Top Ten

January 28, 2022

Research Infosource releases Top 50 Research Colleges rankings

Research Infosource Inc has released the Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges rankings for 2021. The sponsored research income of the ranked colleges reportedly increased by 20.8% to $271M in Fiscal 2020. Research income increased at 39 colleges and declined at 11 others. The top five institutions overall were Cégep de Trois-Rivières, Humber College, Niagara College, Lambton College, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT). The leading institutions in research income growth were Saskatchewan Polytechnic (304.6%), Cégep du Vieux Montréal (293.7%), and Cégep de Lévis (243.2%); while the leaders in research intensity were Niagara, NAIT, and Loyalist College. Release (PDF) | Top 50 | Winners Circle (National)

SK launches Saskatchewan Agent Training Program

The Government of Saskatchewan has launched a new program for recruitment agents that will support its growth in international student numbers. The Saskatchewan Agent Training Program will cover topics such as Canadian laws and immigration and the benefits of working, living, and studying in SK. The program will both better prepare recruitment agents to talk about education in SK and provide the opportunity for postsecondary institutions to build relationships with agents. “Ensuring that agents are well prepared to accurately represent what this province has to offer creates an extension of the high-quality service that Saskatchewan institutions pride themselves on,” said Cumberland College and Parkland College President Dr Mark Hoddenbagh. “By providing agents with this training, students will be well served from the first point of contact with that agent right through to their graduation.” SK (SK)

HEQCO releases report on changes that could help historically disadvantaged students

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released a new report detailing how longitudinal student data could be used to provide better support to historically disadvantaged students. Access Programs in Ontario: OPAIP and Pathways to Education identifies three gaps that either limit or act as barriers to OPAIP and Pathways’ potential impact: A lack of demographic data at an administrative level; delayed and unpredictable funding timelines; and a need for greater capacity to address changing needs. The report recommends that the ON Ministry of Colleges and Universities mandate data collection and reporting, distribute funding on a predictable schedule, and facilitate the development of supports that will meet community needs. HEQCO (ON)

CNIMI receives over $1.6M to support manufacturers going digital

The Centre national intégré du manufacturier intelligent (CNIMI) will be receiving $1.6M from the ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation, as well as an additional contribution of $375K from Siemens. The CNIMI, which was created through a partnership between the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and Cégep de Drummondville, will be using the funding to support manufacturing companies in their digital shift and to carry out more digital projects with entrepreneurs. With this funding, entrepreneurs will be able to be reimbursed for up to 75% of their costs for projects connected to Industry 4.0, making the digital transformation process more accessible to entrepreneurs. UQTR (QC)

Carlton Trail, Cumberland, Great Plains, Parkland partner on Agricultural Science Certificate

Four regional colleges in Saskatchewan – Carlton Trail College, Cumberland College, Great Plains College, and Parkland College – have formed a partnership that will allow each college to offer an Agricultural Science Certificate. The eight-month program teaches students about modern agriculture operations, focusing specifically on crop production. It will be delivered in a blended format, with students learning theoretical components through a live stream from Cumberland College and completing labs in person at their respective college. The course is brokered through Lakeland College, and graduates will be able to enter the second year of Lakeland’s Crop Technology Diploma after completing the program. Great Plains (SK)

UCW releases white paper on needs of BC technology community

University Canada West has released a new white paper on what technology companies need from universities to better address the talent shortage. The paper highlights five interrelated opportunities for universities: building technical, strategic, and humanistic skills; bringing academia and industry together; reimagining student learning and assessment; creating upskilling and reskilling solutions; and changing how British Columbia is perceived. “Universities share a collective responsibility to understand what industry needs to help the economy grow, and as importantly, to prepare students to meet those needs,” said UCW Interim President Sheldon Levy. “As we reimagine the post-COVID economy, we must work together with industry to better prepare the tech workforce of the future.” News Wire | Report | Report (PDF) (BC)

Simplifying digital recommendations for students: Opinion

Digital recommendation letters have become increasingly time consuming and tedious for instructors to complete, despite expectations that they would make the process simpler, write Jane S Halonen and Dana S Dunn. Halonen and Dunn discuss how digital systems often require instructors to answer a variety of survey questions and ratings for each student in addition to a reference letter. Additionally, institutions use a variety of systems and reporting formulas, making it difficult to transfer recommendation information from one system to another. Halonen and Dunn recommend that institutions allow instructors to simplify their ratings, clarify what is required in recommendation letters, and allow instructors to opt out of digital ratings systems. The authors also suggest that faculty consider refusing to fill out ratings for their students. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)

Race to develop inhalable COVID-19 booster shines light on issues with international collaboration

In a recent article from CBC’s The Fifth Estate, journalists Scott Anderson, Rachel Ward, and Bob McKeown review an international partnership between McMaster University and China-based CanSino Biologics and how it has gone wrong. The Government of Canada had expressed hope that the previous partnership between McMaster and CanSino could lead to a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the authors explain, but the relationship stalled and the two are now independently racing to develop similar COVID-19 booster vaccines. CBC reports that there are now concerns around McMaster’s ability to market its inhaled COVID-19 vaccine due to a licensing agreement that was previously struck with CanSino on a McMaster-developed inhalable TB vaccine. Former federal public servant Margaret McCuaig-Johnston said the relationship may be “a case study of what not to do in partnerships with China.” CBC (International)

UNB, UFV, UCalgary receive funds from TD Bank

Several Canadian postsecondary institutions have received funding from TD Bank Group’s corporate citizenship platform: The TD Ready Commitment. The University of Calgary and University of New Brunswick were among the 15 beneficiaries of the $10M TD Ready Challenge: UCalgary received $750K for its Math Minds model, while a partnership between the University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute, the Joint Economic Development Initiative Inc, and the Ulnooweg Education Centre’s digital acceleration program received $750K for research on addressing the pandemic’s effects on schools. The University of the Fraser Valley’s Community Health and Social Innovation Hub also recently received $225K from the TD Ready Commitment to use AI and social companion robots to reduce social isolation and loneliness. Newswire | UFV | Nation Talk (UNB) (National)

SAT to go completely digital by 2024

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) will be going completely digital in 2024 and will be introducing changes to make the test shorter and more secure. The online tests will expedite the results of the study, allowing students and educators to see the SAT results in days rather than weeks. The changes will also expand flexibility and accessibility in test administration, though students will still be required to complete the test at a designated centre. Changes will reportedly take effect in 2023 at international test centres, and in 2024 at American centres and schools. Reuters reports that SAT is not the only exam to go virtual: The LSAT went digital in 2019 and the next version of the US bar exam will be taken on a computer. Reuters | IB Times | Study International (International)