Carleton University [CIEC Academic Member] and the University of Ottawa will jointly host a Scholars at Risk (SAR) program beginning this fall. SAR is an international network of PSE institutions that supports scholars whose lives have been put in danger because of their work. 9 other Canadian institutions are already members of the network; however, this is reportedly the first jointly hosted program. Carleton Provost Peter Ricketts emphasized the importance of supporting people “who found themselves in these situations, not because of their degrees, but because of the world they live in.” The joint program is intended to serve the entire Ottawa region, creating what SAR Joint Committee Head Melanie Adrien describes as “a centre of refuge for scholars under threat.” The first hosted scholar will be announced this spring.
Join the British Columbia Council for International Education from June 21 – 24, 2015 in beautiful Whistler, BC. Summer Seminar provides an essential platform for the growth of BC’s International Education sector. BCCIE’s annual conference brings together over 300 participants from our province, across Canada and beyond our borders.
Save $100 when you register for Summer Seminar by April 10. The Early Bird Full Registration allows access to conference activities from June 21–24, including the Opening Reception on Sunday, June 21 and Final Awards Banquet on Tuesday, June 23.
Cost $10 (adult) or $5 (student)
India has committed close to $2M to fund scholarships for students who want to study science and engineering at UBC. The program was developed with India’s Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and will provide $96,000 each to 20 PhD students from India to cover their living expenses while at UBC. The agreement, reportedly the first of its kind to be signed between SERB and a Canadian university, was conceived of by UBC President Arvind Gupta during a recent trade mission to India. “This scholarship will bring some of India’s bright, young talent to UBC,” said Gupta. “I hope this is the first of many collaborations with the Science and Engineering Research Board to create new opportunities for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and young scholars in both of our countries.” The program will run from 2016–17 to 2020–21.
Research at the University of Waterloo got a boost yesterday from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). uWaterloo will receive more than $5.3 M through the 2014 Strategic Project Grants for 11 research partnerships between the institution and industry. uWaterloo will also receive $9.6 M through the Research Support Fund towards the additional costs incurred during research activities. NSERC’s Strategic Project Grants are designed to increase research and training in 4 key areas: environmental science and technologies, information and communications technologies, manufacturing, and natural resources and energy. This year, $38 M will be distributed to 78 scientific teams at universities across Canada. “The best research brings talented minds together to generate exciting ideas and create the advancements of tomorrow. NSERC is proud to support these strategic projects that extend our knowledge and create new innovations that will define our future,” said NSERC President B Mario Pinto.
Canada has announced that Ryerson University, [CIEC Academic Member] Simon Fraser University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) will receive up to $10.7 M over the next 5 years in support of the Zones of Incubation and Innovation initiative. The funding will be distributed through the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP). The joint initiative between the 3 institutions is intended to provide universities and community-based entrepreneurs involved with digital technology start-ups access to facilities, business development resources, and mentoring. “The Zones of Incubation and Innovation Network will play an important role in SFU’s growing innovation agenda. We are pleased to be partnering with Ryerson University and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology on this initiative and grateful for the financial support provided by the Government of Canada through the CAIP program,” said SFU VP Research Joy Johnson. Canada also announced $2.7 M in funding for The Next 36, a national accelerator and incubator program that includes 9 Canadian universities as academic partners.
The federal government has announced that Canada will invest nearly $8.4 M to support initiatives that bring internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) into the workforce. Approximately 4.6 M Canadians do not have a regular family doctor, while there are 10,000 newcomers to Canada who are health-related professionals. The funding will support 3 initiatives that will be implemented through a collaboration between HealthForceOntario and the University of Toronto. Canada has also provided $150,000 to the Medical Council of Canada for a project intended to help international medical graduates prepare to enter the workforce. In a statement, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President Chris Simpson welcomed the announcement, but warned that “actively recruiting from developing countries is not an acceptable solution to our physician shortage.” Simpson noted that “it has been almost 4 decades since the completion of a national study of physician requirements,” and said that Canada must become more self-sufficient in its efforts to educate and train physicians. Academica Group recently worked with multiple collaborators on a report that evaluated bridging programs for IEHPs.
