Top Ten

March 13, 2020

StatsCan study reveals that Black youth still face barriers in obtaining postsecondary education

Insights on Canadian Society has released a study examining the education and labour market integration of Black youth in Canada. In terms of education, the study found that Black youth are as likely as other youth to have a high school diploma; young Black males and females in 2006 were less likely than their counterparts in the rest of the population to have a postsecondary certificate, diploma, or degree in 2016; and the gap between postsecondary graduation rates for Black youth and other youth remained after accounting for differences in socioeconomic and family characteristics. Importantly, the report notes that, "the discrimination experienced by the Black population could explain some of the results of the study."  StatsCan  (National)

Laurentian moves classes online due to COVID-19, others in the region monitor situation

Laurentian University is the first Canadian university to announce that it will be moving classes online until further notice as a precautionary response to Sudbury's first confirmed case of COVID-19. “With a known-case of the virus in our community, we aim to take proactive measures to prevent the spread," explain Laurentian in a statement. “We understand that changes in our day-to-day operations will create challenges and disruptions, however, we believe the risk of not taking action is of greater concern to our community.” In response to this decision, Humber spokesperson Andrew Leopold told the Hamilton Spectator that “we’re not quite there yet,” explaining that “for now,” classes, campus operations, and activities at Humber's local campuses are continuing as scheduled. Similarly, Georgian College spokesperson Cheryl Thorn noted that the current risk to its campuses in the region remains low.  Laurentian  | Hamilton Spectator  (ON)

UFV, VCC, Stó:lō Nation deliver culinary pre-apprenticeship program for Indigenous learners

The University of Fraser Valley, Vancouver Community College, and the Stó:lō Nation are partnering to deliver the Stó:lō Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training (SASET) Culinary Arts program. The initiative, funded by the Government of British Columbia, is a 12-week pre-trades training program delivered at VCC and UFV. The program will provide students with first aid training, FoodSafe and SuperHost certificates, and a work practicum placement. “A career in the culinary arts is a lifelong endeavour where learning never stops and job satisfaction happens every day,” said UFV Instructor Chris Monkman. “We’re thankful the Province recognizes the need for partnerships like this, as well as the need for state-of-the-art training equipment and spaces. This partnership really is a win-win.”  NationTalk  (BC)

NDRIO celebrates official launch, names inaugural board

The Government of Canada has officially launched the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) as part of a national Digital Research Infrastructure strategy. NDRIO will receive up to $375M in funding over five years from Innovation, Science and Economic Develop Canada to provide the digital tools, services, and infrastructure that scholars and scientists need to conduct leading-edge research. NDRIO held its inaugural meeting earlier this week and elected the organization's Board of Directors. “Working with our colleagues across Canada, we will transform how research data across all academic disciplines is organized, managed and used, helping our country’s research community access and interpret data and information faster than ever before,” said NDRIO Chair of the Board of Directors Janet Davidson.   NDRIO/NOIRN  (National)

U of T launches Master of Environment & Sustainability program

The University of Toronto's School of the Environment has launched its first stand-alone graduate degree program: A Master of Environment & Sustainability (MES). The 12-month program aims to give students a broad overview of interactions between humans and their environment through problem-focused studies that incorporate engagement with non-academic community partners. “This program will allow them to start with big societal challenges around climate change, sustainability, biodiversity, and build the skills needed to tackle them, drawing on multiple disciplines as they do," said U of T Director of the School of the Environment Steve Easterbrook.  U of T  (ON )

Adults with no PSE less likely to pursue further education: Study

A US study has shown that adult learners with no college experience are far less likely to want to attend postsecondary school later in life, even if time or money were no object. Specifically, researchers found that by the age of 22, "the absence of any postsecondary credential or prior enrollment serves as a formidable barrier for this population," in pursuing postsecondary education. Even for those adults who indicated interest in postsecondary education, the study found that the older the candidate, the more uncertain their commitment to higher ed. "While three in 10 respondents who were 22 to 24 years old said they were committed to enrolling over the next 36 months, by the time the candidate was 45 to 54 years old, the share dropped to one in 10, and for 55- to 64-year-olds, it was half that," writes Dian Schaffauser. Interestingly, the top "expectation" for more education among those surveyed was satisfying "intellectual curiosity" (60%), just beating out respondents who selected "more money" (59%).  Campus Technology  (International)

URegina students hope Canada will follow Scotland's lead in making menstrual products freely available

University of Regina students are offering 'period stations' on-campus on a trial basis, over the next month. The URegina initiative follows similar programs on postsecondary campuses across the country that aim to make menstrual products more accessible to the campus community. URegina Champions of Change club member Taylor Eltom and president Raiha Shareef connect the program Scotland's initiative to become the first jurisdiction to make period products freely available at designated public places. "We as a club really want to see systemic change within the university and within Saskatchewan as a whole," said Shareef. "We want to see these period products being supplied in public restrooms as much as toilet paper is because they should be seen as necessities."   CBC  (SK)

VIU opens recruitment office in Ecuador

Vancouver Island University has opened a recruitment office in Quito, Ecuador to encourage new relationships and collaborations in Latin American countries. "Canadian education, and our ideals and lifestyle, is valued in many Spanish-speaking countries extending from Mexico into South America," said VIU Director of International Marketing, Recruitment and Business Development Bruce Condie. "They are also looking to expand their awareness and abilities in English, which will enhance their career prospects, and VIU is well-positioned to provide a variety of programs to meet these requisites."  VIU  (BC)

East-Asian international students' "silent strategies" for navigating the classroom need to be addressed

Throughout my own experiences with teaching as a graduate teaching assistant at UBC, I have observed that East-Asian international students are more likely to remain silent in class and play the role of a listener in group discussions, writes Xueqing Zhang. To discover why this is the case, Zhang conducted first-hand interviews with East-Asian international students. She discovered that three factors prominently figure into these students' decisions to stay silent in postsecondary classrooms: the English-language barrier, fear of losing face and damaging one's reputation within a community, and stereotypes and/or discrimination. Zhang notes that such issues may be addressed by encouraging domestic students to question stereotypical beliefs and inspiring East-Asian students to step out of their comfort zone.   University Affairs  (National)

UBC considers renaming field after as namesake is expected to plead guilty to admissions scandal

The University of British Columbia has announced it is considering renaming David Sidoo Field at Thunderbird Stadium as the businessman prepares to plead guilty for his involvement in a college admission cheating scheme. In an email, UBC spokesman Kurt Heinrich said the school is aware Sidoo plans to plead guilty, confirming that the university is beginning the process of deciding whether to remove his name from signage. Heinrich did not say when the name would be formally revoked if a committee recommends it, or what the process would be to rename the field. "In the coming days we will be reviewing all the facts," he said in an email. "We believe it is crucial for the university to follow due process." CBC (BC)