Top Ten

July 31, 2015

CFREF provides $100 M for quantum materials research at UBC, uSherbrooke

The third and fourth grants from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) have been announced. UBC will receive $66.5 M for its Quantum Matter Institute, which will use the funds to develop pioneering quantum materials for possible use in computing and electronic devices. The Université de Sherbrooke will receive $33.5 M for its “Quantum Science to Quantum Technology” project, which aims to develop quantum materials for use in advanced MRI scanners and to improve the efficiency of the electric grid. The fifth and final grant from this round of CFREF funding is said to be related to arctic science and will be announced tomorrow, the Globe and Mail reports. Globe and Mail | UBC | uSherbrooke | Canada (UBC) | Canada (uSherbrooke)

Genome Canada awards $93 M for 11 research projects

Earlier this month, Genome Canada announced that it had awarded $93 M for 11 research projects on genomics at universities across the country. The largest award, at $10.3 M, goes to Filippo Miglior at the University of Guelph and Paul Stothard at the University of Alberta, who will study ways to improve feed efficiency and reduce methane emissions in the dairy industry. The other Canadian universities receiving funding were Carleton University, McGill University, Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University, UBC, the University of Saskatchewan, Université Laval, and York University. Genome Canada | Funded Projects | uAlberta | Queen’s | uSask

uAlberta rolls back domestic tuition increase, keeps international increase

The University of Alberta board of governors has voted to rescind a 2.2% tuition hike on domestic students, the Edmonton Journal reports. The move comes in response to increased provincial funding for higher education, announced last month. However, the board decided not to reverse the market modifiers and 2% tuition increase for international students, disappointing the uAlberta Students’ Union (UASU). “I’m very pleased that the board is […] rescinding the previously approved tuition increases,” said UASU President Navneet Khinda. “However, it is disappointing that the spirit of Bill 3 was not fully carried out [with respect to international students].” uCalgary and RDC announced budget changes earlier this month in responses to the increased funding. Edmonton Journal | The Gateway | UASU

UVic and TELUS introduce customized telecommunications MBA

The University of Victoria has partnered with TELUS to develop a specialized MBA program for telecommunications employees. The degree program, offered through the Sardul S Gill Graduate School within UVic’s Peter B Gustavson School of Business, is the first customized graduate degree program to be developed by the business school. The first cohort—beginning in fall 2015—will consist of TELUS employees, with plans to expand the program to the company’s clients in following years. “Universities need to continually explore innovative ways of delivering content and to ensure that their programs meet market needs. Our collaboration with TELUS also gives the business school a wonderful opportunity to work with a leading edge company,” said Gustavson Dean Saul Klein. UVic | Times Colonist

Keyano to offer degrees in business administration and environmental science

Fort McMurray Today is reporting that Keyano College will introduce two new degree: a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. The business degree will begin this September and the science degree will begin next year. This brings the total number of degrees offered by the college to four. The business degree will be offered in collaboration with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). Funding for the science degree was announced last year, and it will be offered in collaboration with Mount Royal University. “The employability is better with a degree level than the diploma level in our local market,” said VP of Academic Affairs Catherine Koch. Fort McMurray Today

uCalgary student union to introduce nap room during exam week

The students’ union (SU) at the University of Calgary has announced it will pilot a nap room this fall during final exam week. SU VP Student Life Kirsty McGowan said she included the nap room initiative in her campaign because of the relationship between lack of sleep and mental illness. The nap room will be available during uCalgary’s Stress Less Week, which provides stress-relieving activities during exams. The nap room will run as a pilot project to begin with, and if successful, the SU will work to make it permanent. University Affairs

University of Virginia grads sue Rolling Stone over debunked rape story

Alleging that they were defamed by a now-debunked article about a campus rape, three University of Virginia graduates have filed suit against Rolling Stone, its publisher, and author Sabrina Rubin Erdely. The plaintiffs allege that details provided in the article “created a simple and direct way” for readers to identify them as the supposed assailants. “Upon release of the article, [one plaintiff was] easily matched as one of the alleged attackers and, among other things, [people] interrogated him, humiliated him, and scolded him,” the lawsuit said. The managing editor of Rolling Stone, Will Dana, has also announced his resignation, though a spokesperson said the now-retracted article was just one of “many factors” leading to his decision. Globe and Mail (AP) | CBC (Reuters) | New York Times

Equity in higher ed can be improved by teaching students to be nice

In order to improve America’s education system, educators need to teach students to be nicer, says a new study on achieving equity in higher education. The study suggests that the way in which students view current equity issues will eventually impact the policies designed to address structural problems within PSE. “By working to enhance students’ spiritual and moral growth, we can help create a new generation who are more caring, more globally aware, and more committed to social justice than previous generations, while also enabling students to respond to the many stresses and tensions of our rapidly changing society with a greater sense of equanimity,” the authors state. Times Higher Ed | Full Report

Survey explores attitudes toward cheating and dishonesty in online education

A new article, published in the New England Journal of Higher Education (NEJHE), has explored the issue of cheating and proctoring in online programs. Reporting the results of a survey of online educators, the authors conclude that while 84% of respondents believe student dishonesty is a significant issue, 79% do not see the public’s perception of dishonest as a barrier. While one solution to possible issues of cheating is to use test proctoring, less than half of respondents said they were currently using it. More than two-thirds, however, expressed interest in newer, fully automated solutions, including more effective authentication. The authors conclude that while there is growing awareness of these issues, success will depend on students understanding that the integrity of their training rests on resolving them. NEJHE

Canadian grad student trades tutoring for tent space

A British woman let a Canadian grad student camp in her yard for a year in exchange for tutoring. Canadian Evan Eames was looking to save money on accommodation while he studied towards his master’s in physics at the University of Manchester, so he posted an ad online. Charley Mantack responded, saying she liked “weird ideas,” and agreed to allow Eames to pitch a tent in her yard for the school year in exchange for tutoring sessions in math and science for Mantack’s high-school equivalency courses. Eames has now completed his time at uManchester and is looking forward to moving inside for his PhD studies. Mantack said her grades improved with the tutoring and she plans to continue her science studies. Globe and Mail