Top Ten

June 27, 2019

Queen’s students to use tuition rebates to help those impacted by OSAP cuts

A Queen’s University student group says that it plans to take the money saved from the 10% tuition cut announced by the provincial government and use it to support those deeply impacted by cuts to student assistance. CBC reports that the students are launching a group called Students for Students and that they plan to donate funds received from tuition rebates to create bursaries for students who need it most. Ben Dinsdale, who recently finished his third year at Queen's, said that the government’s changes have left many students on campus worried about their finances, adding, "We really think that by getting that momentum going we can help those students." CBC Kingston Whig-Standard (ON)

UBC protesters detained at anti-SOGI talk

Protesters at an event on the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus were temporarily detained by police on Sunday after entering a lecture hall during a talk by an anti-SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) activist. The Starreports that the presenter, Jenn Smith, opposes teaching children about sexual orientation and gender identity at schools. In a statement, the university said it supports trans and non-binary students through its research and campus resources, but adds that its support "can be regarded in balance with the institution’s commitment to freedom of expression." The Star (BC)

Pfaff: How to hire strong leaders

Post-secondary leaders should be hired for their potential rather than their credentials, writes Thomas J Pfaff. To that end, the author cites a recent article from the Harvard Business Review that highlights five key qualities of "high potentials": motivation, engagement, curiosity, insight, and determination. Pfaff then argues that internal candidates are more likely to possess these traits than external hires. He adds that internal candidates have further advantages such as a faster learning curve, continuity, and stability. "The potential payoff," Pfaff concludes, "is that you will hire more administrators who have the potential to grow and change, understand the history of the place, demonstrate the curiosity and determination to effect change, and are committed over the long term to the good of the institution." Inside Higher Ed (International)

Student group urges UOttawa to end carding on campus

UOttawa has proposed stepsto address allegations of systemic racism following a carding incident on campus, but some students say the response is inadequate. Nicole Tumaine, Co-President of the Black Law Students’ Association, told CBC that her group wants the university to revoke the section of the university's campus security policy that authorizes security guards to request proof of ID on campus. "The University of Ottawa is supposed to be an open and welcoming community that's open to the public, and some members of the public don't have ID, and that can be problematic when requesting it," she said. CBC (ON)

Transparency about earnings won’t help students make better choices for majors: Bleemer

The argument that more transparent data about average future earnings by major will help students make better decisions about their education lacks credibility, writes Zachary Bleemer. The author goes on to describe nearly a dozen flaws that currently inform the notion that "Student A would have made more money had they majored in X instead of Y." To begin, certain majors like engineering might have higher entry requirements than others, which itself could account for differences in future earnings. Bleemer also cites evidence showing that students’ opportunity to major in their preferred field, no matter what this field is, is a stronger indicator of higher future earnings.  Inside Higher Ed (International)

UNB receives $1.12M for marine additive manufacturing research 

The University of New Brunswick has received $1.12M from Mitacs and Lockheed Martin for marine additive manufacturing research. A release from UNB states that the funds will support interns in UNB’s Marine Additive Manufacturing Centre of Excellence. "One of the main goals of MAMCE is to develop the next generation of researchers and machinists who will become tomorrow’s leaders in the advanced manufacturing industry in our region," says David Saucy, VP of the Construction and Equipment Division for JD Irving, Ltd. MAMCE is the result of a partnership between UNB, Custom Fabricators and Machinists, New Brunswick Community College, Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, and Nova Scotia Community College. UNB (NB)

UWaterloo, Microsoft partner on "AI for Good" research

The University of Waterloo’s Waterloo AI Institute and Microsoft have established a one-year partnership promoting research into ‘AI for good.’ The parties will invest $300K to investigate how AI can tackle issues such as improving climate-change projections and disaster response. "For us, Waterloo has a great reputation so it was a no-brainer," said Khalil Alfar, a general manager at Microsoft. "We are interested in fueling innovation in Canada; we want to fuel the Canadian ecosystem." The announcement is part of a broader AI for Good initiative by Microsoft that is focused on providing funding, technology, and expertise for tackling society’s biggest challenges. The Record (ON)

Concordia to lead training, development initiatives for employers

Concordia University has received $494K from the City of Montreal for its District 3 Innovation Center and Concordia Continuing Education to help local companies recruit and develop employees and gain access to skills for the future. CCE will use the funds to develop a robust applied cyber resilience program for those impacted by cybersecurity issues. The program will include mentoring, internships, scholarships, and job opportunities. District 3 will be working in the life sciences and health technologies sectors to provide experiential and multidisciplinary internship opportunities for graduates. The program will also help the life sciences industry address a shortage of scientific talent.  Concordia (QC)

MUN buys Grand River Farm in Labrador 

Memorial University’s Labrador Institute has bought the Grand River Farm. CBC reports that proposed work on the farm will include community engagement, farming, and scientific research. "It's very exciting, but it's also a very sad time for me, sad because Frank is not here to share this," said Joyce Pye, who ran the farm with her late husband. Ashlee Cunsolo, Director of the Labrador Institute, said that work is expected to begin this summer on baseline mapping, soil testing, clearing weeds, plowing, and planting crop cover. She added that she hopes Pye will stay involved with the farm. CBC (NL)

Authenticity and diversity in higher ed marketing

"Long before parents' representatives were using Photoshop to give their students an unfair admissions advantage, universities were using the software to portray diversity that did not appear in original photos," writes Nathan Willers. The author cites a 2013 study showing that US institutions are regularly displaying more black students on marketing materials than they actually have in their student bodies, and highlights multiple stories of students of different races being photoshopped into institutional marketing materials to make campuses appear more diverse than is actually the case. While some institutional leaders might claim that these photoshopped images are aspirational in nature, Willers argues that such artificial diversity will not fool the youth of today. Inside Higher Ed (International)