Top Ten

November 9, 2016

uOttawa students, university vote for Ottawa to become officially bilingual

University of Ottawa students have voted unanimously to make the City of Ottawa officially bilingual, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The university’s board of directors has reportedly supported the initiative as well. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa has also said that it plans to ask Ottawa’s mayor to support the move to make Canada’s capital city officially bilingual. To date, Mayor Jim Watson has reportedly stated that the city is already essentially bilingual, yet proponents of the new movement want to amend the City of Ottawa Act “to explicitly recognize the equal status of the French and English languages.” They are also asking the mayor to include the bylaw in the act to guarantee that future city councils are not able eliminate the bylaw. Ottawa Citizen

AB colleges see increasing research funding from industry

Alberta colleges received $3.2M in research funding from industry in 2015, reports the Edmonton Journal, marking an increase of nearly 50% over the previous year. A new survey shows that while most college research funding comes from the federal government, AB colleges are seeing a significant increase in the support they receive from the private sector. Among the survey’s most notable findings were an 87.4% increase in industry funding for SAIT, and a combined $4.6M in federal and industry research funding for NAIT. “The amount of research money coming from industry is especially notable given the retrenchment in the Alberta economy,” says Research Infosource CEO Ron Freedman. “That shows the relationships that Alberta colleges forged in the good times are withstanding the economic downturn.” Edmonton Journal

Sexual assault help line closes at Dal

The student union at Dalhousie University says that it has shut down a phone line for sexual assault survivors due to lack of funding. CBC reports that while the union and the university split the cost of the phone line last academic year, the student union wanted Dal to cover the entire cost of the resource this year. “In terms of the phone line itself, unless we receive the full funding for it, we will not be relaunching this year,” says Dal Student Union Vice-President Academic and External Amina Abawajy. “But we do want to work with the university—and we do want to see the university step up and support survivors.” Dal Spokesperson Janet Bryson told CBC in an email statement that the university offers a number of other support services around sexual assault, as well as a team of professionals who provide education and training to prevent sexual violence. CBC

StudentsNS issues PSE recommendations as part of Student Advocacy Week

StudentsNS has issued a set of recommendations to the Nova Scotia government as part of the group’s Student Advocacy Week. The four core recommendations centre on strengthening the province’s Student Assistance Program, supporting international students, ensuring access to postsecondary education, and facilitating civic participation from students. More specific recommendations include repurposing NS’s Domestic Student Grant for low-income students and improving the province’s grant-to-loan ratio from 40:60 to 50:50. “One of the four core values of StudentsNS is affordability,” says a report from the group. “The cost of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia should not cause undue hardship upon any student, restrict their ability to pursue the career path they choose, or make them financially unable to live in the community that they choose.” StudentsNS

Arctic College announces law program start date, applications being accepted

Nearly a decade after graduating its last cohort of lawyers, Nunavut Arctic College has announced that it is accepting applications for a long anticipated law program to be offered in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan. The program is due to launch in Fall 2017 and will have seats for 25 students. “I look forward to the first intake of students into the law program in the fall of 2017,” commented Nunavut Minister of Education Paul Quassa. CBC reports that the program will “place emphasis on the development of skills in research, writing, analysis and negotiation,” and plans to include courses about Indigenous legal traditions and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. CBC

UNB, NB, Canada invest $1M towards new multi-research greenhouse

The University of New Brunswick and the Canadian and New Brunswick governments are investing $1M to build a new multi-research greenhouse at UNB’s Saint John campus. UNB reports that building a new multi-research greenhouse to replace the current, aging facility will allow UNB to conduct research in industries such as aquaculture, healthcare, and pharmaceutical development. The funding is made up of $450K from the federal government, $225K from the provincial government, and $323K from UNB. Service New Brunswick Minister Ed Doherty noted that “this new greenhouse will increase research capacity by offering our students a modern, unique venue for learning while equipping them for a long-term career in our province.” UNB | NB

VCC collaborates with BMW to train high-level automotive technicians

Vancouver Community College has signed an MOU with BMW Group Canada that will expose VCC students to BMW’s online curriculum. VCC reports that it will incorporate BMW and MINI training materials to provide enhanced offerings to high-level automotive collision and refinishing technicians. VCC’s Dean of Trades, Technology and Design, Brett Griffiths states that “the collaboration between VCC and BMW Group Canada will enable graduates from VCC’s automotive collision and refinishing programs to be proficient with BMW’s stringent guidelines required to restore these sophisticated vehicles to their safety specifications.” BC Colleges | VCC

Canadian colleges see increasing demand for business programs

Canada’s colleges are seeing a high demand for the business programs they have developed with input from industry, writes Diane Jermyn for the Globe and Mail. The author highlights examples from Humber College, Nova Scotia Community College, and Durham College to show some of the ways that schools are offering targeted business programs that give students the skills employers are looking for. The article examines how specific programs in supply chain management, accounting, and human resources are preparing students for sectors of the Canadian labour market that are looking to fill significant gaps. Globe and Mail

Georgian acknowledges campus built on traditional Anishnaabeg land at Indigenous plaque unveiling

Georgian College unveiled a new plaque on its campus this month that acknowledges that the college is built on traditional Anishnaabeg land. The plaque further announces the school’s dedication to honouring Indigenous history and culture and moving forward in a spirit of reconciliation alongside First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people. “Georgian wants to be part of the nationwide effort to restore trust between Indigenous peoples and public institutions – and we think that effort begins right here on our campuses,” commented Georgian President MaryLynn West-Moynes. “There’s a long way to go, but the college has demonstrated consistently its commitment,” added Anishnaabe Education and Training Circle representative and Georgian governor and chairman Kevin Wassegijig. Barrie Examiner | Georgian

How to teach English in a world where students won’t read literature

“[As] we try to reach students who are reading increasingly shorter and shorter pieces, or not at all, one question arises: Do we need to change how and what we teach in English courses, or is it already too late?” asks Eric Farwell for Inside Higher Ed. To help address the issue, Farwell offers four pieces of advice to English instructors: destroy your current reading curriculum and start over, follow trends in student tech behavior, develop platforms that will engage students on their tech turf without losing the integrity of university standards, and stop trying to force your personal academic interests onto students. “Instead of adding to the gap between our scholarly hopes and students’ increasing disinterest in literary course work,” the author concludes, “acknowledge that in the interest of a having a productive class, your dreams may have to wait.” Inside Higher Ed