Science is a fundamental part of Canadian culture and society, affecting nearly every aspect of individual and social life. It is a driving force in the economy, catalyzing innovation and creating new goods, services, and industries. It has led to improvements in Canadians’ physical health and well-being. It has made possible new forms of communication and learning, and changed how Canadians interact and relate to one another. It also provides opportunities for leisure and entertainment as Canadians visit science centres, pursue science-related hobbies, or tune in to such television programs as “The Nature of Things” or “Découverte”. Science is also a systematic means of discovery and exploration that enriches our individual and collective understanding of the world and universe around us.
Seamless Pathways: A Symposium on Improving Transitions from High School to College gathered prominent Ontario educators, policy-makers and government leaders in Toronto on June 6, 2006. The purpose of the symposium was to bring together an expert group of education leaders.
Abstract This study investigates the degree to which biodiversity concepts are included within university curricula in Ontario and provides a baseline for tracking this. A keyword search of undergraduate and graduate academic calendars from six Ontario universities was conducted. A list of 28 relevant keywords was developed, and university program descriptors were searched for these keywords, while considering core and elective courses within each program. Almost half (49.5%) of the 386 undergraduate programs, and 29.4% of the 327 graduate programs featured biodiversity keywords. Science programs showed the highest degree of integration (74.5% for undergraduate and 37.4% for graduate programs), followed by business programs (57.6% and 38.4%, respectively). The arts and social sciences showed the least biodiversity integration (25.8% of undergraduate and 21.0% of graduate programs). This research method provides a depth of understanding of biodiversity integration within university curricula, although the analysis is limited to the content provided in academic calendars.
Résumé Cette étude évalue le degré d’intégration des concepts de la biodiversité dans les programmes universitaires en Ontario, et établit des repères pour suivre cette intégration. Une recherche par mots-clés a été réalisée dans les calendriers des cours de premier cycle et de cycles supérieurs de six universités ontariennes. Nous avons dressé une liste de 28 mots-clés pertinents, puis avons effectué une recherche de ces mots-clés parmi les descripteurs de programmes universitaires, en englobant les cours obligatoires et facultatifs de chaque programme. Près de la moitié (49,5 %) des 386 programmes de premier cycle et 29,4 % des 327 programmes de cycles supérieurs étaient assortis de mots-clés liés à la biodiversité. Parmi tous les programmes, les programmes scientifiques ont démontré le degré d’intégration le plus élevé (74,5 % pour le premier cycle et 37,4 % pour les cycles supérieurs), suivis des programmes en commerce (57,6 % pour le premier cycle et 38,4 %, pour les cycles supérieurs). Par ailleurs, les arts et les sciences sociales ont démontré la plus faible intégration de la biodiversité (25,8 % pour le premier cycle et 21,0 % pour les cycles supérieurs). Cette méthode de recherche permet de mieux comprendre l’intégration de la biodiversité dans les programmes universitaires, même si l’analyse se limite au contenu indiqué dans les calendriers des cours.
This article explores the internationalization of Canadian universities, with a focus on the rise of foreign postsecondary students in Canada, the economic impacts, and the various benefits, challenges, and adjustments that have been
influenced by the continuing demographic shifts on Canadian campuses since 2000. Rooted in recent global and Canadian higher education internationalization trends, this paper suggests that accommodations for such shifts have
not kept pace with the influx of culturally and linguistically diverse foreign students, whose population growth rate outpaces domestic university students’ by several times. I conclude with unresolved dilemmas that continue to pose challenges for Canadian universities, and with suggestions for manageable supports to ensure the needs of students are responsibly balanced with the economic constraints of universities.
The university reward structure has traditionally placed greater value on individual research excellence for tenure and promotion, influencing faculty’s allocation of time and definition of worthwhile labour. We find gender differences in Canadian natural sciences and engineering faculty’s opinions of the traditional criteria for measuring academic success that are consistent with an implicit gender bias devaluing service and teamwork. Most women recommend significant changes to the traditional model and its foundation, while a substantial minority of men support the status quo. However, this comparative qualitative analysis finds more cross-gender similarities than differences, as most men also want a more modern definition of success, perceiving the traditional model to be disproportionately supportive of one type of narrow research scholarship that does not align with the realities of most faculty’s efforts.
Thus, this study suggests a discrepancy between traditional success criteria
and faculty’s understanding of worthwhile labour.
This article explores the relationship between unionization and academic freedom protections for sessional faculty in Ontario universities. Specifically, we compare university policies and contract provisions with a view to determining whether unionized sessionals hired on a per-course basis have stronger academic freedom protections than their non-union counterparts.
