Top Ten

August 7, 2018

KPU to launch research farm, seed lab

Kwantlen Polytechnic University will launch a new research farm and seed lab, thanks to a total investment of $1.68M funding from the Government of British Columbia, Government of Canada, and industry partners. The 8.1 hectare research farm will be certified organic and will give growers, researchers, and students the ability to see new technologies and participate in workshops. “Through this exciting project, Kwantlen Polytechnic University is generating innovative research in sustainable agriculture that has real-world applications to local agriculture,” said KPU President Alan Davis. “Kwantlen students will get training for future job opportunities and B.C. growers will get training and technical services to help improve their business.” KPU | Richmond News

Western, Fanshawe take position against cannabis on campus

The London Free Press reports that Fanshawe College is banning marijuana from its campus and that Western University has adopted the same approach for its student residence buildings. “It’s not going to be allowed on campus unless there is a medical prescription, at which case it will have to be consumed in our smoking areas,” said Fanshawe College spokesperson Karrie Burke. A legal team at Western is reportedly working on a policy that will cover usage, plant growth, and other related topics. The Free Press writes that advocates and student groups are concerned that crackdowns will only lead to more problems for users. London Free Press

Study finds consistent growth in online learning in Canada

Canada has experienced consistent growth in online learning between 2011 and 2016, according to a new study. As the number of institutions offering online courses increased by 11%, the number of students who take those courses also jumped by about 10% per year in universities and 15% in colleges outside of Quebec. While online learning has demonstrably grown, however, the authors find that many of the institutions they surveyed do not track their online enrolments. According to the authors, “a more systematic effort needs to be made by institutions and provincial governments to collect reliable and comprehensive data on student online course enrolments on a regular basis in future years.”  Educational Technology Journal(Report)

NIC launches Nuu-chah-nulth language courses

North Island College has announced that it will offer Nuu-chah-nulth language courses at its Port Alberni campus this year, starting in September. The introductory courses will be tuition-free and are open to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of the language and culture. “There is a lot of interest in learning the language,” said NIC Elder-in-Residence Jane Jones. “Our hope is that this course will allow more students to explore the language and the connection to culture.” Alberni Valley News

MB institutions announce health insurance for international students following provincial pull

The Government of Manitoba announced earlier this year that individuals with a study permit issued by the federal government will no longer be eligible for provincial health insurance coverage through Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living. In response, Booth University College has announced that it is introducing a new, mandatory international student health plan that will provide 12 months of coverage for international students. The University of Manitoba also announced a new international student health plan, and stated that for the 2018-2019 academic year, UManitoba will “cover the costs of health care insurance for all registered degree students to help with the transition.”  MB | BoothUC | UManitoba

Higher ed must take advantage of unique relationship to be key provider of lifelong learning

As society pushes for lifelong learning, universities and colleges should take advantage of the bond they build with their students to create a lifelong relationship, writes Chris Dellarocas. As the trend towards ongoing learning crystallizes, competition from external providers continues to grow. In order for higher education to remain competitive, the author points to higher ed's unique strengths and positioning. Rather than just being a content provider, he writes, institutions “have a unique opportunity to become our learners’ hub of knowledge, mentoring and networking for life.” The article concludes by describing a model that will see the institution become a touchpoint throughout a student’s life. Inside Higher Ed

Redefining the metrics of social media ROI 

“If all your social measurements are cash-driven, you’re missing the big picture,” writes Travis Burchart. Burchart argues against the desire to measure all ROI in dollar values and instead suggests including details such as growth, engagement, and brand awareness in the evaluation. With a focus on the benefits that social has on public relations, Buchart notes the value that vanity metrics - such as clicks, views, and likes- can have on measuring non-transacional marketing goals. Buchart concludes by noting that ROI cannot be dislodged from the use of social media, but it can be redefined. Inside Higher Ed

Ahuntsic, IUC sign general partnership agreement

Collège Ahuntsic and the Institut Universitaire de la Côte (IUC) in Cameroon have signed a general partnership agreement. The two institutions will work together to create opportunities for openness to the world, enriched training for students, improved staff skills, and shared expertise. IUC is reportedly interested in introducing more practical training in the health professions and identified Ahuntsic for the quality of its health programming and fleet of medical imaging equipment. The two parties plan to continue discussions to deepen the opportunities for collaboration. Ahuntsic

URegina completes first phase of renewal project, Conexus redevelopment courts controversy

The University of Regina has completed the first phase of its College Avenue Campus renewal project. CBC reports that the renewal project has seen a particular improvement in accessibility around campus, which previously posed an issue on campus. The Regina Leader Post writes that Phase Two, a renovation of Darke Hall to be completed in partnership with Conexus Credit Union, has elicited controversy amongst local residents who are opposed to commercial enterprise in Wascana Park. Three councillors have called on city council to officially oppose further development and start a public consultation process on the park’s future. Regina Leader Post(Saskatoon StarPhoenix)  | CBC

CNA, NL, Anaconda partner on mining research and development

The College of the North Atlantic and Anaconda Mining have partnered on a mining-themed collaborative research and development project. The project will see students from the Chemical Process Engineering Technology program participate as part of their 12-week work term requirement. CNA graduates and research assistants will reportedly also have the opportunity to participate in development and training. “CNA is excited to explore new partnerships with the province’s mining sector that engage the college’s expertise, programs, students and graduates to support exploration and innovative processing technologies,” said Michael Long, CNA Associate Vice President of Applied Research & Innovation. CNA