Top Ten

August 11, 2016

uManitoba to enhance northern MB’s research influence with new marine observatory

The University of Manitoba is set to create a cutting-edge marine observatory and research facility with the help of a $9M contribution from the provincial government. Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart said that the new Churchill Marine Observatory will help provide a “year-round hub for cutting-edge scientific research and technology development in the North” while strengthening Canada’s leadership in Arctic research and creating up to 21 permanent jobs. Wishart added that the contribution is part of the province’s efforts to enhance the economic and social advantages of northern Manitoba and to use research and learning to grow the area’s ecotourism sector. MB

Universities Canada highlights innovation, talent, Indigenous learning in federal budget submission

Research and Innovation, Indigenous higher education, and talent mobilization are the three top priorities listed in Universities Canada’s 2017 federal budget submission. The submission states that 2017 will provide an opportunity for Canada to “ensure the country’s future is one that embraces discovery and innovation, nurtures the potential of ‘the 2017 generation,’ advances reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and establishes Canada as a global champion of pluralism and diversity.” The submission highlights how strategic investments in university-driven growth have “slowed considerably over the past decade” and calls for sustained support that universities can count on and plan around moving forward. Universities Canada

uOttawa to offer course in animal rights law

Activists say that a new law course to be offered by the University of Ottawa reflects a change in social attitudes toward animal rights. “Animals and the Law” will be taught in uOttawa’s francophone faculty of civil law and will explore the most current legislation on animal rights. Although the university’s common law faculty has offered a course on laws affecting animals since 2012, the civil law course will see students select their own research topics and present a paper to their classmates at the end of the term. The Record (CP)

Building resilience begins with changing mentors’ attitudes toward failure, writes OUSA intern

“Failure in a university setting is often seen by students as something to shy away from,” writes Lindsay D’Souza for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, yet experiencing failure is precisely what builds the resilience and interpersonal skills that students require to thrive after graduation. The author argues that universities should even go so far as to “normalize failure” while still encouraging students to aim for their highest possible goals. D’Souza argues that one of the first places schools should work to change a culture of silence around failure is through mentor relationships. “Find success in learning from your setbacks,” D’Souza concludes. “Show another individual that it’s okay to make mistakes. Ask yourself the hard questions. Work together to find the answers.” OUSA

StFX receives $1.8M to develop life-saving gas leak sensor

The federal government has announced an investment of more than $1.8M for the development of St Francis Xavier University’s vehicle-based ExACT gas leak detection technology for the oil and gas sector. The investment will support a 4-year applied research process to build on a patent-protected platform technology to create a gas detection sensor. StFX President Kent MacDonald says the funding “will help StFX researchers continue to develop ground breaking technology to encourage environmental improvements, regulatory compliance, and minimize product loss in the energy sector in Canada.” Canada | StFX

UFV developing helicopter pilot training program

A new partnership between the University of the Fraser Valley and a local helicopter training company is looking to give students another pathway to achieving their goals in aviation. UFV and Abbotsford-based Chinook Helicopters Ltd is developing a helicopter pilot training stream within the university’s Aviation Diploma program. The partnership will explore training processes that ensure students obtaining their helicopter pilot’s license meet Transport Canada standards. Both parties will also explore the demand for newly licensed helicopter pilots in the aviation industry. Abbotsford Today

Canada moves to “pry open the door” for Chinese university enrolments

Canada is encouraging China to triple the number of cities where Chinese students can apply for Canadian visas. The Globe and Mail writes that the move is part of a larger attempt to “pry open the door wider for Chinese visitors to swell university enrolments in Canada, place foreign talent in high-tech jobs and bring in new investment cash.” Minister of Immigration John McCallum reportedly landed in Beijing on Sunday for meetings with senior Chinese officials, which comes ahead of an expected visit by Justin Trudeau shortly before the G20 summit in Hangzhou in early September. Globe and Mail

Laurentian grads to teach in remote northern Ontario First Nations community

A couple who recently graduated from Laurentian University with teaching degrees will spend the next two years teaching in a fly-in First Nations community in northwestern Ontario. Jordan Walker-Martin and Carley Whittle will teach at a 70-student elementary school in North Spirit Lake First Nation with support from Teach for Canada, a non-profit group that works with First Nations to recruit, prepare, and support teachers before they start working in remote northern Ontario communities. The organization aims to prevent a recurring problem of young teachers arriving in these communities without proper preparation and support, leading to high turnover and an education gap for Aboriginal students.

Carleton’s Centre for European Studies receives EU research grants

Carleton University’s Centre for European Studies has been chosen to receive three major grants from the European Union’s Erasmus Plus Program. The funding is conditional on the signing of grant agreements between Carleton and the EU’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. Among the projects receiving funding is “Studying EU in Canadian High Schools,” a two-year initiative to support the CES’s high school outreach programs. Carleton says these grants will further enhance its leading role in Canada in the field of European Studies. Carleton

US colleges entering the “coding bootcamp” market

The soaring demand for workers with knowledge of coding and data analytics is leading traditional US colleges to offer coding bootcamps, writes Inside Higher Ed. These immersive programs are designed to teach coding language to students, lasting several months and usually culminating in career counselling sessions for the students who have completed them. “The whole premise of the coding boot camp is there’s a big skills gap,” says Kevin Saito, vice president of marketing and product management for a private bootcamp provider. The article explores the ways in which some institutions have created these bootcamps from scratch, while others have partnered with private sector companies to offer them. Inside Higher Ed