Top Ten

July 24, 2015

Canada invests up to $18.4 M for Centennial’s Downsview Park Aerospace Campus

The Canadian government has announced that it will award up to $18.4 M to Centennial College for its Downsview Park Aerospace Campus under the New Building Canada Plan. Part of a larger project to grow aerospace research in the GTA, the investment involves the renovation of the De Havilland building at the park. The work will include the building of new laboratories and teaching facilities, as well as space for R&D in the aerospace sector. “Canada is inextricably tied to the evolution of flight and space exploration. With this new facility, Centennial College will enjoy an expanded role in that effort,” said Centennial President Ann Buller. Toronto Star | North York Mirror | Canada | Centennial

Today’s BC tech grads must learn entrepreneurship skills, writes Vancouver Film School president

“The skills championed 20, 10 and even five years ago will not consolidate the future” for today’s tech graduates, writes James Griffin, President and Co-founder of the Vancouver Film School. While he acknowledges that the creative economy in BC is growing and supplying more than 85,000 jobs, Griffin insists that this same economy will need an influx of young entrepreneurs with new start-up companies to remain vital. This means that “new graduates need the ability to launch their own ventures rather than simply contributing to those of large, often foreign-owned companies.” Globe and Mail

$7 M for applied food and beverage research at George Brown

George Brown College has received $7 M from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), in support of its applied research in the food and beverage sector. The funds will be matched by donor investments, bringing the total to $14 M. The funding expands the commercialization capacity of the college, providing new facilities for students to work alongside industry partners. “These enhancements to our applied research facilities are an excellent example of how George Brown is working with government and industry to drive innovation and bolster the economy," said George Brown President Anne Sado. George Brown | Canada

Canada’s Atlantic universities are efficient, collaborative, writes AAU executive director

Many critics accuse Atlantic Canada’s universities of lacking commitment to collaboration, co-operation, and efficiency, writes Peter Halpin, Executive Director of the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU). However, Halpin adds that, “this view, bordering on urban myth, is inaccurate and unfounded.” Citing two major initiatives for inter-university co-operation—Springboard and Interuniversity Services Inc—Halpin concludes that Atlantic Canadian universities have met and exceeded current expectations for collaboration and have saved millions through resource pooling and knowledge sharing. Chronicle Herald

Polytechnics must focus on the “how” of teaching as much as the “what”

Thomas Carey, Visiting Senior Scholar in the Institute for Innovation and Scholarship in Teaching and Learning at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, builds on his recent work for Inside Higher Ed to suggest that polytechnic universities must “build a focus on clusters of knowledge practices, rather than knowledge domains.” In other words, these institutions must place as much focus on how they teach as what they teach. Shifting this focus requires a number of strategic initiatives, some of which include providing a better atmosphere for those transitioning from other professions into academia, valuing academic research derived from craft-based knowledge, and reflecting this shift of values in faculty hiring practices. Inside Higher Ed

EU countries hope attracting young Canadians can prevent quota cuts

European countries are working harder to attract more young Canadians to visit them for work, reports Embassy. The efforts are ramping up because of a perceived deficit in the amount of young Canadians taking a working holiday in Europe compared to the number of Europeans coming to Canada. The lack of reciprocity has led to talk about the Canadian government cutting back its quota for young European workers it allows into the country. However, Departmental Spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada Nancy Caron said, “our focus is on increasing participation [on our end] and reciprocity with our partners. We are not contemplating a reduction in numbers at this time.” Embassy

Alberta NDP cites its own reasons for phasing out ACES grant program

A Calgary organization is trying to help parents claim a $500 RESP grant as part of the Alberta Centennial Education Savings Plan (ACES) before the program is phased out at the end of this month. The previous PC government had announced back in March that it would cut funding for the program. The newly elected NDP has decided to continue the phase-out, but will look for ways to continue to make education broadly accessible. A message from the Ministry of Education noted that “less than 17% of the grant funding went to support low-income families” and that the program was not properly fulfilling its mandate to make education more accessible for all. Metro

Student debt affecting millennials much more than baby boomers, survey says

A recent survey by has found that student debt has had a greater impact on nearly every aspect of millennials’ lives compared to baby boomers. One of the most profound impact areas was the choice of job following graduation, with 21.5% of millennials saying debt strongly influenced their choice of job out of school compared to only 5% of baby boomers. 29.5% of millennials said that student debt affected where they lived compared to 4% of baby boomers. While 12% of baby boomers said that college debt influenced their decisions to make major purchases, such as a car or house, the number jumped to 41.5% among millennials. Campus Technology

New US regulations on gender-based violence take full effect

New federal regulations concerning dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking at colleges in the US took full effect this month. The new requirements mandate that PSE institutions must include any incidents associated with gender-based violence in their crime reports under the Clery Act. July 1st marked the deadline for colleges to meet the new regulations or risk penalty. While these changes have created a new awareness around sexual assault on campus, Chronicle of Higher Education contributor Sarah Brown questions how well they have been applied to other forms of dating violence and intimidation. Chronicle of Higher Education

Want to impress your students? Better get dressed up

According to a new study done at an unnamed US creative arts college, scholars who dress casually are seen as less likeable and approachable than those who wear business suits or smart casual attire. The results, published last month in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, are based on ratings provided by nearly 1,000 students of lecturers dressed in three different outfits: casual, business-casual, and business-professional. The results surprised study author Amber M Chatelain, who expected that students would prefer casual dress. “No matter what academic discipline they study, [students] still expect academics to dress professionally within the walls of the postsecondary environment,” she concluded. Times Higher Education | Full Study