Top Ten

August 29, 2019

CEGEPs get funding boost from QC

A number of regional CEGEPs will receive a funding boost from the Quebec government, reports the Montreal Gazette. “After several years of dealing with a fragile financial situation, CEGEPs will now have the freedom to implement the measures they deem necessary and thus enable students to succeed, according to their priorities and their needs,” said Education Minister Jean-François Roberge. The Gazette adds that the money will ensure the sustainability of the CEGEP allocation model for several years; ensure greater accountability, flexibility and autonomy in choosing the best means to organize the regional roll-out of school activities; reinforce the importance of research activities and responsibilities of CEGEPs in their communities; provide simpler and more predictable funding; and facilitate infrastructure improvements. Montreal Gazette (QC)

ON, Canada in talks to revive plans for French-language university

The Government of Ontario is negotiating with the Government of Canada about splitting the cost of the French university project that was cancelled late last year. According to CBC, the province has asked Ottawa to contribute $63M toward the project, which it estimates will cost $126M in total. When the project was first announced in 2017, its total cost was estimated at $83M. The province had initially scrapped the project in an effort to balance the budget, a move that outraged Franco-Ontarians. "The people and industries who were counting on it deserve better than for Doug Ford to try to make them a political pawn, playing games with their education, and their constitutional rights," said NDP francophone affairs critic Guy Bourgouin. Sudbury Star | CBC (ON)

Tips for shifting from “buy-in” to “co-creation”

In addition to institutional buy-in, an enduring brand strategy requires all of the involved stakeholders to take ownership over it, writes Rob Zinkan. To foster stronger stakeholder engagement, Zinkan states, an institution’s marketing and communications department needs to shift its mindset from “we need them on board” to “we need their active engagement.” Additionally, all stakeholders need to embrace ambiguity by educating stakeholders about brand-building strategies, as well as being open to veering from that process. As a process designed to build “long-term value for the institution,” an effective brand-building strategy should also encourage stakeholders to hold the same long-term outlook. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Lethbridge, potato growers partner for irrigation study

Lethbridge College’s Centre for Applied Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship has partnered with the Potato Growers of Alberta to study regional irrigation and watering methods. The Lethbridge Herald reports that the four-year research project, supported by a $400K grant from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, will involve five different potato fields throughout southern Alberta. The partnership will also support two masters-level projects in conjunction with the University of Saskatchewan, adds the Herald. “It’s definitely a broad introduction to applied research for the students,” says Willemijn Appels, Mueller Applied Research Chair in Irrigation Science. “And they are also more involved in seeing how data is collected, and trying to shape that all into something that you can interpret and hopefully understand some new information from.” Lethbridge Herald (AB)

UFV, McDonald’s partner on university credentials

The University of the Fraser Valley has partnered with McDonald’s Canada to create new pathways for McDonald’s restaurant managers to pursue university credentials. A release states that prospective students who have completed management training courses at McDonald’s and meet UFV’s admission requirements can receive credit toward one of four options at UFV: a Bachelor of Integrated Studies degree, a Hospitality and Event Planning certificate, a Management Skills certificate, or a General Studies diploma. “This is an incredibly important partnership and well-deserved recognition for people in management,” said McDonald’s franchisee Sid Johnson. “We take great pride in the rigour of our training programs and the skills our people are able to hone at McDonald’s.” UFV | Vancouver Sun (BC)

ON teachers will be expected to pass math test with 70% mark, says government memo

The Government of Ontario will require new teachers to pass a math test with a score of at least 70%, reports CBC, but teachers’ unions have questioned the government’s decision to give all teachers the same test. "In Ontario's high school system teachers teach in their areas of qualification," said Harvey Bischof, President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation. "So what we have here is the potential to have an excellent, let's say, art or geography or history teacher, not qualified to teach because they don't pass a math test, a course that they would never teach." A memo from Deputy Education Minister Nancy Naylor stated that teachers who do not pass the test will have to pay an unspecified fee to retake it. CBC | Ottawa Citizen (ON)

AU proposes interdisciplinary earth system science graduate program

Athabasca University has proposed a Master of Science in Earth System Sciences, an interdisciplinary program that provides a holistic view of interactions between ecological systems–such as air, water, and earth–in order to discover the past, present and future conditions of this planet. “From surveys of our alumni and current students as well as from periodic requests that we receive from potential students, we are aware that there are many students who are interested is pursuing graduate studies in the physical and natural sciences with AU,” said Faculty of Science & Technology Associate Dean Ken Munyikwa. An Athabasca release states that the program will include the option of either a course-based or thesis-based stream. AthabascaU (AB)

Publishers, universities struggle to provide timely access to accessible textbooks: Halliday

Publishers and universities lack the resources to provide accessible materials to disabled students in a timely fashion, writes Matthew Halliday. The problem has grown to the point that CNIB President John Rafferty sent a letter to university presidents nationwide, urging them to treat the matter with more urgency. Rafferty told Halliday that the response thus far has been “underwhelming.” “I know universities have a lot of pressures, and this is a small population of only about 4,500 students across the country. But it creates enormous barriers to success for them.” Halliday notes that, until universities and publishers develop a systematic solution, it will be a “patchwork” of individual faculty, administrators, publishers, and non-profits who shoulder the burden of maintaining accessibility. University Affairs (National)

Tips for compiling compelling renewal, tenure dossiers

There are a number of steps faculty can take to make their renewal or tenure dossiers more compelling, writes Courtney Guerra. In addition to starting well ahead of time, Guerra begins by suggesting that granular details such as file formats are just as important as big-picture issues about the research statement, publications, and teaching dossier. Advice from senior colleagues about the department’s current best practices can also help demystify the process. Guerra also recommends that faculty save emails from colleagues and students, as these documents can provide valuable evidence about teaching and research during the review process. Finally, Guerra emphasizes that although the review is stressful, the department wants faculty to succeed. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Canterbury opens new student residence

Canterbury College has opened a new residence. The Windsor Star reports that the $6M building features stainless steel appliances, private bathrooms, and individual laundry rooms for shared units. “I’m very pleased with the new residence design that’s in keeping with the overall Canterbury culture to provide a supportive, academic environment where students can achieve their goals,” said Canterbury Principal Gordon Drake. The new residence will replace three older homes that housed 21 people. The Star states that the college demolished them last year to make space for the new residences. Windsor Star (ON)