Top Ten

March 16, 2018

Fictitious US school steals UAlberta’s online identity, lists Justin Trudeau as president

The fictitious California South University has named Justin Trudeau as its president and stolen the identity of the University of Alberta for its own. The institution says on its website that it has four campuses over 50 city blocks in Irvine, CA, as well as a francophone campus in Edmonton, AB. “Somebody went to a lot of trouble to do this,” commented UAlberta Media Specialist Mike Brown. UAlberta has reportedly pushed to have the website shut down since being notified of its existence in December by University of California Riverside Assistant Professor William Grover. “They are trying to con people into sending them money,” said Grover. “It is fairly elaborate, and it’s fraud. Nothing would make me happier than to see this end.” Globe and Mail

Former UoGuelph campus to become education, community hub

The University of Guelph’s former Kemptville Campus will be transformed into an education and community hub through a partnership between the province of Ontario and the municipality of North Grenville. While the location was previously used by UoGuelph to deliver agricultural programming, the new hub will reportedly focus on education and training, health and wellness, and economic development. “The Kemptville campus played a pivotal role for agriculture in Eastern Ontario for the past 100 years,” said ON Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal. “Its transformation to an education and community hub under the direction of North Grenville positions it to play an equally relevant and innovative role over the next century.” Ottawa Citizen | ON

MUN dean: invest in education to support the future

“In our zeal to cut spending, let's not forget the return on our investment;” writes Memorial University Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Aimée Surprenant, who adds that “it doesn’t make sense to cut in areas where we get back more than we put in.” Surprenant draws on data from numerous studies to discuss the benefits that students have on the economy of both the country and the province. Further, the author discusses how university graduates are more engaged in society, volunteer work, and politics, as well as how their life satisfaction surpasses that of those without a university education. “Supporting the university supports our future right now,” concludes Surprenant. “Cutting the university destroys that future and those students right now.” The Telegram  

AB seeks to boost enrolment in technical education

The Government of Alberta will spend $50M over the next five years to increase postsecondary student enrolment in technical education, reports Global News. AB will spend $43M creating spaces for an additional 3,000 postsecondary students, as well as $7M on a scholarship program. “We know there’s more we need to do to make Alberta the go-to place for investment by high-tech industries,” said Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt. “Our government has heard the concerns of industry and we’re committed to ensuring that our higher education institutions are preparing Albertans for the economy of the future.” Global News | Edmonton Journal

MB considers ending universal health care for international students

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservative government says that it hopes to save as much as $3M per year by cutting universal health care for international postsecondary students. “Our government has been reviewing an awful lot of programs … and we look for value for money,” said MB Education Minister Ian Wishart. Several critics, however, charge that pulling the benefits will deter potential scholars from pursuing their higher education in MB. “It just strikes me as deeply unfair. These are kids that are coming to our province to get a leg up,” said NDP Opposition Leader Wab Kinew, who added that pulling health care from international students would also affect the children of these students. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | Winnipeg Free Press

UWaterloo partners with Chinese institutions on connected autonomous driving

The University of Waterloo has announced that it will partner with leading institutes in China to pursue research in the areas of connected and autonomous vehicle technology. A signed agreement between Waterloo and the Qingdao Academy of Intelligent Industries and the State Key Laboratory for Management and Control of Complex Systems outlines a number of initiatives, including the establishment of a shared research centre for automated driving, faculty and graduate student exchanges, and a Waterloo PhD program focused on autonomous vehicles. UWaterloo

ON Ombudsman increasing accountability in province’s campuses

Two years after Ontario universities came under the oversight of a provincial ombudsperson, many are applauding the office’s role for creating more accountability on campus, writes Sneh Duggal. The author notes that since the move was made, the ON ombudsman has received over 500 complaints from ON universities. According to the office’s 2016-17 annual report, academic appeals account for the highest category of university-related complaints, followed by tuition, fees, and financial assistance. “I think that going forward, the strength of [our] relationships [in the university community] will allow us to add value and be an agent of positive change … in the same way that we are in the broader public sector,” says ON Ombudsman Paul Dubé. University Affairs

Provincial, federal governments must invest in PSE mental health: Liptrap

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario cannot rely on philanthropy alone to address the national mental health crisis, Stephen Liptrap writes, adding that mental health spending in Ontario colleges exceeds their total provincial funding by $165M. To emphasize the correlation between mental health services and student success, the author cites a University of Michigan study that finds “25 per cent of dropouts with a grade point average (GPA) below 3.0 screen positive for at least one mental illness,” and “that for every 500 students treated for depression, 30 dropouts are avoided.” Liptrap then highlights smartphone apps as a crucial piece of PSE mental health infrastructure. Globe and Mail

UofT, UVic law students stage walkouts in response Boushie, Fontaine trials

Law students at the University of Toronto and the University of Victoria staged walkouts Wednesday to raise awareness about the systemic challenges that Indigenous peoples face before Canada’s justice system. The walkouts came in the wake of the Tina Fontaine and Coulton Boushie trials. “We wanted to do something to ensure that other law students understood that there was more than just a legal question in these cases and understood the other systems at work that contributed to the acquittal of both of the accused,” said UofT law student Leslie Anne St.Amour, a member of the Bonnechere Algonquin First Nation near Ottawa. At UVic, demonstrators marched around the university’s ring road. CBC | Times Colonist

UOttawa’s Heart Institute to open state-of-the-art facility

The University of Ottawa will open what it calls the “latest and most sophisticated” facility in Canada next week. The 145,000 square-foot Heart Institute, part of a $230M renovation, includes a 27-bed critical-care unit, five operating rooms, one hybrid operating room, labs, and space for expansion, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Heart Institute officials state they badly needed new operating rooms and more intensive care facilities for post-op patients. Ottawa Citizen