6 Canadian universities are among the 100 greenest in the world, according to this year’s Universitas Indonesia (UI) GreenMetric Rankings. Université de Sherbrooke was the top Canadian institution at 14th overall, followed by York University at 35th. Concordia University was ranked 46th, [CIEC Academic Member] McMaster University 66th, the University of Victoria 84th, and [CIEC Academic Member] Carleton University 97th. The rankings are derived from institutions’ scores in 6 categories, including waste management, water usage, transportation, and energy and climate change mitigation. In total, 360 universities from 62 countries were ranked, up from 301 universities last year. The University of Nottingham (UK) took top spot, followed by University College Cork (IE) and Nottingham Trent University (UK). This marks the fifth year in which UI has released its rankings.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published its Education Policy Outlook for 2015. The report identifies a number of key issues and goals for each member nation, as well as identifying high-level international trends. The report notes that many countries are looking to expand PSE graduation rates as a means to combat unemployment and overcome skills gaps, and that the proportion of persons aged 25–34 with tertiary education was consistently higher than that of persons aged 55–64. The report also identified what is described as a reverse gender gap at the PSE level; 46% of women aged 25–34 have attained a PSE credential, compared with 35% of men of the same age. The report also recommends PSE institutions increase pathways to the labour market. In its look at Canada, the report notes the importance of increasing the participation of minority-language and Aboriginal students in PSE, and recommends improvements to the apprenticeship system. It also notes that improving access and efficiency of funding will be an important goal for Canada. The report highlights a number of specific policy responses to these challenges that have been implemented by Canadian institutions.
The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) has issued a progress report on last year’s International Education Strategy (IES), which proposed to double the number of international students studying in Canada by 2022. CBIE reports that there are now nearly 300,000 international students studying in Canada, suggesting that the goal is attainable. CBIE notes that although numbers were already on the rise thanks to institutional and provincial efforts, the federal strategy provided a coordinated approach and allowed organizations to prepare for the necessary student services and supports. Changes to student visa regulations now allow international students to work part-time off campus without obtaining further documentation, making Canada more attractive to those seeking work experience as well as education. CBIE hopes to see an increase in the number of Canadian students studying abroad, in order to strengthen the internationalization of education in general. On this note, CBIE suggests the creation of 15,000 study grants by 2017 to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary and to encourage global engagement.
Mount Royal University is set to unveil an ambitious 10-year strategic plan that would see the institution expand its degree offerings, roll back its applied programs, and significantly boost enrolment of Aboriginal and international students. According to a draft of the plan obtained by Metro News, MRU will look to add 4 baccalaureate degree programs and phase out its 5 applied degrees. It also hopes to increase the number of majors offered from 42 to 60 and boost total enrolment to 13,000 students by 2024–25, a 60% increase over the current number. In the draft version of the document, MRU President David Docherty describes the plan as “a framework for excellence” that “identifies our key strengths as well as areas where additional focus will benefit our students and university.” The plan, entitled Learning Together, Leading Together, will go before the board of governors for approval in late February.
The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) has launched Canada’s Education Abroad Lexicon. The resource is available online and consists of terms and definitions useful to those involved in international education. The lexicon was developed in consultation with educational institutions in Canada, through the use of a survey asking for agreement on certain definitions. New terms will be added to the resource in the future, as the CBIE hopes to create “Canada’s comprehensive and authoritative vocabulary for education abroad.” The terms currently included are meant to help institutions and governments develop new programs and track Canadian participation in education abroad.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has awarded $35 M in research infrastructure funding to 37 universities across the country. The funding was awarded through the CFI’s John R Evans Leaders Fund, which was created to help universities develop infrastructure in order to attract and retain highly skilled researchers. Canadian Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder made the funding announcement at the University of Saskatchewan [CIEC Academic Member], where researchers will use CFI funding for projects related to animal health, pet food, biofuels, cancer, and freshwater monitoring and rehabilitation. “Thanks to new CFI-funded research tools, our researchers are working with industry partners … to come up with innovative solutions that address real-world challenges and help build healthy and prosperous communities,” said uSask VP Research Karen Chad. A complete list of recipients is available as part of CFI’s announcement.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology [CIEC Academic Member] will soon offer a new Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mining and Mineral Resource Engineering, reportedly the first such degree in Canada. The program will offer students “a unique combination of geology, mineral exploration, and mining.” In a news release, BCIT says that this will be the only degree in Canada that combines skills such as mineral exploration geology with mine engineering. “This degree will close the knowledge gap that often exists between geologists and engineers. By leading the way in our field, BCIT is addressing a direct industry need for qualified persons with a diverse skill set,” said Robert Stevens, Associate Dean of Engineering and Natural Resources. The program is expected to launch in September.
