Top Ten

April 16, 2019

ON’s pledge to tie post-secondary funding to performance met with mixed sentiments: CBC

Post-secondary institutions in Ottawa have reacted with both acceptance and fear to the Ontario government’s recent announcement that it will significantly tie university and college funding to performance metrics, reports CBC. “Any organization that depends on some level of provincial funding should always be accountable for that funding,” said Algonquin College president Cheryl Jensen, who says that the new budget is a “good one” for Algonquin. Administrators at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa interviewed by CBC also welcomed the announcement. CBC reports that some faculty members, however, are concerned that the government will use performance-based funding as a way to dictate what universities and colleges teach, undermining academic freedom. CBC (ON)

Cuts to NB nursing programs 'a step backward' during shortage: universities

Despite a critical labour shortage, the New Brunswick government has cut $8.7M in funding for nursing programs, reports CBC. The University of New Brunswick and Université de Moncton both state that the cuts will compromise their ability to deliver clinical training and grow their programs. Minister of Post-Secondary Education Trevor Holder said the government decided to implement the cuts because the money was supposed to create new seats at a time when the programs have not been attracting new applicants; but the universities said they need the money to support clinical training for existing students. George MacLean, VP Academic at UNB, added that the university is at full capacity every year with a waiting list. CBC (NB)

Canada continues push for international talent

According to the Canadian Press, the economic impact of foreign students in Canada amounted to more than $15B between 2010 and 2016, with growing numbers from India, China, and Vietnam. Universities Canada President Paul Davidson notes that university and government officials across the country are responding by developing an “aligned” strategy to market Canada as a destination for young people in areas with burgeoning economies such as Columbia and parts of Africa. “Some of our best immigrants, in fact, have been international students that have studied in Canada, worked in Canada,” adds Denise Amyot, President of Colleges and Institutes Canada. “Canada has a shortage of employees right now, so it is really helping our labour-market situation.” National Post (CP) (National)

BC looks to encourage, support early childhood educators with $1.9M investment

The Government of British Columbia has announced that more current and future childhood educators will receive bursaries to help cover their post-secondary tuition costs. The province announced last Friday that it will invest an additional $1.9M through its early learning and child care agreement with the federal government to pay for more bursaries, adding that the bursaries are meant to encourage more early childhood educators to enter the field. Students can receive bursaries up to $4K per semester, while early childhood educators looking to upgrade or complete their credentials can get up to $5K per semester. Times Colonist (BC)

Boost in education applicants a “ray of hope” for QC

The nine universities in Quebec offering French-language bachelor’s degrees in education have seen an increase in applications for admission. There has been an increase of 6% for applicants interested in becoming preschool and primary school teachers, and a 7% increase for secondary school teacher programs. UQAM reportedly experienced the largest increases with 10% for preschool and elementary and 14% for secondary school. QC Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge noted that, given the province’s shortage of teachers for the past decade, this increase serves as a ray of hope for the future of education. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Regional funding supports childcare at Conestoga

Conestoga College's Doon campus is expanding its infant care program thanks to a regional funding package. A Conestoga release states that the program supports children between zero and 18 months, and will expand from six to 10 spots. The centre also delivers programming for 15 toddlers and 40 preschoolers. “The funding has provided wins on two fronts: families in the region are appreciative of the expanded programming, and the expansion has led to the addition of a new full-time position at the centre,” said Early Child Development Centre Supervisor Deb Crawford. Conestoga adds that the college has many child care centres throughout the region. Conestoga (ON)

SaskPolytech lays off 19 academic, services staff

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has laid off seven academic staff and 12 professional services employees, reports Global News. A SaskPolytech spokesperson said that the reduction, which represents 0.94% of its workforce, followed its annual review. “It is critical that we remain focused on the future and on our mission to educate students, and provide skilled and successful graduates,” the institution added in a statement. The school did not say if the provincial government’s decision to not boost funding in its 2019 budget influenced the layoffs. Global News 630 CKRM (SK)

Humber to transform learning with Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation

Humber College has officially opened the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation. A release states that the facility includes interactive technology zones, digital media studios, cutting-edge prototyping and maker spaces, open concept gathering spaces, and demonstration areas for new products and technologies. “Through the Barrett CTI and across the college, we are working to address the skills gap by providing next generation learning in smart and collaborative spaces to prepare students for the workforce of the future,” said Humber President Chris Whitaker. Humber adds that the facility is a net-zero energy building with several sustainability features.Humber Nation Talk (ON)

UQAM signs international agreement with Uzbekistani institution

An agreement between the Université du Quèbec and Bukhara State University will allow UQAM professors, young researchers, and doctoral students to make short study visits to Uzbekistan. The Government of Uzbekistan plans to welcome teachers and researchers from the fields of management, linguistics, history, philosophy, tourism, law, political science, and economics. UQAM is the first Canadian university to sign an agreement with Bukhara State University, which UQAM says has an excellent reputation and is considered the best university in Central Asia. UQAM (QC)

Brock rolls out Law Plus program for undergraduates

Brock University has launched Law Plus, a four-year, non-credit program that will help students gain pre-law knowledge and hands-on experience in the field. A Brock release states that the program is modelled on Med Plus, which is designed for students studying health care. “Similar to Med Plus, being in the Law Plus program will open students’ eyes to a variety of career paths that will use the skills and experiences they’ve gained,” said Cara Krezek, Director, Co-op, Career and Experiential Education. Brock adds that Law Plus students will spend between five and seven hours each week attending skill-based workshops and guest lectures, and participate in volunteer placements with community organizations. Brock (ON)