Top Ten

April 30, 2018

U of T opens Myhal Centre for Engineering and Entrepreneurship

The University of Toronto has officially opened the Myhal Centre for Engineering and Entrepreneurship. According to a U of T news release, the building—named after alumnus George Myhal, his wife, Rayla, and their family—includes active learning spaces, fabrication facilities, and dedicated spaces for student clubs and teams. Chancellor Michael Wilson, Chair of the Governing Council Claire Kennedy (ChemE 8T9), President Meric Gertler, and Dean of Applied Science & Engineering Cristina Amon were amongst those on hand for the official opening. The Myhal Centre will reportedly house the Centre for Global Engineering, the Institute for Sustainable Energy, the Institute for Water Innovation, and several multidisciplinary initiatives. U of T

McGill neuroscience, Chinese institutions continue partnership with MOU

A Memorandum of Understanding between McGill University and several partner institutions in China will make it easier to share neurological data. The MOU also reportedly includes an agreement in which partners will exchange faculty, graduate and undergraduate students; conduct joint research activities and publications; and exchange academic and scientific materials. “McGill’s recent signing of an agreement related to the Quebec-China-Cuba neuroscience research project demonstrates how Quebec educational institutions can thrive while having a great impact in China and around the world,” stated Jean-François Lépine, Representative of the Quebec Government in China. McGill adds that the agreement is a continuation of ongoing collaborations between the partner institutions. McGill

UCalgary launches graduate-level certificate and diploma programs in Data Science and Analytics

The University of Calgary has announced the launch of two new graduate programs in Data Science and Analytics. “These programs are for creative and critical thinkers,” says UCaglary Faculty of Science Dean Lesley Rigg. “Students with data science skills across all sectors and industries will remain relevant — and employed — in an environment continually impacted by technological change.” According to a UCalgary news release, the Fundamental Data Science and Analytics Certificate consists of four courses that culminates in a graduate-level credential. Students may also take an additional four courses in relevant areas for a graduate diploma. UCalgary

UWaterloo School of Architecture proposes site expansion in Cambridge

The University of Waterloo has unveiled plans for a proposed 65,000 square-foot expansion of the School of Architecture, the Waterloo Region Record reports. The School’s Director, Anne Bordeleau, told Cambridge City Council that UWaterloo has chosen three potential sites for the expansion. Some council members reportedly expressed concern about one of the potential sites, a recently renovated $1.7M parking lot. “When I look at this site that we just put in and spent all that money on, that would take away parking from downtown,” said Counsellor Jan Liggett. Graham Braun, head of the Downtown Cambridge Business Improvement Association, stated that the city and UWaterloo would arrive at “the perfect solution” through the consultation process. The Record

Loyalist, KPU partner up to offer cannabis career training

Loyalist College, in partnership with Kwantlen Polytechnic University, will offer three Cannabis Career Training courses through its Distance Students and Continuing Education department, according to a Loyalist news release. “Within the industry, our Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis is a trusted authority on quality. Loyalist is Canada’s only college with a laboratory approved to conduct research with cannabis under the Narcotic Control Regulations,” stated Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. The non-credit courses offered through the partnership will reportedly provide training in product and facility management; marketing, sales, and development; and financing strategies for cannabis entrepreneurs. Loyalist

SaskPolytech lays off 42 staff and faculty

CBC reports that Saskatchewan Polytechnic will lay off 42 faculty and staff in response to labour market trends. SaskPolytech Provost and VP Academic Anne Neufeld stated that the administration makes its decisions in response to rises and falls in economic demand and new needs. “Nobody has a crystal ball, so I'd say it was a bit of an art and a science,” Neufeld added. SK’s Minister of Advanced Education Tina Beaudry-Mellor told CTV News that the polytechnic re-evaluates its staff and faculty expenditures yearly. “I think it’s wise stewardship on their part,” she said. Ryan Meili, leader of the provincial opposition NDP, blamed the layoffs on provincial budget shortfallsCBC | CTV News | 620 CKRM

New programs, positions at RRC advance Indigenous education in MB

Red River College has announced five new programs for Indigenous learners. According to an RRC news release, two of the programs will offer “preparatory, exploratory and transitional experience, while the remaining three programs aim to grow Indigenous representation within their respective sectors.” The programs are reportedly part of an ongoing consultation process with RRC and community stakeholders focused on Indigenous education. “Over the last year, we have been working to create better access to programs, new training opportunities, and more pathways to post-secondary education for our Indigenous learners,” stated RRC Executive Director, Indigenous Strategy Rebecca Chartrand. RRC adds that the college has have also created 12 new positions based on its Indigenous education infrastructure. RRC

YorkU no longer requires diagnosis for academic accommodation

According to the Toronto Star, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has determined that York University students do not have to disclose a specific disability for academic accommodation. The ruling reportedly follows a two-year dispute between a PhD student and the university. Human Rights Commissioner Renu Mandhane called the ruling a “win” for students; but Marc Wilchesky, Executive Director of Counselling and Disability Services at YorkU, expressed concern that it could do more harm than good. “If we don’t get the diagnosis, if students choose not to provide it, in some cases it may make it a little more difficult to come up with the appropriate accommodation,” he said. Toronto Star

NB government offers to help keep UNB pool open

The Government of New Brunswick has stated that it still wants to help the University of New Brunswick keep its swimming pool open, reports CBC. UNB this year announced that the Sir Max Aitken Pool, along with the Lady Beaverbrook Gym, will close this September. According to CBC, the announcement provoked an outcry from local pool enthusiasts. UNB reportedly approached the city for 60% of the costs associated with keeping the pool open, but the city refused on the grounds that it would not assume the costs for something it did not own, adding that it also had to address other financial commitments. UNB VP Academic George MacLean expressed hope that the city, the province, and the university will find a solution. CBC

Which graduate school programs create the most post-graduate debt?

A recent US-based study has found that graduate students amass vastly different amounts of debts based on their program of study. Based on more than 91,000 graduate degree holders, the study found that dentists, optometrists, and veterinarians tend to have student loan debt that is the most out of balance with their earnings immediately after graduation. On average, graduates of these programs devote more than 10% of their monthly post-graduate income to their student loan payments. In contrast, the study found that computer scientists, MBA holders, people with masters in finance degrees (not MBA) and nurses allocate the smallest proportion of their monthly earnings to pay down their student loan debt, devoting only 6.4 to 7.1% of their monthly income to their student loan payments. Credible