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 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.
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.”
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.