Top Ten

January 5, 2018

How MUN has become a leader in social entrepreneurship

“Over the past few years, Newfoundland and Labrador's Memorial University has developed a reputation for social entrepreneurship,” writes Jennifer Lewington. The author highlights the successes of student teams and initiatives from the university, including the Centre for Social Enterprise that was established in 2016. The author further notes that MUN’s Faculty of Business Administration plans to offer a master-level program in social enterprise and entrepreneurship in Fall 2018. “The idea is that you are creating your own job, a startup or getting involved in social enterprise," says Dean Isabelle Dostaler, whose faculty announced the new program last month. “It is interesting there are so many initiatives in social enterprise everywhere across the province.” Globe and Mail

UOttawa, McGill students create software to filter hateful content from web browser

Students from the University of Ottawa and McGill University have partnered to develop a new software that blurs out homophobic, racist, sexist, transphobic, and other hateful language while browsing the web. Third-year UOttawa statistics student Nikola Draca said that he and McGill Engineering student Angus McLean designed the software, called Soothe, as an extension for the Google Chrome web browser. Draca says that the prevalence of cyberbullying was one of the main reasons behind the project: “it's becoming an extremely relevant issue. We personally thought that there wasn't enough attention being put on it despite it being talked about very often. And we wanted to empower people suffering from anxiety, PTSD online and just do a small part of making their online experience better.” CBC

UCalgary celebrates “milestones in equity and diversity” with release of first annual ODEPD report

The University of Calgary’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure has released its first annual report, detailing the office’s key achievements over an 18-month period. A UCalgary release notes that the ODEPD was created to address all aspects of diversity and equity within and across the university’s many communities. The achievements noted in the report include working with partners across campus to host learning opportunities and events, as well as a number of achievements in employee equity. “The Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure plays an integral role in our Eyes High strategic direction,” says UCalgary President Elizabeth Cannon. “They build an environment of inclusion, attending to the needs of all students, and helping us attract and retain faculty and staff who represent the diversity of our communities.” UCalgary

40% of USask students face food insecurity: study

A new study by a professor at the University of Saskatchewan has found that many university students in the province are making cuts to their diets in order to pay for their studies. Conducted by professor Rachel Engler-Stringer, the study found that 40% of students at USask face some degree of food insecurity. Engler-Stringer tells CBC that about 10% are marginally food insecure, and worry about money and make cuts to their diet. Nearly 30% are facing moderate and severe food security, and these students often skip meals or go entire days without eating. Students most likely to report food insecurity are those who have used student loans, students who are parents, international students, and Indigenous students. CBC

Doctoral education remains valuable to students: Porter

“Doctoral education provides the framework, mentorship, experience, and rigorous assessment that help to ensure the intellectual development that brings depth, nuance, critical thinking, and creativity to these jobs and careers,” writes University of British Columbia dean and vice-provost for graduate and postdoctoral studies, Susan Porter. Writing in response to a recent critique of doctoral education, Porter notes that while such education might not be required by all career paths, “PhD graduates both inside and outside the academy earn higher salaries than those with less education, and their lifetime earnings more than make up for the lean years in graduate school.” Porter also discusses how UBC continuously works to ensure that its doctoral programs keep up with the changing realities faced by graduates. UBC

There is no such thing as “critical thinking”: THE contributor

“It occurs to me that, perhaps, there is no such thing as critical thinking at all,” writes Stuart Wrigley for Times Higher Education. Instead, Wrigley argues thatthat thinking itself is a critical act and that the term “critical thinking” is redundant. Instead, The problem is not one of thinking, Wrigley adds, but one of writing: students need help expressing their critical thinking in accordance with academic conventions. “So let’s consign the term ‘critical thinking’ to the dustbin of buzzwords and focus instead on challenging students simply to think, by providing them with gripping content and teaching them the power of effective written and oral communication,” the author concludes. Times Higher Education

Teaching a new generation of faculty to engage with the public

“One of the most positive aspects of the digital communications revolution is that more and more scholars are now able to take their findings directly to the public,” writes Concordia University President Alan Shepard. The author highlights the recent proliferation in programs that teach academic faculty how to communicate their research to a broader public, before delving specifically into Concordia’s efforts in this regard. Shepard notes that by building relationships with mainstream media outlets like the Montreal Gazette and The Conversation Canada, Concordia has created the channels necessary for imparting their research in new and compelling ways to audiences outside academe. University Affairs

KPU celebrates opening of Wilson School of Design

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has formally opened the Wilson School of Design, a new $36M building that includes innovative teaching spaces, a testing centre, and gallery space. The facility is named for Lululemon founder Chip Wilson and his wife Shannon, who contributed $8M to the project. “Design careers are vital for a 21st-century diversified economy,” said BC Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training Melanie Mark. “Cultivating design talent here in British Columbia will support the apparel sector, which is poised for strong growth. The programs in the new building will create exciting choices for students, as well as support for local design industries.” KPU | Vancouver Sun

Cégep de Trois-Rivières launches short-term IT program to meet labour shortage

Cégep de Trois-Rivières is launching a short-term program in Technical Support for Computer Networks that will help offset the information technology labour shortage in the area. The 15-month college certificate includes a seven-week internship in a company and sports a curriculum that focuses on four areas: user technical support, hardware and software implementation, network systems administration, and specialized application development. The program is targeted at people who plan to reorient their career or who specialize in an area such as computer security, databases, and virtualization. L'Hebdo Journal

Durham, Lakeridge Health sign collaboration agreement

Durham College and Lakeridge Health have announced a five-year partnership that will see the two parties collaborate on experiential learning, applied research, and innovative education. Specifically, the partnership has five objectives: identifying and developing initiatives that seek to solve health care issues, working alongside companies on commercializing technologies, developing and coordinating joint learning and research opportunities, contributing to seminars and workshops, and sharing access to resources such as facilities and data. Students from Durham’s new degree program—the Honours Bachelor of Health Care Technology Management—will also benefit from the partnership. Durham Radio News