Top Ten

September 25, 2017

International students not seeking mental health support for fear of deportation

International students in Canada who are suffering from burnout say that they are afraid to reach out for help because doing so may lead to their deportation. CBC reports that if international students plan to apply for permanent residency after graduation, any recorded mental health issue they have can be scrutinized by immigration due to the perceived burden it could place on the taxpayer. Canadian officials add that if international students are sick or suspended from school, have deferred their studies, or do not show up for class, they could be deemed in violation of their permits. “A lot of young students have had a very isolating, financially difficult, challenging, traumatic time in Canada and some of these stories need to be recognized,” says Vancouver immigration lawyer Will Tao. CBC

NSCC receives largest-ever donation

Nova Scotia Community College has received a total of $6.5M from three separate Sobey foundations, which together mark the largest donation the college has ever received. The largest $4M contribution came from the Donald R Sobey Foundation and will be used to create student bursaries across the province for those who may face barriers to accessing PSE. A total of 80 bursaries worth $2K each will be awarded annually. “The generosity of the Sobey Family will make an extraordinary impact on those who wish to embrace and benefit from post-secondary education," says NSCC President Don Bureaux. “Their support will serve as a catalyst, making a new beginning possible for deserving students in need.” CBC | NSCC | Times Colonist

Province restores $20M in funding to USask College of Medicine

The Saskatchewan government announced last week that it will restore $20M in funding to the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine. The funds had initially been cut in the spring budget, yet Minister of Advanced Education Kevin Doherty said the province restored the funding after realizing how critical the funds were to helping the college maintain its accreditation. College of Medicine Dean Preston Smith says that the restoration of the funding is a sign of the government’s confidence in the work the school has been doing to meet and exceed its accreditation needs. Montreal Gazette (CP) | CBC

UWinnipeg receives $600K to support Métis research

The University of Winnipeg has received a $600K funding boost from the Manitoba Metis Federation to support Métis research at the school. The agreement will specifically support postdoctoral fellowships and visiting scholars, as well as data analysis, through a grant of $60K awarded annually for the next ten years. UWinnipeg will also welcome a staff member from MMF to its campus to offer support and guidance to Métis students. “Education is a priority for the Metis Nation,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “The Manitoba Métis Government wants to support as many students as possible at the University of Winnipeg. With this new endeavour we will continue to support Metis student success as well as gather data for future initiatives.” UWinnipeg

Free speech in the US is a generational issue: McMurtie

Divides over free speech on US campuses often falls along generational lines, writes Beth McMurtrie. The author cites a number of studies showing that today’s PSE students are more willing to make concessions on free expression for the sake of inclusivity, citing experts who attribute this trend is connected to the amount of supervision and intervention these students have had during their upbringing. Other experts, however, insist that the increased willingness to police speech is due to the fact that students in the majority are more aware of the prejudices faced by others, while minority students are increasingly comfortable speaking out when they encounter bias. “I don’t think the First Amendment is under attack,” argues Rutgers University masters student Storm Ervin. “What is under attack is people’s ability to be racist.” Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Canada must avoid being left behind in the international research race: three PSE leaders

“A move away from funding discovery research now threatens to stunt the next generation of world-changing breakthroughs,” write Suzanne Fortier, Meric Gertler, and Santa Ono. The respective heads of McGIll University, University of Toronto, and University of British Columbia argue that the Canadian government needs to “reverse the steady and pernicious decline of research funding in Canada, and to rebalance the funding proportions between investigator-led and strategic research.” To do otherwise, the leaders argue, could mean falling farther behind other countries in the competition for talent and investment, jeopardizing our long-term wellbeing as a society. Globe and Mail

Centennial becomes first academic institution to receive Feast On® designation

Centennial College's School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts has become the first academic institution to receive Feast On® certification for the way it sources the local food and beverage products used in its academic programs and experiential learning operations. Feast On® is a certification program established by the Culinary Tourism Alliance that recognizes businesses committed to sourcing local Ontario food and drink. “Where we source our food and how we educate our students about the value of supporting local producers reflect our mission of bringing social values into our curriculum as we prepare our graduates to be true leaders in the industry,” says Suzanne Caskie, Chair of Culinary Arts at Centennial College. Centennial |

StFX to offer new Bachelor of Arts and Science in Climate and Environment

St Francis Xavier University has announced that it will offer a four-year Bachelor of Arts and Science in Climate and Environment starting in Fall 2018. The program will see students study topics such as the physical, biological, and chemical composition of the world; the relationship between society and nature; and the effect of Earth’s energy balance on the environment. “This will appeal to students who want both an arts and science approach and who have very focused, interdisciplinary goals,” says StFX Assistant Professor Andrew MacDougall. “Climate and environmental problems arise from the interaction of human society and the natural world, and thus have complex scientific and social dimensions.” StFX

Queen’s, University of Gondar officially celebrate partnership

Queen’s University, the University of Gondar, and the Mastercard Foundation have officially celebrated the launch of a $24M academic and research collaboration. The partnership will see 450 African students receive an education at the University of Gondar as Mastercard scholars, while Queen’s will provide 60 University of Gondar faculty members with the opportunity to enhance their pedagogical methods in Kingston, Ontario. The universities will also collaborate on Ethiopia’s first occupational therapy program. “This is a program with such great social purpose,” said Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf. “It’s the beginning of a partnership and exchange of cultures and knowledge that will benefit all of us.” Queen's | Kingston Whig-Standard

UQAT launches forest research laboratory

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue has officially launched the Laboratoire international de recherche sur les forêts froides. The new laboratory will allow for the development of an international research group made up of researchers from Canada, France, Sweden, Norway, China, and Russia who study the functioning of mountain and boreal ecosystems in the northern hemisphere. The research group will also train graduate students in forest ecology and biodiversity management. The research library will reportedly become one of the largest and most diverse in Canada in its field of research, especially in the areas of dendrochronology and paleoecology. UQAT