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.
Cranbrook, British Columbia’s College of the Rockies [CIEC Academic Member] has unveiled its new 5-year strategic plan. Entitled Our Road Map to New Heights, the plan introduces a new mission statement—”to transform lives and enrich communities through the power of education”—and a new vision: “to create and deliver the most personal student experience in Canada.” The plan names 4 overarching priorities for the college. These include increasing capacity, improving strategic processes, ensuring financial health, and improving student outcomes. The plan also lays out objectives and desired results for each of these areas. According to the document, COTR will seek to recruit and retain more students and prepare them for the job market or for the next stage on their educational journey. Moreover, the college will work to maximize its resource allocation and increase its revenue from diversified sources. COTR will also focus on improving student access to services such as academic advising and tutoring; short-term medical and mental health support; and social, recreational, and sporting activities. Applied research, demand-driven programs, and program quality will be points of emphasis, as well.
Source: Connect: Canada In India
The Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper recently announced changes to the ministry, naming Robert Nicholson Minister of Foreign Affairs. Minister Nicholson was first elected to Parliament in 1984. Immediately prior to the announcement, Mr. Nicholson had been serving as Minister of National Defence since 2013. He will continue the Government’s efforts to ensure that Canada’s foreign policy reflects true Canadian values and advances Canada’s national interests.
Prime Minister Harper was quoted as saying “Our Government is delivering real results for Canadians by growing the economy, making communities safer, and standing up for Canadian values at home and abroad. The changes to the Ministry announced today will help ensure that key portfolios continue to have the strong leadership required to advance Canadian priorities.”
A new report published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has found that the amount of money postsecondary systems have matters less than how they spend it. HEQCO’s Canadian Postsecondary Performance: Impact 2015 report used 34 indicators to measure provincial postsecondary system outcomes across 3 dimensions: access, value to students, and value to society. Outcomes were then considered in relation to operating cost-per-student to produce an overall performance score. The report found that provinces vary in their strengths, but that in every province there is a positive link between PSE and labour market success, individual earnings, citizen engagement, and economic contributions. “Some things are more important to some provinces than to others. We want [the report] to be used as a tool for the development of effective policies that are tailored to a jurisdiction and that are focused on achievement and outcomes,” said HEQCO President Harvey Weingarten. Bonnie M Patterson, President of the Council of Ontario Universities, commented that “it’s a positive report about our performance as a university sector. But if [the government] wants us to improve, there is a point where elasticity runs out, you gain your efficiencies, and you make your trade-offs … At some point you can’t get a change in indicators unless you are making some investments.”
triOS College has been recognized with an award as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. This is the fifth consecutive year triOS has received the honour, which recognizes Canadian-owned and managed companies with revenues over $10 M. Recipients are evaluated based on how they address business challenges including new technologies, globalization, brand management, designing information systems, and recruitment and hiring. “Being named as a best managed company for a fifth year in a row validates that we are reaching our goal of improving lives by sharing our knowledge and passion for excellence,” said triOS CEO Frank Gerencser.
Times Higher Education has released its annual World Reputation Rankings. The University of Toronto was the top Canadian university ranked, moving up from 20th to 16th spot. McGill University and UBC also appear in the top 100, but dropped slightly compared to last year’s positioning. McGill is ranked 35th in this year’s rankings and UBC 37th; the institutions tied for 33rd last year. The rankings are based on responses to THE‘s Academic Reputation Survey, which was completed by roughly 10,000 scholars from around the world. “U of T scholars and students are doing brilliant work, every day in every discipline. As a result, when it comes time for their peers to rank the world’s top universities, the University of Toronto is placed very high on the list,” said uToronto President Meric Gertler. Harvard University took top spot on the list, followed by the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.
