Top Ten

April 18, 2016

Canada invests $20 M to attract world’s top science researchers

The federal government has announced that it will provide $20 M in scientific research funding to "attract and retain the best and brightest researchers from around the world by giving them access to state-of-the-art research tools." The investment will come through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R Evans Leaders Fund, and will be distributed among 33 universities across the country. "When researchers are equipped with the right tools, they can make the kinds of discoveries that improve our environment, economy, and wellbeing," said Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, "investments like the one announced today will increase our capacity for innovation and discovery, as well as benefit Canadians for generations to come." Canada

NL says it expects MUN to keep tuition frozen despite $8 M cut

Two provincial ministers from Newfoundland and Labrador stated last Thursday that they expect Memorial University to keep tuition fees frozen, despite the $8 M cut to its operations budget announced in the recent provincial budget, reports CBC. Advanced Education and Skills Minister Gerry Byrne explained that NL will mitigate the operations cut with increased support for a tuition offset program that, in NL’s eyes, should give MUN “the capacity to be able to maintain the tuition freeze.” Finance Minister Cathy Bennett, on the other hand, has stated that “MUN is accountable, and has the autonomy, and has always had the autonomy, to do the things that they need to do for money,” noting that it is up to MUN to decide if it wishes to hold a tuition freeze. MUN President Gary Kachanoski said that the university will give all due consideration to the government’s suggestion. CBC | CBC (NL Budget) | Telegram | The Independent

Business schools facing “adapt or perish” scenario

The arrival of disruptive modes of educational delivery, increased global competition for students and faculty, and rising employer demand for strong graduates are ratcheting up the pressure on business schools to adapt, writes Jennifer Lewington for the Globe and Mail. Citing a recent report by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Lewington notes that a clear distinction may soon form between business schools that struggle to react to change and schools that drive such change. Juliane Iannarelli, vice-president of knowledge development for AACSB, notes that one of the biggest obstacles to innovation at business schools is fear of endangering a school’s standing in global rankings. The article profiles some of the Canadian business schools whose recent successes have caught international attention. Globe and Mail

uManitoba to modernize labs, classrooms with help of $10 M donation

The University of Manitoba has announced that its students will benefit from upgraded classrooms and laboratories, thanks to a $10 M donation to its Front and Centre campaign from the Richardson Foundation. The classroom upgrades will include both technological and architectural improvements, while the lab modernization will include the purchasing of teaching and learning equipment, software, and hardware. “All of us who have been enriched by a university education can appreciate how critical the spaces and facilities are to the success of our experience,” said Foundation President Hartley Richardson. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press | uManitoba

Canada must support Métis and Non Status First Nations students following Supreme Court decision, says CFS

Canada must extend its funding for postsecondary Indigenous learners to support all First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and non-status First Nations peoples in the wake of last week’s R v Daniels Supreme Court Ruling, says the Canadian Federation of Students. Last Thursday, the Court ruled unanimously that the federal government has a constitutional responsibility to Métis, Inuit, and First Nations peoples without registered Indian status, which extends to the delivery of social programs and services such as the Post-Secondary Student Support Program. “Now more than ever the federal government must end the long-standing restrictive funding cap to the PSSSP fund in order to support all First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and non-status First Nations students' access to higher education,” said National Aboriginal Caucus Chairperson Coty Zachariah. CFS

Carleton academic staff unanimously pass motion of non-confidence in Board, senior non-academic staff

The Carleton University Academic Staff Association has issued a statement saying that it has unanimously adopted a motion of non-confidence in Carleton’s Board of Governors and senior administrative staff. The statement claims that the motion comes largely in response to the Board’s implementation of its Code of Conduct, which allegedly imposes a lifetime restriction on what Board members can publicly say about the Board’s meetings and decisions. The statement also accuses Carleton’s Board of failing to give serious consideration to proposals put forward by CUASA and other campus groups in its review of the Board's bylaws. CUASA | CAUT

AB higher ed escapes funding cuts in “record-setting” deficit budget

Alberta has announced that it will not cut funding to postsecondary education for 2016-17 despite a record-setting provincial deficit, reports the Edmonton Journal. Spending for PSE is projected to increase to $5.9 B for the next fiscal year, and Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt has stated that the government will spend $16 M to maintain the province’s tuition freeze. University of Alberta President David Turpin told the Journal that the budget “indicates how critical it is to invest in post-secondary education and research during an economic downturn. This is when people are going to need to come to universities, because they’re going to have to retool.” Edmonton Journal | uCalgary (President’s Response)

SaskPolytech business grads provided diploma-to-degree pathway with uSask’s Edwards School of Business

Graduates of Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s two-year business diploma program will now have the option of entering the Edwards School of Business’s four-year bachelor of commerce program at “roughly the halfway mark.” The new diploma-to-degree pathway is part of a new transfer agreement signed between SaskPolytch and Edwards that will “improve the student experience and provide more career opportunities for our students,” according to SK Advanced Education Minister Scott Moe. Star Phoenix | uSask | SaskPolytech

Digital routines undercut study abroad experience, say IHE contributors

Digital technology is threatening to undermine the most significant benefits of study abroad, write George Greenia and Jacob Rooksby for Inside Higher Ed. The authors argue that because of data plans and smart phones, students studying abroad are kept in constant contact with what is familiar and comfortable to them. Greenia and Rooksby add that this “addiction to the virtual undercuts the personal growth that comes from reflection and even loneliness.” The authors summarize their thoughts on the drawbacks of this digital trend by concluding that “restoring the “raw abroad” can provide the jolting strangeness we long for our students to have. And that means urging that the digital visor be lifted up out of sight.” Inside Higher Ed

Sheridan students donate $500 K for campus expansion

The Sheridan Student Union (SSU) has announced that it will provide $500 K to support future students through the college’s Get Creative fundraising campaign, according to a Sheridan release. The money will be used to help fund the expansion of the Hazel McCallion Campus, matching a $500 K donation already made by Sherdian alumni in support of the expansion. “On behalf of Sheridan students, the Sheridan Student Union is pleased to play a leadership role supporting the Hazel McCallion Campus expansion,” said SSU Chair Michael Burnside, “we believe it’s important for students to demonstrate our support of this initiative to our community partners, and we’re doubly thrilled that this contribution will match the Sheridan Alumni’s significant gift.” Sheridan