Top Ten

April 1, 2019

Indigenous researchers bring traditional knowledge to academia through Western program

A new program at Western University is looking to develop Indigenous research talent and combine academic research methods with Indigenous ways of knowing. CBC reports that the Learning with Head and Heart program began as a pilot project last year and has already seen positive results. These include the development of curriculum for an undergraduate-level Indigenous music class by program participant Donna Noah, who notes that the program also helped her discover her own aptitude for teaching. The article profiles several participants to provide examples of how the program has succeeded in its mission of combining academic research methods with Indigenous ways of knowing. CBC (ON)

McGill released new survivor-focused Policy against Sexual Violence 

McGill University’s Board of Governors has adopted the school’s new Policy against Sexual Violence, which contains updates to the institution’s initial 2016 policy based on feedback from students and the broader McGill community. A McGill release states that the policy will see the dedication of three full-time staff members to foster safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and work environments for all. The institution notes that it also the first university in Quebec to name an independent expert to receive reports and complaints of sexual violence from survivors and lead independent and impartial investigations. Other changes to the policy include a prohibition against teaching staff entering into a romantic or sexual relationship with students over whom they have authority or influence, as well as mandatory training for faculty, staff, and students. McGill (QC)

Stoller: Student Affairs professionals must adapt to the unique aspects of online learning 

Online education “isn’t a new, distant frontier that the student affairs profession can continue to ignore. Online learners are here,” writes Eric Stoller. Yet the author contends that the student affairs profession and the academic programs related to it have not yet given sufficient attention to how student affairs should be practiced in the online context. When discussing the various forms that this transformation should take, Stoller notes that “it's not as if it's about a direct transfer of campus-based programs/initiatives into digital spaces. It's a fundamentally different mode of engagement where face-to-face communication takes a backseat to digital engagement environments.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

UNB professor agrees with NB minister, calls for removal of Confucius Institute from schools 

Professor Alan Sears of the University of New Brunswick says that he supports the New Brunswick Education minister’s efforts to drive the Confucius Institute out of NB schools. The Confucius Institute is a non-profit public educational organization affiliated with the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, whose stated aim is to promote Chinese language and culture. Sears claims that the Institute, which has operated in at least 28 NB schools, teaches students about Chinese language and culture but avoids discussions of the country's one-party system and its human rights record. “What we want children to understand are much deeper things, and those kinds of things are not covered in that program,” said Sears. CBC (NB)

NWT’s bush university looks to deliver cutting-edge land-based learning with reliable federal funding

The Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning in the Northwest Territories is planning to use $13M in new federal money to diversify its programming across the North, reports CBC. The money was pledged to the institution in the most recent federal budget, and the institution says that reliable funding will allow it to offer “cutting edge Indigenous land-based education.” “To date it's been fairly precarious, our funding situation,” said University of British Columbia Professor Glen Coulthard, who sits on the board of directors and faculty for Dechinta. “Our model is based on self-determination for students so that requires us to move into other areas and learn from the knowledge holders, elders and students in terms of their needs and aspirations for education across the North.” CBC (NWT)

Three tips for PhDs looking to break into alt-ac

According to Jennifer Polk and L Maren Wood, PhDs possess general and specific skillsets that employers across a wide array of sectors prize. The problem for many job-seekers is translating those skillsets into language that is familiar to a non-academic professional context. To that end, Polk and Wood offer three tips for PhDs looking to rebrand themselves for non-academic careers. The authors suggest that job-seekers know how to “speak the language” of a target job sector, reframe the thesis as an example of work experience, and focus on so-called “soft-skills.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Alumni donors strengthen Cambrian’s community ties

The Cambrian College Foundation distributed 350 student bursaries and awards totaling $300K at its annual awards receptions, reports the Sudbury Star. The donors included Cambrian alumni and community stakeholders. “As the current owner, and on behalf of my father Georges and my mother Gisele, who started City Welding more than 45 years ago, we are honoured to play a small part in recognizing the importance of students to our company, and our society in general,” said Rob Brouillette, owner of City Welding. The Star adds that the Cambrian Foundation aims to enhance the student experience through its awards program, capital initiatives, procurement of equipment and services, and on-campus community-building. Sudbury Star (ON)

UVic students protest international tuition hikes

Approximately 100 University of Victoria students jammed into a recent Board of Governors meeting to protest tuition hikes for international students. According to the Victoria Times Colonist, the Board agreed to a 4% increase for international undergraduates who enrolled before April 2018 and a 15% increase for those who enrolled after. Ainsley Kerr, Director of Campaigns for the UVic Students’ Society, said that students object to the two-tiered system. UVic President of Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill told the Times Colonist that the hike was part of a “balancing act” that involved meeting student demand for improved services and managing costs. Victoria Times Colonist (BC)

TRU’s “small but mighty” experiential learning department receives national recognition

Thompson Rivers University’s Career and Experiential Learning department has been granted Co-operative Education Accreditation by Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada. According to Chair and BBA Co-operative Education Coordinator Shawn Read, accreditation means that a program meets national standards, enabling it to expand opportunities for students and to apply for provincial and federal funding. A TRU release states that the department is pushing forward with renewed “vigour and forethought.” “We are a small but mighty department, and it never ceases to impress me what we can achieve,” added Read. TRU (BC)

ÉTS, Réseau ÉTS establish collaboration agreement to provide more supports

The École de technologie supérieure at the Université du Québec has established a new collaboration agreement with Réseau ÉTS, its graduate association. The agreement will see the association receive financial supports for activities and student needs, advisory and administrative work to support the network, and the transfer and management of select partner contracts to ÉTS. Acting Director General and Secretary General Cédrick Pautel acknowledged the contribution of graduates to the development and reputation of the school, and emphasized the school’s interest in maintaining and enhancing the work between the two parties. UQuébec (QC)