Top Ten

March 15, 2019

NU cuts funding to Inuit college

The Nunavut government has pulled funding for the country’s oldest Inuit post-secondary institution, prompting an outcry from community leaders, reports CBC. After Nunavut Sivuniksavut reached the end of its three-year funding cycle for $175K annually, Minister of Family Services Elisapee Sheutiapik told a committee that her department would not renew its commitment to the school. NU Premier Joe Savikataaq told CBC that the government has started looking to other departments as possible sources of funding, but Nunavut Tunngavik President Aluki Kotierk said that a letter written by the Premier about the matter did not indicate that the territory might consider alternative revenue streams. CBC (NU)

Former UBC Board member charged in US admissions scandal

The University of British Columbia told the Globe and Mail that it does not plan to change the name of a sports field named after Vancouver businessman and former Board of Governors member David Sidoo, who was recently arrested as part of a massive US college admissions scandal. According to an indictment, Sidoo allegedly paid William Singer, the owner of Edge College & Career Network, over US $200K to hire another person to write SATs for his two sons. The Globereports that Sidoo has stepped down as CEO of East West Petroleum in the wake of the allegations. Globe and Mail(subscription required) CBC (BC)

Garn: Faster is not better when it comes to student learning

“Faster students are smarter students,” or so many people still believe, writes Myk Garn. The author notes that that many learning systems are still designed to disproportionately reward fast learners, even though speed is “rarely an equitable measure of performance—or potential.” The recognition that people learn at different speeds, and that there is little connection between speed and mastery, is slowly dawning on higher education, Garn adds, but schools still need to do more to break from the notion that faster is better when it comes to learning. Garn concludes that equality does not mean learning at the same rate; rather, “giving all students the time to achieve proficiency is equality.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Canada pledges $1.5M to reduce emissions at USask

The University of Saskatchewan will receive $1.5M from the Government of Canada to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus. The project will analyze emissions from 26 on-campus buildings and identify ways to reduce their electricity and natural gas consumption. “The most obvious impact of climate change in Saskatchewan is the increasing frequency and severity of damaging weather, including storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires,” said Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale. “The costs in the last few years have added up to hundreds of millions of dollars. So doing nothing about climate change is not cost-free.” StarPhoenix (SK)

Vaillancourt: Beware the “Ringelmann Effect”

Are there too many people on your management team or internal committee? According to a workplace principle called the Ringelmann Effect, the answer might be yes, writes Allison Vaillancourt. The Ringelmann Effect states that as the number of members on a team increases, the individual effort expended by each team member decreases. The reason for this, the author notes, is that “people in large groups fail to exert exceptional effort because they are saving their energy for work that will lead to individual recognition.” The author describes several scenarios where this effect might play out in a post-secondary setting, and offers several suggestions for mitigating it. Chronicle of Higher Education

Bachelor of bagpipes? UPEI and College of Piping to collaborate

The University of Prince Edward Island and College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada are in discussions to introduce joint course offerings, with the possibility of more involved collaborations between the two institutions in the future. According to the Journal Pioneer, the college’s reputation for world-class performance and training has intrigued UPEI for years. A new performance centre at the college has renewed interest about possible partnerships. Neb Kujundzic, Dean of the Faculty of Arts at UPEI, said that a collaboration could open opportunities for both schools to become “leaders” in Acadian and Indigenous music, creative movement, history, and culture. Journal Pioneer (PEI)

UQAM launches certificate in critical studies of sexuality

The Université du Quebec à Montreal has announced the launch of the Certificat en études critiques des sexualités, which the university says will be the first program of its kind in the province’s Francophone universities. The program will address the study of sexualities through an interdisciplinary and socio-political perspective, offering courses on contemporary issues, epistemology, and the history of the topic. Professor Philippe-Benoit Côté explained that the certificate will provide a venue of study for people from different fields who are not necessarily interested in becoming sexologists. UQAM (QC)

NSCC partners with IBM, province to prep NS high schoolers for tech

Nova Scotia Community College has partnered with the provincial government and IBM for a pilot program geared at preparing high school students for careers in the technology sector. An IBM release states that the Technology Advantage Program—inspired by IBM's Pathways in Technology Early College High School—runs from Grade 9-12 before students work toward a two-year technology diploma at NSCC, with the provincial government covering tuition. The 80 students enrolled in the program will have access to mentorship opportunities, internships, and co-op placements, the release adds. "This new and unique program will help address future labour market needs in our province's growing technology sector,” said NS Premier Stephen McNeil. Newswire (NB)

MB changes Private Vocational Institutions Act to better protect students

The Province of Manitoba has introduced changes to the Private Vocational Institutions Act that will increase protections for students. “We want to modernize the rules for Manitoba’s system of private vocational institutions so students can make well-informed choices on where to study,” said Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen. “These changes would increase transparency and accountability and reduce red tape, so institutions can focus on students’ results instead of paperwork.” Goertzen added that the changes will help the private vocational institutions to enhance their reputation and integrity. The amendment is the first update to the act since 2002. MB (MB)

NBCC announces changes, new offerings for 2019-20

New Brunswick Community College is introducing two new programs for the 2019-20 academic year. Automotive Technology, a two-year diploma program, will provide skills training in electronics, diagnostics, and new automotive technologies such as hybrid and electric vehicles. Information Technology: Data Analytics is a post-graduate diploma for adult learners with backgrounds in relevant fields. NBCC adds that it will also adjust some of its course offerings. A blended Personal Support Worker program will provide access to learners who might not be able to travel to campus. Additionally, the college states it will convert its Building Engineering Technology: Building Systems and Electrical: Construction programs to more in-demand program areas, suspend the Fuel Tech program, and discontinue Plumbing. NBCC (NB)