Top Ten

April 13, 2016

OCADU looks to become “second home” to students with $27 M campus investment

Ontario has announced that it will commit $27 M to rebuilding and expanding OCAD University’s downtown Toronto campus. The funds will be put toward OCADU’s $60 M Creative City Campus project, whose goals include the addition of 55,000 square feet of new space and improvements to 97,000 additional square feet in several of OCADU’s downtown Toronto buildings. OCADU President Sara Diamond says that the university plans to raise $15 M to contribute to ON’s funding, and that she hopes the project will significantly impact student experience at the school. “We are a commuter campus,” she said. “This move will provide collaborative space for students to work together and to make the campus a second home. That’s something our students have wanted for a long time.” Globe and Mail | ON | OCADU

uSask president commits to Indigenization, sustainability

University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff says that he will do everything in his power to encourage cultural inclusion for Indigenous people on his school's campus. His plans reportedly include the hiring of an Indigenous engagement vice-provost position and the creation of an elders advisory council. In a speech before uSask’s General Assembly last week, Stoicheff also said that he is considering the possibility of re-opening the university’s Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus, which closed amid protests in 2012. “The Kenderdine campus offered a number of great experiential learning opportunities for our students and was also a great way to engage with the larger community,” Stoicheff explained, “a vision and a site plan will allow us to attract financial support and partnerships to ensure the campus is sustainable and that it suits the university’s academic mission.” CBC | Global News | uSask

Online learning is a valuable supplement, but not a substitute for in-person learning, says OUSA report

“Students do not believe that online learning should be used as a replacement for the traditional classroom experience, but rather, that it should act as a complement to in-person academics,” according to a new policy paper on online learning released by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. The report finds that online learning can be invaluable for providing flexibility and greater access to higher education, but only if steps are taken to ensure that the quality of online learning continues to meet the highest of standards. To this end, the report presents a series of key insights and recommendations for online learning in Ontario. OUSA

Niagara receives $2.6 M bequest, to be used for Achieving Dreams Campaign

Niagara College has received a $2.6 M bequest from the late Eva Mary Lewis, a school teacher who had family ties to the school. The college has announced that the contribution be used to support the Achieving Dreams Campaign, an initiative that supports Niagara’s Capital Vision campus redevelopment projects, as well as the provision of instructional equipment, scholarships, bursaries, and study abroad and leadership development opportunities. Lewis has made significant financial contributions to Niagara in the past by establishing the Ellen and Patricia Lewis Memorial Scholarship and helping to establish the Eva Mary and Helen Katherine Lewis Bursary. CHCH | Niagara

YK proposes amendments to financial assistance to improve processes, access for First Nations

The Government of Yukon proposed amendments to the Student Financial Assistance Act in the territory's Legislative Assembly earlier this week in an effort to improve the application process for student financial assistance. The proposal also called for increasing the available pool of funding by $376 K, and expanding eligibility for the Yukon Grant to more First Nations members. “Kluane First Nation is pleased to see that our citizens who are furthering their education will now be eligible to receive the Yukon Grant,” Kluane First Nation Chief Math’ieya Alatini said. “The amendments overall reflect a huge improvement in the legislation demonstrating a vital recognition of the critical importance of post-secondary education to build our future.” YK

National Research Council is an irreplaceable asset for Canada, says Veitch

In a response to a recent editorial that questioned the need for and purpose of the National Research Council, NRC Principal Research Officer Jennifer Veitch outlines the council's central role in Canadian research. The NRC “occupies a unique position across science-engineering-R&D-innovation that is difficult for those outside it to fully appreciate,” explains Veitch, adding that “Canada needs the NRC because no one else would, or could, replace its contributions.” Veitch outlines how the NRC has worked to benefit industries and the nation through a variety of research initiatives conducted both independently and in partnership with other researchers. “A former NRC slogan was ‘Science at work for Canada,’” concludes Veitch, “which in my view, still sums up well what we do.” Ottawa Citizen

Higher ed must not confuse institutional goods with student goods

There is danger in judging the success of a university based on institutional outputs like graduation rates, says Gardner Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University. Campbell argues that this type of metric assumes that the good of an institution is the same as the good of a student. But what happens, for example, when this assumption leads institutions to inflate student grades to improve their "student success" levels? Campbell says that higher ed can only pursue meaningful student outcomes—like curiosity, awe, and confusion—if it learns to speak of "shared private goods that contribute to a public good. That is what we need to emphasize if we mean to have meaningful civic engagement in this medium in the years to come. If we don't, we are not going to be in good shape as a polis, as a democracy." Campus Technology

TRU opts for ESG investment strategy over fossil fuel divestment

Thompson Rivers University has announced that it will begin including environmental, social, and governance factors in its investment decisions. The decision comes as part of TRU’s membership in the United Nations-supported initiative, Principles for Responsible Investment. TRU reports that these recent developments follow a yearlong examination of the school’s investment strategies, which included a review of other PSE institutions’ practices. “This is very different from a divestment strategy which at this time, like many other Canadian universities, TRU has no interest in adopting,” said TRU Vice-President Administration and Finance Matt Milovick. “With the world’s reliance on fossil fuels, it is clear that fossil fuel usage isn’t going away anytime soon.” TRU

UBC to research effects of exercise on those with chronic disease with new rehabilitation gym

UBC has announced that its future sports and exercise medicine centre will feature a state-of-the-art rehabilitation and research gym, which will allow experts to explore training techniques, injury recovery strategies, and the effects of exercise on people with cancer and other chronic diseases. The new gym will be made possible by a $1 M donation from the Jack and Darlene Poole Foundation. The late Jack Poole was known to many as an entrepreneur and a co-leader of Vancouver’s successful bid to host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. “Jack worked hard to stay as fit as possible through his challenges with prostate cancer and then during his long and arduous struggle with pancreatic cancer,” said Darlene Poole. “I hope this facility will show that people with cancer, and with other challenges, can gain strength and find the best ways to carry on.” UBC

Brock Centre for Labour Studies signs five-year agreement with Jamaican university

The Centre for Labour Studies at Brock University has signed a five-year agreement of cooperation with Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Institute at the University of the West Indies, Open Campus in Jamaica. According to a Brock release, the agreement will facilitate research collaborations, faculty and student exchanges, and other joint academic ventures between academics in both countries. “Brock was founded partly through the generous financial contributions of workers in the Niagara region,” says Thomas Dunk, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock. “This Agreement of Co-operation builds on that rich tradition and will enhance opportunities for students and faculty to investigate such issues at a time when globalization has made international comparison and co-operation essential to understanding them and finding positive solutions to problems.” Brock

What increased international enrolment really means for your campus

Learn what 1,400 surveyed students really think about the growing presence of international students on campus.

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