Top Ten

January 23, 2019

New ON legislation could badly damage student life, democracy: CASA

“The Government of Ontario recently announced changes to post-secondary education in the province that have serious ramifications for students,” writes the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. The statement comes in response to the Ontario government’s recent announcement that it plans to give students the ability to opt-out of paying a number of existing student fees at colleges and universities, which may include those that support student unions. The statement notes that the government’s emphasis on individual students’ freedom of choice neglects the fact that certain communal goods are only made possible with universal buy-in. It further notes that “It’s disappointing to see government positioning this move as being ‘for the students,’ when in fact these services exist on campus because students democratically voted to have them.” CASA (ON)

Laurentian to return $219K to province after accounting error

CBC has learned that Laurentian University is working on a way to return $219K after it double-billed Ontario for disability funding between 2011 and 2017. According to the Ontario Auditor General’s report, the university applied for bursaries to support students with disabilities through the Ontario Student Assistance Program at the same time as it had already received the same funding through the Ministry’s Integrated Accessibility Fund for Students with Disabilities. The mistake was first reported by a student in 2016, CBC states. CBC adds that Casey Lalonde, a former student, filed a complaint after receiving services she did not need during the same period, and may be the same student who was cited in the Auditor General’s report. CBC (ON)

Student buy-in for curriculum innovation increases with time: Study

A new study out of the US has found that students’ resistance to curriculum innovation decreases as it becomes the norm, reports Colleen Flaherty. The study used an original curriculum called Integrating Biology and Inquiry Skills to investigate both student buy-in over a given period and overall learning gains. Flaherty adds that although student grades did not increase, the study’s instruments found demonstrated learning gains between 19% and 75% in terms of content knowledge, with corresponding increases of 30-50% in skills. The study’s authors also noted the importance of faculty buy-in, stating that the demonstrable decrease in student resistance necessitated the need for faculty to understand the time-frame over which those attitudes change. Inside Higher Ed (International)

McMaster researchers collaborate with Six Nations knowledge holders

Global Water Futures, a seven-year research program out of the University of Saskatchewan, is funding a collaboration between McMaster University researchers and traditional knowledge holders on Six Nations of the Grand River. A release states that the collaboration will focus on water-related issues of training, wellness and resilience, and governance. “We want to develop an enduring legacy of Indigenous knowledge harmonization with western science through the co-creation of sustainable water management pathways for the community,” said Dawn Martin-Hill, the Project Lead and Paul R MacPherson Chair in Indigenous Studies at McMaster. NationTalk (ON)

Indian students are UBC’s fastest-growing international group: Study

A new study out of the University of British Columbia reports that although students from China continue to represent the university’s largest international student demographic, Indian students are its largest growing student group. According to the Daily Hive, Indian enrolment in undergraduate programs at UBC’s Vancouver campus increased from 200 students in the 2013-14 academic year to 726 in 2017-18. Chinese enrolments still comprise an exponentially higher number of students at 4,406, but Chinese enrolment numbers between 2013-14 and 2017-18 have increased by 147% compared to the 263% increase in Indian students. Daily Hive (BC)

Brescia collaborates with Hamilton Health Sciences for practicum opportunity

Brescia University College and Hamilton Health Sciences Centre have signed a collaborative agreement that enables students in the Diploma in Dietetic Education and Practical Training program to complete their year-long practical education at HHS. “Hamilton Health Sciences has a highly-regarded accredited dietetic practicum program that will be instrumental in developing the competencies our students need to become a Registered Dietitian,” said Paula Dworatzek, Chair of the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at Brescia. A Brescia release adds that HSS will accept 12 students per year for the practicum. Brescia (ON)

RDC unveils wellness facility

Red Deer College has officially opened the BMO Financial Group Wellness Studio. According to an RDC release, BMO donated $300K to support the facility, which features floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the NOVA Chemicals Waskasoo Creek Nature Walk on the south end. “We’re grateful, and proud to acknowledge, the strong support that BMO Financial Group has provided to Red Deer College, to support our students and community today and in the future,” said RDC President Joel Ward. “We have a shared vision for our region, as community leaders who recognize that we have the power to shape the future of our region, our province and our communities by investing in the total wellness of our citizens.” RDC (AB)

Niagara University opens campus in Vaughan

New York-based Niagara University has opened a new campus in the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, the first university in the city. The 12,000-square-foot space will house 300 students, and the university will offer programming with a focus on education. “It has been my dream to bring a university to Vaughan. With focus, discipline and excellent partners, this dream has come true,” said Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua said in a release. “Today is the manifestation of what can be achieved through hard work, dedication and perseverance. It is a great day for our city and Niagara University as we take steps to take charge of our future.” BT Toronto | Newswire (ON)

Lethbridge collaborates with community partners for student-produced web series

Lethbridge College is collaborating with the Lethbridge Mortgage Centre to develop an online home renovation show, reports the Lethbridge Herald. “Flipped Out,” a six-episode web series, will bring students from Lethbridge’s Digital Communication and Media program together with more than 30 industry partners to tell a story about the renovation project. “Our students are getting to experience what it is like to work in a real-world video production environment,” said George Gallant, Lethbridge College DCM instructor. “They are also getting added mentoring from video industry professionals from the community.” The Herald adds that the LMC will donate the proceeds from the home sale to Lethbridge. Lethbridge Herald (AB)

Tuition cut to leave Brock with $15M shortfall

The St Catharines Standard reports that Brock University will face a $15M shortfall in light of the provincial government’s announcement that it willcut tuition fees by 10%.In a written statement, Brock President Gervan Fearon added that Brock’s operating budget for next year will suffer a $3.8M deficit on top of this year’s $15M. Niagara West MPP Brock Oosterhoff said the changes are meant to help resolve the “frustration and financial distress” of current post-secondary students. The Standard states that many students are concerned about the government’s plan, and that an online petition called "Stop Doug Ford's Cuts to OSAP" has garnered over 74,000 signatures. Niagara Falls Review (St Catharines Standard) (ON)