Most Canadian universities participate in the US-based National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) that measures various aspects of “student engagement.” The higher the level of engagement, the greater the probability of positive outcomes and the better the quality of the school. Maclean’s magazine publishes some of the results of these surveys. Institutions are ranked in terms of their scores on 10 engagement categories and four outcomes. The outcomes considered are how students in the first and senior years evaluate their overall experiences (satisfaction) and whether or not students would return to their campuses. Universities frequently use their scores on measures reported by Maclean’s in a self-congratulatory way. In this article, I deal with levels of satisfaction provided by Maclean’s. Based on multiple regression, I show that of the 10 engagement variables regarded as important by NSSE, at the institutional level, only one explains most of the variance in first-year student satisfaction. The others are of limited consequence. I also demonstrate, via a cluster analysis, that, rather than there
being a hierarchy of Canadian institutions as suggested by the way in which Maclean’s presents NSSE findings, Canadian universities can most adequately be divided into a limited number of different satisfaction clusters. Findings such as these might serve as a caution to parents and students who consider Maclean’s satisfaction rankings when assessing the merits of different universities. Overall, in terms of first-year satisfaction, the findings suggest more similarities than differences between and among Canadian universities.
Keywords: NSSE, Maclean’s, Canadian university rankings, student engagement, student satisfaction
La plupart des universités canadiennes participent à l’Enquête nationale sur la participation étudiante/National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), qui est basée aux États-Unis. Plus le niveau de « participation étudiante » est élevé, plus la probabilité de résultats positifs est élevée, et plus l’école est considérée comme étant de bonne qualité. Le magazine Maclean’s publie certains des résultats de cette enquête. Les établissements y sont classés selon leur score dans dix catégories de « participation » et quatre résultats. Les résultats considérés sont la manière dont les étudiants de première et de dernière année évaluent leur expérience globale (satisfaction), et leur désir de retourner étudier au même endroit si c’était à refaire. Les universités utilisent fréquemment les résultats rapportés par Maclean’s à des fins d’autopromotion. Dans cet article, je me penche sur les niveaux de satisfaction présentés par Maclean’s. Sur la base d’une régression multiple, je montre que sur les dix variables de participation considérées comme importantes par la NSSE, au niveau des établissements, une seule explique la majeure partie de la variance en ce qui concerne la satisfaction des étudiants de première année. Les autres ont peu d’effet. Je démontre également, par le biais d’une analyse par grappe, qu’au lieu d’être hiérarchisées comme le suggère la façon de faire de Maclean’s avec les résultats de la NSSE, les universités canadiennes peuvent être divisées de façon plus adéquate en un nombre limité de grappes de satisfaction. Ces découvertes peuvent servir de mise en garde aux parents et aux étudiants qui considèrent les classements de Maclean’s pour comparer les universités. Globalement, en ce qui a trait à la satisfaction des étudiants de première année, elles suggèrent qu’il y a plus de ressemblances que de différences entre les universités canadiennes.
Mots-clés : enquête nationale sur la participation étudiante, Maclean’s, classement des universités canadiennes, participation
étudiante, satisfaction des étudiants
This challenging time provides an opportunity for students to work on real-world problems
they see every day.
Amid a pandemic, educators are trying to figure out how to make sure that kids are socially in tune, emotionally intact, and cognitively engaged. Moreover, we’re all attempting to figure out how to do this across a plethora of mediums, including computer screens, video cameras streaming into classrooms, and engaging students face-to-face albeit across shields, masks, and plexiglass.
Still, there is an opportunity here to give students a chance to discuss the challenges of their own environment, the barrage of news they face daily, and the core content they need for long-term success. One of the best options to meet these demands is for students to engage in rigorous problem- or project-based learning (PBL)—an approach that ensures students develop high rigor and experience high relevance by solving problems or
completing tasks in a remote or face-to-face environment.
Some analysts foresee that the rise of automation—triggered by advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and other novel technologies—will soon unsettle sizable sections of our labour market, prompting the need for mass upskilling and re-skilling. Continuous learning is perceived as the new norm within the future of work. Many believe that solutions to future surges in training demand will require a degree of dexterity not exhibited by traditional postsecondary education (PSE) organizations, and advocate for radical alternatives. However, we outline how basic reforms leading to a more robust articulation and credit transfer system could also improve our PSE system’s ability to handle augmented training demands. In turn, we explore how the Canadian federal government can facilitate these reforms by (a) providing additional incentives for domestic colleges and universities to engage in seamless transfer, and (b) supporting the production of knowledge to inform more strategic forms of pathway articulation.
