Top Ten

September 11, 2017

Canada looks to bolster discovery, skills training with half a billion in science funding

Canada has announced that it will provide $515M to support for fundamental research through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s 2017 competition for the Discovery Grants program, scholarships, and fellowships. The funding marks NSERC’s largest annual investment, and aims to support researchers by offering financial support though scholarships, fellowships, research supplements, and equipment grants.  “The Government of Canada is committed to investing in fundamental research and engineering that will improve and enrich our country’s knowledge economy,” said Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan. Canada

MRU opens new state-of-the-art $100M library

Mount Royal University’s new $100M Riddell Library and Learning Centre officially opened to the public last Thursday, marking the culmination of a 10-year planning and building process. The Calgary Sun reports that the four-storey standalone building is garnering praise from staff and faculty, as well as university president David Docherty. “When I first came here I did a tour and realized we had excellent librarian expertise but we lacked the space,” said Docherty. “The library we had was designed for about 4,000 students on two-year programs which was OK 40 years ago but now we have 10,000 students, the bulk of which are in 4-year programs.” Calgary Sun

Growing number of QC staff requesting sexual assault training

A growing number of staff on Quebec’s PSE campuses say that they want more training on how to answer a number of questions regarding sexual assault, which range from “What is sexual consent?” to “What if someone tells me they’ve been sexually assaulted?” The Journal de Montréal reports that demand for training on sexual violence exploded in the 2016-17 academic year. In total, support centres in QC gave 1,992 workshops on campuses, marking an increase of more than 400% compared to the previous year. “More and more people are asking for this training, that's great news,” says Mélanie Sarroino, agente de liaison pour le Regroupement des Centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions sexuelles. Journal de Montréal

Commitment to equity inspires PSE admin work: Cote-Meek

“What I’ve found the most rewarding about administration is that it has provided me an opportunity to assist with bringing about systemic change for Indigenous learners, not only to the university where I’m employed, but at the provincial level,” writes Sheila Cote-Meek, associate vice-president, academic and Indigenous programs at Laurentian University. Cote-Meek writes that her main reason for focusing on her duties as a senior administrator is “because I do love the challenges and also do love to see when strategic directions come to fruition.” “On a more personal note,” the author concludes, “much of my passion for my work rests in my personal lived experiences as an Indigenous woman. In my heart and being, I strive to ensure places and spaces of equity and access for all, and especially for Indigenous peoples.” University Affairs

Lambton college announces plans for academic esports program, opens gaming arena

Lambton College has officially opened a new campus gaming arena and announced the creation of its new Esports Entrepreneurship & Administration program. The new program is slated to be added to Lambton’s full-time class lineup in September 2018 as part of a college-wide esports initiative, which also includes the creation of a varsity esports team. The program is reportedly the first of its kind at an Ontario college and will feature a diverse course lineup consisting of business, sports marketing, ethical leadership, health promotion, and social media courses. Lambton

QC students say it is more affordable to rent than stay in student housing: survey

A growing number of university students in Quebec are finding it more affordable to live in rented apartments than on-campus housing, according to a new survey. Of the 17,000 students surveyed, 60% said that they lived off-campus. “There’s a total lack of affordable housing near campus or student housing,” Hanna Kaya, a McGill University student, told Global News. “I’m working really hard to make ends meet and despite all that, I still can’t afford to have a cell phone, so it makes life really challenging.” Students indicated that they spent about $500 a month for rent, with about 70% of them paying more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. The survey found that only 8.5% of students live in dormitories or other types of student housing. Global News

AB higher ed must consider training for a post-oil economy: report

Now is the time for Alberta to ask whether it needs to reorient its postsecondary system due to changes in the oil and gas industry, according to a new University of Calgary Public School of Policy paper. “We may want to start thinking ahead about how we take gambles if we want to try new programs and try and plan ahead for a post-oil economy, which is hard to predict,” said UCalgary Research Fellow Herb Emery. The paper does not offer a precise answer on whether AB should shift its postsecondary offerings, but argues that now is the time to act and make this sort of decision, whether that is “staying the course or shifting gears in how post-secondary institutions train their students.” Metro

Tips for staying safe on Canadian campuses: USask head of security

Students returning to university campuses this fall would be well-advised to follow a set of clear safety tips, says Harold Shiffman, head of security at the University of Saskatchewan. Speaking with CBC, Shiffman says that no matter what school students attend, they should familiarize themselves with campus and should not hesitate to call campus security if they need anything. “I want people to call any time they're not sure. Don't second-guess yourself,” says Shiffman, who offers a series of safety tips that students should follow, especially if they have night classes. Other tips include knowing to immediately give police your location when calling them, and being careful about posting your class schedule on social media. CBC

SFU unveils hand-carved Musqueam welcome figure to honour local First Nations territories

Simon Fraser University hosted a traditional First Nations ceremony last week to unveil a new welcome figure at its Vancouver campus. Carved by Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow, the figure aims to honour and raise awareness of the local Coast Salish territories on which SFU Vancouver is located: the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam. The artwork is titled Si’em, an honorific used to refer to elders, chiefs or speakers in Musqueam culture and other indigenous societies in BC and around the world. SFU

Hyatt to build $20M hotel at McMaster Innovation Park

A consortium of Toronto-based developers says that it plans to build a 134-unit hotel at McMaster University’s Innovation Park facing Ontario’s Highway 403. No. 16 Hospitality Ltd says the Hyatt House Hamilton project is expected to cost more than $20M and is slated to open in the summer of 2019. Zach Douglas, president and CEO of McMaster Innovation Park, says that the research hub has been looking to attract a hotel to its site. “We're quite keen to have a quality brand like Hyatt,” says Douglas. “They're a good fit … what they propose will be attractive to visiting scholars and researchers coming to us.” Hamilton Spectator (1) | Hamilton Spectator (2)