Top Ten

June 10, 2021

BCIT’s Centre for Internet of Things, YVR partner on Innovation Hub

The British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Centre for Internet of Things has partnered with the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to establish an Innovation Hub. The hub will drive innovation and growth in the region and will include a living lab in which students and faculty can research new processes and technology. The Innovation Hub will also be involved in community collaboration and will provide a space for students to participate in hands-on learning. “We are very excited to share our technical expertise with YVR, our students will gain real-world experience exploring the endless possibilities for innovation advancement in this new living lab,” said Kim Dotto, Dean of Applied Research and Centre for Research and Innovation at BCIT. BCIT (BC)

Students from India look increasingly to overseas education, board exam cancellations complicate admissions

The second wave of the pandemic in India has had several significant impacts on students looking to enter higher education. India Times reports that the upheaval created by the pandemic has caused students to look overseas for college admissions in countries with access to vaccines, robust health infrastructure, and policies favouring foreign student admissions. Several education platforms told the India Times that they had seen an over 50% increase in students wanting to pursue higher education outside of the country in 2021 compared to 2020. The pandemic also forced India to cancel the Class 12 board exams, which are commonly used for applications and admissions to postsecondary education for Indian students. IIT Bombay Professor Anura explained in an article for NDTV that universities will need to turn to other information – such as estimated scores, the creation of entrance exams, or additional metrics – for applications. India Times (Subscription) | NDTV (International)

QS World University Rankings 2022 released, UofT, McGill, UBC rank in top 50

QS Quacquarelli Symonds has released the QS World University Rankings for 2022. The rankings evaluated 1,300 universities around the world according to metrics such as academic reputation, employer reputation, and faculty/student ratio. The top three institutions were MIT (1), the University of Oxford (2), and the University of Cambridge and Stanford University (tied for 3). 28 Canadian universities were included in the ranking with three appearing within the top 50: The University of Toronto (26), McGill University (27), and the University of British Columbia (46). Newswire | QS (Rankings) (International)

How a virtual course on pandemics could provide a model to address other challenges: Opinion

University of Guelph professors Elizabeth Finnis, Sofie Lachapelle, and T Ryan Gregory describe their experience and learnings from leading an interdisciplinary, virtual course on pandemics. The authors discuss how providing weekly panels with knowledge from multiple disciplines helped participants make sense of the abundance of information disseminated during the COVID-19 pandemic and provided a place for them to make connections. “Even as the pandemic kept us apart physically, the course created a deeply engaging virtual community,” write Finnis, Lachapelle, and Gregory. The authors explain that the course also demonstrated the potential benefits of the virtual classroom and provided a model through which urgent, complex challenges could be addressed. The Conversation (Editorial)

PolyMTL, Safran sign aeronautical research and training agreement

Polytechnique Montréal has signed a five-year agreement with equipment manufacturer Safran that will support several aeronautical research projects. The projects will be taken on by teams comprised of students and professors and will address topics such as eco-design, environmental impact reduction, materials and processes, and parts robustness and maintenance to contribute to the development of a carbon-neutral aircraft. “Safran researchers understand university reality and interact closely and concretely with our students and our teams,” said François Bertrand, Senior VP of PolyMTL and VP - Academic and Research. “This synergy not only leads to promising advances for the entire industry, but also permits a new generation to be trained in keeping with the current and future challenges of the aeronautical sector.” PolyMTL (QC)

Sask Polytech launches Indigenous Leadership Skills Applied Certificate

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it is launching an Indigenous Leadership Skills Applied Certificate that will train students in leadership and resiliency. The certificate uses a completely online and interactive format for accessibility, and includes real life case studies and course materials that align with Indigenous values. “To prepare learners for success in the communities and economies of today and in the future, the new Indigenous Leadership Skills program builds business leadership skills based on Indigenous ways of knowing,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “This specialized, unique program examines historical and contemporary models of Indigenous business, entrepreneurship and economic development.” NationTalk (SK)

Coalition, USudbury want funding, French programs transferred from Laurentian

CBC reports that the Coalition nord-ontarienne pour une université francophone, which was formed after Laurentian University cut ties with the University of Sudbury, wants to repatriate French programming from Laurentian. explains that while Laurentian is continuing to offer French programming after terminating the federation agreement and “needs the money that was being transferred to its federated partners for its own operations,” the Coalition wants this funding redirected to USudbury as it transforms into a Francophone university. “It is time to create our French-language university in Sudbury by, for and with franco-Ontarians. This is an historic event,” said USudbury board of regents chair Pierre Riopel. CBC | Sudbury (ON)

Students face challenges in finding summer jobs as provinces reopen

A recent article from The Star describes the challenges that students are experiencing as they search for summer jobs. The article says that though provinces are reopening, there is still a lack of jobs in the industries in which students typically work. The article notes that the situation is especially difficult for those who typically face barriers to employment, such as Indigenous students, the LGBTQ community, and recent immigrants, and that summer job programs should be expanded to help all students find work. “Not providing opportunities, not making investments in young people and in our communities will impact people’s livelihood, health, well-being and have generational effects that will create additional barriers to obtaining post-secondary education and additional barriers to entering a job market,” said Marie Dolcetti-Koros, national treasurer for the Canadian Federation of Students. The Star (National)

Keyin, CNA sign Entrance Eligibility Agreement

Keyin College and the College of the North Atlantic have signed a new agreement that will support graduates of certain Keyin diploma programs who wish to enter CNA’s Information Management post-diploma program. VOCM reports that the Entrance Eligibility Agreement recognizes the increases in demands on the tech sector as well as its growth, which Promise Enemuo, a Keyin technology program student says is “moving so fast that we can’t see it’s moving.” VOCM says that this is the first time a private college has signed an MOU with CNA, the only public college in Newfoundland and Labrador. Twitter (Keyin) | VOCM (NL)

PhD graduates should consider careers in public policy: Opinion

PhD graduates have skills and competencies that are transferable to careers in public policy, writes Chris Cornthwaite, who graduated with a PhD in religious studies from the University of Toronto. The author describes how though public policy work can come with a steep learning curve, it involves decision-making based on research and evidence. Cornthwaite explains that PhD studies prepare students through building their writing and research skills, and that students can take experience in a variety of fields and find a public policy area to apply their previous experience. The author encourages people interested in public policy to conduct informational interviews in order to get a sense of the field. “[J]ust see where you can get hired and go with the flow. Yes, your skill set will transfer,” writes Cornthwaite. University Affairs (Editorial)