Top Ten

February 17, 2017

ULaval becomes first Canadian university to approve full divestment from fossil fuels

Université Laval has become the first university in Canada to approve the full divestment from fossil fuels, reports La Presse. This week, the university’s leaders approved a motion to remove all investments related to fossil fuels from the school's portfolio. The university says that it plans to form a working committee that will include student representatives and will consider how to best manage the financial transition to greener investments. “I'm an environmentalist. It's time to move on all fronts,” said ULaval Executive Vice-President Eric Bauce at a press conference. “Money does not lead the world, but it can seriously influence it.” The announcement was met with praise from the student group ULaval sans fossiles, which formed last November to bring about the eventual divestment. La Presse

International students’ choice of residence after graduation hinges on concept of home: UBC study

A new study from the University of British Columbia shows that ideas of home are a major factor in where international university students decide to live after graduation. “A lot of research focuses on where international students go to study, but few focus on where they go after graduation,” says study author Cary Wu, a PhD candidate in UBC’s department of sociology and an international student from China. “Our study shows that migration plans for international students are far more complex than this binary of stay or return.” Wu analyzed data from interviews with more than 200 international students from more than 50 countries who attended UBC from 2006 to 2013, and found that 16% of those surveyed said that they planned to stay in Canada, citing emotional attachments, interpersonal relationships, family, or political unrest. UBC

UBC alumna weighs in on school’s draft sexual assault policy

A UBC alumna has told the CBC that while the school’s draft policy for addressing sexual assault is a step forward, she still has concerns about it. Glynnis Kirchmeier, who is currently involved in an ongoing human rights complaint against UBC, notes that the new policy means that “a student can expect a timely process,” which she says is crucial due to the fact that students have “such a short lifespan at the institution.” Further, Kirchmeier notes that “victims are now complainants with rights in the process” within the terms of the new draft policy, which she believes is also a step forward. Kirchmeier expressed concerns, however, with some parts of the policy, such as the university’s ability to ensure that independent investigators appointed to look into sexual assault claims will be truly independent from UBC. CBC

Montreal invests $10M in research for new technologies

The City of Montreal is launching a three-year research program in partnership with the Université de Montréal, Université de Québec à Montréal, and McGill University. The network will study four areas of technology in particular: cybersecurity and computer resilience, massive business and data intelligence, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of things. A group of pan-Canadian researchers, based out of Université de Montréal, will first look at the cybersecurity of Montreal's IT resources. "There has been an increase in computer attacks across the globe, especially over the past year, and the City's sites, both externally and internally, are not immune," says an official document presented to the City. Journal de Montréal

UCN to modernize science labs with $1M from Canada, MB

University College of the North is set to upgrade and modernize its science labs with the support of $1M from the Canadian and Manitoban governments. Located at UCN’s campus in The Pas, the labs will be brought to industry standards through the upgrading of chemical storage facilities, fume hoods, and safety devices. “This funding provides important support for science programming offered at UCN. Students taking a science minor, or studying to become nurses, science teachers, or in our natural resources program will have modern facilities similar to those that they will be working in when they graduate,” said UCN Vice President of Finance and Resources Sandra Muilenburg. “We are very pleased that the federal and provincial governments have chosen to invest in UCN.” MB

TRU receives $2.5M in anonymous gifts

Thompson Rivers University has received two major anonymous gifts totaling $2.5M. The first donation came in the form of a $1M contribution that will provide student scholarships and bursaries across all faculties. A second gift for $1.5M is earmarked for the naming rights to TRU's future Nursing and Population Health Building. “This community continues to amaze me. The people of Kamloops rise up and empower our students and our university, creating personal opportunity and stunning new facilities,” said VP Advancement, Christopher Seguin. “This city has some of the most caring and generous donors in Western Canada, and their continued support lets TRU grow and evolve.” Both donations were announced at the university’s 25th Foundation Gala celebrations. TRU

Carleton receives Fair Trade Campus designation

Carleton University has received a Fair Trade Campus designation in recognition of its support for fairer conditions and better prices for people who grow and make products in the global south. A ceremony to celebrate the designation was attended by Carleton Assistant Vice-President Ed Kane, members of the Carleton Fair Trade steering committee, and representatives from Fairtrade Canada. “This designation is part of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement in Dining Services and across campus,” said Kane. “Our students told us through surveys that they wanted more fair trade options available on campus. As a result, we have changed our purchasing policies around coffee, tea and some chocolate snacks.” Carleton

NOSM creates endowment fund to offset library costs

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine says that it hopes to offset the costs of maintaining a modern medical library through the creation of a new endowment fund. This Wednesday, the school announced that it had created the fund to support its digital library services, which provide resources to more than 90 sites across northern Ontario. School representatives note that the weak Canadian dollar has made library services particularly expensive, and that additional funds are needed in order to give physicians, students, and other health care professionals access to crucial online information. “The library still needs to pay for the resources, the library does need more funds and hence the endowment fund,” says NOSM Associate Professor Richard Denton. CBC

Ryerson launches Master’s diploma in accounting with CPA accreditation

Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management is launching a new Professional Master’s Diploma in Accounting. The program has received accreditation by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario under the CPA National Recognition and Accreditation Standards for Post-Secondary Institutions, which enables graduates to accelerate their accounting careers by advancing their standing in the CPA program. “CPA accreditation continues the incredible upward trajectory of our School of Accounting & Finance and showcases the strength, academic rigour and excellence of our accounting program,” said TRSM Dean Steven Murphy. “Our students can continue their professional accounting education at TRSM and accelerate their path to the CPA designation with this new graduate program offering.” Ryerson