Today's Top Ten

May 26, 2020

IRCC announces they will accept incomplete study permit, PGWP applications

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced that it will not refuse study permit applications that are missing documents due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three key areas of the applications that some have been unable to complete include biometrics, medical examinations, and submitting original travel documents. The temporary measure also extends to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) applicants who are unable to get a letter of completion or a final transcript from their Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Additionally, if a student’s status changes from full time to part-time due to changes in the programming at their DLI for the Winter and Summer 2020 semesters, they will still be eligible to apply for a PGWP. CIC News (National)

QC creates 139 medical doctorate admissions over three years

The Government of Québec has announced that it will allow an increased number of admissions to select medical programs in the province. A three-year policy will allow 901 new registrations in the regular quota for the first year, 915 registrations for the second year, and then 969 for the last. 139 more new registrations will be made possible after three years. QC Minister of Health and Social Services Danielle McCann’s office was unable to say how these 139 new places will be distributed between the different universities, but did clarify that the number of registrations was determined by taking into account factors such as the training capacity of the faculties of medicine. QC | Journal de Montréal (QC)

Lethbridge rebrands General Studies program as General Arts and Science

Lethbridge College has rebranded its General Studies program under the new name, General Arts and Science. Beginning July 1st, the name change will take effect to better represent the diploma as a flexible program with credit-transfer options. “The change of name to ‘General Arts and Science’ is more descriptive of the diploma content in terms of the program and courses offered, and the underpinning liberal arts and sciences philosophy,” said Lethbridge Dean of the Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences Kevin Smith. “It reinforces the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of the diploma, and it further enhances the potential for university transfer.” Lethbridge (AB)

CAUT releases document on preparing for a remote Fall term

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has released a statement regarding remote teaching, encouraging institutions to make decisions about delivery in consultation with academic staff associations, and to respect collegial governance processes and collective agreements. While the document touches on a number of potential issues and concerns with remote teaching this Fall, some central points emphasized by CAUT include issues related to academic freedom right, copyright, outsourcing labour, and staff compensation. “Academic staff associations should ensure that decisions made around remote teaching fully respect collegial governance, academic freedom, and the collective agreement,” the statement concludes. CAUT (National)

Thorneloe says programs will close despite Laurentian senate rulings

Thorneloe University has announced that the school’s original decision to no longer operate the Theatre Arts and Motion Picture Arts programs will stand despite Laurentian University senate’s resolution to keep the programs alive. In an interview with the Sudbury Star, Thorneloe President John Gibaut explained that the school joins the Laurentian senate in wanting to see the programs continue, but funding cuts and low enrolment present an untenable financial reality. “Thorneloe has absolute authority to determine whether it’ll fund a program or not,” explained Gibaut. “What Laurentian will have is a program with no one teaching in it and no students in it. The senate will have no choice then to keep it open on the books, or to close it.” Gibaut also notes that students from impacted programs will still be able to find a program at Laurentian and graduate. Sudbury Star (ON)

KPU launches Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security online

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has launched a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Food Systems and Security. The program, which launches online in Fall 2020, will accept students from around the world and will prepare students to tackle growing concerns about food security and systems. “The adverse outcomes of our food system are clearly evident to anyone looking: environmental destruction, food security inequity, economic destruction of family-based farming and farming communities, epidemic food-related disease,” says KPU Director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems Kent Mullinix. “This program is in response to increasing awareness of and growing intent to rectify the unsustainability of our global industrial food system.” KPU (BC)

St Clair suspends Fall term international student enrolment for some in-person programs

St Clair College has suspended international student intake for programs that require in-person attendance the Fall semester. St Clair President Waseem Habash said the changes affect 15 programs in all. The school is estimating it will be down 50% in enrolment for international students for the Fall term, and Habash hopes the school can begin to recover these students come January. "We think the students will come back," he said. "There will likely be a pent up demand because a lot of students might be deferring their education or delaying their education." CBC (ON)

Rhodes Wellness College to launch Indigenous Counselling Diploma

Rhodes Wellness College, in partnership with Jean and Roy Erasmus, has announced the launched of an Indigenous Counselling Diploma program. Beginning in September, the program will train 25 Indigenous students. The program will be comprised of six, three-month semesters with the first four semesters taking place in Yellowknife. The last two semesters, which will see students completing practicums in a clinical setting, will take place at the Rhodes Wellness College Campus. Graduates of the program will be registered under the Professional Counsellors Association of Canada, giving the students a wider array of job opportunities than without the designation. APTN (BC)

Okanagan’s Therapist Assistant Diploma gains national accreditation

Okanagan College’s Therapist Assistant Diploma program has been awarded full accreditation status by the national accrediting body. Effective now through April 2025, the accreditation demonstrates that the program is aligned with the very latest practices and standards of care. “It affirms that we are delivering the highest quality education, which translates to the highest quality care for people in the community,” notes Okanagan Dean of Science, Technology and Health Yvonne Moritz. “That in turn gives our students confidence knowing that when they graduate, they are going to be looked upon by employers as well-trained, ready to go, and they are going to be in-demand.” Okanagan (BC)

Petition to shutdown UofGuelph animal research facility reaches 13,000

A petition launched to shut down the University of Guelph’s Arkell Swine Research Facility has reached over 13,000 signatures. The petition, organized after videos and images of the facility were shared following a break-in, alleged low standards of practice at the research facility. UofGuelph released a statement to the Guelph Mercury Tribune acknowledging those who signed the petition out of a genuine commitment to animal welfare, stating, “we balance our responsibility to Improve Life by helping farmers feed cities with our responsibility to exhibit compassion and respect for animals in our care.” The statement adds that all research conducted at the university is “subject to strict animal use protocol and internal and external inspection,” and “continually receives commendations from the Canadian Council for Animal Care, the federal agency responsible for assessing institutions that use animals in research.” Police are investigating the break-in. Guelph Mercury Tribune (ON)