From massive open online courses, to dual degrees offered at UBC and in France, to teacher education programs in Kenyan refugee camps, many efforts are enhancing the UBC learning experience.

CBC The National

May 1, 2013


“On the venerable campus of the University of British Columbia, an experiment is underway that may change higher learning forever. Rosie Redfield, one of Canada’s leading microbiologists, a professor for some 20 years, has long fretted over how few have access to science. Then she heard of massively open online courses, named MOOCs.”

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Prof. Rosie Redfield, instructor of one of UBC’s first MOOCs, Useful Genetics – photo by Martin Dee

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May 31, 2013

Why do students with learning disabilities excel in opera?

“Researchers at UBC are studying why learning-disabled students in the university’s demanding opera program excel.

“The study Libretti of Learning followed a group of eight students over two years to examine opera’s effects.

“Nancy Hermiston, study co-author and opera chair at UBC, says the art helped gifted students living with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia concentrate.”

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Dave Lampron – photo by Martin Dee

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The Globe and Mail

July 3, 2013

What makes a better politician: summer school at UBC

“‘Trained seals is the metaphor that everybody uses, and it is apt,’ says Maxwell Cameron, Director of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions (CSDI).

“This summer, the Centre has launched the first Summer Institute for Future Legislators, an intensive series of Saturday workshops training political hopefuls in parliamentary procedure and rules, the process of passing legislation and the arts of political communication and managing relationships with the media and bureaucrats.”

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Politicians of all stripes attended UBC’s first Summer Institute for Future Legislators

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The New York Times

September 29, 2013

Dual degrees offered in Canada and France

“L’Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, also known as Sciences Po, and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have joined forces to offer two dual degree programs.

“Starting this month, students will be able to earn Bachelor of Arts degrees from both institutions by studying for two years at each. Starting in September 2014, a second program will combine a Bachelor of Commerce degree from U.B.C.’s Sauder School of Business with a Bachelor of Arts from Sciences Po.

“The partnership is the first dual degree offering in Canada for the French university and the first foray into international dual degree programs for U.B.C.”

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UBC has announced a partnership with French university Sciences Po – photo by Russ Heinl

The New York Times

October 6, 2013

Bringing universities to refugee camps in Kenya

“Around the same time, the University of British Columbia, which has long been a host to W.U.S.C. scholarship students, was working with Moi University in Kenya to create a teacher training curriculum for primary and secondary education in the camp.

“‘It was felt that training the teachers was the most important thing that we could do,’ said Thomas Sork, senior associate dean in U.B.C.’s education faculty. ‘It would be the greatest multiplier effect on the opportunities people might have in the camps, in the future, if they were able to get out of the camps.’”

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UBC is offering teacher education programs in the Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya – photo by Emily Antze/Borderless Higher Education for Refugees

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The New York Times

November 17, 2013

Canadian universities strive to include indigenous cultures

“The law school at the University of British Columbia, for instance, now has a mandatory first-year course called Aboriginal Rights and Treaties in Canada, while the University of Winnipeg, in Manitoba, offers a master’s program in indigenous governance. A 2010 accord among deans of Canadian faculties of education has ensured that future teachers, both indigenous and other, are being introduced to indigenous cultures and issues.”

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Prof. Darlene Johnston helped create UBC’s new mandatory first-year Aboriginal law course – photo by Martin Dee