Top Ten

September 29, 2017

UofT, UBC featured among world’s 100 Most Innovative Universities

The University of Toronto and University of British Columbia have both appeared on Reuters’ list of the world’s 100 Most Innovative Universities. UofT took the top spot in Canada, coming in at #46 on the list, while UBC took the #58 spot. Stanford University was named the most innovative university in the world for the third consecutive year, while MIT and Harvard University were second and third, respectively. Overall, the top 100 universities consist of 51 schools based in North America, 26 in Europe, 20 in Asia, and 3 in the Middle East. Reuters | UofT

Publicly engaged universities can create a “virtuous circle”: SFU president

“There is a growing realisation that community engagement can be helpful and, in certain aspects, essential—not only to a productive and creative academy, but to a resilient and governable world,” writes Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter. To begin, Petter argues that the engaged aspects of work-integrated learning and other community-based work give students the chance to learn new skills by applying academic knowledge to a community context. Yet beyond this, the author insists that “the world faces a daunting array of social, environmental and political challenges” that universities must strive to address.” “In making an all-out commitment to community engagement, we see the opportunity to create a virtuous circle in which the larger contributions we make are returned many times over in the greater benefits we reap,” Petter concludes. Times Higher Education

Lethbridge College opens new Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility

Lethbridge College has formally completed the largest construction project in its institutional history and celebrated the opening of its new Trades, Technologies and Innovation Facility. The $77M building took three and a half years to complete, and will house students from a variety of trades and technology programs. “The building itself is beautiful and has already become a showcase piece on campus, but the practical applications and technological benefits that it will provide to students is the most exciting part of this project,” said Lethbridge President Paula Burns. A 7,000-square-foot innovation space is under construction and is expected to be completed by Spring 2018. Lethbridge Herald | Lethbridge

BC faces difficult balancing act with surging international enrolments

Increased international demand for positions at British Columbia PSE institutions is forcing these schools to perform a difficult balancing act between international and domestic enrolments. The Globe and Mail reports that Simon Fraser University, for example, has closed international enrolments for the spring term for the first time in institutional history after meeting its cap for the entire academic year in August. BC’s Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister Melanie Mark said in an email to the Globe that a strong two-way flow of students, educators, and ideas between BC and other countries contributes to diversity, innovation, and global awareness. She added that the growth in international enrolments over the past few years has created a complex situation, and that her mandate letter requires her to look at all of the pressure points in the PSE system to ensure that all students are getting the best education. Globe and Mail

$5M gift to support women in engineering and business at Western

Women looking to combine engineering and business degrees at Western University will find significant support in a major gift from the Linamar Corporation and the families behind it. A Western release states that Linamar, as well as CEO Linda Hasenfratz, Ed Newton, and Founder Frank Hasenfratz, have invested $5M to create the Linamar Scholarships for Women in Engineering and Business. The continuing scholarships will support up to 10 female students in the Western Engineering and Ivey Business School dual-degree program each year, providing funding for half the cost of tuition, a guaranteed co-op placement, and a full-time job offer to graduating scholarship-holders. “Western has world-class engineering and business faculties – it’s the perfect combination to help develop this country’s next generation of women leaders,” said Linda Hasenfratz. Western

SAIT launches five new facilities

Just weeks before its 101st birthday, SAIT has officially opened five new facilities: the Career Exploration Centre, the Gene Haas Foundation CNC Labs, the Green Building Technologies Lab and Demonstration Centre, the Crane and Ironworker Facility, and The Tastemarket by SAIT. “The opening of our new facilities enables us to remain leaders in applied education and, importantly, continue supporting the career development and achievements of our students,” said SAIT President David Ross. Ross added that the new spaces serve multiple, diverse areas of study, and that all enhancements come from the institution’s drive to be nimble in the face of evolving industries, priorities, and markets. CBC (Video) | SAIT

Laurentian professors go on strike

Laurentian University has announced that its professors are officially on strike. In a release issued this Wednesday, the university said that the Laurentian University Faculty Association had advised management that it would go on strike as of 12:01 am Thursday. Laurentian noted that it had been bargaining with the faculty association since May in an effort to establish a new collective agreement. The Sudbury Star reports that the parties met this week with the help of a mediator, but without success. “No one wanted a labour disruption,” said Laurentian Chief of Staff Alex Freedman in a release. “We value our faculty, and we will continue to work in good faith to reach a mutually agreeable settlement as soon as possible.” Sudbury Star | CBC | OCUFA

UMoncton signs MOU to benefit from Collaborative Learning Centre on Aging

The Université de Moncton has signed an MOU with Shannex Inc that will allow the school’s students to benefit from the Centre collaboratif d’apprentissage sur le vieillissement (“Collaborative Learning Centre on Aging”). The centre is itself the product of a partnership between the two parties that is designed to enrich students’ education on the subject of aging. A UMoncton release states that the MOU will also enable researchers to benefit from this partnership through research projects related to health and aging themes. UMoncton

University presidents should take clear positions on contentious issues: Altbach

“Unfortunately, America’s college and university presidents have been noticeably absent from the debates about academic freedom, the benefits of a college degree … and essentially all the key issues,” writes Philip Altbach. The author notes that the primary reason that presidents might not speak out like they once did is because they are worried about alienating trustees, faculty members, and students, all of which are constituencies who might lash out at opinions that are different from their own. “Trustees increasingly see the president as a CEO and expect him or her to avoid controversy rather than be an educational leader,” adds Altbach, concluding that presidents will need to overcome these expectations and take clear positions on contentious issues if higher education is to regain the esteem it once had. Inside Higher Ed

MacEwan celebrates opening of downtown Allard Hall

MacEwan University has celebrated the opening of its new downtown arts centre, Allard Hall. The Edmonton Journal explains that the $175M building features two theatres, one “black box” space with room for 125 people and a large, state-of-the-art proscenium Triffo Theatre with seating for 415 people. “We’ve relocated all our visual and performing arts programming — more than 900 students, faculty and staff — to our City Centre Campus,” explained MacEwan President Deborah Saucier. “Allard Hall, their new home, is simply spectacular — the open, airy spaces are designed to inspire the creative talents of our students.” Edmonton Journal