Top Ten

July 8, 2020

Maple League launches virtual Teaching and Learning Centre

The Maple League of Universities has recently launched the Virtual Maple League Teaching and Learning Centre (V_MTLC), a faculty-led virtual space that supports students and faculty in relation to online learning. The virtual centre will be offered by all Maple League universities to their students in September as part of course delivery. “Faculty at all four universities have been working to prepare more workshops and resources for their colleagues,” said Mount Allison University Professor Toni Roberts. “The programming and expertise from professors at the four universities is curated in a way that is helpful to all schools. It’s a true collaboration.” MtA (NB, NS, QC)

Montréal wins bid to host headquarters for global biodiversity research networks

The Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science, in partnership with McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université de Shebrooke, Fonds de recherche du Québec - Natures et Technologies, and Montréal International, have won the bid to host the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON). GEO BON, a global research network and community of practice dedicated to the monitoring of Earth’s biodiversity, announced the relocation of its headquarters from Leipzig, Germany to Montréal. “This selection confirms both Montreal as a world-leader in supporting organizations focused on sustainability, and McGill University as a major centre of research into this field of crucial importance to our planet,” stated McGill Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) Martha Crago. McGill (QC)

U of T, HUJI enter strategic innovation, research partnership

The University of Toronto has entered into a strategic partnership with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI) to enable collaboration between the two institutions toward the production of high-impact research. The partnership will see the formation of the University of Toronto – Hebrew University of Jerusalem Research and Innovation Alliance, a group that will annually select projects to receive funding of $150K a year for up to four years. The alliance was launched with endowed funding of $5.9M from the Canadian Friends of Hebrew University and the family of Roz and Ralph Halbert. It aims to raise another $14M to construct an innovation pipeline connecting the entrepreneurship ecosystems in Toronto and Jerusalem, as well as providing student entrepreneurs with exposure to each other’s universities and markets. U of T (ON)

Queen’s launches website for Indigenous initiatives

Queen’s University has launched the Office of Indigenous Initiatives website, an online space where campus community members can learn about and engage with the university’s Indigenous research, initiatives, and cultural services. The site is designed to guide users through key themes and initiatives, including Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous Ways of Knowing, and Decolonizing and Indigenizing. It also showcases Indigenous ‘faces, spaces, and places’ at Queen’s, making it easier for Queen’s community members to connect with campus Elders, as well as Indigenous services for students and employees. “It is important for reconciliation that Indigenous voices be incorporated into the work—the projects, research, and initiatives – that take place here at Queen’s,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation). Queen’s (QC)

ACC launches Advanced Diploma in Public Safety

Assiniboine Community College has launched a one-year Advanced Diploma in Public Safety that will train graduates for a range of careers in the public safety sector, including municipal, regional, and Indigenous police services, corrections, and security. The immersive, full-time program foregrounds hands-on learning approaches and scenario training that features problem-based learning. “This new post-graduate credential allows us to better meet the needs of students and employers, preparing graduates for a range of community-focused careers in public safety organizations,” said Ian Grant, Special Advisor, Public Safety at ACC. “The growth and expansion of our public safety programming is something we continue to put a great deal of our focus and energy behind.” ACC | Brandon Sun (MB)

Trent Durham GTA announces Strategic Land Acquisition

Trent University’s Board of Governors has announced the purchase of four properties adjacent to the Trent Durham GTA campus. Short and long-term use of the 1.9-acre parcel of land is still to be determined, but preliminary ideas include using the land to address pending space needs for faculty and students, as well as developing investment property for the university. “This land purchase was an important opportunity to further affirm Trent’s commitment to the Oshawa community and the Durham Region,” said Trent President Leo Groarke. “The expansion will alleviate some immediate needs on the Durham campus and cement the University’s long-term plans for strategic program development and growth in the Greater Toronto Area.” Trent | Nation Talk (ON)

CIBC survey reveals postsecondary students’ financial concerns amid COVID-19

A CIBC online survey of 1,053 Canadian postsecondary students has found that half of participants fear that they will be unable to attend a postsecondary institution this fall due to income disruptions as a result of COVID-19. The survey also revealed that 87% of those polled were experiencing one or more financial concerns, and that postsecondary students are more likely to indicate that their incomes would be impacted than adult Canadians with similar concerns (68% versus 36%). “The consequences of COVID-19 have severely affected the students' chances of keeping their summer job or finding a new job,” observed CIBC Managing Director, Tax and Estate Planning Jamie Golombek. “This group is going through a very difficult time because so much of student life is planning for the future.” Newswire | CIBC (National)

Western to move Continuing Studies to Main Campus

Western University has announced that they will be relocating their Continuing Studies from its downtown location in London, Ontario’s Citi Plaza to the main campus in Fall 2021. Western states that the decision to move Continuing Studies was prompted by both an impending end to the current lease and the ever-evolving demands of learners. “There’s a growing trend in continuing education that we bring learning where the students are. Increasingly, those students are learning remotely, from their homes or offices,” said John Doerksen, Western Vice-Provost (Academic Programs). “So, even as the upcoming end of our lease made us rethink where we deliver services, we also took a fresh look at how we envision learning will take place in the future. It’s become clear to us that we need to be more innovative in how we deliver our courses.” Western (ON)

McMaster closes Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute

McMaster University’s board of governors has decided to close the institution’s multimillion-dollar Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute. The university stated that the institute had run its course due to a lack of collaboration between its researchers, which the Hamilton Spectator states was the purpose of an institute. However, the former director of the institute, Mick Bhatia, questions the reason given for the decision, explaining that he had published at least one paper with every researcher at the institute, and other researchers had done the same. At its peak, the institute had 13,000 square feet of state-of-the art facilities, 130 staff, and millions in grants. Hamilton Spectator (Subscription needed) (ON)

Surviving academe as a BIPOC woman: Opinion

“This week, I was awarded tenure at my university. Brown. Muslim. Woman. Tenured,” writes University of Toronto professor Aisha S Ahmad. Thinking about the next generation of BIPOC women starting their journeys in higher education, Ahmad discusses the “many things I wish I had known when I was new to academic life,” including gas lighting from peers and administration and racism disguised as academic criticism. The author suggests ways to deal with these situations, before closing with a request for forgiveness from the next generation. “The truth is, we are not as free as you will be. The world you are creating will be more equitable than the one we created for you,” concludes Ahmad. “You must surpass us. One day, you will help others surpass you.” Chronicle of Higher Education (International)