation. “This is a significant and strategic investment for the college,” said McKerlie. “The challenge is we are growing so fast we just need space.” Hamilton Spectator (1) | Hamilton Spectator (2)

ACC, Brandon Police Service celebrate opening of simulation lab

Assiniboine Community College, the Manitoba government, and the Brandon Police Service have celebrated the official opening of the Use of Force Simulation Lab. The lab includes a life-sized video screen, shootback cannon, and a digital control room, enabling trained officers and employees to decide how one of over 450 scenarios would play out in real time. “This new space is a terrific addition to our existing Public Safety Training Centre on campus, which provides training and development facilities for a wide variety of organizations,” said ACC Dean of Health and Human Services Karen Hargreaves. “We’re continuing to build on our already strong track record of program leadership in the area of public safety.” MB

Canadian brain-drain should be a “wake-up call”: Study

A new study led by a University of Toronto researcher has found that one-in-four STEM graduates from the University of Waterloo, University of British Columbia and U of T are working outside the country. Higher salaries, better mentoring, and the opportunity to work on a wider scope of projects reportedly influence graduates’ decisions to leave Canada, reports the Globe and Mail. Adam Froman, CEO of Delvinia Interactive, has reportedly called on Canadian companies, governments, and universities to develop a national retention strategy in light of the findings. Globe and Mail

UMoncton announces new campaign peak of $30M

The Université de Moncton has announced that it has reached the $30M mark for its Évolution campaign. The campaign is focused on supporting five major projects at UMoncton that aim to foster excellence in the student experience and research and development. In particular, these five projects focus on Acadian studies, the environment and health, the bursary and financial assistance program, research and development, and the modernization of facilities. UMoncton Recteur Jacques Paul Couturier stated that the donations will be used to develop the institution and enable UMoncton to provide students with the highest quality education. The campaign hopes to ultimately raise $50M. UMoncton (EN) | UMoncton (FR)  

Student ratings of teaching appear increasingly unreliable: Falkoff

“Few academics will be surprised to hear that more evidence has come out showing that student evaluations of teaching are often biased,” writes Michelle Falkoff in an argument against the use of student ratings in teaching evaluations. Falkoff reflects on recent studies that have found evidence of gender and racial biases, reduced completion rates, and a change in tone towards more abusive language, among other concerns. “Holding instructors to high standards is important, and student feedback is relevant,” writes Falkoff, “but if academic institutions do not take steps to assess teaching more holistically, they run the risk of losing talented faculty members for reasons that are not only inappropriate but may well be illegal.” Chronicle of Higher Education