Top Ten

September 25, 2015

RDC announces $8 M in donations for new health and wellness centre

Red Deer College announced that it has received a combined $8 M in donations for its new Centre for Health, Wellness, and Sport, the plans for which were unveiled earlier this month. The centre will be named in honour of philanthropist Gary Harris, whose personal contribution of $5 M was the largest single donation ever received in RDC's history. Other donations included $1.5 M from Hockey Alberta, $1 M from Lacombe County, and $0.5 M from Red Deer County. “It’s a privilege to live in a region where so many understand the value of RDC and what our college contributes to economic, social, and cultural growth in central Alberta,” said President Joel Ward. RDC

UBC opens new Engineering Student Centre with help from $5.2 M in donations

The University of British Columbia opened its new Engineering Student Centre yesterday with the support of $5.2 M in donations from students, alumni, and industry representatives. Half of these donations came from student fees; half came from alumni and donors from industry and the community, including Fluor, Kiewit, and UA Local 170 Plumbers and Pipefitters. The building is more than 10,000 square feet and will serve as the hub for more than 5,000 undergraduate engineering students on UBC’s campus. It features study/meeting rooms, a spacious atrium, a computer lab, student society offices, and a dedicated space for first-year students. UBC

UOIT, Durham complete joint Campus Master Plan

Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology have announced the completion of a joint Campus Master Plan. The plan is the product of two years of consultation, planning, and development between the institutions and its goal is to outline how Durham and UOIT will grow their physical presence in the coming years to address academic, research, student, athletic, and community needs. Specific areas of focus in the plan are campus character, infrastructure and utilities, movement and circulation, public realm and open space, and sustainability and universal accessibility. Durham

uCalgary nursing faculty receives $1 M for childhood cancer research

The Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary has received a donation of $1 M from Calgary’s Kids Cancer Care, which will be used to enhance research and clinical interventions for families dealing with the fallout from childhood cancer diagnoses. The donation is the largest ever received by the faculty and reportedly the first of its kind in Canada. The donation will fund the creation of a Kids Cancer Care Foundation Chair in Child and Family Cancer Care, which will be held by Nancy Moules, a professor in the nursing faculty. uCalgary

Halifax international PSE students claim abuse of workplace rights

A group of international postsecondary students studying in Halifax have told CBC that they are working for less than minimum wage in local restaurants while trying to pay their way through school. Their stories also describe poor workplace conditions and a refusal by their employers to distribute tips. A CBC News investigation also found that at least one sushi restaurant in the city is under investigation by the Department of Labour. Amr El-Khashab, President of the Dalhousie International Students Association, reported that it is difficult to know the extent of this problem because most international students are afraid to file official complaints for fear of losing their jobs. CBC

NOSM releases new strategic plan

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has released its new strategic plan for 2015-2020 titled, “Reaching Beyond Extraordinary Together.” The plan is the product of nearly two years of consultations with more than 1,000 stakeholders via online surveys, focus groups, staff meetings, and community visits. The school formed its Strategic Planning Project Team and a 28-member Strategic Planning Advisory Committee in December 2013 to oversee the plan’s creation. “This plan is truly a collective vision for the year 2020—one that could not have been accomplished without the ideas, guidance, and collaboration of individuals and organizations across the Northern Ontario School of Medicine's wider campus of Northern Ontario," said NOSM Dean Roger Strasser. NOSM | Full Plan

Business experts weigh in on entrepreneurial education, recommend mix of soft and hard skills

A panel of business experts recently reported that when it comes to entrepreneurial education, there is no substitute for teaching a combination of both soft and hard skills. The soft skills mentioned included building client relationships and pitching ideas, while the hard skills included tool use and business management. Real-life experience, such as that provided during work placements, was especially prominent in the responses. Ali Salman, partner at Rapid Boost Marketing, said “As students learn theory, if they can apply that [in the workforce] and gain some real life experience, it will speed up the learning process.” Edmonton Journal

VCC, BVC celebrate 50th anniversaries

Vancouver Community College and Bow Valley College are both celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year. In Vancouver, VCC’s campus had a carnival-like atmosphere, celebrating the milestone with games, candy, and helpful information at the annual Welcome Day. “For 50 years, VCC has given students the training they need to meet the needs of the city. Our grads built this city,” said VCC President Peter Nunoda. In Calgary, BVC celebrated with a free block party at nearby Olympic Plaza, featuring food trucks, gelato, a DJ, and a hoop dancer. The college also held a contest offering free tuition and school fees to one student. VCC | BC | BVC | Global News

Large numbers of students report benefits after taking MOOCs, study says

A new study has found that a large majority of students find benefits in using MOOCs for career building and educational purposes. Career builders most commonly found that their performance at a current job improved after completing a MOOC. Users from a low socioeconomic status or with no college education were significantly more likely to report tangible career benefits, such as acquiring a job. Yet George Siemens, an education-technology expert and one of the first MOOC creators, explains that not all effects of MOOCs will take immediate effect, saying that “the day that you learn a skill doesn’t mean that you immediately receive a 30% bump in your salary.” Chronicle of Higher Education | Harvard Business Review | Full Report

PwC to assist US employees with student loan repayment

Starting next year, PricewaterhouseCoopers will offer up to $1.2 K a year or a total of $10 K to pay down student loans for its new employees. While tuition reimbursement or education assistance programs are quite common, PwC said that it will be the first financial services firm to directly help employees repay their student loans. PwC Vice Chairman Rob Gittings added that PwC wants “to be the firm that’s seen as the right place for talent to go” in today’s competitive job market. CBS News