Top Ten News

Feb 12, 2024 • National

York University Professor Emeritus George Fallis has penned an article on the impact that the fiscal crisis that is currently being experienced on several university campuses will have on the rest of Canada. Fallis outlines the relationship between the quality of university education and Canada’s performance on the international stage. “During the 20th century Canada built a first-rate university system,” he writes, “but we have been letting it slip away through inattention and poor policy.” Fallis touches on the cost-cutting measures that have been implemented to address declining public funding and revenue, especially in Ontario, and how the fiscal crisis has come to a head in 2024. Fallis concludes that the solution is straightforward: “Our economy needs a high-quality university system; high quality requires better funding; we cannot be reliant on international student fees; domestic tuition and government grants must increase.”

Globe and Mail

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Feb 12, 2024 • QC

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has called for the Government of Quebec to heed an advisory committee’s recommendations and scrap its plans for tuition hikes for English-language universities following reports of a drop in out-of-province applications at McGill University and Concordia University. The advisory committee stated that the hike “seems unjustified and risks compromising access to quality education and depriving society of potential talent.” However, QC higher education minister Pascale Déry’s office has said that it will not follow the report’s advice because it was delivered four days after the minister’s deadline. Déry further pointed to the difference between applications and enrolment, stating: “I’ll make sure we see the numbers eventually with the [enrolments].”

CTV News, Montreal Gazette, Global News (Video)

Top Ten News

Feb 12, 2024 • AB, BC

A University of British Columbia student has made headlines after saying that he is choosing to commute to class from Calgary by plane rather than pay Vancouver rent. UBC Student Tim Chen explained that the increases in rent prices in Vancouver pushed him to consider other options. By choosing to live with his parents in Calgary and pay roughly $1.2K a month for flights, Chen notes that he is spending less money than if he were to pay $2.5K a month in rent in Vancouver. Chen says that he is planning to continue flying to class until he graduates at the end of the academic year. UBC Associate Vice-President of Student Housing and Community Services Andrew Parr responded to the story by noting that rental affordability issues are one of the reasons UBC is building affordable housing.

CTV News, Daily Hive (1), Daily Hive (2)

Top Ten News

Feb 12, 2024 • ON

The University of Toronto has purchased a 20% ownership stake in the privately-owned CampusOne residence near its St George campus. With this stake, the university will be able to place students directly in the building, influence residence programming and support services, and influence building policies and procedures. “Not only will this acquisition allow U of T to better meet its first-year residence guarantee for fall 2024 in a residence directly adjacent to campus, it does so without the long lead time required to build a new residence – and without the costs and resources that entails,” said U of T VP, Operations and Real Estate Partnerships Scott Mabury. The arrangement adds 890 beds to the university’s student housing.

U of T

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Feb 12, 2024 • International

In a recent article for Nature, Dalmeet Singh Chawla discusses a new approach to detecting fake research papers. While some approaches look for “tortured phrases” or identical manuscripts, this new approach analyses the relationships between authors to identify unusual patterns. Simon Porter, who developed the technology, noted that younger researchers typically publish with their supervisor before beginning to publish with other people; Work produced by a paper mill often comes from networks of early-career researchers with a sudden spike of activity or groups of authors who have no history collaborating and may be from different disciplines or locations. The papers that were flagged by this new software saw significant overlap with papers that were flagged by other technology.

Nature

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Feb 12, 2024 • BC

Okanagan College has received a $1M commitment from Cliff and Lois Serwa which will support its fitness centre campaign. In addition to a previous $500K donation, the Serwas have pledged to match every dollar donated by the public up to a maximum of $500K. If the public donates the full amount, Castanet states that the college’s fundraiser will cross the $10M mark, making it possible to break ground on the fitness centre in Summer 2024. “Having a place for students to connect with each other while burning off stress through sport and physical activity is so important,” said Lois Serwa. “This Centre will positively impact the well-being of thousands of students.”

Okanagan College, Kelowna Now, Castanet

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Feb 12, 2024 • ON

Western University has renamed six history scholarships that were created with a $1M donation from the estate of emeritus professor Kenneth Hilborn. Hilborn taught history at Western from 1961 to 1997; his estate funded the creation of six scholarships at the university. After going to court in 2022, Western received a judge’s approval to remove Hilborn’s name from the scholarships in August 2023. Three awards were renamed and three were cancelled, with the money then going to establish the Equity and Diversity Graduate Student Recruitment Award in History. While Western’s website still reportedly includes Hilborn as the donor, each scholarship includes a note saying that “this award supports a diverse and inclusive graduate student community” as a way “to acknowledge and respond to the harmful impact of his published work.”

CBC

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Feb 12, 2024 • BC

Capilano University and the District of Squamish have formalized a Memorandum of Understanding that lays out how they will collaborate to benefit learners, employers, and the Squamish community. The partnership will provide learners with increased access educational programs, work-integrated learning, and funding; while faculty will have access to additional professional development opportunities. It will also pave the way for collaborations to support the region’s economic, social, and cultural development. CapilanoU says that there are over a dozen potential collaborations being considered by the partners, which could include the establishment of a Squamish chapter of City Studio or the advancement of the Squamish Childcare Action Plan.

CapilanoU

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Feb 12, 2024 • NL

Conciliation efforts have reportedly broken down between the Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland (LUMUN) and Memorial University administration. The union told CBC that there have been repeated delays with the process and noted that they will be in a legal strike position in March. “This is a delay tactic. It’s designed to frustrate the union,” said LUMUN representative Alison Coffin. “We’re just frustrated and tired. We’ve asked quite politely a number of times and we’ve gotten nothing from them.” In the event of a strike, CBC explains that the per-course instructors would not teach classes, which would put final exams in jeopardy.

CBC

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Feb 12, 2024 • BC

Selkirk College closed several buildings on its Silver King campus on Friday after two acetylene gas tanks exploded outside the North Trades Building on Thursday. A nearby resident reported “two huge explosions” at the Rosemont campus and the Nelson Fire and Rescue Services—which extinguished the blaze—reported seeing heavy black smoke and fire at the scene. The Castlegar Source reports that Nelson Fire and Rescue and WorkSafeBC are completing investigations of the incident. No injuries related to the explosions were reported.

Global News, Castlegar Source, Abbotsford News