Top Ten

October 7, 2016

40% of QC university buildings in poor condition, says report

More than 40% of the buildings on Quebec’s university campuses are in disrepair, according to a QC report obtained by Radio-Canada. The province reportedly estimates that it would cost roughly $1.5B to cover the necessary repairs, but university administrators and other stakeholders say this estimate is too low. “The environment where you study, it's not just resources,” commented Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre. “It could mean also where you work, where you live and all that, so if there's some issues we should also focus on that.” QC Minister of Higher Education Hélène David says that the provincial government will contribute $1B to universities for maintenance and construction over the next six years, in addition to the $1B it provided between 2005 and 2015. David added that some additional funding could come from the federal government, which has pledged to create a $2B fund for post-secondary institutions. CBC

Students may leave MB if tuition cap is lifted, says student leader

A proposed increase for Manitoba’s postsecondary tuition cap could drive students out of the province, according to a MB student advocate. “Affordable rates keep students in our province,” said Michael Barkman, Manitoba chair of the Canadian Federation of Students. “In Nova Scotia, their fees rose 5.6% this year and they're seeing a lot of students move.” University of Manitoba Students Union President Tanjit Nagra adds that the increase could also prevent many international students who are considering enrolling in the province's institutions to go elsewhere. MB Premier Brian Pallister, however, argues that MB has much lower tuition rates than those of surrounding jurisdictions, adding that “I don't think that's a concern. What is a concern is making sure that young people have the opportunity to uplift themselves and their skills.” Winnipeg Sun

Ryerson opens new Faculty of Science facilities at MaRS

Ryerson University’s Faculty of Science has officially begun operating within the MaRS Discovery District, which provides researchers with new opportunities to engage in work on science and technology research, application, and innovative collaboration. The collaborative space is 20,000 square-feet and will host research teams conducting projects on cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology, and environmental toxicology. “We’re thrilled to provide our researchers with new facilities to support and facilitate their research programs,” said Faculty of Science Dean Imogen Coe. “These new facilities will allow collaborative and facilitated research, including more partnership opportunities, all of which are essential to scientific advancement.” Ryerson

Conestoga officially opens new Student Recreation Centre

Conestoga College officially opened its new Student Recreation Centre this Tuesday. The $21M project was developed in consultation with Conestoga Students Inc, the college’s student association, which assessed the need for health and wellness facilities through a survey. “This facility was built on a foundation of partnerships and relationships,” said Conestoga President John Tibbits. “The project could not have been completed without CSI. You’ve done something great for the student body and for the community.” “This Centre supports the health and well-being of the student population, which is part of what it means to receive a good education,” added CSI President Cameron Jones, who also announced that the CSI has allocated $50K in scholarships and bursaries for Conestoga athletes. Conestoga

Women half as likely as men to be described as “excellent” in recommendation letters, says report

A new US study has found that women are only half as likely as their male counterparts to receive letters of recommendation containing language that describes them as “excellent” rather than “good,” reports Inside Higher Ed. The study examined letters from roughly 500 US and international institutions involving candidates for a postdoctoral research fellowship in the geosciences at a top American university. “We need to address any hidden biases that systemically disadvantage one or more segments of the population,” said lead author Kuheli Dutt, adding that this effort should begin with “meaningful dialogues on implicit bias, be it at an institutional level or at a larger level.” Inside Higher Ed

FNUniv relocates Saskatoon operations onto SIIT campus

First Nations University of Canada has officially moved all of its Saskatoon operations into SIIT’s facilities. FNUniv has reportedly rented classroom space from SIIT for the past two years, but the new move will see the remainder of the school’s personnel relocated into SIIT’s space for the 2016-2017 term. “I am pleased to welcome First Nations University of Canada to SIIT’s main campus,” said SIIT President Riel Bellegarde. “We believe the relationship between us as one of importance that will work to strengthen the learning experience of all students.” The move will also include the relocation of FNUniv’s Student success services, which consist of access to Elder’s services, writing support, and comfort food events such as soup and bannock lunches. NationTalk (SIIT)

Fleming accounting graduates gain new pathway to specialized degree at Trent

Graduates of Fleming College’s Business Administration—Accounting program will now have the opportunity to pursue a specialized business degree with advanced standing at Trent University. Fleming states that it and Trent have signed a revised pathway agreement that applies to Trent’s business degree with a specialization in accounting, and that the diploma-to-degree pathway will allow graduates of Fleming’s program to enter the third year of Trent’s Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting degree program, allowing the students to complete both a diploma and degree in five years. Fleming

“Only a sick political climate” measures PSE’s value with economics alone, says UA contributor

“The argument in favour of the liberal arts is not that graduates get respectable jobs with their degrees,” writes Andrew Moore for University Affairs, “[it] is that only a sick political climate uses economic productivity alone to measure human success.” Moore criticizes arguments that defend the liberal arts by citing economic statistics such as average salaries or employers’ demand for “soft skills,” arguing that these defenses miss the point by conceding to the idea that the value of a university degree must be measured in economic terms. Moore highlights the Syrian refugee crisis, the ascent of Donald Trump, and the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women as pressing problems that cannot and will not be addressed by investments in technology or innovation, but only through the debate and reflection fostered in liberal arts education. University Affairs

UCalgary deepens ties with Asia through new agreements

The University of Calgary has signed several new agreements with partners in Hong Kong and China to establish a series of joint programs, educational collaborations, and exchanges. The agreements were signed by a delegation of UCalgary representatives led by President Elizabeth Cannon, and they include student exchange agreements with the Hong Kong Polytechnic and the City University of Hong Kong,  a collaboration agreement with the Beijing Normal University to jointly offer a 2+2 Science program, and an MOU with Beihang University to explore collaborations in new earth space technologies and engineering solutions for health. “Joint programs, educational collaborations and exchanges will greatly benefit our students, faculty and staff. Furthermore, such partnerships help us strengthen our position as a global centre for learning,” said Cannon. UCalgary

The gulf between feeling safe and being safe on Canadian campuses

Every postsecondary student has the right to feel safe on campus, and many do. Whether students actually are safe, though, is a hot topic that has provoked a growing discussion across Canada.

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