Top Ten

October 3, 2018

Seneca's King campus looks to expand enrolments by 41% with completion of Magna Hall

Seneca College has celebrated the grand opening of Magna Hall, which will allow the campus to accommodate an additional 1,450 students and bring the campus' total enrolments to 5000. The state-of-the-art facility includes 25 classrooms, computer labs, specialty labs, a library, and a student centre with an athletic and recreation space. “The opening of the Magna Hall at Seneca College’s King Campus will help enable young people across our community to gain the necessary skills for the jobs of tomorrow and strengthen our knowledge economy for generations to come,” said Stephen Lecce, MPP for King-Vaughan. Seneca

ULethbridge sets sights on next-gen plastics with new Green Polymer and Technology Centre

The University of Lethbridge is looking to lead the development of a new generation of green plastics. Working in partnership with Western Economic Diversification Canada and Flexahopper Plastics, the university has established the Green Polymer and Technology Centre to conduct research into plastics that are both biodegradable and free of fossil fuels. “We hope to find ways for businesses to go greener without them being exposed too much to the up-front development costs,” said ULethbridge Professor Paul Hazendonk. “We have a good suite of instrumentation now, thanks to WD, and we have the expertise.” The centre will benefit from a $1M investment from WD. ULethbridge

Collaboration between institutions creates productive disruption in higher ed: Riddell

Multi-institutional collaboration isn't just about everyone getting along. It can also be an act of productive disruption in higher education, writes Jessica Riddell, an English Professor at Bishop's University and Executive Director of the Maple League of Universities. Riddell argues that real disruption occurs by “changing the rules” rather than the tools of engagement, adding that collaboration runs counter to the ‘hardwiring’ of universities to compete with one another for students, grants, resources, and more. “Collaboration in the sphere of higher education is nothing short of radical,” writes Riddell, “but it is exactly what we need to disrupt the Canadian landscape of higher education in order to build 21st-century citizens who can think carefully, critically and collaboratively about the world.” University Affairs

U Sports implements new policy for trans student athletes

University athletics governing body U Sports has implemented a new policy that allows students to compete on teams that are consistent with their gender identity and without hormone therapy, reports the Vancouver Sun. “I think these kinds of policies are really important,” said Kai Scott, a Principal Partner at TransFocus Consulting. “This one, in particular, is great for certain transgender student-athletes in that they can select the team or division that aligns with their gender identity.” However, Scott added that the policy still needs to address non-binary athletes. The new policy will apply to U Sports’ 56 member institutions. Vancouver Sun

UWaterloo sues startup in patent dispute

The University of Waterloo is suing Salient Energy, a tech startup founded by one of its students, reports the Waterloo Region Record. UWaterloo claims that it owns the patent for a rechargeable battery created by the company, but Salient CEO Ryan Brown told the Record that the lawsuit contradicts the university’s promise that inventors will own the technologies they develop. “According to their own policies, graduate students give up their IP rights only when they give informed, written consent,” Brown added. “This consent was never given and UW acknowledged this.” In a statement, UWaterloo’s Associate VP of Communications Nick Manning wrote that the university is “obligated to protect our stakeholders including professors, students and research partners.” Waterloo Region Record

Brescia pilots preventative mental health program

Brescia University College has announced the launch of Living Life to the Full, a mental health program offered in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association. A Brescia release states that the six-week program will incorporate wellness topics that include emotions; confidence; challenging negative, worrying thoughts; recognizing and reducing unhelpful behaviours; and anger and optimism. “As a University that prides itself on being student-centred, we are always looking for ways to support and educate our students as they encounter academic pressures and challenging life situations,” said Student Wellness Educator Sheldon Hill. Brescia

Queen’s partners with community organization to enhance local sustainability

Queen’s University has partnered with Sustainable Kingston’s Green Economy Program to form the Queen’s Sustainability Working Group. “I’m very pleased to announce that Queen’s is joining Sustainable Kingston’s Green Economy Program. This partnership will provide opportunities for all members to share best practices and learn from the successes and challenges of each other,” said Donna Janiec, Vice-Principal of Finance and Administration at Queen’s. A release states that the initiative will facilitate the university’s inclusion in a network of local organizations that set and achieve sustainability goals on measuring, reducing, and setting targets on carbon footprints. Queen’s

AI could be Canada’s next major export

“If we can expand the pool of available jobs for our AI researchers and graduates, we stand a chance of retaining them to pursue their AI careers here, instead of losing them to Silicon Valley and giant companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon,” writes Dave Damer in an op-ed for the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. As Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal become global forerunners in AI advancement, Damer adds, the sector needs to make strategic investments to attract and maintain young talent. Because Canada produces significant AI innovators, the country could become a global exporter in the industry, the author concludes. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

King’s introduces School of Management, Economics, and Mathematics

King’s University College has introduced its new School of Management, Economics, and Mathematics, formerly known as the Department of EBM. A release states that the rebrand lets King’s maintain its Business, Economics and Finance, and Mathematics and Statistics departments while highlighting the professional orientation of its program offerings. “The unique combination of management, economics and mathematic disciplines within one School, supported by enthusiastic students and faculty members, offers amazing opportunities for growth,” stated School Director Grigori Erenburg. King’s adds that the program will emphasize students’ careers and professional development while streamlining many related activities. King’s

UBC reveals new brand campaign

The University of British Columbia has unveiled its new brand campaign, titled Potential is Yours. “The higher brand level activity has been missing for over a decade,” said UBC Director of Brand and Marketing Communications Rick Hart. “The goal of the campaign is to enhance familiarity and positive perception of the university nationally.” Hart added that the development of the brand strategy involved faculty, current and prospective students, alumni, and management. The campaign primarily targets Canadian business communities, but also targets prospective students, faculty, and general donors. Strategy Online