Top Ten

June 21, 2016

UCalgary signs five-year partnership with IBM to enhance diagnoses of genetic disorders

The University of Calgary has established a five-year collaboration with IBM to perform research into common childhood conditions such as autism and congenital diseases. The agreement will see IBM contribute new computing and storage infrastructure—along with advanced analytics—to enhance the existing research potential at Cumming School of Medicine's Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute. The collaboration will specifically support three projects whose goals will include developing more rapid and accurate diagnoses of genetic disorders. IBM

Schulich Business School to create new real estate & infrastructure centre

The Schulich School of Business at York University has announced that it will establish the Brookfield Centre in Real Estate & Infrastructure with support from a $4M donation from Timothy Price and his wife Frances Price, together with the Brookfield Partners Foundation. The centre will also benefit from the creation of the new Timothy R Price Chair in Real Estate & Infrastructure. A longstanding associate of Schulich, Price notes that “real estate and infrastructure are a very significant part of ongoing economic growth in all nations, and leadership will continue to be highly valued in realizing the potential of large projects. The Brookfield Centre has a golden chance to be in the vanguard of providing leaders in these fields.” YorkU

George Brown to pay $2.73M to former students over course summary dispute

George Brown College has finalized a $2.73M settlement to be paid to more than 100 international students over a course summary that was accused of being misleading. According to CBC, the description in question told students they would have “the opportunity to complete three industry designations/certifications in addition to the George Brown College Graduate Certificate,” although the school reportedly had no agreements in place to facilitate this. “There was, of course, never any intention to mislead and our commitment to our students has never been in question," said George Brown President Anne Sado in an email to CBC. "But a situation like this provides a valuable opportunity to reflect on what we're doing and look for ways we can continue to improve.” CBC

How have universities lasted for more than 900 years?

“According to many critics and commentators, the university is in deep trouble,” writes James Axtell for Inside Higher Ed, “and yet the university somehow endures into its ninth century.” Axtell offers a brief history of universities, many of which date back to the Middle Ages and are still in operation today. Axwell finds that this persistence and durability can give clues to how universities will weather the present-day rhetoric of disruption and revolutionary change. Yet while it is safe to say that universities will continue to exist, Axwell concludes that it is difficult to predict what forms they will take. Inside Higher Ed

uSask receives $23M to support pulse crop breeding

The University of Saskatchewan has received an investment of nearly $23M from the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers to support pulse crop breeding through the school’s Crop Development Centre. Pulse refers to a variety of crops that include peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas. SPG and the uSask CDC have been engaged in a 15-year agreement since 2005, and this funding will be invested over the third five-year term. “The CDC is pleased to be continuing our partnership with SPG through the next five-year term,” says CDC Managing Director Kofi Agblor, “this significant increase in funding from SPG will support plant breeder’s work on a long-term basis, ensuring they are able to deliver on the agronomic and end-use attributes that are most important to Saskatchewan farmers through innovative plant breeding.” uSask

UQAR to create international laboratory with four French partners

The Université du Québec à Rimouski has signed an agreement with four French partners to create an International Associated Laboratory on the study of coastal marine ecosystems. The Laboratory’s goal is to share knowledge and expertise between Quebec and France, particularly regarding the study of “benthic communities,” or groups of organisms that live on the ocean floor. “The combination of French and Quebec expertise will help to understand how coastal marine ecosystems react to the human footprint,” director of the UQAR’s Institute of Marine Sciences of Rimouski, Ariane Plourde. The collaboration will see UQAR work with France’s Centre national de la recherche scientifique, l'Université de Bretagne occidentale, l'Institut de recherche pour le développement, and l'Institut français de recherche pour d’exploitation de la mer. UQAR

First-generation PSE students need to be aware of targeted supports

While many first-generation students are able to make a seamless transition into postsecondary studies, others experience much more difficulty, reports the Toronto Sun. “They don’t know what they don’t know,” says McMaster University’s Manager of Student Development Jeremy Sandor. “Oftentimes, they don’t know the questions they should be asking in order to feel adequately supported.” Citing Statistics Canada, the article notes that students who have at least one parent with PSE experience are still much more likely to graduate than those who do not, which makes accessing specialized resources all the more significant. Toronto Sun

SFU establishes Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship

Simon Fraser University has received $10M from Vega founder and alumnus Charles Chang to establish the Charles Chang Institute for Entrepreneurship at the Beedie School of Business. The institute will allow students from any faculty at the institution to add innovation and entrepreneurship training to their education. “I believe that entrepreneurship must be multidisciplinary, which is one of the reasons why I connected so well with the Beedie School’s approach,” said Chang. “Entrepreneurship skills are increasingly vital in today’s evolving business world,” added Beedie Dean Ali Dastmalchian. “This gift serves as an investment in ensuring that the Beedie School is able to help position Vancouver as a global hub for innovation.” SFU

UCW and University of Law sign MOU

Vancouver’s University Canada West and the University of Law in England have signed an MOU that will see the institutions co-operate on initiatives such as collaborative academic programs, joint research activities, staff exchanges, and other such activities. “This partnership has great potential to provide current and future students with life-changing opportunities.  It also offers our respective faculties unique opportunities to grow professionally,” commented UCW Vice-president Academic and Students Brad O’Hara. “This kind of collaboration is consistent with the belief that institutions have a responsibility to ensure that their graduates leave with a global mindset.” UCW

UVic to offer course on Airbnb hosting

Starting in November, the University of Victoria’s continuing studies program will offer a course on how to safely rent out properties on Airbnb, reports CBC. The course was reportedly pitched to the university by Susan Jones, a former property manager in the city who says that while many hosts might use Airbnb make quick money, there are major risks to consider. “I would really like people to leave with a good understanding of what the risks are, both as a host as well as a guest, and how you can do your due diligence in both of those positions,” Jones said in a recent CBC Radio interview. CBC

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