Top Ten

December 3, 2018

VIU to help Indigenous grads build their business skills through BC-wide partnership

A new partnership between Vancouver Island University, the Government of British Columbia, the BC Assembly of First Nations, and the Business Council of BC will match Indigenous graduates of technical, trades, diploma, and degree programs with companies in BC for a two-year paid internship. VIU is providing logistical support to the partnership, but a release notes that the program is open to Indigenous graduates throughout the province. “The Indigenous Intern Leadership Program is a beautiful step in building reconciliation in BC,” says VIU Chancellor Louise Mandell. “This partnership [...] provides an ethical space beyond traditional boundaries, transitioning Indigenous graduates into the workplace.” NationTalk (BC)

Queen’s opens Mitchell Hall

Queen’s University has officially opened Mitchell Hall, a multipurpose facility that includes three gymnasiums, an Examination Centre, and several planned student services spaces. “On behalf of Queen’s, I am pleased to welcome staff and students into a few of many signature, new spaces Mitchell Hall will have to offer,” said Tom Harris, Interim Provost and VP Academic. “We are looking forward to a smooth move-in period, as our various teams, services, and centres take up occupancy over the coming weeks and months.” The Queen’s Gazette states that the university received $50M in philanthropic support for the hall, in addition to $22M from the provincial and federal governments. Queen’s (ON)

Superhero courses a “primrose path of suboptimal skill development and underemployment”: Craig

In an op-ed for Forbes, Ryan Craig argues that pop culture courses based on comic books and Hollywood blockbusters reveal a fundamental misalignment between critical thinking and applied skills. Craig adds that critical thinking in STEM disciplines needs to shift from purely technical knowledge to “perspective transformation,” or the ability to critique the political blind-spots of one’s own discipline. The author  goes on to argue that using comics as frames of reference for critical thought do not adequately equip students to challenge their everyday social frameworks, and that critical acumen without an applied context is a recipe for underemployment. Forbes (International)

UoGuelph rolls out new admission pathway for international students

The University of Guelph has introduced a new admission pathway that lets international students enrol in select degree-credit courses while they work on their English proficiency. A UoGuelph release explains that non-English speaking students were previously required to complete rudimentary English skills courses before enrolling in any degree programs. “The creation of this new pathway aims to prioritize English language training while providing better support for our international students on campus,” stated Michelle Fach, Director of Open Learning and Educational Support at UoGuelph. “We are pleased to roll out a newly designed pathway that aligns with the University of Guelph’s Strategic Mandate Agreement to build international capacity for growth and change.” UoGuelph (ON)

UVic-led climate group announces new $1M partnership program

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions—a multi-institutional initiative led by the University of Victoria—has announced that it is welcoming proposals for its $1M Theme Partnership Program. The program aims to connect top researchers with policy and industry leaders to develop climate change solutions for British Columbia and beyond. “We want the best ideas and the best teams providing workable solutions scalable within Canada and potentially overseas,” said PICS Executive Director Sybil Seitzinger. “PICS helps solution seekers become solution makers–from question to collaboration, and idea to implementation.” In addition to UVic, PICS includes the University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University. UVic (BC)

UBCO, BCIT team up with Pacific Rim Brands to develop cannabis beverages

The University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus and the British Columbia Institute of Technology have partnered with Pacific Rim Brands, a private cannabis company, to develop cannabis-infused beverages. The project will be overseen by Paula Brown, Director of BCIT’s Natural Health and Food Products Research Group and Canada Research Chair in Phytoanalytics, and Susan Murch, who teaches chemistry at UBCO. “This collaboration is an opportunity to conduct more research about the chemicals in cannabis and at the same time, conduct research on products that can be brought to markets across Canada and globally,” says Kim Dotto, Dean of Applied Research at BCIT. BCIT | UBCO (BC)

Seneca to enhance automation training with KUKA Canada

Students at Seneca College will enjoy new opportunities to enhance their manufacturing skills thanks to a new agreement between the college and KUKA Canada Ltd, a world leader in advanced manufacturing and intelligent automation. A release reports that the agreement will provide Seneca students with state-of-the-art robotic equipment as part of their training. “As a postsecondary leader in partnerships, we recognize the value of collaborating with industry leaders, such as KUKA,” said Seneca President David Agnew. “This MOU is an important step for us to continue to meet the needs of employers across a variety of sectors that will require robotics, automation and mechatronics technology in the future.” Seneca (ON)

StatsCan Daily: International enrolment on the rise

Statistics Canada reports that the number of international students at Canadian post-secondary institutions has been on the rise for the last two decades, and that their numbers are increasing at a higher rate than domestic students. While China remained a top country of citizenship for international students in 2016/2017, some of the greatest increases in international student enrolment were the result of a growing number of Indian students. The StatsCan report further noted that enrolments in 2016/2017 were up 1.3% from the previous academic year, and that the number of post-secondary graduates has increased for the eighth consecutive year. StatCan (National)

NSCC names Pictou Campus trades facility after former premier

Nova Scotia Community College has named its new Pictou campus trades and innovation centre after former MLA and NS Premier John Hamm. According to an NSCC release, the Hon. Dr. John F. Hamm Trades & Innovation Centre will provide specialized training space for students enrolled in carpentry, cabinetry, motor vehicle repair, and heavy duty equipment programs. "This multi-million project created more than 100 good paying jobs during the construction of a new world class learning environment,” said Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. NSCC states that the college received $123M from Hamm’s government in 2003. NSCC (NS)

UQAC opens physiotherapy clinic

The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has opened a new physiotherapy clinic. A UQAC release states that the Clinique universitaire de physiothérapie will offer specialized treatment for a range of conditions and provide services for vulnerable clients. Additionally, the clinic is collaborating with McGill University to provide internships for physiotherapy students. According to UQAC, the clinic will also facilitate research partnerships with the CIUSSS SLSJ Neuromuscular Diseases Clinic in Jonquière and URFI in La Baie. UQAC (Fr) (QC)