Top Ten

July 4, 2018

ON releases new internationalisation strategy

Ontario’s provincial government has released its International Postsecondary Strategy 2018, which includes goals that postsecondary education providers are expected to meet over the next three years. The Pie News reports that the Strategy puts a particular emphasis on tuition transparency. “What colleges do not provide and should, in my opinion, is fees for all years of study in advance,” stated Gabriela Fachini, a Manager for Latin America and Europe at Sheridan College’s International Centre. “Most colleges do not publish fees for the next academic year until February or March of the same year.” Pie News adds that the province will also create more financial opportunities for domestic students to study abroad. The Pie News Strategy Document (PDF)

As student needs change, so must advising

While the demographics of higher ed student bodies have changed dramatically in recent decades, a similar change hasn’t occurred when it comes to advising, writes Michael Anft. The author chronicles the challenges and successes that a number of US universities have experienced while trying to enhance their advising services, with some institutions upgrading their academic advisers to the role of life coach. Conversely, other schools have found success in a more targeted approach, making sure that certain student populations are matched with advisers who come from a similar area of academic interest or personal background. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Lutsel K'e Dene Nation requests funding for school, trades program

The Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation has requested $1M from the Northwest Territories to establish a school that would host a new trades program, CBC has learned. “Our plan is to focus on one trade at a time, to gain more employment opportunities for our people,” said Lutsel K’e Dene Chief Darryl Boucher-Marlowe. “Where we come from, an isolated community, there's not a lot of resources where we can access trades programs.” Boucher-Marlowe told CBC that the school would begin by offering carpentry, with the hope of introducing programs in mechanics, electrical, plumbing, and welding in the future. In addition to providing employment opportunities, Boucher stated that the school would provide high school graduates with the opportunity to receive support from community members. CBC

Sherbrooke, MYM partner on corporate training for cannabis

Sherbrooke College and MYM Nutraceuticals Inc have partnered on the development of a training program for MYM employees assigned to the production of cannabis. Sherbrooke will expand its current curriculum and offer a diploma (AEC) program in cannabis production.' “We are pleased to be able to rely on the Sherbrooke College (CEGEP) Continuing Education Center to develop customized training for our future employees, including programs leading to a diploma,” said MYM CEO Rob Gietl. “The signing of this agreement with Sherbrooke College (CEGEP) satisfies the Company's desire to develop its workforce by calling on the area's educational resources and aiding in the development of such resources.” Newswire ends use of chili pepper icon in response to criticism

The popular website has responded to criticism by removing users’ ability to rate their professors based on their physical appearance. The website stated last Tuesday that it had removed its chili pepper icon—which would appear beside the name of a professor deemed “hot” by more than one user—after receiving numerous complaints that it was sexist. Even with the symbol’s removal, however, critics are continuing to express concern about the site due to the anonymity of its users and the growing skepticism around the value of student evaluations of professors. Chronicle of Higher Education

Councillor expresses concern about UVic proposal for grad student condos

The University of Victoria has partnered with Chard Development to repurpose a heritage building for graduate student housing, reports the Victoria Times Colonist. UVic Properties President Peter Kuran notes that the building proposal has passed through two city committees, and that he hopes to get full approval by the end of the summer. Councillor Pam Madoff, however, stated that she is unimpressed with the proposal, noting that no laws exist to ensure that the proposed condos may exclusively house graduate students. “What we are really getting is market condos and one building that may or may not have some connection to students,” she said. Victoria Times Colonist

Laurentian cuts library budget

Laurentian University has cut library spending by nearly $200K, CBC reports. According to Dan Scott, Chair of Laurentian’s library and archives, the cuts will negatively impact acquisitions and subscriptions while inhibiting the library’s ability to implement new services. “Historically … the library and archives have been seen as the heart of the university,” said Scott. “So it certainly sends a message to us that we're no longer seen as one of the core elements of the operating institution.” Laurentian Interim President Pierre Zundel told CBC that the new budget focuses on Laurentian’s five-year Strategic Plan and on addressing challenges with demographics and enrolment. CBC

NVIT offers one year of free tuition for local high school graduates

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology will offer Grade 12 graduates a year of free tuition, reports CBC. The article explains that the school's home region of Nicola-Similkameen has one of the lowest postsecondary enrolment rates for high school graduates in British Columbia. "Generally, 12-15 percent of students that graduate from School District 58 go to NVIT. We'd like to see that double," said NVIT President Ken Tourand. Tourand also stated that the bursary will only be available to local students. The program will run for three years, after which NVIT will evaluate its success. CBC

Conversion of US institution to non-profit “could be game-changing”: Blumenstyk

A private American institution’s spinoff and conversion to a non-profit entity could be a “game-changer” for the PSE sector, writes Goldie Blumenstyk. According to the terms of the agreement, the for-profit company will manage certain administrative services such as financial aid and admissions, while the institution’s non-profit arm will assume responsibility for almost all of its adjunct and part-time employees while maintaining ownership of the campus. Blumenstyk also notes the contrast with American companies that have sold private colleges for little or no cost, as the spinoff and conversion to non-profit status suggests that investors are more comfortable with companies that sell services to universities than they are with those that try to run them. Chronicle of Higher Education

UBC students to teach business skills in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Students at UBC’s Sauder School of Business will teach business skills to residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside this summer. According to CBC, the Ch'nook Indigenous Business Education Program will also help participants develop business ideas. "I can provide that textbook knowledge and the tools that I've learned in business school, but [the participants] are providing me with their real-world experiences," said UBC commerce student Emily Hodgson. CBC states that UBC decided to try an urban setting after successfully piloting the program in northern British Columbia last year. CBC