Top Ten

December 14, 2018

Government funding drops, tuition rises in overall makeup of PSE institution revenues: StatsCan

Statistics Canada reports that revenue for Canada's 166 public colleges, CEGEPs, and polytechnics rose from $8.7B in 2015/16 to $8.9B in 2016/17. While provincial and territorial funding has remained steady since 2012/13 at $5.2B per year, the proportion of total revenue represented by this funding dropped by 4.5% in 2016/17. StatCan adds that student fee revenue has increased by 27.2% since 2012/13—up from $1.9B to $2.4B—and that the 55% uptick in international students is a key factor in this increase. Net capital expenditures, meanwhile, decreased slightly, while expenditures devoted to staff compensation have not changed since 2012/13. The sponsored research fund rose from $60.1M in 2015/16 to $70.5M in 2016/17. StatsCan (National)

Queen's researcher gets seven years for poisoning colleague

Queen’s University chemistry researcher Zijie Wang has received a prison term of seven years for poisoning a post-doctoral fellow in his research group. Justice Allan G Letourneau explained that Wang appeared to have plead guilty in the face of the Crown’s compelling case, but not out of remorse. Letourneau further added that “whatever the reason for the poisoning, [...] the perniciousness of the crimes is immensely disproportionate to whatever issue(s) Mr Wang had with (the victim).” The motive for the crime is unclear, and it remains a mystery how Wang obtained the N-DMA, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Queen’s has issued a statement expressing compassion for the victim and his family. Ottawa Citizen| Queen's (ON)

Teaching human skills in business poses serious challenges, but remains vital: Conference Board 

Canada’s employers find that graduates lack advanced human skills like social and emotional intelligence, according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. The report also finds that business schools face significant difficulty in incorporating human skills training in classroom curricula, owing to challenges around assessing learning outcomes and meeting accreditation standards. The report notes that currently, “most human skills training happens outside the classroom, in the form of extracurricular, non-credit initiatives,” but adds that moving forward, it will be imperative for Canada’s business schools to find new and innovative ways to bring human skills training into the classroom. Conference Board of Canada (PDF) (National)

Camosun celebrates opening of Career Lab

Camosun College has officially opened its new Career Lab, a hub for careers, co-op, and applied learning at the college. A Camosun release states that the Lab will emphasize the college’s expanded services and new approach to holistic, applied learning. “The new space is a tremendous improvement and will allow us to offer more innovative services and approaches,” said Nancy Sly, Camosun Director of Applied Learning, Co-operative Education and Career Services. Camosun has also launched the Camosun Cuisine Machine, a new food truck that Culinary Arts Chair Steve Walker-Duncan described as “the perfect vehicle for applied learning, pun intended.” Camosun (BC)

Canada needs to talk about race and student outcomes: Robson

Canadian policy analysts have focused on how income-inequality and gender determine student success, but data on race and ethnicity is sorely lacking, argues Karen Robson. While the success of immigrant children has been touted as proof of Canada’s progressive stance on racial equity, the author states that current benchmarks do not differentiate between countries of origin. Additionally, a new initiative by some provinces to ask Indigenous students to self-identify has not been applied to other racialized students. Robson also warns policy-makers against lumping all non-whites together as a homogenous group, as different ethnic groups experience unequal degrees and types of systemic discrimination. McMaster (The Conversation) (National)

UOttawa says SFUO services will continue through April 2019

After announcing that it would cut ties with its embattled student federation, the University of Ottawa has announced that services provided by the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa will continue through April of 2019, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Although a forensic audit of the federation by an external firm found no evidence of fiscal malfeasance, the university has stated that it does not have confidence in the SFUO’s ability to govern. The Citizen adds that all but two of the SFUO’s executives have resigned. One of them, Paige Booth, stated that the SFUO is committed to overhauling its governance structures and putting stronger financial controls in place. Students will hold a referendum on the SFUO in February. Ottawa Citizen (ON)

HEC Montréal, Universidad del Pacifico sign dual degree agreement

HEC Montréal and the Universidad del Pacifico, located in Peru, have partnered on the creation of a double undergraduate degree in business administration. HEC faculty will travel to Peru in Fall 2019 to give program courses in a hybrid format, and a cohort of Peruvian students will travel to Montréal in 2020 to continue their studies in a Bachelor’s in Business Administration program. The students will return to Peru to complete their program and, upon graduation, will earn a BBA from HEC and a Licenciado en Administración from Pacifico. HEC Montréal (QC)

UBCO partners with veterinary hospital for therapy dogs health and safety program

UBC Okanagan and the Pandosy Village Veterinary Hospital have partnered on the development of a health and safety program for therapy dogs. “Our staff and volunteers are already trained in dog stress reduction, so therapy sessions are positive for everyone involved,” said UBCO BARK program manager John-Tyler Binfet. “A well-researched, modern health program for the dogs is the next logical step.” The partnership is focused on developing health-care standards for therapy dogs, policies to address the transfer of disease between pets and humans, and a publication on how to keep therapy dogs safe on campus. The veterinary hospital is also offering reduced health-care costs for BARK volunteer handlers. UBCO (BC)

UPEI Student Union looks at shared student housing with seniors

The University of Prince Edward Island’s Student Union is exploring the option of shared student-senior housing, CBC has learned. Emma Drake, VP Academic and External at the UPEI Student Union, told CBC that the idea was inspired by the success of a similar initiative at McMaster University, and that a small survey about the idea generated favourable responses from students. The union has also been in contact with Clifford Lee, the special adviser for the province's housing action plan. Drake added that the UPEI Student Union will contact other community groups who might be interested in the project. CBC (PEI)

ENAP, IIIDEV UET establish continuing education partnership in Tunisia

École nationale d'administration publique, Institut international d’Innovation pour le développment, and the Université Européenne de Tunis have established a partnership supporting continuing education in the Tunisian capital of Tunis. As of February 2019, two university certificate programs will be available: one focused on performance management in the public sector and one focused on developmental evaluation. Both programs will involve PIFED, a popular international development evaluation training program. ENAP (QC)