Top Ten

September 23, 2014

WLU acquires 360,000 square-foot facility in downtown Brantford

Wilfrid Laurier University has announced an agreement to acquire Market Square, a 360,000 square-foot facility in downtown Brantford. Per its agreement with the City of Brantford, WLU will purchase the space for $5.8 M with payment to come in the form of 7.5 years of free rent for the portion of the facility currently occupied by the city. The new space will meet the needs of a projected growth in enrolment at WLU’s Brantford campus, as well as accommodate the expansion of WLU’s partnership with Conestoga College. The university will commence a comprehensive planning exercise to determine how to most effectively use the space. WLU also recently acquired land and funding to build the WLU Brantford YMCA Postsecondary Athletics Recreation Complex. “This acquisition, combined with our investment in the Laurier YMCA project on Colborne Street, is an indication of our long-term investment in the continued growth of Laurier in Brantford,” said Brian Rosborough, Senior Executive Officer at WLU Brantford. WLU News Release

Queen’s opens Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

Queen’s University officially opened the new Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday. The new $63 M, 80,000 square-foot facility features a 560-seat concert hall, a 150-seat “black box” studio theatre, an art gallery, a screening room, and rehearsal space. It will serve as the new home for the university’s fine arts, film and media, drama, and music departments. The building was made possible by a $31 M donation from Queen’s alumni Alfred and Isabel Bader, as well as $15 M each from the provincial and federal governments. “It’s taken 10 years of planning. It’s lovely to see it up and running,” said Isabel Bader. Queen's News | The Whig

Sault College partners with Collège Boréal to move peace and conflict studies program to Toronto

Sault College has announced that it will move its peace and conflict studies program to Toronto; in addition, it has signed an MOU with Collège Boréal to offer a French delivery option for the program. Sault President Ron Common said that moving the program to Toronto will provide students with “access to a wider array of related global activities, advocacy work, social movements, and peace organizations. The opportunities to partner with like-minded individuals are significant.” The MOU specifies a 5-year partnership, but Sault College Director of Marketing and Communications Susan Hunter said that there is “hope of continuing collaborations thereafter … Management teams at both of the northern colleges recognize a unique partnership opportunity for Ontario’s 2 premier colleges in offering strong postsecondary peace education programming.” Sault’s peace and conflict studies diploma program is reportedly the only one of its kind in Ontario. Sault Star

uWaterloo students demand their money back from developer of unfinished apartment complex

More than 50 University of Waterloo students and some parents marched into the offices of a local property developer to demand the return of their security deposits after being unable to move into their housing due to construction delays. The students had signed a lease agreement with an expected occupancy date in September; however, construction on the building remains far from finished. Some students were forced to stay in a hotel until alternative accommodations could be arranged. Others have been staying with friends while they wait for construction to finish. “They have been given the runaround. This is a breach of their contract,” said Alex Diceanu of the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group, who organized the demonstration. Another student said, “I’ve been really stressed and exhausted. I need this weekend to rest and do homework.” An employee in the developer’s office took letters from the students, who left the building peacefully. The Record

uWindsor signs MOU to study market for Chinese electric vehicles

The University of Windsor has announced that it has signed a MOU with China to study the market for Chinese-made electric vehicles in North America. The project will involve the Auto21 Network of Centres of Excellence as well as the faculty of engineering, and would be conducted on behalf of the China Machinery Industry Federation and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade-Automotive Branch. Tony Faria, Co-Director of the Office of Automotive and Vehicle Research at the University of Windsor, said that the particulars of the deal have yet to be confirmed, but that there is the potential for the partnership to grow into “a much bigger contract.” He also said that there may be the potential for a Chinese manufacturing facility to be established in Canada. However, he also admitted that “it would be a tough sell. Right now, electric vehicles themselves are a tough sell because of the cost, range limitations, and availability of charging stations.” Still, many are optimistic about where the deal could lead. “It’s a big deal for Windsor,” said Windsor city councillor Drew Dilkens. “It positions the University and their research capability and, at the end of the day, brings jobs to the community.” Windsor Star

