The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) has announced it is working to develop a professional development program for International Student Advisors (ISAs). The federal government requires that counsellors offering student-related immigration advice have the Regulated International Student Immigration Advisers (RISIAs) designation. ISAs that complete the new program will be eligible to write the RISIA qualifying exam. The program needs to be accredited by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, and CBIE hopes to submit its program design proposal by early fall. The design process has taken into consideration input from PSE institutions, such as being offered in English and French, having flexible delivery and scheduling options, and reflecting different provincial/territorial immigration legislation.
Engineers Canada has released a new report outlining projections of the expected supply and demand of engineers in Canada through to 2025. The report, Engineering Labour Market in Canada: Projections to 2025, provides provincial-level breakdowns of the number of engineers currently working, the average age of engineers in different fields, and the projected need for engineers to fill vacated positions. The report suggests that recent engineering graduates will not be able to replace retiring senior engineers; inter-provincial mobility of senior engineers and the immigration of international engineers will be necessary to fill these positions. The report also recommends that traditionally underrepresented groups such as women and Aboriginal peoples will be needed in the engineering workforce.
[CIEC Academic Member] Langara College’s School of Nursing has been awarded a seven-year accreditation from the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN), the maximum length that can be awarded to an institution. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing was approved by the province in October 2013, but has pursued voluntary accreditation in order to provide its graduates a “smoother path” to further education. “This is a wonderful and remarkable achievement as few nursing programs achieve seven-year accreditation status in their inaugural application to CASN,” said Provost Brad O’Hara. “Their vision, many years of planning, and hard work have yielded an enviable result of which we all can be proud.”
Prince Edward Island has released its latest budget, which Minster of Finance Allen Roach calls a “reality budget,” citing its “economic frugality.” The budget projects a deficit of just under $20M with less than 1% growth in program spending. However, the budget awards postsecondary institutions their first provincial funding increases since 2012. This money boosts University of PEI funding by 8% and Holland College funding by 2.5%. Much of the money for UPEI will go toward establishing a new school of engineering.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has announced that it will award $430M to 3,800 academic researchers at over 70 Canadian universities. The funds will support long-term projects by researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and students primarily through NSERC’s Discovery Grants program. Minister of State for Science and Technology Ed Holder said, “Today’s investment in more than 3,800 researchers at 71 universities across the country ensures Canada has a broad base of talented men and women whose research continues to push the boundaries of knowledge [and] creates jobs and opportunities while improving the quality of life of Canadians.”
In a recent speech before the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Universities Canada President Paul Davidson said that many people are “too fixated on the price tag” of postsecondary education. Davidson said that many calls for lower tuition neglect the broad range of scholarships, bursaries, and other financial aid options that can help offset the cost of an education. “Tuition is not an insurmountable barrier,” he said. “Our studies and other studies show that people overestimate the cost of higher education and underestimate the earning premium that they will achieve as the result of attending a university.” Some students took exception to Davidson’s remark; Michaela Sam, Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students-Nova Scotia, said that the comment “disregards the reality that students face today.”
[CIEC Academic Member] Simon Fraser University will this week announce the creation of the new Pacific Water Research Centre (PWRC), part of its Faculty of Environment. The PWRC will respond to regional, national, and international concerns about the world’s water resources and provide a hub for cross-disciplinary, collaborative research to help address global water crises. Faculty of Environment Dean Ingrid Leman Stefanovic said, “the goal of the PWRC aims to inform research questions on the strength of local and regional priorities, to ensure that community-engaged research leads to positive, community-relevant changes.”
Alberta’s government has released details on Bill 3, the interim supply bill. The bill, if passed, will freeze tuition at AB’s postsecondary institutions for two years, reverse an earlier 1.4% cut to Campus Alberta funding, and increase base operating funding by 2%. Bill 3 will also roll back previously approved market-modifier tuition increases. Outgoing University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera praised the bill, calling it “a clear message that the Alberta government sees postsecondary education as a public good,” while University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon said “we appreciate the importance the Government of Alberta places on postsecondary funding today.”
Great Plains College’s Swift Current campus has been awarded its international designation from Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Advanced Education. The designation means that international students will be able to enrol in the campus’s Business and Administrative Assistant programs. “We recognize the current and looming labour shortage in Saskatchewan and the desire to have access to skilled graduates,” says Keleah Ostrander, Great Plains’ Director of Planning. “By being able to accept international students and support them through post-secondary education, we are able to help meet the needs of employers in the province.” Great Plains is reportedly the second SK regional college to receive its international designation.
