Top Ten

November 14, 2019

NorQuest, Enoch Cree Nation partner for economic and community development

NorQuest College and Enoch Cree Nation have announced a partnership that will reimagine opportunities in health care and education in order to foster economic and community development. The two parties will examine training and learning opportunities, such as workshops, non-credit programming, dual-credit high school programs, and customized academic upgrading opportunities that meet the identified needs of the community. “Establishing a meaningful relationship with NorQuest College will provide our members quality education which will eventually lead to better outcomes for the Nation,” said Enoch Cree Nation Chief Billy Morin. NorQuest (AB)

ON creates new policy to support college partnerships with private institutions

The Government of Ontario has announced a new policy to support public college-private partnerships by enabling colleges to be more financially competitive. By allowing colleges to deliver their programs to more students in more locations, ON states that the economic advantages of these expansions can be invested back into college campuses and local communities. "Through these partnerships, students will get the education and training they need for good jobs, so Ontario businesses have the skilled workforce to grow and make Ontario open for business and open for jobs," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "These partnerships will strengthen communities across the province by encouraging international students to study at campuses outside the Greater Toronto Area, and to remain there after their studies." ON (ON)

UBC launches emergency medicine specialist program

The University of British Columbia, in partnership with Surrey Memorial Hospital, is launching a new emergency training program for doctors. The program is intended to help meet the shortage of emergency medicine doctors at hospitals across the Fraser Valley. There are currently two ways to become an emergency medicine physician in Canada – a five-year program culminating in certification from the Royal College of Physicians of Canada and a “plus-one” route culminating in certification from the Canadian College of Family Physicians. Surrey Memorial will become a site for the plus-one program in 2020. “The plus-one program is excellent. The community and the hospital will benefit,” said UBC Assistant Director of the five-year program Tom Green. “It’s a great asset to the community.” Vancouver Sun (BC)

Creating boundaries in higher ed: Opinion

Higher ed professionals are increasingly facing “demands for greater availability in person and online, including on social media,” writes Tamara Yakaboski. While some higher ed institutions are working to address “structural deficits” that contribute to employee burnout, Yakaboski writes that many professionals lack confidence in setting boundaries. The author recommends three strategies for creating space to reflect on the changing demographics and expectations within higher ed: using an online scheduling program so that students can make appointments at their convenience within preset dates and times; blocking off an hour a day for reflection; and evaluating and prioritizing one’s own commitments. “If we want faculty, administrators and staff members to be responsive to student needs and changes,” concludes the author, “then let us each start to create a culture that gives space for contemplation and provides role models for how to negotiate constant, competing demands.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

King’s adds new off-campus student apartment complex

King’s University College has added a four-unit, off-campus apartment complex to address student-housing needs. King’s Commons provides students with furnished private bedrooms as part of shared apartment-style living, with five students---each with their own private room—to a shared apartment. Students will be able to apply for accommodations in Fall 2020. “This concept gives students a choice,” says King’s Dean of Students Joe Henry. “It will be particularly attractive to upper-year students who have already enjoyed a year in residence and are looking for more independence with the convenience and security of living at King’s.” King’s (ON)

ON student unions tackle challenging task of articulating value of their organizations to students

The degree to which Ontario postsecondary institutions’ student unions have been affected by the government’s Student Choice Initiative (SCI) has varied according to the approach an institution took regarding the policy’s implementation. According to a report by University Affairs, institutions that restricted students abilities to opt-out—through time restrictions, for example—did not experience as significant of opt-out rates as others. “We’re in a position we’ve never been in on such an intense scale, where we really have to articulate our value to the students,” explained Laurentian University Student Government Association President Eric Chappell. “We have to have them understand what they’re getting with the dollars they’re spending, and that’s complicated.” University Affairs (ON)

AB worries farm groups, scientists with $34.1M budget cut

The recent Alberta government budget, which included a $34.1M cut to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s expenses over the next four years, has raised concerns for the scientists. The Calgary Herald writes that AB is the only province that employs its own internal scientists who work in the area of agricultural research while also supporting agriculture research at universities and colleges. These cuts will come from “transitioning to a framework of producer and industry-led research,” explained AB Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen. “Starting in December, we will consult with farmers to determine their research priorities and determine whether we should deliver research directly, or strategically fund it.” Calgary Herald (AB)

OntarioTech pens agreements create postsecondary pathways

Ontario Tech University has signed two agreements to expand educational and research opportunities. OntarioTech has partnered with Columbia International College (CIC) to provide international student with pathways to undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Ontario Tech, and has expanded its relationship with Trafalgar Castle School, an all-girls independent day and boarding school, to encourage the sharing of educational resources and opportunities between the institutions’ faculties. “Strategic partnerships like these provide opportunities for growth and development while preparing students to make a positive impact in their communities,” said OntarioTech Registrar Joe Stokes. OntarioTech (ON)

Device etiquette in higher ed: Opinion

“Students bring devices with them to class in ways that weren’t possible a decade or two ago,” writes Matt Reed. This device ubiquity has contributed to a more accessible classroom through note-taking applications and in-class polling features. However, in addition to the distractions devices can present, the author adds that the “omnipresence of devices” in higher ed institutions has shifted some long-standing cultural norms. Reed encourages professionals to consider how higher ed can help cultivate device etiquette in students. Inside Higher Ed (International)

ON colleges implement measures to combat spike in academic misconduct

Some Ontario colleges have implemented measures to help students better understand the concept of academic integrity amidst increases in reported cases of cheating. In a report by the London Free Press, St Clair College and Fanshawe College were named as two such schools who have taken measures to better ensure engagement with and comprehension of academic integrity policies. Although the spike in academic misconduct cases at both schools corresponds with increases in international student enrolment, officials have noted that “cheating isn’t limited to international students.” Canadian Federation of Students Executive Director Hildah Otieno added that cheating is not necessarily “a cultural misunderstanding” for international students who are “often of colour.” Instead, Otieno argues it is the responsibility of schools to provide more support for students regarding academic integrity policies. London Free Press (ON)