An opinion piece published by Contact North argues that “there is little convincing evidence that a real transformation of programs, colleges, and universities is occurring because of technology.” The essay responds primarily to the idea that PSE is becoming “unbundled,” and the claim made by Clayton Christensen—who coined the phrase “disruptive innovation”—that “a creative destruction is happening in higher education with technology as the trigger and the driver.” The essay argues that technology has not yet begun to fundamentally change timetables, program design, use of physical space, or hiring practices; moreover, it says that there has not yet been significant unbundling of programs or courses. The piece also argues that student assessment in 2015 looks much as it did in 1995, and that while mobility between colleges and universities has become commonplace, movement is “neither endemic nor substantive.” It says that badges pose little threat to present assessment systems, and that students are not actively demanding technology-enhanced learning. The essay cites several reasons for “system stasis,” including the nature of government funding and quality assurance, as well as the reality that faculty workloads inhibit faculty members’ ability to experiment with truly innovative approaches.
In an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun, UBC VP Anji Redish examines how technology is “destabilizing and empowering the educational landcape.” Redish notes that a key characteristic of the current technological moment is the disaggregation, or unbundling, of traditional university functions. Redish identifies 3 common reactions to unbundling. First, she notes that some institutions are investing in technologies that facilitate blended learning and flipped classrooms, or restructuring programs around modularization and personalized, competency-based assessment. Second, she sees more collaboration between institutions in pursuit of common goals, such as when colleges join forces with universities to provide high-quality, hands-on training bolstered by strong research expertise. Finally, she sees institutions expanding access to new segments of students. “Universities will survive this latest turbulence, but not all, and those that do may bear as little resemblance to the universities of the late 20th century as those universities did to the medieval institutions of the same name,” she concludes.
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada has published a new report that identifies what it says are elements of a successful national innovation system. The report, entitled Toward Stronger Innovation Systems: Lessons from AUCC’s Innovation Policy Dialogue, draws on meetings between education leaders from Canada, Germany, and Israel. It highlights a number of elements common to successful innovation systems, including support for basic research; the involvement of students as researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs; support for creativity and risk-taking in research; multidisciplinary collaboration; and strong ties between universities and industry. The report suggests ways in which Canada can adapt lessons from abroad, such as by encouraging risk-taking through the funding of applied research and commercialization activities with the understanding that some projects will inevitably fail, and by offering students the opportunity to interact with industry and industry-experienced faculty members.
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.
In an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mark Burstein, President of Wisconsin’s Lawrence University, examines the often unanticipated drawbacks of importing ideas from the business world to PSE. Burstein says that while business tools and strategies can help colleges and universities address a number of key challenges, it is critical to consider whether or not they truly improve student learning. He argues that campus leaders must be wary that business philosophies and concepts do not undermine institutions’ educational missions. Burstein says that in the US, many institutions have been forced to rely on business advice due to government regulation; this has contributed, he argues, to a growing compensation gap between front-line staff members and senior administration, with a negative impact on the academic community. Burstein also warns against treating students like customers. He says that the service industry’s mission is to delight its customers, but that PSE institutions should be prepared to challenge students in ways that are not always delightful. He further warns that some business models risk disenfranchising members of campus communities, undermining the learning environment. “If business concepts dominate our thinking about the future, we will have lost our way,” he concludes.
Cape Breton University’s student union, faculty association, and administration have banded together to campaign for free university tuition. In a recent post on Academica’s Rethinking Higher Ed Forum, CBU President David Wheeler called on provincial and federal politicians to take action against rising tuition fees and student debt levels, proposing that “the most elegant solution… would be the removal of student tuition altogether, funded by a system of progressive taxation at the federal level, and backed by needs-based living expense grants at the provincial level.” Now Wheeler, CBU’s faculty association, and CBU’s student union have created a website urging other universities to join the cause. The site also includes an open letter to federal politicians asking them to initiate a national debate on free tuition. “It is a federal election year, and we do believe that this topic merits attention by our federal leaders,” said Wheeler.
