Top Ten

February 28, 2020

ON announces UniversitéON campus will be located in downtown Toronto

The Government of Ontario has announced that Ontario's first French-language university, the Universite de l'Ontario Francais, will be located in downtown Toronto. "We're expecting to see 290,000 [Francophone] students across this province, students who are going to be able to study in a facility like this and gain access to a top quality education," said ON Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano. "The goal is to ensure students receive an education that leads to a quality job that's going to meet labour market needs." Nickel Belt MPP France Gélinas stated that although she supports the location of UOF in Toronto, she will "continue to push so that access to francophone university courses continues to be available in northern Ontario in a way that makes sense to us." The institution hopes to begin accepting students in 2021. CBC | The Star (subscription required)  (ON)

SFU pilots FASS Forward microcredit program

Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has launched a pilot program to help students acquire the skills necessary in be successful in school and work. The FASS Forward program involves nine microcredit skills-based courses that cover topics such as writing for a public audience, social media, conflict negotiation, and personal finance skills. The courses were developed in response to a national survey by the Conference Board of Canada, which argued that graduates of social sciences and humanities programs needed more support in articulating the value of their degree to employers. All courses can be completed in a one-month time frame and are open to all students. SFU | SFU  (BC)

Centennial, Algoma partner to explore mutually beneficial projects, pathways for students

Centennial College and Algoma University have signed a memorandum of understanding to foster a working relationship between the two institutions that will help create projects of mutual benefit. Both institutions have indicated that they are intent on creating high-affinity student pathways for degree completion allowing students to have the option to pursue further education. Specifically, the schools are interested in assessing the opportunity to develop integrated programs, as well as data-sharing related to pathways and potential programs.  Centennial  (ON)

UCalgary launches program that pairs ventures with experienced advisers

The University of Calgary has launched the Enhancing Private Equity Governance program to help connect entrepreneurs with established professionals in their field. Delivered primarily online by the Haskayne School of Business, the program will see ventures and directors embark on education modules before eventually being paired together to develop a governance road map for the venture. Venture leaders will learn about the governance requirements and responsibilities for angel investors and venture capitalists. Senior business leaders will learn about the best practices that are distinct from early-stage companies.“Entrepreneurs often know their product or technology well, but not necessarily the business landscape,” says UCalgary Haskayne School of Business Michael Robinson. “This can open them up to mistakes with legal or intellectual property issues which can be fatal to their business.  UCalgary  (AB)

CICan launches ImpAct to help Canada meet Sustainable Development Goals

Colleges and Institutes Canada has launched a new initiative to help Canada make progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. ImpAct, supported by the McConnell Foundation and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, will launch three collaborative pan-Canadian projects that will aim to reduce barriers to access for vulnerable populations, support social entrepreneurship, and improve campus sustainability. “As community hubs, where education, innovation, and entrepreneurship converge, colleges and institutes are ideally placed to help Canada reach these goals," said CICan President Denise Amyot. "ImpAct will give us an opportunity to share best practices, but also develop projects that will have tangible results all across the country.”  CICan  (National)

Judge reserves decision in case in FOI request for research funding information

A judge of the Court of Queen's Bench in Regina has reserved her decision in a freedom of information case on the funding information for research studies on the fossil fuel industry at the University of Regina. URegina Professor Emily Eaton said that the ruling on the case could set a dangerous precedent where universities are able to keep research secret from the public. Lawyers representing URegina, however, have argued that the publication of funding agencies and recipients could discourage future funding relationships and puts researchers who conduct sensitive or controversial research at risk. The judge advised that her verdict will likely be made in the summer.   CBC  | Times Colonist  (SK)

Evolution of Canada's university-level agricultural programs

Canada’s agriculture faculties are becoming, with surprisingly little fanfare, ... among the most exciting hubs of interdisciplinary collaboration on Canadian campuses, writes Matthew Halliday. Although enrolment in Canadian university-level agricultural programs has seen a decline over many years, the author attributes the recent success of many agricultural departments to being able to appeal to the interests of "an increasingly urban student body less interested in tilling soil and more interested in questions of social justice [and] food security." From the creation of digital agriculture programs to creating partnerships with industry leaders and other faculties and departments, agricultural departments have reinvented themselves through collaboration and embracing technological developments, However, McGill University Professor Jim Fyles cautions that "universities also need to be careful that the increasingly fruitful interdisciplinarity doesn’t splinter into specialized siloes, with researchers losing the sense of the broad purpose and mission” necessary for success.   University Affairs  (National)

UQAR to offer a social work master’s program

The Université du Québec à Rimouski has announced that it will be offering a master's program in social work beginning this fall. The 45-credit program will be offered part-time and according to a schedule that promotes work-study balance. The program is offered in two different formats: either a research format with a dissertation or an internship format that is adapted to the needs of social workers. Aimed at graduates in the social sciences, the program will broaden students' perspectives on interventions, and deepen their knowledge of social work practices.   L'Avantage  (QC)

VCC unveils Early Childhood Care and Education space

Vancouver Community College has launched a decided Early Childhood Care and Education space at the school's downtown campus. The new space is divided into two halves, with the first half comprised of four mock learning areas, while the other half serves as a classroom equipped with folding tables that are easy to move around. The design of the space follows an approach to early childhood education that regards the learning environment as a "third teacher," enabling children to access stimulating resources for uninterrupted exploration, play, and learning, which in turn promotes self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.  VCC  (BC)

Promoting gender equity in higher ed through demonstrating the positive effects of competition

Removing biases in the [higher education] system may not be enough to achieve a truly equal gender balance, writes Sun Young Lee. Despite many institutions' best efforts to reduce gender bias through altering hiring and promotional policies, Lee's research suggests that such efforts may not be enough if qualified female academics opt-out of important career opportunities due to a lack of faith that such competitive processes can bring positive outcomes. To address this problem, Lee suggests that institutions might provide employees with training that speak to the positive impacts that healthy competition and career progression can bring about for organisations and society.   Times Higher Education  (International)