Top Ten

October 1, 2018

Mining “rock star” donates $5M to McGill geology programs

An entrepreneurial geologist who discovered one of Canada’s largest gold deposits in the Abitibi region of Quebec has donated $5M to McGill University’s Faculty of Science. A McGill release states that Bob Wares' remarkable gift will support research programs, fellowships, a lecture series, and outreach efforts for the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at McGill. “We would like to thank Bob Wares for this exceptional gift and for his continued support of McGill,” said Principal Suzanne Fortier. “This donation will make an immediate impact on our Faculty of Science and will greatly enhance important research, education and out-of-classroom student experiences in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.” McGill

U of T partners with MaRS Discover District on waterfront tech startup hub 

The University of Toronto and MaRS Discovery District have partnered to open a new 24,000 square-foot hub for tech startups on Toronto's waterfront, reports the Toronto Star. According to MaRS, the new offices will provide startups with programming and collaborative working space, in addition to guidance on capital funding, startup generation, and research. “The University of Toronto is excited to partner with MaRS to help expand Toronto’s rapidly growing startup scene on the city’s waterfront,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “It’s a winning combination — MaRS’s world-class suite of innovation programming and expert support for entrepreneurship with the incredible depth and range at U of T.” Toronto Star

AU, Northern Lakes partner with public schools to promote PSE access as early as kindergarten

Athabasca University, Northern Lakes College, and Aspen View Public Schools in Alberta have entered a collaborative arrangement to strengthen the connections between primary, secondary, and post-secondary education programs and services to students and communities in the region. “This unique partnership allows current and future generations of our community members to find pathways to their learning and career goals without having to depart their hometowns. For rural sustainability, it’s a real game-changer,” said AVPS Acting Superintendent Neil O’Shea. An AU release states that the agreement will  facilitate a smoother transition from secondary to post-secondary education, as well as transfer opportunities into degree programs. AU | Northern Lakes

BCIT introduces Tech Entrepreneur Option to help students launch startups

The British Columbia Institute of Technology has introduced a new Tech Entrepreneur Option to its Computer Systems Technology Diploma program, which the school says will help students become more nimble with the wide range of skills needed to start and grow a company. Instead of completing a Computer Projects Practicum, students in this option will go through the steps of creating a business from the ground up. “The foundation is teambuilding,” said D’Arcy Smith, CST Program Head at BCIT Computing. “During the first few weeks, students will have to figure out how to work together, and small groups will be assigned at random to work together and see if the idea is viable.” BCIT

Seven mistakes to avoid when introducing badging, micro-credentials

As institutions increase their digital offerings and enable students to earn badges and micro-credentials, Troy Markowitz questions whether universities and colleges are doing enough to ensure that these badges actually provide value to the student. Markowitz highlights the “seven deadly sins” of digital badging programs that can render these programs useless. These include requiring the badges to be manually issued, issuing badges without authentic evidence, issuing them at random, expecting students to claim badges manually, awarding the badge through a system that is not visible to employers or storing them on a siloed site, and issuing badges that do not clearly match to skills and careers. Forbes

UQAR responds to demand for civil engineers with new degree program

The Université du Québec à Rimouski has announced a new undergraduate degree program in civil engineering with a unique concentration in coastal engineering. The program was designed in response to a strong demand for civil engineers, according to UQAR rector Jean-Pierre Ouellet. The optional concentration in coastal engineering focuses on skills that are beneficial in the face of climate change, pertaining to the design, construction, and maintenance of infrastructure like harbours and jetties. The program was made possible through a partnership with Cégep de Rimouski. UQAR

WesternU faculty vote to strike, citing pay equity, working conditions for contract faculty

94% of Western University’s 1,650 faculty have voted in favour of a strike, reports the London Free Press. “Our members have shown us they have the resolve necessary for the negotiating team to get a fair and equitable deal at the table,” said Dan Belliveau, President of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. UWOFA has been in a contract dispute with the university since June, with pay equity and better working conditions for contract faculty being the major points of contention. LFP| WesternU

Cape Breton culture receives vital support through $700K provincial investment in arts spaces at CBU

The Nova Scotia government has announced that it will provide $700K for the Beaton Institute and the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, two arts and culture centres at Cape Breton University. “The Beaton Institute and the art gallery are not just important to the students and staff of Cape Breton University, but also to the broader community across the island,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis. A provincial release states that The Beaton Institute is a repository for historically significant records of the university and Cape Breton, and that the CBU Art Gallery is the first and only full-time public art gallery on the island. NS

One-third of students and employees experience sexual violence: USherbrooke

A new survey out of the Université de Sherbrooke has found that one-third of students and employees have experienced sexual violence on campus, reports Le Journal de Montréal. 80% of those who experience sexual violence do not complain for fear of not being taken seriously, stated USherbrooke professor Geneviève Paquette, who delivered the findings at a press conference. The Université de Québec à Montréal, Université de Montréal, Université Laval, Université du Québec en Outaouais, and Université du Québec à Chicoutimi also participated in the survey. Journal de Montréal

Carleton eliminates straws. McMaster consults stakeholders

Carleton University is the latest Canadian institution to shift away from plastic straws in an effort to reduce its environmental footprint. A Carleton release states that the Say No Thanks to Straws campaign coincides with other initiatives to reduce waste on campus. McMaster University, meanwhile, is taking a more gradual approach. “It is important for us to take a strategic approach through the understanding of impacts to all stakeholders as opposed to making a reactive decision,” Chris Roberts, Director of McMaster Hospitality Services, told the Silhouette. Western University and the University of Waterloo are also in the process of banning straws, while the University of Guelph has eliminated straws and other plastic materials from 17 of its 22 food vendors. CarletonThe Silhouette