Keywords: transfer credit, articulation, future of work, policy
Des analystes prévoient que la hausse de l’automatisation, stimulée par les progrès de l’intelligence artificielle, de la robotique et d’autres technologies novatrices, va bientôt déstabiliser des segments importants du marché du travail, entraînant une vague de mises à niveau et de requalifications. L’apprentissage continu est considéré comme la nouvelle norme pour le marché du travail de l’avenir. Nombreux sont ceux qui croient que la future croissance de la demande en formation nécessitera un degré de dextérité jusqu’ici non démontré par les établissements d’enseignement postsecondaire traditionnels, et qui préconisent des solutions de rechange radicales. Néanmoins, nous suggérons que des réformes de base pour consolider le système d’articulation et de transfert de crédits pourraient également améliorer la capacité de notre système d’enseignement postsecondaire à prendre en charge des demandes de formation accrues. Ensuite, nous explorons comment le gouvernement fédéral canadien peut faciliter ces réformes i) en offrant des incitatifs supplémentaires aux collèges et universités du pays
pour qu’ils offrent des passerelles plus fluides; et ii) en soutenant le développement des connaissances pour trouver des options d’articulation des parcours qui soient plus stratégiques.
Mots-clés : transfert de crédits, articulation, avenir du travail, politique
Cet article vise à comparer la perception qu’ont les professeurs de Colombie-Britannique, d’Ontario et du Québec des instruments d’action publique fédéraux et provinciaux quant à leur influence sur la production de recherche dans leur province. Les scores moyens, une MANOVA et des analyses post-hoc de Dunnett C réalisées sur les résultats provenant d’un questionnaire distribué à 786 participants révèlent que les instruments fédéraux sont perçus comme ayant une influence plus importante
que les instruments provinciaux, mais aussi qu’il existe une différence significative entre les scores attribués aux instruments provinciaux par les professeurs québécois et par leurs homologues des autres provinces.
Mots-clés : production de recherche universitaire, instruments d’action publique, palier provincial, palier fédéral, fédéralisme,
Colombie-Britannique, Ontario, Québec
This article compares how faculty members from British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec perceive the influence of federal and provincial policy instruments on the level of academic research production in their province. Mean scores, and a MANOVA followed by Dunnett C post-hoc tests based on a questionnaire completed by 786 participants reveal that professors perceived federal instruments as being more influential than provincial instruments, but also that there is a significant difference
in the average score given by Quebec professors to provincial instruments, when compared to their counterparts in the other provinces.
Keywords: academic research production, public action instruments, provincial level, federal level, federalism, British Columbia,
While Indigenous entrepreneurship is associated with significant economic promise, Indigenous innovation continues to be invisible in Canadian policy contexts. This article examines how Indigenous entrepreneurial activities are framed in government policy, potentially leading to another wave of active exploitation of Indigenous lands, peoples, and knowledges. The
article first discusses the concepts of Indigenous entrepreneurship and innovation through a decolonizing lens, drawing links to education. Then, it provides a set of rationales for why governments need to re-think and prioritize Indigenous entrepreneurship. Next, it maps the current federal government initiatives in this policy sector. Drawing from the Indigenous entrepreneurship ecosystem approach (Dell & Houkamau, 2016; Dell et al., 2017), the article argues that a more comprehensive policy perspective guiding Indigenous entrepreneurship programs should inform Canadian innovation policy. Individual voices from 13 Indigenous entrepreneurs in Manitoba point to three core issues: (a) relationships with the land and the community; (b) the relevance of (higher) education and training; and (c) the importance of cultural survival and self-determination. The article makes an argument for a systemic decolonizing change in how Indigenous innovation is approached in government policy and programs, supported by the work of higher education institutions1.
