Top Ten

December 19, 2018

Ontario colleges release free speech policy

Ontario’s 24 colleges have developed a free speech policy ahead of the provincial government’s January 2019 deadline, reports the Canadian Press. The policy, penned by a task force of college leaders in collaboration with the College Student Alliance and legal experts, defines freedom of speech as "the right to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn." According to CP, the policy adds that although free speech is to be protected, speech that violates the law or the Ontario Human rights code is not allowed. Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government said that the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario will monitor compliance as of September 2019. CBC (CP)

CEGEPs ban intimate relationships between students, staff

Cégep de Sainte-Foy has announced that, as of August 1, 2019, intimate relationships between students and staff members will be banned. Journal de Montréal states that the CEGEP will also set up a one-stop space to offer services and handle complaints and reports. The action follows a policy established by the previous Government of Quebec requiring all CEGEPs and universities in the province to adopt policies that address sexual violence. The Journal adds that Cégep Édouard-Montpetit à Longueuil also plans to prohibit these relationships, while Cégep Garneau has submitted a policy with similar measures. Cégep Limoilou has postponed adopting a policy until next year. Journal de Montréal

StatsCan compares full-time teaching staff at universities

Statistics Canada has released an infographic comparing the number and make up of full-time teaching staff at Canadian Universities in 2017/2018 to those in previous years. The infographic notes that, since the end of mandatory retirement legislation, the number of professors over the age of 65 has increased sixfold. While almost 90% of full-time academic staff were men in 1957, women occupied 40% of these positions in 2017. While men outnumber women at the full professor level, StatCan states that the lower ranks see more equal representation. StatsCan


UPEI sees increase in fraudulent international student applications

The University of Prince Edward Island states that it has seen an increase in fraudulent international student applications in the 2017-2018 academic year. Two years ago, the university only saw ten fraudulent applications, explained UPEI Director of Recruitment and International Admissions Jerry Wang, while the 2017-2018 academic year saw nearly 50. “I guess they probably just want to work illegally,” Wang said. “It's a much bigger topic than just studying.” Wang stated that the trend does not reflect on the legitimate international students at the university, who have “added a lot to the community,” but that the added work needed to filter out fraudulent documents could result in legitimate students facing delays. CBC


URegina men’s basketball player granted eligibility following “compassionate appeal”

After learning that its football team rostered an ineligible player in the fall, the University of Regina announced that one of its men’s basketball players might have been ineligible, as well. According to CBC, the football violation, which forced the team to forfeit three wins, prompted URegina to conduct a full review of its students athletes. Lisa Robertson, Director of Sport, Community Engagement and Athlete Development, said that the university initially believed the basketball player was eligible, but realized upon review that U SPORTS, the governing body for Canadian university athletics, might disagree. Although U SPORTS initially designated the player as ineligible, the Regina Leader-Post says that he was reinstated following a “compassionate appeal.” CBC | Regina Leader-Post


RRC inaugurates Indigenous Social Enterprise program

Red River College hosted over twenty industry partners to inaugurate its two-year diploma in Indigenous Social Enterprise this week. An RRC release explains that the program gives students the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience with for-profit, non-profit, and cooperatively structured social enterprises. “Over this semester students have met with different social enterprises not just here in Winnipeg, but in Fisher River Cree Nation as well,” said Richard Tuck, Coordinator for the Social Enterprise Program. “After months of work and over 150 social enterprises mapped out, our students will share their work with and connect to industry leaders who are driving social change across Manitoba.” Nation Talk


U of T Kinesiology, Phys Ed faculty expands graduate supports

The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education has announced that it expand graduate student support programs and increase minimum base funding for PhDs. “We continually seek additional ways to support the academic success of our graduate students,” said Wendy Pais, Faculty Director of Student Services. “In the near future, this will include the provision of peer mentorship and professional skills development through embedded learning strategists, career educators, accessibility advisors and health and wellness counsellors.” U of T

UCN opens workforce development centre

University College of the North has opened the Swan Valley Workforce Development Centre. A release states that the Centre will give industry partners and stakeholders the opportunity to shape relevant training in the region. “The Swan Valley Workforce Development Centre will serve as the direct link between UCN and the training needs of our industry partners and stakeholders in Swan River and the surrounding area” said Doug Lauvstad, President and Vice-Chancellor of UCN. “This Centre ensures that UCN continues to be a participatory member in the economic development of the communities we serve.” UCN


Cambrian introduces mechatronics program

A new mechatronics program at Cambrian College will train engineering technicians and technologists who can build, program, operate, and repair machines, reports CBC. Joanne MacLellan, Dean of the School of Engineering Technology, said that the college decided to introduce the program after hearing from industry professionals. "I don't think most people realize how automated everything is in terms of the industry. It is actually very high tech," MacLellan said. According to CBC, Northern Ontario provides mining parts and equipment to the rest of the world, making the supply sector one of the fastest growing in the province. CBC


Brian Oliu reflects on pedagogy and football

Drawing on college football as an analogy, Brian Oliu reflects upon the relationship between performance, adaptability, and traditionalism as distinct aspects of teaching. The author finds that although he has refined his delivery as a lecturer, he is not always confident that he has improved as a teacher. Oliu adds that his experiences with Generation Z students have prompted him to retool some of his teaching processes while maintaining his general approach. Citing the head coach of his college’s men’s football team, Oliu says that he does not think in terms of “wins” and ‘losses,” and focuses instead on “the smaller things,” such as instilling good habits, correcting errors, and providing instant feedback. Inside Higher Ed