Top Ten

March 31, 2017

USask announces proposed cuts in response to 5% decline in provincial funding

Administrators at the University of Saskatchewan have announced that the university plans to cut central funding for its colleges and academic programs by $8.7M and its spending on support services by $3.5M as the school struggles to address a sharp decline in provincial funding. “It’s something we expected to see, expected to happen,” said USask Students Union President Kehan Fu, which have yet to be approved by the university’s board of governors. “But I’m disappointed nonetheless, because it will have an impact on the student experience.” USask Interim Provost Michael Atkinson has noted that the cuts may eventually impact staff and even faculty, but adds that “that's not where we will go first to look for savings. If we're eventually obliged to do these things we'll have to do them because the institution deserves a sustainable future, but there are a lot of things for us to do.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix | CBC

UoGuelph receives largest-ever gift to create leading agri-food institute

The University of Guelph has received a $20M donation to strengthen its place in the agri-food field and to bolster food security and sustainability. A UoGuelph release notes that the gift, bestowed by the Arrell Family Foundation, is the largest of its kind in the university’s history. UoGuelph reports that it will provide $20M in matching funds, which combined with recent government and private funding will bring new investments in agri-food research at the university to more than $150M in the past 12 months. “This landmark gift will allow our University to address the defining challenge of our time: food security, safety and sustainability,” said UoGuelph President Franco Vaccarino. Waterloo Region Record | UoGuelph

BCIT to build new Health Sciences Centre with over $66M in provincial support

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has announced that it will create a new Health Sciences Centre for Advanced Simulation as part of an effort to meet British Columbia’s growing demand for health care professionals. BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education is providing $66.6M and BCIT is providing $11.7M towards the four-storey, simulation-based education centre, which will reportedly be one of the largest centres of its kind in Canada. In addition to providing modern teaching and learning spaces, the new centre will allow BCIT to consolidate its School of Health Sciences programs within specific buildings and support collaborative program delivery. “This funding will help create a state-of-the art simulation centre where our students will learn and acquire hands-on skills that are so acutely in demand in the healthcare sector today,” said BCIT President Kathy Kinloch. BC

Fédération des cégeps, QC universities pleased with provincial funding

The Fédération des cégeps has announced that it is pleased with the $37.5M in funds for the Quebec college system that was included in the provincial 2017-2018 budget. CEGEP President Bernard Tremblay noted that the funding would allow CEGEPs across the province to improve their student services, which Tremblay described as essential for educational success. A statement issued by the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire expressed their satisfaction on behalf of QC universities with the additional funding for research and infrastructure, while stating that the reinvestment did not compensate for cuts imposed in recent years. The provincial investment reportedly covers four measures: increasing the general funding of higher ed institutions, improving student success and integration, fostering partnerships and dialogue between institutions and their regions, and meeting labour market needs. Fédération des Cégeps | UQAM (BCI)

Sault introduces robotics program

Sault College has announced that it will launch a new, two-semester graduate certificate program in robotics in an effort to meet the needs of both students and industry. The program will enhance the skills and credentials of students who already have a degree or diploma in a related program, and will provide students access to the college’s robotics lab. Sault Manager of Applied Research and Innovation John Coccimiglio notes that the college will help both students and industry by providing students with the opportunity to work on industry-related applied research projects during the course of their studies. “We can teach process automation, we can do applied research projects for industry, and we can also do training for industry,” Coccimiglio said. “So if a company needs training for their employees, we can come up with custom training programs.” Northern Ontario Business

Funding for ESL at ACC to be cut by over 70%

English language classes at Assiniboine Community College are set to be cut by over 70% in the coming year, reports the Brandon Sun. The college recently finalized a three-year contract with the federal government, which will see the budget for English Language Training drop to $196K in 2017-18 from its current level of $730K. The funding will decrease again to $185K in 2018-19 and $176K in 2019-20. ACC President Mark Frison notes that the changes will have adverse impacts on the lives of newcomers to Canada and the labour market, adding that he hopes that “as we roll out those programs for the coming year, as we track the wait lists and continue to share them with our funding partners, that it’ll influence how they see the demand for future years.” Brandon Sun (Subscription Required)

Fleming, Trent partner to offer new earth science pathways

Fleming College’s Earth Resources Technician Co-op program and Trent University’s new Environmental Geoscience BSc degree have partnered to offer new pathways between the programs. Trent and Fleming recently signed two articulation agreements that provide qualified graduates advanced standing in each program. Eligible graduates of Fleming’s five-semester ERT diploma program can enter the third year of Trent’s Honours BSc Environmental Geoscience degree program and receive nine credits toward the 20 required to graduate. Likewise, graduates of the new Environmental Geoscience program at Trent can enter the fourth semester of ERT. Within this pathway, students will need to complete semesters four and five as well as a 645-hour co-op to receive their diploma. Fleming

URegina anti-violence campaign asks students to recognize, address masculine anger

A campaign against violence at the University of Regina is calling on students to take responsibility for promoting unhealthy forms of masculinity. The National Post reports that the campaign, titled Man Up Against Violence, has established a “Masculinity Confession Booth” that bears a sign asking passersby to “Come and share your sins so we can begin to discuss how to identify and change our ways.” According to the Post, the booth looks to encourage men to “feel, display, and express emotions other than anger,” and to recognize moments in which they have contributed to a culture that promotes more violent forms of masculinity. URegina has also released its Gender-Based Violence Needs Assessment report, complete with recommendations on how to prevent sexual violence at the school. National Post | Report

The five key principles to developing a brand

“Great brands are built by the sum total of promises made—and fulfilled—that add up to meaningful and lasting relationships,” writes Ken Pasternak in a discussion of effective higher ed brands in the US. Pasternak touches on five key principles of building a brand: viewing brand as a culture, not a sales campaign; building the brand from the community up; building the brand on behaviours; remaining disciplined and simple in the brand design; and recognizing that brand development does not have a finish line. The article concludes by advising others to consider how day-to-day work fits into the institution, its culture, and its future. Inside Higher Ed

Canadore launches new engineering lab

Canadore College has announced the opening of its new engineering lab, which the college says will provide hands-on training for civil engineering technician/technology and mechanical engineering technician/technology students. The modular lab space houses a range of industry-standard equipment, including a fluid mechanics base unit, large air compressor and electrical motor teaching units, digital force gauges, digital electric current meters and more. “Fully equipped labs like this provide students with the opportunity to apply their in-class learning to real-life projects,” said Caroline Corbett, Associate Dean of School of Trades and Technology. “Learners can practice skills and develop competency while using the same equipment and processes as those used in industry. These applied learning experiences result in deeper understanding and strengthen skill development for our students.” Canadore