Sheridan Encouraged by Federal Budget
February 13, 2014 – Oakville, ON: Sheridan is very pleased by Tuesday’s federal budget, particularly one announcement that supports applied research, which has long been a strength at Sheridan.
"This is a good news budget," says Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, Sheridan’s President and CEO. "It recognizes the tremendous role that leading institutions of higher education like Sheridan play in contributing to Canadian innovation and in developing practical yet creative solutions to some of the most challenging social problems facing our cities, regions and country."
Of particular interest to Sheridan is the creation of the College Social Innovation Fund at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The fund will provide $10 million in new funding over the next two years to connect the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local organizations.
"This is a very positive step," notes Pat Spadafora, Director of the Sheridan Elder Research Centre (SERC), which has conducted applied research for the past 10 years to create innovative strategies to improve the quality of life of older adults and their families. Several of SERC’s projects have included the use of technology to enhance cognition and support aging in place, examining how creative writing and dance promote healthy aging, and connecting business and industry leaders through a networking series to exchange resources and best practices. SERC has successfully received funding from Canada’s two other large funding agencies, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
Spadafora notes that additional tangible outcomes of applied research at SERC include: innovative products, programs and services implemented in community organizations, businesses and industry; improved student training and mentorship; leading-edge curriculum; and highly qualified graduates. In 2012/13, there were 106 applied research projects directly tied to the curriculum, many of them in the form of capstone projects for advanced diploma and degree programs. “As we progress on our journey from a highly respected college to a world-class undergraduate teaching university, applied research will become increasingly important,” notes Zabudsky. "Our goal is to provide students with the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and external partners and to apply classroom knowledge to real world problems that are directly relevant to their chosen fields of study."
Sheridan was recently ranked the top research college in Ontario and the sixth in Canada by Research Infosource in its list of Canada’s Top 50 research colleges.
Sheridan is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, offering over 100 diploma, certificate, and bachelor degree programs in an environment that fosters innovation and creativity. Its aim is to become Ontario’s first university exclusively dedicated to undergraduate professional education – one that will be based on applied learning. The model also focuses on meeting university accreditation requirements so that Sheridan graduates have more pathways to the continued learning that will underscore their personal, career, and industry success.
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