We then explore whether particular kinds of bargaining unit structures are more conducive to achieving stronger academic freedom provisions. Finally, we consider whether academic freedom can be exercised effectively by sessionals, whether unionized or not. We conclude that unionization does help to produce stronger academic freedom protections for sessional faculty and that faculty association bargaining unit structures are most likely to help deliver this outcome. We further conclude that academic freedom is difficult to exercise for sessional faculty, regardless of union status, but that unionization offers greater protections for sessionals facing repercussions as a result of asserting their academic freedom.
Keywords: academic freedom, sessional instructors, contract faculty, faculty associations, unions, bargaining unit structures
Women in the sciences who earn PhDs are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue tenure-track positions at research universities. Moreover, among those who become STEM researchers, men have been found to publish more than women. These patterns raise questions about when sex differences in publication begin. Using data from a survey of doctoral students at one large institution, this study finds that men submitted and published more scholarly works than women across many fields, with differences largest in natural/biological sciences and engineering. Potential contributing factors are considered, including sex differences in faculty support, assistantships, family responsibilities, and career goals.
Keywords: career development; doctoral students; equity; faculty development; gender studies; graduate education; higher education; publications; regression analyses; research; secondary data analysis; sex; STEM; survey research; women’s issues
Friendships can blossom naturally between scholars and students, but are they always problematic? Nina Kelly
navigates the boundaries.
A university education can provide an individual with greater employment options, higher income potential, and improved health and quality of life, yet young persons from rural areas remain less likely to attend university than their urban counterparts. This study explores the perceived personal, social, and cultural factors that might create barriers for young persons from rural areas. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 individuals living in rural areas in Alberta, aged 18 to 23 years, who had not attended univer-sity. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, we identified 11 major themes, which were then organized into a conceptual model to illustrate the interacting nature of these factors and their influence on a person’s decision to pursue a university education. An examination of this model and its associ-ated themes may help reveal the possible barriers young persons from rural areas experience when deciding whether or not to attend university.
Une formation universitaire peut permettre aux individus d’avoir un plus grand nombre d’options d’emploi et de meilleurs salaires, en plus d’améliorer leur santé et leur qualité de vie. Malheureusement, les jeunes des milieux ruraux demeurent moins enclins à fréquenter l’université que leurs homologues citadins. Cette étude se penche sur les facteurs personnels et socioculturels perçus qui pourraient ériger des barrières limitant l’accès universitaire aux jeunes adultes des milieux ruraux. Une étude basée sur des entrevues semi-structurées a été réalisée auprès de 17 individus âgés de 18 à 23 ans habitant en milieu rural albertain et n’ayant pas fréquenté l’université. Avec l’analyse interprétative de phénomène, nous avons répertorié 11 thèmes majeurs, que nous avons regroupés en un modèle conceptuel afin d’illustrer la nature des interactions entre ces facteurs et leur influence sur la décision des personnes d’entamer des études universitaires. L’examen du modèle et des thèmes associés pourrait révéler les barrières possibles auxquelles font face les jeunes adultes issus de milieux ruraux lorsque vient le temps de choisir d’étudier ou non à l’université.
During the last third of the twentieth century, college sectors in many coun- tries took on the role of expanding opportunities for baccalaureate degree attainment in applied fields of study. In many European countries, colleges came to constitute a parallel higher education sector that offered degree pro- grams of an applied nature in contrast to the more academically oriented pro-
grams of the traditional university sector. Other jurisdictions, including some Canadian ones, followed the American approach, in which colleges facilitate degree attainment for students in occupational programs through transfer arrangements with universities. This article offers some possible reasons why the Ontario Government has chosen not to fully embrace the European mod- el, even though the original vision for Ontario’s colleges was closer to that model to than to the American one.
During the last third of the twentieth century, college sectors in many countries took on the role of expanding opportunities for baccalaureate degree attainment in applied fields of study. In many European countries, colleges came to constitute a parallel higher education sector that offered degree programs of an applied nature in contrast to the more academically oriented programs of the traditional university sector. Other jurisdictions, including some Canadian ones, followed the American approach, in which colleges facilitate degree attainment for students in occupational programs through transfer arrangements with universities. This article offers some possible reasons why the Ontario Government has chosen not to fully embrace the European model, even though the original vision for Ontario’s colleges was closer to that model to than to the American one.
During the last third of the twentieth century, college sectors in many countries took on the role of expanding opportunities for baccalaureate degree attainment in applied fields of study. In many European countries, colleges came to constitute a parallel higher education sector that offered degree programs of an applied nature in contrast to the more academically oriented programs of the traditional university sector. Other jurisdictions, including some Canadian ones, followed the American approach, in which colleges facilitate degree attainment for students in occupational programs through transfer
arrangements with universities. This article offers some possible reasons why the Ontario Government has chosen not to fully embrace the European model, even though the original vision for Ontario’s colleges was closer to that model to than to the American one.
