There is currently increasing pressure on universities to demonstrate how they contribute to their host societies. In the 21st century knowledge society, universities are seen as providing the key raw materials for economic growth, creating knowledge through research activities.
A new ideal-type of university has emerged, the 'world-class university' bringing together the best talents, researchers and facilities to drive national economic development. A wide range of countries – from France to China, from Germany to Saudi Arabia – have embraced this model and selectively rewarded universities conforming to that ideal.
But alongside pressure to be 'world class', universities are also under pressure from increasing student numbers unmatched by resource growth. Universities have responded by increasing efficiency of student delivery, reducing drop-out rates, increasing class sizes and standardising teaching activities.
As industries evolve and demographics change, the need for education continues to grow.
We, as a global society, spend quite a bit of money on higher education – BMO Capital Markets estimates that the United States alone spends approximately US$1.7 trillion on educational services – including about US$600 million on post-secondary education – and GSV Advisors estimates that worldwide spending is quickly approaching US$5 trillion.
That’s a lot of cash. And yet, as we spend more money on education, and as universities create new degree and certificate programmes, employers are asking for graduates with different skills than the ones we teach and some students struggle to get jobs, leaving many unemployed or underemployed.
No matter how much we debate the issue, end-of-course evaluations count. How much they count is a matter of perspective. They matter if you care about teaching. They frustrate you when you try to figure out what they mean. They haven’t changed; they are regularly administered at odds with research-recommended practices. And faculty aren’t happy with the feedback they provide. A survey (Brickman et al., 2016) of biology faculty members found that 41% of them (from a wide range of institutions) were not satisfied with the current official end-of-course student evaluations at their institutions, and another 46% were only satisfied “in some ways.”
A large-scale analysis of gender disparities in research output and impact finds that while the number of women researchers has increased over the past 20 years, women researchers publish fewer papers on average than men and are less likely to collaborate internationally and to undertake research that cuts across the corporate and academic sectors. At the same time, a report on the findings notes there is little difference between papers published by men and women in impact as measured by citations and downloads.
When I recently returned to my department after a decade in administration, I looked forward to reconnecting with former olleagues, getting to know the grad students, going to lectures and colloquia, teaching undergrads, and yes, even serving on departmental committees. But when I moved into my faculty office and began my work schedule, I had only one question as I looked around my department: Where did everybody go?
A new study out of Yale University confirms a notion college and university administrators have held for years -- that substance abuse is linked to a decline in student grades -- but this study also reveals a number of trends among college students that surprised its authors.
Researchers at Yale University and the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn., found that students who drank a moderate to heavy amount of alcohol actually had similar grade point averages to those who consumed little or no alcohol. However, students who used moderate to heavy alcohol as well as marijuana saw their grades plummeting.
Educators want nothing more than for our students to feel successful and excited to learn, and to understand the importance of their education. We want our students' attention and respect to match our own. I believe that most if not all of our students desire the same, but walking through our classroom doors are beautifully complex youth who are neurobiologically wired to feel before thinking.
In recent years, there has been a surge of research into early brain development. As recently as the 1980s, many professionals thought that by the time babies are born, the structure of their brains was already genetically determined. The role of experience on the developing brain structure was under-appreci-ated, as was the active role of babies in their own brain development through interaction with their environment (Shore, 1997). While much of the research examining brain func-tioning has been done with animals, new technologies are enabling more non-invasive research to be done with humans. Although there is still much to learn, we now know much more about the brain’s development and functioning.
With so many classroom research studies published daily, you can be forgiven for missing some. The techniques below are super-tactical and, for the most part, unsung strategies that you’ll be excited to try tomorrow.
Some are stocking naloxone kits, while others are pushing increased public awareness.
On April 14 last year, British Columbia’s chief health officer declared a public health emergency due to the high number of opioid overdose deaths in the province – and the death toll has continued to rise since then. In December, Vancouver police reported up to nine opioid overdose deaths in a single night. At a conference on the opioid crisis held in Ottawa in November, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins said that, in his province, opioid overdose is now the third leading cause of accidental deaths, accounting for about 700 deaths a year.
Accessibility offices are encouraging students with autism to turn to their peers for support through university life.
When accessibility specialist Jamie Penner started at the University of Manitoba in 2009, a series of eye-opening client meetings made him reconsider how the institution was accommodating students with an autism spectrum disorder. “One of my first students on the spectrum had a course in ancient history covering some battle. I asked him what the lectures were like and he really only could remember or focus on the fact that they used a certain weapon in the battles. He was paying attention, he was listening, but he got so sidetracked,” Mr. Penner recalls.
