By Dr. Jessica Riddell, Executive Director, Maple League of Universities
June 10, 2020
The Maple League has been in the news several times this month as a leader in conversations around high quality education in Canada.
The Maple League appeared in the influential RBC report, “The Future of Post-Secondary Education: On Campus, Online and On Demand”, by Andrew Schrumm
“Finally, we will see a breakdown of the artificial barriers between Canada’s higher-education institutions. Many of which are already facing pressures to reduce costs, amid soaring public debts and expected enrolment declines. Stronger collaborations between universities and colleges will be needed to reduce duplication of and increase access to online resources. Sharing of course and learning materials is already practiced by the Maple League of schools in Atlantic Canada, the Tri-University Group in southern Ontario, and through Education City in Ottawa. Going forward, these types of partnerships will be necessary to coordinate online course offerings that maximize student options and experiences.”Andrew Schrumm
The Future of Post-Secondary Education: On Campus, Online and On Demand
June 1, 2020
The Maple League was featured on the front page of The Globe and Mail in an article by Joe Friesan, The Globe and Mail’s post-secondary education reporter.
Maple League universities are the beating hearts of their citizen towns. Resilience has been a hallmark of these institutions for some 175 years. They are beacons of hope and support not only for students but also the vibrant local communities within which they are embedded. Joe Fresian writes that the Maple League universities “with their historic red brick architecture and wide lawns, have long based their appeal on small classes, a close-knit campus of dorms and clubs, and a level of attention from professors not always available at larger institutions.” Rural campuses offer opportunities for social engagement while respecting physical distancing with a focus on safety first and foremost.
The Maple League is supporting a pan-Canadian consortium that supports faculty as they prepare for Fall 2020 and beyond.
With start-up financial support from the McConnell Foundation, several leading Canadian universities have formed a consortium to collaborate in the rapid curation, development and deployment of digital resource materials to support common high-priority first-year university courses. Chad Lubelsky, Program Director at the McConnell Foundation, welcomed the opportunity:
“The consortium project is an excellent fit for us,” he said. “ It is learning-centred, highly collaborative, innovative, and offers the prospect of long-term benefits for Canada’s universities. The four Maple League universities (Acadia University, Bishop’s University, Mount Allison University and St. Francis Xavier University), have also agreed to support the project by sharing curated high-quality digital materials designed for students in smaller universities with a liberal arts focus.”Chad Lubelsky
Please see the McConnell Foundation’s press release for more information about the Pan-Canadian Consortium: https://mcconnellfoundation.ca/canadian-universities-collaborate-to-create-new-digital-materials/
Stay tuned for more news, including the launch of the new Virtual Maple League Teaching and Learning Centre (V_MLTLC), a longer term initiative that is designed to grow over time in order to support institutional resilience and high quality, purposeful education for the public good.
Dr. Jessica Riddell
Executive Director, Maple League of Universities
Dr. Jessica Riddell is Full Professor in the Department of English at Bishop’s University, the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, and a 3M National Teaching Fellow (2015).