Top Ten

June 25, 2019

University grads have trouble out of school, but perform well in the long run: study

It has become more difficult for university graduates to find a job straight out of school, but having a degree still appears to pay off in the long run, according to a new study from using data from Statistics Canada. The study notes that while the overall Canadian unemployment rate is slightly lower than it was before the 2008-09 recession, jobless rates among those under 25 with university degrees are higher. In 2018, the unemployment rate among young grads was 8.9%, down a bit from two years earlier, but still above its 7.8% average between 2000 and 2008. The report adds that young grads could also be facing challenges affecting youth more broadly, such as a declining share of employees under 25 with permanent jobs. CBC (National)

UBC, CIMCO Refrigeration fined for releasing ammonia into Fraser River tributary  

The University of British Columbia and CIMCO Refrigeration have been fined by Environment and Climate Change Canada for releasing ammonia-tainted water into the Fraser River tributary in 2014, reports CBC. A statement from the government says that UBC was fined $1.2M after being found guilty of depositing a "deleterious substance" into waters or "places that may enter waters frequented by fish," and for "failing to report the incident in a timely manner." UBC has also been ordered to monitor storm water quality at the site for the next five years. CIMCO, which pleaded guilty to releasing the ammonia-laden water, was fined $800K. CBC adds that UBC is appealing the decision. CBC Newswire Vancouver Sun (BC)

US community colleges, employers creating "white collar" apprenticeships

A growing trend in the US has seen community colleges working directly with companies to incorporate white-collar jobs into apprenticeship programs, reports Steven Johnson. The author notes that employers and community colleges are now creating formal pipelines that see companies hiring students out of community colleges for jobs that traditionally require four-year degrees. "There's more than one way to the middle class other than a four-year degree. And companies are starting to realize that," said Eric M Seleznow, a senior adviser at Jobs for the Future, a work-force-development organization. Chronicle (Subscription Required) (International)

TRU professor researching Romani people gets seven-year sentence in Slovakia

Thompson Rivers University Professor David Scheffel has been sentenced to seven years in prison in Slovakia. Scheffel was reportedly found guilty on charges of sexual abuse and illegal weapon possession, while a charge of child pornography was struck down. The Province states that Scheffel maintains his innocence and suspects that the accusations were fabricated by police to discredit him and his research into the marginalized Romani people of Slovakia. According to the Vancouver Province, Scheffel has been detained in Slovakia for nearly two years. TRU stated that administration is monitoring the situation, but was unable to comment further, citing privacy laws.  The Province | Kamloops This Week (BC)

CICan partners with Kenyan institutions for skill-building project

Colleges and Institutes Canada is working with two Kenyan organizations, Linking Industry with Academia and Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, to fund research that focuses on improving skills and employability prospects for Kenyan youth. A release states that the initiative is based on three pillars: the establishment of applied research hubs in collaboration with industry and local government; promotion of gender equality in Kenya’s Technical and Vocational Education Training sector; and problem-based, competitive action research oriented toward community development. Canada’s International Development Research Centre provided a $1M grant in support of the initiative, adds CICan. CICan (National)

Coach’s exoneration provokes outcry from UWindsor hockey players, parents 

Players and parents associated with the University of Windsor’s women’s hockey team have expressed frustration with an investigation that has dismissed allegations of verbal and mental abuse by the team’s coach, reports the Windsor Star.According to John Coleman, UWindsor’s Director of Public Affairs, the university had appointed an outside investigator to the case. However, an unnamed source questioned the impartiality of the investigation, as the investigator was a workplace mediator under contract with the university. Former Ontario University Athletics coach Marge Holman added that the investigator was not necessarily familiar with the power dynamic between coaches and athletes. The affected players and their parents are reportedly considering a complaint to ON's Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. Windsor Star (ON)

Musqueam, Langara College launch program to prepare Indigenous students for post-secondary

snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓/Langara College and Musqueam have launched an Indigenous Upgrading Program (IUP) that integrates Musqueam knowledge and pedagogy to better facilitate the transition to post-secondary education. "The successful launch of the IUP is the direct result of many acts of reconciliation," said Rick Ouellet, Director, Indigenous Education and Services. "College faculty in Math, English and Science have joined a working group that includes, administrative support, curriculum writing, and tutoring." The program was developed through substantive discussion with Musqueam representatives with expertise in education, culture, history, and protocol. Langara (BC)

McMaster to fight antibiotic resistance with new research centre

McMaster University will tackle the global crisis of antibiotic resistance with the support of a $7M donation. The university will use the funds to create the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery. Gerry Wright, who heads the new Centre, said that governments around the world are trying to figure out how to address the problem of antimicrobial resistance. He added that the Centre will help scientists “really push us forward in this area, so that we could really take full advantage of the expertise that we have and the infrastructure that we have ... to be able to tackle this problem." Hamilton Spectator (ON)

Citing money woes, private Edmonton college puts classes on hold 

Edmonton Digital Arts College has suspended classes because of financial problems, reports the Edmonton Journal. Owen Brierley, the private college’s owner, said he hopes to finalize a deal to sell the college and resume classes next week. He added that he is doing all he can to keep the college’s 50 students up to date, and has offered to find them placements in other programs in a worst-case scenario. Laurie Chandler, press secretary for Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides, added that the provincial government will place students at another institution in the event of a closure. Edmonton Journal (AB)

CBU inaugurates Farley Mowat Chair in the Environment

Cape Breton University has appointed academic, author, and environmental advocate Silver Donald Cameron as the inaugural holder of the Farley Mowat Chair in the Environment. CBU VP Richard MacKinnon stated that the Chair reflects the university’s vision to "think green," adding that Cameron recently taught a course at CBU as part of his Green Rights project. "Where other universities will focus more on the sciences, we have research chairs in things like musical traditions, for example. So we have gone a different path. I think we are a pretty innovative, resilient university. I think this chair is one more example of going down a different path that other universities haven’t taken," MacKinnon said. University Affairs (NS)