Montreal Knocks Off Paris As World’s Top City for Students

Source: Montreal Gazette via Academica

Montreal has beaten out London, Berlin, Boston, and Tokyo as the world’s best city for students, according to rankings compiled by Quacquarelli Symonds. The Montreal Gazette reports that Montreal’s desirability, affordability, and positive reviews from students propelled it from seventh place in 2016 to first place 2017. Montreal’s ranking was reportedly influenced heavily by the experience of students who have studied there. “A lot of people want to study in London, but those who have studied in London don’t necessarily have as positive an experience as they do in other places,” said Ben Sowter, head of research for QS. Other Canadian cities on the list included Vancouver (10th) and Toronto (11th). Ottawa received a first-place ranking in a category based on student perceptions.

CIEC Endorses: Sabrina Zuniga

CIEC Endorses: Sabrina Zuniga

Sabrina Zuniga, PhD, is running for TDSB School Trustee in downtown Toronto. “I am running for Trustee because I believe in the power of public education and I want our learners to benefit from the best that our schools can offer. I am a veteran educator, entrepreneur and community volunteer with the knowledge and experience to lead our school communities.”

To learn more about Sabrina Zuniga and how you can support her election campaign, click here.

All Work and No Play Makes Gautam a Dull Boy

Source: Gautam Nath, Vice President – Balmoral Multicultural Marketing

Contact: (416) 364-0046 Ext. 234; gautam@balmoralmkt.com

Summer’s here and this is when the city transforms itself. And like every good Canadian, we too have to soak in the sun.

Building your brand is not only about resumes, not only about networking or even not only about volunteering.

One big part of building your brand in Canada is to get to know Canada.

This is now our mother-ship and we now have to take the time, the energy and the effort to learn about it.

Summer brings many events, activities and shows. Many are free and some cost so cut your coat according to your cloth.

Toronto is full of weekends when streets are blocked off to traffic and transformed into a carnival like setting – a bounty of food stalls, trinkets for sale and entertainment where large crowds gather.

Imbibe, that is what I do, visiting at least half a dozen such street fairs in the city every year. Watching, listening, eating and enjoying the ambiance. The variety of ethnicities and culture is amazing – that is Toronto and I expect that is also Vancouver, Calgary as many other big cities in the country.

Then comes the parades – a jamboree of floats, dancers, music and color exhibiting the diversity of our cities and our people.

All in the learning curve, different from back in the home country but essential learning’s for every New Canadian striving to acculturate in this new country of choice.

This makes us proud of our new home, this brings appreciation of the multitude of cultures and people and who knows perhaps your next boss, your peers or your juniors at some point of time in the future. We cannot live without them and they cannot live without us, we are all living happily together.

You cannot build your brand in this environment unless you know and appreciate the environment so while it looks like play, mind you me, it is an integral part of your strategy to move forward.

Summer brings long daylight hours and several opportunities for long weekends too – use them to explore the country outside your city.

Day trips or overnight trips and you will be amazed at what you learn.

The African Lion Safari is not a long flight away in South Africa but a 90 minutes drive from Toronto.

Cottage country has so many options to relax and enjoy a glass of wine under the stars sitting on a lake shore far from the maddening crowds listening to the wail of the loon. Ontario Parks offers camping facilities for the family and kids, learning all about living a rustic outdoor life for a few days – what great family bonding in this otherwise period of stress.

And the sports – baseball, basketball, swimming, jogging or merely walking along the Lakeshore – wonderful activities that come with the sun and the long daylight hours of the summer.

For those lucky enough to have some land to call their own – growing flowers in the front yard and a small vegetable patch in the back brings so much joy to the eye and the kitchen table.

This is summer – Learn to live a bit, live beyond networking and net-giving and worrying about tomorrow, live life today and tomorrow will take care of itself. If you are motivated, recharged and experience the new things around you, your next steps will have that much more energy and bounce. You deserve it, every bit.

Born of Czech and South Asian lineage, Gautam Nath now lives in Toronto. He is the Vice President at Balmoral Multicultural Marketing and serves on several Boards and Committees in the city. Gautam is also the recipient of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award of 2011.

Fix education so we don’t have people without jobs, conference told

Source: MetroNews

Canada must fix its educational system to ensure that a looming demographics shift doesn’t leave result in a “people without jobs and jobs without people” scenario, experts warn.

“The demographic time bomb that’s ticking is getting louder and louder,” said John Manley, president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, which hosted a conference on the issue in Toronto on Monday.

“There’s a mismatch between the training and education that’s being offered, and the jobs that are being created.”

The influence of the postwar baby boom generation has long been known, but the potential impact is staggering. According to Rick Miner, former Seneca College president, by 2036 those under the age of 15 and over the age of 65 will represent 65 per cent of the Canadian population, compared with 44 per cent in 2010.

“That means nearly two-thirds of the population will be over 65 or under 15, compared to the population working full-time. That’s frightening,” Miner said.

These demographic changes can be mitigated by getting more people into the workforce who have been traditionally under-represented including immigrants, aboriginals, women, those with disabilities, those in their early 20s and older workers.

Miner also believes there also needs to be a revamp of post-secondary education, where institutions must work together.

He noted high school students sometimes do an extra year to get into a particular university program. And even after university, some graduates can’t find work so they return to do a community college program — meaning it can be as many as six or seven years of schooling, post-high school.

Others at the conference also cautioned that preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow is difficult, especially given that 25 per cent of today’s jobs didn’t exist 30 years ago.

Linda Hasenfratz, chief executive officer of auto parts company Linamar Corp., added that young people are often encouraged to study something they love, with promises they’ll find a job in the end.

“It doesn’t always work out that way,” Hasenfratz said, adding sometimes they discover they studied what they love, but they can’t get a job that gives them the level of income they want.

She believes more training needs to be done in secondary school, where students can be exposed to skills used by carpenters and machinists as a building block for learning.

They might then choose a skilled-trades apprenticeship or community college to become an engineering technologist, or university to become an architect, based on initial exposure to carpentry, she said.

Others also warned that job demands can fluctuate dramatically so governments and educational institutions must react carefully to deal with shortages. For example, teachers were desperately needed, so more teacher training spots were added. But now universities continue to graduate new teachers even though there are few job openings.

CAW economist Jim Stanford added that the top three jobs of the future are truck driver, retail clerk and health care assistant.

“We should be realistic about where the jobs are,” he said, adding if society needs truck drivers, those jobs need to be valued with appropriate wages and working conditions.

“There is a cultural bias against blue-collar occupations against the idealized white-collar occupations,” he added.