UBC has received a $5 M donation from local physician Chan Gunn toward the construction of a new facility devoted to sports medicine and the field of pain relief. The Chan Gunn Pavilion will be the new home of UBC’s sport and exercise medicine centre. The centre provides space for research, teaching, and patient care. Gunn made the donation in recognition of UBC’s efforts to research, teach, and use intramuscular stimulation (IMS), which was developed by Gunn as a non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical pain-relief technique. “The Chan Gunn Pavilion will create capacity to integrate IMS into the Division of Sports Medicine, and to expand research, teaching, and care into that technique and other therapies for sports injury and exercise-related health care,” said Gavin Stuart, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and VP Health. UBC is also committing $2.25 M toward the first phase of construction, expected to begin in December 2015, and will continue fundraising for the second phase. Gunn’s donation is part of UBC’s “start an evolution” campaign.
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.”
An article published by the Canadian Press highlights efforts being made by Canadian universities to attract girls to the sciences and engineering. uToronto and UBC have recently reported increases in the number of women entering their engineering programs, but there is still a significant gender gap in many STEM-related professions. According to Engineers Canada, just 18.3% of undergraduate engineering degrees awarded in 2013 went to women. PSE institutions are working with other organizations to fix that by engaging girls before they reach high school. Research has shown that many girls lose their interest in the sciences by the time they enter ninth grade, meaning that many don’t take the advanced courses they need to enter STEM programs at university. Ottawa-based charity Actua works with 33 Canadian institutions to offer girls-only science classes in the hopes of encouraging interest and inspiring confidence in participants, as well as getting parents to encourage young girls’ aspirations for STEM-related careers.
Source: The PIE News
For the first time in more than two decades, the government of India is drafting a new education policy which will include reforms on the internationalisation in higher education, digitisation of education and skills development.
The government has released 33 discussion themes– 13 for secondary, 20 for post-secondary– to the public for consultation, a process which the government expects could take up to a year.
Speaking about the government’s new approach to internationalisation, Richard Everitt, director of education at the British Council in India said: “It’s not whether it should happen, but how to make it happen.”
Strengthening of vocational education; promotion of languages; integrating skills development in higher education; promoting open and distance learning and online courses; and engagement with industry to link education to employability are among other topics available for discussion on the government’s website until the end of March.
International education stakeholders in the country say the list of proposed discussion themes show the government is taking a relevant approach to modernise the current education environment.
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A new policy introduced on Friday stipulates that Canadians will have free online access to tri-council-funded research. Under the new Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, all peer-reviewed journal publications funded by a tri-council agency must be made freely available online within one year. The policy will apply to NSERC- and SSHRC-funded researchers who are awarded grants after May 1, 2015; CIHR-funded researchers have been subject to a similar policy since 2008. Researchers can comply with the policy either by “self-archiving” their manuscript with an accessible online repository, or by publishing in a journal that offers open access within 12 months of publication. “With this new Open Access policy, the Tri-Agencies are adopting a single, harmonized approach to promoting Canadian research to the world. The policy both reflects and facilitates new forms of collaboration that are a hallmark of scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities,” said Ted Hewitt, Executive Vice-President of SSHRC.
The already crowded space of college and university rankings seems to be getting more packed with each passing day. Many are skeptical of the value of rankings; Corbin Martin Campbell, a professor at Teachers College of Columbia University, noted that few rankings “speak to the education core of an institution,” or take into account the rich, relevant data that institutions themselves possess. Nevertheless, each new entrant tries to position itself as an innovator in the market, basing scores on things like post-PSE outcomes and student debt. Money magazine’s rankings, for instance, focus on affordability and the return on graduates’ education investment. Some websites, such as PayScale and LinkedIn, use the rankings as a means to increase their own membership or to market their own services. PayScale, for instance, now has US colleges encouraging their alumni to submit salary data to the website. PayScale gets more data, while the college—hopefully—moves up in the rankings. Of course, most publications ultimately publish rankings because they sell. “Everybody likes a good list,” said Diane Harris, an editor at Money.