It’s no secret that there are disparities in access to higher education among different demographic groups in Ontario, as is the case in all of Canada’s provinces and territories. What fewer may know, though, is that these disparities exist far more at the university level than the college level.
Canada’s higher ed community has been celebrating record-setting international enrolments for years now, but it has not been as quick to acknowledge how these students fare after graduation. This is because there is often inconsistency in what, if any, targeted supports schools are offering to help these students succeed in the job market after they graduate.
“Trust me. I know what kids care about these days.”
Melissa felt her stomach drop. As a marketing professional working at a higher ed institution, she dreaded hearing these words from her colleague.
Institutions and advocates across Canada have worked tirelessly to address the underrepresentation of women in senior academic roles over the past 25 years, but a lack of progress in crucial areas has caused many to look beyond institutions to ask how women in Canada’s higher ed community can advance their careers through peer-based support networks and mentoring.
In today’s tough higher ed landscape, here are three key questions that your team should discuss before deciding whether (and how) to roll out any new program.
When prospective students think about your institution, what’s the first word that comes to mind? What about their parents? What about current students? Alumni? You might have some educated guesses based on anecdotal evidence, but how reliable are those guesses? As over two decades of research and consulting in Canadian higher ed has taught us, institutions get one—maybe two—words to be associated with in the imaginations of any given person, especially a prospective student. This speaks to the importance of top-of-mind associations when it comes to your institution’s brand. The question then becomes: what word do you want to “own”?
Since the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report in 2015, Canada’s post-secondary institutions have worked to better integrate Indigenous practices and ways of knowing into their campus cultures and spaces. This effort has led to a growing conversation around what it truly means for an institution to Indigenize, with this conversation touching on nearly every aspect of post-secondary education, from infrastructure and ceremonial acknowledgments to shared governance and a greater incorporation of Indigenous knowledges into curriculum.
Colleges and institutes from across Canada are doing remarkable work around the globe to build training capacity and change countless lives in the process. Every year, dozens of projects bring Canadian colleges and institutes together with partners from South America to Africa to Asia on initiatives that can involve everything from leadership training to building the vocational skills that are vital to a country’s infrastructure and workforce.
At the core of every Canadian post-secondary institution is a mission, a clarity of purpose that—in the best cases—is keenly felt by every member of the campus community. This sense of purpose is the product of many influences, including a commitment to the core principles of higher education that date back centuries. Today, one also sees institutions searching for ways to better serve the communities and regions in which they’re based. But underlying both of these factors is a question that until recently might have been considered a given at many institutions. That question is: Who are our students?
Good intentions are important when responding to a disclosure of sexual assault on your campus, but without the proper knowledge base and training, these good intentions might still lead to unsupportive responses that can do long-term harm to survivors. In this three-part series on responding to disclosures of sexual violence, we have already focused on myth-busting and providing supportive responses to those who make the brave choice to disclose an experience of sexual violence. In this final installment, we will look at how intersections of power and privilege influence the moment of disclosure and how a person can respond supportively.
Are we truly living in a time of “post-truth”? That’s the question being asked by many higher education and media professionals who strive to provide credible insight and reliable information to a public that seems increasingly skeptical toward traditional forms of expertise. Compounding this challenge is the trend of populism and the “democratization of expertise” that has eroded the authority once accorded to academics and journalists. But where will this trend lead, and are academics and media professionals capable of restoring the public’s trust in accurate journalism and in evidence-based research?
It’s no secret that Canada has established itself as a global superpower in the realm of higher education, as institutions continue to set record enrolments year after year and grow Canada’s reputation around the world. Yet while much attention is often given to international recruitment and the student experience, it is equally important for Canada’s institutions to ensure that they’re doing the most they can to support their international students’ post-graduate aspirations. And for a majority of international students, staying and starting a great career in Canada ranks first and foremost.