Top Ten

September 5, 2017

MacEwan loses $11.8M to phishing scam

MacEwan University has stated that it was the target of a phishing attack that saw the university transfer $11.8M into a bank account that was believed to belong to a vendor. Staff were reportedly fooled by a series of fake emails asking them to change electronic banking information for one of the school’s major vendors. “There is never a good time for something like this to happen, but as our students come back to start the new academic year, we want to assure them and the community that our IT systems were not compromised during this incident,” said university spokesman David Beharry. “We also want to emphasize that we are working to ensure that this incident will not impact our academic or business operations in any way.” MacEwan | Edmonton Journal | Toronto Star (CP)

Critics question need for Francophone ON university

Criticisms have emerged around Ontario’s announced plan to create a Francophone university in the province. “There hasn't been enough research done to support a free-standing university,” says Jessica Findlay, president of the French students association at Laurentian University, adding that the new university would draw students away from Laurentian. Writing in the National Post, Josh Dehaas also argues that the province has not made a strong enough case for the new university. The author notes that even though a government report suggests that current programming at schools like Laurentian and Ottawa are too far from many Francophones, more than 60% of ON’s Francophones live in either Ontario's east or northeast. The author adds that there is no current lack of educational opportunities for Ontario’s Francophones. Sudbury Star | National Post

Brock Business school offers Indigenous leadership training through new partnership

Brock University’s Goodman School of Business has announced that it will now offer Indigenous leadership training through a partnership with Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board (NPAAMB). The school will offer training seminars that are customized to meet the organization’s specific needs. “It’s really important for us to build our capacity, especially for us as an Indigenous not-for-profit organization,” said NPAAMB Executive Director Shari St Peter. St Peter later added that “because we are an Indigenous organization, we look at doing things in management, service delivery and team development through a different lens that’s rooted in our culture as well as our history of indigenous and First Nations people. We needed a professional development solution that is customized to our needs.” NationTalk | Brock

BC to eliminate tuition for youth in care

British Columbia’s new Minister of Advanced Education has said that the provincial government will expand its tuition-fee waiver program to ensure that former youth in care are able to attend any of BC’s PSE institutions tuition-free. “We want to make sure that we’re uplifting young people, making sure they have every opportunity to advance,” said Minister Melanie Mark. The announcement was met with praise from the British Columbia Federation of Students. ““The post-secondary education system in British Columbia can be a tool for success, so long as it is financially and geographically accessible,” said Federation Chairperson Simka Marshall. The program was previously only available at 11 of BC’s 25 postsecondary institutions. Vancouver Sun | BC | BCFS

Demand “very high” among students for work placements

Nipissing University and Canadore College are “cautiously optimistic” about the work placement funding announced by the Canadian government earlier this month, reports the North Bay Nugget. “We are still waiting for information on it,” said Canadore communications and public relations officer Jessica Charette, who noted that it was still unclear who would be eligible for the program. “Our hope is that it is a worthwhile program,” added Rick Vanderlee, dean of applied and professional studies at Nipissing. “The difficulty is, we have no details. … We haven’t got anything directly other than the announcement.” The North Bay Nugget reports that the demand for work placements in Northern Ontario is very high among both students and employers. North Bay Nugget

URegina hosts military transition business boot camp

A business boot camp for transitioning Canadian Armed Forces into the private sector was held at the Paul J Hill School of Business at the University of Regina last week. The boot camp, run by the Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur, a program of Prince’s Charities Canada, provides education to transitioning CAF members and veterans to help them embark on their second careers to start their own businesses and create economic and social impacts in their communities. “We are always delighted to play a part in these people’s lives as such a pivotal time,” said Paul J Hill Associate Professor Lisa Watson, who is one of the two faculty advisors responsible for the training component of the program. Weyburn This Week

Whale Cove gets Arctic College Community Learning Centre

Nunavut Arctic College has officially opened its $3.87M Community Learning Centre in Whale Cove, which was the “last on the list” in Nunavut to get a learning centre. The learning centre has three classrooms, including a classroom with a kitchenette for cooking classes, as well as a daycare. “The community learning centre will offer adult programming,” said Arctic College Kivalliq Campus Dean Matthew Ayres. “We are going to start in January with our adult basic essential skills and after that we are going to consult with the community to find out what programming they feel is most necessary to be run there.” CBC reports that 25 communities now have college programs that students can attend. CBC

New programming takes the stage at MHC conservatory

Starting in September, Medicine Hat College students will be able to take part in private studio and group classes for speech arts and drama. “Speech arts is beneficial for so many reasons. It builds confidence in performance and in person-to-person interaction. It also promotes creativity and helps students develop their reading and comprehension skills,” explained instructor Rae-Ann Dillman-Ferland. “It's not only great for kids and teens - adults can benefit from this training as well.” Students will be able to explore areas such as public speaking, presentation skills, voice production, scene study, audition preparation, and diction and articulation. MHC

Peer review systems need freedom, discretion to identify original applications

In a system that must distinguish between the “three I’s: innovators, imitators, and idiots,” anonymous peer review “has emerged as the universal and unquestioned tool for assessing research grant applications [that] reliably eliminates the idiots,” writes Sui Huang. “But, alas, it inadvertently suppresses the innovators, too.” To improve the system, Huang argues that reviewers must be given the freedom and discretion to identify the grant applications that are a productive mix of “passionate originality and methodological rigour” or that show originality. Otherwise, Huang states that simply relying on a numerical score system that doesn’t consider the “unquantifiables” will lead to the suppression of diversity and original thinking in research. Times Higher Education

Defending the core mission of the university: Paikin

“The notion that unless you experience some kind of post-secondary education where you can draw a short, direct, straight line between school and a job, then it’s a waste of time—well, it’s ridiculous,” writes Steve Paikin. The author notes that universities are facing challenges with demographic shifts and declining domestic enrolments. Further, Paikin notes that universities are facing an unprecedented demand for mental health services. Yet with these pressures in mind, Paikin maintains that the university’s core mission of producing better citizens remains unchanged. Paikin goes on to commend Ontario’s college system for “giving that on-the-ground training that leads much more directly to a job,” before concluding that “the colleges’ mission is different from the universities’ mission—specialized training versus a broad-based education—and we shouldn’t forget that.” TVO