Keywords: Indigenous entrepreneurship, decolonization, ecosystem, innovation, policy
Alors que l’entrepreneuriat autochtone est associé à une promesse économique importante, l’innovation autochtone est toujours invisible dans le contexte des politiques publiques canadiennes. Cet article examine la manière dont les activités entrepreneuriales autochtones sont encadrées dans les politiques publiques, laquelle risque de provoquer une autre vague d’exploitation des terres, des peuples et des connaissances autochtones. Dans un premier temps, l’article discute des concepts d’entrepreneuriat et d’innovation autochtones sous l’angle de la décolonisation et établit des liens avec l’éducation. Ensuite, il fournit un ensemble de justifications expliquant pourquoi les gouvernements doivent repenser et prioriser l’entrepreneuriat autochtone. Enfin, il recense les initiatives actuelles du gouvernement fédéral dans ce secteur. S’inspirant de l’approche écosystémique de l’entrepreneuriat autochtone (Dell et Houkamau, 2016; Dell et al., 2017), cet article soutient qu’une politique publique plus complète pour orienter les programmes d’entrepreneuriat autochtone devrait éclairer la politique d’innovation canadienne. Les voix individuelles de 13 entrepreneurs autochtones du Manitoba permettent de souligner trois enjeux fondamentaux : 1) les relations avec la terre et la communauté; 2) la pertinence de l’enseignement (supérieur) et de la formation; 3) l’importance de la survie culturelle et de l’autodétermination. Cet article plaide en faveur d’un changement décolonisant systémique dans la façon dont l’innovation autochtone devrait être abordée dans les programmes gouvernementaux
et les politiques publiques, avec l’appui des établissements d’enseignement supérieur.
Mots-clés : entrepreneuriat autochtone, décolonisation, écosystème, innovation, politique publique
This paper focuses on the recent political spars between Canada and Saudi Arabia as well as China and their impact on Canadian universities. It asks three questions: (1) What key issues did Canada’s political strains with Saudi Arabia and China raise for Canadian universities’ international education (IE) initiatives and what issues were absent? (2) What do these key issues suggest about Canada’s approaches to IE in an era of new geopolitics? and (3) What implications can be drawn from these cases about Canadian university-government relations in the context of new geopolitics? Given the powerful role media plays in education policy, a systematic study was conducted across three main media sources to identify 74 articles and news releases between August 2018 and November 2019. Three dominant themes are identified and analyzed, each vividly illustrating the close ties between global politics, government foreign policy and IE within Canadian Universities. On the one hand, the narratives speak to concerns about IE as a risk to national security and, on the other, as a vehicle for Canada’s economic prosperity. However, what the media has not achieved is a broader discussion on how Canada needs to revisit its IE objectives and approaches in light of broader geopolitical shifts. Using the theoretical framework of soft power, the paper speaks to the limitations and short-sightedness of Canada’s approach to IE as soft power in this era of new geopolitics and concludes with three recommendations for Canada.
Keywords: soft power, international education, geopolitics, internationalisation, and international relations
Cet article se concentre sur les répercussions sur les universités canadiennes des tensions politiques récentes entre le Canada et la Chine et entre le Canada et l’Arabie saoudite. Il pose trois questions : (1) Quels sont les problèmes causés par ces tensions politiques pour les initiatives d’éducation internationale des universités canadiennes, et quels problèmes sont
exclus? (2) Que suggèrent ces problèmes quant aux approches du Canada en ce qui concerne les initiatives d’éducation internationale à l’époque de la nouvelle géopolitique? (3) Quelles sont les implications sur les relations entre les universités canadiennes et le gouvernement du Canada dans le contexte de la nouvelle géopolitique? Puisque les médias jouent un
rôle puissant dans les politiques éducatives, nous avons mené une étude systématique auprès de trois sources médiatiques et retenu 74 articles de journaux et communiqués de presse entre août 2018 et novembre 2019. Il en ressort trois thèmes principaux qui illustrent les liens étroits entre la politique mondiale, la politique étrangère du gouvernement et les initiatives
d’éducation internationale au sein des universités canadiennes. Il y a deux narratifs concurrents : d’une part, celui selon lequel l’éducation internationale serait une menace pour la sécurité nationale canadienne et d’autre part, celui selon lequel l’éducation internationale contribuerait à la prospérité économique du Canada. Cependant, les médias n’abordent pas la question plus vaste de la manière dont le Canada devrait revoir ses objectifs et ses approches en matière d’éducation internationale à la lumière des grands changements géopolitiques. L’article utilise le cadre théorique du soft power pour discuter des limitations et du manque de vison de l’approche du Canada en ce qui concerne l’éducation internationale comme soft
power à l’époque de la nouvelle géopolitique. La conclusion inclut trois recommandations pour le Canada.
Mots-clés : puissance douce, éducation internationale, géopolitiques, internationalisation et relations internationales
Among the many things that faculty members worried about in our Covid-19 switch to remote teaching was how to provide course materials when students could no longer walk into a campus library. The distance between our students and every volume, every assigned reading, every computer station seemed to underscore what was different and newly difficult about teaching and learning in a pandemic.
