“It was an honour to do seva with the Sikh community… ahead of this weekend’s Nagar Kirtan to celebrate Vaisakhi.“
The University of Alberta says that it will look to engage new regions for international student recruitment in an effort to make its international student body more diverse by 2020. The Edmonton Journal reports that achieving this goal will require the university to redirect some of the attention that is currently focused on China. The Journal adds that since student tuition is the second largest contributor to the overall university budget, such a lack of diversity poses a financial risk to the institution.
The University of Alberta has moved to significantly bolster its ties with India, reports the Edmonton Journal. Late last year, UAlberta President David Turpin led a small delegation to Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Delhi to secure new agreements, build on existing partnerships, and meet prospective international students through conferences and youth forums. “For so many years, when people thought about studying abroad, they thought about the UK and USA,” says Turpin. “But Canada in India right now is on the ascendancy.” UAlberta has reportedly signed a number of new partnerships with Indian institutions, which include an agreement to allow 10 Indian PhD candidates from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to pursue up to a year of joint study at UAlberta.
MacEwan University is considering an increase to its tuition fees for international students in order to better support domestic students studying abroad, reports CBC. A draft proposal reportedly suggests that the school should implement a 10% increase in international student fees for fall 2017-18 and an additional 5% increase for fall of 2018-19. The Edmonton Journal adds that the proposed changes could result in the creation of $2.5K entrance bursaries or scholarships for as many as 230 students, and the same amount for up to 120 MacEwan students studying abroad. “Tuition is not a small dollar item anymore and so when you look at these models for tuition, you don’t want to be too high; we want to be accessible to students (and) at the same time, you don’t want to be too low,” said MacEwan Provost John Corlett.
In response to the recently discovered and removed racist posters on campus, the Sikh Students’ Association and the World Sikh Organization of Canada held a turban-tying event called “Turban, eh?” in the University of Alberta Students’ Union building. The event invited any interested persons to have a turban tied on their heads, and provided the opportunity for participants to ask the volunteers questions. Faculty, staff, and students from UAlberta were joined by politicians and community members for the event. UAlberta President David Turpin commented that he was filled with pride at the event, stating that “it really is an opportunity to stand up and say what it means to be Canadian.”
The past five years show a “national trend toward a steady rise in the number of overseas students arriving in Canada,” reports the Edmonton Journal. The article notes that Manitoba has nearly doubled the number of international students studying in the province since 2011-12, while Alberta has seen a 40% increase and Saskatchewan has seen a 24% increase over the same period. The article highlights how specific institutions in AB have promoted themselves to international students and how they benefit from growing international cohorts. “Internationalization is important because the world is becoming more globalized and it’s important that students and staff have the capabilities to work well with each other,” says NorQuest College Chair of Graduate Studies Ron Horton.
Graduates of foreign medical schools often face a significant clash of cultures when they pursue two-year family medicine residencies in Canada, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Alberta and University of Calgary. The report notes that while Canada relies heavily on international medical graduates, many of these graduates may struggle with unfamiliar cultural experiences, such as being taught by female instructors, working with the mentally ill, and having difficulty with the nuances of English. “In some countries, males look after males and females look after females,” said Olga Szafran, associate research director in the University of Alberta’s family-medicine department and the study’s lead author, “but we can’t be selective in the kind of patients that our physicians end up treating.”
The new Alberta budget for 2015–16 will increase funding to the province’s universities, colleges, and technical schools by $280 M compared to last year. The funding will help support a two-year tuition freeze for students, a $40 M boost to base funding for schools, and a $183 M increase in student loans. $581 M of the $5.7 B overall budget will be set aside for eight major campus expansion projects. The funding announcement was met with relief by many higher education stakeholders, including Erik Queenan, President of the Students’ Association at Mount Royal University, who said that students were “really encouraged to hear the government is acknowledging the importance of post-secondary, especially in these turbulent economic times.”
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.”
Medicine Hat College has implemented all recommendations from a 2013 review of its International Education Division (IED). A follow-up report from Auditor General Merwan Saher confirms that MHC administrators have increased the level of awareness and detail in their reporting of international education activities to the board of governors, redefined goals and targets for international activities to align with those of the college, redefined the roles and responsibilities of the IED, and revised and improved monitoring of travel and expense reporting. The report also notes that MHC is cancelling its partnerships in China and improving its contract management practices. “These changes have improved the college’s transparency and accountability for the results of its international education activities,” says the report. MHC has also reportedly implemented a safe-disclosure whistleblower process to allow those with concerns to report them to a third party.
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s program in Forensic Science has received full accreditation from the American Academy of Forensic Science’s Forensic Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC). Achieving FEPAC accreditation requires that programs meet strict standards for course material and assessment methods, and that graduates demonstrate a high level of practical ability. FEPAC-accredited programs are also required to have ongoing affiliations with forensic science labs and law enforcement organizations. UOIT’s program is reportedly 1 of just 2 programs in Canada to achieve FEPAC’s highest level of distinction. Meanwhile, Mount Royal University’s aviation program has been granted a 5-year accreditation by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). The distinction reportedly makes MRU just the second aviation program outside of the US to achieve AABI certification. “We’ve received the gold seal of accreditation when it comes to aviation education … This is further recognition that our program meets stringent standards of quality, and it’s also a strong indication that we’re providing a relevant education experience to our students,” said Leon Cygman, acting Chair of Management, Human Resources, and Aviation at MRU.
