Top Ten

January 22, 2014

Attack at Fredericton college leaves 3 wounded

A knife attack at Eastern College, a private college in Fredericton, NB, early Mondaymorning has left 3 people injured and a man in custody. It is not yet known why the man targeted the classroom and attacked a student with a machete-style knife. The man was subdued by students until police arrived on the scene. The injured, 2 teachers and a student, were taken to hospital with injuries ranging from minor to serious, but none were considered life-threatening. The assailant was also treated for minor injuries and released into police custody. “Our primary concern at this time is the mental and physical well being of our students and staff, especially the victims of this terrible event,” says Debra Johns, VP of Campus Operations. Eastern remained closed Monday and Tuesday but was scheduled to resume regular classes today.Eastern College News | Global News | CBC | National Post

KingsU receives $8.5 million for new business school

The King's University College in Edmonton, AB is launching a new School of Business this year, thanks to 2 record pledges from major donors totalling $8.5 million over 10 years—the largest gifts in King's history. The funding will allow King's to add up to 6 new accounting and finance-related courses to current programs and will give current students in the Accounting designation of the Bachelor of Commerce program the opportunity to complete their studies at King's. “These gifts are a major vote of confidence from our supporting community,” says President Melanie Humphreys. “We are truly grateful—these amazing new gifts will allow us to expand our Commerce program through leading-edge initiatives, setting King’s apart from many other undergraduate business programs in Western Canada." King's will also consider adding more courses in the future, in areas such as professional & distance education, global learning experience, student entrepreneurship, and corporate leader mentorship. King's News Release

Dal partners to develop Ocean Studies Centre in Israel

Dalhousie University and Ben-Gurion University in Israel have signed an MOU that will allow the 2 institutions to share oceans scholarship and expertise. The agreement creates multiple opportunities for  collaboration, including pure and applied joint research projects, co-supervision of doctoral students, industry research internships in both countries, joint field courses, co-taught courses and major scientific conferences and workshops. The goal is to create an Ocean Studies Centre in Eilat, Israel that combines scientific and academic programs from both countries. “Dalhousie, with its striking multidisciplinary strengths in ocean science partnered with the oceanographic, marine biology and aquaculture possibilities of the scientists in Eilat, will advance our understanding of the resources and risks that the global ocean offers to us,” stated VP Research Martha Crago. Dal News

New master's in bilingualism at uOttawa

The University of Ottawa has announced a new master's in bilingualism studies to begin next September, the first of its kind in Canada, according to uOttawa. The program will be offered through the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) and will draw on expertise in a variety of disciplines. Students will gain advanced research skills and will focus on several issues in the field of applied linguistics. “This new graduate program is an example of how we are expanding and diversifying our program offerings to improve the quality of the student experience and strengthen our commitment to bilingualism and Francophone communities,” said Allan Rock, uOttawa President.  uOttawa News Release

NBCC partners with CANARIE for cloud-computing development

A partnership between New Brunswick Community College and CANARIE, a non-profit infrastructure support firm, has been formed to further the adoption and development of cloud technology, particularly by small businesses. As part of the agreement, CANARIE will provide its free Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR) cloud development resources to support NBCC’s Mobile First Technology Initiative (MFTI), allowing for practical learning for students and benefits to businesses involved with NBCC's programs. MFTI will employ DAIR to add industry-standard cloud services to its applied research and education resources. CANARIE’s Director of Technology Development Susan St. Maurice stated,  “Our new relationship with NBCC exemplifies the benefits of the power of cloud technology that the DAIR program brings to Canadian colleges as they equip their students with the high-demand skill-sets that are critical to the success of our knowledge economy." CANARIE News Release

