Top Ten

November 6, 2019

Federal government, Canadian universities diversify international student recruitment

The Canadian government and postsecondary institutions across the country are altering their strategies for international student recruitment in order to emphasize diversification. The federal government’s previous five-year international education strategy, which endeavoured to attract 450,000 international students by 2022, was quickly surpassed in 2018, prompting the government to shift its focus from growth to: expanding study abroad programs for Canadian undergraduates, diversifying where overseas students come from and where they study in Canada, and supporting Canadian institutions in forming partnerships with their counterparts in other countries. “The more diverse the campus, the richer the learning environment,” says President of the Canadian Bureau for International Education Larissa Bezo. Maclean’s (National)

UoGuelph’s OVC receives $11M donation to support animal health care and education

The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) has received a $11M donation from the Angel Gabriel Foundation to support animal health care and education. The funds will be used to create the Kim and Stu Lang Community Healthcare Partnership Program (CHPP), an academic program that will enhance and develop partnerships with humane societies, veterinary outreach organizations, and social service agencies. The donation will also support the maintenance and improvement of clinical facilities, as well as a full-time veterinary director, an academic professorship, staff, student scholarships, and intern/resident training programs in community medicine. “We will transform the student experience and influence societal change, while increasing our research capacity, enhancing our global reputation and training the next generation of veterinary leaders,” said UoGuelph President Franco Vaccarino. UoGuelph (ON)

HEQCO reports all ON colleges, universities in compliance with provincial free speech policy

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released the results of its first college and university free speech survey, noting that all ON postsecondary institutions have free speech policy that meets government requirements. In August 2018, the ON government mandated that colleges and universities develop and implement an institutional policy by January 2019 that would protect free speech while ensuring that hate speech, discrimination, and other illegal forms of speech are not allowed on campus. "We have a shared obligation to ensure that colleges and universities continue to be places where students exchange different ideas and opinions in open and respectful debate,” said Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano. ON (ON)

CASA attains over 35,000 pledges to vote from postsecondary students during federal election

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) garnered over 35,000 pledges to vote from students during the 2019 federal election campaign. The pledges were attained due to the success of CASA’s Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign, a multipronged non-partisan effort to address barriers to participation that students experience around Canadian elections, such as location and unfamiliarity with voting processes. “It is clear that students are a demographic that parties of every political stripe should be listening too,” said Chair of CASA and the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union VP External Adam Brown. CASA (National)

Canadian universities support EDI initiatives, still encounter challenges

Universities Canada has released the results of its first equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) survey, revealing the importance of EDI to Canadian universities’ strategic plans and long-term planning initiatives. According to the survey, over three-quarters of Canadian universities explicitly reference EDI in their strategic plans or long-term planning documents, and 70% of institutions either already have or are in the process of developing an EDI action plan. However, there are challenges that prevent universities from meeting EDI goals, such as: lack of funding to support student recruitment, retention, and EDI staff and initiatives; difficulty attracting and retaining diverse talent; institutional systems, policies, structures, and cultures that can hinder progress; and insufficient information on best practices for EDI. University Affairs (National)

Athabasca, Portage sign two new agreements to explore collaboration opportunities

Athabasca University has expanded its partnership with Portage College by signing two new Memorandums of Action (MOA) that indicate the institutions’ intentions to further investigate collaborative possibilities. Working together since the 1990s, the new MOAs explore the possibility of new degree pathway options, research collaborations, and the sharing of expertise. “I see this [new partnership] as different because I see us trying to bring value to both organizations as we work through things,” said Portage President Nancy Broadbent. “Being rural, and northern rural, we need to rely on each other, and I think we can set some examples for the (post-secondary) system about how to work, and how to make things happen together.” Athabasca (AB)

UNBC faculty association serves 72-hour strike notice

The University of Northern British Columbia’s Faculty Association (FA) has issued a 72-hour strike notice, placing its members in strike position by Thursday morning. UNBC faculty have been locked in negotiations since March 5, and argue that wages offered at the institution are not on par with other schools, reports Global News. In a release UNBC officials indicated that negotiations and mediations are still continuing, and faculty association officials are currently reviewing a recent offer tabled by UNBC. UNBC | Global News (BC)

UNB partners with CPHR, provides HR students direct pathways to attaining accreditation

The University of New Brunswick has signed an agreement with Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) New Brunswick to provide UNB human resources management students a more direct path to obtaining their CPHR designation. The accreditation will allow graduates of UNB Fredericton’s BBA program to be conditionally eligible to waive the writing of the National Knowledge Exam, including current students, future students, and alumni of the program who have graduated within the past five years. “This agreement will ensure that the CPHRNB professional standards are upheld as we strive to meet the need for this growing segment of the employment market,” said CPHRNB Chief Executive Officer Luc Page. UNB (NB)

On pursuing a graduate degree while working full-time: Opinion

What are the unique rewards and challenges of completing a graduate degree while working full-time? Through interviews with Arwen Fleming, David Ip Yam, Patricia Paul, and Salomon Gamache, readers discover that although individuals will have unique experiences, there are several similarities across experiences of working while pursuing a degree. For example, all interviewees cite the importance of having a supportive and enthusiastic supervisor. Similarly, participants emphasize the large role that time management and financial planning have played in dictating their routines. When asked what advice they would give to those considering a dual path of work and school, the respondents highlight the role of self-care and discipline. University Affairs (National)

Five colleges, CICan partner to form Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis

Five Canadian colleges and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore collaborative cannabis training and applied research opportunities. Okanagan College, NorQuest College, Niagara College, Durham College, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, and CICan will form the Canadian College Consortium for Cannabis, what is described in an Okanagan release as a “first-of a kind” cannabis national advocacy body in the postsecondary sector. “Cannabis is a rapidly growing industry,” said NorQuest VP of Business Development Marian Gayed. “Creating this consortium is a great example of how post-secondary institutions from across Canada can join forces and leverage coordinated efforts to solve problems and drive education and innovation in the economy.” Okanagan College (National)