Canada is seventh on the list of destinations for international students but could be much higher, according to a Globe and Mail op-ed. The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) projects that the number of students seeking education outside their home country will rise from 4.1 M in 2010 to 7.2 M by 2025. However, due in part to slow visa processing and lack of coordination, Canada could miss out. “[The challenge is] to develop a cohesive Canadian strategy to feature, highlight, promote our academic institutions, and that shouldn’t be just a city-specific or a provincial-specific strategy,” said Patricia McQuillan of Brand Matters Inc.
A new study by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) maps supports for the study-to-work transition for international students at 238 PSE institutions in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. The report indicates that large businesses are actively involved in hiring international students at 40% of Canadian institutions, and that small businesses are better represented among active recruiters on Canadian campuses than in the other countries. However, international students still often encounter a “patchwork” of resources, and more coordination is necessary. The study further recommends more information sharing, the development of shared goals, and greater involvement from municipalities.
One-fifth of Canadian and US colleges and universities never respond to admissions inquiries from students from other countries; moreover, among those that do reply to international students, four-fifths never follow up after first contact. The figures come from a “mystery shopper”-style research project from the British Council that examined how 974 institutions around the world helped international students find the information they need about where to study. Researchers evaluated more than 40 different data points including “findability,” quality of information, and usability. Information regarding program duration, start dates, and accreditation were reportedly the most difficult to find; in addition, one-third of institutional websites examined did not pass the Google Mobile-Friendly test.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology’s School of Business has been granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The accreditation includes a number of notes and conditions that must be met, and ACBSP will review BCIT programs every two years to ensure that the terms of the accreditation are being followed. “The accreditation process … served to validate BCIT’s unique model that focuses on industry alignment as a means of delivering high quality professional business education,” said Robin Hemmingsen, Dean of the BCIT School of Business. The accreditation applies to more than 15 programs offered at BCIT [CIEC Academic Member].
The Council of Ontario Universities has released its latest University Works report. The report suggests that university graduates have the lowest unemployment rates, the highest employment rates, and the highest lifetime earnings compared to graduates of other PSE programs. 91% of university graduates reported being employed three years after graduation, and the median bachelor degree holder was earning 33% more than the median college graduate three years after graduation. The report also shows that, among all provinces, ON university graduates have the third-lowest average debt from government sources.
According to Janine Knight-Grofe from the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 56% of international students in Canada said they have no Canadian friends. “We are missing out on one of the strategic advantages of international education, one that we as international educators frequently tout,” Knight-Grofe said at last week’s annual conference of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. One-third of international students said they found it difficult to meet Canadian students and half experienced challenges meeting Canadians off campus. The issue is particularly acute for students from the Middle East and North Africa: only 28% of these students had any Canadian friends.
According to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) report obtained by the Globe and Mail, insufficient resources and lack of coordination have contributed to a 30% increase in processing times for study permits and a doubling of the processing time for temporary resident visas. While the federal government has pledged to double the number of international students by 2022, it has not provided sufficient resources to do so, according to [CIEC Academic Member] Western University President Amit Chakma. Universities Canada President Paul Davidson said, “the question of visa processing times is a critical one in terms of attracting top students. If our competitors are able to turn around visas faster, all the marketing efforts, all the recruitment efforts, all the offers of scholarships fail.”
A majority of leaders hold degrees in the social sciences or the humanities, according to a new survey conducted by the British Council. The survey reports results from 1,709 leaders in 30 countries, defined as people in a “position of influence within their organization.” Fully 44% of respondents had training in the social sciences, with a further 11% in the humanities. The survey results also show that younger leaders, defined as those under 45, are more likely to have social science and humanities degrees.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation on Friday announced that 87 projects will benefit from a total of $333 M in funding for research infrastructure. These projects include a collaborative effort by scholars at Carleton University [CIEC Academic Member], McGill University, Simon Fraser University [CIEC Academic Member], and the University of Victoria to develop new components for the ATLAS detector at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Switzerland, which enabled the discovery of the Higgs boson; studies at Toronto General Hospital into healing human organs outside of the body for transplants; and research at Ryerson University into the social and cultural impact of the “Internet of Things.”
Premier Kathleen Wynne will lead a mission to India in early 2016 to foster more opportunities for trade and investment and promote Ontario’s expertise in sustainable development.
A main component of the trip will be a business delegation that will visit New Delhi and Mumbai — India’s governing and economic centres — as well as Hyderabad and Chandigarh. Premier Wynne will meet with government and industry decision-makers to discuss how Ontario’s expertise makes the province an attractive partner as India works toward achieving its sustainable development goals. She will also highlight the province’s position as the North American leader in attracting foreign capital investment. The mission is expected to result in several new agreements that will create jobs and boost the provincial economy.
As part of the trip, Premier Wynne will also meet with cultural leaders to reinforce Ontario’s commitment to fostering stronger ties with India.
Providing more opportunities for Ontario companies to compete internationally is part of the government’s economic plan. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
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