Top Ten

October 26, 2015

George Brown comes out on top in Canada’s top 50 research colleges

George Brown College rose two spots to take first place in Research Infosource’s annual ranking of Canada’s top 50 research colleges for 2015. Since last year, George Brown’s research income has grown 53.5% to $14.2 M. Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe took second place at $9.4 M and SAIT Polytechnic came in third at $7.2 M. George Brown also took the top spot for number of research partnerships among large colleges, while Cégep de Trois-Rivières was on top for mid-sized colleges, and Cégep de La Pocatière took the top spot for small colleges. Sheridan College took the top spot for number of completed projects among large colleges, while Cégep de Trois-Rivières and Cégep de La Pocatière again garnered top marks for mid-sized colleges and small colleges, respectively. Research Infosource CEO Ron Freedman noted, however, that overall research income growth for colleges slowed substantially to 4.7% this year after two years of 30%+ growth. Research Infosource | Full Rankings | Winners Circle

Globe and Mail releases 2016 Canadian University Report

The Globe and Mail has released its Canadian University Report for 2016. The report includes profiles of more than 60 PSE institutions across Canada and features articles to help prospective students choose a university based on factors such as location, cost, campus safety, and career aspirations. The report also analyses and explains current trends affecting higher education to help students grasp how their PSE fits into their personal plans and the job market both in Canada and abroad. One article titled “The Big Decision” offers an especially brief and convenient look at the factors that can or should influence students’ choice of institution. Globe and Mail | Globe and Mail (Big Decision)

WesternU Law receives $2 M to support insolvency law, restructuring research

Western University has received a commitment of up to $2.5 M to support a program in insolvency law and corporate and financial restructuring at its Western Law school. The funding is part of a $10 M program that the Catalyst Capital Group is dedicating to this research area; it will be used over the next three years to support a range of programs for students and professionals alike. Western Law Dean Iain Scott said, “Catalyst’s generous gift will allow our faculty to enhance its research, teaching and student experience in this important area of law. … We are committed to the creation and implementation of a top-tier program that will be of value to our students and the Canadian professional community, including the judiciary.” WesternU

La Cité opens new agri-food institute

La Cité collégiale has opened its new Agri-food Research and Training Institute. At the institute’s inauguration, representatives from the University Institute of Technology in Lyons, France announced the beginning of a formal partnership between their school and La Cité that will allow for easier student, faculty, and research exchanges in addition to new avenues of collaboration, especially in the fields of nutrition and engineering. Since September, the new Agri-Food institute has offered six new programs in the field of food sciences. La Cité President Lise Bourgeois said that La Cité “wishes to contribute to the development of the agri-food sector in Eastern Ontario by diversifying the supply of programs and by training a skilled and qualified workforce in this blooming field.” La Cité

RRC receives $1 M aircraft donation

Red River College has received a $1 M Jetstream 31 aircraft to support its aircraft maintenance engineering program. The aircraft, along with associated equipment, manuals, and training aids, was donated by the Swanberg family, which once ran the Swanberg Air based in Grande Prairie, Alberta. The Swanberg family has also donated the same model of aircraft to Okanagan College and Northern Lights College, along with a 601 Challenger aircraft to SAIT Polytechnic. CBC | RRC | Winnipeg Sun |

Canadian institutions featured in 2015 sustainable campus index

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has released its 2015 Sustainable Campus Index. Four Canadian institutions were featured as Rising STARS, meaning an overall score increase of 15 points or more since last year: SFU, TRU, NAIT, and WLU. Several Canadian institutions were also named Top Performers in various categories: WesternU (Campus Engagement, Coordination & Planning), UVic (Air & Climate, Dining & Food, Purchasing, Coordination & Planning), uWinnipeg (Dining & Food), Dal (Transportation), MacEwan (Coordination & Planning), TRU (Coordination & Planning), uManitoba (Coordination & Planning), WLU (Coordination & Planning). The following Canadian institutions obtained a Gold rating: Dal, NSCC, Royal Roads, SFU, uLaval, uAlberta, UBC, uCalgary, UVic, and WesternU. AASHE | Full Index

Canadian academics urge new government to swiftly restore long-form census

Canada’s new Liberal government must act quickly and restore the mandatory long-form census for the year 2016, say more than 50 academics and experts in a letter to the Montreal Gazette. The letter insists that Canada cannot make informed public policy decisions without basic information about what is happening in its population, especially when these decisions affect marginalized groups. The Liberal government promised to restore the mandatory long-form census in their campaign, but it is not yet clear whether they will do so in time for next year. An article in the Toronto Star echoes the belief that the government should act as quickly as possible, adding that census information is vital to questions about transportation, immigration, employment, and a host of other policy issues. Montreal Gazette | Toronto Star

Bell curves in law school create shame in many, false sense of merit in others

The use of the Bell Curve when grading exams destroys the intellectual and socioeconomic diversity of Canada’s law schools, argues a new article published in the Canadian Bar Association’s National. While the author admits that a strong body of research supports the use of the Bell Curve, he argues that the curve also “exacts immense psychological stress; it erodes dignity and diminishes self-worth for the majority.” He adds that success on exams using the Bell Curve does not necessarily translate into workplace ability, and for this reason, the Bell Curve can often create “a false sense of merit. So there is a culture of competition, arrogance, shame and suspicion pervading the law.” CBA National

Inside Higher Ed’s 2015 faculty engagement survey

Inside Higher Ed has released the results of its 2015 Survey of Faculty Workplace Engagement. The polling firm Gallup used a 12-question measure of engagement, finding that just 34% of faculty were “engaged,” with 52% “not engaged.” They clarify that not engaged is not necessarily bad, as these faculty may still be productive and satisfied. However, the 14% of faculty who were “disengaged” are merely “physically present at work but emotionally disconnected.” 45% of tenure-track but not tenured faculty were engaged, compared to 32% of tenured and non-tenure-track faculty. The overall rate of faculty engagement is on par with that for the total US workforce. Inside Higher Ed

South African student protests turn violent

Student protests in South Africa turned violent last week when protesters broke through a police barrier outside the South African Parliament, prompting riot police to throw stun grenades at the swelling crowd. The students had gathered to protest a 10% tuition increase at the country’s largest university in Johannesburg, although the Globe and Mail reports that a general student movement has gained momentum over the past year due to dissatisfaction with a range of social issues, especially the slow pace of racial transformation at many universities since the end of apartheid. The movement is also fueled by poor youth employment, as more than 50% of young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in the country are currently unemployed. Globe and Mail | Metro