Top Ten

August 13, 2018

NS invests $1M for co-op placements

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced a $1M budget increase in its co-op program that will create space for another 200 students. The Chronicle Herald explains that the program provides wage assistance to private-sector, government-funded, and non-profit programs that offer career-related work experiences to postsecondary students. “The biggest thing is definitely the hands-on experience, so getting to actually use the skills that I'm learning in school,” said Dalhousie University student Ben Parmiter. “My problem-solving, my analysis skills, so actually applying real-world examples instead of just textbook examples is really important.”

CBC | Chronicle Herald

COTR formally opens new trades facility

The College of the Rockies has officially opened the Patterson Hall Trades Training Facility. A release from the Government of British Columbia states that the facility will increase training capacity while accommodating new technology and equipment for students in COTR’s Electrical and Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) programs. “The new trades training facility in Cranbrook will better equip students with the skills and training that will give them good-paying, family-supporting careers in a range of industries,” stated BC Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training Melanie Mark. The release adds that the $11.5M facility was funded by the provincial and federal governments, the Columbia Basin Trust, private-sector donations, and COTR.


UCalgary signs agreements with Sri Lankan universities

The University of Calgary has signed agreements with the University of Moratuwa and the University of Jayewardenepura in Sri Lanka. A UCalgary release states that the agreements will facilitate international research and teaching collaborations for students, faculty, and staff. “These agreements show our commitment to a unique collaboration that supports high-achieving students to conduct study and research at both partner universities,” said UCalgary Vice-Provost (International) Janaka Ruwanpura. The agreement also includes plans to explore a joint PhD cotutelle program. 


U of T introduces plans for innovation hub

The University of Toronto has unveiled plans for its downtown innovation centre. According to strategy, the proposed centre will house the U of T Entrepreneurship program, the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Innovations & Partnerships Office. “Our aspiration is to help build a new cornerstone for the Canadian economy,” stated Scott Mabury, U of T’s VP of Operations. strategy adds that the project’s first phase will include a 14-storey tower dedicated to startup companies and established corporate partners. U of T expects the first phase to be completed in 2021.


Archivists, historians must bridge divide with mutual respect, empathy: Brenes

In a response to a recent article about partnering with archivists as a researcher, archivist Michael Brenes states that the misunderstanding around the relationship between the archivist and the historian is very common. Brenes elaborates on the often “invisible” work that archivists do behind the scenes and notes that many archivists will have little or no interaction with the public in general. “Realizing the limitations, and stresses, among archivists and historians will foster mutual respect and empathy between the two professions — and opportunities to bridge the divide,” concludes Brenes. “Only by engaging in a productive, meaningful dialogue can archivists and historians continue to work together.”

Chronicle in Higher Ed

Royal Roads, Ulkatcho Nation partner on climate change research

Royal Roads University has partnered with the Ulkatcho First Nation and Keefer Ecological Services to study how climate change impacts ethnobotanical species used for food. A Royal Roads release states that the project will incorporate Indigenous knowledge with climate science. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Ulkatcho First Nation and Keefer Ecological Services to deliver hands-on training in community on a topic of key importance for communities–understanding the impacts of climate change,” said Zoe MacLeod, Director of Professional and Continuing Studies at Royal Roads. Trainees will establish research plots, identify plant species, and interview traditional knowledge keepers.

Royal Roads

Students in Western nations ambivalent about international students

While some studies have extolled the benefits of international student recruitment, recent data shows that domestic students do not always perceive those benefits and may have mixed feelings about studying alongside foreigners, writes Ellie Bothwell. The author then asks several administrators how institutions can foster stronger relationships between domestic and international students. Bothwell finds that institutions need to better engage domestic students with the benefits of internationalization, do more to dispel the myth that international students are “competition” for domestics, and provide stronger support and resources for English language training.

Inside Higher Ed

Dal science blog makes scientific articles accessible to lay-audience

A blog by Dalhousie University MSc Candidate Emma Finlayson-Trick has attracted worldwide attention, reports the Star Halifax. The blog, titled “Think of the PLOSibilities,” makes scientific articles accessible to a lay-audience, and covers published papers that run the gamut of science and medicine. Finlayson-Trick explained that she created the blog after many scientific journals embraced open publishing. Although the move is a “great step forward,” Finlayson-Trick stated that the articles can be hard for non-scientists to understand. Dal professor Craig McKormick added that the blog can help break down the complexities of rapid scientific progress.

Star Halifax

Proponents for change must consider higher ed's larger financial situation

The argument that universities cost too much and fail to live up to their academic mission ignores the larger financial realities in which universities are entrenched, writes Cathy Davidson. Before proposing solutions, proponents for change must understand how these realities have come about. The author shows how the shift to private funding has triggered many of the fiscal crises that proponents for privatization bemoan. “Higher ed needs to change,” the author concludes, but “[i]f we aren’t sufficiently explicit about the pressures that have brought us to this juncture, we undermine any chance for sane, reasoned, innovative reform.” Chronicle of Higher Education

UWaterloo, Plum partner to reshape co-op with AI

The University of Waterloo has partnered with Plum, a local software company, to reshape its co-operative education programs. The new system will use artificial intelligence and organizational psychology practices to predict the talent and performance of candidates and improve the experience for employers and students. The system will "quantify the student's potential" and match the students to positions that they are most compatible with, according to Andy Pandya of Plum. The new system also aims give students a means to think about and communicate their achievements and talents.

The Record