Top Ten

August 23, 2018

Preparing students for the age of automation and disruption: UOIT President

“How do we equip our workforce and university grads for jobs that don’t yet exist? How do we prepare them for a future about which nothing is certain but constant and rapid change?” asks UOIT President Steven Murphy. The author cites research showing that while 50% of the world economy will be impacted by automation, 2.4 million job openings will appear in Canada in the next three years. In this environment, Murphy contends that human skills will be “the game changer” for those entering the world of work. The author also notes the increasing importance that will be placed on public-private partnerships, as well as lifelong up-skilling. Globe and Mail

Ryerson’s law school proposal headed to ministry

Ryerson University has submitted a proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities seeking approval for its new law school. Anver Saloojee, Dean of Record for the law school, explained that the university expects to hear whether or not the program has been approved and received provincial funding in six to nine months. “Their approach to law will be cutting edge,” said Hamoody Hassan, a trial lawyer who expressed support for the new law school at Ryerson. The Federation of Law Societies of Canada reportedly raised concerns related to the proposed faculty complement, the law school budget, and the plan to use existing building space for the school. Peter Wardle, chairman of the law society’s Professional Development & Competence Committee, added that these concerns are “routine and not something for us to be alarmed about.” Law Times News

Standardized tests act as equalizer, increase access: Reed

“For most of my career, it has been an article of faith among progressive academics that standardized tests are terrible,” writes Matt Reed, but standardized tests have the capacity to identify talent that otherwise would have been missed. The tests work as equalizers, he writes, “because 'good' students aren’t only found in 'good' schools.” He concludes by pointing to the way standardized tests such as the SAT can ensure that talent is pulled from a wider pool and give students a fresh chance to prove themselves. Inside Higher Ed

Western bee-comes first Canadian university with Bee Campus designation

Western University states that it has become the first university to receive the Bee Campus designation from Bee City Canada. “We are looking at more native species and trying to choose plants that have a positive effect for bees and pollinators. We were already doing that anyways, and (our landscape plan) will align quite nicely with the Bee City initiative,” explained Mike Lunau, Western’s Manager of Landscape Services. “This (designation) is a recognition of our commitment to sustainability and us being responsible stewards of the natural environment and the landscape on campus.” Western | CBC

YorkU accused of breaching settlement over support for sexual assault survivors

York University will return to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal for allegedly breaching its settlement with PhD student Mandi Gray, who has criticized the school for not providing support for survivors of sexual assault. Gray claims that one condition of her settlement with the school in 2016 had been that YorkU would partner with the Toronto-based Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic for four years to provide counselling for survivors of sexual violence on campus. YorkU Spokesperson Barbara Joy told the Toronto Star that a one-year agreement with the Schlifer clinic expired in June. Schlifer Clinic Executive Director Amanda Dale responded that “at York’s insistence,” the clinic entered into two contracts to provide counselling services that were less than a year in duration. Toronto Star | Ottawa Citizen

Canadian Medical Association should assist with medical education

Writing on an inaugural health summit that brought to light many of the recent challenges faced by the medical profession and its association, Adam Kassam writes that the Canadian Medical Association should step forward to assist with medical education. “One way for the CMA to re-establish the trust of Canadian physicians would be for it to use its new fortune to support the education of doctors and medical students,” writes Kassam, adding that an alternative would be to cover the tuition for all medical students. “Ultimately, the CMA and its leadership must focus on the personal, emotional and financial well-being of current and future physicians if it hopes to make a meaningful impact in the years ahead.” The Star

ULaval nets funds for Arctic research institute

Université Laval has secured the funds needed to build Quebec’s future northern institute, the Institut nordique du Québec in Quebec City. “The Institut nordique du Québec will allow us to promote the full potential of Northern Quebec, to inhabit it sustainably, and also to protect it,” said QC Minister Pierre Moreau. The building will serve as a hub for various disciplines, and its main research hall will be “an emblematic building symbolic of northern life.” It will accommodate over 200 regular researchers, including researchers-in-residence, Indigenous researchers, and graduate students. The Government of Canada has contributed over $25M from the New Building Canada Fund and the Government of Quebec has invested over $27M in the project. Nunatsiaq Online | ULaval

UManitoba students push for mandatory faculty consent training

Student advocates at the University of Manitoba are calling on the university to implement mandatory “consent culture” training for faculty in the wake of recent revelations about a former medical school dean at the institution. “There's definitely a power dynamic at play between students and professors,” said Sarah Bonner-Proulx, vice-president of advocacy with the University of Manitoba Students' Union. Bonner-Proulx argues that a good starting point would be for the university to mandate that staff take the “consent culture” training that many student groups at the school currently take. The university says that it is considering the suggestion, adding that it “condemns sexual violence in all its forms” and that “the first concern is always to support the individual who has experienced sexual violence.” CBC

BrandonU, ACC working to create WWI internment camp experience through virtual reality

A group of instructors and students from Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College are collaborating to build a virtual reality exploration of a First World War internment camp in Brandon, Manitoba. A BrandonU release states that the project will offer a “choose you own adventure” format to allow players to delve into a virtual internment camp. BrandonU history professor Rhonda Hinther says that the current phase of the project is to draft a full script, which will be written by award-winning Canadian filmmaker Aaron Floresco. In addition, the students involved on the project will develop a design guide for the project’s physical and emotional look and feel. A tentative third and final phase would be to conduct the interactive film’s shoots and then build the application. Brandon Sun | BrandonU

Dal Saudi medical residents get extension

Dalhousie University has confirmed that medical residents from Saudi Arabia will be able to stay until September 22, an extension from the original date of August 31. Global News explains that this will give residents enough time to fit in another rotation, but adds that some medical students have already withdrawn from the program or left the country. Dal stated that 59 Saudi physicians are working to complete their residency at the university, and Spokesman John Gillis confirmed that 24 of these currently work in surgical services, including orthopaedics, cardiac surgery, and pediatric surgery. CBC | Global News