Today's Top Ten

February 15, 2019

Canada’s Future Skills Centre to be run by Ryerson, Conference Board, Blueprint

Ryerson University, the Conference Board of Canada, and Blueprint ADE have been selected to operate the Future Skills Centre, a federally-funded initiative that will ensure that all Canadians have the skills to adapt to an ever-changing labour market. The Centre will operate at an arm’s length from the federal government to fund projects across Canada that develop, test, and measure new approaches to skills assessment and development. Fifteen members from Canada’s public, private, labour and not-for-profit sectors were also selected to form the Future Skills Council, which will provide advice to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour on emerging skills and workforce trends including national and regional priorities related to skills development for Canadians. Ryerson | HRReporter(CP) (ON)

UVic climate consortium receives $1.25M

The University of Victoria has received a $1.25M investment from the Government of Canada to support climate research. The funds will support the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, which delivers accurate climate information for Canadians in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Climate Services. “By collaborating with the climate experts at the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, we’re ensuring Canadians on the Pacific coast and across the country have access to the climate information they need,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna. A release explains that PCIC, in addition to providing historical and projected climate data, analyzes the impacts of global climate change in Canada’s Pacific and Yukon region. UVic (BC)

FNU becomes first urban reserve dedicated to education

First Nations University of Canada and Star Blanket Cree Nation have established a first-of-its-kind urban reserve dedicated to education on the grounds where FNU now resides. The urban reserve is named atim kâ-mihkosit, or “Red Dog," in honour of Star Blanket's last hereditary chief. “It is historic," said FNU President Mark Dockstator. "I think it was historic 40 years ago when the First Nations University of Canada was created. I think this is another milestone along this journey of us leading the way.” CBC reports that nearly 20 years of negotiations between the Star Blanket Cree Nation, FNU, the Government of Canada, the University of Regina, the City of Regina and CIBC were undertaken to create the urban reserve. CBC|CTV (SK)

Federal support helps Western researchers make “a real impact” for at-risk youth

A team of researchers at Western University have received $5M from the Government of Canada for programming that supports healthy relationships for at-risk youth. According to a Western release, the funding will enable the researchers to engage with more than 2,600 youth and provide training and resources to 540 facilitators and 875 pre-service educators across Ontario, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. “Our programming has been shown to reduce teen dating violence – but its impact is much broader,” said Education Professor Claire Crooks. “Our positive youth development approach gives youth the skills they need to develop healthy relationships, improve their mental health, and minimize problematic substance use.” Western (ON)

Brazzell: Engaged scholarship shouldn’t be an “optional side gig for a determined few”

As universities face pressure to demonstrate their value, engaged scholarship is more important than ever, writes Diana Brazzell. This is why a number of schools across North America are “investing in public engagement to showcase the importance of their scholarship and reach the practitioners, policy makers, business and nonprofit leaders, journalists, activists, and citizens who can help turn their research into action.” The author notes that these schools are also harnessing new channels to disseminate their knowledge. However, the author notes that engaged scholarship still seems to be “an optional side gig for a determined few” in most cases. The only way to remedy this, Brazzell concludes, is to “develop structures, incentives, training and support to make communication and research impact core components of being an academic.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Laurentian to bolster career development programming with gift from RBC

Laurentian University has received $300K from the Royal Bank of Canada over two years to help fund its new Career Development Plan program. The university states that the program includes the development of two new academic courses that will aim to help students better understand and navigate the current labour market while gaining valuable in-demand skills. “Students will benefit from enhanced leadership development and experiential learning opportunities,” said Laurentian Interim President Pierre Zundel. “That is why we have committed to double the amount of work and experiential learning opportunities across the institution by 2023.” Laurentian (ON)

StatsCan examines youth not in employment, education

A new report from Statistics Canada sheds new light on the activities of young people who are not in employment, education, or training (NEET). StatsCan asked 15-to-29-year-olds without a long-term illness two questions about their volunteer work and any other assistance provided to others of their own initiative without pay. They found that 11.3% of Canadians in this age range were NEET, with women aged 25 to 29 most likely to be NEET (16.4%). In the past 12 months, almost half of the studied group had provided unpaid help to others, such as volunteering or caregiving, with 1% indicating that this was their main activity over the studied time period. A little over one-tenth indicated that health concerns or disabilities that prevented them from employment, education, or training.  StatsCan (Article) | StatsCan (Infographic) (National)

ULethbridge unveils new Destination Project facility, receives $1M additional funding

The University of Lethbridge has unveiled its $248M Destination Project Science and Academic building. According the Lethbridge Herald, the facility features an auditorium, Winter Garden, and Makerspace classrooms for applied learning. “What we are seeing here is the largest investment in the University of Lethbridge since it was opened 40 years ago,” stated Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillip. “And what we are seeing is an expansion not only of student spaces, but of space for researchers to attract the top talent, to solve problems in the 21st century." Phillips announced an additional $1M in lights on funding for the building. Lethbridge Herald (AB)

uOttawa students vote out student association for alleged mismanagement 

In a recent referendum, undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa voted 75% in favour of introducing a new group, the University of Ottawa Students Union, to represent them. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa had represented undergraduate students at the institution for over 60 years, but CBC reports that students were fed up with "'years' of alleged 'mismanagement and corruption' at the Federation." The university cancelled its contract with the Federation last year and withheld fees collected on behalf of the student group after losing confidence in the Federation's ability to supply the services students paid for. Tiyana Maharaj, one of the organizers behind the new student union, stated that the first order of business will be to organize elections, after which a new executive will negotiate an agreement with the university. Ottawa Citizen (ON)

Koblyk: Consider developing a “secret CV” to reframe your accomplishments

Professionals making a career transition would be well-served to create a secret CV, writes Liz Koblyk. The author notes that one of the biggest challenges that people can face when transitioning out of a career, especially an academic one, is that they have trouble leaving out the accomplishments that would interest an academic employer but not a non-academic one. “The secret CV doesn’t contain things you want to hide, but rather things that you’re proud of, and haven’t yet found a way to articulate,” notes Koblyk, adding that making sure that one’s accomplishments are recorded somewhere can help mitigate the discomfort of leaving them off a particular, tailored version of one’s CV. University Affairs (National)