Top Ten

August 24, 2015

WCVM launches Canada’s first veterinary social work initiative

Western College of Veterinary Medicine has reportedly become the first veterinary school in Canada to officially provide social work support to faculty and staff, veterinary students, and animal owners. This support can range from counseling overworked clinicians to helping a family cope with the death of a beloved pet. The initiative aims to recognize and address the high levels of stress that can affect those who are involved in veterinary clinical services. A representative of the initiative said that so far, she has been called upon to offer support in cases of traumatic grief, surprising deaths, end-of-life decision-making, and even domestic violence. uSask | uRegina

Fanshawe to launch game development program

Fanshawe College is set to launch a three-year Video Game Design and Development program with the aim of creating a new cohort of trained professionals to feed the region’s growing gaming sector. The school initially offered 70 seats for the program, but quickly raised this number to 160 to meet demand. Chairperson of the School of Contemporary Media Rob Carver said that Fanshawe is one of the few schools in Ontario that will offer all aspects of game development, such as coding, 3D animation, character design, and digital media production. London Free Press

FNUniv and Parkland expand BEd partnership

First Nations University of Canada and Parkland College will now offer a four-year Bachelor of Indigenous Education program at Parkland’s Yorkton campus. The new program expands the existing partnership with FNUniv for the delivery of the BEd at Parkland’s Fort Qu’Appelle campus. Students will be prepared to work within the provincial curriculum framework, with an emphasis on Indigenous perspectives; program specializations include First Nations Language Instructors’ Certificate, Indian Arts, Indigenous Languages, and Indigenous Studies. “We are delighted to partner once again with Parkland College so that we can help learners pursue their academic dreams without requiring major upheaval from their home community. Delivering … community-based programs means that our students can concentrate on thriving in their studies and not surviving in a new city,” said FNUniv President Mark Dockstator. Parkland | FNUniv

uWindsor moves into former Windsor Star building in $75 M downtown campus project

The University of Windsor has begun moving its School of Social Work and Centre for Executive and Professional Education into the former home of the Windsor Star newspaper. The move is reportedly part of a $75 M uWindsor downtown campus project that will include the former Star building along with the Windsor Armouries—which will house the School of Creative Arts—and the old Tunnel Bar-B-Q where students will study filmmaking. uWindsor Director of Public Affairs and Communications John Coleman said that the university hopes to have the Star building ready by the coming fall. Windsor Star | uWindsor

Four Canadian universities make top 100 in Academic Ranking of World Universities

The 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities has included four Canadian schools in its top 100. The University of Toronto ranked highest at 25, followed by UBC (40), McGill University (64), and McMaster University (96). US schools dominated the rankings: 52 of the top 100-ranked schools were American. The top three schools, in order, were Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ARWU 2015 | Times Higher Education | The Independent

More young drinkers at risk than previously estimated, says uVic study

A new study from researchers at the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC) shows that many more young people are at risk of harm from alcohol than previously estimated. In a report published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, researchers said that as many as 60% of 18–24 year-old drinkers consistently drank more than the national low-risk drinking guidelines for daily consumption. They also noted that 40% of all Canadian drinkers exceeded the daily drinking limits that are intended to minimize short-term harms such as accidents, injuries, and acute illnesses. As many as 27% exceeded weekly limits intended to minimize long-term health problems such as cancer and liver disease. uVic | Full Study

Congress must prevent US universities from hoarding money, says law prof

Last year, Yale University paid about $480 M to private fund managers to manage a portion of its endowment. At the same time, the university earmarked just $170 M from its endowment’s proceeds for tuition assistance, fellowships, and prizes. This is just one piece of evidence that law professor Victor Fleischer uses in a New York Times op-ed to argue that fund managers, not students, have become the primary beneficiaries of university endowments. As a solution, he says that congress should require that universities with endowments exceeding $100 M spend at least 8% of their endowment each year. New York Times

New report examines major trends, transformations in libraries

Research and academic libraries are undergoing swift changes in response to shifting patron expectations, says a new report titled “NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Library Edition.” The report drew on input from 53 education and technology experts from 15 countries to identify distinct trends, challenges, and technology developments that will shape libraries over the next five years. These trends include a push for mobile content delivery, an increased focus on managing research data, and the rethinking of how library spaces are used. Campus Technology

Managerialism and collegiality not in conflict, maybe even complementary

According to a new study of 26 universities across eight European countries, institutions with higher levels of control by managers were also likely to be more collegial workplaces. Giulio Marini, one of the study’s authors, acknowledged a cynical explanation for this: academics may simply be united in their “shared hatred of management.” In a separate story, an anonymous former associate dean writing in The Guardian says that academics need to acknowledge the need for management. He says that rather than professional managers, “academics need to involve themselves in managerial roles.” Times Higher Education | Full Study | The Guardian

Study abroad a force for peace, even if it does not build sense of community

In the Washington Post, political science professor Calvert Jones has written about a recent study she conducted on over 500 study abroad participants at 11 US postsecondary institutions. Surprisingly, she said, the survey did not support the commonly held belief that cross-border contact “promotes a sense of shared international community.” However, the thesis that cross-border contact reduces the perception of threat was still supported. Finally, returning students displayed stronger feelings of nationalism, were prouder of their home country, and more patriotic; however they did not display an increased belief in American superiority. “Cross-border contact may still be a strong force for peace,” Jones concludes, “even if community is not the underlying mechanism.” Washington Post | Full Study