Top Ten

April 2, 2019

ON abolishes mandatory fees to support disability, accessibility on campus

Student fees that support disability and accessibility issues will be deemed optional on some campuses across Ontario, according to Global News. Ontario Training, Colleges, and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton stated that colleges and universities have been given “parameters” for essential student fees, but did not explain why accessibility and disability services are not included at this time. Fullerton’s office later stated that “institutions are expected to cover important accessibility and disability services through their core operating grants.” This is going to be devastating for student life and devastating for the student body,” said Ryerson University student union president Maklane deWever, “so we are trying to pressure the Ford government to reverse the decision.” Global News (ON)

Yukon College receives approval to deliver northern-made BBA

Yukon College has received approval from the Yukon government for its new Bachelor of Business Administration degree program, which is the second degree entirely developed and delivered in a Canadian territory. “The Bachelor of Business Administration will harness Yukon’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to build capacity in students to lead economic development and build prosperous and diverse economies within Canada’s Northern and rural communities,” said Janet Welch, Yukon College Vice President Academic and Student Services. “The […] review process ensures the new degree meets the academic rigour, breadth and depth of national degree standards, while our development process ensures courses are relevant, accessible and grounded in Yukon realities.” Yukon (YK)

Amyot: Budget 2019 supports lifelong learning, but overlooks innovation

“Despite some new funding for research in a variety of sectors where colleges and institutes may be involved in applied research, such as forestry, oil and gas, and entrepreneurship, the [federal government’s] budget measures in this area were not nearly sufficient to meet demand,” writes Colleges and Institutes Canada President Denise Amyot. While Budget 2018 took record steps to support innovation, adds Amyot, the government needs to provide consistent, ongoing funding to accelerate growth and see its 2018 vision through. The author adds that although CICan is concerned about the shortfall in innovation funding, it welcomes the government’s existing support for innovation and training. CICan (National)

UWaterloo announces steep increases for international student tuition

While domestic students will see a reduction in tuition fees next year, the University of Waterloo has announced that it will be raising tuition rate for international students. The Record reports that term tuition for first-year computer science will increase by nearly $10K. Tuition for other first-year undergraduate programs will reportedly rise by 15%, upper-year undergraduate programs will rise by 5%, and graduate student programs will rise by between 3% and 15%. According to UWaterloo’s Board of Governors meeting minutes, “the proposed fees were established before the provincial tuition announcement and are independent from it.” The article notes that students were not consulted on the increases, and that international fees are not regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The Record (ON)

“Golden age” of US international education not likely to return: Fischer

The “golden age” of international education in the US is over, and its end can be attributed to many more factors than an “America First” presidency, writes Karin Fischer. According to the author, notable trends such as a massive decline in foreign language programs and the de-prioritizing of international enrolments predated the last US federal election, suggesting that international education will not regain the status it once had in American higher education. Other factors that have contributed to this decline, the author adds, include growing skepticism toward the monetary incentives around capturing international student tuition and the failure to integrate these students into campus communities. Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

Concordia students report harassment on campus

Several women at Concordia University have reported incidents of strange men stalking them on campus, reports CBC. Student Lisa Komlos told CBC that she was harassed twice, but adds that the men in each scenario seemed to be following a script. After the second incident, Komlos contacted security to make an anonymous complaint, but was told she could not do so. She added that the security officer insisted that she provide her name and student ID. CBC states that Komlos then posted a video to social media to warn other women about the men, after which several other students came forward with their own complaints. In a statement, Concordia said it has increased on-campus security. CBC |Montreal Gazette (QC)

Focus on public education informs new MUN acquisition

CBC reports that Memorial University has acquired the Johnson Geo Centre. According to MUN President Gary Kachanoski, the Johnson Foundation approached the university about taking over the science facility in 2018. "As you might expect, given our budget and fiscal situation … part of our due diligence was to ensure that it would be cost-neutral to us," Kachanoski said, adding that the university decided to acquire the Centre as part of its mandate on public education. CBC adds that the Centre’s current employees will be offered contract positions until a long-term plan is put in place. CBC (NL)

UBC plunges water use, emissions thanks to sustainability projects

The Vancouver Sun reports that the University of British Columbia has reduced its water consumption by 272 million litres while increasing its student population by 24,000 over the last 20 years. A hot water system that replaced the university’s aging steam plant contributed to the water savings, according to the Sun. “On paper, it looks brilliant and obvious, but this was not an easy project to do, in part because the steam system was already there,” said David Woodson, UBC’s Managing Director of Energy and Water Services. “People were skeptical about the costs and the savings, but we have demonstrated that it works.” UBC is also on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 67% for 2021, adds the SunVancouver Sun (BC)

New CNA program offers two diplomas in one

The College of the North Atlantic will introduce a culinary and tourism program at its Bonavista campus. CBC reports that the program will consist of two certifications over two years—students complete a Red Seal trade cooking program in their first year, followed by a culinary and tourism package for a separate diploma. Students must complete the cooking program before enrolling in culinary and tourism training, adds CBC. "There's a very active post-secondary committee in the Bonavista area comprised of community leaders and business leaders, and we sat down with them at the college and designed this program with the Bonavista region in mind," said CNA President Bruce Hollett. CBC (NL)

OPSEU challenges George Brown for taking away sick days

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is seeking an order that would force George Brown College to reverse its decision totake away mandatory paid sick daysfor part-time employees, reports the Star. An application to the provincial labour relations board states that the union was never notified of the changes by George Brown, and that it did not consent to them. George Brown claimed it is taking away sick days to be “in compliance” with Bill 47, which states that part-time employees are no longer entitled to a minimum of two sick days per year. Critics have pointed out that the legislation does not require employers to change their existing policies. The Star (ON)