Top Ten

August 12, 2019

ULaval, QC animal sciences centre receives $1.4M from Canada

The Centre de recherche en sciences animales de Deschambault (CRSAD), which stems from a partnership between the Province of Quebec and the Université Laval, has received an investment of up to $1.4M from the Government of Canada. The investment will go towards three research projects related to ducks, honeybees, and goats. "In addition to the new knowledge acquired, the projects will contribute to the training of highly-qualified personnel who will then be able to act as agents of change in the production of bees, dairy goats or ducks and continue to support innovation in these sectors,” explained CRSAD President Doris Pellerin. “The projects will also contribute to the improvement of production conditions and animal welfare." PR Newswire (QC)

Dal receives investment for 16 additional undergraduate medical student positions

Dalhousie Medical School is ready to welcome 16 additional undergraduate medical students over the next year, earmarking the positions specifically for individuals from Nova Scotia. Dal reports that the investment comes at a time when access to family physicians is top of mind for many Nova Scotians. The government is investing $300K this year to add the new seats, and will increase the annual investment to $4.8M by the 2023-24 academic year. “This is really exciting news for the university and the province,” said Dal Interim President Teri Balser. “Dalhousie is fully committed to providing quality health care to communities across Nova Scotia. This investment will allow us to do even more to improve the health of our province’s population.” Dal (NS)

NSCC officially launches ocean-focused technology centre

Nova Scotia Community College has celebrated the official opening of the Sensing, Engineering and Analytics-Technology Access Centre. NSCC states that SEA-TAC is the only ocean-focused Technology Access Centre. The centre is located at NSCC’s Ivany Campus and the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, and will provide access to technology and capabilities that include coastal mapping, subsea imaging, and vessel energy audits; as well as training in several areas. The college also highlighted a $1.75M investment from the Government of Canada towards the centre. NSCC (NS)

Langara launches Graphic Novel & Comix Program

Langara College has announced a new Graphic Novel & Comix certificate program that will start September 2019. The full-time program will be taught by seven of the top comic book creators in Vancouver, and will include courses such as Life Drawing for Comics, Layout for Comics, and Advanced Comic Storytelling. “Following the success of our part-time program, I’m excited to provide a full-time option that allows students to continue working while studying,” said CS Arts & Illustration Program Coordinator Jeff Burgess. “Opening up this full-time program means they can finish the program faster, build their portfolios, and move ahead with their own careers in graphic novels and comics.” Langara (BC)

More public funding for higher ed associated with fewer graduates: IHE

A new study has found that countries that provide more public funding for higher education tend to have fewer graduates overall, reports Inside Higher Ed. Researchers for the study reportedly compared 45 high-income member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and found that countries that had a greater share of higher education funding from public sources tended to have a smaller share of the 25-to-34-year-old population with tertiary education. They argue that this means that expanding public funding for a country leads to fewer graduates, but acknowledge that factors such as loans and contextual differences between countries are not included in the data. Inside Higher Ed (International)

McGill mining research receives $1.5M from Canada Clean Growth Program

McGill University has received $1.5M from Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Growth Program for a project focused on cleaner demolition technology. The program invests in clean technology research and development projects in Canada’s energy, mining, and forest sectors. “The goal of this project is to create, test and validate a revolutionary method for rock fragmentation for underground mining and tunnelling projects,” said McGill Director of Mining Engineering Hani Mitri. “This technology will revolutionize mining and tunnelling by achieving a more efficient, far safer, and more environmentally friendly technique for rock fragmentation.” McGill (QC)

USask cuts subscriptions to nearly 4,000 academic journals

The University of Saskatchewan is reportedly cancelling its subscriptions to nearly 4,000 academic journals in response to the “unsustainable rising costs of subscriptions set by publishers,” says the Star Phoenix. The cancellation is expected to remove $1.4M from the University Library’s $14M collections budget, which is largely allocated to journal subscriptions. In response to concerns about access to leading research covered in the journals, USask’s Library Dean Melissa Just said the institution is gathering information from graduate students and faculty to “identify priority titles.” The Star Phoenix (SK)

Time to reframe the question of why higher ed doesn’t innovate: Mintz

Despite arguments to the contrary, higher ed has innovated quite a lot in the past decade, writes Steven Mintz. Such innovation has included a vast expansion in online and hybrid courses; a heightened emphasis on active, experiential, team-based, and project-based learning; and the emergence of competency-based education with its focus on mastery of essential knowledge and skills rather than on credit hours or seat time. When critics talk about a lack of innovation or change in higher ed, the author adds, they are most likely talking about one of four core challenges that continue to impact higher ed, including the inability to radically reduce the cost of tuition or to make credit transfer more seamless. Inside Higher Ed (International)

YorkU launches pan-university capstone classroom

York University is pilot testing a new, full-year capstone course that will bring upper-year students together into multidsciplinary teams focused on solving real-world challenges. C4: The Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom allows students to solve challenges posed by organizations such as the Yonge Street Mission, Panoplo Inc, and the Al and Malka Green Artists’ Health Centre. “The world along with its challenges and opportunities are intrinsically multidisciplinary; however, many degrees are not—they are typically disciplinary in focus,” said Career Development Coordinator Carolyn Steele. “C4 gives participants the opportunity to collaborate with students from other majors as well as with professors and professionals outside their departments. In this way, they come to know what they have to offer the world as well as the value of their discipline and their York degree.” YorkU (ON)

VCC offers first-of-its kind certification program for Gladue report writers

Vancouver Community College will be offering a Gladue report writing program this fall, which the college says is the first certificate program of its kind from a Canadian post-secondary institution. The program, which is designed for law students, lawyers, advocates, judges, Indigenous court workers, and others with an interest in this topic. Gladue reports stem from a Supreme Court decision stipulating that judges must consider “unique systemic or background factors” that may have resulted in an Aboriginal person encountering the justice system. Students will learn about the impact of colonization; conducting interviews with people who have experienced trauma; and capturing a person’s “sacred story,” which includes discovering experiences that shaped them since childhood. VCC (BC)