Top Ten

May 2, 2017

MB introduces law designed to fight sexual assault at PSE institutions

The Manitoba government has introduced new rules to prevent sexual assault and harassment at postsecondary institutions. CBC reports that the new Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Act will apply to all publicly funded PSE institutions, in addition to the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology and all 57 private postsecondary schools across the province. The legislation requires all of the covered schools to develop and implement campaigns that educate students on a “no means no” approach to consent. It also includes a definition of sexual violence, which can include harassment on social media, and mandates that schools must have appropriate policies and procedures in place to respond when a student reports an incident of sexual harassment or violence. CBC

Canada must act to avoid losing a generation of research talent: Cannon

“We need to act on the [Naylor] report now. We need the best minds on our biggest problems. We need to be competitive in attracting and growing talent. There is too much at stake if we don’t get it right,” writes University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon. Writing for the Globe and Mail, Cannon notes that one of the key recommendations from Canada’s recent review of federal science funding is the call for more support for early-career researchers. Cannon goes on to outline many of the diverse benefits that a greater investment in research could achieve, adding that “now is the time to send a strong signal to the international community that Canada is a place to build a career, to be successful at developing ideas and seeing them impact the broader community.” Globe and Mail

Northern BC institutions band together to improve international student transition

Four postsecondary institutions from northern British Columbia have partnered to improve the college to university transition experience for international students. The College of New Caledonia, Northern Lights College, Northwest Community College, and the University of Northern British Columbia have signed an MOU to provide guaranteed admission to undergraduate degree programs at UNBC for qualified international students attending one of the three colleges. “This initiative is an exciting overture to international students around the world who might not know the incredible breadth of academic opportunities that await them at our Northern institutions,” said NLC President Bryn Kulmatycki. CNC | UNBC | NLC

MUN to resume construction on major science building

Memorial University of Newfoundland will soon resume construction on its new science building after work stalled in 2015 when all submitted bids came in at over five per cent above estimates for construction. CBC reports that the university has awarded the tender to complete the work, and that construction will resume this spring with a planned opening for Fall 2020. The new building will include teaching and research space for multiple departments, including biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and electrical and computer engineering. The building will also reportedly house the Ocean Frontier Institute, which is part of a $100M research partnership with the University of Prince Edward Island and Dalhousie University. CBC reports that many design changes were made to reduce the new building’s costs without compromising quality. "At the end of the day, it's probably helped us a bit in that we've stepped back and enhanced our construction season, “ commented MUN Vice-President, Facilities Ann Browne. CBC (1) | CBC (2)

Sign language education must become more accessible, says NS ASL teacher

Sign language education should be more accessible, says Vanessa Hopkins, a Deaf person who teaches American Sign Language from her home in Sydney, Nova Scotia. CBC reports that the Waterfront Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth is the only place that certifies ASL teachers and interpreters. Hopkins expressed hope that a similar program would be developed at the college’s Marconi Campus. “I really enjoy educating people about Deaf culture and what it means to be a part of the Deaf community,” explained Hopkins through an interpreter. “I think it would be really good to be teaching at the community college level because I think it would be easier for people to access the classes.” CBC

Trent receives funding to develop unique online graduate program

Trent University has received a $542.5K funding infusion from eCampusOntario to develop a new online professional Master’s program that Trent says is the first of its kind in Canada. The program, a Master’s in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, will combine entirely online courses and practical internships to prepare recent graduates and returning professionals for future jobs in the industry. “Online learning is now widely recognized as being effective for a range of undergraduate students, so for Trent to be at the forefront of this unique and innovative graduate programming is particularly exciting,” said Cathy Bruce, director of Trent Online. The university notes that the program will complement the development of another graduate program in the field of biological monitoring and assessment that is being developed at the institution. NationTalk

New Learning Space for GPRC Students in Grande Cache

Grande Prairie Regional College and the Grande Cache Community Programs Society have partnered to open the Grande Cache Community Learning Centre, which will provide local residents with a new learning space. GCCPS students will be able to enroll in GPRC programs that are delivered by video-conference, as well as non-credit programming available in multiple delivery formats. “GPRC is dedicated to providing learners with access to high quality and diverse lifelong learning opportunities,” says GPRC President Don Gnatiuk. “We are proud to be able to partner with local programs and respond to our region, community and industry demand with opportunity to provide learners with programming designed to give the skills needed to achieve dream careers throughout our stewardship region.” GPRC

PSE must focus on needs of international students, not just money

Internationalization “has proven to be profitable for institutions and beneficial for the career prospects of international students. But even before the recent political turmoil and upheaval, not all has been as good as it may have seemed,” writes Rick Turner for Inside Higher Ed. Turner highlights the concerns that arise when institutions focus on international students for the amount of money they can bring in, which can make domestic students feel neglected while making international students feel like cash cows. Turner goes on to make a number of recommendations that aim to improve relationships between different campus community members and better manage international student affairs. Inside Higher Ed

Cégep de Saint-Jérôme to support materials research, innovation with $3.7M investment

Cégep de Saint-Jérôme will enhance Quebec’s ability to develop new processes for forming and enhancing high-performance materials, thanks to a $3.7M investment from the governments of Canada and Quebec. Saint-Jérôme will use the funding to expand the labs in the Composites Development Centre of Quebec, thus fostering the development of innovative materials with exceptional mechanical properties. The Cégep will also use some of the funding to undertake energy-efficiency projects in three buildings in Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier. “Support like that announced today ensures that we can play a strong role as a respected and essential partner in the development of the Laurentides region,” said Saint-Jérôme Director General Nadine Le Gal. “This investment will allow us to carry out two major projects that would not otherwise have been possible.” CBC

“Higher ed is an industry built on relationships. This is no more so than on a traditional residential campus,” writes Joshua Kim for Inside Higher Ed, who goes on to challenge “anyone working at an institution with a strong face-to-face meeting culture .

“Higher ed is an industry built on relationships. This is no more so than on a traditional residential campus,” writes Joshua Kim for Inside Higher Ed, who goes on to challenge “anyone working at an institution with a strong face-to-face meeting culture ... to make room for experimentation with campus web meetings.” Kim highlights a number of benefits to be derived from experimenting with web meetings, including becoming comfortable with tools similar to those used for for online teaching, experiencing increased efficiency in web meetings, and making meetings more inclusive by enabling participants who would otherwise need to account for travel time to take part in the meeting. Kim further notes that web meetings can transcend the hierarchy that is typically enacted in a face-to-face meeting room. Inside Higher Ed