Top Ten

March 5, 2020

ON announces over $3.8M in grants for UWaterloo, WLU research

The Government of Ontario has announced over $3.8M in grants for research projects at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. $3.57M of the funds will be given to UWaterloo researchers, while WLU will receive about $247K. The funds will go towards projects on topics such as the use of big data in policing, and human behaviour in net-positive energy buildings. “Laurier researchers tackle some of the most complex issues facing our society today, and this funding will directly support and enhance those efforts,” said WLU Vice President Research Jonathan Newman. “We are grateful to the Government of Ontario for this substantial investment in Laurier’s world-class research.”   The Record   | WLU   (ON)

Canadian Postsecondary institutions appear in top 100 of QS World University Rankings by Subject

QS Quacquarelli Symonds has released the QS World University Rankings by Subjects. The rankings survey the performance of 13,138 individual university programs at 1,368 universities across the world and organize the results into five broad Faculty areas. In the Canadian context, the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, and McGill University charted top 50 in all five categories: Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences and Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and Management. Also notable is that while the University of Waterloo received a top 50 ranking in Engineering and Technology category and a top 100 ranking in the Natural Science category, McMaster University, the Université de Montréal, and the University of Alberta ranked in the top 100 of the Life Sciences and Medicine category. Emily Carr University of Art + Design appeared in the Top 50 in the Art and Design category.  QS Top Universities  (International)

Protein supercluster announces $3M plant protein processing project

Protein Industries Canada in partnership with Lucent BioSciences and AGT Foods and Ingredients have received $3M in funding to create a novel approach to improving the value of fibrous co-products from the pulse processing industry by transforming them into an organic micronutrient fertilizer. “Canada is home to innovative entrepreneurs who are creating clean solutions to protect the environment and grow the economy," said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson. "This supercluster project has the potential to not only make farming more eco-friendly but also improve the quality of food that farmers grow." Protein Industries Canada  (AB, BC)

Brock unveils Research Centre in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Culture

Brock University has launched the Research Centre in Interdisciplinary Arts and Creative Culture to facilitate co-operative projects in the creative arts. Part of the broader Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, the Centre will engage with a broad range of creative expressions including visual arts, dramatic arts, music, creative writing and translation, book and graphic design, cultural heritage, and photography. The Centre will also be home to the Small Walker Press that was launched last year. “We are all deeply committed to working in a collegial, participatory spirit,” says Brock Professor Catherine Parayre. Brock (ON)

As diversity initiatives at universities mount, so do the challenges

Universities across the country are increasingly launching initiatives to improve diversity on campuses. For example, McGill University and the University of Alberta have launched programs to support under-represented students, while schools like the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University use different data collecting tools to measure diversity among levels of employment. UBC associate vice-president of the Equity & Inclusion Office Sarah Jane-Finlay states that amidst these changes it is still "crucial to consider bias and how it has entered and may still be entering the search process when hiring.” Globe and Mail (National)

Boréal to launch Battery Electric Vehicle Maintenance Mining Program

Collège Boréal has announced the creation of a Battery Electric Vehicle Maintenance Mining Program beginning fall 2020. Developed in collaboration with Mayhew Performance, the program will focus on three main areas: battery technology, battery safety standards, and battery maintenance. “I am honoured to work with Collège Boréal on this exciting project," said Mayhew Performance founder Mike Mayhew. "The mining industry has big hopes for this program and it is significant that a major training institution like Collège Boréal has decided to move forward to design and offer this program in the college system.” Boréal (ON)

Report reveals racism experienced by Indigenous students at UWinnipeg

The University of Winnipeg's Chair of Indigenous Studies, Jacqueline Romanow, has released a report detailing the racism and discrimination that Indigenous students have experienced on campus. A key finding of the report was that Indigenous students at UWinnipeg are facing more racism, more often, than even some of the more-commonly studied populations in North America. "The data collected suggests that both the frequency and unpredictability of these racist experiences are extremely stressful for Indigenous students and have a concrete negative impact on their lives," explains Romanow in the report. She concludes that, "given the depth and breadth of the problem, it is likely that much more work will need to be done to address what is clearly a significant problem, not only at the University of Winnipeg but across the city and the nation."  Brandon Sun  | Policy Alternatives   (MB)

SFU suffers data breach

Simon Fraser University recently issued a letter to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and retirees notifying them that electronic data was exposed in late February. The breach impacted those who joined the institution prior to June 20, 2019 and included the exposure of student ID numbers, birth dates, full names, course enrolment, email addresses, and encrypted passwords. The breach was corrected within a day of discovery and the institution is taking steps to reduce harm caused by the breach. "We deeply regret this incident, are working diligently to contain the situation and are committed to helping mitigate the potential risks and harm to our faculty, staff, students, alumni and retirees," stated SFU Chief Information Officer Mark Roman.    CBC   | CityNews 1130   (BC)

Laurentian, Waubetek Business Development partner for Indigenous mineral development

Laurentian University has signed a letter of interest with Waubetek Business Development Corporation to facilitate cooperation between the institutions under Waubetek’s Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development. Waubetek, Anishinaabemowin for ‘the future’, is aiming to create partnerships between mining companies and Indigenous communities in several different ways, including the creation of comprehensive impact and benefit agreements. The partnership will also give the Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development direct lines of communication with some of Laurentian’s mining-focused departments. "The Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development will benefit from this key relationship with academia to provide this much-needed clearinghouse of information, research, case studies, leading practices, tools, templates and training primarily for Indigenous Peoples, but also to assist the mining industry and governments," said General Manager of Waubetek Business Development Corporation Dawn Madahbee. Laurentian  (ON)

Boiled down graduation rates a meaningless metric: opinion

15 years after beginning a presidency at a historically black college, Walter M Kimbrough came to a conclusion: “Graduation rates are meaningless, and we should stop keeping track of them.” Kimbrough highlights a number of issues with graduation rates, including the omittance of variables that impact the rates and the failure to present them in the historical and socioeconomic contexts of the communities they serve. He further points to US data that suggests students enter an institution with a sense of ambivalence towards it, with a third of students entering a four-year institution transferring before completing their program. “We’ve created a system now that encourages families to chase funds rather than fit,” he writes. “Let’s stop calculating graduation rates. It’s just a number.”    Chronicle of Higher Ed   (International)