Top Ten

April 12, 2019

Chinese student groups should be met with dialogue, democratic values: rights advocates

Chinese government-sponsored student groups have garnered increasing attention in Canada over the past few months, with some critics alleging that these groups are spreading pro-China propaganda on behalf of Chinese consulates or embassies, reports the Prince George Citizen. The article notes that some human rights advocates, however, argue that the activities of these student groups should first be understood and then countered with dialogue and support for Canadian democratic values. The article highlights a series of recent events involving Chinese student groups that have drawn mixed reactions in the media and across higher ed. Prince George Citizen (BC)

“Predatory” company uses Canadian universities to sell shoddy conferences

In spite of a US $50M fine and court-ordered prohibition, Omics International has continued to run small, but pricey, academic conferences in Toronto and Montreal, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Omics claims to offer access to “world class” speakers, but will permit anybody who submits an abstract to present, provided they pay a hefty registration fee. The company is also said to have misrepresented the University of Guelph and Université de Montréal after listing a retired professor from those institutions as a keynote. The professor, Christopher Bryant, said he had participated in an Omics conference previously and that he had been invited back as a co-chair, though he had not confirmed his attendance. UoGuelph and UMontréal, meanwhile, have explicitly stated that they have no affiliation with Omics. Ottawa Citizen (National)

Medically assisted death raises ethical quandaries about body donation

A paper co-authored by McMaster University professor Bruce Waiman poses questions around the ethics of body donations from people who choose medical assistance in dying (MAID). According to Wainman, who is also McMaster’s Director of the Education Program in Anatomy, quandaries have arisen around issues such as the appropriateness of accepting or using MAID body donations, communication with donors including consenting processes, and the transparency surrounding MAID donation with staff, faculty and students. Around 5% of McMaster’s body donations come from people who have chosen MAID, but Waiman expects that number to increase. Consequently, institutions and governments need to put regulatory mechanisms in place to protect donors. EurekAlert! (McMaster) (ON)

King’s partnership to offer new opportunities to Peruvian students

King’s University College at Western University has entered an agreement with its first Peruvian university partner, Universidad Cientifica del Sur, to promote student and faculty exchange between the two institutions. The agreement will provide Peruvian students the opportunity to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) at King’s in partnership with Rosedale Academy, an online high school that offers the Ontario curriculum in a blended learning environment which combines in-class teaching and online learning. Graduates of this OSSD program will be eligible for enrolment at King's, and guaranteed $6.5K in awards in addition to any other academic scholarships for which they are eligible when they are offered admission to undergraduate degree studies at King’s. King's (ON)

“It’s for everybody”: New teepee at UNB to honour Indigenous language teachers

The University of New Brunswick will erect a new teepee that honours Indigenous language teachers. CBC reports that attendees of an on-campus language revival event were invited to write the names of Indigenous language teachers on a large sheet of paper. Participants also included pictures or quotes in their language. Those names, words, and images will be transferred onto the new teepee, CBC states. The teepee will be used for sunrise ceremonies and sweat lodges. It will also act as learning lodge for students and faculty. “I want it to be everybody's, not just the Indigenous students or the Indigenous people,” said Imedla Perley, UNB’s Elder-in-Residence. CBC (NB)

Brock doubles opportunities for MBAs with French partnership

Brock University’s Goodman School of Business has partnered with the Kedge School of Business in France. A Brock release explains that the partnership supports a double-degree program for MBAs. Students will spend a year at both schools to earn an MBA from Brock and a Master in Management (MIM) from Kedge. They will also gain work experience through an international co-op placement. “Gaining this international experience will really help students differentiate themselves,” said Carrie Kelly, Director of Goodman’s Graduate Program. “Not only will they earn two master’s level degrees, students will broaden their international business acumen.” Brock (ON)

Competition in online higher ed will only intensify: Moody’s

“As universities continue to cope with the long-term financial fallout of the Great Recession, many of them are increasingly turning to online programs to survive,” declares a US-based report from Moody’s. The report goes on to predict that post-secondary institutions across the US will try to claim greater territory in the online education space, working to differentiate their online degrees in areas like branding, tuition costs, and quality of education. The report also notes that many have partnered with external Online Program Management providers, even though there is a lack of published research on the success rates of these partnerships. Chronicle (International)

Fanshawe grows into South London

Fanshawe College has announced that it is in talks to arrange a lease for an additional location in London, Ontario. A release states that the proposed building includes parking, proximity to transit, affordable housing, and an array of food and shopping options. “Fanshawe's exceptional educational offerings and graduate employment rates continue to attract new students from across Ontario and around the globe,” said Fanshawe President Peter Devlin. “We're pleased to be expanding our presence in this new south London campus.” Fanshawe adds that the new location will house graduate certificate programs in Agri-Business Management, Business Management, Business and Information Systems Architecture and Retirement Residence Management. Fanshawe (ON)

Yukon College releases made-in-YK training seminars

Yukon College has launched a new, made-in-Yukon series of seminars that are focused on training managers to become more skillful and effective. The seminars feature YK-specific content, given the unique economies of scale, social structures, and contexts that managers face in the territory. “Usually people want to try to fix everyone else, when really they have to start by understanding themselves,” said instructor Lyn Hartley, who developed the Skillful Manager Seminars. “This series is focused on training people to become better managers, and the first step is for people to become more aware of their own strengths, challenges, and communication styles.” Nation Talk (YK)

Institutions must take “asset-based” approach to first-gen students: Durden

Just as first-generation students began to enter the academy in larger numbers, those in power changed the rules of the game, writes William G Durden. These power brokers, Durden argues, devalued what had always been the traditional educational pathway to leadership positions—the residential liberal arts education—and instead offered marginalized students career-targeted, online learning. Durden notes that recently, another trend has emerged in which some have called for the language of university processes to be rewritten to be more understandable for first-gen students. Durden argues, however, that this trend only contributes more to the “deficit view” that senior leaders bring to first-gen students, instead of  taking an asset-based approach to the resilience and aptitude these students have exhibited to get where they are. Inside Higher Ed (International)