Top Ten

June 1, 2018

2018-2019 Centre for World University Rankings sees U of T, McGill, UBC, UAlberta in top 100

The Center for World University Rankings has released its 2018-2019 rankings, which name four Canadian institutions in its top 100: The University of Toronto at #17, followed by McGill University (#37), the University of British Columbia (#38), and the University of Alberta (#96). CWUR states that it grades universities on seven factors: quality of teaching, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, quality publications, influence, and citations. CWUR further explains that it does not rely on surveys or submissions from universities to determine rankings. CWUR (1) | CWUR (2)

Review proposes Aurora College be converted to polytechnic

A long-awaited review of Aurora College includes the recommendation that the college become a polytechnic university in order to change the Northwest Territories’ vision for PSE. “I think that this a long time coming, and I'm really excited that this review actually has some recommendations — not only complaining about what we aren't doing right, but where we need to move forward,” said NWT Education Minister Caroline Cochrane. Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green, however, expressed concern to CBC about the scope of the recommendations. Aurora’s social work and teacher education program will remain suspended pending a further budget review, adds CBC, but all other programming will continue through the 2018-19 academic year. CBC

YorkU strike reaches record 87 days

At 87 days, the York University strike is now the longest at an English-speaking Canadian university in history, reports CBC. CUPE Local 3903, which represents approximately 3,000 employees, told CBC that it feels the university has shown little interest in resolving the dispute. Interim YorkU Vice President Academic and Provost Lisa Philipps responded that the university has done “everything in our power” to end the stoppage, and that interest arbitration remains the only solution. Meanwhile, YorkU has awarded provisional grades to graduating students so as not to delay their future plans. CBC | Globe and Mail

NIC to launch Aboriginal Leadership Certificate

North Island College has announced a new Aboriginal Leadership Certificate that will train students for careers in management and administration. According to Nation Talk, the Certificate was developed after K’omoks First Nation approached NIC about a program that addresses the community’s needs. “It is good that NIC is asking for our input and providing us the certification we need to ensure Aboriginal leaders have the knowledge and skills to make good decisions for the people and to develop healthy organizations,” stated Fran Prince, Aboriginal Education Advisory Council Chair. While the bulk of the program takes place online, Nation Talk reports that students will have the opportunity to meet in person once a semester through on-campus gatherings. Nation Talk

Three tips to help universities protect their brand

As universities face increased scrutiny from the public for presidential pay and expenses, student protests, graduate outcomes, and more, they must take care to avoid facing a “reputation gap.” A reputation gap appears when there is a discrepancy between what an organization’s public statements say about its efforts and its actual practices, explains Gavin Megaw: “You cannot proclaim yourself a hotbed of innovation and openness if your processes are byzantine.” The author highlights three ways that universities can protect their brand: the development of a communications strategy that proactively highlights the positive aspects of organizational restructuring; a network of advocates that consists of both alumni and experts; and “scenario planning” to anticipate any negative events that may arise. Times Higher Education (subscription required)

UQAM receives $500K for Co-operators Chair in Actuarial Risk Analysis

The Université du Québec à Montréal has received $500K from the Co-operators to establish the Co-operators Chair in Actuarial Risk Analysis. According to a UQAM release, the Chair will respond to a demand from employers for staff that are increasingly specialized in big data and telemetry as these areas grow more sophisticated. In addition to training students for the shifting demands in the field, UQAM states that the Chair will conduct actuarial research for industry partners. UQAM

Canadian partners help improve training for Peru’s extractive sector

The College of New Caledonia, Nova Scotia Community College, and British Columbia Institute of Technology have partnered with the Regional Ministry of Education in Arequipa, Peru to develop skills training at Instituto Superior de Educación Pública Honorio Delgado Espinoza through Colleges and Institutes Canada. A CICan release states that the program’s Canadian partners will provide technical assistance and training to directors, instructors, and administrative staff in Peru. “We are very happy to see this new program take shape and cannot wait to begin working in close collaboration with our partners in Peru to help improve the employability of young people in the region,” stated Gail Cockburn, Director and Development Advisor of the Canadian Embassy in Peru. CICan

Brock signs MOU with Afghanistan university to foster international research

Brock University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kateb University in Afghanistan. The MOU will provide Kateb faculty with the opportunity to undertake research methodology training as part of Brock’s Global Scholars Program. “It’s an honour to provide institutional colleagues with the opportunity to further their research,” said Tom Dunk, Brock’s Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic. “Education is universal and providing the world with access to higher learning opportunities is the best path to peace and prosperity in the future.” Brock adds that the agreement marks the beginning of a five-year partnership set to begin in the 2018-19 academic year. Brock

NSCC professors, support staff sign collective agreement

Nova Scotia Community College’s professors and support staff have agreed to new six-year collective agreements that run from September 2014 to August 2020. Faculty members voted 55% in favour of the offer, while the professional support bargaining unit voted 64% in favour. The Nova Scotia Teachers Union explained that the agreement has been ratified and includes a seven per cent wage increase over the six-year terms. CBC

SFU partners with NATO partner to run summer field school

Simon Fraser and the NATO Defense College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a NATO field school program this summer. An SFU release reports that the MOU will see the two institutions coordinate scheduling, resources, mentorship, and site visits for the 2018 SFU NATO Field School and Simulation Program. The upper-level program is available to undergraduate and graduate students in Canada and involves learning directly from top-level NATO mentors and military officers. “This innovative program will provide students across Canada with the opportunity to receive a world-class, interdisciplinary educational experience with lifelong value,” says SFU political science professor Alexander Moens. SFU