Top Ten

October 5, 2017

Conestoga’s Waterloo campus receives $4M pledge from Cowan Foundation

Conestoga College has received a pledge of $4M from the Cowan Foundation for the expansion and redevelopment of its Waterloo Campus. Conestoga states that this is the single largest gift from a private donor in its history. “Past experience has shown us the positive impact of an investment in Conestoga College,” explained Maureen Cowan, Chair of the Board of The Cowan Foundation. “They continue to create additional opportunities for students to achieve their academic goals by providing more pathways for people to seek post-secondary education.” The Record reports that the expansion will see space for additional students, new showcase kitchens, potentially increased enrolment for culinary and hospitality programs, and the move of language instruction for newcomers onto campus. Conastoga | The Record

Universities becoming driving force behind the development of their cities

Universities across Canada are forging deeper connections with their surrounding communities through the city-building movement, writes Diane Peters. While universities were originally created as prestigious and exclusive sites of knowledge, the author adds, the advent of the public university in the mid-20th century has led these institutions to become increasingly involved with their surrounding communities. “Indeed, as city-building projects get more sophisticated and universities grow creatively into their surrounding neighbourhoods, the lines blur,” the author adds. “No one knows where a campus begins and ends.” University Affairs

UMontréal looks to recruit French students unable to find a place in their home universities

Université de Montréal is aiming to recruit thousands of students from France who have not been admitted to a university in their home country. “French students, this is the time to discover the possibilities offered by a different university system, which adapts to the situation of each student!” reads the translated text on UMontréal’s website. In a video, a French student also boasts about the “very flexible school system” and “the choice of courses à la carte” at Montréal. La Presse reports that the main targets of the initiative are thousands of young French people who apply to universities at a time when these schools are facing cuts and applications from students leaving high school are more numerous than ever. La Presse

Worshipping STEM harms innovation, say tech experts

“We’ve reached the point where STEMism is harming innovation,” write Peter Sena and Michal Zimm. The authors argue that while the STEM disciplines are foundational to technological progress, the promotion of them at the expense of the arts and humanities creates barriers to the creativity, empathy, and communications skills that are essential to world-class companies like Apple. For this reason, the authors advocate for a move from STEM to HEAT, which stands for Humanities, Engineering, Art, and Technology. “A HEAT-infused framework does not raise one discipline over all the others but harmonizes disparate fields of study and recognizes that no one field has a monopoly over learning today,” the authors conclude. “Even code can become obsolete. Even coders can become automated.” Venture Beat

UManitoba to empower future Indigenous leaders with gift from BMO Financial Group

The University of Manitoba has received $1M from BMO Financial Group to advance Indigenous education and empower the next generation of leaders. Over ten years, the funds will establish the BMO Financial Group Indigenous Scholarship, which will support the outstanding students recognized as Indigenous Leaders of Tomorrow by the university. “Advancing Indigenous education and empowering the next generation of leaders are central to the kind of future the University seeks to create, and we thank all our partners who are dedicated to help to advance these goals,” said Lynn Lavallée, Vice-Provost (Indigenous Engagement) at the UManitoba. UManitoba

Trent School of the Environment receives $1.4M gift from anonymous alumnus

Trent University’s School of the Environment has received a $1.4M gift from an anonymous alumnus. “We are incredibly grateful for this gift,” says Julie Davis, vice-president, external relations and advancement at Trent. “It supports so many areas of the TSE, the most significant being the impact it will have on the students. I truly believe it will help spark the next generation of environmental leaders and it is investments like this that help Trent remain the university of choice for future environmental leaders.” The gift will see the creation of student endowments and support funds, enhanced scholarships and prizes, and an expendable library fund. Trent | Global News | My Kawartha

Two trends that could greatly expand the social sciences

“How might social science become more influential, more relevant and more useful in the years to come?” asks Geoff Mulgan. The author argues that there are two powerful trends that suggest that could bring about this result. The first is what Mulgan calls “the extraordinary explosion of new ways to observe social phenomena,” which refers to the growing number of ways that people can gather data about social behaviour and perceptions. The second is the growing hunger that many people have to become creators of knowledge, leading to new possibilities for collective intelligence. “Add these two revolutions together,” the author concludes, “and we can start to see a possible future for social science where the old idea of impact, and a linear flow from the academy out into society,  becomes rather anachronistic.” Times Higher Education

Fall season brings increased stress of first midterms, “turkey dump” for students

The first few months of PSE can be a very stressful time for students meeting a new friend group and living in an unfamiliar place, reports CBC. But in addition to these stress factors, a student’s first fall midterms and the end of their high-school relationship around Thanksgiving—also known as the turkey dump—create additional pressure on their mental health. “Just when you think you've figured out how to make the long distance thing work, your high school sweetheart decides to heave your heart down a spiral staircase,” says a section for “dumpees” on the website The article goes on to highlight how the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College, University of Guelph, and Wilfrid Laurier University are working to address this particularly difficult time in students’ PSE journey. CBC

McMaster to bolster music-related initiatives, student awards with $700K gift

Students at McMaster University will have access to new music-related initiatives and student awards in the areas of biology, music, and music cognition, thanks to the support of $700K from the Waller Family Trust. Almost 30 Waller family members from across the US and Canada visited McMaster last Friday as the Waller Family Lobby in LR Wilson Hall was officially unveiled in recognition of the family’s generosity. “These investments will help inspire excellence and promote financial security among our students and they will help make this magnificent new building a dynamic and vibrant part of the scholarly, social and artistic McMaster community for generations,” said McMaster Humanities Dean Ken Cruikshank. McMaster

UMQ, UQTR partner on municipal continuing ed program

The union des municipalités du Québec (UMQ) and the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières have announced that they are partnering to create a university-calibre municipal continuing education program. A release put out by UQTR explains that the program’s development has been driven by multiple factors, including the increasing prioritization of training in the UMQ. UMQ Chair and Repentigny Mayor Chantal Deschamps stated that the training offered will help to better equip elected officials and municipal managers for their role and for the increasing complexity of municipal management. UQTR