Top Ten

March 4, 2020

AB postsecondary institutions respond to Budget 2020 cuts

Following the Government of Alberta's 2020 Budget announcement last week, several institutions have spoken to anticipated cuts to make up for the funding shortfall. University of Calgary President Ed McCauley said that the reduction in funding represents a decrease of $26.7M to the Campus Alberta Grant, and could result in more positions lost at UCalgary. The SAIT Polytechnic has also announced it will be eliminating positions due to provincial budget cuts. Both postsecondary institutions in the Lethbridge region have noted concerns about the cuts, with University of Lethbridge President Mike Mahon and Lethbridge College President Paula Burns both anticipating changes to tuitions fees and potential employee layoffs. Calgary Herald | Global News (AB)

UQAR, UQAR-ISMER receive $3M from ANR, FRQ for maritime research

Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Institut des sciences de la mer have received $3M from the Agence nationale de la recherche and Fonds de recherche du Québec for maritime research. The funds will go towards five research projects that will be carried out by researchers from France and Quebec. UQAR rector Jean-Pierre Ouellet explained that the research projects will lead to concrete applications for preserving the marine ecosystems and ensuring sustainable transport practices in France and Quebec. UQAR (QC)

St Clair breaks ground on international student residence

St Clair College has announced the official launch of a $23M residence project to address the student housing shortage. The new international student residence will provide on-campus housing for 512 students. "St Clair College has been a leading proponent of public college-private partnerships in Ontario for some time," said Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Colleges and Universities David Piccini. "This new residence is an example of the potential economic benefits partnerships between Ontario’s public colleges and private education providers can offer." St Clair (ON)

SaskPolytech receives donation towards Agricultural Equipment Technician training

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has received an in-kind donation of $450K towards state-of-the-art equipment for the Agricultural Equipment Technician programming from Young’s Equipment. “Your gifts are integral in helping our School of Transportation train the Agricultural Equipment Technicians needed today and into the future,” said SaskPolytech President Larry Rosia. “This donation helps Agricultural Equipment Technicians advance their careers, helps employers hire highly qualified technicians and advances Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry and economy.” The equipment includes a Case IH front loader, CVT transmission, combine PTO gear box and core, CASE IH MAXXUM tractor, Case Farmall tractor, and two Kubota engines. SaskPolytech (SK)

Subway chicken fiasco ends in judge ordering Trent to pay Subway $222K, Subway to pay CBC $500K

An Ontario Superior Court Judge has ordered Trent University to pay the Subway sandwich chain $220K due the school's failed bid to dismiss a defamation lawsuit. In February 2017, Trent's DNA lab was contacted by CBC to run tests on the restaurant chain's chicken products. The test results revealed that Subway chicken sandwiches contain only 50% chicken DNA, a finding that was revealed through a CBC marketplace program. Subway has been ordered to pay the CBC $500K in legal costs following its failed bid to sue the public broadcaster for defamation. CBC | Peterborough Examiner (ON)

US study finds students feel pressure from instructors, few change viewpoints

A recent study out of the US examining the impact of faculty political views on students has found that that while some students do feel political pressure from their instructors, few change their views. “There are so many different ways now that students are being cued to think politically, whereas maybe they weren’t before,” said co-author Matthew Mayhew. “If I’m a professor and I’m talking about health care, students in the room might be cued to think politically about it, but 20 years ago that wouldn’t necessarily have been the case.” The study found that perceived pressure depended on academic major, with conservative students in the arts, humanities, religion, and health care and liberal students in the social sciences, education, and business reporting that they felt pressured. Inside Higher Ed (International)

HEQCO report reveals that skills, postsecondary credentials are predictors of labour market outcomes

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has released a report finding that both skills and postsecondary credentials influence predictions of future income and employment status. Specifically, literacy and numeracy skills are strong predictors of both income levels and employment status, whereas credentials appear to have a significant effect on earnings alone. However, the report notes that numeracy appears to be the strongest predictor of earnings and employment status, finding that an increase in numeracy proficiency resulted in higher earnings. "Students may wish to focus not only on fulfilling their degree and diploma requirements, but also taking advantage of additional opportunities to improve their literacy, numeracy and other skills such as verbal communication and teamwork," concludes the report summary. HEQCO (ON)

TRU officially opens first residential building at The Reach

Thompson Rivers University has formally celebrated the grand opening of Legacy Square, the first residential project to be complete through The Reach. The building is a 77-suite rental situated on the institution’s Kamloops campus, and is one of four projects announced by the TRU Community Trust. “Universities are part of the surrounding communities,” said TRU President Brett Fairbairn, “and having many people living on campus, not only current students, makes that connection and makes the campus an even more lively and interesting place.” TRU (BC)

CEWIL announces inaugural Co-op & WIL Learning Month

Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada has announced the launch of the first-ever Co-op & Work-Integrated Learning Month. CEWIL has also announced the formation of the CEWIL Quality Council, which has been tasked with a mandate to enhance the education and outcomes of postsecondary students participating in WIL by sharing best practices and quality improvement guidelines. “During Co-op & WIL Month, we hope to bring together like-minded partners from across the country,” explained CEWIL Canada President Cara Krezek, “who are making outstanding accomplishments in WIL with calls to action of continued leadership and celebration of the many accomplishments we share." CEWIL (National)

UNBC passes non-confidence motion against Weeks

The University of Northern British Columbia has passed a non-confidence motion in the leadership of former president Daniel Weeks. UNBC Professor Peter Jackson brought forward a notice of motion at the January meeting of the university senate, shortly after which Weeks went on medical leave. Since the non-confidence motion has passed, senators have put forward a motion to seek a joint meeting with the university's board of governors to discuss the issue of leadership at the university. Jackson and the group of senators told the Prince George Citizen that they hope to see an open selection process for the new president. Prince George Citizen (BC)