Today's Top Ten

March 21, 2023

CBSA issues deportation letters to Indian students who applied through fraudulent agent

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has reportedly issued deportation letters to Indian students who applied for student visas through an agent that committed fraud. The Toronto Star reports that the Indian agency has since closed and that the fraud was discovered when these students’ letters were examined after they applied for permanent residency. The agent reportedly did not put his name on the visa applications, but made it seem that the students were representing themselves and so were responsible for the fraudulent letters. It is unclear how many students are affected by this situation, as PIE News reports that media outlets have provided estimates ranging from “dozens” to 700 affected students. The Star | PIE News | BBC | Indian Express (International)

Canada announces $80M for Canadian Critical Drug Initiative co-led by UAlberta, API

The Government of Canada is providing $80M over five years to support new infrastructure for the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative, which is led by Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API) and the University of Alberta. The funds will support the construction of a 40,000-square-foot facility that will be able to produce new and critical medicines, as well as upgrades for an existing API research and development facility, enhanced programs that will train technicians and scientists in collaboration with universities across Canada, and clinical trials and commercial development of medical treatments. “[T]oday’s announcement will position the U of A and Alberta to play a leading role in strengthening Canada’s healthcare system,” said UAlberta President Bill Flanagan. Canada | CTV News (CP) (AB)

HEC launches new brand identity to reflect entrepreneurial strengths, diverse career opportunities

HEC Montréal has unveiled a fresh brand identity represented by the signature: “HEC Montréal. Where opportunities are created.” This new brand positioning is intended to change the community’s traditional perceptions of HEC and highlight the school’s entrepreneurial strengths and capacity to support diverse career paths. The brand is reflected in an ongoing communication campaign, which consists of ads and content shared on public transportation billboards, on highways, and across social media. The campaign was developed within the context of the school’s 2020-2023 strategic plan. HEC (QC)

ACIFA publishes formal Position on Academic Integrity paper

The Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculties Association (ACIFA) has published a new report on its Position on Academic Integrity. Academic integrity is essential to the functioning of the AB postsecondary sector, the authors note, and cheating, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty threaten the system’s sustainability. To combat this, the report touches on key academic integrity topics such as faculty roles, the potential impact on and implications for workload or burnout, and the considerations around curriculum and assessment practices and technology. ACIFA outlines a series of recommendations for institutions, faculty, and centers for teaching and learning to ensure academic integrity is upheld without unduly overwhelming the faculty that uphold it. ACAI (Release) | Paper (PDF) (AB)

Tackling “us-versus-them” thinking on campus: Opinion

An “us-versus-them” attitude on campus can shut down productive debate while also discouraging other students from sharing their own opinions, writes Daniel Diermeier for the Chronicle of Higher Ed. To combat the tendency toward polarized “tribalism,” the author argues that postsecondary institutions should provide an “abundance of open forums,” exercise principled neutrality, and ask students to “uphold civil discourse as a core value.” Diermeier concludes by emphasizing the importance of helping students to “maintain a broader definition of ‘us’” in order to prevent tribalistic thinking and maintain a culture of debate in higher education Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)

UCalgary hosts new UNESCO Chair in Mountain Water Sustainability

UNESCO recently announced the creation of its Chair in Mountain Water Sustainability, which will be hosted by the University of Calgary and co-held alongside researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, Universidad de Chile, and Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Six chairholders from the four universities will collaborate to address the challenges of sustaining and managing mountain waters in the face of climate change. Throughout this endeavour, the chairholders have expressed that they are committed to creating research in collaboration with local water users and Indigenous knowledge holders. Chair Co-Lead and UCalgary Professor Frederick Wrona said that the international program will “help build the necessary resilience and adaptation strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of mountain-based communities, economies and ecosystems.” UCalgary | USask | CBC (AB | SK)

UPEIFA members go on strike

The University of Prince Edward Island Faculty Association (UPEIFA) is on strike after the deadline passed to create a new collective agreement. CAUT says that the latest offer given to UPEIFA did not address the union’s key issues related to staff working conditions and student learning conditions. These issues included workload, health and safety, pay, and increased numbers of full-time faculty. The University of Prince Edward Island said in a release that it did not receive responses or counter offers to its recent proposals. UPEI | CAUT | Winnipeg Free Press (Acct. Req.) | CBC (PEI)

Continuing education should be integrated into institutional strategies: Editorial

In a recent interview with EvoLLLution, Fred Anger of Toronto Metropolitan University discusses the opportunities and challenges associated with prioritizing continuing education (CE) as a core, integrated strategic focus. Anger discusses the historic siloing of CE units from postsecondary institutional strategies, which can subsequently lead to a lack of alignment, poor coordination, and a duplication of resources. Anger argues that CE units have an “agility to respond quickly to changes,” which could be leveraged for an institution’s success. “I truly believe an integrated CE unit, constantly working to build up the institution’s reputation and earn its trust, is a key success factor for both the unit and the university or college,” he concludes. EvoLLLution (Editorial)

BVC announces exemption from English proficiency testing for students from almost 50 countries

Bow Valley College has announced that students from almost 50 countries will be exempt from English proficiency test requirements. The move aims to remove barriers to learning for students from countries where the primary language of education is English. Applicants must provide transcripts showing that they have completed a recognized public high school education or postsecondary program to qualify for the exemption. “An exemption for some of our prospective students means one less step, saving them time and money,” said BVC Manager, International Student Recruitment Trisha Choudhury. “It will be a game changer.” Globe Newswire (AB)

Markham employee on leave after using offensive term during guest presentation at George Brown

A human resources employee at the City of Markham has been put on leave after delivering a presentation at George Brown College that included the use of an offensive racial slur. The woman was invited to be a guest speaker for a George Brown class and uttered the term while presenting a real-world case study about individuals who lost their jobs after making offensive posts on social media. CBC reports that the speaker apologized for using the word and George Brown has launched an investigation into the situation. “We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms and are taking this matter extremely seriously,” said George Brown President Gervan Fearon. The Star | CP24 | City News Toronto | CBC (ON)