Many Canadians are familiar with the essential work that colleges and institutes do in providing vocational training to support the demands of the labour market, but fewer might know about how these same schools are changing lives around the world through international partnerships. Over the past 40 years, Canada’s colleges and institutes have engaged in over 700 international projects to build a better world for all.
Mention the word “internationalization” to Canadian higher ed professionals and many will immediately think of international student recruitment. Others might think of the benefits that having more international students on campus can provide to campus culture and diversity, while others still might think about the need to create more study abroad opportunities for domestic Canadian students. Working in tandem with these significant aspects of internationalization, though, are the global collaborations that Canada’s forward-thinking institutions are engaging in with partners around the world.
In an age where many nations are turning inward, it’s more important than ever to reach across borders and build a better world. It’s with this mission in mind that a growing number of influential CEOs and post-secondary leaders are re-envisioning their goals to embrace the world’s most pressing challenges.
A farmer in his late forties winces as he pulls off his shoe, exposing the black and red colouring of a diabetic foot ulcer. The affliction has been plaguing him for months. He’s been to see a specialist several times, but to no avail. Instead of improving, the ulcer has only worsened.
It’s a situation Dr. Krystle Fraser-Barclay encounters often in her work at a clinic based in the urban centre of Georgetown, Guyana. Located along the northeastern coast of South America, Guyana is one of only three counties in the Americas that until 2015 did not offer any training for family medicine professionals. Primary care was delivered through a clinic-based system in which patients rarely meet with the same doctor, and rarely for more than one health issue. A new mother, for example, would need one appointment for her postnatal care, another for her baby, another for other related sexual health testing, and so on. By comparison, more than 90% of primary health care delivered in Canada is done through family doctors.
That situation is one that Dr. Fraser-Barclay is working to change.
Public health is a lynchpin of Canadian society, impacting the lives of countless community members on a daily basis. But in many parts of the developing world, a public health system of this calibre remains an aspiration. Fortunately, there are dedicated individuals based in many of these countries who are determined to turn this aspiration into a reality.
In an era of heated debates around the purpose, priorities, and payment of senior administrators in Canadian higher ed, relationship management has become a key part of day-to-day life for many institutional leaders. This often takes the form of carefully worded interactions with the media, social media channel monitoring, and face-to-face meetings with important stakeholders.
But there’s one major set of opinions that’s often missed in all this: that of the students. As the group that feels it has the most at stake when it comes to the public standing of their institution, students are among the fastest to speak out on social media or fill the window of the president’s office with poster board when a PR disaster strikes.
Joe Henry, Dean of Students at King’s University College at Western University in London, Ontario, reflects on his administrative experiences in Canada’s affiliated university environment.
Much has been written about the plight of the millennial workforce. The majority of the literature oscillates between a doom-and-gloom rhetoric, where there is no hope for young workers, and the suggestion that there might be opportunity in the adversity they face. These paradoxical messages seem to reinforce the notion that now is one of the most uncertain eras in which to make a living, especially if you’re a millennial starting your career. There is, in my view, a significant lack of practical advice out there for young workers suggesting ways they might navigate a precarious work landscape.
Academics and institutions across Canada are collaborating with organizations from around the world to solve some of the globe’s most challenging problems. Many of these problems can be found in developing countries, where challenges related to education, healthcare, and infrastructure remain significant, although much progress has been made against difficult odds. Academics have taken a collaborative approach to addressing these challenges, working directly with individuals and organizations based in these countries to build the capacity they need to address these problems in the long term.
Growing up in an adopted non-Indigenous family, Shyra Barberstock did not meet her birth mother until she was 21. At that time, she learned of her Anishinaabe heritage and her Kebaowek First Nations roots. Years later, she and her partner Rye (a member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) established the Okwaho Network. This life experience in different cultures has given rise to Shyra’s understanding of the multiculturalism and multi-ethnicism that underlies her drive to provide quality resources and opportunities for Indigenous peoples.
Increasingly, the skills of the Social Era are table stakes when it comes to finding work after graduation. In recent years Centennial College made it a strategic priority to establish itself as a leader in internationalization at the curricular and co-curricular level. The College actively infuses principles of global citizenship, social justice education, equity and inclusion in the learning environment.
A risk-taker at heart, Dr. Rick Colbourne began his journey to award-winning professor on a rather non-traditional path: working with drug addicts on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, helping children with from poor backgrounds with learning and behavioural disabilities, touring North America and Europe as a singer/songwriter, and lastly, developing a file-sharing service for digital music.
