Top Ten

June 28, 2019

UVic receives $9.1M for Indigenous law centre

The federal government is contributing $9.1M toward a national centre for Indigenous law at the University of Victoria. According to the Victoria Times-Colonist, the centre will house UVic’s dual-degree program in Canadian Common Law and Indigenous Legal Orders. It will include lecture theatres, faculty offices, an Elders’ room and "spaces for gathering, ceremony, and sharing of histories and knowledge," UVic adds. "I see this as a small step in the journey toward reconciliation and an investment in our future where Indigenous legal orders will be honoured and recognized," said Indigenous law student Amanda Vick. Victoria Times-Colonist (BC)

ON researchers investigate international tuition hikes

A recent analysis by a Toronto firm has found that all 19 of Ontario’s universities are becoming increasingly reliant on international tuition, with hikes for international students far outpacing domestic fee increases. CBC reports that the researchers looked at fee schedules, school records, and information from the Council of Ontario Universities and Common University Data Ontario between 2006 and 2017 to reach their conclusions. Queen’s University interim Provost Tom Harris attributed his institution’s international fee hikes to improvements in student services and infrastructure. A statement from the University of Ottawa said that it considers factors such as "access to higher education, competitiveness, overall financial situation and provincial legislation" when it sets fees. CBC (ON)

Growing trend among US instructors to delay medical visits until securing tenure-track position

"Finally being able to attend to chronic health issues might as well be a formal part of the academic-career trajectory: dissertation defense, graduation, job search, tenure-track appointment, doctor visits," writes Andrea Crow. The author describes the ways that graduate school generates new and aggravates old health concerns through high stress conditions, poor health coverage, and financial pressures. The author concludes that for higher education to be a pathway for "anyone other than the independently wealthy," institutions must treat comprehensive, contractually secured health insurance for graduate student employees as a basic right. Chronicle (International)

U of T partners with Indigenous communities for infrastructure projects

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Global Engineering are collaborating with Indigenous communities to improve infrastructure and food security. According to a U of T release, the partners will identify six projects that aim to improve access to clean drinking water, food security, housing, health care, transportation, and communication systems from a multi-disciplinary perspective. "We recognize that there are 10,000-plus years of knowledge and expertise that Indigenous Peoples have about their communities, relationships with the natural environment and the interconnection and interdependence of all things. There is a lot we can learn. We are embarking on a co-learning journey," said program Lead Sonia Molodecky. U of T (ON)

BrandonU closing junior kindergarten in 2020

Brandon University is shutting down its junior kindergarten program, citing costs and alignment with institutional goals. "We subsidize its operation by about $25,000 or more every year," said BrandonU Vice-President Steven Robinson. "Those are our resources that are coming to us from students' tuition and from our government grant that’s supposed to be primarily supporting our core mission at the university." BrandonU states that it spent the past year looking into other ways that it could keep the program running, including having donors cover the cost, but were unable to find a way to reduce the subsidy. The University's Students’ Union plans to meet with the institution to discuss the issue. Brandon Sun (MB)

TRU partnership enables TESL students to complete practicum in Vietnam

A new partnership between Thompson Rivers University and Saigontourist Hospitality College (STHC) will enable Teaching English as a Second Language students to complete a practicum in Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam. "STHC doesn’t have foreign students on their campus, so their campus will go through a mini-internationalization when we are there," said TRU TESL program coordinator Karen Densky. "Our students will serve as customers for them to practice on. For TESL students to get an overseas experience while completing their teaching practicum is perfect. We are all getting something out of this partnership and we’re doing that in a sustainable way." TRU (BC)

UManitoba marks official opening of Smartpark Innovation Hub

The University of Manitoba has celebrated the official opening of its Smartpark Innovation Hub, an information exchange centre that will support partnerships between industry, government, and the university. The 75,000-square-foot space houses meeting rooms, lab spaces, office spaces, and a multipurpose room with 4K video walls. The Hub serves as a one-stop location for commercialization and professional services. "The University of Manitoba community is excited about this new collision space where exchange and collaboration create ideas and potential that brings benefit to the lives of all peoples," said UManitoba President David Barnard. "The relationships and partnerships this space will foster deepens our reach and relevance to the greater business community." UManitoba (MB)

Niagara helps local businesses gain competitive advantage 

Niagara College has received $250K to help 25 companies in the advanced manufacturing, food and beverage, and agriculture environment technologies sectors solve innovation challenges related to technology adoption. A release explains that the businesses will work with Niagara’s Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre, Canadian Food and Wine Institute Innovation Centre, and Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre. "We’re grateful to OCE for this grant, which will help SMEs gain a competitive edge in their field," said Marc Nantel, Niagara’s VP of Research, Innovation & Strategic Initiatives. "At the same time, it allows students the opportunity to translate the skills they’ve learned in the classroom into real-world partnerships with industry." Niagara (ON)

Blegen reflects on his first semester as provost 

Upon settling into his provostship, Mark Blegen realized that the definitions of his role were largely up to him. The author relates that he would not have been able to lead effectively without strong mentorship, connecting with his institution’s faculty, and family support. After candid discussions with his institution's president and his mentor, Blegen states that he made it his goal to meet individually with every member of his faculty. Lastly, Blegen emphasizes the significance of family. "The decision to take this role, the decision to leave a known community and friends, and the decision to move our family with two young daughters was not made in a vacuum," he concludes. Chronicle (International)

UWindsor ushers in new era of research and collaboration with Essex CORe facility

The University of Windsor has officially opened its Essex Centre of Research. The Windsor Starreports that the $30M, 46,000 square-foot facility features three floors of meeting rooms and open-concept lab space devoted to research in advanced materials such as nano-technology and biometrics, transitional health, and medical physics. "Science and engineering are important drivers to the local economy," said Faculty of Science Dean Chris Houser. "And here we have this innovative research occurring that works with industry, which will hopefully bring new industry to the region." The Staradds that the provincial and federal governments shared the costs for the new facility with UWindsor. Windsor Star | UWindsor (ON)