In the news

Highlights of UBC media coverage in September 2012

Back-to-school

UBC education experts commented on a range of issues affecting K-12 education this fall.  David Vogt and Don Krug discussed the role of technology and education. Blye Frank discussed the changing role of the teacher. Lynn Miller and Kimberly Schonert-Reichl provided some tips about coping with back-to-school anxiety. An article on cyberbullying referred to research by Jennifer Shapka. Marina-Milner Bolotin discussed the state of science education in Canada. Jim Anderson talked about families and reading. Charles Ungerleider provided expert commentary and wrote a number of op/eds about the B.C. school system.

As UBC welcomed more than 8,000 new first-year students to the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, the university was featured in CBC, Global, the Province and Kelowna Capital News stories. UBC’s Faculty of Law was featured in the Vancouver Sun, CBC Early Edition and Canadian Lawyer Magazine for making its first-year Aboriginal law course mandatory. A new international nutrition program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems was also featured in the Vancouver Sun.

Canada’s changing family portrait

Statistics Canada released 2011 census data showing that Canada’s family portrait was increasingly made up of common law couples, same-sex marriages, and single-dad households. The data also showed an increase in divorce rates in the baby boomer generation and that more young adults were living at home.

Mary Ann Murphy, Carrie Yodanis, James White, Nathanael Lauster, Deborah O’Connor, Paul Kershaw and Sylvia Fuller discussed the census results with the Globe and Mail, National Post, Canadian Press, Toronto Star, CTV, Global, Vancouver Sun, and others

“Family now is what it always was: ever-changing,” said Mary Ann Murphy to the Globe and Mail. “We have certainly added some new, acceptable options for Canadians to choose from—and at younger ages there’s a higher degree of acceptability around choosing anything you want.”

Free and online postsecondary education

UBC announced it is partnering with U.S.-based company Coursera to provide online, high quality, non-credit courses free of charge to a worldwide audience, reported the BBC, Forbes, Vancouver Sun and others.

UBC will pilot three courses taught by its faculty and researchers starting in spring 2013: Rosie Redfield will be teaching a course called “Useful Genetics,” Gregor Kiczales will be teaching “Computer Science Problem Design,” and Sarah Burch and Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze, instructors for the UBC Continuing Studies Centre for Sustainability, will be running a course called “Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Conversations.”

New facilities at UBC

A new National Soccer Development Centre will be built at UBC’s Vancouver campus. The Whitecaps men’s, women’s and residency squads, Canada’s men’s and women’ s teams as well as UBC teams, community soccer organizations and other groups will use the facility. It will feature a new fieldhouse and five fields, reported the Canadian Press, Globe and Mail, CTV, Global and others.

This month, UBC also announced the opening of its new Pharmaceutical Sciences Building and the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF). The Pharmaceutical Scienes Building will enable UBC to graduate 224 new pharmacists per year by 2015—a 47 per cent increase—and more than double the research space for drug discovery and health care innovation. The opening of the BDRF makes UBC the first Canadian university to produce clean heat and electricity from biofuel.

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