Top Ten News

Feb 16, 2024 • AB, BC

University Canada West Professor Nima Nassirian has opted to commute to his work in Vancouver from Edmonton by plane. Nassirian—who teaches in UCW’s Masters of Business Administration program—said that moving his family to Vancouver would require them to give up their current lifestyle and their more affordable housing in Edmonton. Like University of British Columbia Student Tim Chen, Nassirian explained that he is able to save money with this arrangement: The combined monthly cost of his mortgage, rent on a Vancouver apartment, and roundtrip flights add up to roughly half of the cost of a monthly mortgage payment on an equivalent home in Vancouver. Flair Airlines has offered Nassirian free roundtrip flights for the year and Nassirian and Flair are in discussions to strike a partnership that would help his MBA students explore Canada.

Daily Hive (1), Daily Hive (2), National Post

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Feb 16, 2024 • QC

Fraudsters recently drew on the brand and reputation of Université Laval, as well as images and names of its senior leadership, to con foreign students looking to study in Québec, reports Journal de Montréal. Prospective student Corine Époupa explained that she spotted an ad about scholarships for study at ULaval; upon inquiring, a person claiming to be ULaval rector Sophie D’Amours responded and invited Époupa to fill out a form and pay a $240 CAD fee to secure the scholarship. Époupa explained that the evidently “enormous availability” of D’Amours and the design of the form gave her reason to question the validity of the situation. ULaval told the Journal that it is aware of and monitors for these fraud attempts and noted that it has published information on its website to help protect students.

Journal de Montréal

Top Ten News

Feb 16, 2024 • International

Times Higher Education has released its World Reputation Rankings results for 2023. The ranking is developed from surveys of senior, published academics, who are invited to name the 15 universities that they believe are the best in their field. For the overall rankings, three Canadian postsecondary institutions appeared in the top 100: the University of Toronto (#21), the University of British Columbia (tied for #36), and McGill University (tied for #47). The other Canadian universities to appear in the ranking were the University of Alberta, Université de Montréal, University of Waterloo, and McMaster University.

Times Higher Education

Top Ten News

Feb 16, 2024 • AB

The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has received a $2M donation from Shoppers Drug Mart to support research that will help pharmacies provide and expand primary health care across Alberta. The funds will support a variety of projects that explore integrated models of care that allow pharmacists to improve services for those seeking health care. “Pharmacists are important providers in the primary health-care system, and anything we can do as researchers to help pharmacists provide high-quality patient care and improve accessibility for Albertans is what we are here to support,” said UAlberta Associate Professor Mark Makowsky.

UAlberta

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Feb 16, 2024 • BC

In a recent opinion piece in Castanet, Thompson Rivers University President Brett Fairbairn discusses the use of the term “bad actors” in international education and argues that it could be a counterproductive phrase for postsecondary institutions. Fairbairn writes that the new federal rules and caps on visas attempt to end the exploitation of international students through operations that do not put student needs first, and laments that drastic measures had to be taken to address these “bad actors.” “It’s regrettable that a term such as ‘bad actors’ has become associated with Canadian international education,” writes Fairbairn. “The stigma it has caused overseas is real and worrisome and might well lead to fewer students wanting to study here.”

Castanet

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Feb 16, 2024 • SK

The University of Regina has launched a new undergraduate degree program after taking a year to renew and revitalize its journalism programming. The Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, News Media, and Communication maintains a core focus on fundamental journalism training and offers a level of flexibility that will appeal to students with interdisciplinary interests, working professionals, and mature students. URegina Dean of Arts Dr Shannon Dea noted that the launch of this new program coincides with the launch of new Indigenous journalism and communication arts programs at First Nations University of Canada.

CTV News

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Feb 16, 2024 • ON

Emotions have flared between the presidents of Conestoga College and Sault College on the topic of international students. On a recent episode of the “Inside the Village” podcast, Sault President David Orazietti referred to Conestoga while discussing bad actors in the international student market. The comments reportedly “hit a nerve” with Conestoga President John Tibbits, whose strong response included comments about Orazietti and referenced a lack of housing at Sault’s Toronto campus. Orazietti told SooToday that he was “shocked that a public college president […] would resort to lashing out with personal attacks and blatant misinformation.” In an interview with CBC, Tibbits said that he “regrets” his comments about Orazietti. Postscript: Conestoga College’s Board of Governors announced that it has launched an internal review into Tibbits’s comments.

Orillia Matters (Inside the Village), Bay Today, Waterloo Region Record, SooToday, Radio Canada , Conestoga (PS), SooToday (PS)

Top Ten News

Feb 16, 2024 • QC

Concordia University students and community groups are concerned about the potential closure of the Concordia Student Union Legal Information Clinic. The student union has reportedly said it is considering closing the clinic and instead offering the services of a private insurance company. Concordia student union councillor Ken Downe said that private, outsourced services would not meet student needs as they “don’t include a lot of the services currently being handled by the legal clinic.” McGill University law student and clinic volunteer Nywani Albert said that the clinic plays a crucial role for both the students who use the clinic and the students who volunteer there, who “not only get that sense of giving back to the community, but also learn a lot.”

Montreal Gazette

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Feb 16, 2024 • National

Two recent articles in University Affairs touch on the topics of free speech, academic freedom, and external pressures when responding to global affairs. In an interview with UA, Canadian Association of University Teachers Executive Director David Robinson discusses the nuances of academic freedom in the broader context of global events such as the war in Gaza. Robinson emphasizes the need for clarity—such as explicitly defining what constitutes antisemitism and Islamophobic behaviour—when dealing with tensions on campus. In a separate article, Mohamed Berrada highlights several examples of how Canadian universities are balancing academic freedom and free speech against external pressures from members of parliament, donors, and the community.

University Affairs (CAUT), University Affairs (Berrada)

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Feb 16, 2024 • NS

NSCAD University has been granted an institutional license from Fairmined, an assurance initiative by the Alliance for Responsible Mining that certifies gold and silver as materials of responsible origin. With this license, NSCAD U’s Jewelry department will provide students with access to ethically sourced materials and training on Fairmined-approved guidelines. The gold and silver versions of NSCAD U’s 2024 Alumni Rings will also be made with Fairmined certified metals and produced by a jeweller who was an early adopter of Fairmined materials. The university says that the arrangement is the first deal of its kind.

NSCAD U