Many of us have stress dreams that surface over and over in our lives. Here is one of mine: I’m driving. It gets dark suddenly. I turn on my lights, but I still can’t see. I turn on my bright lights, but that does not help. I say to myself, "This is too dangerous," as I pull over to the side of the road. Because the dream happens only when I am faced with a situation that has no obvious answer, I do not need an expert interpreter to tell me that my subconscious is warning me to pause until I have better information about the path forward.
For Anthony Wheeler, geography made it easy to accept a job offer in early April — even in the midst of a global pandemic — to become dean of Widener University’s business school. While he had to conduct his finalist visit on Zoom and saw only the inside of the business school via a cellphone video shot by a member of the search committee, he was excited about its programs and already lived roughly 20 miles from the campus, greatly simplifying his decision.
On Friday, March 13, the novel coronavirus went from being a mysterious illness that had upended my teaching to something that invaded my home and health.
Two days earlier, I had received a message from the president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor telling us to cancel classes for a couple of days and to resume teaching the following Monday "remotely, in alternative formats." My recent research and writing concern on sociability — in public places like coffeehouses — and its crucial role in the production of modern culture. Given that I was unlikely to meet face to face with my students or colleagues for the foreseeable future, I was about to experience the importance of sociability firsthand.
Like many faculty members that week, I attended workshops on remote teaching that had been quickly organized by our instructional-technology office. I was trying to learn the pros and cons of various teaching platforms and methods in a desperate attempt to salvage my courses. Meanwhile, my oldest son was traveling back home from his own campus after his spring-break plans collapsed. My wife, a busy caterer in a university town, discovered that all of her events had been suspended until further notice. My youngest son’s public school closed abruptly.
This essay is based on an episode of the University of Technology Sydney podcast series “The New Social Contract”. This audio series examines how the relationship between universities, the state and the public might be reshaped as we live through this global pandemic.
The Gallup organization, perhaps America’s most respected surveyor of public opinion, recently conducted its annual Alumni Survey of nearly 20,000 adults who attended college, slightly more than 1,600 of whom graduated between 2010 and 2019. Presumably most of these respondents are in their twenties or early thirties. When asked, 63% of white or Hispanic students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement “My professors at [University name] cared about me as a person,” compared with only 44% of Black
Joe Biden has a secret weapon in his bid for the presidency: He is the first Democratic nominee in 36 years without a degree from an Ivy League university.
This is a potential strength. One of the sources of Donald Trump’s political appeal has been his ability to tap into resentment against meritocratic elites. By the time of Mr. Trump’s election, the Democratic Party had become a party of technocratic liberalism more congenial to the professional classes than to the blue-collar and middle-class voters who once constituted its base. In 2016, two-thirds of whites without a college degree voted for Mr. Trump, while Hillary Clinton won more than 70 percent of voters with advanced degrees.
Several individual differences have been shown to predict academic and psychological outcomes among university students,
however, it is not always clear which are most impactful, in part because many of the constructs overlap. Thus, the purpose
of the present study was to examine the unique contributions of self-esteem, self-compassion, self-efficacy, and mindsets
when predicting outcomes among university students. Undergraduate students (N = 214) completed an online survey
including measures of the predictors as well as the outcomes of self-control, mental health, and both course and term grades.
Correlations confirmed the overlap among the predictors highlighting the importance of examining the unique contributions
of each. Results of multiple regression analyses showed that self-esteem and self-compassion explained unique variance
in depression and anxiety over and above self-efficacy and growth mindsets. In contrast, self-efficacy and growth mindsets
each significantly predicted self-control when controlling for self-esteem and self-compassion. Only self-efficacy predicted
course grades. Given our results, we suggest that self-compassion and one’s beliefs about their abilities are complementary
strengths for students attending university and should be considered when designing interventions to improve outcomes.
Keywords: self-esteem, self-compassion, self-efficacy, mindsets, self-control, mental health, grades
Food insecurity has been identified as an issue among postsecondary students. We conducted this study to describe the level
of food insecurity in a sample of university students with a particular interest in the effect of marginalization. A cross-sectional
survey was conducted using a volunteer sample of 3,490 undergraduate students (44% participation rate) at one BC university
campus between February and May 2017. Experiences of food insecurity were reported by 42.3% (n=1,479) of respondents.
