Top Ten

February 2, 2018

Ryerson commits to developing Indigenization strategic vision, improving supports

Ryerson University has unveiled its community consultation report, which aims to embrace and support Indigenous learners, faculty, and staff. In response, Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi committed the institution to seven steps on the path to reconciliation: double the number of Indigenous faculty, increase the number of Indigenous staff, create more pathways for Indigenous students, improve award and scholarship funding for Indigenous students, provide resources for Indigenizing curriculum, designate outdoor space for Indigenous ceremonies, and acquire external funding for a Ryerson Chair in Reconciliation. “Ryerson knows that education is the key to reconciliation,” said Lachemi, “and today we must make a profound and enduring commitment to this generation of Indigenous people and those to come.” Ryerson

UWinnipeg, MMF sign MOU supporting Métis research and students

The University of Winnipeg and the Manitoba Metis Federation signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will create new academic opportunities for Métis faculty, researchers, and students. Under the MOU, MMF will provide a grant of $600K over ten years to create and support an annual Métis Scholar-In-Residence position, as well as establish an MMF staff member on campus to offer support and guidance to students. “We are excited about the opportunities and insights this research will bring,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “It is always a pleasure to work alongside UWinnipeg and we look forward to our continued partnership with them.” UWinnipeg  

IEBN-HEC signs partnerships with entrepreneurs in China

The Institut d’entrepreneuriat Banque Nationale – HEC Montréal has signed a series of agreements with partners in China following a provincial mission to the country in late January. IEBN signed a bilateral co-operation agreement with the accelerator founded by HTC Vive, as well as a framework agreement with JC Group that will see IEBN provide training for entrepreneurs, executives, and business leaders looking to operate in Quebec and China. IEBN and Concordia University also inaugurated a facility for Quebec startups in the Caohejing Hi-tech Park Innovation Center in Shanghai. HEC Montréal

Redeemer expands, upgrades health and life sciences labs

Redeemer University College has expanded and upgraded its health and life sciences labs to include a pathology research lab, an aquatic toxicology lab, a renewed chemistry lab, and an expanded human kinetics lab. “These newly renovated spaces will give students experiences with an expanded range of equipment and techniques, preparing them for advanced research opportunities in their programs as well as for postgraduate studies and jobs that lead them further toward their calling,” commented Acting Vice President, Academic Kyle Spyksma. The renovations were funded by $400K in donations. Hamilton News | Redeemer

Text-based nudges help STEM students stay in school, feel connected

A US-based study of 2,000 community college students in STEM fields found that students who received personalized text message ‘nudges’ to keep them on track stayed in school at a rate of 10 percentage points higher than those who did not receive nudges. Students said that the nudges helped them improve their time management, access resources, and feel connected to their college. “The initial results are very encouraging,” said Jobs for the Future President Maria Flynn. “Through the use of personal, contextualized communications via text messages, students are more empowered to complete their degrees, colleges experience higher success rates, and STEM employers ultimately benefit with a more skilled workforce.” Campus Technology

UQO joins SmartForests Canada

The Université du Québec en Outaouais has joined SmartForests Canada, and will be receiving $1.7M in funds from the initiative for UQO’s Institut des Sciences de la Forêt tempérée. SmartForests Canada, which recently received $9.5M, is an initiative led by Université du Québec à Montréal that aims to observe boreal and temperate forests as they respond to climate change. UQO reports that the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, TÉLUQ University, Université de Montréal, Lakehead University, and the University of Alberta are also involved with the initiative. UQO

UManitoba violated bargaining law during faculty strike, labour board rules

The Manitoba Labour Board has ruled that the University of Manitoba violated bargaining law during last year's faculty strike by engaging in unfair labour practice at the direction of the provincial government. The university has been fined and directed to pay compensation to all members of the UManitoba Faculty Association, the amount of which is to be negotiated between the UMFA and administration. UManitoba issued a release stating that it “believes it bargained in good faith, and that the timing reflected an attempt to advocate with government for reasonable compensation for UMFA members.” CBC | UManitoba

Trent introduces Medical Professional Stream to better prepare, mentor students for professional school

Trent University has introduced a new medical professional stream that will prepare and mentor students who are exploring a future in medical-related fields. “Academic breadth is now required by our medical schools,” says Trent Medical Professional Stream Coordinator David Ellis. “There is an ever-increasing number of successful applicants that have departed from traditional natural science based degrees, and the new Medical Professional Stream program at Trent seeks to provide students with four years of guidance and direction required in co-curricular, extracurricular, and other application related activities.” Students in the program will also have the opportunity to participate in practical training, information sessions, and workshops to help them succeed in their professional school application. TrentU

Pro-life, men’s issues clubs go to ON Superior Court over club recognition

A pro-life student group that was denied recognition for campus club status by the Student Association at Durham College and UOIT has taken its case to the Ontario Superior Court. The group applied in 2015 to the previously joint Durham-UOIT student association to create a recognized campus club called Speak for the Weak that aimed to “discuss life issues on campus” and participate in activities. The joint student association felt that the proposed club conflicted with the “anti-oppressive” mandate of the association and refused to fund it. Two other student clubs involved in the court case are the Men’s Issues Awareness Society from Ryerson University and UTM Students for Life pro-life group from the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus. Durham Region

VCC introduces Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program

Vancouver Community College launched a new program earlier this year that focuses on rating buildings' accessibility according to a universal scale. The Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program is built around the concept of “meaningful access,” which VCC explains is a holistic approach to assessing a site and taking into account a range of disabilities. The program was created by the Rick Hansen Foundation and enables course participants to take an exam and conduct field experience needed to become RHFAC Professionals. “Most access consideration today is for people using wheelchairs,” explains Brad McCannell, RHF Vice-President of Access and Inclusion. “But we're less than 20 per cent of the population of people with disabilities.” VCC