Today's Top Ten

July 2, 2020

StatsCan releases infographic report on evolution of college, university participation rates

Statistics Canada has released an infographic depicting the evolution of college and university participation rates among 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada. The infographic shows that the participation rate of Canadians aged 18 to 24 in university or college was up by 29% from the 2000/2001 to the 2018/2019 academic year. More specifically, the university participation rate increased in eight provinces, led by British Columbia (+84%), Alberta (+69%) and Ontario (+58%). In contrast, college participation rates decreased by just over one-third in Alberta (-35%) and by around one-quarter in British Columbia (-26%). Québec (+17%) was the only province to report an increase in college participation rates over the same time period. StatsCan (National)

Institutions roll out new courses, programs

As postsecondary institutions and instructors across the country continue to work hard to prepare Fall classes, many of which will be delivered online, several institutions are announcing the creation of new courses and educational resources. At Concordia University, for example, the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability will offer two new special topics courses: Black Montreal, and Diversity and Sustainability in the Era of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Saskatchewan Polytechnic is also launching two new courses: Indigenous Studies, and Colonization to Resilience. In a slightly different vein, King’s University College has launched the Edge initiative, a student transition program designed to ensure students have the necessary tools to help them succeed in their first year of studies. Concordia | King’s UC | Sask Polytech (QC, ON, SK)

Great Plains partners with federal government, TCET to deliver home-based language training program

Great Plains College has entered into an agreement with the federal government and The Centre for Education & Training (TCET) to manage the coordination of the Saskatchewan referrals for a home-based English language training program. The Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Home Study program provides free distance English language training for those unable to attend LINC classes in person. Prior to the partnership, participants in Saskatchewan would receive instruction from TCET staff based in Ontario. The program “By March 2022, the college is anticipating to be managing a total of 175 learners throughout the province of Saskatchewan who will be served by this program,” said Great Plain Director of Learning Services and Adult Basic Education Keleah Ostrander. Great Plains (SK)

Black students call on universities to implement greater diversity, policy changes

Black students at several Canadian universities are calling on their institutions to make major systemic changes to address anti-Black racism. Orest Ndabaneze, a Mount Royal University student and athlete, has joined other Black students and faculty members in penning a letter to senior administrators asking for changes such as anti-racist statements on course syllabi, and more diverse representation on MRU senior leadership. Meanwhile, a group of Black and bi-racial students are calling on the University of Calgary’s faculty of law to include more people of colour in the classroom, as well as anti-racism training offerings. "As law students, we are the next lawyers and judges,” said Keshia Holloman-Dawson, President of the Calgary chapter of the Black Law Students Association. “We provide a certain service to people that gives them access to the law. Without diverse perspectives, we can't give them unbiased views of equality." Calgary Herald (MRU) | CBC (UCalgary) (AB)

StFX launches $1M funding campaign for Indigenous Women’s Leadership with celebrity support

St. Francis Xavier University’s Coady Institute has launched the Circle of Abundance – Amplifying Indigenous Women’s Leadership program to raise $1M to support the institute’s International Centre for Women’s Leadership and the Centre’s Indigenous programming. Celebrity activists Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively kicked off the campaign with a gift of $200,000, and are encouraging others to support the initiative. Funds raised will help Coady learn from its work over the last 10 years with Indigenous women leaders and pivot in a direction that reflects current realities and recent history. “These Indigenous leaders are inspiring renewed energy on how to move forward with our work,” said Coady Indigenous Program Lead Karri-Lynn. StFX (NS)

BC launches Youth Community Partnership Program to provide summer job opportunities

The Government of British Columbia has launched a $5M program that will create work for 15- to 29-year-old youths in community service. The Youth Community Partnership Program will see the provincial government provide up to $10,000 in grants for community projects lasting up to 16 weeks. Youth participants will receive a training stipend of up to $2,000 per four-week period to a maximum of $8,000 for work completed until the end of October. Participants could also receive supports such as bus passes, child care, work boots and personal protective equipment. Globe and Mail (BC)

UTSC to create innovative student hub

The University of Toronto has announced plans to create a major student hub on their Scarborough campus. Scheduled to open in late 2023, Instructional Centre 2 will have nearly 18,500 square metres of academic space, including 21 technology-enhanced classrooms and lecture halls, labs, as well as study spaces, lounges and open seating areas for students. Among the innovative teaching spaces is a 500-seat theatre-in-the-round auditorium where no seat is more than seven rows away from the lecture stand. “This is an exciting project that will offer students more space to learn, study and connect with each other outside of the classroom,” said U of T Scarborough Dean of Student Experience and Wellbeing Desmond Pouyat. U of T (ON)

Sault introduces controlled access, signage, awareness course requirements as precautions

As Sault College reopens its doors to some students and faculty, it is doing so with a significant number of COVID-19 precautionary measures in place. “You’ll see a lot of signs (on-campus). ... Anyone who comes on campus and will be working there will be required to pass through a COVID awareness training course,” said Sault Vice President Academic and Research Colin Kirkwood. Nine programs are starting up this summer as a pilot project, five of which will require access to campus and four of which involve students in clinical placements. No food services will be available, but college residences will be available to students who were in residence before the pandemic. SooToday (ON)

NSCAD president fired after one year of service, community calls for greater transparency

Nova Scotia College of Art and Design has removed their president, Aoife Mac Namara, from their position after one year of employment. The decision was effective June 26, according to a memo sent to the NSCAD community by the university's board of governors. The memo did not provide an explanation for the decision. Following this announcement, NSCAD students and faculty are calling for greater transparency over Mac Namara’s firing. "The way she was doing a good job was being collaborative and being transparent and being communicative,” said Mathew Reichertz, president of the NSCAD faculty union. “So when she was fired without any warning at all, and now without any real reason, it just doesn't make sense." CBC (1) | CBC (2) (NS)

UBCO becomes new headquarters of the Wine Research Centre

The University of British Columbia has announced that they are shifting their Wine Research Centre headquarters from the institution’s Vancouver campus to their Kelowna-based campus. The move provides the WRC with a dual-campus presence in Vancouver and the Okanagan, where researchers have developed strong collaborations with the BC wine community. “This is an important step towards the university’s mandate as a partner in regional socio-economic development,” said UBCO Provost Ananya Mukherjee Reed. “Wine research in the Okanagan provides experiential learning opportunities for students, accelerates innovation and creates an opportunity for strengthening connections with our industry partners.” UBC (BC)