Top Ten

May 17, 2019

Canada invests $38M in high-risk, high-reward research

The federal government has announced the first 137 researchers to receive funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund. A release states that the award supports high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary and international research. "Through this program, we are truly paving the way for our emerging researchers to expand their horizons, work across disciplines and borders, and to take risks and deliver outcomes that will benefit Canadians now and well into the future," said Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council President Ted Hewitt. The government’s initial investment of $38M supports early career researchers with five years or less of experience since their first academic appointment, with each recipient receiving up to $250K over the next two years. Newswire (National)

U of T invests $1.2M in regenerative medicine

The University of Toronto’s Medicine by Design initiative has invested $1.2M in nine research projects on regenerative medicine at the institution. "These projects exemplify the best of Medicine by Design by bringing people together across disciplines and institutions to tackle novel questions and test new approaches," said U of T Professor Michael Sefton. The regenerative medicine research initiative was launched in 2015 with a $114M grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The initiative provides awards to support basic and translational research related to advancing concepts of critical importance to regenerative medicine in the coming decades. U of T (ON)

Mintz: The shape of higher ed to come

Reflecting on future-oriented initiatives from several US institutions, Steven Mintz suggests that the marketplace will ultimately determine the future direction of higher education. Consequently, the higher education sector will continue to stratify between have and have-not institutions, as less-selective institutions will continue their push toward career training, and alternative pedagogies will proliferate. Additionally, ongoing pressure to quantify learning and verify skills will generate greater calls for learning outcomes. As higher education leaders confront these challenges, Mintz concludes, they must also recognize that "higher education remains higher, and is not reduced simply to job training, and that online providers do not become digital diploma mills offering a 21st century electronic version of a correspondence course." Inside Higher Ed (International)

UQAM revamps graduate IT programs as industry needs evolve 

The Université du Québec à Montréal is revamping its Master's, post-graduate diploma, and accelerated programs in Information Technology. Laurent Renard, a professor in the Département de management et technologie, stated that the redesign aims to improve alignment between training and the IT sector’s evolving needs as businesses face the challenges of digital transformation. UQAM adds that the programs train specialists in the development, integration, and implementation of IT, enterprise architecture and information technology, business, and business intelligence. UQAM (QC)

Skilled tradespeople hope to woo students as labour shortage looms

With a province-wide labour shortage looming, the Ontario Construction Secretariat hopes to attract more youth to the construction trades, reports CBC. "We have a lot of work coming up in the very near future and the trades haven't been a big draw in the past few years and we're trying to peak some interest to get them involved and wanting to come and work with us, in Ottawa and across the province," said Angus Maisonneuve, the Manager of UA Local 71 in Ottawa. CBC adds that the tradespeople will be available to speak with students at an upcoming exhibition that will feature trades such as welding, bricklaying, carpentry, and pipe fitting. CBC (ON)

MTA, CCNB collaboration diversifies student opportunities

Mount Allison University and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick have signed a pathway agreement that will "offer students more diverse and collaborative post-secondary opportunities in the province." Students who graduate from select CCNB programs will be able to enter into a bachelor’s degree at MTA with an upper year standing. Exact programs and streams are still being finalized, but MTA reports that programs in the areas of commerce, computer sciences, and environment are currently being studied. The agreement is said to be the first time that a collaboration of this nature has been formalized between MTA and CCNB. MTA (NB)

UoGuelph, Conestoga team up to fight food insecurity

The University of Guelph and Conestoga College are part of the Guelph-Wellington bid called “Our Food Together” that has won a $10M award in the federal government’s Smart Cities Challenge. "The University, city, county and community are working for a common cause: to create Canada’s first circular economy," said UoGuelph President Franco Vaccarino. The proposed project will see the partners collaboratively aim to improve food security, reduce food waste, and spark development of new businesses and collaborations. UoGuelph (ON)

NLC eyes sustainability with building improvements 

Northern Lakes College has announced that its High Level campus will get a new building envelope as part of its strategy to achieve a 20% energy efficiency increase by 2025. NLC adds that it will attach its portable classrooms to the main building as part of the upgrade. "The 2025 plan requires us to have two years of baseline emissions. We have designated 2016 and 2017 as our baseline for the College. We are currently analyzing the data from 2018, which will allow us to establish parameters for our overall implementation plan," said David Sharpe, Manager, Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations. NLC (AB)

Lambton unveils NOVA Chemicals Health and Research Centre

Lambton College has officially opened the NOVA Chemicals Health and Research Centre. A Lambton release states that the 60,000 square-foot facility features a 40-bed nursing lab, two intensive care unit rooms, two simulated advanced care suites, three active learning classrooms, a 140-seat amphitheatre, paramedic lab, and various advanced technology simulation training spaces. "Lambton College’s new NOVA Chemicals Health & Research Centre has changed the dynamic of our institution. We’ve always provided outstanding health programs, and now our evolving teaching methodologies, coupled with our world-class training facilities will directly contribute to the provision of highly qualified professionals: impacting the future of the healthcare industry," said Lambton President Judith Morris. Lambton (ON)

The key ingredient in an effective career search is intellectual curiosity: O’Connor

Many recent graduates who are entering the workforce have received oversimplified and contradictory advice on how to choose a career, writes Mike O’Connor. Some of this advice, the author adds, includes telling students that their choice of major does not matter, that they should follow their passion, or that they should start out in consulting. What goes missing in much of this advice, O’Connor writes, is the importance of intellectual curiosity that graduates should bring to their career search. "In sum, in a job that allows me to interface with successful alums from a variety of fields, I find the happiest, and oftentimes most successful, are the insatiably curious," concludes O'Connor. Inside Higher Ed (International)