Top Ten

September 2, 2022

UCalgary launches Bachelor of Design in City Innovation program

The University of Calgary’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape has launched a Bachelor of Design in City Innovation program, which the university says is a first for Western Canada. Starting in the fall of 2023, students will learn about social issues and city design through a hands-on multidisciplinary approach. The program will cover the relationship between people and their constructed environment. “If we look at the big problems and challenges in the world today — climate change and social injustice — they are grounded in the built environment, in the relation between people, and how they interact with the environment, their cities, their spaces and each other,” said UCalgary SAPL Dean Dr John Brown. “This program came about because we identified that there’s a significant knowledge and skills gap to address these critical challenges.” UCalgary (AB)

Classroom-to-citizenship process needs “an urgent reset:” RBC Report

A new Thought Leadership report from RBC states that international students can help solve Canada’s labour crisis, but that the country’s classroom-to-citizenship process needs an urgent reset. Co-authors Ben Richardson and Yadullah Hussain explore the recent growth in international student enrolments in Canada and the country’s rise to become a top 3 global exporter of education services. They highlight issues related to the complicated immigration system pathways, as well as the gap between the labour market’s needs and the programs and paths international students are taking while in Canada. Looking to the future, the authors outline recommendations for federal and provincial governments, postsecondary institutions, and other organizations. “Focusing on in-demand fields of study, increased transparency in the permitting process, streamlined pathways, and more robust public and private sector support would ensure Canada does not lose out on the benefits promised by Canadian-educated immigrants,” concludes the report. RBC | Brandon Sun | The Record (National)

Carleton, Turnstone extend partnership supporting biosciences programs

Carleton University has extended a partnership with Turnstone Biologics that will support talent growth and the university’s biosciences programs. The extension will provide Carleton students with a variety of opportunities, such as conducting immunology, microbiology, biochemistry, biotechnology, and bioinformatics research; work-integrated learning; job shadowing and mentorship; and experiential education. “Talent development is a key objective of this exciting and mutually beneficial research partnership,” said Carleton VP (Research and International) Rafik Goubran. “Together through our partnership, Carleton University and Turnstone are preparing the next generation of life sciences researchers to continue advancing immunotherapies with the aim of improving the survival rate of people with cancer.” Carleton (ON)

New study discusses gender parity in tenured positions, perceptions of fairness: StatCan

Women hold a growing share of tenured positions at Canadian universities, but gender parity has not yet been reached, according to a new study released by Statistics Canada. The study found that the number of women holding tenured positions has risen to 37% in 2019 from 14% in 1990. However, women are still less likely to be tenured than men (64% vs 75%). Women faculty were also less likely than men to hold a doctoral degree (75% vs 82%) and tended to be younger on average. The study found that parental leave affects women’s time to tenure, with 19% of tenure-track women who took parental leave obtaining tenure in less than five years, compared to 36% of women who did not take parental leave. The study also found that female faculty members were twice as likely as men to disagree that their institution’s hiring process was fair and equitable. StatCan (National)

ON nursing programs receive record applications for Fall semester

In a recent article for the Toronto Star, Jordan Omstead reports that some Ontario nursing programs have received record applications. The Council of Ontario Universities reports that the number of applicants to university nursing programs in 2022 has increased by 25% compared to 2018 and 2019. Similarly, Colleges Ontario says that colleges have also seen a 25% increase compared to 2018. While this increase is notable, Omstead writes that there remain several complex barriers to the nursing shortage, particularly a lack of clinical placements due to staffing shortages. The Star (ON)

FNU receives funding to deliver Dene Teacher Education Program

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that it will be providing new funding to the First Nations University of Canada to deliver the Dene Teacher Education Program (DTEP). The funding will cover the cost of instruction, as well as tuition and books for students. The program is expected to improve teacher recruitment and retention; increase student participation and graduation; and make the transition to postsecondary, training, and the workforce easier. Graduates will be able to teach the provincial K-12 curriculum in Dene. “We have a collective responsibility, as demonstrated in this collaboration, to ensure that Indigenous languages survive as valuable Indigenous knowledges are embedded within them,” FNU President Dr Jacqueline Ottmann. SK | CTV News (SK)

UVic celebrates opening of BioInnovation Hub

The University of Victoria is celebrating the opening of a new community-based innovation hub called the BioInnovation Hub. Entrepreneurs and life sciences organizations will connect with researchers from UVic through the hub, and additionally have access to specialized equipment, tools, and resources. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the life sciences community to help accelerate growth in the region and provide a welcoming space for innovators and entrepreneurs to test new ideas,” said UVic VP of research and innovation Lisa Kalynchuk. “The goal is to bring UVic expertise and resources into the communities we serve and open up new pathways for collaboration.” UVic (BC)

Scholars must have faith in the importance of the humanities: Opinion

Scholars should avoid overselling the value of the humanities and instead have faith that the humanities matter, writes Joe Moran. Moran argues that the humanities currently defends itself as being impactful, transformative, and game-changing, but these qualities are idealistic and show a lack of confidence and differentiation, as other fields have these qualities as well. The author writes that humanities “explore something essential about the human species” and that they hold particular benefit to the students who are most likely to miss out if the humanities become only a part of an elite university education. The loss, he adds, would be unquantifiable if the humanities ceased to exist. “We have to keep telling ourselves that, just because what we do is slowly accruing and often too ineffable to turn into data, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter,” writes Moran. Times Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)

NWT releases report summarizing feedback for Aurora’s facilities plan

The Government of the Northwest Territories has released a What We Heard Report (WWHR) that summarizes the feedback collected during the engagement for the Aurora College Facilities Master Plan. With the anticipated launch of the institution as a polytechnic university in May 2025, the plan will guide Aurora’s improvements and growth across the territory. This growth includes the development of academic buildings, student housing, outdoor learning and ceremonial spaces, and more. The WWHR identifies key themes such as Indigenization, student and family supports, community connections, relevant programming, and student housing. Nation Talk (WWHR) (NWT)

BrandonU, UoGuelph all a-buzz with bee-focused projects

Brandon University and the University of Guelph have recently launched bee-focused projects. BrandonU has installed two cameras to capture a “hivestream” of the rooftop beehives it installed earlier this year. The cameras offer 24/7 footage of the hive entrances in an effort to raise awareness about the pollinators and give people from other locations the opportunity to watch the bees. At UoGuelph, a research team led by Dr Amanda Liczner has attached radio trackers to eastern bumblebee queens to study how two insecticides can impact their movements and behaviour. The radio trackers will monitor bee movements and use the data to determine how bees that have had exposure to the insecticides are affected. CBC | UoGuelph (MB | ON)