Top Ten

August 21, 2018

CBIE calls on Canada to invest $10M in outward student mobility

The Canadian Bureau for International Education is calling on the Federal Government to invest $10M to support outward student mobility, reports The Pie News. A “very limited” number of Canadian students currently take part in international education experiences, and the proposal aims to ultimately see a quarter of all Canadian students embark on government-supported study abroad by 2028. “We recommend that the government initially invest $10 million in a five-year program allowing Canadian high school, college and university students to take advantage of international learning programs,” said CBIE Interim President Larissa Bezo. “Most educational institutions offer learning abroad opportunities, but the overall uptake is low.” The Pie News | CBIE (PDF)

What to do when the future of skills is so unclear: Quan

It’s no secret that the future of in-demand skills is a murky one for Canada, writes Grace Quan of Hydrogen in Motion, adding that “in such an uncertain state, admitting that we simply don’t know what exact skills we’ll need in the future may be the most important step.” What is clear, the author notes, is that this uncertain future will require graduates who are both technically and emotionally adaptable to a changing work landscape. “To succeed in a digital future, Canadian companies do not need young workers to arrive fully formed,” Quan concludes. “What we need are flexible workers whose combination of hard and soft skills provide the foundation they will need to keep pace with the challenges they face.” The Province

MUN works to recover digital archive, library information lost in server crash

A server crash during routine maintenance at Memorial University’s Queen Elizabeth II library resulted in the loss of library information and a major digital archive, reports CBC. MUN Communications Manager David Sorensen stated that the institution has managed to restore half of the data so far and is working to recover the rest. The QEII servers housed library information and a 70 terabyte digital archive containing documents, artifact records, photographs, and newspapers from Newfoundland and Labrador history. “All of those documents and artifacts are still in one piece in our archives in our library; however, digitally we have to restore all of that to get it back,” Sorenson said. CBC

Pearson moves to create “The Netflix of Education”

The 174-year-old company Pearson has announced that it will provide what commentators have dubbed an “all-you-can-eat” subscription version of textbook purchasing. Under this model, a student would pay a set rate per semester and gain unlimited access to new copies of the latest books provided by the publisher. Forbes magazine reports that the platform “will be highly scalable, global in nature, high-quality, and one that can deliver all of their experiences around the world to millions of learners.” Yet critics like Matt Reed have pointed out the limitations of the service, such as the fact that it will only provide access to Pearson-published materials, and therein might give undue incentive to faculty to use Pearson-published books in order to maximize the value of a subscription. Forbes | Inside Higher Ed

UOITFA first union in Ontario to win consolidation of bargaining units under new labour relations act

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association is reportedly the first union in Ontario to win a consolidation of units under the labour relations provisions enacted in 2017. The Ontario Labour Relations Board agreed to consolidate the three bargaining units represented by the UOITFA into a single unit with one collective agreement. OCUFA states that for UOITFA, acting as one consolidated unit will mean it can dedicate all of its resources to getting industry competitive terms and conditions for all of its members. OCUFA

Global university rankings filled with pitfalls, must be improved: Altbach

Despite the difficulties of measuring the quality of universities worldwide, the race is on to establish a way of doing so, writes Philip Atlbach. The author outlines the numerous rankings mechanisms that currently exist and highlights the ways in which they fall short of reliability. Further, Altbach argues that the amount of influence that existing rankings have on student decisions can have negative consequences around the globe. That said, Altbach insists that the work of creating better quality metrics should continue, concluding that “in a globalised world with mobile students, graduates and professionals, we need better information on how to evaluate an individual’s capabilities and competencies.” University World News

Why a faculty member would physically collapse after landing her “dream job”

Despite feeling valued and appreciated at her “dream job” as a tenure track professor, Katerina Bodovski recounts how she was still unable to fend off physical collapse. The author notes that while many individual tasks and stresses led to her collapse, the true culprit was the dissolution of the boundary between her work life and personal life. One of the great benefits of being a tenure-track professor is the freedom to have a flexible work schedule, Bodovski writes, yet she adds that “we are so free to work whenever we want that many of us end up working all the time, not having full weekends and rarely taking off more than just a few days, despite popular perceptions to the contrary.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Network brings together Indigenous students, health professionals

The newly launched Quebec Indigenous Mentorship Network aims to provide culturally-grounded support for Indigenous students studying health sciences. The network is one of eight based in a First Nations community and is funded by the Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “For me, it is just like a natural part of research training, especially when we're talking about health research and Indigenous communities,” said mentor Treena Delormier, adding that she wanted to pay forward the benefits she gleaned from her own mentors in research. “Our history of health is so contextualized in this specific context of colonisation. It's a complex situation and I think that any research mentoring is going to be helpful, but this particular network is focused on Indigenous communities building capacity.” CBC

BUSU plans smaller social for orientation

Brandon University’s Student Union has announced that they will be planning a smaller social for orientation after consecutive years of organizing the events at a loss. “Consecutive years of organizing these events at a loss has meant that we’ve decided that the risk of organizing such a large-scale event is too substantial,” said BUSU president Justin Shannon at a city council meeting. “This year, we wanted to have an event that we thought we could make both very successful and viable in the long term if subsequent councils want to continue to do this type of event.” Shannon added that the union hopes the new, smaller event will help newcomers to Brandon meet and form connections with other students and community members. Brandon Sun

WLU urging students to live more sustainably on campus

Staff and faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University are redoubling their efforts to get students to live more sustainably in preparation for the beginning of the 2018 Fall semester, reports CBC. Officials at the school note that one of the biggest sustainability issues lies in making wasteful decisions. An annual waste audit performed by the school in March 2018 found that plastic takeout containers and coffee cups were among the highest on the list of contaminants. Another major culprit was food waste. Lazaridis School of Business marketing professor Kalyani Menon says that for the most part, students are invested in sustainability on paper, but that the real challenge is in closing the gap between their concerns and their habits. CBC