Top Ten

June 19, 2019

U of T group collaborates with Oxford team to share scientists’ notes in real time

A research group at the University of Toronto is working with a team out of Oxford University to help scientists share their scientific notes and progress in real time. Titled Open Lab Notebooks, the initiative provides a platform through which scientists can post their research notes on an ongoing basis. The U of T-based group behind the project, the Structural Genomics Consortium, says that Open Lab Notebooks will speed up science and develop low-cost drugs faster in a patent-free system, where research discoveries are immediately available for anyone in the world to use. "It's pretty radical, from the perspective of a traditional academic scientist," said Jong Fu Wong, who is with the SGC UK team at Oxford. CBC (ON)

McGill receives $1.25M USD for Indigenous education

McGill University has received $1.25M USD from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation in support of a new Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative. The Initiative, based in the Faculty of Arts, will be implemented over the next five years. "The Indigenous Studies and Community Engagement Initiative will help establish McGill as an Eastern Canadian hub for Indigenous Education," said McGill Provost and VP Academic Christopher Manfredi. In addition to supporting a proposed lecture series, the gift will deepen McGill’s undergraduate Indigenous Studies program; boost community partnerships across disciplines; and provide travel funding for land-based and in-community research fund new Artist-in-Residence, Elder-in-Residence, and Writer-in-Residence programs. McGill Nation Talk (QC)

UAlberta unrolls predictable tuition for international graduates, but at a higher cost

The University of Alberta’s Board of Governors has approved a new tuition model that guarantees tuition rates for international graduate students, albeit at a higher cost. According to CBC, fees will increase from 6% to 12% per year under the new model. "By definition these students are shopping the world, so we needed to make sure whatever tuition level we’re setting is covering our costs but is also not significantly different from peer institutions that we would be competing with for those students," said UAlberta Provost and VP Academic Steven Dew. Akanksha Bhatnagar, President of the UAlberta students' union, said she supports predictably but feels the increase is too high. Folio CBC (AB)

Toronto postsecondary institutions evacuate, close buildings in light of "numerous bomb threats"

OCAD University and Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education both closed their buildings yesterday after receiving "numerous bomb threats." Police say that bomb threats were also made to Humber College and George Brown College, and that the threats affected 10 campuses in total. At the time of writing, Humber and George Brown had opted to not evacuate, while an evacuation order was implemented at OCADU. Police Chief Mark Sauders stated that the police will look to apprehend whoever is responsible, even if the calls turn out to be pranks. CBC Global News (ON)

USask pilots housing initiative for two-spirit, LGBTQ students

The University of Saskatchewan is piloting a housing program for LGBTQ and two-spirit students. Student life manager Sarah Sotvedt told the Saskatoon StarPhoenixthat the project follows two years of consultations to better accommodate the students’ needs. "What we’re hoping to do is allow [these students] to feel a little bit safer and more comfortable and understood in the confines of their homes, while still getting to be part of that larger residence community and experience," she added. USask had initially planned to set aside one apartment for four students, but the university expanded the program to include three apartments for twelve students due to demand. Star Phoenix (SK)

Brock, seven Niagara municipalities partner to address climate change

Brock University has partnered with seven Niagara municipalities to launch Niagara Adapts, an initiative through which the partners will work to reduce the risk associated with climate change in their region. A Brock release notes that all universities can play a vital role in tackling climate change by contributing scientific expertise, research, and innovation, just as municipalities play a critical role by engaging with their residents and implementing programs to show leadership on the issue. "The challenges brought by climate change require that we all must work together," said Brock President Gervan Fearon. "Together we can better tackle the challenges of climate change and build a more sustainable future for our local communities and beyond." Brock (ON)

YK, Yukon College partner on international student job awareness

The Government of Yukon and Yukon College have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the two parties work together to raise awareness of job opportunities among international students. YK and the college will provide information sessions to students and staff twice per year in order to raise awareness of post-study work or immigration visas for which international students in the territory may be eligible. "People from all around the world are keen to further their education at Yukon College," said college President Karen Barnes. "This MOU will connect international students to immigration services and employment and post-study opportunities that will support their transition and help them build a life here after graduation." Yukon College (YK)

Dutch Inn, UPEI team up to house students

The Dutch Inn will rent rooms to about 100 students at the University of Prince Edward Island this fall, reports CBC. The university and the inn entered into the agreement as a way to alleviate a shortage amidst growing demand for student housing. "I would really love to have more people come use the facility, so I think it's a like a win-win situation for both UPEI and Dutch Inn," said Li-Jean Tsai, the inn’s general manager. UPEI added that it is in talks with the provincial government about more student housing, while Dutch Inn sales manager Anchen Cai said that if all goes well in the fall, he hopes the relationship with the university will continue. CBC (PEI)

YorkU launches service transformation

York University has completed a two-year data collection project aimed at reducing inefficiencies and improving service delivery for students. According to a release, York will now aim for a cultural shift that will result in a more agile and innovative University. Service transformation teams will work with stakeholders to create user-centered solutions, starting with human resources and finance. YorkU adds that the project will strive toward "optimal streamlined processes, clearly defined roles and responsibilities, defined and agreed-to process metrics that establish standards and monitor performance, and shared services that are governed by the user." YorkU (ON)

Selkirk unveils new sports team logo

Selkirk College has unveiled a new logo for its athletics team, the Saints. A Selkirk release states that feedback from students, employees, alumni, and community members indicated that the college should keep the team name, but that a new logo would be welcome. "This college is part of the fabric of our community and the athletic program is an important element of what we offer to the region," said Selkirk VP of Students & Advancement John Kincaid. "The outreach has helped determine that many people place high value on the Saints name and the historical connection to the many athletic teams that have proudly represented Selkirk College over the last five decades." Selkirk (BC)