Top Ten

April 3, 2018

Union to vote electronically on latest offer from YorkU

In response to York University’s latest offer, CUPE Local 3903 will participate in what it has called a “forced ratification vote” on April 6, the Toronto Star reports. The Ontario Labour Relations Board will reportedly make arrangements for the vote, which is to take place online. CBC states that the union objected to the electronic vote, while the university said that it would enable greater participation. A group of undergraduate students has staged a campus sit-in in support of the union. CBC | Toronto Star

Canada 150 Research Chairs ‘brain gain' for Canadian universities: Duncan

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the Canada 150 Research Chairs Program has named 24 scientists from around the world who will work in Canada. The $117M program was reportedly established to attract scientists from outside the country and improve Canada’s international research profile. Canada's Science Minister Kirsty Duncan notes that thousands of people applied to the program, and that each chair will receive a grant worth $350K-$1M. The 24 selected researchers work in a variety of fields that include theoretical and quantum chemistry, hydrology, vaccinology and bacterial cell biology, new media, and environment economics. Ottawa Citizen

Camosun, Songhees Nation partner on delivery of culinary arts, hospitality program

Songhees Nation and Camosun College have partnered on the delivery of a culinary arts, hospitality, and tourism management program to be delivered in the Nation’s community. The 12-month Aboriginal Culinary Arts, Hospitality and Tourism Management program will provide students with Professional Cook level 1 certification, third-party certification, and work placement upon completion. The program also involves cultural elements and Elder supports to ensure student success. “It’s a great way for people to find out what they’re looking for in the industry,” said Songhees Executive Chef David Roger. “The hospitality industry is so large that there’s so many avenues that they can explore.” Nation Talk | Times Colonist

UBC, BCIT launch joint degree in forensic sciences

The University of British Columbia and British Columbia Institute of Technology have launched a joint degree program in forensic sciences, reportedly the first of its kind in Western Canada. According to UBC, the program will prepare students for a range of careers in forensics, medicine, or law. BCIT President Kathy Kinloch stated that the partnership “harnesses the respective strengths of both institutions to further bolster student access to the BCIT Forensic DNA Lab – the most advanced postsecondary forensic lab in the country.” The program is reportedly the latest in a number of partnerships between the two institutions, which include a joint degree in biology and a diploma in technology teacher education. UBC

Lecturing continues to dominate STEM classes in Canada, US: study

Active learning still lags behind the lecture in the majority of STEM classrooms in Canada and the US, according to a new study. Based on an analysis of more than 2,000 classes at a range of colleges and universities, the study found that class time was spent exclusively on “conventional lecturing” in 55% of all classrooms. Another 27% of classes were based on lecturing with some interactivity, while only 18% could be classified as emphasizing “a student-centered style heavy on group work and discussions.” The study’s authors note that while previous research on active learning has surveyed instructors about their teaching techniques, this study was based on direct observation of classes on multiple occasions. Inside Higher Ed

UWaterloo, Tsinghua University open energy and pollution research collaboration centre

The University of Waterloo and Tshnigua University have opened the Joint Research Centre for Micro/Nano Energy & Environment Technology, a research collaboration centre designed to advance nanotechnology, energy, and pollution control.  “Environmental protection is a global issue and is best addressed through international cooperation that capitalizes on the unique research expertise and facilities such as this one,” said UWaterloo Dean of Engineering Pearl Sullivan. UWaterloo

CNC, Cheslatta Carrier Nation sign MOU

The College of New Caledonia and Cheslatta Carrier Nation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. A CNC release states that the MOU follows the introduction of 12 Continuing Education courses that were designed in consultation with Cheslatta. CNC is also said to be in the planning stages of installing Digital Delivery Instruction technology to provide students with easily accessible community support. “One of the most important aspects of education is accessibility. When students are able to learn in their own community, the whole region thrives,” said CNC President Henry Reiser. CNC

Mohawk students to train at decommissioned substation after $200K makeover

Mohawk College has transformed an electrical substation located in downtown Hamilton, Ontario into a living classroom. Over the past two years, the college has invested $200K into the decommissioned brick substation to create a new power utilities lab for students to get the training necessary for the electrical jobs available. Roughly 200 engineering technology students in nine electrical courses will use the facility, which contains transformers, switchgears, industrial communications equipment, and power protection equipment. “There is a training gap,” said Rubaid Khan, technical co-ordinator for the college’s energy systems engineering technology program. “This will provide (students) with more practical mechanical space so they can hit the ground running.” Hamilton Spectator

RDC furthers “contribution to reconciliation” through partnership with Sunchild First Nation

Sunchild First Nation and Red Deer College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the educational needs of Sunchild learners, RDC reports. With an emphasis on the transition from high school to PSE, career exploration for high school students, and certificate programs for trades, Chief Jonathan Frencheater with Sunchild First Nation stated that the MOU “brings real relevant educational opportunities to the community of Sunchild.” Citing RDC’s long-standing partnership with Sunchild, RDC President Joel Ward added that the MOU “establishes a respectful, reciprocal agreement to work with Indigenous communities, furthering RDC’s contribution to reconciliation.” RDC

CNA partners with Kenyan companies, polytechnics

College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland has entered a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding with a number of major Kenyan companies. A CNA release states that the MOU will support the Kenya Education for Employment Project, a five-year initiative implemented by Colleges and Institutes Canada in close collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Education in Africa to improve employment opportunities in Kenya by revamping the country’s current education initiatives. CNA’s involvement will reportedly come in collaboration with New Brunswick Community College, and in partnership with two Kenyan institutions—Kebete National Polytechnic in Nairobi and North Eastern National Polytechnic. CNA