A viable fix for Ontario’s youth unemployment problem

“During the Ontario election campaign, leaders of the various political parties have been offering individual policy prescriptions for many of the province’s economic ills, which includes one of the worst youth unemployment rates in Canada,” wrote Paul Tsaparis, executive-in-residence at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail June 11. “Yet for all their talk, not a single one of them – not the Liberals’ Kathleen Wynne, nor the Conservatives’ Tim Hudak, nor the New Democratic Party’s Andrea Horwath – have presented a comprehensive solution that addresses this complex issue.” Read full story.

York Region advance polls busier than provincial average ahead of election
The rate of participation in advance polls ahead of today’s provincial election may have dipped by 6 per cent across Ontario, but it was up about 3.5 per cent in York Region. . . . “Advance voting is usually taken advantage of by more committed voters, so [the 6-per-cent provincial drop] might mean a serious decline in interest in this election amongst those who usually show up,” said York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon in the Aurora Banner June 11. “I think most pundits are expecting a drop in voter turnout this time.” Read full story.

Experimental moves brings results for FC Edmonton
John Jonke, who last played for FC Edmonton in 2011, now works in Toronto as an assistant coach with York University’s powerhouse men’s soccer team. “I started off a few years ago with York University when I stopped play,” said Jonke in the Edmonton Sun June 8. “Carmine Iascco, the head coach there, gave me an opportunity, so I basically jumped on it because it’s one of the best universities in Canada.” Read full story.

Will competency-based degree programs come to Canada?
Western Governors University, a non-profit institution in Salt Lake City, Utah, provides competency-based degrees that require students to work independently to attain certain skills and competencies and must demonstrate their proficiency in them by competing final assessments such as exams or research papers. . . . “There’s a larger pool of working adults [in the U.S. than in Canada] who have not had any post-secondary” education, said York University economics Professor Brian Abner in University Affairs June 11. That may be one reason why competency-based education hasn’t taken hold in Canada, he added. Read full story.

York student’s website wants to encourage real discussion with real opinions
Second-year computer science student Shehmeer Ahmad said he simply wants to “level the playing field” with his new web platform for real-world discussion and opinions, Opinionoto. “You don’t have to have this huge following or be iconic to be heard, all you have to have is an opinion and you can have it seen,” said the 19-year-old York University student in BetaKit June 11. Read full story.

Having qualified for $130,000 in scholarships, Wong shares her secret to success
Stellar grades are required to be considered for a scholarship, but it takes a different kind of smarts to actually snag one. That’s the sage advice of Sherry Wong, who was awarded a prestigious Schulich Leader Scholarship to use toward her science studies at York University starting this September, an academic prize worth a hefty $60,000. In fact, the Grade 12 Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary student applied to and qualified for a whopping $130,000 in national, provincial and local scholarships, reported the Cambridge Times June 11. She’s just 17 years old. Read full story.

Dissecting the USask fiasco
“It’s not all that often that we see a case study in Canadian university crisis communications and in particular, where a crisis happens because of a conflict involving fundamental ideas about what universities are for and how they should be governed,” wrote York University PhD candidate Melonie Fullick in University Affairs June 11. “That’s one way to look at the recent events at the University of Saskatchewan, where actions by the administration have brought unwanted international attention to the university, sparking a nationwide debate about the nature of academic freedom, administrative and professorial rights and responsibilities, and university politics and funding.” Read full story.

Major reform as 600 universities become polytechnics
In a bid to reduce the huge number of university graduates with similar academic degrees competing with each other for the same jobs, China has announced that it will turn at least half of its public universities into institutions of applied learning or polytechnics to produce more technically trained graduates, reported University World News June 12.. . .York University education Professor Qiang Zha said the policy amounted to a move towards a “binary” higher education system of academic and applied institutions, similar to the system in Germany. “This is a major change from a system where all higher education institutions are measured against one set of criteria,” he said. Read full story.

Optech celebrates 40 years of Lidar innovation
Lasers were barely out of their infancy in the late 1960s, yet Optech founder Allan Carswell saw their potential for revolutionizing remote sensing and began developing prototype Lidars at York University, Canada, reported Hydro International June 12. Read full story.

Do you know how hard you work out?
Six years have passed since the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion published Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Researchers funded in part by a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Faculty of Health at York University, Canada, responded a few weeks ago. Their findings were published in PLOS ONE: Adults underestimate the intensity level at which they work out, reported Outside June 11. Read full story.

Newmarket Era takes York Region business award
The Newmarket Era newspaper and Markham’s Williams HR Law were selected as winners in the large business and small business categories from a pool of 7,500 chamber members at the third annual York Region Business Excellence Awards at The Manor event venue in Kettleby, Ont., Tuesday. A team of volunteers from the executive MBA program at York University’s Schulich School of Business reviewed finalists and selected the recipients, reported the Newmarket Era June 11. Read full story.