Top Ten

November 18, 2021

KingsU receives $20M anonymous donation to create Science Centre

The King’s University (Edmonton) has received a $20M anonymous donation that will support the construction of a new state-of-the-art Science Centre. The 40,000 square foot Centre for Excellence in the Sciences will include common spaces, teaching facilities, and leading technology and laboratories, and will be a sustainability research hub. “I have always been proud of our legacy of research and education,” said KingsU President Dr Melanie Humphreys. “It’s really quite impressive—especially for a university of our size. This incredible, humbling gift is going to propel these programs forward in a significant way and provide new opportunities to branch out into the health sciences.” KingsU | Edmonton Journal | CBC (AB)

MB announces program that will enable nursing students to work while completing their studies

The Government of Manitoba has announced a new program that will allow third- and fourth-year student nurses to work in clinical settings while completing their studies. Students who have completed 450 clinical practice hours and a clinical placement in surgery, medicine, or mental health will be able to work as casual staff in MB patient units while earning competitive wages and gaining hours toward seniority. The program is anticipated to help address the nursing shortage in the province while allowing students to learn from experts. “We learn in our labs, placements and practicums, but nothing replaces learning as a team in units with patients,” said Lanette Siragusa, MB lead of health system integration. Winnipeg Free Press | Brandon Sun (MB)

SLC, Queen’s announce bridging partnership for civil engineering students

St Lawrence College and Queen’s University have announced a new bridging partnership that will allow graduates from SLC’s Civil Engineering Technology Advanced Diploma program to continue their studies at Queen’s. SLC graduates who complete the bridging program will enter Queen’s Civil Engineering Bachelor’s Program with advanced standing. The program will make it possible for SLC graduates to earn their degree at Queen’s with only three more years of study. “We are grateful for this partnership with Queen’s University, as it provides yet another important way for our students and graduates to continue on with their educational goals,” said SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. SLC | Kingstonist (ON)

UNBC launches Master of Applied Science in Engineering program

The University of Northern British Columbia has launched a Master of Applied Science in Engineering program. The program, which UNBC says is the first of its kind in the region, will provide training in engineering focused on cold environments and their specific needs. “This new master of applied science program is the next step in advancing engineering education in northern BC,” said UNBC Interim President Geoff Payne. “Working under the supervision of UNBC’s exceptional school of engineering faculty, students in this program will acquire expertise in their chosen area of specialization and create knowledge that will contribute to the discovery of solutions that will have impacts locally and globally.” UNBC (BC)

Techniques to encourage effective teamwork in student groups: Opinion

Instructors can implement a variety of strategies to help their students enjoy group work and see the benefits from learning teamwork, write Jane S Halonen and Dana S Dunn. Halonen and Dunn recommend providing students with a model of a dysfunctional group and practice with getting a dysfunctional group back on track. To ensure the group project leads students into effective teamwork, instructors can provide a structured list of questions for students, dedicate class time to group projects, have students get feedback from each other, and have students take turns leading the group. Finally, Halonen and Dunn recommend that instructors conduct equity reviews and require students to complete a self-assessment at the end of projects. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Paywall) (Editorial)

UoGuelph launches Black Canadian studies minor program

The University of Guelph has announced that its College of Arts has launched a new Black Canadian studies minor program. The program grew out of UoGuelph’s Anti-Racism Action Plan, and involves faculty from a wide range of disciplines, including literature, history, anthropology, psychology, and music. It will cover topics such as political and labour movements, issues of language, law, and health. “The program recognizes the centuries of Black presence in Canada and its contributions to Canadian society and knowledge,” said Dr Dorothy Odartey-Wellington, Professor in the School of Languages and Literatures. “Black studies at the University of Guelph addresses the need to have programs that reflect, and reflect upon, diversity in our country and in our research and learning environments.” UoGuelph (ON)

CapilanoU, OVCMT celebrate accreditation successes

Two postsecondary institutions in British Columbia have recently celebrated successful accreditation processes. At Capilano University, two tourism management programs have been accredited by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. The university says that it is only the second university in Canada and the third in North America to receive this internationally recognized qualification. The Okanagan Valley College of Massage Therapy recently underwent an evaluation from the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation and achieved 100% across all standards. The accreditation ensures that graduates of OKCMT’s programs are able to write registration exams to become registered massage therapists. CapilanoU | Castanet (OVCMT) (BC)

YorkU releases report on key areas for growth in AI, society

York University has released a report on the university’s possible future growth in artificial intelligence (AI) and society. The report, titled Fostering the Future of Artificial Intelligence, offers YorkU several recommendations for growth. These include hiring researchers in core areas; developing interdisciplinary curriculum initiatives; developing new programs and partnerships; and establishing a university-resourced platform to attract students, partners, and donors. “The goal is to explore the whole spectrum of possibilities for research, development and innovation in artificial intelligence, data governance and associated disruptive technologies as well as the applications and impact of such technologies on society,” said YorkU VP research and innovation Amir Asif. YorkU (ON)

UMFA strike continues, faculty, students, community respond in frustration

As the University of Manitoba Faculty Association strike continues, students, faculty, and community members are responding in frustration. An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press’s editorial board argues that the past actions of the government have caused the faculty’s current strike due to low wages, and alleges that the Government of Manitoba has had a mandate to restrict wage increases. Some students have responded to the strike by blocking doors to the administration building in solidarity with striking faculty. UMFA posters about a mock search party for MB Premier Heather Stefanson also drew criticism from some members of the community, with advocates saying that the posters are insulting to those searching for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. UMFA withdrew and changed the posters after receiving the feedback. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press | CBC (MB)

Western President addresses backlash against lanyards, apologizes to community

In a recent article from The Gazette, Western University President Alan Shepard addressed the backlash against the proposed lanyard identification initiative. The lanyards reportedly had been ordered over the summer in anticipation of a governmental requirement to have visible proof of vaccination when in classes. ON did not implement such a rule, but Western decided to distribute the lanyards anyways. Shepard says that the system was not communicated properly, and that no one needs to wear the lanyard. “It wasn’t intended to be a new tracking system. It’s not meant to be a security system, unless we had been under provincial legislation requiring that,” said Shepard. “We screwed this up ... I apologize to the community.” The Gazette (ON)