A look at the sexual harassment policies at Canadian universities.
The recent decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal in the case of Fariba Mahmoodi, a student who accused her professor of sexual harassment, has once again focussed attention on a controversial issue. Ms. Mahmoodi complained to the tribunal that Donald Dutton, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, and UBC as his employer, had sexually harassed her. The tribunal agreed, awarding her a total of $13,000 including $4,000 for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect, and $5,200 for counseling expenses.
Faculty are the critical labor element in the pursuit of the economic goals of community colleges, yet they are not central to institutional decision-making. Their views and values are not consistent with the goals and actions of their colleges. Instead, these goals and actions are aligned with business and industry, directed by government and college administrators. Although there is a misalignment of faculty values and institutional actions, faculty do not comprise an oppositional culture within their colleges. This multi-site qualitative study addresses the presence of tensions between educational values of faculty and the economic values of faculty work.
Understanding Community Colleges brings together a variety of subjects and issues that face community colleges as they evolve in the higher education landscape. The edition is organized into four sections that cover three arenas: students, administration
and leadership issues, and workforce development. Each chapter, regardless of author, does a quality job of explaining the historical context of the given issue and the development or change that is occurring for community colleges nationwide. The text is accessible for those unfamiliar with community colleges and does not fall into the writing traps of consistently comparing community colleges to four-year institutions. Instead, each chapter treats community colleges as stand-alone entities,
examining them in each particular setting with no preconceived notions.
We use data for a large sample of Ontario students who are observed over five years from their initial entry into high school to study differences in postsecondary education participation. The students are grouped by average neighbourhood income and birthplace (Canadian or foreign‐born). We find substantial differences in the allocation of students based on their performance in Grade 9 courses and the types of PSE participation within achievement groupings.
We document differences in PSE participation based on the students’ birthplace. Foreign‐born students, conditioning on performance in high school, are more likely to continue onto university and college. Foreignborn students in higher income neighbourhoods are more likely to pursue a university degree than a college credential. Uniformly, Canadian‐born students are less likely to pursue a PSE credential upon the completion of high school.
After putting in the time, money and energy to complete a degree, it can be extremely discouraging to realize you no longer want to work in that industry. If you spent the better part of four years in a classroom only to learn you don’t want to pursue the field you’re now qualified for, what do you do? Most people don’t have the time or money to go back to school and start over again — but don’t fret. There are steps to take when trying to change career paths to something not directly associated with your degree. While making the switch may be difficult, it’s not impossible. The following steps will help push you in the direction you want to go.
They should be used to inform and encourage, not to penalize.
With reference to Gerald Walton’s opinion piece, in which he declares that “academic underperformers must be called out,” I would like to suggest an alternative, more helpful approach to the problem he identifies. As dean of the faculty of arts at the University of Manitoba, from 1999 to 2004, it was my task to implement Article 35 of our collective agreement, which called for meaningful annual performance evaluations. The trick was to do that in a positive way rather than a destructive one.
Much of our work as educators consists of designing and delivering experiences in which students can develop their understanding and application of concepts and skills in our disciplines. Given that we have only 16 weeks with our students, we need various ways for deepening and expanding these formative experiences in our field. Visiting experts can be a wonderful way of developing expertise, and leveraging online tools like Skype and Zoom can open up powerful possibilities for new collaboration and conversation.
Over the past months, since the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States – in particular after the transition – many articles have been published about the negative impact of these two events on the internationalisation of higher education in the United States and the United Kingdom and beyond.
The increasing wave of nationalist, populist, anti-immigration and anti-globalisation trends in the United States, Europe and countries like Turkey and the Philippines make us wonder if the end of internationalisation is near.
We are often told that we live in a global era, driven in part by technology, globalisation and intensified international commerce. There is a great urgency to cultivate internationally minded and ready citizens. Higher education institutions worldwide are
situated at the epicentre of generating the world’s next legion of global citizens.
In the United States alone, institutions now commonly have study abroad centres or offices of international education and many have established international outposts.
At the core of internationalisation is an ambition for internationalised curricula. Through this, institutions aim to equip students with the tools they need to thrive in the global economy. Yet, despite the momentum surrounding the internationalised curriculum, its substance and benefits are still uncertain.