Top Ten

June 11, 2019

UoGuelph receives $11M for groundwater study

The University of Guelph has received $11M from the federal government, City of Guelph, and Nestlé Waters Canada for a new groundwater study. According to a release, the funds will enable investigators to monitor local bedrock aquifer wells to learn more about groundwater and its interaction with surface water. "The sustainability of groundwater as source water for communities ultimately depends on the quality and quantity of local groundwater," said lead researcher Beth Parker. "[M]unicipalities need more and better-resolution information to understand the status and vulnerability of our water resources so that good science can underpin water protection and management." UoGuelph Mercury (ON)

Citing provincial cuts, UMoncton hikes tuition by 8% 

The Université de Moncton is attributing an 8% tuition hike to provincial cuts to its nursing program, reports CBC. According to Minister of Postsecondary Education Trevor Holder, the province took away $8.7Mfrom both UMoncton’s and the University of New Brunswick’s nursing programs because they were not creating seats for new students. UMoncton interim President Jacques Paul Couturier announced a 2% increase for current undergraduates and an 8% for all other students to compensate for the shortfall. Moreover, nursing students will reportedly also have to pay an additional $500 for clinical training. The tuition increase follows cuts to other programs as well, such as the elimination of a $1500 grant for student internships. CBC (NB)

UQO faculty condemn fashion advice as "condescending" and "sexist"

A video telling staff at the Université du Québec en Outaouais how to dress has received considerable backlash from faculty. According to CBC, the video features a fashion stylist who promotes "winning styles" and refers to a campus environment in which the "clientele" are students. The stylist adds that women should not "be in seduction style," citing spaghetti straps, short skirts, and low-rise jeans. "The very idea that we can tell women how to dress, based on the idea that we seek to dress seductively ... I was really rather taken aback," said Stéphanie Demers, president of the union representing full-time professors at the university. Demers added that the union was not consulted prior to the video's release. CBC (QC)

NRC to embark on $60M manufacturing building construction 

The National Research Council is expected to award the construction contract for its $60M Advanced Manufacturing Program building by the end of this month, reports the Winnipeg Free Press. The building is expected to become a key research centre for manufacturers across the country. "The building is really a platform for collaboration," said François Cordeau, NRC vice-president of transportation, explaining that 40% of those working in the building will be NRC staffers, with the rest coming from industry and academia. The University of Manitoba and NRC are working together to initiate programs and ensure that they are running when the building opens. Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

BC pledges to take action on Vancouver-based private college

The Government of British Columbia has pledged to take action on Vancouver International College of Health and Wellness, which allegedly issued a diploma in acupressure and body massage to Zhen Qin the same day that she paid tuition. College President Chun Wang stated that the diploma was awarded early because Qin expressed concern about qualifying for a mortgage. The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal rejected Qin’s small claims suit, noting that it is incumbent upon the student "to make due inquiry about the merits, reputation, and value" of an institution’s certificates. However, BC’s Private Training Institutions Branch is reviewing the decision and "will take the appropriate action." CBC (BC)

AU puts accessibility in motion with Rick Hansen Foundation

Athabasca University has partnered with the Rick Hansen Foundation for a course that focuses on improving building accessibility. A release explains that the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification will feature a rating system that teaches participants how to measure a given site’s accessibility. The course also includes VR exercises that will enable participants to check their work against that of accessibility professionals. "By presenting digital and distributed educational options in collaboration with the Rick Hansen Foundation, we’re helping to transform communities and empowering individuals to realize their true potential," said AU President Neil Fassina. AU (AB)

UVic residences slated for completion ahead of schedule

The University of Victoria has announced that two new student residence buildings will be complete in 2023, 16 months ahead of schedule. According to the Victoria Times Colonist, the buildings will include a 600-seat dining facility, two 225-seat classrooms, and a meeting space. The new facilities will also provide 621 additional beds, the Times Colonist adds. UVic will concurrently demolish two older dormitories and a dining block. Mike Wilson, Director of Campus Planning and Sustainability, told the Times Colonist that he does not expect the accelerated construction plan to significantly increase costs. Times Colonist (BC)

Seizing summer opportunities for professional development: Levine

"While it’s tempting to celebrate the end of the academic year and take a bit of a breather, summer can also be a good time to explore the world of work and build your arsenal of transferable skills," writes Sue Levine in a piece on how early-stage PhD students might use the summer for professional development. To this end, Levine recommends a number of manageable to-do’s for the summer, which include conducting one or two career exploration activities, refreshing one’s LinkedIn profile, exploring venues for academic publication, and working on presentation skills. "If you’re not sure where to start, meet with a career adviser to help you prioritize and leverage resources," Levine concludes. "And remember: it’s never too early to invest in yourself!" Inside Higher Ed (International)

UBC food services to offer 100% sustainable seafood

The University of British Columbia has announced that it will only purchase and offer 100% Ocean Wise recommended sustainable seafood beginning July 1, 2019. A UBC release states that the  change will include every food service location on both the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses, excluding franchises. "UBC spends approximately $1.2M on seafood annually, and is one of the largest bulk seafood purchasers in British Columbia," said UBC executive chef and culinary director David Speight. UBC adds that while it primarily buys seafood from large-scale food service providers that offer Ocean Wise recommended seafood, it is committed to also working with local, small-scale and family-owned fish mongers who follow sustainable fishing practices. Vancouver Sun UBC (BC)

UQAM ESG receives renewed accreditation for project management programming 

The École des sciences de la gestion de l'UQAM has received renewed accreditation from the Project Management Institute for its graduate programs. The programs, which are reportedly the only PMI-accredited graduate programs in Canada, are accredited for a period of 5 years. In order to receive the accreditation, Professor Alejandro Romero-Torres explained that the program had to prove that the courses were aligned with the requirements of the PMI and that the program had adequate financial resources.  UQAM (QC)