Top Ten

July 26, 2018

Millennials no more difficult, disinterested than 18th-century students: Bann

An academic-turned-civil-servant’s defense of millennial postsecondary students has gone viral on Twitter. A recent article by a US professor titled “Millennials: the age of entitlement” described the generation as one that “does not read, cannot use a dictionary, is incapable of critical thinking, and uninterested in learning,” reports CTV News. Jenny Bann disagrees and argues that the author’s claim that millennials do not view the university as a place of learning is not unique: 18th-century students would have “agreed with millennials” that “the university is a ‘dusty shop of logic and metaphysics’.” Bann notes that 18th-century students were also far from model citizens and were disciplined for a range of offences that included sword duels, making “obscene toasts,” arguing with lecturers while drunk, and failing to pay for the repair of broken furniture. CTV NewsTimes Higher Education (Subscription Required)

UAlberta researcher’s report for coal giant draws scrutiny

Documents obtained by CBC reveal that energy giant TransAlta paid $54K to University of Alberta researcher Warren Kindzierski to produce a study as part of a lobbying effort to protect the coal industry. TransAlta claims that it did not attempt to alter Kindzierski’s findings in its favour, and that the researcher's “impartial expertise was sought in order to analyze data taken over nine years from provincial monitoring stations.” UAlberta Research Services Director Lorraine Deydey said that there was nothing untoward in the arrangement between the corporation and Kindzierski. Academics have expressed concerns about the role of private funding in independent research and called for renewed scrutiny. CBC

U of T Indigenous elective helps medical students better serve patients

An Indigenous medical education elective course offered at the University of Toronto’s MD program allows medical students to immerse themselves in Indigenous culture to better serve their future patients. “My main fear ... was that I would seem like an intruder — someone who was there to learn from the Indigenous community without having anything to offer in return,” says former U of T medical student Lindsay Herzog. “I joined in on a beading group and, over time, felt less like I was studying the Indigenous community and more like I was trying to become a part of it in some ways.” Herzog said that her experiences in the course have changed the way she approaches Indigenous patients. TVO

Niagara announces new name, location for employment services unit

Niagara College’s Employment and Training Services unit will soon move to a new location under the name Community Employment Services. The new name will reflect Niagara’s role in the community, stated former manager Clara Fisher. “We’ll have a lot more space to accommodate partnerships,” added Rebecca Nicholls, current Manager of Community Employment Services. “We’re very excited to be able to offer more services to our clients, and to bring Niagara College into the downtown community in an enhanced capacity.” A Niagara release states that the unit includes employment support for job seekers, a resource centre, workshops, and assistance for employers. Niagara

UCalgary signs MOU with German group to advance energy research

The University of Calgary and Germany’s Max Planck society have signed an MOU to facilitate research collaboration and exchange on the geopolitical implications of energy use. “We have incredible expertise in the humanities and social sciences focused on the transition to a low-carbon economy,” stated UCalgary VP of Research Ed McCauley. “This partnership with the Max Planck Society presents an opportunity to participate in world-class international teamwork.” The partners celebrated the MOU by holding a four-day workshop that featured five visiting scholars from Germany and UCalgary professors. UCalgary

Emmanuel sells land for residential development

Emmanuel Bible College has sold half of its property, the Waterloo Region Record reports. College President Stephen Roy stated that enrolments have steadily declined over the last five years as potential students increasingly opt for Master’s degrees or online studies. “One of the results of enrolment declining was financial challenges,” Roy said. “We had run some deficits and we knew we couldn't do that for much longer.” According to the Record, the buyer hopes to build an apartment and several townhouses, a plan that has generated pushback from residents. The buyer stated that he plans to preserve as much of the original site as he can. Waterloo Region Record

NBCC Moncton expects international enrolments to double in 2018-19 academic year

New Brunswick Community College expects to receive 200 international students at its Moncton campus in the upcoming academic year, reports CBC, a number that is double that of the 2017-2018 academic year. NBCC’s Director of International Education Ryan Sullivan said the extra money brought in by international tuition will be reinvested in student programs, faculty, and infrastructure. According to a study cited by CBC, an international student spends an average of $30K per year, and those who visit those students bring in an additional $3M in tourism to Atlantic Canada. While NBCC prioritizes domestic students, CBC states that it will add instructors or additional classes to accommodate international enrolments. CBC

Fleming receives funding for experiential learning from ON

Fleming College has announced it will receive $350K from the provincial government’s Career Ready Fund to support experiential learning. “The funding will help us provide new or enhanced initiatives for students in programs where these experiences may not have previously been available to ensure every student participates in some sort of experiential learning,” said Fleming VP Academic Tom Weegar. According to a Fleming release, the funds will facilitate block placements based on community needs, integrated-service learning courses, standardization of co-ops, consulting opportunities for computer engineering and computer security students, the cultivation of Indigenous placements sites, and greater accessibility tools in placement sites. Fleming

Study seeks insight into transgender, gender-nonconforming students’ needs

While the issue of gender-neutral bathrooms tops the list of priorities for transgender and gender-nonconforming students, a new survey sheds light on a number of other services that these students require, writes Jeremy Bauer-Wolf. After appropriate restrooms, the most commonly requested services were non-discrimination policies and an organization specifically for LGBTQ groups. Bauer-Wolf reports that the researchers also asked their respondents open-ended questions about how institutions could better serve their needs. Here, respondents wanted better training for faculty and staff on transgender issues, and easier means to change their names with university administration. Inside Higher Ed

NS invests $1.45M to expand Early Childhood Education Program at NSCC

The Nova Scotia government has announced that it will invest $1.45M to support the Early Childhood Education Program at Nova Scotia Community College. The Chronicle Herald reports that the money will go toward 135 new seats over the next three years. “Families need child care and early learning opportunities and want a child care sector that is prepared to meet their changing needs,” said NS Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Zach Churchill. NS also reported plans to introduce an $800K tuition support program for NS residents who enrol in early childhood programs through one of three private colleges. Chronicle Herald| Global News