Top Ten

January 5, 2016

Provincial funds for uToronto collaboration to be spent on MaRS West Tower

In the fall, Ontario announced that it would give $19.4 M to the University of Toronto to help secure a collaboration with JLabs, a biotech subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Yet the majority of the money, $18.3 M, will go to fund work on the MaRS West Tower, according to an Access to Information request made by the Globe and Mail. According to the Globe, this grant “renews questions about how much Ontario is spending to turn MaRS West into the engine of innovation the provincial government envisioned,” and whether ON has put more money into the project than publicly declared. Globe and Mail

CBU will look to online, international education, says president

Cape Breton University President David Wheeler says that his university is looking at ways to educate students from around the world online as part of its plan to stay viable. CBU is considering setting up satellite campuses in other parts of the world, like the Canadian International College in Cairo, which is affiliated with CBU and the University of Ottawa. David Wheeler has also reportedly spoken with other Canadian universities about establishing a shared space in London, England. Online courses pose another possibility for the institution, says Wheeler, where the institution “could have hundreds of students … who never even see the campus.” CBC

India approves renewal of higher ed MOU with Canada

India’s Union Cabinet has approved the renewal of an existing MOU with Canada that will commit both countries to enhanced cooperation in higher education. The countries originally signed an MOU in June 2010, which offered the possibility of renewing the agreement for a further five years. The MOU reportedly aims to recognize “the immense potential of collaboration between Higher Education Institutions of Canada and India and to further develop the existing bilateral relations in the field of Higher Education and Research.” Approval for the MOU was issued directly by the Union Cabinet and its chair, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. NDTV | Business Standard

Remembering a business school pioneer

The first dean of York University’s Schulich School of Business passed away last month at the age of 91, leaving behind a legacy that a Globe and Mail contributor describes as one of “grand vision.” The commemorative piece outlines the career of Jim Gillies, from his service in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII to his professorship at UCLA and eventual role as Dean of the business school at YorkU. Gillies is credited with helping to create the business school largely from scratch, incorporating curriculum that included study of the public, private, and non-profit sectors; a separate non-profit leadership MBA; and a part-time MBA. He was also one of the pioneers of the now-essential “strategy study” component of the MBA, in which students create reports on real-life businesses and present those reports to company executives. Globe and Mail

Calling students “coddled” is simplistic, harmful writes McGill professor

Current criticism of “coddled” university students often focuses on specific examples that do not do justice to the mental health difficulties faced by most of those enrolled in PSE, writes McGill University Assistant Professor of Psychology Rob Whitley. While many media pieces suggest that students are hypersensitive, Whitley contends that these pieces often neglect the many significant sources of stress that today’s students face, such as soaring debt, an increasingly precarious job market, and rising rent and housing prices, to name a few. Whitley adds that all of these stress factors are even more powerful for those students from less fortunate socioeconomic backgrounds, and he asks his readers to think twice before they broadly characterize an entire generation of students as coddled or oversensitive. Montreal Gazette

Holland College to open new performance hall

Holland College is set to open the Florence Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown later this month. The space features a 303-seat theatre, a large stage, and advanced lighting and sound technology. “The journey has been transformative. There have been a lot of challenges along the way but now we're very close to being finished. And we’re all thrilled with the outcome,” said Michael O’Grady, Vice-President of Innovation Enterprise and Strategic Development. The space, formerly used as a gymnasium, has been restored to its original 1930s art deco style. The Guardian

ON universities struggle with entrepreneurship programs

Several universities in Ontario have experienced challenges in the creation of student entrepreneurship programs, according to documents obtained by the Globe and Mail. Using an Access to Information request, the Globe obtained documents concerning one-time grants to ten universities, ranging from $950 K to $1.6 M, from the Campus-Linked Accelerator program intended to encourage the institutions to pay more attention to entrepreneurship. The documents show that some within government were unclear about the program’s aims and that external reviewers questioned the approach taken by some of the programs. Globe and Mail

International students a boon for Windsor schools, economy

Providing education for international students has become a major growth area for Windsor, according to the Windsor Star. While international students make up 11% of the student body at the average Ontario university, they make up 20% at the University of Windsor. “If suddenly all the non-resident, international people left the University of Windsor, it would be same if they all left Canada. There’d be a huge impact,” said uWindsor President Alan Wildeman. Over the past five years, international graduate enrolment has risen from 29% to 54% and international undergraduate enrolment has risen from 7.4% to 9.3%. International students who remain in the country after completing their credential can also provide a substantial benefit to the region. Windsor Star

Offense-seeking student myth says more about critics than students

Hua Hsu examines last year’s discussions on the “emerging archetype of the hypersensitive college student,” and argues that this “alarm about offense-seeking college students may say more about the critics of political correctness than it does about the actual state of affairs.” Hsu explains that the general attitude on campus towards political correctness is more modest than media coverage makes it appear, and notes that what these protests and sit-ins across America “share in common is a desire by students to hold their institutions accountable.” Last year, a study by Academica Group similarly found that Canadian students are generally less polarized on the issue of trigger warnings, an issue often associated with hypersensitivity, than many critics make them out to be. New Yorker

“Stakeholder,” “problematic,” should be banished from English language, says university’s annual list

Lake Superior State University in Michigan has released its 41st annual list of words and phrases that should be banned from the English language. Among the words slated for banishment in 2016 are “stakeholder,” “problematic,” “price point,” and “manspreading.” Contributors to the list often found that certain words were so commonly used that they glossed over gaps in a person’s thinking. The word “problematic,” for example, was viewed as a word that could imply critical thinking without offering anything substantial beyond the mere use of this word. ABC