Topic: Equity and social justice

For millennials, employment is a public health challenge

Millennials now make up the largest share of the Canadian workforce and many are facing precarious working conditions. As a society, we have previously assumed that if young Canadians invest in formal training and “pay their dues” in poor quality jobs early in their careers, they will work their way into better quality employment. A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) suggests a different reality.

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Gender quotas and targets would speed up progress on gender equity in academia

Recently, the University of Adelaide used a special exemption under the Equal Opportunity Act to advertise eight academic positions in the faculty of engineering, computer and mathematical sciences for women only. This raises questions about why a university might take this approach. While Australia has had gender equality legislation for 30 years, there has been very slow progress towards addressing the gender equity issues plaguing the sector. To illustrate, women are still under-represented at senior levels. Only 27% of full professors (the main recruitment pool for top jobs) are women, and only 32% of Vice-Chancellors in public universities.

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Dangerous stereotypes stalk black university and college athletes

If you go strictly by the official account, heatstroke was the cause of death for University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair. McNair died earlier this year following a grueling practice in which training staff failed to properly diagnose and treat his condition. But there’s another culprit – or at least a contributing factor – that should not be overlooked.

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What universities and colleges must do to promote mental health for graduate students

Sara did not expect much to come from her visit to the university’s counseling center, but she was concerned enough about the dark thoughts she’d been having that she decided to go anyway. As she sat in the waiting room after turning in the patient questionnaire, she thought: “It’s probably not a big deal. I’m probably overreacting.” But she wasn’t. After reviewing her screening survey, staff at the counseling center didn’t want her to leave without speaking to a therapist.

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For universities, making the case for diversity is part of making amends for racist past

The Trump administration recently announced plans to scrap Obama-era guidelines that encouraged universities to consider race as a factor to promote diversity on campus, claiming the guidelines “advocate policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution.” Some university leaders immediately went on the defense.

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South Africa’s new higher education disability policy is important, but flawed

South Africa finally has a disability policy that’s specific to the higher education sector. The new policy framework should be celebrated as an achievement. Its value is that, because it’s specific to the sector, it gives institutions (such as universities) a common vision. It also enables monitoring and evaluation of progress that is context specific.

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When race triggers a call to campus police

On a beautiful spring afternoon on a picturesque college campus, two campus police officers responded to a black professor’s “good afternoon” with a request to see his identification. The professor paused for a moment but decided to comply. He wondered if perhaps his attire – slacks, a button-down shirt and loafers – didn’t signal that he belonged.

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Why there are so few Indigenous graduates at convocation

Convocation can be a very emotional occasion. Each year, it seems, the commentariat is whipped up into near hysterics over some honorary […]

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The importance of international students to Atlantic Canada

Anita faced a tough choice when she discovered she was unexpectedly pregnant. If she took a term off school to care for her newborn, her family would lose its dream of settling in Canada. So, eight weeks after the summer birth, with her diplomat husband away on a long-term work assignment in the Caribbean and two more children at home, the international student from Cameroon returned to class full-time.

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Why some students are excluded from university later in their degree, and how to remedy it

Student attrition is of concern to universities and to politicians and, most importantly, costly for the students concerned, both financially and emotionally. […]

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