Cuts to postsecondary funding in Alberta could have dire consequences for future generations, warns young entrepreneur and Rethinking Higher Ed contributor Emerson Csorba. Csorba, Director of Gen Y Inc, a multigenerational culture consultancy, argues that the province’s education system constitutes one of its most significant advantages. Possible cuts to PSE could threaten the province’s resilience in the face of unexpected events like the recent drop in oil prices. Cuts, Csorba writes, “would allow Alberta to balance the budget in the short term at the expense of Alberta’s long-term prosperity, specifically by worsening socioeconomic disparities.” He notes that economic inequality in AB has increased at a faster rate than the national average, and argues that the province’s PSE sector has a critical role to play in narrowing the gap. AB is reportedly considering dropping its tuition fee increase cap, while institutions are preparing for likely budget cuts. Mount Royal University this week announced that it was increasing student fees by 65% for full-time students; VP Administrative Services Duane Anderson said that the increase was necessary, citing “the fiscal realities facing our province and all postsecondary institutions across Canada.”
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.
MacEwan University President David Atkinson says that a rigid divide between colleges and universities is counterproductive in today’s economy. “We need to find some new pathways and get past the two solitudes,” he said. “The model for higher education can’t just be aimed at the high school student who comes for four years and be done.” He argues for a model that is more accommodating of students already in the workforce but looking to upgrade, as well as for recent immigrants seeking education. To this end, MacEwan will begin allowing students pursuing college diplomas to move directly into university degree programs, and will accept full credit for college courses. Atkinson says the move is reflective of the fact that a university degree is “the currency” of the job market. “We made the decision to be different,” he said.
The University of Calgary has decided against outsourcing its international student recruitment efforts. Instead, the uCalgary board of governors has approved a plan that would see international students come to the university via a combination of internal programs that would include direct international recruitment, new partnership programs, and a revised English for Academic Purposes program designed to help students make the transition into a degree program. “This model creates opportunities for increasing international diversity while at the same time taking careful consideration in balancing access for our local student population,” said Provost/VP Academic Dru Marshall. uCalgary had considered developing partnerships with third-party recruiting providers, but met resistance from the uCalgary Faculty Association (TUCFA) who alleged that outsourcing would violate their collective bargaining agreement. TUCFA President Paul Rogers issued a statement lauding uCalgary’s new approach, stating that it “appears to deal with the main items that were of concern to the Association last semester.”
TCS Insights: uCalgary is putting increased efforts into the recruiting of international students without outsourcing any of their recruitment measures. The university itself will be implementing various new programs aimed at attracting students from abroad to study and perhaps pursue bright futures in Alberta.
The Alberta government has released details on the extra $32.5 million funding for PSE announced in the 2014 budget, tabled at the beginning of March. The funding will create 2,000 new spaces this fall in the Campus Alberta system to increase access to high-demand programs such as engineering, environmental science, and occupational therapy. Highlights of the funding include $11.3 million for additional access for these high-demand programs at 6 PSE institutions, $12.3 million for new or expanded programs at 19 PSE institutions, $7 million for one-time and system-wide collaborative initiatives that support all Campus Alberta learners, such as the Lois Hole Digital Library and French Language Collaboration Programs, and an increase of $900,000 for the Apprenticeship Technical Training grants, which assist apprentices in completing their programs and meeting industry demand.
TCS Insights: With Alberta creating 2,000 new spaces for students enrolled in their various universities, more students will be able to pursue higher education than ever before. This reenforces Canada’s reputation as a nation that making post-secondary education accessible to increasing numbers of domestic and international students.
The Alberta government last week tabled its 2014 budget, which restores $50 million in funding to colleges and universities under the Access to the Future Fund. The fund was frozen last year, when the government announced a $147-million cut to the PSE operating budget. The budget also maintains the separate $50 million it put back into the system in November to ease budget restraints. The government says it will add another $32 million for enrolment in targeted programs, which are not yet specified. The Manitoba government also tabled its 2014 budget last week, and has committed base grant increases of 2.5% to universities and 2% to colleges. Manitoba’s budget will also establish a Research Manitoba initiative “to target funding to strategic priorities under the guidance of researchers and entrepreneurs.”
TCS Insights: The province of Alberta will increase funding to the operating budgets of post-secondary institutions in 2014 as well as specific programs. Manitoba will also increase financial contributions to colleges and universities while farthing their commitment to research programs. These acts should not only benefit institutions but their students as well.
Source: Indian Express via Indian Economic Business News
The Consulate General (CG) of Canada in Chandigarh has received requests from the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan seeking increased trade ties between them and the state of Punjab in the fields of food processing and agro-industry. CG officials said that the provinces in the country have expertise in handling food grain storage and processing and are proposing technology sharing agreements with the government of Punjab. Officials handling the trade and investment work at the CG office here said that Canada is looking at setting up a food park jointly with the state of Punjab. They added that closer ties between Canada and Punjab will help the state to pursue a crop diversification program and look beyond paddy-wheat growing cycle. Consul General, Scot Slessor, said that the consulate in Chandigarh is looking at increased trade ties as part of the plan of the two countries to move up from the current 5-6 billion (Canadian dollar) trade between India and Canada.
Source: Connect – Canada in India
Three Canadian provinces, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, formed the Canada pavilion at India’s 10th agro technology fair, Agro Tech 2012, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Chandigarh from December 1 to 4. Canadian companies in areas including swine genetics, forage products, flax oil, animal feed mixers, canola oil, agri-consulting companies, grain storage and handling systems, and food development centres showcased their expertise.