Top Ten

September 15, 2016

Dal receives $4.5M for research into uncommon disease cures

Dalhousie University’s Zebrafish Core Facility will reportedly receive $4.5M to test cures for three uncommon childhood diseases deemed “orphan diseases.” $3M of the funding comes from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, $1M comes from the Halifax-based biotech company AGADA Biosciences, and $500K comes from Dal’s medical research foundation. “It’s a brave new world for genetic conditions, and it’s a perfect storm for us right now in Halifax,” says Chris McMaster, head of Dal’s Department of Pharmacology. “We’re identifying genetic links behind orphan diseases, finding targets for therapeutic intervention, and developing compounds that can be turned into medications. So not only will we have faster, more precise diagnoses, we’ll have more precise, targeted treatments for patients.” Dal |CBC | Chronicle Herald

UBC to build Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

The University of British Columbia has announced that it will construct what it calls Canada’s first residential school history centre. CBC reports that the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre will act as a West Coast branch for the national archive based at the University of Manitoba. A UBC release states that the centre will be located in the heart of UBC’s Point Grey campus, and will strive to recognize the experiences of residential school survivors and to honour the thousands of Indigenous children who died while attending the schools. “We are pleased to see the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation expand to the West Coast in this meaningful way,” uManitoba President David Barnard stated in a release. “We wish our colleagues at UBC the best in helping preserve the stories of Residential School Survivors.” UBC (1) | UBC (2) | uManitoba | CBC | NationTalk

Russian sociologist proposes to create monument to anonymous peer reviewers

A Russian sociologist hopes to dedicate a monument at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics to what Times Higher Education calls “one of academia’s most thankless jobs:” the anonymous peer reviewer. The monument would reportedly be shaped like a die with its visible sides labeled “Accept,” “Minor Changes,” “Major Changes,” “Revise and Resubmit,” and “Reject.” Times Higher Education explains that the idea for the monument stems from an administrator's request to make an on-campus piece of concrete look better. The monument has allegedly gained the support of several academics, including Nobel Prize laureates Eric Maskin and Andrei Geim. Times Higher Education | Nature 

NSCC Pictou Campus receives $15.2M for Trades Innovation Centre

Nova Scotia Community College will be building a Trades Innovation Centre on the college’s Pictou Campus, thanks to a $15.2M investment from the federal and Nova Scotia government. The centre will provide students with a modern, high-performance shop space. “This strategic investment in Nova Scotia Community College's Pictou Campus will pay dividends to the students, staff and the community,” said NSCC President Don Bureaux. “The LEED certified centre will enhance the capacity and student experience at the campus and grow our ability to add needed, well-educated and trained graduates to the workforce.” NS | NG News 

Brescia faculty vote 94% in favour of strike mandate

The Brescia Faculty Union has reportedly voted 94% in favour of initiating a strike action if a settlement is not reached during the bargaining process, reports OCUFA. The collective agreement between BFA and Brescia University College expired at the end of June 2016, and the OCUFA release alleges that there are outstanding issues around “equal work, reasonable workloads, tuition benefits for dependents, course release for BFA Executive Members, and a faculty complement large enough to ensure a quality education for students.” OCUFA

Durham receives $13M towards Centre for Collaborative Education

Durham College has received $13M in funding from the federal government towards the construction of the new Centre for Collaborative Education at the college’s Oshawa campus. “On behalf of everyone at Durham College, I extend my sincere thanks to the federal and provincial government for this significant investment in our unique vision and commitment to creating a facility that will expand local programming, further connect Indigenous communities to post-secondary education and drive entrepreneurship and internationalization via Global, Open and Collaborative spaces that connect the college to more than 50 academic institutions around the world,” said Durham President Don Lovisa. Durham

UNB Student Abroad Programs receive $1M investment from Scotiabank

Students from the University of New Brunswick now have more opportunities to study abroad thanks to a $1M gift from Scotiabank. The gift will reportedly go towards the Cedric Ritchie Scotiabank International Study Awards to support students who wish to participate in UNB Student Abroad opportunities, as well as towards the Scotiabank Special International Internships offered through Renaissance College. “Because of the bank’s generous gift, more students at UNB will gain first-hand knowledge and perspective of other places and cultures,” said Eddy Campbell, UNB President and Vice-Chancellor. “Individually and collectively, these students will become enthusiastic ambassadors for the idea that international experience broadens the mind.” UNB

UWinnipeg partners with Norwegian institution on High North Program

The University of Winnipeg has partnered with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology on the High North Program, a program that aims to expand, strengthen, and disseminate knowledge relevant to the High North. A UWinnipeg release states that the project’s purpose will be to establish a partnership on Sustainable Energy System Design, Evaluation and Governance education, research, and development. The partnership will reportedly see teaching and research collaborations, student and faculty exchanges, and potential research partnerships; as well as a symposium at the end of the three-year project. UWinnipeg

College and universities use learning outcomes assessment in similar ways says report

A new report out of the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario has found that the Canadian college and university sectors are very similar when it comes to the thoughts and practices around learning outcomes assessments. The report found that over half of the surveyed Canadian colleges and just over two-fifths of Canadian universities use institutional learning outcomes. Colleges most commonly use employer and alumni surveys as an assessment tool, while universities most commonly turned to national student surveys. Colleges used the results of these assessments for program reviews and curriculum modification, while universities used them for program accreditation and curriculum modification. HEQCO


Acadia to enhance science complex with $22.2M investment

Acadia University will be able to enhance the institution’s science complex, thanks to a combined $22.2M investment from the federal government, Nova Scotia government, the institution, and other donors. The funds will reportedly be put towards renovating and upgrading Huggins Hall and Elliott Hall, and will see Acadia convert a small space connecting the buildings into an innovation pavilion with space for laboratories and support services for industrial liaison, commercialization and co-op education. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan commented that “this project will give Acadia students access to modern, high-quality facilities that will prepare them for successful careers, and help build the skilled workforce we need to support good jobs and economic growth for today and tomorrow.” NS | Acadia