Top Ten

September 6, 2018

Recognizing the value of international students, improving the student experience: CASA report

International students are invaluable members of post-secondary communities, which is why Canadian governments and institutions must do everything they can to ensure that these students experience a truly high-quality education in a welcoming and inclusive environment, according to a new report from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. The report outlines the numerous benefits that international students bring to Canada’s economy, workforce, and post-secondary culture. It then provides a number of recommendations on how to better recognize and reward international students for bringing such value by investing in the quality of the international student experience. CASA | Report (PDF)

UNB launches master’s in quantitative investment

The University of New Brunswick has launched a Master in Quantitative Investment Management program. The program aims to give students the tools to work in the environment of quantitative finance, and will qualify graduates to work for pension funds, hedge funds, investing consulting firms, and more. “This program is directed towards a very niche market, but a market that is growing rapidly and needs to be filled,” says Faculty of Business Administration Dean Dev Mitra. “There is a big demand for the skill sets that come with the knowledge of quantitative finance and they are becoming necessary in this industry.” UNB

NB facing shortage of teachers, needs more graduates says NBTA

Over the next five years, over 1,000 teaching jobs are expected to be available in New Brunswick, and the President of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association is concerned that there are not enough university graduates to fill the roles. “I don't believe we have adequate numbers coming out of the universities to fill those roles,” said NBTA President George Daley, “We don't have any teachers.” Daley explained that French immersion teacher positions were particularly high in demand, and that the province was also in need of more supply teachers. CBC

Seriously ill international students could be forced to leave Manitoba under new health insurance plan

Under the terms of Manitoba’s new health insurance rules, international students who suffer serious illnesses might have to return to their countries of origin or lose their insurance coverage, reports CBC. According to Colin Russell, Registrar for the University of Winnipeg, the insurer will help the student return to their country of origin if they are too ill to continue their studies. UWinnipeg has tried to mirror the terms of its previous plan as closely as possible, Russell added. Dele Ojewole, Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students for Manitoba, has called the new insurance rule “inhumane.” CBC

Students share perspectives on good teaching

Harry Brighouse discusses an event at a major US institution in which instructors asked several undergraduate students from a variety of majors to describe instructional practices they found effective, and which they thought should be used more widely. The article describes the students’ recommendations, which include more detailed, step-by-step explanations for complex problems; strategies that encourage students to apply social theory to their lived experiences; the pedagogical value of negative feedback; and grading as a tool for evaluating an instructor’s ability to teach. “Thoughtful students are invaluable resources when we are looking to improve,” the author states, “and their insights are solicited too rarely.” Inside Higher Ed

Kids Help Phone selects UoGuelph to pilot 24/7 crisis text line

The University of Guelph has introduced a 24/7 crisis text line for students who need mental health support. The service connects students to a volunteer crisis responder with Kids Help Phone. “We want our students to know that it’s okay to not be okay, and it’s okay to ask for help,” stated Alison Burnett, UoGuelph Director of Student Wellness. “This text service is available whenever they need it. We’re delighted to offer another source of support to them.” UoGuelph adds that it is the first university to have been selected by Kids Help Phone to pilot the program. UoGuelph

Conestoga president calls for more investment in college programs

In an op-ed for the Waterloo Regional Record, Conestoga College President John Tibbits argues that “monumental changes” in the job market “will require substantial investment in education and training to prepare our future workforce.” As Canada faces an all-time high in job vacancies, Tibbits adds, 77% of employers state that access to talent remains their biggest obstacle for growth. According to Tibbits, Conestoga is responding to the labour shortage by expanding its facilities, programming, and human resources to train qualified workers for the evolving labour market. Waterloo Regional Record

Vancouver transit authority launches grants program for mobility scholars

Vancouver’s transit authority has launched a grant program for academics who study public transit infrastructure in the region, reports the Vancouver Sun. “It’s about trying to establish a better, more formal and ongoing working relationship with our partners in academia, at the universities especially across British Columbia,” said Andrew McCurran, TransLink’s Director of Policy and Planning. According to the Sun, the program’s current round of grants, valued at $50K for each project, will support research from a range of disciplines. The Sun adds that Translink plans to hire up to four UBC students to conduct research on mobility and transportation planning. Vancouver Sun

Micro-apartments provide innovative solution to housing crunch for Maritimes PSE students

Post-secondary students in the Maritimes are facing a housing crunch, reports CBC, which has led one company to seek an innovative solution by providing “micro-apartments.” Micro Boutique Living owns buildings in Wolfville and Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and is developing another in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. While the units are reportedly more expensive than traditional student housing, they come fully furnished and can be rented by the semester. When school gets out for the summer, the apartment buildings become hotels. “It feels like a more mature, and well laid-out dorm,” said Jenna Deighan, a fourth-year student at Acadia. “Just to have a full academic term lease is something that other university towns should look into.” CBC (1) | CBC (2)

App created by UPEI students expands to more universities

A free app developed by two former UPEI students called Bazr is expanding to more universities across North America. The app began as a textbook marketplace to help student save money, and has expanded to allow students to purchase items and find jobs posted by business partners. CBC reports that the app is being expanded to 15 universities, including McGill University, Concordia University, and Dalhousie University; and has plans to be used by 200 universities within a year. “It's a proud moment for a UPEI student as well,” said Bazr co-creator Vimal Ramaka. “It feels great because I'm getting the chance to work on solving an actual problem that I had myself.” CBC