Langara College [CIEC Academic Member] has released its first Academic Plan, identifying priority areas to guide Langara’s growth and development through 2019. The 5 priority areas are Learning and Teaching; Student Support; Aboriginal Initiatives; International Initiatives; and Environmental, Financial, and Social Sustainability. The Plan is based on 18 months of consultations with faculty, staff, students, and external advisors, and is meant to be a living document that will be reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. Each of the priorities will be executed by an Academic Plan Action Group and will rely on active support and participation from the Langara community. “The Academic Plan identifies who we are as an institution, what we believe in, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. It builds on what we are doing well, identifies where we can grow, and is designed to be adapted in response to new opportunities and challenges,” reads a statement by Provost and VP Academic and Students Brad O’Hara.
The Financial Post has published a report on how business schools are adjusting to meet the needs of International and Indigenous students in the face of a diversifying student body. Murali Chandrashekaran, Associate Dean of UBC’s Sauder School of Business, says that there is a broad need for a more diverse approach to business education. Diversity, he said, is critical for long-term sustainability of global business. 76% of Sauder’s business instructors have international backgrounds, up from approximately 40% 10 years ago. The school uses a team-teaching approach to provide a variety of perspectives to its students, who last year represented 32 different countries. [CIEC Academic Member] Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business has introduced an EMBA program in Aboriginal Business and Leadership to promote Aboriginal leaders’ business education as well as to help managers working with First Nations communities build stronger relationships. The program relies on guest speakers from Aboriginal communities and counts chiefs and counsellors among its student body. “There’s a lot of expertise in that room,” said Program Director Mark Selman, “and the best faculty members are the ones who learn to take advantage of that and use it as an asset in the classroom.”
An article in Marketing magazine questions why Canadian marketers don’t devote more attention to international students. The article cites Canada’s ambition to double the number of international students and researchers in Canada, as well as a 94% increase in the number of international students entering Canada in the past decade. These students spent more than $8 B and helped create 81,000 jobs in that period; moreover, as a market, international students are likely to enjoy a certain amount of disposable income. The author of the article notes that the number of countries from which international students originate can make a unified strategy impossible, but points to overarching trends that should inform international student marketing strategies. She suggests that brands draw insight from their multicultural marketing efforts and focus on digital marketing strategies, as well as on geo-specific campaigns centred around PSE campuses.
Queen’s University Principal Daniel Woolf has announced his goals and priorities for the coming academic year. Woolf committed to increasing the number of opportunities for expanded credentials, including opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning. Woolf also committed to sustaining Queen’s tri-council success rate, to supporting faculty engagement and development, and to maintaining Queen’s position among Canada’s top universities for faculty awards, honours, and prizes. Woolf pointed to the need to ensure the university’s financial stability by meeting its annual fundraising target, diversifying its revenue, and pursuing long-term sustainability for its pension plan. Woolf further intends to improve the institution’s international profile through increased international enrolment at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as through the growth of international collaborations and partnerships. Finally, Woolf committed to promoting and developing top-quality faculty and staff with strong succession planning, well-developed competency models, refined hiring practices, and discussion among Deans around the matter of faculty renewal.
Memorial University has released a draft of its strategic internationalization plan. The plan issues 8 recommendations intended to support MUN’s international and intercultural initiatives. The plan recommends developing further intercultural competencies among students, faculty, and personnel. In addition, the plan calls on the university to aggressively strengthen structures for attracting and retaining international students, faculty members, and other personnel. The report further recommends transitioning MUN’s International Centre into an Internationalization Office with a mandate to facilitate, coordinate, promote, and monitor international activities and to implement the strategic plan. The plan also recommends that MUN better articulate, communicate, and market MUN’s value proposition, that the university design and implement centralized data collection and tracking for international initiatives, and that all academic programs support international learning outcomes. The document also calls for the creation of full-degree academic programming anchored at MUN’s Harlow campus in England.
UBC has published its flexible learning strategy. The strategy document identifies a series of trends that have informed its creation. These include changing expectations of students and employers, demographic shifts such as the increasing proportion of older and international students, government policies that have increased universities’ reliance on tuition revenue, and an increased emphasis on the measured value of university programs. The strategy suggests that these trends are reinforced by the development of disruptive technologies including massive open online courses (MOOCs), automated assessments and adaptive learning, and increased transparency. To respond to these changes, the strategy prioritizes 3 key areas. First, UBC plans to improve its learning technology ecosystem, based on feedback from faculty and staff. Second, UBC aims to support new personal, professional, and career development programs through the creation of a new unit in the Provost’s office. This role will support the university’s faculties with development, marketing, planning, and budgeting for innovative new credit programs. The third priority area identified by UBC is its membership in edX as a contributing charter member.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released its annual “Education at a Glance” report. According to the report, Canada spent 2.8% of its GDP on postsecondary institutions in 2010. This was sufficient to surpass the US as the world leader in this category. Canada was found to have spent twice as much as the OECD average to educate each PSE student. 43% of the cost of PSE in Canada is picked up privately, higher than the OECD average of 31%. The report says that Canada’s colleges have helped the country achieve the highest rate of adult PSE attainment in the developed world. 24% of Canadian adults were found to have graduated from a community college, and 57.3% of Canadians were reported to have achieved postsecondary degrees. Canada’s share of international students increased by about 5% between 2000 and 2012, while the US’s share slipped from 23% to 16%. However, Canada’s math scores—while still higher than the OECD average—have dropped from 2003 levels. Canada is not the only country in which math scores have fallen, with Finland and the Netherlands also seeing reductions.
Capilano University [CIEC Academic Member] has released its first Academic Plan, highlighting the strengths of the university and opportunities to excel. The Academic Plan will serve as a starting point for the 2015-18 Strategic Plan, to be developed in the coming months. The document outlines potential pathways for institutional renewal and represents the “collective will of our community to embrace change and participate in growth.” The Academic Plan consists of sections detailing CapilanoU’s vision for academic principles, academic programming, academic support, and moving forward, with an appendix that addresses possibilities for the upcoming Strategic Plan. “The Academic Plan is the first step in reimagining Cap’s future. The strategic planning process that follows will continue to be collaborative and lead to the collective transformation of learning, teaching, and academic work at Capilano University,” stated Rick Gale, CapilanoU VP Academic and Provost.
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) has released a new website, universitystudy.ca, designed to help students, parents, and guidance counsellors find information about Canada’s PSE institutions and PSE programs. The online resource includes profiles of institutions and AUCC’s searchable program database, as well as articles and tips for students on PSE planning. In addition, the new site contains dedicated information for Aboriginal students, and information for international students considering studying in Canada. “With this new website, AUCC is pleased to help students navigate the breadth of high-quality universities and programs offered across Canada,” says AUCC President Paul Davidson.
TCS Insights: Students from Canada as well as from abroad now have an additional resource to help them learn about different educational institutions in the country as well as programs offered while they plan their academic futures.