In a piece for the Vancouver Sun, columnist Don Cayo calls on Canada to do more to help immigrants develop their English and French language skills. Cayo says that while many immigrants to Canada are highly educated, they must often settle for lesser jobs and smaller paycheques because of difficulty communicating in one or both of the country’s official languages. Cayo cites research from scholars at the University of Waterloo and Princeton University that suggests that “linguistic proximity”—the degree of similarity between an immigrant’s mother tongue and one or both of Canada’s official languages—bears a relationship to an individual’s ability to get a better job in Canada. Language difficulties, Cayo says, prevent immigrants from reaching their professional and economic potential in Canada, and inhibit them from contributing to the broader economy. Cayo goes on to suggest that improving language skills is essential in the face of a looming shortage of skilled, articulate, and well-educated workers.
The Cross-Border Institute at the University of Windsor will offer a new Border Management and International Trade Certificate program. The program, described as the first of its kind in the world, will be made available in partnership with the Forum for International Trade Training. Students will complete 8 courses to build expertise in areas such as international trade, border management, and cross-border logistics and security. It has been designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals and students working in complementary disciplines. “This is a program that bridges the traditional disciplines and will address emerging trends in international trade while taking into consideration the needs and focus of stakeholders from such areas as government, industry, and academia,” said Bill Anderson, Director of the Cross-Border Transportation Centre.
Source: High Commission of Canada
Premier of the Canadian Province of Prince Edward Island, Robert Ghiz, led a provincial delegation to India to further strengthen education and business ties with India. In addition to participating in the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Premier Ghiz also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Canada’s University of Prince Edward Island and India’s Uka Tarsadia University. In Mumbai, Premier Ghiz interacted with entrepreneurs and innovators at Zone Startups/India.
A new program at UBC will pave the way for internationally trained midwives to be granted licenses to work in British Columbia. The program, which will complement UBC’s existing 4-year midwifery undergraduate degree program, will launch as a pilot with 4 students this spring, with plans to accept 8 first-year students by January 2016. The program will be tailored for each student in order to recognize individuals’ diverse experience and training. After completing the program, students will be eligible to sit the Canadian Midwifery Registration Examination to apply for licensure from the College of Midwives of BC. BC will provide $680,000 in support of the program. “This program, combined with the doubling of enrolment in our 4-year bachelor’s program, will help UBC fill the province’s growing need for qualified midwives by providing an additional pathway to licensure,” said Michelle Butler, Director of UBC’s midwifery program. She also noted that the program will help diversify the profession to reflect BC’s immigrant and second-generation communities.
Source: IIM Bangalore | January 14, 2015
Emphasizing Canada’s focus on fiscal rectitude and innovation, the zeal with which it advocates open markets and its concerted efforts to overcome skills mismatch, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander wooed talented Indians, be they entrepreneurs or MBA graduates, in his hour-long talk at IIM Bangalore today.
“We want to pursue the value of immigration. We have carefully and deliberately reformed our immigration system,” he said, listing Canada’s Express Entry visa and the Start-Up visas for entrepreneurs as steps in that direction.
Inviting start-ups to be incubated in Canada, he said many Indian entrepreneurs had set up businesses last year and there were many projects in the pipeline from Bangalore this year. “You talk of Silicon Valley in our neighbor country, we we have Quantum Valley in our country where cutting-edge research happens.”
He spoke of his country’s focus on strategic investments, complemented by a relatively low tax business environment and openness to new markets had led them to go from just 5-6 free trade agreements a decade ago to free trade agreements with 49 countries now. “We want to move at the speed of business, not at the speed of bureaucracy,” he said, observing that India was the centerpiece of such partnerships. “Whether it is pharmaceuticals or medical research, life sciences or fields such as Ayurveda and yoga, India excites us,” declared the minister who arrived in the city after leading the Canadian delegation at the Vibrant Gujarat summit.
Delighted at the number of exchange partnerships that a management school such as IIM Bangalore has with top B-schools in Canada, he said: “We cannot grow without leadership, exchange and innovation.”
Describing immigration as the key factor for Canada’s growth, he said his country was keen to benefit from the talent and unique skills of people from anywhere in the world. He drew attention to the quality of life in Canada’s top cities and said: “A youngster looking to work in animation or video games or keen on a technology start-up will feel most at home in any of our cities. When I say we are welcoming, I don’t mean those huge welcome signs at the airport but the ways in which people treat you on the metro.”
Charting the course of Canada’s business environment from the 1960’s to now, he said the turning point had arrived when entrepreneurship and innovation were brought into government. “We repaid debt, we launched an ambitious plan for reducing taxes, we targeted tax relief for families, especially the middle class, and we put our on focus on fiscal discipline. That’s why though we were tested by the 2008 crisis, unlike our neighbor, our banks neither failed nor bailed out, unemployment did not spike and the real estate market did not tank.”
