Top Ten

June 4, 2019

New details on how ON will implement performance-based funding found in new briefing document

A confidential document obtained by CBC News states that Ontario’s universities and colleges could lose as much as $3B in funding if they do not meet certain provincial performance metrics. CBC reports that the obtained briefing document lays out 10 metrics by which university and college performance will be assessed, with variation allowed between the measurements for universities and colleges. The ministry document says the post-secondary institutions will be "measured against themselves. Targets are based on an institution's historical data & established criteria." Six of the ten metrics will be tied to skills and job outcomes: graduate earnings, the number and proportion of graduates in programs with experiential learning, skills and competencies, proportion of graduates employed full-time in a related or partially-related field, proportion of students in identified area of strength, and graduation rate. CBC (ON)

Researchers must fight to ensure conclusions of Science Review do not “fade away”: Naylor 

"The [research] community has to be in permanent campaign mode," says David Naylor, the author of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review, also known as the Naylor Report. At a recent gathering for the Canadian Consortium for Research, Naylor discussed the need to apply constant pressure to ensure that the report’s recommendations are implemented. Naylor also reportedly took aim at Canada’s lackluster spending on research and development compared to other OECD countries, as well as an unwillingness on the part of the federal government to solicit or follow the advice of those who are engaged on the front lines of research. "When you put all this together," says Naylor, "you have a situation where the government would really like the report to fade away, so they can do their own thing in their own way." University Affairs (National)

MUN students become first cohort of BEd grads with specialization in Inuit traditions 

Ten students have become the first in Canada to complete an Inuit Bachelor of Education program, reports CBC. The program is reportedly the product of a one-time partnership between Memorial University and the government of Nunatsiavut, an autonomous area within NL claimed and governed by the Inuit. CBC adds that finishing the program will allow graduates to teach the NL curriculum with integrated cultural aspects, such as framing the lessons within the contexts of decolonization and self-governance. "The role I have now as an Inuktitut teacher, that was my dream, and I am actually living it right now," said program graduate Doris Boase, adding that the program is significant because it "brings back home grown teachers" to her community. CBC (NL)

UManitoba celebrates official opening of new engineering building

The University of Manitoba has celebrated the official opening of the Stanley Pauley Engineering Building. The 46,000-square-foot building features expanded, state-of-the-art facilities for faculty, staff, and students. The building houses the Price Innovation and Prototyping Centre, co-operative education space, and the Internationally-Educated Engineers Qualification program. "This facility will not only help us attract industry partners, retain highly skilled students and researchers, but it also supports collaboration among innovative problem solvers," says UManitoba President David Barnard. The building is named after UManitoba engineering alumnus Stanley Pauley and was funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Manitoba, and the university’s Front and Centre campaign. UManitoba (MB)


We must help boards, officials understand the complexities of university budgets: Martin

“The economics of public universities are more complex than frequently understood by governing boards, legislators, governors or the general public,” writes Michael Martin, which is why top-down directives from these stakeholders can have unintended consequences. As universities become significantly more dependent on tuition revenues, Martin writes that they must become more aware of the way that some programs cross-subsidize others. The author offers the example of how some administrators attempt to privilege STEM courses at the expense of the social sciences and humanities without realizing that in many cases, a history professor teaching 200 students a semester will generate the surplus revenue necessary for an engineering professor to teach 30 students a semester. Inside Higher Ed (International)


Banff Centre to revitalize its largest theatre with transformational gift

A 52-year-old theatre at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity will undergo a transformative revitalization thanks to a gift from the Belzberg family in honour of Calgary-born community builder and philanthropist, Jenny Belzberg. A Banff Centre release states that the renewal of its Eric Harvie Theatre will improve audience experience and ensure that the Centre is able to meet the needs of artists who use it for education, creation, and presentation of their work. "This is spectacular news for the Bow Valley, Alberta, and Canada," said Banff Centre President Janice Price. "This generous gift from the Belzberg children in honour of Mrs. Belzberg will modernize the space, and improve the connection between artists and audiences." Banff Centre (AB)


Canadore announces new programs to meet industry demand

Canadore College has approved three new programs in order to respond to growing demand from industry. In addition to its recently announced meat processing fundamentals certificate program, Canadore will be launching a hydrogen technician certificate and an instructional design certificate. The Hydrogen Technician program, which is focused on clean energy products and solutions, is reportedly the first of its kind in Ontario. The instructional design certificate will be geared towards those wishing to pursue a career as an instructional designer, educational consultant, or instructional program developer and will be offered online through OntarioLearn. Canadore (ON)


Conestoga announces new campus in downtown Kitchener

Conestoga College has announced a new campus that will open in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. The 82,000 square-foot campus will be located inside Market Square and will open in 2020. Students will be able to take part in placements at local organizations, and the city has planned construction for over 2,000 housing units within walking distance of the campus. "Conestoga College has been a key community partner and a leader in polytechnic education since its beginnings in 1967, and we are thrilled to welcome this new growth in our city beginning this January," said Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. "Locating this campus in the heart of Downtown Kitchener creates fantastic opportunities for welcoming these new students in collaboration with our vibrant business community in the heart of our city." Conestoga | Waterloo Region Record (ON)


Polytechnique Montréal, UMontréal take part in $3M smart mobility project

A collaboration between Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, Movin’On, Netlift, and Prompt-InnovR will be taking on a research and development project in sustainable mobility. The collaboration has received a $3M investment that will help the researchers to advance the development of cutting-edge algorithms through the use of artificial intelligence, optimization, and data science. The project hopes to develop solutions to issues surrounding automobile use in the city, which contributes to road congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. "This project with Netlift will allow us to develop new, more ecological models of transportation, by offering better choices to users thanks to the use of optimisation algorithms," commented UMontréal Professor Bernard Gendron. Newswire (QC)


Major gift-in-kind from Croesus gives Concordia business students access to investment expertise

Concordia University has received an in-kind gift from Croesus that will allow students to gain hands-on investing expertise in the classroom through Croesus Advisor portfolio management software. Concordia’s John Molson School of Business will reportedly be the first in Canada to offer the software in its classrooms, allowing students to have the same real-time access to investment information used by professional wealth managers and advisors on a daily basis. "One of the ways we want to impact our community is through students," says Coresus President Sylvain Simpson. "We have a market share of 55 per cent, so if you are working in the wealth management field in Canada, there’s a big chance you’re working with Croesus. This is a big advantage for students." Concordia (QC)