Top Ten

June 16, 2022

BC invests in new UBC building to boost healthcare, biotech sectors

The Government of British Columbia has announced that it will be investing $25M into the University of British Columbia's new School of Biomedical Engineering facility. The building will provide a centralized space for the school, which currently operates classes and labs out of 24 buildings across UBC's Vancouver campus. Construction for the new building will begin in Summer 2022, and the building is expected to be completed by early 2025. The building will feature classrooms, dedicated learning spaces, and research labs. "The project is a major step forward for solidifying UBC and British Columbia's position as a world-leading biomedical research and innovation hub," said UBC President Santa Ono. BC | Surrey Now Leader | UBC (BC)

Students experience delays to disbursements, processing times after MB Student Aid outage

A system-wide Manitoba Student Aid outage has caused funding disbursement delays, creating challenges for students. The disruption occurred when a vulnerability in the system was identified. Though there were reportedly no security breaches, the incident resulted in delays to disbursements and to processing times, creating a backlog that is currently being addressed. MB issued a request for postsecondary institutions to extend their tuition payment deadlines and waive late fees for the spring and summer semesters. The Winnipeg Free Press reports that the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Red River College Polytechnic have confirmed these extensions for affected students. Winnipeg Free Press (Sub. Req.) (MB)

Five Canadian institutions named among top 25 animation schools

Animation Career Review has released their 11th annual International Animation School Rankings, which rank the top 25 animation schools that offer formal degree programs around the world. The rankings assess nearly 200 institutions according to set criteria that includes academic reputation, admission selectivity, employment data, program depth and breadth, and program value. Five Canadian postsecondary institutions appeared in the list: Sheridan College (#2), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (#6), OCAD University (#14), Université Laval (#20), and York University (#24). ACR (Rankings) | ACR (Method) | Oakville News (International)

eCampusOntario publishes micro-credential toolkit

eCampusOntario has announced the publication of its new Micro-credential Toolkit. The toolkit is intended to act as a guide for the development of micro-credential programs that fill training gaps in the labour market. The toolkit provides key definitions and outlines how institutions can navigate the opportunities and challenges of developing micro-credentials. It was created collaboratively by leaders in the micro-credential community and was built on the principles of being learner focused, transferrable, broadly relevant, and open. Several Ontario postsecondary institutions will be piloting and evaluating the toolkit. eCampusOntario | Toolkit (ON)

Universities need to use evidence-based solutions to improve exam practices: Editorial

Universities must use evidence-based solutions to improve their exam practices, writes Christopher Charles Deneen. Deneen explains that cheating, which is prevalent in online exams, disrupts the assessment of student achievement. Remote proctoring, however, is seen by students as a form of inappropriate surveillance and often creates more work to avoid uncritical accusations of cheating based on "flagged" cases. Returning exclusively to in-person exams, writes Deneen, brings its own set of well-documented problems. Instead, the author argues educators need to draw on the scholarship of teaching and learning to develop evidence- and research-supported assessment practices. This can involve adopting case-based approaches using novel material to deter the use of search engines or running exams that are divided into sections and intentionally include collaboration to deter unwanted collusion. The Conversation (Editorial)

YorkU to establish CIBC Chair in Sustainable Finance

York University has announced that it will be establishing a new research chair in sustainable finance, thanks to a $1.25M commitment from CIBC. The CIBC Chair in Sustainable Finance will focus on sustainable investment research, bridging the gap between academia and industry in sustainability-focused areas, and addressing challenges related to sustainable financial systems. “The new CIBC Chair will undertake groundbreaking research that will help guide businesses and policy makers in their efforts to shift to a low-carbon economy,” said YorkU Schulich School of Business Dean Detlev Zwick. “The CIBC Chair will also address the unmet need for the education and training of industry practitioners in the rapidly growing field of sustainable finance.” Globe Newswire (ON)

UMontreal to divest endowment fund from fossil fuels by end of 2025

The Université de Montréal has announced that it will be completely divesting its endowment fund from fossil fuels by the end of 2025. UMontreal will be withdrawing all direct and indirect investments in the fossil fuel sector from its endowment fund, 4% of which is currently invested in the fossil fuel industry. The move is intended to ensure responsible investment and reaffirm the university’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint. The announcement also honours the pledge that the university made to its students in April. UMontreal | Journal de Montréal (QC)

Lethbridge, THRIVE collaborate to accelerate agriculture, food sector technologies

Lethbridge College and SVG Ventures|THRIVE (THRIVE) have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on the acceleration of agriculture and food sector technologies. THRIVE will connect with resources such as the college’s Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CARIE) and agriculture-focused entrepreneurs to accelerate the development and adoption of innovative technologies. Lethbridge and THRIVE will also collaborate on creating initiatives and events in Alberta, building Alberta’s agri-food innovation ecosystem, supporting Lethbridge’s research community, and encouraging competitiveness in the industry. “Our agriculture research capacity has grown significantly over the past few years,” said Lethbridge VP – Research and Partnerships Dr Kenny Corscadden. “By working with THRIVE, we can continue to build our long-term innovation and commercialization capacity by connecting with entrepreneurs.” Lethbridge (AB)

Tackling the gender gap between men and women: Editorial

The gender gap between men and women pursuing college is continuing to grow, but colleges often struggle to tackle the issue, writes Kelly Field. Field reflects on the growing gender gap appearing in enrolment and graduation rates at American institutions. The author draws on conversations with sector experts and students to identify some of the socioeconomic, academic, and cultural factors that contribute to the gender imbalance among graduates. Field also highlights some of the initiatives colleges have used to try to fix the graduation gap, such as advertising existing services in places where male students tend to congregate on campus and educating faculty and staff about the factors that tend to hold men back in the classroom. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Sub. Req.) (Editorial)

Cégep à L’Assomption receives approval to offer Techniques d’inhalothérapie

Cégep à L’Assomption has received approval to offer a respiratory therapy program. Techniques d’inhalothérapie will be offered in the Lanaudière, Laurentides, Laval, and Mauricie regions and will focus on training respiratory workers to fill labour needs. The cegep will be receiving funds from the Government of Quebec to support the acquisition of equipment and the development of new facilities to house the program. Cégep à L’Assomption will plan to open registrations for the program in Fall 2023. Cégep à L’Assomption (QC)