Top Ten

April 19, 2018

ON forges ahead with plans for PSE campus in Milton with $90M commitment

The Ontario government has announced that it will provide $90M to support a new postsecondary campus in the city of Milton. An ON release states that the new campus will focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and that programming will be delivered in partnership between Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. The new site will reportedly provide up to 2,000 new undergraduate spaces within five to 10 years. “We are thrilled by today’s news and grateful for the Ontario government’s ongoing investment in post-secondary education,” said WLU President Deborah MacLatchy. “We look forward to working with our academic, industry and government partners to deliver relevant, accessible, career-focused learning programs that support the needs of the community,” added Conestoga President John Tibbits. ON

Highlights from 2018-19 provincial budgets

Some Canadian provinces have seen encouraging budgets for PSE tabled in the past few months, while others have not, write Anqi Shen and Léo Charbonneau. The authors offer a series of highlights from budgets across the country, including a 6% increase in operating funds to universities in Quebec for the 2018-19 year. The article notes that Saskatchewan and British Columbia also saw increases in operating grants above 4%, while Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland reportedly saw decreases in operating grants. The article goes on to offer a breakdown of key points for each provincial budget. University Affairs

UWaterloo, Google, want more women in computer science

The Globe and Mail reports that Google has invested $400K in an initiative to bring more women into the University of Waterloo’s Computer Science program. According to 570 News, the grant is part of a $2.1M funding package from Google to support STEM education in the Kitchener-Waterloo region for children who are underrepresented in the field. UWaterloo professor Joanne Atlee believes that the revolution in home computing triggered the drop in female enrolments after 2002. “When the PC came out, it was originally marketed to electronic hobbyists who were mostly men. A lot of the software was business or games, which was advertised to men to buy for their sons,” she said. Globe and Mail | 570 News

AB funds $6M roof repair at Lakeland

Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt announced this week that the province will provide Lakeland College with $6M for a much-needed roof repair at its Vermillion Campus, the Vermillion Standard reports. “With this investment, we’ll be able to improve our facility and continue to play an important role in creating a skilled workforce,” said Lakeland President Alice Wainwright-Stewart. The Vermillion Standard adds that the Lakehead repair is part of a $735M initiative for postsecondary maintenance and repair projects across the province. Vermillion Standard

UAlberta criticized for granting Suzuki honorary degree

The University of Alberta has reportedly come under fire for granting an honorary degree to David Suzuki. According to Global News, the backlash accompanies the ongoing debate about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to British Columbia. On its website, UAlberta says that “[t]he conferral of an honorary degree by the University of Alberta is not a signal of institutional agreement with any individual perspective.” Rob Kneteman, an oil executive who states that he graduated from UAlberta, heavily criticized the decision in a letter to David Turpin, writing: “for years, David Suzuki has used political grandstanding, popularity, and funding from Canadian tax payers to push a political agenda that not just hurts Albertans, but is also hypocritical and unbelievably biased.” Global News

UVic’s Gustavson School of Business goes carbon neutral

The Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has announced five carbon offset projects. According to a UVic news release, Gustavson’s 2016 carbon report revealed that 82% of its overall greenhouse gas emissions came from employee- and student-related travel, which prompted the school to initiate a carbon offset program. “Offsetting the greenhouse gas emissions of our travel is a way that we’re enacting our school’s values of sustainability and broader purpose, while maintaining our focus on international education and experience,” stated Gustavson Dean Saul Klein. Two of the five projects will reportedly be undertaken in BC. The other three will “improve living conditions in communities in Uganda, Honduras and Thailand.” UVic

RRU to head study for Vancouver Island campus

British Columbia Advanced Education Minister Melanie Mark announced that the provincial government will invest $250K in a study to bring a college or university campus to Vancouver Island’s West Shore. The Victoria Times Colonist states that Royal Roads University will partner with the University of Victoria, Camosun College, and the Sooke School District to the undertake the study. Langford Mayor Stew Young told the Times Colonist that he wants postsecondary infrastructure for the region’s growing population of young adults. “For kids from Sooke, who live in Sooke, they might as well go to the University of Toronto,” added Sooke School District Superintendent Jim Cambridge. “It’s a two-hour bus ride one way.” Victoria Times Colonist

ON pledges $23M to address medical residency mismatch

The Ontario government has announced plans to invest up to $23M to create new medical residency positions over the next six years, reports the Toronto Star. The positions will be available for medical school graduates who have completed their undergraduate training at one of the province's six medical schools. Graduates who fill the positions will reportedly be required to work in Northern ON and other regions in the province that do not have enough primary care providers. “By funding more residency opportunities in the province, our government is ensuring access to care in the areas where Ontarians need it most and supporting medical students in achieving their potential,” said ON Health Minister Helena Jaczek. Toronto Star | CBC

Uncited research varies significantly by academic discipline: study

The chances of academic work going uncited varies greatly depending on discipline, according to a new study. The study included disciplines that had at least 10,000 pieces of research published between 2012 and 2016. The researchers found that nearly 77% of publications from visual and performing arts, 75% of publications of literature and literacy theory, and 70% of publications in the professional health area of pharmacy were uncited by 2017. On the other end of the spectrum, the rate for behavioural neuroscience was below 7%. The study notes that while most of the subjects with the highest rates of uncited research over the period were in the arts and humanities, some STEM fields also had relatively high rates of uncited work. Times Higher Education

UQAM, Collège de Valleyfield sign transfer agreement to bridge computer science, chemistry

The Université du Québec au Montréal has announced three transfer agreements with Collège de Valleyfield that will bridge the institutions’ programs in computer science and chemistry. According to a UQAM press release, computer science students from Valleyfield may now apply computer science and software engineering credits toward UQAM’s Bachelor Degree in Computer Science and Engineering. The second agreement reportedly lets students transfer certain chemistry credits to UQAM. Finally, UQAM states that Valleyfield students who pursue UQAM’s Certificate in Computer Science and Software Development, as well as the Advanced Certificate, may be exempted from up to five courses at UQAM. UQAM