Top Ten

October 19, 2017

Globe and Mail releases 2018 University Report

The Globe and Mail has released its 2018 University Report, offering resources to help prospective students choose a university and guide them on what to do once they arrive. The report offers region-specific university profiles outlining the factors that students might consider when applying for admission. The report also offers a series of articles on the major issues facing students in higher ed today, such as mental health, campus sexual violence, and choosing an academic discipline. In a piece titled “What I Wish I Knew Before I Started University,” contributor Marlene Habib offers new and prospective university students a series of tips on how to navigate the transition to PSE. Globe and Mail

Five Canadian EMBAs make Financial Times’ best 100 Executive MBA list

The Financial Times has released its ranking of the best 100 Executive MBA programs for 2017, and five Canadian schools have made the list. York University’s Kellogg-Schulich EMBA placed first in Canada and 27th worldwide. The EMBA Americas program offered through Cornell University and Queen’s University placed second in Canada and #50 overall. The Ivey EMBA at Western University’s Ivey School of Business ranked #60 in the world, the Rotman EMBA at the University of Toronto placed #67, and the Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business EMBA ranked #76. Financial Times 

KPMG report on MB finances shows “university bias”: ACC president

Assiniboine Community College President Mark Frison has described a recent financial report from KPMG as being “university biased.” A recently released report from KPMG recommended that Manitoba freeze college and university grants and eliminate the Tuition Fee Income Tax Rebate program, among other actions. “The way that they look at the information, and admittedly don’t talk to the sector, I’m not sure gives the reader as clear a view of what might need to happen as if you had looked at it in a different way,” said Frison, who notes that he is particularly concerned about how the report did not focus enough on the capacity of schools to accommodate more students. Brandon Sun

The digital humanities haven’t given us much to celebrate: Brennan

What have the digital humanities taught us that we did not already know? Not much, writes Timothy Brennan. The author opens by distinguishing between the digital in the humanities (i.e. the use of digital technology in humanities-related projects) and the digital humanities, which he describes as the use of machine learning to uncover new knowledge in humanities fields. With this definition in mind, the author writes that “rather than a revolution, the digital humanities is a wedge separating the humanities from its reason to exist — namely, to think against prevailing norms.” Brennan argues that machine and algorithmic learning can only learn what they have been prescriptively programmed to learn, which runs counter to the very reason for the humanities’ continued relevance. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Concordia, Montreal Gazette seek to better inform Montrealers through experimental collaboration

Concordia University has partnered with the Montreal Gazette in a collaboration that aims to better inform Montrealers about all aspects of the road work taking place throughout the city. Titled #MTLroadwork, the project gives Montrealers access to both the Gazette’s journalistic work on the topic and academic journalism conducted by Concordia’s experts. The university’s material reportedly comes from professors who works in areas that touch on roadwork, such as urban planning and engineering. The first published work to come from the collaboration is a Gazette piece by Andy Riga and two pieces by Concordia professors Mazdak Nik-Bakht and Pierre Gauthier. Montreal Gazette (#MTLroadwork) | Concordia (Professors’ work) | Montreal Gazette (Riga Article)

StFX, RBC Foundation announce launch of RBC Undergraduate Internship Program

St Francis Xavier University and RBC Foundation have announced the launch of the RBC Undergraduate Research Internship program, established with the support of a $300K donation from RBC. “[The program] will allow our students to develop and apply new analytic skills that will benefit their ongoing training and career development post-graduation,” said StFX President Kent MacDonald. The program will see student-driven research conducted under the supervision of StFX faculty mentors and resident visiting fellows of the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government. NationTalk

USask opens respiratory health research centre

The University of Saskatchewan has formally opened a new research centre that specializes in respiratory health. Housed within the College of Medicine, the centre will work on joint projects with other disciplines at the university, as well as the Health Quality Council, the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, and the Saskatoon Health Region to build on existing research. “This is a significant area of health care and we need a respiratory research strategy that allows us to learn more about lung disease, (to) … reduce risk, discover cures, save lives, and improve the quality of life for all Canadians,” said research centre director Donna Goodridge. Saskatoon StarPhoenix (CP)

Study finds research productivity not necessarily “all downhill” after tenure

A new paper has challenged the notion that research productivity is “all downhill after tenure.” The study states that while the general, aggregate trend matches this perception, there is great variability in peak research activity among individual scientists. “Despite the persistent conventional narrative and expectations about productivity, individual people have incredibly diverse careers,” said lead study author Samuel Way, who later added that academics who do not fit the mould “aren’t errors, they’re people.” The study also found that individual productivity was predicted by departmental prestige and the timing of first (lead) author publications to last (senior) author publications. Way suggests that future research could investigate what policies allow for early-career research success. Inside Higher Ed

St Clair suspends job placements that some students require to graduate

A suspension of job placements at St Clair College has left 150 students unsure of whether they will graduate. CBC reports that the suspensions are due to the current Ontario college faculty strike. “The fact that I'm not even able to get it or not able to start it is unfortunate because it's a big part of what I have to do to graduate and it's a big part of my experience in school and everything else,” says Serena Valore, a third-year business administration student at the college. John Fairley, vice president of college communications and community relations at St. Clair, said that out of the 120 programs offered at the school, 80 have a placement or internship component. About 70 programs have those placements taking place in the late winter or spring semester. CBC

NSCC launches $25M campaign

Nova Scotia Community College has announced that it has kicked off its $25M Make Way Campaign, which aims to support student success through student aid, innovative learning opportunities, instructional equipment, and centres of expertise. “We know that 36 per cent of NSCC students are the first generation in their family to attend post-secondary,” said NSCC President Don Bureaux. “Make Way will ensure that even more students have the financial resources to access a potentially life-changing education.” The Chronicle Herald states that the campaign “began quietly” with donations from the Joyce Family Foundation and the Sobey family, pushing the total pledged to date past $21M. Chronicle Herald