Top Ten

January 11, 2018

The current landscape of student mental health (and what to do about it): CASA report

A new report from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations explores the current mental health landscape in PSE and provides potential strategies for change. The report cites Ontario-based research which finds that roughly half of that province's PSE students who live with “mental health disabilities” will experience the onset of their condition over the course of their higher education. It also notes that the proportion of students in Canada and the US being prescribed psychiatric medication for pre-existing conditions has risen from 9% in 1994 to 24.4% in 2014. The paper goes on to examine the barriers to PSE for students confronting mental health problems or illnesses, as well as potential strategies for change focused on federal jurisdiction and the pan-Canadian level. CASA | CASA (PDF Report)

SK, Canada commit funds to crop research in province

The Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have announced that they are committing nearly $14M to crop research in the province. $6.25M of those funds will go towards the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan and will be paid out over five years. “Investing in innovative, crop-related projects and supporting research organizations like the CDC not only provides Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers with the very latest in research and development, but also allows our province to be competitive on the world stage and helps attract some of the best researchers in the industry,” said SK Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart. “We’re very proud of our investments through ADF.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix | SK

ON university students care about local, quality food: report

Students at Ontario's universities say they want good quality, local food options when they're eating on campus, according to a new report from the student advocacy group Meal Exchange. The study, which is reportedly the first province-wide examination of campus food in ON, found that fewer than one in 10 students would recommend food on their campus to a friend. Just a quarter of students felt food on campus helped them maintain a healthy diet. “This report really illuminated that there is a desire from students for things to be better,” says Meal Exchange Program Co-ordinator Merryn Maynard. “Students have some really strong values around food. They see the importance of sourcing local food, they see the importance of sustainable choices.” CBC

Percentage of ON students transferring into universities drops, into colleges rises: study

“The ability of Ontario college students to transfer credits to the university sector in Ontario has been an ongoing issue for many years,” according to a new report released by the Centre for Research in Student Mobility at Seneca College. The researchers found that the overall percentage of college graduates pursuing further education has been stable, but that the percentage transferring to a university program has decreased from 8% in 2006–07 to 5.5% by 2014–15. In contrast, the proportion of students transferring to a college program has increased from 17% to 19% over the same period. Seneca (PDF Report)

UPEI receives $1M estate gift to create new scholarship fund

The University of Prince Edward Island has received a $1M gift from the estate of Ruth MacDonald to establish the Roderick Stirling MacDonald Scholarship Fund. “The University is extremely grateful for this generous gift from the estate of Mrs Ruth MacDonald to honour her late husband,” said UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz. “This scholarship fund will support UPEI students in attaining a quality post-secondary education. Mrs MacDonald’s considerate act of naming UPEI as a beneficiary of her estate will have a tremendous impact on our students for years to come.” UPEI

UWindsor, industry partner on unique science program

The University of Windsor, with the aid of several industry partners and $750K in provincial funding, has introduced the new Extension Science program. The program will allow UWindsor science students to solve problems faced by a variety of industry partners while also operating like a business within the faculty. “It’ll be the only program of its kind in Ontario,” said Chris Houser, dean of UWindsor's faculty of science. “The benefit for our students is we can provide internal internships with hands-on experience working on actual industry projects. It’s very difficult for students to get these type of placements.” Windsor Star

UFV students partner with regional hospital to create Resource Navigation Program

University of the Fraser Valley students Jena Kruckenberg and Mia Harries are working together with the Abbotsford Regional Hospital to launch the Resource Navigation Program. The program will see UFV students from a variety of disciplines volunteer at a kiosk in a new resource centre at the hospital and provide patients with community resource information. “If you intervene soon enough in areas related to determinants of health, you can make a real difference,” said Harries. “There are many resources in our community available to people to help them with the social determinants of health, but people are not always aware of what’s out there for them.” The program will be soft-launched in January, and formally launched in April. UFV

Canada must invest in women entering STEM to keep up with fourth industrial revolution: Bascombe

The low-risk, high-reward opportunity of having more women in STEM fields is being missed around the globe, and this is particularly the case in Canada, writes University of British Columbia alumnus Denea Bascombe. The author points to the European Commission, which has claimed that bringing more women into the field of information and communications technology could increase the European Union’s GDP by nine billion euros per year. Yet while the UK and US see 49% and 46%of PhDs in science earned by women, respectively, Canada only sees 36%. The author adds that as the job market changes, the importance of having more women entering STEM fields will only increase. Montreal Gazette

Brock expanding research winery

Brock University is expanding its research winery to include state-of-the-art fermentation facilities, new instruments, and “the world’s first mediated reality blind consumer laboratory.” The $2.4M upgrade is being funded primarily by the provincial and federal governments. “Today’s announcement is certainly a strong statement about the world-class work that continues to be done by Debbie (Inglis) and CCOVI, as well as industry partners,” said Brock President Gervan Fearon. “Anyone who drives the back roads of the Niagara region quickly sees how important the grape and wine industry is to Ontario.” St Catharines Standard

New Year resolutions for higher ed quality assurance: Weingarten

“I am fond of saying that there are few mysteries in life and measuring and assuring the quality of a higher education is no exception,” writes Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario President Harvey Weingarten. With this goal in mind, Weingarten lays out two New Year resolutions: continue advocating for quality testing programs by determining the knowledge and skill set of graduating students, and replace the term “learning outcomes” with “skills measurement.” Of this latter goal, Weingarten notes that many people are “turned off by [learning outcomes] because they associate it with the extensive cottage industry that has emerged to develop qualification frameworks and mapping exercises that link qualifications to courses and programs.” HEQCO

Global Conference on Indigenizing Entrepreneurship - A Call For Papers

This first-of-its-kind conference is calling for papers that will share best practices, compelling stories, and crucial insights on how Indigenous values, histories, and ways of knowing can transform entrepreneurial thinking.

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