New brand campaign for UQAM

The Université du Québec à Montréal has launched a new promotional campaign, "Inspired by UQAM," that features artworks representing each faculty and the School of Management. The artworks were created by graduates, who met with students, alumni, faculty and deans before submitting their individual pieces. The campaign is meant to be innovative and creative, with a focus on artistic creation and promoting "access to knowledge, openness and plurality of ideas," says Marc Turgeon, Vice-Rector of University Life. "The approach was bold and creative, and, in this sense, very representative of UQAM. The campaign was developed in an atmosphere of exchange and collective work. It was a real work in progress, " says Caroline Tessier, Director of Communications. The campaign will run for the next year and involves transit displays and a micro-website with background stories of the development of the campaign. UQAM News (in French) | Campaign website

UBC researchers crowdsource project funding

Researchers at the Visual Cognition Lab (VCL) at the University of British Columbia have joined the trend of crowdfunding in order to gain support for research projects, finding an interesting way to re-connect the public with scientific research. Undergraduate researcher Docky Duncan started a fundraising campaign on Microryza, a crowdfunding platform devoted to science, for a particular research project; the campaign ultimately fell short, but enough public interest was created that a private donation of approximately $1,200 came through and enabled the research to be conducted. “We scientists are notoriously bad at explaining our work to people outside our field,” Duncan says, adding that his team plans on sharing their experiences with other scholars and institutions. “This process forced us to articulate our work – and why it matters – to the public in a compelling way. That’s how you start the conversation with people.” Ronald Rensink, UBC professor and investigator for the VCL, noted the advantages of crowdfunding over traditional grant funding. "Crowdfunding is great for small, short-term studies, and research that is more exploratory in nature, where grants may be scarce,” he says. UBC News

Experimental Lakes Area closer to re-opening

Ontario has proposed regulations that would allow research to begin at the Experimental Lakes Area, an outdoor freshwater research ecosystem in northern Ontario. The International Institute for Sustainable Development, a public policy research group based in Winnipeg, is slated to take over the management of the ELA, but needed established rules from Ontario to avoid breaking environmental laws. The proposed regulations define “criteria that must be met for experiments to be carried out, such as monitoring and remediation plans, and controls to minimize adverse effects and prevent off-site impacts,” said Kate Jordan, spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Environment. The proposal is in a public-consultation phase and feedback will be considered by the ministry before regulations are official. “With regard to a specific timeline, these things seem to run their own course. But we are proceeding on the assumption that we will be the operator for the 2014 research season,” said Matthew McCandless, the ELA project manager at the IISD. The ELA was saved from closureby an Ontario government funding pledge after the federal government ended its involvement in the project last year. Globe and Mail

Free speech restricted on US campuses

A new report by the US-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) found that 58% of public PSE institutions restrict free speech on campus. The report studied policies at 427 US PSE institutions, finding many had policies that "clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech," including 62% of private institutions. An additional 36% of institutions studied had policies that "overregulate" speech. However, the report also found that for 6 years in a row the numbers of campuses restricting free speech has declined, for a total decline of 17%. A Canadian report released last year graded Canadian student associations and institutions on free speech regulation, with only 6 institutions receiving an "A" grade. Inside Higher Ed | Report

Harvard offers 3 versions of same course

Harvard University has announced plans to offer its Introduction to Computer Science course in 3 distinct ways, with differing levels of student participation and student-instructor interaction. One option will be a free, self-paced MOOC offered throughHarvardX, one a traditional online for-credit course through Harvard's Extension School, and the 3rd will be a hybrid form that costs a fraction of the for-credit course, combining the flexibility of a MOOC with biweekly online office hours and moderated discussion forums. Those completing the hybrid course would receive a certificate and a credit towards further classes though the Extension School. A Harvard spokesperson suggested that the course is an experiment being conducted by a particular professor; preliminary numbers have enrolment in the MOOC version more than 174,000, while about 100 have signed up for each of the traditional online version and the hybrid version. In a separate initiative, St Louis-based non-profit LaunchCode will use the free version of the course to offer more structured learning to people looking for apprenticeships or job-training placements. Inside Higher Ed