Top Ten

June 2, 2017

Canada must seize its opportunity to lead the world in research: UVic president

“This is Canada’s moment. Now is the time for us to lead the world in higher education, research and innovation,” writes University of Victoria President Jamie Cassels for the Vancouver Sun. Cassels argues that “in an era of closing borders and closing minds,” Canada is reinforcing its global connections and collaborations in ways that can make it an innovation leader moving forward. To this end, Cassels highlights several key findings from Canada’s Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science, which he says will be crucial not only to Canada's success, but also to the world's. “Consider the world’s vast challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change and disease,” Cassels adds. “These issues do not stop at borders and neither does the pursuit of solutions.” Vancouver Sun

UCalgary receives $40M to support arts student entrepreneurship

The University of Calgary has received a $40M gift from the Hunter Family Foundation to help arts students launch their own businesses. The funding will be used to develop new curricula, expand entrepreneurial experiences for students, and establish an interdisciplinary hub. The family previously made a $5M pledge to the Haskayne School of Business to establish an entrepreneurship centre in their name. “We were so pleased with the success of the Hunter Centre that we wanted to take it to the whole university,” says Douglas Hunter. UCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon adds that “the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking helps us progress along a path of great interest to our students. We are creating a collision space of ideas and opportunities to help drive the entrepreneurial culture on our campus.” Maclean's | UCalgary | Calgary Herald

UWindsor hopes to benefit from new ON funding formula: Windsor Star

University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman hopes that Ontario’s new university funding formula will make funding for his school more predictable in the coming years, reports the Windsor Star. The agreement, which goes into effect this year, requires each university to estimate and commit to certain enrolment numbers over the next three years. If a school goes more than 3% above its enrolment estimate, it will not receive any funding for the students above that threshold. This new formula has led some to wonder whether universities in the fast-growing GTA will need to turn away more students, as the area's population is set to grow 50% in the next 25 years. The Star adds that UWindsor has recently moved to position itself in the Toronto student market with a new advertising campaign, adding that if universities in the GTA turn students away due to lack of funding, it could force some of those students to consider options outside the GTA. Windsor Star

UAlberta to gain access to Truth and Reconciliation archives under new partnership

The University of Alberta has signed an MOU with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg that will give the university's researchers access to millions of documents contained in the NCTR’s archives. The Edmonton Journal reports that the archives are Canada’s largest collection of material on the residential school system. Marilyn Buffalo, Indigenous cultural adviser at the University of Alberta, says access to the archives is crucial for ensuring that future generations learn from the residential school era. “There’s always hope and as educators and elders we are always constantly building toward a better future for our future generations and that is going to take some changing of minds,” says Buffalo. “If the average Canadian could take even one course or one week to learn about this era, I think that will be a life-changing experience for everybody.” Edmonton Journal

“Horror stories” of PhD supervisor-supervisee relationships

“Perhaps such tales are inevitable,” writes Times Higher Education of the relationships between PhD supervisors and supervisees that simply do not work. There can be many causes for a breakdown in the relationship, the publication adds, but what remains consistent is the sheer number of such stories THE receives year after year from doctoral students both current and former recounting their “horror stories” of bad relationships with their supervisors. “Perhaps, even with the best will in the world, there will always be supervisor-supervisee relationships that just don’t function,” THE adds. “But perhaps there is still more that could be done to ensure that this most intense and crucial of academic relationships doesn’t end up on the rocks.” The article concludes with several first-hand experiences of relationships gone awry, as told by graduate students both present and past. Times Higher Education

Lakehead to expand experiential learning opportunities with RBC support

Lakehead University has announced that it will expand its experiential learning opportunities with help from a $250K grant from RBC. The funds from RBC Future Launch will support the creation of the RBC Work-Integrated Learning program in Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration. A Lakehead release states that these experiences will give students valuable soft and technical skills, in addition to the confidence and knowledge to better prepare them for the workforce. “Lakehead University has long benefitted from the vision and support of RBC,” said Lakehead President Brian Stevenson. “Today’s generous gift is an example of RBC’s ongoing investment in our students’ need for more experiential learning opportunities so they may be ready for the challenges that will face them as future leaders.” Lakehead

Victoria PSE institutions consider adding residences to address housing crunch

A housing crunch in Greater Victoria has some institutions in the area considering the addition of on-campus residences, reports CTV News. Administration staff at Camosun College tell CTV that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the college's students to find housing. With about 20% of its students coming from out of town, some 2,000 Camosun students need somewhere to stay, which is why the college is considering building on-campus residences for the first time. The University of Victoria is also reportedly in the first phase of considering the design and construction of a 600-bed residence hall to add to its 2,200 existing on-campus beds. “We are moving forward with plans, but we’re still in the very early stages of that,” said Joel Lynn, UVic Executive Director of Student Services. CTV News

USask layoffs were not tied to voluntary buyout package, says president

Layoffs of 15 managers at the University of Saskatchewan this week are not connected to a recent memo asking campus staff to consider voluntary buyouts, says USask President Peter Stoicheff. In an interview this week with CTV Morning Live, Stoicheff said that “the more recent layoffs were actually long in the works and not so much a response to budget cuts as routinely trying to be as efficient as we possibly can,” whereas the voluntary buyout package was part of an effort to address a budgetary shortfall created by funding cuts in this year’s provincial budget. The university’s interim provost and vice-president academic, Michael Atkinson, said last week that the university received a 5.6% funding reduction in the provincial budget. Atkinson did not say what the university’s budget deficit currently is, but said that it is at least $8M. CTV News

ON’s net tuition bill should increase PSE participation: Jones

“Access is the central issue driving higher education policy in Canada,” writes the University of Toronto’s Glen Jones for Times Higher Education. To this end, Jones highlights the results of a recent Statistics Canada study showing increasing rates of PSE participation across the country, particularly for those from low-income families. However, Jones notes regional differences that he contends are due to a number of factors, such as provincial supports for PSE participation. Jones points to Ontario’s introduction of a net tuition bill, which will give applicants the total price of their tuition with all financial aid factored in, as an example of the kind of policy that can encourage many more students to participate in PSE. Times Higher Education

URegina, Southeast partner to increase access for students in southeast SK

Southeast College and the University of Regina will be offering courses together, making postsecondary education more accessible to students in southeast Saskatchewan, reports Estevan Mercury. “First year face-to-face University of Regina classes will be offered for the 2017-18 academic year in Weyburn or Estevan,” said Southeast Vice-President of Education Louise Legare. “Students will also be able to access the face-to-face classes from other campus locations or from a personal home computer. We are proud to collaborate with the University of Regina in this capacity.” Students will reportedly be able complete a liberal arts certificate, or take courses which can be put towards a bachelor degree or diploma in select areas. Estevan Mercury