Among those who were food insecure 60.2% (n=891) were female. Logistic regression analysis indicated that females,
students living on campus, those with a diversability (developmental, physical, or other disability), individuals self-reporting
as belonging to a visible minority, and international students were more likely to experience food insecurity than comparator
groups. When adjusted for gender, years on campus, and living situation, students who reported experiencing two or more
forms of marginalization were 2.52 times more likely to be food insecure compared to students who do not report any form of
marginalization. This study further supports concerns about high levels of food insecurity among university students in Canada.
In particular, the findings highlight the risk for food insecurity among students who are already vulnerable to socio-economic
inequity due to belonging to marginalized groups. Efforts to promote student well-being on university campuses need
to address food insecurity by addressing system-level factors to equalize the field for all students at risk for food insecurity.
Keywords: food deprivation, hunger, vulnerable populations, gender, higher education
Many peer mentorship programs in academia train senior students to guide groups of incoming students through the rigors
of postsecondary education. The mentorship program’s structure can influence how mentors develop from this experience.
Here, we compare how two different peer mentorship programs have shaped mentors’ experiences and development. The
curricular peer mentorship program was offered to mentors and mentees as credited academic courses. The non-curricular
program was offered as a voluntary student union service to students and peer mentors. Both groups of peer mentors shared
similar benefits, with curricular peer mentors (CMs) greatly valuing student interaction, and non-curricular peer mentors
(NCMs) greatly valuing leadership development. Lack of autonomy and lack of mentee commitment were cited as the biggest
concerns for CMs and NCMs, respectively. Both groups valued goal setting in shaping their mentorship development, but CMs
raised concerns about its overemphasis. Implications for optimal structuring of academic mentorship programs are discussed.
Keywords: peer mentorship, goal setting, postsecondary education, training program, program structure, student development
Many post-secondary institutions are developing policies and programs aimed at improving responses to sexual assault
experienced by students. In some areas, such as Ontario, Canada, the government has mandated post-secondary institutions
to do so. However significant these initiatives, they are predicated on the assumption that students trust, and want to
engage with, the university following sexual violence. This study explores students’ perceptions of sexual assault policies and
services on one mid-size university campus focusing specifically on how trust factors into reporting sexual victimization and
using services. Findings show that students believe that sexual assault policies and programs exist, but this does not mean
students are willing to use such resources or that they even trust that their university has students’ needs and interests at the
fore. This paper discusses policy and programmatic considerations for building student trust in their post-secondary institutions
to encourage student use of campus support.
Keywords: sexual assault policies, student trust, institutional betrayal, sexual violence, university policy, violence prevention
This survey study measured the association between risk and protective factors of anxiety and its implications on the
academic performance of 1,053 students at a four-year, public post-secondary institution in southwestern Ontario. Logistic
regression analyses revealed 13 significant variables at the univariable level, while the multivariable model yielded seven
significant factors. Students who felt hopeless significantly increased their odds of reporting anxiety adversely affecting
their academic performance, while being able to manage daily responsibilities was the only protective factor against anxiety
impacting students’ educational attainment. By planning, designing, and implementing proactive programs focusing on these
predictor variables, such interventions can equip students against the debilitative influence of anxiety on their academic
Keywords: anxiety, academic performance, post-secondary students, student wellness, risk factors, protective factors
Imagine you have completed a scholarly article, book or creative product that you intend as a contribution to your discipline. Who will evaluate your work, attest to its quality and determine whether it is published or exhibited? Who will review the work when you are up for tenure and promotion or contract renewal?
Now, in your mind’s eye, imagine a person who is likely to review the quality of your teaching for professional benchmarks.
“Write an initial post and then reply to two of your classmates.” These are the standard requirements for students participating in online course discussions. Discussions in an online course play a vital role in creating substantive interactions, aiming to capture the spirit of discourse in face-to-face settings. This, however, can look and feel like busy work, making the purpose of online discussions unclear to students.
The standard blueprint is safe but has been exhausted. “Initial posts” can be counterintuitive—in essence, they require students to complete small writing assignments individually before giving other students feedback on their work (Liberman, 2019). How can we think outside of the box of posting and replying when it comes to these discussions? One way is to use online discussions as an opportunity to promote student autonomy and ask students to be active participants not only in how they respond to class discussions, but how they initiate them. Here are five considerations for promoting student autonomy while also
breaking the online discussion mold: