Top Ten

August 23, 2019

Academics call for greater transparency in misconduct investigations

The Globe and Mail reports that some members of the academic community are calling for greater transparency from the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research, an arms-length body that investigates alleged misconduct by researchers. According to the Globe , 133 federally funded researchers were disciplined for integrity breaches in the past eight years, and 25 were reprimanded for integrity breaches in 2019. Currently, the Secretariat requires institutions to conduct their own investigations, after which reports are anonymized and submitted to the watchdog, which recommends sanctions. Sociologist Brian Martinson explained that part of the secrecy stems from the perception of research integrity issues as career-ending: “If the only penalty is death by beheading, nobody wants to talk about the crime.” Globe and Mail (National)

Northeastern launches Vancouver campus

Northeastern University is launching a campus in Vancouver. Pending regulatory approvals, programs will include master’s degrees in project management and information systems, with artificial intelligence, data science, cybersecurity, and information design and visualization programs under consideration. In addition to collaborating with the Toronto campus to develop a base of operations in Canadas, the release states that the Vancouver campus will be part of a network that includes Seattle and San Francisco/Silicon Valley. “There’s a need for computer scientists here, and it’s explicit,” said Steve Eccles, Dean of the Vancouver campus. “We’re tightly aligned with that need.” Northeastern (BC)

Canada invests in women entrepreneurs

Queen’s University, Wilfrid Laurier University, York University, and Collège d'Alma are among the institutions and organizations that have received funding from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES) Ecosystem Fund. Queen’s has received $3.27M to deliver a suite of programming for women in tech and Indigenous women entrepreneurs; York has received $1.87M to develop and deliver the Fempower program; WLU has received $1.39M to utilize existing incubation/acceleration space to support women entrepreneurs; and Collège d'Alma has received $912K to support COlab, which trains and mentors women entrepreneurs in a 4.0 digital culture framework. Queen’s | Canada (National)

StFX’s Schwartz School of Business signs on to PRME initiative

The Gerald Schwartz School of Business at St Francis Xavier University has signed on to the Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative. According to a release, the initiative engages business and management schools to ensure they provide future leaders with the skills needed to balance economic and sustainability goals, while also drawing attention to Sustainable Development Goals and aligning academic institutions with the UN Global Compact. “Ultimately, PRME implementation boils down to embedding the values of corporate sustainability and responsibility into the daily activities of the Schwartz School of Business through a wide range of potential projects, actions, policies, and structural changes,” said Brad Long, John T Sears Chair in Corporate Social Responsibility. StFX (NS)

UWaterloo student association introduces legal aid initiative for undergraduates

The Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association at the University of Waterloo is offering legal supports for students who opt into the new Legal Protection Program, reports CBC. Students will have access to support for legal issues pertaining to housing disputes, academic rights violations, and workplace safety and harassment. Seneca Velling, VP of Operations and Finance for WUSA, told CBC that more than 78% of students voted in favour of the initiative in a referendum. Those who opt-in will have access to the program at a cost of $9.56 per term. CBC (ON)

Parkland introduces tourism, hospitality training program

Parkland College has introduced a program to prepare students for careers in tourism and hospitality. A release states that Parkland will work with the Yorkton Tribal Council to deliver the program, which includes 12 weeks of classroom time and a six-week placement. “This is a great opportunity for unemployed individuals to learn life and work skills that will help them build confidence, gain experience, and prepare them for employment,” said Mark Hoddenbagh, President of Parkland College and Cumberland College. The participants will receive job readiness training, learn fundamental workplace skills, and earn credit towards a designated trade with Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council. Parkland (SK)

Shen: University homestay programs offer more than room and board

In addition to providing an affordable alternative to market rentals for international students, homestay programs offer students and hosts a unique intercultural experience, writes Anqi Shen. As international enrolments grow increasingly common in Canada, Shen adds, homestays have started to assume a larger role in the recruitment process. After noting recent concerns about how to regulate relationships between institutions and international agents, Shen discusses the potential benefits and challenges of homestay for both host families and students. The article concludes with an anecdote from international student Görkem Bakir, who said that homestays are also more affordable than private apartments. University Affairs (National)

Economic impact of international students exceeded $11B in 2016: Analysis

A new analysis of UNESCO data has found that international students made a $300B impact on the global economy in 2016. International students in Canada had a direct and indirect economic impact of $11.2B USD, an amount that exceeds that of France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Pie News reports that the study warned that the future mobility of international students faced “serious threats” to its growth momentum, due to the increasing costs of studying internationally and poorer work prospects. The article adds that the analysis did not account for unquantifiable, cultural, and social impacts of international mobility. Pie News (International)

RBC partners with Conestoga for on-campus banking services

RBC has opened an ONCampus branch that will provide students at Conestoga College’s Doon campus year-round banking support and advice. Michael Hotchkiss, RBC ONCampus manager at Conestoga, said that RBC specialists at the branch are trained to deliver financial advice on aspects of student life that range from balancing budgets to being future-ready. “Banking services is a piece that the college couldn’t provide directly so we looked to partnerships and how they might work on our campuses,” said Ancillary Services director Adam Hustwitt. “It was important to find a partner that could serve all of our locations.” Conestoga (ON)

UBCO sources local materials for next-gen battery

Researchers at UBC Okanagan are collaborating with Fenix Advanced Materials to develop a next-generation battery. According to a release from UBCO, the expansion of portable electronics and electric vehicles is driving demand for smaller, more portable batteries. The partners will source raw materials from local suppliers in their research. “We want to utilize and add value to the raw materials readily available in our region especially from Fenix, Teck, Retriev, Eagle Graphite and Deer Horn,” said Fenix CEO Don Freschi. “This can stimulate our rural economy and advance our technological capability through circular economy.” UBCO (BC)