Top Ten

October 10, 2018

Fraudsters target UWaterloo in student visa scam

Investigators have discovered a cottage industry of fake student visa producers that are helping foreign nationals gain illegal entry into Canada, reports the Waterloo Region Record. The University of Waterloo has become a favourite target for the fraudsters, the Record adds. “It's unfortunate that anyone would use our well-earned reputation for this kind of thing,” said Matthew Grant, UWaterloo’s Director of Media Relations. “We're not surprised that someone might target the University of Waterloo, only because we have a really good reputation.” According to Statistics Canada, 1,195 of 317,000 student visas granted in the first half of 2018 were deemed fraudulent. Waterloo Region Record

Tenure and promotion committees still prioritize publications over community: study

A new study out of Simon Fraser Universityhas found that Canadian university guidelines on tenure and promotion continue to prioritize publication metrics over community engagement. “Universities talk in a grandiose way about fulfilling the public mission. But when we look at the documents, they aren’t necessarily walking the walk,” lead researcher Juan Pablo Alperin told Nature. “There’s a huge disconnect.” Alperin’s team looked at 864 documents from 129 universities that concerned hiring and promotion decisions. According to Inside Higher Ed, the researchers found “relatively few” references to keywords such as “community” and “public,” but almost all of the documents referenced quantified research outputs such as journal articles or books at least once. Inside Higher Ed| Nature

Trent becomes first PSE institution in Canada to deploy digital bus pass

Trent University, the Trent Central Student Association, and the City of Peterborough are piloting the first digital transit pass for post-secondary students, according to a Trent release. “Our new digital transit pass is an effort to keep transit service in the palm of student’s hands,” stated TCSA President Brandon Remmelgas. “Our goal is to prevent students from having to carry around a different card for each service they need to access, and it has the added bonus of reducing the number of plastic cards being printed on an annual basis.” Trent adds that over 4,000 passes have been downloaded from the pilot’s digital card app. Trent

Humber adopts Okanagan Charter

Humber College reports that it has become the first college/polytechnic to adopt the Okanagan Charter, which calls on PSE institutions in Canada to mandate health and well-being as a priority for all campus practices. “By striving to be the healthiest campus in Canada, we want to create an environment where we are more reflective and more intentional about identifying the health and wellness needs of all members of our community,” stated Humber President Chris Whittaker. Humber Dean of Students Jen McMillen added that the signing of the Charter is the first in a number of commitments that the college has made to improve campus wellness. Humber

Student leaves StFX after alleged rapist permitted to return

A St Francis Xavier student who was found responsible for raping a fellow student has been permitted to return to campus, reports CBC. Although the university initially suspended the student for a year, it later lifted the suspension while reportedly failing to notify the victim of its decision. StFX claims that it was legally obligated to maintain the accused’s access to education after he appealed the university’s ruling, but a legal expert told CBC that the suspension could have continued until an ongoing criminal investigation was resolved. The victim, who declined to be interviewed, left StFX after she learned of the university’s decision. CBC

Why today’s students don’t care about privacy the way previous generations have

Across the US, post-secondary students are consenting to have their irises scanned to receive admission to a meal hall, or having their phones’ location functions indicate to their schools whether they’re attending classes. Members of an older generation see these developments as significant violations of privacy, write David Rosen and Aaron Santesso, but the fact remains that members of younger generations respond to these developments with either indifference or outright enthusiasm. The authors note how this generational divide can be broken down by looking at two views of privacy, one in which privacy is transactional and can be readily exchanged for convenience or economic benefit, and one in which privacy is a spiritual necessity for the development of the inner self. Chronicle of Higher Education(Subscription Required)

UOttawa study to gauge success of retention initiative for Francophone students

A new study from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario led by Patrick Gaudreau has sought to apply the principles of the Promotion of Academic Success of Students program to francophone learners at the University of Ottawa. The study’s authors state that PASS is designed to “help first‐year students set academic goals, plan for achieving those goals, and cope with the challenges and stressors of their university lives, with the overall goal of improving academic performance and retention.” According to the authors, the findings will be used to develop a strategy for institutionalizing PASS interventions. A HEQCO release notes that if PASS effectively improves Francophone retention, the initiative might be implemented at other Francophone institutions. HECQO | report (PDF)

Six tips for first-gen graduates seeking a career

“Finding your career path after graduate school can be daunting when you come from a family in which your parents did not graduate from college and are not in professional roles,” writes Helen Pho. The author looks to address this challenge by offering six tips aimed at first-generation post-secondary graduates searching for a career: network to find out how others prepare for careers; cultivate strong professional relationships; bet on yourself and say yes; do something outside your research to gain professional experience; take advantage of career services; and develop your network of peer mentors. “Some advice might seem obvious,” adds Pho, “but I hope the reasoning behind why each action is important can empower students who may not have career support from their families to feel confident in forging their own paths.” Inside Higher Ed

Camosun, NSCC team up with industry partner to support marine industry training

Camosun College and Nova Scotia Community College have partnered with Thales Canada to help meet the demand for the specialized skills required to complex marine maintenance and repair work. The partnership will see the participants engage in a bi-coastal analysis of the supply chain for professionals who can provide in-service marine support, with an aim to supporting the needs of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships built under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. A Camosun release notes that the first step under this agreement is a work force study that will provide insight into the marine in-service supply chains and inform industry and the colleges’ approach as they develop new and enhanced programming. Camosun

MUN student says psychologist’s past misconduct should be disclosed

A Memorial University student who learned of a school psychologist’s past sexual misconduct from a Google search is “furious” that the university has let him continue practicing at its counselling centre. Eve Naji told CBC that she left her initial appointment with Michael Doyle at MUN’s Student Wellness and Counselling Centre feeling optimistic that he could help her, but later found that Doyle had pleaded guilty before a tribunal to sexual misconduct with a female student between 2001 and 2005. MUN Associate Academic VP Sean Cadigan said that the university signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlined sanctions against Doyle at the time, and that he returned to full duties after the MOU’s stipulations were fulfilled. CBC