Top Ten

November 7, 2016

Federal union concerned MB will interfere in BrandonU, uWinnipeg bargaining

The union representing support staff at Brandon University and the University of Winnipeg has stated that it is concerned the Manitoba government may try to interfere with contract talks at these institutions, reports CBC. The Public Service Alliance of Canada says that recent accounts of Manitoba’s PC government trying to influence contract talks at the University of Manitoba have provoked questions about whether the province will try to “impose a mandate” on the schools rather than leaving them to work out contract issues with their administrations. The concern comes from a joint statement released by UManitoba administrators and faculty that stated that the MB government had asked the university and other public bodies to extend contracts an extra year at 0% “in order to stabilize public sector compensation levels,” which both sides have deemed an “unexpected complication.” CBC

Firm releases list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges

The firm Research Infosource Inc has released its list of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges for 2016. The list ranks Canadian colleges’ research capacity and activities by looking primarily at research income and research intensity per faculty member. Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe rose to the #1 spot after being ranked #2 in last year’s rankings. Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles finished in second place, and Lambton College rose from #11 in the previous year’s ranking to #3. Rounding out the top five were Cégep de la Pocatière and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Research Infosource

Couple that delivered Trump University courses in Canada fined for fraud

A Mississauga couple who taught Canadian courses for Trump University was struck with 29 different penalties by the Ontario Securities Commission, according to a joint investigation by the Canadian Press and Associated Press. The news organizations also report that the couple used aliases when teaching courses, declared four bankruptcies after 2001, and lost their real-estate license. In addition to the 29 penalties, the couple was reportedly hit with a $300K fine, $25K in administrative costs, $3.3M in restitution to injured parties, and a number of restrictions on their trading activity. Ontario’s stock-market regulator concluded last year that the couple had defrauded a number of Canadian investors between 2009 and 2012. Linda Stark, a defrauded pensioner who lives near Toronto, told the CP and AP that her experience with the couple had taken a financial and emotional toll on her family, adding, “We’re just managing.” Globe and Mail (CP)

Brock, Niagara receive major infrastructure investments

The Canadian and Ontario governments have announced $26.5M in overall investment for Brock University and Niagara College. Brock will receive $7.8M to replace equipment and piping in its District Energy Facility and $8.5M to create the Schmon Tower Innovation Atrium, which will be located in the university’s new LINC innovation and commercialization space. Niagara College will receive an investment of $10.3M to support the agri‑food sector through a project at its Niagara‑on‑the‑Lake Campus, bulding research and innovation labs, specialized training facilities for student entrepreneurship, and incubation space for agri‑food businesses. Canada | ON | St Catharines Standard | Niagara | Brock

MacEwan launches virtual reality tour of residence

MacEwan University’s prospective students are now able to tour the school's residence offerings from anywhere in the world, thanks to a new virtual reality tour that reportedly allows students to walk through the residence and take a trip to the student study lounge. “We wanted a new way to share the MacEwan student residence experience and a photo just can’t do what this virtual reality tour does,” says Kris Bruckmann, Campus Services director. “Now, we can show students exactly where they’ll be living and they can experience it in a way that is fully immersive.” Bruckman adds that the tour will help MacEwan better engage with prospective students, and international students in particular. MacEwan

MRU launches Indigenous Strategic Plan, permanently raises Treaty 7 and Métis flags

Mount Royal University has permanently raised the Treaty 7 and Métis flags on its campus as part of its newly initiated Indigenous Strategic Plan. The new plan reflects 18 months of consultation with both MRU's campus and surrounding community, and reportedly marks a clear commitment by the university to make “space for reconciliation, Indigenous ways of knowledge, learning, ceremonies and culture and create cross-cultural opportunities for all students, Indigenous and non-Indigenous.” “At Mount Royal we really believe that Indigenous people have the right to meaningful success and access to post-secondary education,” said MRU President David Docherty, who noted that the purpose of the flag-raising ceremony was to honour all students and members of the Treaty 7 Nations. MRU | Metro

ACOA, PEI provide $500K to help UPEI international students stay in province

International students at the University of Prince Edward Island will soon have additional support to help them to stay in the province, reports CBC. UPEI has reportedly increased its support to international students over the past year-and-a-half in particular, and has been working with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and PEI to support students with language training and adapting to life in Canada. ACOA is providing $493,631 under its Business Development Program and PEI is providing $53K through the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning. International students reportedly make up 22% of UPEI's full-time student population, a figure that CBC states has been growing steadily in recent years. “This important diversity adds so much in terms of cultural exchange and learnings among all of our students,” said UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. CBC

WLU, Waterloo municipality partner on CityStudio project

Wilfrid Laurier University and the City of Waterloo are partnering to launch CityStudio, an innovation hub where students, city staff, and community stakeholders can collaborate to support the city’s strategic priorities. The one-year pilot program will reportedly welcome its inaugural Laurier-led class in January 2017. Third- and fourth-year students will take part in an experiential learning course that pairs them with city staff to collaborate on projects that address the city's priorities and community needs in an impactful way. “The CityStudio project is a great example of Laurier's mission to inspire lives of leadership and purpose in work-integrated environments,” says WLU Provost Deborah MacLatchy. “By pairing academic programming with real issues in Waterloo, our students’ fresh eyes combined with city workers’ experience can make a real difference in our shared community.” WLU

SAIT, Northern Lights break ground on new trades training facilities

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Northern Lights College have each broken ground on new trades training facilities. SAIT's eight-acre customized facility will be located off campus and will house applied learning labs for crane and hoisting equipment operator apprenticeships, as well as iron worker apprenticeship programs. Northern Lights College has also broken ground on a  $33M trades training facility at its Dawson Creek campus. The centre will replace the Second World War-era structure currently in use by trades students and instructors. SAIT's centre is expected to be completed in 2017, while Northern Lights' is set to be ready for occupancy in 2018. Calgary Herald | Business Examiner

Cambrian, Atikameksheng Anishnawbek sign MOU

Cambrian College and the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek First Nation have announced the signing of an MOU that will serve as a framework for strengthening their working relationship, addressing the First Nation’s educational needs, and promoting Indigenous culture at Cambrian. The partnership will see the two partners take on initiatives such as increasing the recruitment, retention, and graduation rates of Atikameksheng Anishnawbek students; identifying opportunities to collaborate on the development of new curricula, academic programming, research initiatives, and funding supports; and exploring the delivery of community-based programming and services from Cambrian in Atikameksheng. “Through this partnership, we will have a stronger voice in the development of programs and training that supports the unique needs of our community,” announced Chief Edward Steve Miller. NationTalk