Top Ten

June 12, 2019

Work-Integrated Learning in BC receives largest investment in 20 years

The Government of British Columbia has announced the largest investment in co-op education the province has seen in 20 years, earmarking $9M to provide students with practical work experience. “We know at our ministry it is imperative to invest in people,” said BC Minister of Advanced Education Melanie Mark. “Why would we not want to invest in the 21st century and the next generation?” "Completing your studies is only part of the challenge students face when looking for work," added Noah Berson, chairperson of the Alliance of BC Students (ABCS). "It has become crucial for students to have access to real-world work opportunities, to get a real understanding of the fields they are studying in, and we are thrilled that the Government has recognized the value that students can provide to the economy and employers." Times Colonist (BC)

Canada, Métis Nation pledge to improve Métis programs, outcomes

The Government of Canada and Métis National Council have signed the Canada-Métis Nation Post-Secondary Education Sub-Accord. Described as "a historic step in closing the postsecondary education attainment gap between Métis Nation citizens and non-Indigenous Canadians," the sub-accord comes on the heels of a post-secondary education review announced in Budget 2017. The Sub-Accord establishes new approaches for improving the education outcomes of Métis students and programs, student support, community-based programs and services, and governance capacity. Métis Nation (National)

Fundamental research is not an indulgence: Boughner

"We can’t apply knowledge that we don’t have. And to have knowledge, we must create, reveal or discover it," writes University of Saskatchewan Professor Julia Boughner in an article advocating for the importance of fundamental research. The author highlights a number of ways in which fundamental, exploratory research has led to massive brekathroughs in applied technology. That said, Boughner argues that scientists need to do a better job of sharing the value of their work with non-scientists. Finally, the author argues that "relying exclusively on industry partnerships and profit-driven research is naïve, at best, to potential conflicts of interest, such as suppressing research results that might hurt a company’s bottom line." University Affairs (National)

St Clair closes public access to pool

St Clair College has announced that the public will no longer be able to use its campus pool, as it is shifting its focus from community-based programs to college student-centered services as of the end of August. The pool has seen public use plateau in recent years with the opening of new community pools, while pool operations have seen annual operational losses of about $100K. "We wanted to be transparent," said St Clair vice-president of communications and community relations John Fairley. "We are not closing the pool down and cementing it over. We are being more student-focused. We have to make our student experience as great as it needs to be." Windsor Star | CBC (ON)

UCalgary, provincial partners introduce opioid management course for physicians

The University of Calgary has partnered with Alberta Health Services and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta to train family doctors and specialists to safely prescribe and taper patients taking opioids. A UCalgary release explains that the course, called Wise Prescribing and De-prescribing: Opioid Skills for the Frontline Clinician, includes podcasts, interview clips with physicians, patient testimonials, and two in-person workshops. "Our government is proud to support the development of new resources and tools to make sure health-care professionals have the most up-to-date information on appropriate prescribing practices," said Jason Luan, AB’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction. UCalgary (AB)

YorkU receives $1M from TD for mid-career training

York University has received a $1M donation from TD Bank Group in support of mid-career bridging programming, training, and re-skilling initiatives. The donation will support the TD Community Engagement Centre at Yorkgate Mall, a satellite office of YorkU in the Black Creek Community. "The skills needed for jobs today is vastly different than just a few years ago," said TD Bank Group Head of Customer & Colleague Experience Norie Campbell. "It is critical that there are resources and places where individuals can seek assistance to learn and upskill in order to thrive." YorkU (ON)

VCC launches Computer Systems Technology Diploma

Vancouver Community College has launched a Computer Systems Technology Diploma program. A VCC release states that the two-year program includes instruction in software solutions, mobile apps, and website development. Students will also be introduced to new concepts in enterprise systems, cloud computing, machine learning, and security. "Writing, updating, or debugging code can be a long process and it requires a great attention to detail," said head instructor Reza Nezami, "but it’s very rewarding for those who have an interest in creating new and innovative products." VCC adds that the program will be housed in the college’s new computer labs. VCC (BC)

UNB collaborates with National Research Council for cybersecurity hub

The University of New Brunswick, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada, has launched the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity-NRC Cybersecurity Collaboration Consortium. "This collaboration centre brings together leading researchers to form a joint team and make significant advances in cybersecurity for Canadians. We are proud to partner with the University of New Brunswick's Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and look forward to the success of this exciting collaboration," said Iain Stewart, President of the National Research Council of Canada. A release adds that the hub will conduct cybersecurity research for critical infrastructure with a focus on internet of things (IoT) security, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and natural language processing. Newswire | betakit (NB)

U of T, Canadian Investor Relations Institute collaboratively launch investor relations program

The Canadian Investor Relations Institute has partnered with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto for a ten-month certification program that will feature training on capital markets, corporate governance, securities law, finance, and communications. "With this initiative, CIRI continues to demonstrate great leadership in our profession. Clearly defining the widely varied and expanding knowledge and skills required by successful investor relations officers will help to create greater awareness of the important role that we play in the capital markets," said Denis Jasmin, VP of Investor Relations with SNC-Lavalin. Financial Post (ON)

Krien: Alt-ac is a matter of perspective

"Alt-ac" does not have to denote jobs taken out of desperation after the quest for tenure fails, writes Brady Krien. Instead, academic job-seekers would do well to focus on the upside of pursuing careers beyond the professoriate. Krien notes that many non-academic careers offer good pay and benefits, with the additional perk that non-academic professionals have the opportunity to enjoy a work-life balance that the academy seldom affords. Additionally, private and public sector jobs can leverage PhD-level skillsets, so a job outside of the academy does not necessarily preclude rigorous thought. Inside Higher Ed (International)