Top Ten

October 13, 2015

uManitoba to receive $150 M from province

Manitoba has announced that it will invest $150 M in the University of Manitoba as part of the school’s Front and Centre fundraising campaign. MB Premier Greg Selinger announced the funding commitment at a press conference at the university last Friday; the investment brings the total funds raised to date by Front and Centre to more than $365 M. “We know that students want to have access to the best programming and opportunities they can, and that’s why we’re focusing our investments in key priorities areas like innovation, inclusion and teaching excellence,” said Selinger. “This investment means that Manitoba students can get a world-class, affordable and accessible education right here at home and be ready for the jobs of tomorrow.” MB | CBC

uMontréal receives $3.7 M donation for heart research

The Université de Montréal has received a $3.7 M donation from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Over the past 25 years, the Heart and Stroke Foundation has given $33 M to uMontréal and its affiliated health care institutes to fund research into heart-related illnesses. “In recent years, new knowledge and new technologies that enable major advances in the treatment of heart disease have been developed,” said uMontréal Rector Guy Breton. “The support of the Foundation is critical to this progress and I warmly thank them for their renewed confidence in the researchers from uMontréal’s network.” uMontréal (French)

uToronto, HEC Montréal business schools top Canadian Business MBA rankings

Canadian Business magazine has released its Canada’s Best MBAs rankings for 2016. The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management took top spot in the Reputation Rankings, which focused on name recognition and perception of quality, among other factors. HEC Montréal held the number one ranking in the Value category, which focused on a combination of name recognition, affordable tuition, and shorter program timelines. Queen’s School of Business and Western University’s Ivey School of Business rounded out the top three in the Reputation category, while University of Ottawa and University of Alberta took second and third place in the Value category, respectively. Canadian Business

Canada and US partner to invest $21 M for research hubs in developing countries

The Canadian and US partners are investing $20.9 M over five years to create seven regional research and training centers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). These centers will be known as Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Hubs and will be home to multidisciplinary groups of researchers collaborating to address environmental and/or occupational health issues. The overall goals of the GEOHealth Hubs are to strengthen environmental and occupational health-related research collaborations, accelerate scientific infrastructure development, enhance research training, create relevant advanced educational curricula and outreach material, support research needed to address environmental and/or occupational exposures, and inform nationally relevant policy development in LMICs. EurekaAlert!

University of Waterloo and HKUST launch dual engineering PhD degree

The University of Waterloo has signed an MOU with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to create dual doctoral degrees in engineering that will allow select students to earn a PhD simultaneously from each institution. The partnership will go into effect in January 2016, when students will have the opportunity to study under doctoral supervisors from both universities, spending approximately equal amounts of time at each campus. Students will be expected to meet all the requirements at both institutions, but will only be required to prepare one doctoral thesis and perform one thesis defense. Students who successfully complete the program will receive a degree from each institution. uWaterloo

Industry-College leaders call for investments in PSE to grow economy

Canada must make four key investments in PSE if it wishes to grow its economy, write Paul Charette and Denise Amyot, Co-Chairs of Canada’s Industry-College Coalition. The authors note that despite the economic focus of the federal election campaign, there has been little talk about how investments in PSE will specifically drive growth in the 21st century. Rapid changes in the structure of the economy and labour market will make high-demand skills essential to Canada’s future, and the best way to make sure Canadians have these skills is to make the right investments in PSE. The authors highlight four key areas for investment: applied research, equipment and infrastructure, PSE access for Canada’s Indigenous population, and labour market data. Huffington Post

New funding for low-income students necessary, but not enough

More funding for Canada’s low-income students is welcome, writes Erin Anderssen for the Globe and Mail, but it will not be enough on its own to have a strong and lasting impact on this group. Anderssen goes on to outline the varying policy solutions that Canada’s federal leaders have presented to help low-income students, from the elimination of interest on student loans to an increase in grants for families who contribute to RESPs. Yet while having money no doubt influences whether a student will enrol in university, she adds, recent studies also show that cultural factors and parental attitudes toward education can also have a significant impact. Addressing these other factors will require Canada to invest in a culture that values education and keeps low-income students on track at the secondary school level to keep their options for PSE open. Globe and Mail

Canada has “colonial policy for innovation,” says Jim Balsillie

Canada has a “colonial policy for innovation … [and] all three of the parties have no strategy for getting money for Canadian ideas,” says Jim Balsillie, the former RIM Co-CEO who helped make BlackBerry one of the world’s most recognized telecommunications companies. In a recent interview with CBC News, Balsillie argues that the current focus on international trade deals and transportation infrastructure will not prepare Canada’s economy for the 21st century. Rather, he suggests that Canada’s success will depend primarily on the ability for entrepreneurs to get new technologies into global markets. Basillie concludes that this success will require Canada to veer away from its focus on natural resources and invest much more heavily in efforts to commercialize the technologies coming out of the country’s high-tech sector. CBC

Higher ed should develop “new social contract”

It is time for “a new social contract to democratize education,” writes Richard DeMillo in his new book, Revolution in Higher Education: How a Small Band of Innovators Will Make College Accessible and Affordable. The author argues that the western world’s current education system is based on a hundred-year-old model that was designed for a time when few people attended college. Today, he adds, this model is financially unsustainable and it actually exacerbates social inequalities rather than fighting them. Looking forward, DeMillo finds that the advent of MOOCs could score a major victory in the democratization of education by eventually enabling anyone with a computer and internet to access a high-level education. Times Higher Education

Long-term research collaborations bring more success, says new study

Long-term research collaborations tend to generate much more successful publications than those created by researchers with short-term collaborations, according to a new report. The study, titled “Quantifying the impact of weak, strong and super ties in scientific careers,” analyzed nearly 500 researchers’ careers and found that biologists and physicists with an established research collaborator had their work cited 17% more often per publication than those who did not. This news arrives in the scientific community at a time when research teams can sometimes involve hundreds or even thousands of people. The study also found that despite this benefit, most research collaborations were short-lived, with 60% to 80% lasting less than a year. 1% of repeat collaborators were found to be still working together after 20 years. Inside Higher Ed