Top Ten

July 12, 2017

Concordia receives $52.75M to create research hub

Concordia University has received a $52.75M investment from the governments of Canada and Quebec to support the creation of a research and innovation hub at its campus. A Concordia release notes that the hub will house activities that will have commercial benefits to the university's industrial partners and entrepreneurs. “This project reflects Concordia’s drive to provide top researchers with innovative and collaborative laboratory environments, and to provide access to the infrastructure they need to take their projects to the next level,” says Justin Powlowski, interim vice president of Research and Graduate Studies at the school. “Through this project, it will be much easier for our researchers and their partners to use expertise from the lab to develop creative and sustainable applications and take them out into the world.” Concordia

Atlantic Canadian PSE grads want to stay in the region, but feel they can’t: survey

Most recent graduates from postsecondary institutions in Atlantic Canada want to stay in the region, but say that a lack of opportunities prevents them from doing so. A recent survey commissioned by the Atlantic Association of Universities found that out of 102 international 2016 graduates of Atlantic Canadian institutions, 65% said that they hoped to stay in Atlantic Canada following graduation. A further 77% said that they wanted to live and work in the region. The survey, commissioned by the Association of Atlantic Universities, showed graduates felt the region has a lower cost of living (52%), is a great place to raise a family (48%), and has a good quality of life (47%). Yet these same students highlighted a lack of job opportunities (58%), the small size of communities (54%), and the desire to be near friends and family (50%) as reasons for leaving. Chronicle Herald

Lack of nationwide policy leaves transgender athletes unclear about future in university sports

Transgender athletes hoping to play university sports face a number of difficult obstacles across the country, reports CBC, and in particular a lack of any defined policy at the nationwide level. CBC notes that U Sports, which governs university intercollegiate and varsity athletics in Canada, does not currently have a regulation or policy for transgender athletes that protects them from discrimination. Yet Lisen Moore, the chair of the U Sports equity and equality committee, says that the organization has been working for 18 months on a draft policy aimed at bringing inclusion and fairness to transgender athletes. The CBC article chronicles the stories of several Canadian transgender athletes, a number of whom have been forced to decide between transitioning and playing university sports due to the lack of defined policies. CBC

Over half of ON career college students have prior PSE: study

Over half of the students enrolled in Ontario’s private career colleges have previous postsecondary experience, according to a new study commissioned by Career Colleges Ontario. The survey of nearly 6,000 career college students in ON found that over half of the students had chosen to enter a career college after obtaining prior PSE, with may looking to find a better career or fast-track their path into the workforce. The report noted that private career colleges in the province serve as a bridge into the ON workforce, particularly for women, new immigrants, and mature students. “This new report clearly shows us that women and newcomers in Ontario with previous post-secondary credentials are looking to private career colleges to find a better job or career,” said Sharon Maloney, CEO of Career Colleges Ontario. “This data reinforces and underlines the important role that private career colleges play in Ontario.” Career Colleges Ontario

Multiculturalism prioritizes other cultures over Indigenous peoples: McDevitt

While Canada was the first country to officially adopt a multiculturalism policy, writes Neale McDevitt of the McGill Publisher, Canadian policies tend to prioritize “integrating European cultures and newcomers into Canadian society” over “addressing the needs and aspirations of Indigenous peoples.” In particular, the article focuses on how this aspect of multiculturalism impacts Indigenous peoples in postsecondary institutions, and the many pressures and difficulties faced by Indigenous students, staff, and faculty in the PSE system. McGill University Political Science Professor Philip Oxhorn states that Indigenous university community members face additional barriers, such as their expectations for themselves, their home community, and their university community; tokenism; and a lack of role models among staff and faculty. McGill Publisher

UCalgary designated a Global Center of Insurance Excellence

The University of Calgary has become the only Canadian institution to be designated as an inaugural Global Center of Insurance Excellence by the International Insurance Society. The school was one of only twenty institutions around the world that made the list. According to the IIS, the designation is awarded to universities and colleges that meet criteria focused on course offerings, graduate and industry employment rates, and professional involvement. Norma Nielson, chairholder in insurance and risk management at UCalgary’s Haskayne School of Business, says having highly qualified faculty members at the business school was key to receiving the designation, adding that “those faculty members have developed a curriculum that allows undergraduate students to take a concentration that is tailored to their interests.” UCalgary

Canada invests $840K in Montréal’s Collège André-Grasset

The Government of Canada has announced that it will invest $840K in Collège André-Grasset, which combined with a $1.44M contribution from the school and its partners will result in a total investment of $2.28M. A federal release notes that the funds will be used to refurbish and upgrade the school’s chemistry lab and adjacent facilities, which will in turn improve the PSE offered on Montreal Island and stimulate the local economy. “Collège André-Grasset greatly appreciates the federal government’s contribution to refurbishing our chemistry lab. Long recognized for its excellent science programs, the college will be able to continue providing students and teachers with the latest state-of-the-art technologies,” said André-Grasset Director General Gilbert Héroux. Canada | AMEQ en ligne

Allowing cell phones in the classroom can encourage active learning: IHE contributor

“In my own classes, I do not have a cellphone policy, and I generally encourage free use of devices of any kind,” writes Aubree Evans, while noting that “many of my colleagues do not feel the same way.” Evans suggests that many faculty members view mobile devices as distractions rather than as tools for active learning. “As an educator, I want to see learners grow by researching, navigating, publishing and engaging with content in every way possible,” Evans adds. The author notes, however, that many faculty members might feel that the use of devices does not align with their concept of professorial authority in the classroom. “We may not all get the luxury of interacting in the way we expect to,” Evans concludes, “but expression and listening are the first steps toward learning, and that is a value that unites everyone in higher education and defines it as a culture unto itself.” Inside Higher Ed

UAlberta, Tetlit Gwich’in team up on bush camp project

The University of Alberta has partnered with the Tetlit Gwich'in of Fort McPherson in the Northwest Territories to create a new land-based learning bush camp. The university has granted the project $100K in funding over three years to bring the camp to life. “Over the course of the year, I've had many conversations with folks from the community,” said Elaine Alexie of Fort McPherson, the community liaison for the project. “And they've expressed a need for building this type of program. We didn't just come up with this idea.” The project’s curriculum is being developed by the research team alongside elders, and aims to blend critical Indigenous scholarship and Gwich’in history and governance. CBC

PEI expands bursary program for community volunteering

The government of Prince Edward Island has expanded a bursary program that gives students financial assistance for PSE if they volunteer in their community. CBC reports that the provincial Community Service Bursary has been expanded to include Grade 10 students and has been raised from $500 to $750. The expansion of the program reportedly came at the recommendation of the province’s Youth Futures Council, a province-wide advisory body made up of 12 to 15 young people who represent the diversity of individuals, cultures, and communities across Prince Edward Island. “The Youth Futures Council is thrilled to see that our recommendations are being heard and valued,” Council member Nicole Mountain said in a statement. CBC