Top Ten

August 19, 2016

UOIT reiterates commitment to respect, diversity in response to reports of human rights complaint

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology has issued a set of statements clarifying its position and reiterating its commitments in response to recent reports about a human rights complaint being filed against the school. The statements clarify that Hasbara Fellowships Canada has filed human rights complaints against the school’s student and faculty associations, not UOIT itself, in response to the group being denied access to the Student Association’s 2016 Social Justice Week activities. The statements also reiterate that UOIT was not responsible for programming decisions connected to the event, and that the school has met with Hasbara Fellowships Canada representatives to review and understand the organization’s concerns. UOIT

uMoncton to build new medical centre with $15.75M from Canada

The Université de Moncton is set to renovate its science faculty and construct the New Brunswick Centre for Precision Medicine near its Moncton campus with the support of $15.75M from the federal government. A Government of Canada release states that the new centre will “build on the university's strength in biomedical research, provide incubation space for emerging companies and become the province's first transdisciplinary health research centre situated in a clinical setting.” “This is a great day for health research in New Brunswick,” said uMoncton President Raymond Théberge, adding that the new centre “will allow the Université de Moncton's researchers, faculty members and students to put their knowledge to the test in a modern environment adapted to their needs.” Canada | NB | uMoncton

International group plans to create democratic, faculty-run university

A group of academics from ten countries is looking to develop a faculty-governed university to restore the public and democratic mission of higher education, reports Times Higher Education. The group currently consists of 25 academics from universities in China, Denmark, Finland, France, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the US. Group member Davydd Greenwood of Cornell University states that the project’s aim is to “recreate a public higher education system of quality at low cost or no cost to students” and to “recover the capacity of public universities to be … a mechanism for significant social mobility for working- and middle-class people, without huge debts being incurred and without burdens on their families.” Times Higher Education

Credit check requirement could cost older, low-income students NB Tuition Access Bursary

Many New Brunswick students say that a mandatory credit check for the province’s new Tuition Access Bursary will disqualify many who are most in need of support, reports Global News. Students who are 22 and older will be required to complete a credit check to qualify for the bursary, but Fredericton South MLA David Coon states that this requirement will exclude students who have otherwise qualified for Canada student loans. NB’s Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Don Arsenault has replied that the government’s top priority is passing legislation for students who need it most, then looking to enhance or improve the program in the next provincial budget. Global News

Three-way credit transfer agreement allows instructors at Holland, NBCC, UPEI to enhance their skills

Instructors at Holland College, New Brunswick Community College, and the University of Prince Edward Island will have new opportunities to develop their professional skills thanks to a new agreement that allows them to transfer credits between schools. An NBCC release says that the school's Instructor Development Program gives instructors the opportunity to “enhance their knowledge, learn new skills and improve job performance.” Credits from this training program will now be accepted toward a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in Human Resource Development, a degree program jointly offered by Holland College and UPEI. NBCC

THE offers “cautionary tales” for digital education enthusiasts

Despite the many advances in digital learning and online education, these programs “suffer from technical faults and a dispiriting lack of interaction,” reports Times Higher Education. The article outlines “two cautionary tales” for instructors who are considering online instruction. The first story recounts a professor’s experience of losing momentum in online discussions and reverting to monologue lectures after experiencing failed internet connections and technical limitations. The second story follows a professor who summarizes the experience of online teaching by stating that “no real resources were ever put in; training was trial and error; and we were woefully understaffed. When things went wrong, as they often did, we had no organised method for re-establishing dropped connections. This caused students to leave and often not return.” Times Higher Education

AB minister asks LGBTQ students to report rights violations directly to AB gov’t

Alberta Education Minister David Eggen has written an open letter to AB LGBTQ students pledging support to student rights, stating that Alberta Education will be promoting new resources to ensure that schools are safe and welcoming, and inviting students to reach out directly to the AB government to ensure that their rights are respected. Director for the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, Kristopher Wells, called the minister’s move to “unequivocally support” LGBTQ youth historic. Edmonton Journal | Open Letter | Calgary Herald

Camosun, Tanzanian college develop gas transmission technician diploma program

A three-year gas transmission technician diploma program developed at Camosun College will be delivered by Arusha Technical College in Tanzania in 2017, thanks to a new partnership between the two colleges. Camosun is currently training instructors from the Tanzanian college and supporting the design of the curriculum. “The learning environment is very good, as are the facilities,” said Arusha Technical College Instructor Nicholaus Mhusa of Camosun. “We can do things physically here that are not very common in our college where we are limited from practical things due to financial problems because we can’t afford the appropriate tools. Here you can do all these things.” Camosun

UBC exploration research in Yukon and Alaska receives $700K from industry

Exploration and geological research led by the University of British Columbia in Yukon and Alaska has received $700K in in-kind and direct contributions from industry partners in support of the project. The UBC Mineral Deposit Research Unit’s Yukon-Alaska Metallogeny project aims to increase knowledge of geological features that impact ore deposits in the area. The project reportedly provides partnered companies with access to geological knowledge and expertise from MDRU, and access to students with the technical skills required by the industry. The project has also received over $500K from NSERC, resulting in a combined $1.25M investment. UBC

Capilano partners with Jamaica to offer animation training

Students from Jamaica are studying Animation Fundamentals at Capilano University this summer thanks to a partnership between the university and the Jamaican government. A Capilano release states that its Animation Fundamentals course helps students build portfolios, preparing them for the university's two-year 2D and 3D animation diploma programs. The release also states that the animation industry has been identified as a strategic target for economic development and a solution to youth unemployment in Jamaica. Capilano