Top Ten

January 24, 2014

BVC renames business school after $3-million donation

Bow Valley College has renamed its business school the Chiu School of Business after a $3-million donation from Wayne Chiu, a Calgary philanthropist and founder of Trico Homes. The gift is the largest single donation to be received by BVC. "The naming of the School of Business is a strong endorsement and recognition by the business community that we are delivering a high quality educational experience to our students," says David Allwright, Dean of the Chiu School of Business. Chiu, a member of the BVC Board of Governors told the Calgary Herald that he hopes his donation will bring more social entrepreneurship and social innovation to BVC’s business programs, while encouraging lifelong learning. “Business education is my passion,” said Chiu. BVC News Release | Calgary Herald

Judge makes landmark researcher-participant privilege ruling in Magnotta case

A Quebec Superior Court judge has ruled that the taped interview with alleged killer Luka Magnotta will not be shared with investigating police, marking the first time a Canadian court has recognized researcher-participant privilege. The interview was conducted in 2007 as part of a research project by 2 University of Ottawa professors; a student who assisted with the interview alerted the police to its existence, prompting the 2 professors to seek the protection of confidentiality. “This is the cornerstone of doing research — that you protect the confidentiality of your participants,” said researcher Chris Bruckert. “The impact of this decision is that researchers can now have confidence that courts will recognize and will treat seriously promises of confidentiality vital to the conduct of their research,” said CAUT Executive Director James Turk. Justice Sophie Bourque also clarified that each case must be examined individually, with the benefits of such privilege being weighed against matters of public safety or criminal investigations. A complaint filed in June claimed that uOttawa failed to help the researchers protect the confidentiality of their research. Ottawa Citizen | CAUT News Release | Globe and Mail

uWaterloo announces new Green Energy Graduate Diploma

The University of Waterloo announced the launch of a new Green Energy Graduate Diploma in the Faculty of Engineering. The new program has been developed in partnership with the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, and is the first of its kind in Canada, according to uWaterloo. The diploma is aimed at working engineers who wish to expand their knowledge of topics such as alternative energy sources, air pollution and greenhouse gas management, and building energy performance. Jan Huissoon, Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at Waterloo, stated, “The energy issues facing our society are pressing, and the Green Energy Graduate Diploma equips industry leaders with the necessary background to tackle these issues in cost-effective ways.” The program will be delivered through uWaterloo’s interactive instruction facility, Live-Link, and will allow participants and instructors to interact remotely in real time. uWaterloo News Release

SFU joins Ryerson and Bombay Stock Exchange incubator partnership

Simon Fraser University has joined the entrepreneurial incubator initiativeestablished last year by Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute. The BSEI–Ryerson–SFU Accelerator Program India is a 5-year agreement that allows for collaboration in several areas, including “accelerating the development and commercialization of innovative research and new technologies in India and Canada and providing opportunities for entrepreneurship education, training and development.” Through the agreement, start-ups will gain financial support and mentorship opportunities and students will be able to take advantage of internships and co-op positions. “We are excited to partner in this ground-breaking initiative which will benefit young entrepreneurs and their innovations in both Canada and India,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. SFU News Release | Vancouver Sun

uSask partners with Oxford to offer study abroad opportunity

The University of Saskatchewan has signed a partnership agreement with Oxford University’s St Anne’s College, becoming the first Canadian institution to partner with Oxford, according to uSask. The agreement will provide opportunities for select students to study at St Anne’s for a full year, starting in September 2014. uSask was chosen due to its extensive offering of Aboriginal programming and services, “a unique feature of interest to Oxford,” states a uSask news release. “This is an exciting chance for St Anne’s to welcome students from a diverse range of internationally renowned universities,” said Alexander Binns, Director of Studies for visiting students at St Anne’s College. In future, students from St Anne’s may be able to study at uSask for one year as well. uSask News

Okanagan College joins Skills Bridge partnership

Okanagan College has joined the Skills Bridge research project currently underway through a partnership with 8 other BC PSE institutions. The project is designed to assess the impact of additional essential skills training on student success, and aims to find ways to integrate skills training into the classroom; “Ultimately, the goal is to help learners reach higher levels of success in their studies and in the all-important school-to-work transition.” Student volunteers in specific programs undergo a skills assessment that identifies key areas where improvement is needed, before receiving customized skills training. Assessments after the training will be used to measure the impact of customized training on student outcomes. “Adding additional skills training into the curriculum is a way for students to get to a higher level,” said Okanagan College Program Coordinator, Jennifer Hamilton. “And it’s an opportunity for the College to provide support, service and better value to our learners.” Okanagan News

uSherbrooke, YorkU make top 20 of green university rankings

The Université de Sherbrooke and York University have once again made the top 20 of the UI GreenMetric Ranking, coming in at 6th and 13th, respectively, for 2013. The 2013 survey included 301 PSE institutions from 61 countries, ranking institutions on criteria such as energy consumption and climate change mitigation, waste and water management, transportation, and teaching and research in sustainability. “This consistent recognition of York’s global leadership in sustainability reflects the strong commitment of our students, staff and faculty to be green innovators,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, YorkU President. “It also reinforces our determination to work together to reduce our ecological footprint.” Other Canadian institutions to make this year’s list include uOttawa (25), McMaster (33), uWinnipeg (125), uAlberta (196), and Concordia (224). YorkU placed 15th in the 2012 rankings.YorkU News | UI GreenMetric News Release

New report finds early engagement is key to getting more women into STEM fields

A new report by researchers at Mount Saint Vincent University has determined key factors that could encourage more young women to study in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Early engagement, preferably before high school, was identified as the key factor contributing to interest in STEM fields; participation in activities like science fairs, engineering competitions and summer camps made young women 2.7 times more likely to consider a STEM career. “I think this is a wake-up call. We need to increase the engagement level, and we need to encourage it from a young age,” said the study’s lead investigator, Tamara Franz-Odendaal, an associate professor at MSVU. Recent data from Statistics Canada found that although women comprise a larger percentage of university graduates, in the STEM fields they only account for 39% of graduates.MSVU News | Globe and Mail

NB NDP advances bill to protect students during labour negotiations

New Brunswick’s NDP party has advanced a bill that would offer protection to students at PSE institutions during labour negotiations. The Student Protection Act serves as a “student bill of rights providing both financial and academic protection to students in the event of a labour-related classroom shutdown.” The Act would ensure students receive compensation for tuition and housing fees if a labour stoppage causes more than 5 days of class cancellations. It would also require universities to provide “make-up” instruction “at no additional cost to any student whose completion of a program is threatened by the labour stoppage.” The New Brunswick Student Alliance is applauding the bill, stating that it “provides students assurance that both their dollars and their education will be protected as much as possible during labour negotiations.” Academic staff at UNB went on strike early last week.  NB NDP News | NBSA News Release

Coursera offers certificates for MOOC sequences

MOOC platform provider Coursera has announced it will offer certification for the completion of sequences of MOOCs. Termed Specializations, the program will include certificates in data science, mobile-app development, and cybersecurity. Each sequence will be made up of 3-9 MOOCs and will include a capstone project; the sequences will range in price from $200 to $500 each. There are currently 2 sequences open for enrolment, with more planned for the near future. MIT and edX began offering certificates for “XSeries” sequences last fall. Chronicle of Higher Education