Top Ten

August 15, 2018

CIHR invests $378M in health research

The federal government has announced an investment of $378M for 405 health research projects across the country. According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the investment will support 1,800 jobs for every $100M. "Health research is making a real difference in the lives of Canadians affected by disease," stated Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor. "We are proud to make this significant investment. It will allow dedicated researchers to advance the science that will benefit the entire population." CIHR adds that early career researchers received 82 grants, and that eleven grants went to research that focuses on Indigenous health research. Newswire

UQTR signs new agreement with French, Swiss partners

The Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières has partnered with the Université Savoie Mont Blanc in France and Haute école spécialisée de Suisse occidentale in Switzerland to establish a network that will facilitate exchanges in support of the three institutions’ shared missions of research, teaching, and community service. Daniel McMahon, Rector of UQTR stated that the institutions have forged an extensive relationship over the last several years through an international summer school. McMahon added that the partnership will augment the already existing synergies between the institutions while fostering greater opportunities for training and research.


Brock, Okanagan, launch teacher program for trades and technology

Brock University and Okanagan College have teamed up to deliver an online trades teaching program. An Okanagan release states that the Trades and Technology Teacher Education program will both allow high school teachers to specialize in trades and technology education and enable current professionals to add instructional training to their skillset. “The beauty of the TTTE program is that it opens up convenient pathways to teaching trades and technology for people from many different backgrounds,” said Steve Moores, Okanagan’s Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship. Okanagan states that the program will launch in September. Okanagan

UQAC, Desjardins partner on financial training for students

The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has partnered with Desjardins to offer students financial advice and training. According to a UQAC release, the initiative grew out of the Accès Libre project, and will include a resource centre in the student union building that will be available to students for 20 hours a week. Rector Nicole Bouchard stated that over 17,000 students applied for financial aid in the 2017/18 academic year and that the issue of student financial precarity must be addressed. UQAC (Fr)

Seeking refugee status not "sunshine and roses" for Saudi students

An anonymous Saudi Arabian student living in Canada has told CBC he will consider seeking refugee status if Saudi Arabia follows through on its order for all Saudi students to leave the country. Applying for refugee status is not an unreasonable step for Saudi students at this juncture, according to Dalhousie University Professor Constance MacIntosh, and the success rate for Saudi refugee claims last year was "extremely high." However, immigration lawyer Elizabeth Wozniak explained that applying for refugee status can be a lengthy, and stressful process. "If you are here on a study permit, the first thing that happens when you make a refugee claim is you give up that study permit and you also give up your passport," said Wozniak. "So there's potentially an easier or less stressful way to do it than to put all of your eggs in the refugee basket." CBC

URegina postdocs, researchers unionize

Around 70 non-student researchers and post-doctoral fellows at the University of Regina have unionized, reports CBC. A release from CUPE states that the workers want better parental leave, better pay, standardized pay increments, workplace representation, and health benefits. "In recent years, there has been an increase in contract work in the university sector and in often fairly low-paying, unstable contract work," stated lead CUPE organizer Andrew Loewen. CBC states that the union will elect a bargaining committee before negotiating a collective agreement with URegina.


TRU suspends prof who outed colleagues for publishing in "questionable" journals

Thompson Rivers University has suspended economics professor Derek Pyne without pay for his use of "defamatory language and accusations," prompting an outcry from a number of academics, reports the Vancouver Province. Thstates that Pyne has been locked in a dispute with TRU since publishing a paper that reported a number of business and economics professors and administrators who had published articles in questionable research journals. UBC professor Michael Byers has called on the government to intervene. Mark Mercer of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship has called on the university to disclose the reasons for the discipline, stating that without more details “we won’t be able to tell if he’s been hassling colleagues or if he’s a legitimate whistleblower.” 

The Province

Algonquin to create scholarships from Weston Family Foundation donation

Algonquin College has received $640K from the W Garfield Weston Foundation. An Algonquin release states that the donation will fund scholarships for students in transportation, manufacturing and construction. The students will also receive ongoing social and career support. “This incredible opportunity to partner with W. Garfield Weston Foundation will allow our learners to succeed in their chosen fields,” said Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen. “We know how skilled trades programs and the apprenticeship learning model provide opportunities for people to make a difference in our communities – and the Foundation is generously making that a reality for a new generation with this multi-year program.”


Canadian institutions introduce new efforts to better meet Francophone community needs

Many colleges and universities are developing courses, programs, and initiatives that will better serve the needs of the Canadian Francophone community, reports Francopresse. André Magny highlights a number of proactive efforts and new offerings at institutions from coast to coast. The article discusses the experiential learning focused pedagogy adopted at the University of Hearst; the bilingual bachelor’s degree in nursing that will be offered through a partnership between the University of Regina, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and La Cité universitaire francophone; and a scholarship offered to those in PEI who are willing to work at one of six French-language early childhood centers after attending the Collège de l’Île.


How innovative presidents use social media

A new report about how college presidents in the US interact with their students highlights their innovative use of social media. In addition to listing some of the more creative methods of outreach—such as an online portal to collect student complaints, a request form for informal chats, and a web page dedicated to student engagement—the report provides a list of recommendations for presidents looking to boost their digital presence. The report’s author said that he would like to see more formal research on whether presidential engagement affects student outcomes. Campus Technology