Top Ten

March 25, 2019

SMU receives largest donation in 217-year history

Saint Mary’s University has received the largest donation in its 217-year history from David Sobey, the Sobey Foundation, and Sobeys Inc. A SMU release notes that half of the money will come personally from Sobey, who is also a former chancellor of the university. $5M of the gift will create scholarships for students studying business at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Another $7M will be earmarked to endow two chairs at the Sobey School of Business and to create five new professorships lasting 10 years each. “Our gift is a deliberate reinvestment in the Sobey School of Business and Saint Mary's University, inspired by our belief and confidence in the university, its leadership, its students and its bright future,” said Sobey. CBC | SMU (NS)

SFU students push for tuition freeze as board votes on international-student fee hike

A vote by the board of governors at Simon Fraser University to increase student fees has sparked outcry from students who were calling for a two-year tuition freeze. The group SFU Tuition Freeze Now launched its campaign last October, demanding that the university freeze tuition for the next two academic years and calling on the Government of British Columbia to provide more funding and cap international tuition. BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training spokesperson Rodney Porter stated that boards have the autonomy under legislation to set tuition and fees for international students and that these students are expected to pay the full cost of their education. Students from other BC institutions stated that they were planning similar protests to the one held at SFU. CBC | City News 1130 Globe and Mail (BC)

UFred partners health, safety education to 38 countries through new international partnership

The University of Fredericton has partnered with the Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies to provide fully-online occupational health and safety education to the organization’s 38 member countries. UFred President Don Roy said that since the university signed the Singapore Accord in 2018, it has been actively engaging with OHS and business professionals throughout the world to create avenues to deliver OHS education to those who need it most. “This is just the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship for both organizations, and for students and professionals across South America, Central America, and North America alike,” said Roy. UFred (NB)

Students from Nigeria can complete first year of Loyalist business diploma at home 

Loyalist College has signed a curriculum partnership agreement that will allow graduates of Nigerian schools to earn the first year of a Loyalist Business diploma in Nigeria before transitioning to the College‘s Belleville campus to complete their program. Signed with Grace Schools in Lagos, Nigeria, the partnership is reportedly the first of its kind between an ON College and Nigerian secondary school. “We are pleased to work with Grace Schools to make Loyalist a destination for Nigerian students to acquire employability and life skills that prepare them to succeed in their future careers,” said Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. “Through inclusive student life experiences and empowered learning environments, Nigerian students contribute to our vibrant student body and cross-cultural understanding.” Loyalist (ON)

COTR doubles residence capacity with new cottage-style student housing

The College of the Rockies is building six new cottage-style buildings that will double capacity at the college. The new student-housing complex will open in 2020 and provide housing for 96 more students. The buildings are designed to be sustainable and energy-efficient, and will include barrier-free first-floor units. “This project is an investment in our students, an investment in Cranbrook, because it will mean nearly 100 students won’t be competing for Cranbrook rentals, and an investment in the future because it will be energy efficient,” said COTR President David Walls. “It’s exciting to think of the increased vibrancy and sense of community at the college from more students living on campus.” The project has received an investment of $11.6M from the Government of British Columbia and a $1M donation from the Columbia Basin Trust. BC (BC)

Okanagan looks to meet demand for tourism managers with new training 

Okanagan College has announced that it is launching a new Tourism Management Diploma to meet the need for managers in the tourism industry. The program will include a winter co-op component where students will work with a local employer to build their experience and network. “This diploma has been designed with a great deal of industry input,” says Jonathan Rouse, Okanagan’s Director of Food, Wine and Tourism. “Our goal is to provide students a program that will help advance their tourism careers, while helping employers find the skilled workers they need – and what better place than Revelstoke for this kind of program?” Okanagan (BC)

MRU aviation students to enjoy new career opportunities through Sunwing partnership 

A new partnership between Mount Royal University and Sunwing will provide students of the school’s aviation program with an opportunity for direct entry into the company’s cadet program. An MRU release notes that once licensed to fly commercial jet aircraft, the new hires will follow Sunwing Airlines’ continuous program of line indoctrination and receive mentoring to ensure that they achieve their career goals. Overall, the airline plans to hire between eight and ten new first officers from its cadet program this coming year. “With today’s signing, we are ensuring we keep this talent here by providing graduates with meaningful employment in Canada,” said Dean of MRU’s Faculty of Business and Communication Studies Elizabeth Evans. Calgary Herald MRU (AB)

Police lay 514 charges at St Patrick’s Day bash in Waterloo

“We have taken a small town in Ontario and put them within a municipal block,” said Waterloo Police Chief Bryan Larkin last week when describing the crowd of revellers that reached 33,000 on Waterloo’s Ezra Avenue on St Patrick’s Day. At a police board meeting last Wednesday, Larkin said that police responded to 205 calls, officers laid 514 charges, and 18 people were arrested. The majority of charges were for liquor-related offences. In 2018, the police laid 495 charges related to the same event. The Record reports that a task force created by the city almost a year ago that includes the area's universities, police, student leaders, and school boards is looking at four problems areas: public safety, crowd behaviour, costs, and risk to local institutions and the community. The committee’s first report is expected in nine months.  Waterloo Region Record (ON)

RRC enters partnership to put cutting-edge genetic technology into hands of farmers

A new initiative in Manitoba is looking to make the province a hub for genetic research and development by putting technology in the hands of students, farmers, and health practitioners. CBC reports that the Genome 360 project will make portable genetic-sequencing technology available to MB farms and help discover new patient-specific medical treatments. The non-profit behind the project, Genome Prairie, has partnered Winnipeg's Red River College and several local industries on the project. CBC reports that the partnership makes RRC “the first educational facility in Western Canada to have a next generation sequencing, or NGS, device — equipment that allows for improved DNA mapping and could open up new opportunities in medicine.” CBC (MB)

ON part-time support staff reach first collective agreement  

Part-time support staff from Ontario’s colleges have reached their first collective agreement through Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 241. “It’s precedent-setting,” said OPSEU Local 241 President Greg Gagnon. “These guys were able to piggyback on decades of collective bargaining that the full-time unit has done.” Gagnon explained that the first contract includes a 3% wage increase over two years, language related to vacation entitlement, a grievance procedure, and book-off time for union work. Hamilton Spectator (ON)