Top Ten

April 26, 2018

Canadian universities’ drug policies shifting to harm reduction strategies

Several universities across Canada have started to stock naloxone, an opioid-blocking medication, as part of a shifting attitude toward drug use, writes Michael Rancic. “There was the old messaging around drugs and the war on drugs. Now we’ve got to talk about safe use of drugs and make people aware that drugs other than marijuana have a higher level of danger attached to them now,” stated UBC professor Paul Dagg. Thompson Rivers University's Dean of Students Christine Adam described how TRU started looking more carefully at drug use after a number of accidental overdoses in the Kamloops area. The article adds that Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, a nationwide student body, has also advocated for administrations to implement harm-reduction strategies. University Affairs

NBCC announces partnership with Hector J Bravo Culinary Academy

A new partnership between New Brunswick Community College and Hector J Bravo Culinary & Pastry Arts Academy aims to cement the college as a “hub and trendsetter” for culinary and pastry training in North America. An NBCC release adds that future plans for the partnership include entrepreneurship, marketing, and business management training; collaborations with Indigenous stakeholders; and the integration of new culinary trends into the programming. “Some of our principles are openness to the world, forward and innovative thinking,” said Hector J Bravo, “and this has played a key role with the success of our Academy and our graduates.” NBCC

UManitoba pilot program provides hands-on experience for students

The Manitoba Co-operator reports that the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences is launching several pilot courses to give students hands-on experience with swine, poultry, and feed-mill facilities. Craig Fisher, a coordinator on the project, stated that the courses are developed using activities rooted in research into cognition and neurophysiology. “We are targeting mainly students with limited exposure to Canadian farming practices such as those from urban or rural towns and international students,” added Fisher. Manitoba Co-operator

Western, teaching assistants reach tentative agreement

Western University and Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 610 reached a tentative agreement late last week. The London Free Press reports that the teaching assistants, who are represented by the union, have been without a contract since August 2017. The assistants were in a legal striking position as of April 13th, but backed away from threatening strike action while students were in exams. Wages were reportedly among the top issues for the union, and London Free Press reports that regional census information places teaching assistants among the lowest paid workers in the region. The agreement will be put to a vote later this week. CBC | London Free Press

Students tell House committee that restricting copyright exceptions will hurt education

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations voiced their concern to a House of Commons committee that further restrictions on copyright exceptions would unfairly burden students and educators. “Students, either directly through an ancillary fee or indirectly out of operations budgets pay these tariffs,” said CASA Executive Director Michael McDonald. “It is a cost they are expected to bear and one we do not believe is adequately considered.” Groups who support publishers and authors oppose the current iteration of the law, claiming that fair dealing exceptions permit distribution without adequate compensation. University of Ottawa law professor called the authors’ concerns “unfounded,” and stated that students would ultimately bear the brunt of any changes to the law. CP

Indigenous leaders call for changes after law school dean resigns from Lakehead

Angelique EagleWoman’s resignation as Lakehead University’s Dean of Law has prompted dozens of Indigenous leaders to call for “immediate changes,” reports CBC. EagleWoman stated that Lakehead ignored her concerns about staffing, workplace respect, and the need for cultural competency training. “At times, I went to people higher in the administration and asked for their intervention and, again, it all led to me seeing there was no way forward,” she said. CBC adds that two Indigenous leaders have forwarded several recommendations to Lakehead in light of the resignation. In a statement, Lakehead responded that it is “committed to creating the conditions whereby everyone at Lakehead University can flourish and we look forward to ongoing dialogue and action.” CBCAPTN (1) | APTN (2)

International students face steep tuition increases at BC universities

Several BC universities have imposed steep tuition increases for international students over the last several years, reports the Globe and Mail. Kwantlen Polytechnic University will reportedly raise international tuition by 15% in response to increased international demand, while UBC is said to have raised tuition by more than 10% annually between 2014 and 2017. University of Victoria VP of Finance and Operations Gayle Gorrill told the Globe and Mail that although UVic will impose a 20% hike in Fall 2018, the school’s international tuition has long been lower than that of other universities. The provincial government caps domestic tuition at 2% per year, but the Globe and Mail says that no such regulation exists for international fees. Globe and Mail

Preventing burnout in medical students through athletics: UAlberta

Research out of the University of Alberta has examined how high-performing athletes respond to failure and success in order to determine how to improve levels of engagement among medical students and reduce exhaustion. “Every year, Canada spends $213 million due to physician burnout,” said UAlberta assistant professor Oksana Babenko. “We can’t afford that, so the question is, what can we be doing in school to help prepare medical students earlier on?” In particular, the research pointed to the benefits of attitudes and activities that fostered a ‘mastery goal approach’ and encouraged self-compassion. UAlberta

Boréal to offer online cannabis training

Collège Boréal has announced that it will be offering online cannabis training in French and English through its Contract Training service. Boréal will offer a series of three courses focused on the production, sale of, and marketing of cannabis and the financing of a cannabis business, with each course being delivered over an eight-week period. “The cannabis industry is seeking trained professionals to meet the demand of the upcoming legalization,” said Boréal Director of Contract Training Julie Nadeau. “These course offerings will provide specialized knowledge allowing the participants to fulfill the unmet needs of this booming industry’s workforce.” Boréal

UVic IGOV suspends enrolment, plans to redesign program in light of review

A third-party review of the Indigenous Governance program at the University of Victoria found that current and former students were “traumatized” by “dysfunctional classroom dynamics.” New student enrolment for the program has been suspended for the 2018-19 school year as the institution revises the program. “We see redeveloping this program as part of a process of healing and reconciliation,” said UVic Associate Vice-president for Academic Planning Nancy Wright. In a letter to alumni of the program, UVic Provost Valerie Kuehne added that the university would be working with Indigenous scholars, local Elders, and community members to guide the redesign of the program. CBC