Top Ten

December 17, 2019

UAlberta pulls $15M from reserves to help offset provincial funding cuts

The University of Alberta’s Board of Governors has approved a one-time transfer of $15M from the institution’s non-endowment investment income and reserves to help cover provincial funding cuts to the school’s 2019-2020 operating budget announced earlier this year. Prior to this announcement, around $14.9M in savings have also been attained by cancelling some infrastructure projects, while $2M in savings comes from additional tuition from enrolment growth, and a budget contingency fund of about $2.3M. However, there is still just over $45.1M to be cut this fiscal year. Potential increases to tuition in 2020-21 have not yet been decided, but the Edmonton Journal reports that the school could see fees rise by 7% on average and up to 10% in some programs. Edmonton Journal (AB)

CICan, CAF partner to study, pilot pre-apprenticeship training programs

Colleges and Institutes Canada has partnered with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum to launch an iteration of the Government of Canada’s Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) program, an initiative that aims to help Canadians facing barriers to education access pre-apprenticeship training. Over the next two and a half years, CICan and CAF will gather data to provide an overview of pre-apprenticeship training, and will then pilot up to five pre-apprenticeship programs designed by colleges and institutes for groups facing barriers in urban and rural locations. “The Inclusive Pre-Apprenticeship Pathways Program will identify leading and promising practices in offering pre-apprenticeship programs for underrepresented groups that will be adapted and scaled,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. CICan (National)

Six Canadian universities chart in the top 100 of UI GreenMetric’s World University Rankings

Several Canadian Universities have ranked in the Universitas Indonesia’s GreenMetric World University Rankings. GreenMetric evaluated 780 universities from 85 countries, measuring participants’ commitment to developing environmentally friendly infrastructure based upon six factors: setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and education. Six Canadian universities charted in the top 100, including: The Université de Sherbrooke, Carleton University, and McMaster University, which ranked 22nd, 35th, and 51st respectively. York University, Trent University, and the University of Ottawa ranked 62nd, 66th, and 86th. UI Green Metric | McMaster (International)

U of T to open a Creative Destruction Lab at Georgia Tech next year

The University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) has announced that its newest location will be launched in Atlanta in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology. CDL-Atlanta will deliver a nine-month, objectives-based mentoring process to enhance the performance of technical founders who learn from the insights of experienced entrepreneurs. Based in Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, CDL-Atlanta will accept 25 companies into its inaugural cohort, with applications opening in April 2020. “We are thrilled to welcome Georgia Tech into the CDL family,” said U of T CDL Founder Ajay Agrawal. “They are consistently ranked as one of the top ten engineering departments in the world. This is a significant opportunity for both parties.” U of T | Creative Destruction Lab (ON)

AB engineering association calls for simplified, accelerated foreign credential recognition process

The Alberta Association of Science and Engineering Technology (ASET) is calling on other professional licensing bodies to simplify and accelerate foreign credential recognition processes based on ASET’s own success in this area. ASET began the long process of removing the requirement for licensees to have Canadian work experience and replacing it with a standardized test in 2013. ASET’s efforts, while expensive and time-consuming, have already impacted hundreds of foreign-trained professionals, said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. ASET has also offered to share its materials with regulatory bodies in other provinces to help them make similar changes. Edmonton Journal (AB)

Conestoga prepares for first cohort of students in new Market Square campus

Conestoga College is preparing to welcome the first cohort of students to its new Market Square campus in downtown Kitchener. The initial opening will see about 1,000 students attend classes in the 85,000 square-foot, two-storey building as of January 13th. Although initially conceived as a home for business programming for primarily international students, the campus will also house students studying applied computer science and information technology, alongside a contingent of business students. "There is a demand in the community for graduates in information technology," said Conestoga President John Tibbits. "We've moved away from primarily business to a more comprehensive array of programming." The college is also looking to expand into other parts of Market Square that are currently vacant or soon-to-be vacant. (ON)

The after-effects of Brexit may encourage Canadian researchers to prioritize EU-based collaboration

New research suggests that Canadian academics may prioritize collaborations with EU-based researchers instead of UK-based researchers following Brexit. According to the researchers, much will depend on whether the UK can negotiate its status as an associate member for Horizon Europe, or whether it will have to participate through the much more limited ‘third-country’ status. “Brexit would likely discourage Canadian researchers from collaborating with U.K. researchers under existing policy rules, because there is currently much less funding available to support Canadian collaboration with the UK,” concludes Denis Clark, a research associate for the aforementioned project. However, much depends on whether the UK government will make sufficient research funding available to compensate for the loss of access to Horizon Europe following Brexit. University Affairs (National)

Calgary’s South Asian community raises the alarm on exploitation of international students

Groups and organizations in Calgary’s South Asian community are raising awareness of the ongoing exploitation of international students and foreign workers, report CBC. Through a petition and community meetings, organizers are asking for a cap on college fees, greater clarity on programs for international students, and the replacement of the federal government’s employer sponsorship program with an alternative that is less susceptible to corruption. "On the government side, while there are policies that should prevent exploitation, there's no mechanism to make employers accountable,” said Director of Migrante Alberta Marco Luciano. “So a lot of the issues slip under the rug and people are getting away with it." CBC (AB)

Head track coach at UoGuelph on leave as university reviews reports from athletes

The head coach of the University of Guelph’s track and field team is on a “personal leave of absence” as the school reviews reports from past and current athletes regarding their experiences on the team, reports Guelph Mercury. UoGuelph issued a statement on the coaches’ departure, saying that the school is "actively and responsibly reviewing the information received in accordance with university processes and procedures." The statement added that "in accordance with the university's policies and relevant privacy legislation, the university does not comment on such matters while those processes are underway." CBC | (ON)

UQÀM adds new digital humanities focus to their master’s of history program

The Université du Québec á Montréal is launching a new stream within their maîtrise en historie program, humanitiés numériques. Starting in fall 2020, the new focus aims to develop students’ critical analysis and synthesis skills, as well as their ability to use digital tools to promote the research and dissemination of historical knowledge. Students will investigate both the possibilities and limitations of digital technologies in areas related to history, such as archives and heritage institutes. By the end of the stream, students will be able to identify the requirements, challenges, and objectives of a digital project; organize project implementation; and follow a project’s development until completion. UQÀM (QC)