Top Ten

April 10, 2018

ON takes next step toward creating standalone French-Language university

Ontario has announced that it is moving forward with plans to create a stand-alone French-language university, l'Université de l'Ontario français. An ON release states that the new institution will offer a range of university degrees and education entirely in French, thereby promoting the linguistic, cultural, economic, and social wellbeing of its students, as well as the province's growing French-speaking community. The release adds that the newly appointed Board of Governors for l'Université de l'Ontario français includes 12 members, each with a strong commitment to the ON Francophone community and to strengthening the French-language PSE system. ON

BVC launches first graduate-level program

Bow Valley College’s School of Creative Technologies is now accepting applications for its first graduate-level program. Reportedly the first of its kind for an Alberta college, the Data Management and Analytics Advanced Certificate program is a one-year program that gives students experience with relational database systems, data warehousing, data quality improvement, visual analytics, and big data. “Bow Valley College is meeting the growing demand for data management skills in a digital world,” says School of Creative Technologies Associate Dean Amos Ngai. “The advanced certificate was developed in consultation with industry leaders so that our graduates have employable skills in a digital economy.” BVC

UOttawa receives $3M in gifts for engineering, arts & social sciences

The University of Ottawa has received a total of $3M in gifts to support initiatives related to engineering and the arts & social sciences. The largest of the gifts was a $1.5M donation to support UOttawa's Project Integration and Team Space, a centre where engineering students at the university can work on a variety of team-based projects in fields as diverse as bionics, robotics, rocketry, and automotive fuel efficiency. A UOttawa release states that the gift will specifically provide student teams at the centre with direct support, mentoring, new technology and equipment. “To me it sounded like a great way to develop students into engineers. These are things we didn’t have when I was a student,” said donor John McEntyre of the Team Space. The university says that it has also received a $650K donation from Simon Nehme to support three related projects, as well as a $1M anonymous donation to support the school’s Venture Program in Arts and Social Sciences. UOttawa

Niagara receives $1M donation to agri-food innovation complex

Niagara College has received $1M in support from the family of Benny and Louise Marotta to support the development of Niagara’s new innovation complex, as well as the purchase of equipment and furnishings. The donation was officially made to the college's Achieving Dreams Campaign, which has reportedly surpassed its original goal of $7M, raising more than $11M in total. “All of us at Niagara College are extremely grateful to the Marotta family for their generosity,” said Niagara President Dan Patterson. “It is an important investment in innovation and economic development in the Niagara region.” Niagara

UWaterloo launches artificial intelligence research hub

The University of Waterloo has announced its plans to build an Artificial Intelligence institute that will bring together a group of researchers and businesses to “advance technology and prepare Canada for future economic disruption.” CBC reports that the institute’s mandate will be to research areas with societal and business impact, including healthcare, urban planning, autonomous systems and human-machine interaction. UWaterloo President Feridun Hamdullahpur said in a release that the institute will connect research with industry and “identify problems and produce solutions that will actively benefit our society.” CBC

Provincial under-funding cuts into course offerings, teaching faculty at URegina social work program

The number of social work course offerings at the University of Regina declined during the Spring 2018 semester, which CBC says has made students concerned about the program’s accreditation. Heather Crooks, president of the Social Work Students’ Society, added that four out of her five courses were taught by sessional instructors. URegina has reportedly acknowledged the students’ concerns, citing shortfalls in provincial funding for reductions in both tenured faculty and course offerings. The university added that sessionals taught 66% of the program’s 50 courses in the Spring semester. According to CBC, the program will undergo a re-assessment in 2019. CBC

Loyalist, Queens sign pathway agreement

Loyalist College and Queen’s University have reportedly signed a pathway agreement for graduates of Loyalist’s Pre-Health Sciences programs to pursue a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Degree at Queen’s University. “Building on our more than 70 university transfer agreements, we are particularly pleased to announce a pathway to Queen’s, our nearest university partner,” said Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. Loyalist adds that students who wish to pursue a three-year advanced diploma or four-year degree may enrol in the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Advanced Diplomas and Degrees program, while the Pre-Health Sciences Pathway to Certificates and Diplomas program provides training for two-year diploma programs such as Practical Nursing and Paramedic certification. Loyalist

Funding suspension forces UAlberta to find $9M for College

CBC reports that Alberta’s NDP government has suspended funding for the Peter Lougheed Leadership College, pressing the University of Alberta to come up with $9M to cover the shortfall. According to AB Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt, the government cut off the funding because the College had accumulated a surplus. “In three years’ time, we will be willing to look at making the payments again to the college,” Schmidt added. UAlberta President David Turpin expressed his displeasure at the province’s decision to take a “funding holiday,” stating that the money will be taken from the university’s operating budget. News of the funding suspension coincided with a new leadership search for the college, as the current principal, former PM Kim Campbell, will step down in June. Edmonton Journal

Citing shortage, UPEI proposes Doctor of Psychology program

In light of a shortage of psychologists in the province, the University of Prince Edward Island is reportedly developing a Doctorate of Psychology program. Jason Doiron, Chair of UPEI’s Psychology Department, said that PEI has just 36 psychologists, the second-lowest number of psychologists per capita in the country. “I've watched numerous, very strong students complete our undergraduate degree here with a great honours thesis and then train in other parts of the country. And then they stay, they don't come back,” said Doiron. Although the program still needs approval from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission, Doiron added that it could launch as early as September 2018. CBC

UBC opens Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

The University of British Columbia has opened the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, according to the Canadian Press. The Centre, which contains archival photos, maps, and personal accounts of survivors collected by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is intended to raise awareness about the abuses committed at the schools, said Linc Kesler, Director of the First Nations House of Learning at UBC. Kesler added that the Centre also includes an archive for those who wish to research further the legacy of settler colonialism in Canada. Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark called the Centre an example of ‘reconciliation in action.’ “I want people to be talking about this so that we don't repeat history,” she said. Globe and Mail (CP)