Top Ten

November 10, 2022

15 universities incorporate Neutrons Canada to support neutron beam research, development programs

15 Canadian universities have come together to incorporate Neutrons Canada, a new not-for-profit research organization. Co-led by the University of Saskatchewan and McMaster University, the agency will govern, manage, and represent neutron beam research and development infrastructure programs. It will be active in a variety of areas, including working on international partnerships, operating domestic neutron beam facilities, and national neutron source initiatives. Other founding members of the initiative include Dalhousie University, Queen’s University, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Calgary, University of Guelph, University of Regina, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor, University of Winnipeg, and Western University. USask (National)

McGill law professor association certified as bargaining unit in reported first for university

The Association of McGill Professors of Law (AMPL) has been certified as a faculty association in what it is calling a first for McGill University. The Montreal Gazette reports that AMPL sought certification through Québec’s Tribunal administratif du travail last year, but faced litigation from McGill. The Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université stated that McGill is the only federation member where no staff currently benefits from negotiated employment contracts. The tribunal judge decided in favour of AMPL, indicating that it satisfies the legal criteria in QC for certification as a bargaining unit. Montreal Gazette | Twitter (AMPL/AMPD) | La Presse (FR) | FQPPU (FR) (QC)

UWaterloo implements mandatory masking in instructional spaces

The University of Waterloo will be requiring masking for the remainder of the semester to minimize disruptions to exams. Under the masking requirements, students and faculty will be expected to use masks while participating in indoors academic instruction including lectures, labs, tests, and exams. Students may also be asked to wear a mask in situations such as meets with a teaching assistant or instructor, but students and faculty will be able to remove masks when teaching or presenting in situations where they can maintain physical distancing. “[Recent] trends mean we need to act now to minimize disruption to the end-of-term exam season and to protect the most vulnerable people in our community,” read a UWaterloo announcement. The Star | City News | Global News | The Globe and Mail (CP) (ON)

Canada invests in skills training for Aerospace sector

The Government of Canada has invested over $39M under the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program (SWSP) in the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace's Industry Led Training for the Aviation and Aerospace Sector project. The funding will support the development and evaluation of a new training and certification system for aerospace occupations, including the production of over 2,000 hours of digitized training content for on-the-job training from entry level to full certification. Employers will also be able to use the college educational system and wage subsidies to support on-the-job training and wrap-around supports. The project aims to support the training and upskilling of up to 900 new and current aerospace workers. Newswire (National)

Online learning not to blame for mental health issues: Opinion

In an article for The Conversation, George Veletsianos (Royal Roads University), Stephanie Moore (University of Mexico), and Michael Barbour (Touro University) discuss the issues behind claims that online learning caused a decline in mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a review of the literature on the topic, the authors found that most research on this correlation made errors such as failing to control for the pandemic and its broader effects on mental health or type of online instruction, combining the very different notions of student satisfaction and effectiveness, and neglecting to use the appropriate statistical methods necessary to establish causal relationships. They argue that research and investment into mental health services on campus is a more effective strategy for addressing student mental health problems than focusing on switching to in-person teaching. The Conversation (Editorial)

UCalgary officially opens Energy Transition Centre

The University of Calgary has officially opened the Energy Transition Centre (ETC) in downtown Calgary. The ETC will be used for the research and development of new clean energy technologies and start-up companies in order to accelerate promising energy technology. Retailers and energy producers, policy makers, and UCalgary community members who are interested in energy will be able to collaborate with one another through the centre. “Bringing together our top researchers and highly qualified industry professionals, this initiative will create new technologies, generate employment opportunities, and provide innovative energy solutions that will benefit all Canadians,” said UCalgary President Dr Ed McCauley. UCalgary | Calgary Herald (AB)

On-campus student housing can address affordable housing issues in the community: Petter

Developing new student housing on campus has benefits that go beyond the student population in addressing rental housing shortages, writes Simon Fraser University President Emeritus Andrew Petter. Petter writes that in British Columbia, student housing can often be developed faster than affordable rental housing in the community. Given that most BC postsecondary institutions already have land that can be developed, he writes, planning permission can be easier to secure and the per-unit cost of housing tends to be lower. When students can be housed on-campus, this frees up rentals in the community. In light of these benefits, Petter calls for changes to the provincial accounting practices and policies that currently hold the province back from more aggressively supporting student housing projects Vancouver Sun (BC)

UNB Radiography on Wheels project takes pressure off hospitals, nursing home patients

The University of New Brunswick’s Radiography on Wheels pilot project has helped to take pressure off of an overwhelmed hospital system in its first year. The program is conducted in collaboration with the Loch Lomond Villa facility and brings X-ray services to 13 nursing and special care homes in the Saint John area. The project aims to lighten the load on hospitals and ambulances, reducing wait times and discomfort for patients in need of an X-ray scan while also cutting patient costs by a third. The pilot has served around 275 patients since it launched in May. The project receives funding from the Government of New Brunswick's Healthy Seniors Pilot Project and hopes to expand province-wide after March 2023. CBC (NB)

Tentative agreement reached at Dal after teaching staff strike

Dalhousie University has reached a tentative agreement with its teaching staff after a strike of nearly three weeks. The new agreement reportedly includes a better raise than the previous agreement offered CUPE will present the deal to the affected employees and a ratification vote will be held later this week. If the agreement is ratified, affected union members will return to work in the coming days. “Dalhousie University offers its thanks to the members of both bargaining teams for their efforts in reaching this outcome,” said Dal Acting Assistant VP of Human Resources Chris Hattie. CTV News | CBC (NS)

UoGuelph study examines impact of university education on entrepreneurship

A new study published by University of Guelph researchers Jonathan Parkes and Davar Rezania examines the impact of different components of a university education on student entrepreneurship. Parkes and Rezania conducted a literature review and interviews with 15 student entrepreneurs from The Hub Incubator Program at UoGuelph to explore the topic further. They found that a university education is an influential element of entrepreneurship and identified several factors – such as a decentralized curriculum and the promotion of intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship – that had a promotive influence. “These students are telling us the experience they have had with this focus on community has helped them develop entrepreneurial activity, which shows that education is much broader than attending classes and passing courses to get a degree,” said Parkes. UoGuelph | EPESS (Article, PDF) (ON)