Top Ten

April 7, 2016

Canada invests $2 B in innovation, sustainable growth for PSE

Canada’s PSE institutions can now apply for major grants through a new $2 B federal fund devoted to improving research infrastructure and sustainability. According to a federal press release, the fund’s targeted, short-term investments will aim to promote economic activity across Canada and help higher ed institutions develop highly skilled workers, act as drivers of discovery, and collaborate on innovations that will help Canadian companies compete internationally. "By improving our college and university facilities," says Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, "we are supporting innovation, scientific research and entrepreneurship in Canada, which translates into sustainable economic growth and support for all Canadians." Canada

Better support for immigrants can help close ON’s growing skills gap

The gap between the number of skilled jobs in Ontario and the number of people qualified to fill those jobs is widening, according to a new study from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. The study surveyed employers from across the province and found that 39% had experienced difficulty filling a job opening over the past 12 to 18 months. The number marks a 9% increase since 2014, and has prompted some to argue that ON should be doing more to help recent immigrants develop the skills they need to fill these jobs. The Chamber of Commerce reports that only 57% of recently arrived immigrants with PSE are working in high-skilled jobs, compared to 77% of Canadians with a similar level of education. The Whig

Theatre, drama are vital for building skills, learning English

Earlier this week, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured a piece on how studying theatre at the postsecondary level remains a vital place of discussion and debate in today’s high ed landscape. The article highlights the many benefits of theatre, including the development of creativity, communication, and conflict resolution skills. But theatre may also hold benefits for students looking to learn English, as outlined by a study released by Brock University this week. Former graduate student Angelica Galante and Associate Professor of Linguistics Ron Thomson charted the progress of 24 adolescents taking a four-month, drama-based English program in Brazil, and found that these students were more effective communicating with native English speakers than a control group. Thomson suggests that this success of this method stems from having students inhabit their “second language identity” more fully. Brock | Brock (Release) | Chronicle of Higher Education

Trent focuses on play-based learning in new Child and Youth Studies program

A new program at Trent University’s Durham campus will look to explore child and youth development by focusing on themes of play and creativity. According to a Trent release, the new Child and Youth studies program will take an interdisciplinary approach to preparing students for a number of careers that include counselling, teaching, legal practice, health and wellness, advocacy work, social work, and graduate studies. "I am excited about the opportunity for Trent to build a Child and Youth Studies program," said the program’s coordinator, Karleen Pendleton Jiménez. "Given our expertise and commitment to social and ecological justice at Trent, this is a chance to bring a progressive approach to the understanding of children and youth." Trent

Mohawk signs partnership to enhance R&D, workforce development for 3D printing

Mohawk College and Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec have signed a partnership agreement designed to support the development and adoption of 3D printing in manufacturing processes. The agreement will establish a Québec-Ontario community of experts specializing in 3D printing and create a professional development program for workers from companies that are looking to introduce this technology into their processes. "We look forward to working with Centre de recherche industrielle du Quebec on collaborative projects where we can share our expertise, help bring innovative new products to market, and transform our students into future ready graduates," said Mohawk’s Vice President Academic Christine Bradaric-Baus. CRIQ

SAIT focuses on “action-based learning” with launch of new brand

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has unveiled its new brand, complete with a fresh logo and a “new and powerful brand story.” The new logo features an image called “The Catalyst,” which is made up of five connected “S” shapes designed to reflect the interdependent relationships between students, faculty and staff, alumni, employers and partners, and the diverse communities served by the school. SAIT Director of Marketing Carol Rogalski adds that the new logo “is a more authentic representation of SAIT today and of the value that action-based learning brings to our students and industry partners.” Academica Group conducted the initial survey that assisted in the creation of the brand story. Other research included surveys with students, alumni, and staff, and the creative materials were tested using several rounds of focus groups. In total, more than 4,000 people provided input on the brand development. Calgary Herald | SAIT

MRU becomes satellite site for sexual abuse support agency

Mount Royal University has joined Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse in what is being called a first-of-its-kind partnership to offer resources, counselling, and group support to survivors of sexual violence. As part of the partnership, MRU has become a satellite site for CCASA, hosting an expert from the organization once a week to meet with people affected by sexual violence. “When young people go to school—that’s their world,” said CCASA Executive Director Danielle Aubry, “it’s stressful enough to go for sexual abuse counseling. … In partnering with Mount Royal, our primary goal is to ease that stress by making the services more available to the community.” MRU

New cures for vision loss among the projects supported by BC’s $825 K commitment to UVic

BC has announced that it will commit $825 K through the BC Knowledge Development Fund to support six research projects at the University of Victoria. These projects include the development of new cures for various types of vision loss, cement-based materials with ‘self-sealing’ properties, and next-generation tools to improve software engineering training. “These investments will help UVic to attract and retain outstanding researchers and keep us at the forefront of important discoveries,” said UVic President Jamie Cassels. UVic

CICan, Kivuto launch partnership to enhance digital resources for colleges and institutes

Colleges and Institutes Canada and education technology company Kivuto have partnered to provide schools across the country with better access to digital resources. The initiative will provide CICan members with access to the digital textbook platform Texidium, in addition to educational events, digital resource management consulting, and software distribution. "We look forward to working together to make education in Canada more accessible with digital solutions for our members that provide resources needed by students and faculty alike," says CICan President Denise Amyot. Kivuto

US sting operation uses fake university as bait, catches 21 fraudsters

In a sting operation revealed earlier this week, the US Department of Homeland Security developed a fake postsecondary institution to arrest 21 people for conspiring to help foreigners fraudulently keep or obtain student or work visas. The institutional website advocated for a fake university called the University of Northern New Jersey, which promised “a high quality American education to students around the world,” and was recognized by both the state and the ACCSC. The school’s ability to issue certificates for obtaining student visas was emphasized on the institution’s website. Recruiters reached out to fake administrators for help with fraudulently enrolling students who would not take courses, receive credit, or participate in promoted projects. The defendants face charges ranging from student-visa fraud to harbouring aliens for profit. Toronto Star | Chronicle of Higher Education (1) | Chronicle of Higher Education (2)