Earlier this month, Algonquin College celebrated the grand opening of the Discovery, Applied Research & Entrepreneurship (DARE) District. Located on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin and Anishinabek peoples, and a first-of-its-kind in Ontario, DARE will house three brand-new facilities intended to provide space and resources to support the Indigenous traditions and learning that the college is now integrating into everything it does.
Ahead of the inaugural Inclusive Internationalization Summit: The Future of Transformative Learning on June 5 at the Toronto Reference Library, Centennial College’s Centre for Global Citizenship Education and Inclusion explores the concept of Inclusive Internationalization within the higher education sector.
In a recent survey of nearly 4,000 postsecondary students and graduates, we discovered that a shockingly high percentage of students had considered leaving their institution in this past year. A whopping 23% of current students said that in this academic year, they’d seriously considered leaving their current institution. For even the most optimistic administrator, this is a distressingly high number.
Earlier this year, Canada’s PSE professionals told us that campus mental health would be the greatest challenge facing the higher ed sector in 2018. Three months later, their prediction looks to be spot-on. A cursory glance at the archives of the Academica Top Ten reveals that mental health, and the broader topic of campus wellness, continue to weigh heavily on the minds of the postsecondary community.
Challenges to social cohesion and community wellbeing are on the rise across the world, and governments at every level no longer have the resources they once did to address these challenges. As the forces of globalization squeeze public budgets, many postsecondary institutions also face growing pressure to justify their existence to the communities they serve. But within these converging pressures, Canada’s postsecondary leaders see an opportunity for their institutions to use their capacity and resources to address some of society’s most wicked problems.
The race is on at campuses across the country to enhance co-op programs for STEM and business students following the federal government’s commitment of $73M in support of this cause.
The factors with the biggest impact on students’ choice of postsecondary institution become more important every year, as schools must increasingly compete with one another to bolster the quality (and in many cases, quantity) of their student bodies.
To delve deeper into this aspect of the postsecondary experience, we asked the members of our StudentVu panel to tell us about which institutions they considered when applying for PSE and how they ended up making the decision to accept (or not).
Just how many schools are in the running when postsecondary applicants make their enrolment decisions? It’s a question asked by countless higher ed professionals across the country. Where your institution fits into the landscape of students’ decision-making, and the factors that influence this positioning, are among the most important considerations for any school in Canada. This is especially the case today, as applicants enjoy a broader range of PSE options than ever before.
Today’s postsecondary students face a growing list of demands on their time and energy, from taking on paid work to coping with mental health concerns. But it’s crucial that this growing list doesn’t prevent them from becoming engaged members of their campus communities. As these students work to balance their many responsibilities with their desire to participate in student clubs and governments, student associations face the growing challenge of fostering an engaged student body.
2017 was a year of big stories for Canadian higher ed, from historically-long strikes to bitter debates over the meaning of academic freedom. We’ve combed through the 2,620 stories we ran this year in our daily Academica Top Ten and Indigenous Top Ten, analyzing our readership statistics to see which stories and themes received the most attention from our readers. We then combined this data with the insights of our crack team of researchers to whittle our list down to the top ten stories of 2017.
Young people have a big stake in shaping our future and they have the ambition to do so. But we need to engage them, delve deeper into both their shared and individual experiences, and keep asking them the question – what is transitioning from school to work really like, what’s broken, and how could it be better?
From Snapchat scavenger hunts to live Facebook Q&As, social media engagements help students feel more connected with their PSE community.
One of the first things to acknowledge about feedback is that receiving it can be a difficult experience for many people. While it’s true that we want to grow and improve, it’s also true that many of us feel like we’re being told that we’re not good enough when feedback is negative.
Attending university or college for the first time can be challenging, and with the onset of mental health illnesses typically occurring during adolescence, this means many students will experience mental health issues around the same time that they begin their PSE journey.
In the ever changing social media landscape, platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are gaining more traction than ever, challenging Facebook’s dominant role, while others, like Twitter and Google+, have seen a steady decline amongst youth.
The federal government has created an opportunity to focus on filling gaps in the Canadian innovation landscape and jumpstart high-growth sectors, and it represents a significant opportunity for PSE’s who are strong in research and industry partnerships.
Ask almost anyone if they value accessibility at their school, and you’ll hear a resounding “yes!” But not everyone comes at accessibility issues from the same perspective, and people can have widely differing opinions on whether their schools are doing a good job of making sure that students with disabilities have the most fulfilling postsecondary experience possible.