Top Ten

September 10, 2021

KPU receives $8M gift to create student opportunities, renames business school

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has received an $8M gift from George and Sylvia Melville to create opportunities for students. The funds, which KPU will receive over four years, will be put towards a variety of funds and initiatives at KPU, including the establishment of endowed scholarships and bursaries, as well as funds for technology, a case competition, and an incubator. In recognition of the gift, KPU has renamed its business school the Melville School of Business. “This very generous gift will create tremendous opportunities for students and faculty, and will significantly enhance the reputation of both the business school and KPU,” said KPU President Dr Alan Davis. KPU (BC)

UCalgary scientists help discover new dinosaur species that preyed on T-rex

University of Calgary scientists and researchers from Japan and Uzbekistan have discovered a new dinosaur species which they have named the Ulughbegsaurus. Bone fragments and teeth of the species were discovered by a Russian paleontologist in the 1980s and stored in Uzbekistan’s state geological museum. Kohei Tanaka, a University of Tsukba paleontologist, found the upper jaw and recognized it as belonging to a kind of predator that was not previously found in the area. U of C associate professor of paleontology Darla Zelenitsky says that the Ulughbegsaurus may have preyed on the T-rex. “The apex predator was missing from the species and now here it is,” said Zelenitsky. “I was surprised it took so long to identify such a large predator, so this is very exciting.” Calgary Herald | CBC | Smithsonian (AB)

BC launches campaign to increase awareness of sexual violence prevention, supports among students

The Government of British Columbia has launched the “…Is Not Yes” campaign, which aims to increase awareness about sexual violence prevention and supports that are available for students. The campaign builds on the 2019-20 “…Is Not Yes” campaign, and will include running ads in multiple languages on social media platforms, in student restaurants and bars, and in print. BC will distribute shareable campaign materials to all of BC’s public postsecondary institutions. “The messages about sex, consent and sexual violence in this campaign are direct because students have told us loud and clear that we need to meet them in a thought-provoking and direct way,” said Anne Kang, BC’s Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. BC | Castlegar News (BC)

StatCan releases report on changes in tuition, fees for 2021/2022 school year

Statistics Canada has released a new report on changes in tuition fees across Canada. StatCan says that Canadian students saw undergraduate tuition increased by 1.7% in 2021/2022, while graduate tuition increased by 1.5%. Undergraduate students in professional degree programs paid the highest average tuition, but also had the highest median employment two years post-graduation. StatCan says that international student tuition fees increased by 4.9% in 2021/2022, and that very few international students enrolled in professional degree programs, which have the highest average tuition fees for international students. The study also found that compulsory fees increased, with the national average for compulsory fees rising 8% from the previous year for both undergraduate and graduate students. StatCan (National)

Tips for implementing policies to address online harassment from trolls: Opinion

All postsecondary institutions need to have policies in place that provide guidance for supporting faculty and staff who are targeted by internet trolls, writes Michael Bérubé. The author offers tips for both faculty members who are being targeted and the administrators supporting these faculty members. Bérubé suggests that faculty members disengage from messages and show caution in responding, but also encourages preserving messages and taking screenshots of inappropriate social media posts. The author advises administrators to help faculty or staff by addressing their safety, advising staff about the issue on a need-to-know basis, ensuring a coordinated response, and facilitating changes such as the removal of a faculty member’s contact information from online pages if requested by the faculty member. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Paywall) (Editorial)

Instructor claims she was dismissed for refusing vaccine, Huron says no one dismissed due to policy

Huron University College ethics instructor Julie Ponesse recently posted a video on YouTube in which she criticized the institution’s vaccine mandate and stated that she fears for her employment. According to The Star, Ponesse stated that she was told by Huron to “be vaccinated immediately or not report for work” and that she argued that this mandate was at odds with her role at the institution. The Star and CBC report that the video concludes by stating that Ponesse was dismissed on September 7th, while the National Post reports that Ponesse was placed on paid leave and Huron UC spokesperson Drew Davidson commented that “at this time, no one at Huron has been dismissed as a result of this policy” and . The Star | CBC | CTV News | National Post (ON)

UFred launches Associate Degree in Occupational Health and Safety

The University of Fredericton has launched an Associate Degree in Occupational Health and Safety (AOHS). The program will introduce students to multidisciplinary knowledge and skills, and will cover a variety of topics, such as management systems, risk assessment, industrial hygiene, and environmental factors. The program is fully accredited and is offered fully online to provide students with the flexibility to work while they attend school. “When we applied for an Associate Degree in Occupational Health and Safety, it was because we knew that there was a significant need for more degree-level OHS education,” said Dr Sheri McKillop, VP of Academics at UFred. “We are so pleased to now have this credential available for OHS practitioners across Canada and around the world.” UFred (NB)

Men fall behind women in postsecondary enrolment: Editorial

A recent US study found that men have fallen behind women in postsecondary enrolment numbers by “record levels,” writes Maria Carrasco. Carrasco reports that men only made up 40.5% of students in 2020/21 and similarly had lower application rates than their women counterparts. Data also showed that white men from poor or working-class backgrounds enrolled at lower rates than Black, Latino, or Asian men from the same backgrounds. The Wall Street Journal reports the enrolment gap has been getting progressively worse in the last 40 years, and that if the trend continues, women will out-graduate men two-to-one in the next few years. Wall Street Journal (Paywall) | Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

TRU establishes Disaster Relief Fund for students

Thompson Rivers University has announced that it is establishing a fund that will help students facing hardship due to climate-related disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund was inspired by TRU Distinguished Alumnus Kevin Loring and TRU honorary doctorate holder Lori Marchand, who were concerned about Lytton students who had been displaced by the wildfire. The fund will provide students who have been displaced with safe housing and tuition help. This year, the initiative is supporting Alexis Aleck-Brown, who is a Lytton evacuee and a first-year TRU mechanical trades student. CFJC Today (BC)

Study permit processing times decrease for international students: Study

Study permit processing times are decreasing for international students hoping to study in Canada, according to a new article from Meti Basiri of ApplyBoard. An examination of the processing times from Iran, Philippines, Mexico, India, and South Korea found an increase in processing times for new study permits in 2020. The processing times then subsequently decreased in 2021, nearly to pre-pandemic levels. The number of source countries that are experienced wait times lower than 50 days also grew to 64 countries in spring 2021. Basiri expects processing times to continue to trend downward and to return to 2019 durations by the end of the year, and warns that this will be critical for Canada to remain competitive as other countries reopen. ApplyBoard | India Times (International)