Canadian institutions integrating business education into variety of programs

An article in Maclean’s reports on the increasing tendency in Canadian PSE to integrate elements of business education into a wide range of non-business programs. The article highlights programs including the Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science Technology program at York University, the Creative Industries program at Ryerson University, and the joint major in business and the environment at Simon Fraser University. “I think students are aware that 4 years down the line, there are going to be a lot of jobs that we haven’t even heard of yet. They’re aware of the rapid change in employment sectors; they’re aware they may have to create their own jobs,” said Ira Levine, the founding Director of the Ryerson program. “The idea is that, fully sensitized to each other, we could help each other overcome that traditional gap between what we sometimes call the suits … and creative.” McGill University offers a course on “The Business of Music” that similarly works to tear down the wall between art and business. “Many musicians can make a life out of their music. It’s just a matter of knowing the environment and how to do it well,” said course professor Jui Ramaprasad. Maclean’s

Fanshawe provides comprehensive safety app for students

Fanshawe College is offering students a new app designed to ensure their safety. The app, called Stay Safe Fanshawe, has a wide variety of features including a real-time security feed, urgent alerts, integration with safety programs like Safe Walk, information about special programs for women, bus routes and schedules, and a function that allows students to send an “I’m OK” message to a pre-programmed number in case of an emergency on campus. The app also includes a safety toolkit that turns a student’s smartphone into a flashlight or a personal alarm. “Safety at your fingertips is what it is. It’s everything we can do to keep you safe while you’re on campus, and help you to succeed as a student,” said Brent Arseneault, Special Constable for Community and Crime Prevention Programs. Metro

Early encouragement key to women's pursuit of tech careers

New research sheds light on barriers that prevent women from entering science- and math-related careers. According to the data, only 18% of Canadians who had considered a career in technology were women. Of those women who had not considered a career in technology, 29% said that it was because they thought they lacked the skillset to get into a technology field, while 11% said they had not been encouraged to develop skills in science or math. When asked about major barriers that prevent women from pursuing careers in technology, 32% of survey respondents agreed that girls are encouraged to pursue other fields instead. 87% of survey respondents said that they believed more curriculum at the high school level was important to encouraging girls to enter into tech, 83% said that more curriculum at the PSE level was important, and 87% said that mentorship by other women was important. MasterCard Press Release

International students drive modest growth in US graduate enrolments

The Council for Graduate Schools (CGS) has released a new report on graduate enrolment in the US. According to the report, applications to US graduate schools were up 1% between fall 2012 and fall 2013. This contributed to a 6.1% increase for the period from fall 2008 to fall 2013. Most first-time graduate students were enrolled in business (17.6%), education (17.4%), and health sciences (12.9%). The growth in first-time graduate students was driven largely by an 11.5% growth in international students, while the number of US citizens and permanent citizens who were first-time graduate students dropped by 0.9%. 57.1% of first-time graduate students in fall 2013 were women. Total graduate enrolment fell by 0.2% between fall 2012 and fall 2013. 57.9% of all graduate students in fall 2013 were women. Inside Higher Ed | Full Report

Aquatics latest craze in US college recreation facilities

The latest front in the competition between US college and university campus recreation facilities is aquatic, reports the New York Times. In 2016, Louisiana State University will unveil its new “lazy river”—a water ride for students to leisurely float down on rafts or inner tubes. According to LSU, the lazy river—which will be shaped into the school's initials—was the feature requested most by students when asked what they wanted in a new recreation facility. In building the water feature, LSU is trying to keep up with some of its rivals. Auburn University offers students a 45-person hot tub and a 20-foot aquatic climbing wall; North Dakota State University is planning a new facility that includes a zipline that spans a 36-foot water vortex and a swim-up fireplace. Such features are all part of a trend that is seeing campus recreation centres move away from exercise and toward “health and wellness,” with social spaces and lounge areas. “Students—I don’t know if demand is the right word—but certainly they expect that the amenities to help them have a balanced life will be in place,” said Laurie Braden, Director of Recreation at LSU and President of NIRSA, a collegiate recreation professional organization. New York Times