Top Ten

September 17, 2019

MUN cuts senior management salaries by average of 20K

Memorial University has announced that salaries for senior management positions will be decreased by an average of $20K. The decision was made after a comparison between MUN’s senior management salaries and the national average revealed that the institution was compensating staff at rates 15-20% higher than the national average. MUN’s director of human resources, Stephen Dodge, reports that MUN will honour current employment contracts while applying the salary changes to new employees. “We're trying to make sure that the university fulfils its mandate to the province by getting great people [...]but we're also stewards of the public purse,” says Dodge. CBC (NL)

Federal government looks to attract more international Francophone students from Senegal, Morocco

The Government of Canada has announced that it will make its Student Direct Stream (SDS) program available to applicants from Senegal and Morocco in a bid to attract more French-speaking international students. Initially open to students applying from China, India, the Phillipines and Vietnam, the SDS considerably speeds up application processing, with a reported average time of less than three weeks. “Expanding this faster and more efficient application process to prospective students from Senegal and Morocco supports the Government’s Francophone Immigration Strategy to encourage more young French speakers to choose to study in Canada,”states a federal release. Government of Canada | Morocco World News (National)

CMTN to expand mobile classroom program, removes barriers to trades training with $1.3M investment

BC’s Coast Mountain College has received $1.3M from the federal government to increase the amount of courses offered by its Mobile Training Unit (MTU). This mobile classroom helps remove barriers to trades training and helps promote a more inclusive workforce by making this training available to women, youth, and Indigenous students living in rural and remote areas. The MTU can be tailored to teach a variety of courses and programs, such as cooking, business, and health programs. “This mobile training unit is critical to ensuring that education is accessible and reaches people where they live,” says CMTN President Ken Burt. Nation Talk (BC )

ULethbridge explosively unveils new $280M Science Commons, aims to promote transdisciplinary research

The University of Lethbridge has opened its new $280M building, Science Commons, bringing its departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Neuroscience, Physics & Astronomy, and Psychology under the same roof to promote transdisciplinary scientific research. The building, which was unveiled via a dramatic ribbon explosion ceremony, embodies the idea of “shared-space” and “science on display” through its glass architecture and open-concept lab. These ideas are also reflected in the Blackfoot name bestowed upon the building, Isttaniokaksini, which ULethbridge alumni Leroy Little Bear describes as “refer[ing] to deep knowledge and [bringing] awareness out of the unknown into the known.” Lethbridge Herald | ULethbridge (AB)

NS, universities address research, health initiatives, tuition caps with new agreement

The Government of Nova Scotia and the Province’s universities have signed a new five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will grant universities a 1% funding increase per year. During the 2019-20 fiscal year, universities in the province will receive a total of $427.7M, a $2.5M increase from the amount received in 2018-19. Other highlights of the MOU include a focus on research and innovation, an increase in funding for mental health and sexual violence prevention programs, a 3% cap on annual tuition increases for undergraduate students, and a commitment to implement a university-student consultation framework by March 2020. NS | CBC (NS)

Fanshawe’s new aviation training program to create more choice for students, industry opportunities

Fanshawe College’s Commercial Flight and Aviation Leadership program has been approved by the Government of Ontario. The three-year program expands Fanshawe’s current aviation offerings at the Norton Wolf School of Aviation Technology. Commencing in the fall of 2020, the program will focus on aviation leadership and flight training, providing more choice for aviation training in the Province and opening new aviation industry opportunities to the London region. "With these new programs, the College will be a major training destination for future aerospace careers both nationally and internationally,” says Fanshawe President Peter Devlin. ON (ON)

Camosun receives $1M "amazing surprise“ to establish early childhood education centre

Camosun College has received a $1M charitable donation to establish the Pearl and Knud Boelt Early Learning and Care Hub. The funds were donated by Knud Boelt, a Victoria businessman who has been a strong supporter of children and the import of vocational training, reports the Times Colonist. The building will act as a training centre for early childhood educators. VP of partnerships for Camosun Geoff Wilmshurst reports that the funds were “a bit of a shock,” but also “an amazing surprise.” Times Colonist (BC)

UCalgary’s Hunter Hub receives funding to create women in STEM entrepreneurship “WELab” program

The University of Calgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking has received funding from the Federal Research Support Fund’s Incremental Project to create WELab, the university’s first female entrepreneurship education and mentorship program. The program aims to strengthen the skills of and support women to build or grow business and social enterprise in STEM. WELab will also offer mentorship programs, digital incubators, and a pitch competition. “WELab will serve as an asset in equipping talent with the skills and entrepreneurial thinking to support Alberta’s economic diversification and innovation ecosystems,” says WELab’s programs and partnership lead Elise Ahenkorah. UCalgary (AB)

Academic outreach should be the new “front porch” of higher ed institutions: Ennis

Do intercollegiate athletics have to be the only “entryway that allows the public to connect with traditions, values and campus life?” asks Daniel Ennis. Using the “front porch” metaphor, the author argues that academic outreach is an instructive way to create dialogue between institutions and communities. The problem, however, is that there are not enough incentives for faculty to participate in these activities, which often require a substantial time commitment. Ennis recommends that institutions “foreground and reward academic outreach” by making it a professional priority. “Such demonstrations of the university’s value to the community can remind stakeholders that spectator sports are not the public’s only institutional access point,” concludes Ennis. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Increasing grants for low-income students is a better idea than free tuition: Rosenberg

“Free public college is a terrible idea,” writes Brian Rosenberg. According to the author, free tuition would not accomplish what politicians hope it would, namely reducing unequal access to higher education. Instead, it will likely increase the number of applicants, requiring institutions to be more selective than they currently are. In this schema, it is probable that “high-achieving students who attend private and well-funded suburban high schools” will benefit most from free tuition. A feasible alternative might be to increase the size and number of grants distributed to low-income students, argues Rosenberg. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) (International)