Top Ten

October 3, 2016

“Big investment” coming for BC postsecondary tech training, says premier

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark has announced that her government will soon make “big investments” in the province’s postsecondary system to address a talent shortage in the tech sector. “There will be some announcements coming in the next little while with respect to investing in computer science in particular in universities … it will be a significant amount,” Clark added in an interview with the Globe and Mail. In July 2016, 18 BC tech executives sent a letter to Clark asking for the province to address the talent shortage. Clark did not specify, however, whether the final amount invested in PSE tech training would match the $100M requested by the executives. Globe and Mail

“A day of healing”: MTA opens Indigenous space on campus

Mount Allison University has officially opened Mawita’mkw, a designated Indigenous space on its campus. Translated as “a place we can gather,” Mawita’mkw will serve as a learning and gathering space for Indigenous students and community members. “Having a designated space such as Mawita’mkw will help encourage dialogue and understanding in our University and wider community,” says Doreen Richard, MTA’s Indigenous affairs co-ordinator. “I am excited to continue to work and celebrate with our students and community members in this gathering space.” The space will also host MTA’s first elder-in-residence, Gilbert Sewell from Pabineau First Nation in New Brunswick. “This is history being made. It took us so long to get into universities,” said Sewell. “Today is hope and life for our culture. Today is a day of healing.” Sackville Tribune Post | MTA

Carleton students to receive salary, tuition from Shopify in new internship agreement

Students at Carleton University will now have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the industry-leading tech company Shopify, thanks to a new multi-year internship agreement. Carleton reports that this fall, 11 of its students will split time between the university’s campus and Shopify’s downtown Ottawa headquarters, where they will work in teams to contribute to real-world commercial projects. Students will earn a Bachelor of Computer Science degree, and Shopify will reportedly provide them a salary in addition to covering their tuition. “We appreciate Shopify’s generosity and look forward to continuing this innovative partnership in the years to come,” said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “Carleton is committed to providing our students with the kind of real-world experience that helps bring academics to life.” Carleton

Fanshawe opens English Language Centre

Fanshawe College has officially opened its new English Language Institute, a centre that will gather together the college’s various English as a Second Language initiatives and become home to the college’s new flagship program, English for Academic Purposes. The college reports that this full-time, intensive program will help international and domestic students prepare for further academic study, and will also be recognized by Western University and  its affiliated colleges. “Through the English Language Institute, Fanshawe will continue to offer enhanced English language training and support that empowers International students, newcomers to Canada, and non-English fluent students to succeed in post-secondary studies,” said Gary Lima, Senior Vice-President, Academic Services at Fanshawe. Fanshawe

Ryerson to boost commercialization, incubation with Centre for Urban Innovation

Ryerson University has received nearly $37M from the federal and Ontario governments to transform its commercialization activities and enhance its world-class incubator network. Canada will provide nearly $20M to support the construction of Ryerson’s new Centre for Urban Innovation, which will be home to the Centre for Urban Energy, the Ryerson Urban Water Institute, the Data Science Lab, the Smart Infrastructure Hub and the Food Research Lab. An additional $16.7M from Canada and Ontario will be used to modernize and upgrade research laboratories and infrastructure in Ryerson's science, engineering, and design buildings. “The changes coming to our campus will create more state-of-the-art facilities to shape Canada's future innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs,” said Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi. Canada | Ryerson

uToronto celebrates success, acknowledges areas for improvement with gender equity report

More women are joining and staying at the University of Toronto than they were ten years ago, yet the university still has several areas in need of improvement, according to a new report released by uToronto. The Gender Equity and Pathways to Leadership report notes that a larger proportion of women were hired, tenured, and promoted in 2014-15 compared to 2004-05. It also notes, however, that women are still underrepresented among senior faculty ranks and senior faculty hires, and that despite being successful at securing interviews, women tend to be less successful than men at obtaining offers at uToronto. Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr says she expects the report to spur conversation at the university’s three campuses and to help administrators improve the gender makeup of their faculties. uToronto | Report

Dal to enhance R&D capacity, industry collaboration with new facilities

Students, professors, and researchers at Dalhousie University will have the chance to work in state-of-the-art facilities thanks in part to a $32M investment from the federal government. The funding will go specifically toward the IDEA project, which will see the school create new facilities for hardware start-ups and entrepreneurship while renewing its hubs in clean tech, advanced manufacturing, and ocean tech. The project will see a matching $32M provided by Dal, as well as funds from private donors. “IDEA will set a new standard in engineering, architecture and planning education, elevating design-oriented technical education and research in Halifax to the global stage,” said Dal President Richard Florizone. Canada | Dal

New pathway offers Fleming diploma grads a path to RRU degree

Graduates of Fleming College’s justice programs will now have the opportunity to transfer into the third year of Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies degree program. The two institutions have signed an agreement that allows qualifying graduates of seven select two-year diploma programs at Fleming’s School of Justice and Community Development to enter RRU’s degree program. “The development of clear and accessible pathways for our students is an important priority in our quest to deliver outstanding learning experiences at Fleming,” said Carol Kelsey, Dean of the Schools of Justice and Community Development and Health and Wellness. “Our Justice faculty are committed to instilling a keen sense of the importance of lifelong learning in their students.” Fleming

Mohawk to boost tech enrolments with $54M Centre for Partnership and Innovation

Mohawk College will break ground on a $54M Centre for Partnership and Innovation thanks in part to the largest federal infrastructure investment in the college’s history. Mohawk states that the project will involve the construction and renovation of 120,000 square feet of labs and classroom space at its Fennell campus, which will allow the school to increase enrolment in high-demand technology programs by 1,000 students. The investment will also allow the college to grow its applied research activity with industry partners by 50%. “This renewal will allow Mohawk to educate more students than ever before in high-demand technology programs and put our students to work with even more industry partners on job-creating and prosperity-building applied research projects,” said Mohawk President Ron McKerlie. AM640 | Mohawk

Chinese/English bilingual high school opens on TRU campus

The long-time partnership between Thompson Rivers University and China-based Maple Leaf Educational Systems has resulted in the opening of a new bilingual Chinese/English high school on TRU’s Kamloops campus. TRU reports that the school will operate as a Group 4 BC Independent School and will be responsible for its own operations, including leasing space from TRU and hiring its own staff. “This collaboration is an example of Maple Leaf’s and TRU’s visionary approach to global education. It will build relationships between the people of China and Canada,” said Alan Shaver, TRU President and Vice-Chancellor. “The smiling students you see here today are a testament to the fact that they share this vision.” TRU