Today's Top Ten

March 2, 2021

StFX opens Kiknu “Our Home” Indigenous Student Centre

St Francis Xavier University has officially opened the Kiknu “Our Home” Indigenous Student Centre. The centre is a safe space for Indigenous students at StFX, and will promote Mi’kmaq culture while bringing people together for organic learning, friendship, and success. The name was selected after consultation with Elders, and Kiknu was suggested because it acts as a home away from home for these students. “I give thanks for this,” said Elder Prosper, who welcomed those attending the ceremony. “We have lived here for thousands of years, but today we struggle to find safe spots in our homeland. We will always remember this day.” StFX (NS)

Sault calls for Nav Canada to keep airport control tower open

Sault College, which has recently expanded and improved its aviation program, is pushing for Sault Ste Marie Airport’s control tower to remain open so that it can train its aviation students. Nav Canada, which owns Canada’s civil air navigation system, has announced plans to close seven airport control towers, including the one that Sault students use throughout their training. Without the tower, students would have to fly to other cities to gain control zone experience. “So, we’ve made major investments, and we’ve added staff, and we intend to increase our flying hours annually,” said Sault president Ron Common, “all creating a stronger argument why the control tower needs to stay where it is.” Northern Ontario Business (ON)

URegina to host WHL hub

The University of Regina will be hosting the Western Hockey League (WHL) hub. The move will allow 245 athletes and support staff from the East Division bubble – the Regina Pats, Saskatoon Blades, Swift Current Broncos, Moose Jaw Warriors, Prince Albert Raiders, Winnipeg Ice, and Brandon Wheat Kings – to stay at two URegina residential towers. Athletes will stay at the residence for two months and will access eating areas. Bettina Welsh, the director of student affairs and operations at the URegina, said that there should be no conflicts over space with students living in residence. 650 CKOM (SK)

Acadia surpasses $75M fundraising goal to raise $86.8M

Acadia University’s Campaign for Acadia has raised $86.8M, surpassing its original fundraising goal of $75M. The funds will be used to support students, faculty, and staff, as well as the development of campus infrastructure. “Its success represents an important margin of opportunity for Acadia, enabling us to accomplish things that are beyond the scope of our usual operations,” said Acadia VP, Advancement Dr Rod Morrison. “Some of these are quite visible -- the renovation of our science facilities, for example, or the transformation of Patterson Hall into the home of the Manning School of Business -- while others are less conspicuous but equally impactful, such as millions of dollars for new student awards and support for teaching, research and academic programs.” Acadia (ON)

ULethbridge Agility becomes approved incubator for Mitacs projects

The University of Lethbridge has announced that Agility has now been approved as an incubator for Mitacs Accelerate Entrepreneur projects. With this approval, Agility will provide entrepreneurs with funding and other supports for research or technology development. It will also support innovators in the commercialization of a technology, product, or service through a funded internship. Entrepreneurs in the program will be able to use the internship to pilot or improve on a product, technology, or service within a safe space. “This is a great opportunity for our aspiring entrepreneurs,” says ULethbridge Agility manager Brandy Old. “The entrepreneur acts as an intern for their own business and Agility supervises and supports them throughout the internship.” ULethbridge (AB)

“Zoom bombings” occurring across Canada appear racially motivated: Tabassum

Many of the “Zoom bombings” that have been occurring across Canadian universities may be racially motivated, writes Aysha Tabassum of the Queen’s Journal. The article reflects on attacks that have occurred at institutions such as Western University, Dalhousie University, Queen’s University, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of Waterloo. In the Zoom bombing attacks, Tabassum writes that the hackers used bigoted language, including racist, homophobic, and sexist messaging. Institutions such as Queen’s and USask have implemented measures to prevent attacks, but it remains difficult to prevent attacks from perpetrators, especially those who are within the organization. Queen’s Journal (National)

UQTR launches Mentorat UQTR tool

University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières (UQTR) has launched Mentorat UQTR, a tool that will help UQTR’s students, graduates, and employees integrate into the labour market and gain professional development. Those using the platform will learn skills related to their fields of study, the job market, networking, and balancing work and family life. The tool also offers mentorship spaces that allow participants to benefit from professional support and to share expertise. Those accessing the platform benefit from exchange and sharing tools, focus groups, and a News Feed for personalized professional support. UQuébec (QC)

Ontario Police College, Fleming experience COVID-19 outbreaks

Global News reports that 65 COVID-19 cases have been linked with the Ontario Police College in Aylmer, Ontario. In response, the college has stopped all in-person learning, and will be evaluating options to teach courses virtually. All students and staff will be tested, and those who test positive will complete self-isolation at the college. Fleming College has also suspended in-person classes on its Sutherland Campus after an outbreak at Severn Court led to several positive COVID-19 cases, including one that screened positive for a variant. Global News | CBC | Fleming (ON)

Engaging marketers in student experience: Opinion

Marketers need to be involved in every part of the student experience, writes Victoria O’Malley, not just enrolment. The author argues that involving the marketing team in student experiences can have benefits for the full student experience, including ensuring students find online learning interactive, representing new courses well, branding the graduation experience, and creating loyalty in students who are becoming alumni. Additionally, marketers should be involved with alumni through developing engagement opportunities and outreach campaigns. “Today, marketers within higher education need to be data-driven, creative, strategic and aware of issues around return on investment,” writes O’Malley. “Yet, too often, marketing teams are held at arm’s length from the individual academic units they serve.” Times Higher Ed (International)

East coast institutions plan for Fall semester course delivery and beyond

East coast postsecondary institutions are announcing plans for their future course delivery. McGill University has announced that it will be returning to “more regular rhythms of on-campus academic activity by September” while continuing to implement public health and safety measures. The University of Prince Edward Island has announced that it will be offering as much in-person and on-campus learning as possible this fall, with hopes of providing a “more normal” academic experience. When reflecting on the future of online education at their institutions, Dalhousie University, St. Mary’s University, and Mount Saint Vincent University indicated that they will likely continue to offer increased numbers of online courses even after COVID-19, while Nova Scotia Community College anticipated offering blended learning options. Montreal Gazette | CBC | CTV News (QC | NS | PEI)