In the second edition of Six Lenses for Anti-Oppressive Education: Partial Stories, Improbable Conversations, editors Bic Ngo and Kevin Kumashiro bring together multiple perspectives that examine, analyze, and bring to the fore systemic oppressive social relations. They investigate racism, (hetero)sexism, white privilege, classism, and the global neoliberal economic system, as well as offer tools—or lenses—for conceptualizing anti-oppressive education.
Experts from within and outside of academia expound on what role universities can play to further the innovation
The buzzword “innovation” might perk you up – or make your eyes roll. Regardless of how the term sits with you, innovation is clearly on the federal government’s agenda and of big interest to universities as they try to keep pace with rapid changes in society and the economy, while staying responsive to government funding priorities and continuing to meet the needs of their students, faculty and the wider community. With the federal government grappling with weak economic growth and working on crafting a new “ innovation agenda,” (PDF) we asked six experts inside and outside the academy what role they think universities should play in fostering greater innovation in Canada. Their innovation definitions differ in their wording, but are variations on the theme that innovation is not about inventions, per se, but about the novel use of inventions and technologies that lead to transformative new or improved services, products and processes. Universities already make substantial
contributions through their teaching, learning and research functions, and have at least some role to play in the innovation ecosystem, they agree, but how far that should go and in which ways yielded intriguing ideas from each of them.
A friend recently was attempting to describe for me the purpose of a committee devoted to studying public education on which he sits. In a sense, he began, all we’re trying to do is “wrap our brains around these utterly complex matters.” His point is well taken, especially when one reads, for example, a report such as the one my colleague David Steiner prepared for the Bertelsmann Foundation, “Educational Achievement and Reform Strategies in the United States of America,” (2001) in which, after pages of truly elegant prose, he concluded that much of public education is really a mess.
It’s been a decade since Bob Rae issued his “Leader in Learning” report on higher education in Ontario. His diagnosis of the post-secondary landscape in 2005 was blunt, even discouraging.
“We have a large, mature system without a sufficiently clear sense of purpose and without enough money to do the job,” he wrote. He went on to observe that the system’s efforts were diffuse, even inefficient in the way it used funding.
What has been called “degree recognition” has become the subject of considerable attention in Canadian higher education within the past decade. While concerns similar to those that are being voiced today have arisen occasionally in the past, the scale of this phenomenon today is unprecedented historically. In response to the increased demand for degrees that began in the late twentieth century, a great number of diverse types of institutions and organizations have sought the authority to award degrees; and governments in four provinces have decided that it is in the public interest to allow some of these new providers to offer degree programs in Canada, thus ending the monopoly on degree granting formerly held by the publicly funded universities.These new providers include: public colleges and institutes; private postsecondary institutions; corporate universities in both the private and public sector; virtual universities; transnational degree programs; and special mission institutions such as aboriginal colleges.
While it requires a significant amount of time and persistence, completing a PhD is not now – nor has it ever been – a guaranteed path to a lucrative end, and its general value has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. This paper is written for aspiring doctoral students, current doctoral students or candidates, recent doctoral graduates, as well as their families and friends. It provides detailed information about the evolution of the PhD and of the broader labour market and educational environment in which it is embedded. The analyses provided in this paper also lead to recommendations to government and institutions about PhD programs. The paper:
1. provides a detailed explanation of the PhD as an academic credential; 2. outlines the expectations that accompany admission to a doctoral program; 3. chronicles the recent rise in doctoral enrolments in Ontario universities; 4. explores the various labour market pathways available to doctoral graduates; 5. offers recommendations to doctoral candidates, graduate programs and governments.
While it requires a significant amount of time and persistence, completing a PhD is not now – nor has it ever been – a guaranteed path to a lucrative end, and its general value has come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. This paper is written for aspiring doctoral students, current doctoral students or candidates, recent doctoral graduates, as well as their families and friends. It provides detailed information about the evolution of the PhD and of the broader labour market and educational environment in which it is embedded. The analyses provided in this paper also lead to recommendations to government and institutions about PhD programs.
When I first moved from being a contingent faculty member to a staff position in the faculty-development office, a few of my friends who were comfortably positioned in tenure-track jobs not-so-jokingly accused me of “becoming part of the problem” or
“crossing over to the Dark Side” of academe. I was, in their eyes, emblematic of the dreaded administrative bloat that was taking over the university, siphoning money away from the classroom and into the pockets of largely useless (in their eyes) administrative