Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and PEI Premier Wade MacLauchlan have returned from their 10-day trade mission to India and have negotiated new agreements for postsecondary institutions. According to a press release by the Ontario Government, the ON delegation participated in a signing ceremony announcing agreements involving Ryerson University, McMaster University [CIEC Academic Member], Sheridan College, Algonquin College, and Seneca College. According to Canadian Broadcasting Company, the University of Prince Edward Island signed MOUs with two Indian universities.
Times Higher Education has released its 2015–16 World University Rankings of the top 800 universities, and 25 Canadian schools [and 7 CIEC Members] have made the cut. In the top 100, the University of Toronto rose slightly to 19th, UBC dropped slightly to 34th, McGill University rose slightly to 39th, and McMaster University held steady at 94th. This year, the rankings revised their methodology, expanding the number of languages and countries covered. The California Institute of Technology retained the top spot, a position it has held since 2012. The University of Oxford and Stanford University rounded out the top three.
The Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) has announced the winners of its annual Prix d’Excellence, which recognizes Canada’s postsecondary institutions for excellence across 24 categories, including marketing, development, and student recruitment. This year, uAlberta led the group with seven awards, followed by uCalgary and MUN with five awards each. uToronto, uSask, UBC, and Trent each received four nods, with uWaterloo, UoGuelph, Sheridan, Queen’s, McMaster, and McGill each garnering three. 15 other PSE institutions across Canada received one or two awards.
The Centre for Science and Technology at Leiden University recently released its annual ranking of universities’ scientific performance. The Leiden Ranking focuses heavily on scientific collaboration and citation impact; this year, it factors in new impact indicators based on counting publications that belong to the top 1% or top 50% of their field. The University of Toronto was the top Canadian school in the size-independent ranking at 86th. UBC was 107th, the University of Victoria 116th, and McGill University 149th. McMaster University [CIEC Academic Member] rounded out the Canadian top five at 165th. 27 Canadian institutions in total appear on the list of 750 institutions, down from 28 last year. MIT placed first overall in the size-independent ranking, followed by Harvard and Stanford.
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.
Times Higher Education has released its 2014 Global Employability survey rankings. The rankings are based on surveys of 2,500 international recruiters in 20 countries. The top Canadian university on this year’s list is the University of Toronto, which appears in 13th position, up one spot from last year. McGill University finished in 28th position, up 2 places from last year. HEC Montréal moved up 12 spots, from 59th in 2013 to 47th this year. UBC dropped 4 spots from 51st to 55th, and McMaster University dropped from 73rd to 80th. The University of Cambridge finished in first place overall, followed by Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Oxford, and the California Institute of Technology.
Ontario is weighing the possibility of offering funding for international graduate students in response to pressure from the province’s universities. Leaders at Ontario’s universities say that the lack of funding for international graduate students limits their ability to attract top-notch global talent; as a result, universities say that they face challenges when competing on the world stage. The lack of funding has made Ontario institutions very cautious when accepting applicants. Allison Sekuler, Dean of Graduate Studies at McMaster University, said, “We are not able to bring in the best and brightest from around the world and we will start to see Ontario universities falling in the rankings. We’ve started to see that a little bit.” Ontario is currently one of a minority of provinces that does not provide funding for graduate students from abroad; Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia provide the same amount of funding for international students as they do domestic students, while Quebec and British Columbia provide partial funding. However, such a move would likely be controversial in Ontario; a previous attempt by then-premier Dalton McGuinty met widespread criticism.
McMaster University undergraduate students Claudia Frankfurter and Andrew Webster are leading the development of a new McMaster Undergraduate Research Journal (MURJ), the university’s first exclusively online, multidisciplinary, and doctoral-reviewed undergraduate research publication. “We wanted to give all undergraduates the opportunity to engage in the fundamental scholarly process,” says Webster. “This process encourages students to think both critically and imaginatively, to question the ‘obvious,’ to hone their analytical research and writing skills and sharpen their intuition to reveal new patterns and possibilities. These skills are absolutely transferable to any career a student may choose.” Frankfurter and Webster, both third-year Health Sciences students, are active researchers who have had articles published in academic journals. “A lot of learning at the undergraduate level is theoretical and done in a classroom setting,” says Frankfurter. “Research gives students the chance to apply their learning and contribute to the current body of knowledge. It can give meaning and a sense of purpose to undergraduate education.”
TCS Insights: The existence of an undergraduate research journal will allow students in different fields of study to better their communication and research skills as they pursue a post-secondary education. This gives them the opportunity to be better prepared for their careers upon graduation. The creation of this journal further exemplifies why McMaster should be a destination for students looking to study abroad.
Source: HEQCO News Release | January 29, 2014
A new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) provides further evidence that combining online and in-class teaching methods (known as blended learning) gives students more flexibility. The study, which examined students in 3 first-year social science courses at McMaster University, found that 80% of students used the blended learning modules on a repeat basis — most often from their personal computers at their leisure. Instructors expressed that because students had learning materials in advance, in-class time could be better focused on interaction, assignments and assessments, and students were less anxious in busy lab environments.
TCS Insights: With an increased emphasis on a blended learning style, students have the opportunity to not only come to classes prepared with notes but keep up to date with their studies while off campus. This can be beneficial to international students who find themselves outside of Canada for extended amounts of time as well.