Top Ten

October 4, 2018

UWaterloo introduces virtual reality optometry lab

The University of Waterloo will have the first virtual reality optometry lab in Canada. A UWaterloo release states that the $1.5M lab, funded in part by a contribution from FYidoctors, uses virtual reality to allow students to practice on optometry cases that range from eye wellness to macular degeneration and diabetes. “With the simulators, optometry students will now take the time they need to practice and master skills as they progress through increasingly complex training modules,” said Stanley Woo, UWaterloo Director of the School of Optometry and Vision Science. UWaterloo

MUN holds consultations for better Indigenous representation

Representatives from Memorial University will hold consultations throughout Newfoundland and Labrador to ask Indigenous peoples how the university can better represent them, reports CBC. “We want to hear their stories, their experiences, and get a sense of what's important to them around Indigenization and what that could look like at Memorial,” said MUN's special advisor for Aboriginal Affairs, Catharyn Andersen. CBC states that the initiative responds to a number of calls-to-action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that focus on post-secondary education. CBC

WLU receives gift from RBC supporting entrepreneurship programs

Wilfrid Laurier University has received a gift of $450K from the Royal Bank of Canada for three entrepreneurship programs, reports the Waterloo Region Record. The funding will support the RBC Ambassador Program, in which RBC staff will hold on-campus events and workshops in addition to providing individual and group mentorship; the RBC Entrepreneurial Experience Program, a grants program for events, conferences and competitions; and the RBC Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program, which will support a total of 45 student entrepreneurs over three years. "At the post-secondary level, we must prepare young people not only with applicable skills, but also the ability to navigate change and be entrepreneurial," said WLU President Deborah MacLatchy. Waterloo Region Record

UAlberta asks province for $20M to build new arena

CBC reports that the University of Alberta is in talks with the provincial government to secure funding for a proposed arena that will feature two ice rinks. The university has secured $45M of the required $65M for the project from private donors and the City of Edmonton, and hopes the province will provide the rest. Kerry Mummery, Dean of UAlberta’s Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation, told CBC that discussions with the government have been encouraging, and that the university hopes for an answer this fall. CBC adds that in addition to the two rinks, the arena will include space for classrooms, meetings and other activities. CBC

UNB celebrates successful end to It Begins Here fundraiser

The University of New Brunswick has raised $125M for its It Begins Here fundraising campaign. “10,000 alumni worldwide joined in to help bring us to this moment,” said UNB President Eddy Campbell. “I am delighted to announce that we have not only met our $110-million campaign goal, we have exceeded it by $15 million. And all of this support, 100 per cent, has come from the private sector.” A UNB release states that the campaign had five objectives: a great start for students; faculty investment; UNB’s research strengths; student success; and innovation. UNB

Encouraging men to study humanities fields could solve “crisis of male leadership”

Society noticed the looming crisis of the “lack of female representation in STEM fields” at the turn of the millenium, writes Christine Henseler, and now “we are witnessing a crisis of male leadership.” Henseler suggests that encouraging boys and young men to pursue the arts or humanities would enable them to become stronger citizens, workers, and leaders. The author goes on to discuss methods of promotion of the humanities for young men, as well as the benefits that increased participation could reap. Inside Higher Ed

UQAM begins renovations at pavillon Sanguinet

Renovations at the Université du Québec à Montréal’s pavillon Sanguinet have begun. The building is expected to host graduate professional programs and UQAM’s school of management sciences. The renovations will allow the institution to accommodate the increase in student enrollment noted over the last 10 years; and will include state-of-the-art facilities, collaborative workspaces, coaching and continuing education services, internships and networking activities. The first phase of the work is expected to be completed by February 2019. UQAM

Conestoga students vote in favour of universal transit pass

Conestoga College students have passed a referendum in favour of a mandatory universal Grand River Transit pass. “We could not be more impressed with the number of students whom were engaged throughout this process and brought their voices forward in the referendum,” the student group said in a release. The bus pass will add $137 per semester to tuition, and the union plans to implement U Pass in September 2019. The Waterloo Region Record notes that the new regional council, elected later this month, will need to sign off on the budget implications of expanded service to Conestoga. The Record | CBC

Student-parents need increased supports: study

Students with children take longer to complete their degrees and are more likely to drop out than their childless peers, reports a new study, but US colleges are decreasing access to childcare spaces. “In 2015, less than half of four-year public colleges provided campus child care, down from 55 percent in 2003-05,” the paper states. “The share of community colleges reporting the presence of a campus child care center declined more sharply—from 53 percent in 2003-04, to 44 percent in 2015.” The article notes how colleges need to restructure how they assess financial need if they are to provide better support for parents. Inside Higher Ed | Abstract

USask Indigenous students continue push for independent student union

The University of Saskatchewan's Indigenous Students’ Councils will hold discussions with its membership about earning recognition as a student union, reports CBC. Council President Regan Ratt-Misponas told CBC that student union status will create Indigenous students seats on USask’s Board of Governors, Senate, and other governing university bodies. Currently, the Council operates under the jurisdiction of USask’s student union. Ratt-Misponas added that Indigenous peoples deserve a seat at the table where policies and initiatives that will affect them are implemented. CBC