Today's Top Ten

December 6, 2019

Commemorating, Addressing the 30th Anniversary of the Polytechnique Montréal shooting

30 years ago, 14 women at Polytechnique Montréal were murdered because they were women attending an engineering school. To acknowledge this loss, commemorate the victims, and raise awareness of gendered violence, Canada has recognized December 6th at the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Alongside Polytechnique Montréal, today 14 other universities with engineering schools across Canada—from Vancouver to St. John's—will participate in a special ceremony where beams of light illuminate the skies above the campuses in homage to the 14 victims. University Affairs (National)

We can do more to close the gender gap in engineering: Opinion

What have we achieved for women in engineering fields in the last 30 years? asks Gina Parvaneh Cody. According to the author, “not nearly enough.” Referencing several Engineers Canada reports, the author points out that the gender gap in engineering is “daunting,” as less than 20% of undergraduate degrees in engineering were awarded to women in Canada in 2018 and only 13% of practicing engineers are women. Alongside statistical information, Cody offers her own experience of hearing how women are still discouraged by their parents from applying to engineering school, or how female engineers frequently tell the author that their ideas are not given the same weight at work as evidence of the persistent problem. “What’s needed is a culture change,” concludes the author. “We need to shift the perspective of gender inequality from a ‘women’s issue’ to a societal issue.” Montréal Gazette (QC)

SK creates new immigration category for entrepreneurial international students

The Saskatchewan government is looking to make immigration easier for entrepreneurial international students by creating a new category in its Immigrant Nominee Program. The new category is reportedly part of the province’s plan to attract and retain “skilled and entrepreneurial new Canadians,” and to reach a provincial population of 1.4 million by 2030. “International education is an important driver for Saskatchewan’s future economic and cultural growth and this new category will help encourage international students to make Saskatchewan their home once they complete their studies,” said SK Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor this week in a press release. Global News (SK )

UOttawa, IBM announce new hub for cybersecurity, cyber safety

The University of Ottawa, in partnership with IBM, has announced the creation of a hub for cybersecurity and cyber safety to address government, public, and private sector needs. Officially opening in the Spring of 2020, the hub will be based at UOttawa and will deliver critical security innovation, training, and expertise in both official languages to help grow Canada’s skilled cybersecurity workforce. The centre will also develop and apply new and improved approaches to protect the public from cyber threats and attacks. “Joining the expertise of our researchers with that of industry will enhance Canada’s ability to successfully prevent and counter cyber breaches,” said UOttawa VP of Research Sylvain Charbonneau. UOttawa | IT World Canada (ON)

UQAM inaugurates new centre for rare books and special collections

The Université du Québec à Montréal has launched the Centre des livres rares et collections spéciales to house and preserve the institution’s heritage document collection. The centre, based on the ground floor of UQAM’s Bibliothèque centrale, was made possible by investments from the federal government, the Québec government, and the City of Montréal. The collection housed by the centre was donated by various institutions—like Collège Sainte-Marie, l’École normale Jacques-Cartier, and l’École des beaux-arts de Montréal—and includes topographical maps, original prints, literary curiosities, a 13th century bible, as well as other rare documents. UQAM (QC)

BCIT to launch electric vehicle training program following successful pilot

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has announced the launch of a new electric vehicle training program for automotive technicians in 2020. After a successful pilot of the program with the City of Vancouver’s green-fleet technicians, the new EV Maintenance Training Program will provide the province’s workforce with the skills and training necessary to keep electric vehicles on the road. Such technicians will be in increasing demand, as all new light-duty vehicles sold in BC by 2040 will be zero-emission vehicles. “The BCIT electric vehicle maintenance curriculum is another powerful example of how our institute is working directly with employers and government partners to deliver sustainability training where it’s needed most,” said BCIT President Kathy Kinloch. BCIT | Vancouver Sun (BC)

Seneca launches new Fintech Centre in Mumbai, India

Seneca College has launched a new Fintech Centre in partnership with the Thakur Institute of Management Studies and Research (TIMSR). Located in Mumbai, India, the centre will facilitate academic and applied research collaboration between the two institutions, including offering Seneca programs in flexible learning modules, as well as developing corporate training initiatives in India. The five-year partnership will see Seneca investing in technology-related equipment and funding human resources training and facilitation, while TIMSR will leverage its relationship with its 50,000 registered students to promote the new Fintech Centre and its programs. Seneca (ON)

The possibilities and challenges of collaborations with student social media influencers: Opinion

As higher ed institutions increasingly forge collaborations with students who have large social media followings, Lindsay McKenzie asks, “where do the boundaries lie?” Although students with large social media followings can help higher ed institutions reach new audiences, the author argues that these collaborations raise difficult questions about how much an institution should pay student influencers (if at all), how to best disclose the relationship between institution and student, and how much institutions should control what students say. “While working with students can help institutions create content that young people actually want to watch, there are still a lot of ‘gray areas’ for institutions to navigate when working with influencers,” said GeckoEngage VP of Digital Strategy Eric Stoller. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Competency-based education holds promise, but we need more data: Opinion

If recent studies demonstrate that a majority of higher ed institutions are interested in adopting competency-based education (CBE), why are so few schools offering CBE programs? asks Charla Long. The author argues that It is challenging to collect data regarding best practices and student outcomes with CBE programs because few postsecondary institutions meet the threshold of a CBE program, and even fewer provide the most progressive form of CBE, direct assessment. The author notes that there are several preliminary reports that confirm that American CBE programs decrease time of degree completion, reduce student tuition cost, and increase access to higher ed. Nevertheless, Long concludes that, “we need far more information about what works and what doesn’t in competency-based education.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

CERIC releases new action plans to provide clarity, consistency to career development

CERIC has published new Action Plans for professionals working with postsecondary students that provides practical discussions and activities based on the group’s Guiding Principles of Career Development. The Post-Secondary Action Plan outlines insights and ideas for working with students between the ages of 18-25 who come to post-secondary either directly from high school or after a short gap period, with many points applying to mature students as well. The five key areas covered by the plan’s recommended activities are: Self-exploration, Decision-making, Support through transition, Future thinking and Mental health. CERIC (National)