Stating that there was a lot of scope to “right size” Canada’s relationship with India through all the new immigration initiatives, he said: “We are in territory a little bigger than you – all right, so we are a lot colder than you – but we are just 35 million to your 1.2 billion. We want to benefit from your talent and your uniqueness,” he said.
Earlier in the afternoon, N Ravi, Career diplomat and Senior Fellow, IIM Bangalore, introduced the minister to the gathering.
The minister’s talk was followed by a Q&A session, where students and entrepreneurs in areas as diverse as transport and sports management sought information on Canada’s integration initiatives for immigrants.
In an editorial published in The Hill, Lumina Foundation President Jamie Merisotis argues that PSE must adapt to meet changes in student demographics. Merisotis notes that today’s students are far more diverse than those in the past, and coming from a broader range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, as well as being older and having more work experience. He also cites a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research that shows that a quarter of all college students are raising dependent children, with half of those being single parents. Merisotis says that PSE leaders must “redesign education beyond high school” in order to improve attainment rates and close the talent gap. He calls for 3 specific shifts: first, he calls for changes to financial aid to maximize its impact, including incentives for students who make rapid progress and complete their degrees; second, he says that educators should measure student learning rather than classroom time, turning to a more competency-based approach to assessment; and finally, he calls for the “democratization of high-quality instruction” by making the knowledge and skills needed to obtain credentials more accessible.
PSE participation rates should continue to climb as demand increases in countries such as China and India, according to Simon Marginson of the University College London Institute of Education. Marginson told attendees of a recent conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education that the global gross tertiary enrolment ratio (GTER) has climbed from 14% in 1992 to 32% in 2012, and that it will exceed 50% by 2025. Marginson said that growth over the next 10 years will be fueled not by state planning or the world economy, but by the rise of an aspirational middle class in developing countries. “Once a mass system is in place,” he argued, “popular demand is rising and the costs of non-participation is apparent, [so] the state is less crucial.” Marginson also said that a poor graduate job market will not act as a deterrent due to the “incoherent” relationship between higher education and the labour market.
College of the Rockies [CIEC Academic Member] in BC is reporting what it is describing as a “substantial” increase in enrolments in its university transferable courses as well as in many other programs for the winter semester. Tourism, Kinesiology, and Business are seeing the largest growth. Registrar DJ Silva said, “this indicates that students continue to see us as a viable option for starting their university education. Smaller class sizes, affordable tuition, and the ability to stay at home for the first year or 2 of their postsecondary journey makes starting at the College an appealing choice.” Silva noted that online enrolments and international enrolments are also up. Lethbridge College also recently announced an increase in winter enrolments, thanks in part to their online programs.
The Nova Scotia government has announced a new initiative designed to recruit doctors to underserved communities in the province. The incentive program offers to repay the cost of tuition for medical school, up to $120,000, in exchange for a 5-year commitment to practise in an underserved community. The program is open to 25 medical students in residency, or doctors from outside the province who have practised for less than 7 years, over the next 4 years. The program is the main recommendation of the Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team, an expert panel set up to identify ways to recruit and retain doctors. “Not only will this program represent a first step in assisting new and recent graduates repay student debt, it will have a positive impact on the health of Nova Scotians by placing physicians in underserviced areas of the province,” said Russell Christie, President of Dalhousie Medical Students Society.
British Columbia’s government has released a new report that predicts that there will be nearly 1 M job openings between now and 2022. Two-thirds of those openings are expected to be due to the retirement of baby boomers, with the remaining third attributed to economic growth. Four-fifths of the positions will require some form of PSE, and 44% of the jobs will be in skilled trades and technical occupations. The province also suggests that liquid natural gas development could add an additional 100,000 openings to the forecasted figure. The 3 occupation groups with the most expected openings over the next 7 years are projected to be sales and service occupations; business, finance, and administration occupations; and trades, transport, and equipment operators and related occupations. Most openings will occur in the Lower Mainland, while the Northeast, the North Coast and Nechako, and the Lower Mainland/Southwest regions are expected to see growth in demand for workers at rates above the provincial average of 1.2%.
A survey by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has found that many students who move to NL to study are sticking around. The study surveyed 3,500 PSE students, finding that 43% of Canadians from other provinces were still living in NL 2 years after graduating. Among international students, 71% were still residing in NL 2 years after graduating. Meanwhile, 90% of local students remained in the province. NL’s Auditor General has suggested that the province’s tuition freeze be reviewed, but Advanced Education and Skills Minister Kevin O’Brien said that “the number of out-of-province students staying after graduation proves the freeze is doing what the government wants.” Tuition fees have been frozen in NL since 1999 and are currently the lowest in Canada.