SSH News: Canada Research Chairs, quality of education, bringing Quebec back in, improved hiring for BAs, mental health on campus

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) has announced 137 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 34 postsecondary institutions across the country.

Harvey P. Weingarten, President of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has written an op-ed for The Globe and Mail presenting four recommendations to improve the quality of education at universities and colleges. Weingarten suggests less government micromanaging, funding based on outcomes, and a policy of differentiation to optimize each university’s contribution.

The Hill Times has published an op-ed by political science professor Guy Laforest, discussing Quebec’s political exile within Canada and how both Quebec and the rest of Canada can begin to overcome this. Professor Laforest was Big Thinking on the Hill speaker on October 9, and was interviewed by Radio-Canada program “Les voies du retour” that same day.

Good news for university graduates: their job prospects are looking better. The Wall Street Journal published results from a Michigan State University report showing that hiring for those with bachelor’s degrees is expected to jump in 2015. The Chronicle of Higher Education added that employers were also hiring students from the liberal arts and sciences alongside “hotter” degrees like computer science.

An article in The New York Times has shed light on problems of anxiety and depression among graduate students, who are not receiving adequate support for these challenges. According to the article, part-time adjunct hiring practices contribute to this problem, as well as responsibilities that may even include a family. Mental health on campuses is drawing attention in Ontario too, where the provincial government has pledged $12 million for post-secondary mental health projects, according to the Toronto Star.

Other news items:

Can universities help train and incubate future entrepreneurs? (The Globe and Mail)

Video: What letter should we add to STEM? (The Atlantic)

What does the OCDE report tell us about access to education? (Le Devoir)


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