Top Ten

December 4, 2018

Interprofessional council calls on QC to invest in recognition of credentials for immigrants

The Conseil interprofessionnel du Québec (CIQ) has called on the Government of Quebec to invest in accelerating the recognition of diplomas for immigrants. The CIQ reports that the wait time for immigrants to access the necessary upgrading and work placements needed to practice their profession is driving many to drop out of the process. Professors from École nationale d'administration publique found that it would cost approximately $39M per year for the government to offer the upgrades needed to enable newcomers with partially recognized credentials to complete the additional training needed to practice their trade in QC. The CIQ is recommending that the government reinvest $12.8M per year to ensure that the available training and internship opportunities are increased. La Presse (QC)

UNB receives $1M investment for Cannabis Health Research

The University of New Brunswick has established a Cannabis Health Research Chair, which the university says is the first of its kind in the country. The New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and Tetra Bio-Pharma Inc. have invested a combined $1M over five years to establish the Chair. According to a UNB release, the Chair will investigate the medical potential of cannabinoids, genetically modify cannabis to make it cultivable in cold climates, and develop methods to produce cannabis compounds in laboratories. “As an institution well-known for its research, I am thrilled to join the UNB community. My goal is to validate cannabis research efforts and alter the stigma surrounding cannabis with medicinal discoveries,” stated Yang Qu, the newly-appointed Chair. UNB (NB)

The role of higher ed in solving concrete social problems

“How can higher education institutions model open, democratic and engaged communities? How can they initiate social and cultural change?” asks Andrée Sursock, Senior Adviser for the European University Association. Sursock writes that if universities are going to help solve the world’s growing challenges, they will need to encourage students and academics to become more involved in “solving concrete problems together with their local communities.” Such a turn would require a greater focus on the values of higher education rather than its instrumental outcomes. The author also notes that institutions would need to adapt their major operational pillars, such as human resource policies and internationalization strategies, to better support this goal. University World News (International)

Western Board of Governors ratifies collective agreements with faculty, managers

Western University’s Board of Governors has ratified a new four-year collective agreement with the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association. According to Western News, 90% of UWOFA’s membership voted in favour of the agreement. “This agreement recognizes the critical roles our faculty play at Western—in research, leadership and students’ learning—while reflecting the current academic environment in Ontario. We look forward to building on this renewed commitment to excellence,” said Western Provost and VP Academic Andrew Hrymak. UWOFA members will receive a salary increase of 1.5% in the first three years of the agreement, and a 1.75% increase in year four, reports Western News. The Board also ratified a four-year agreement with the Professional and Managerial Association. Western News (ON)

Lakehead celebrates formal opening of CASES building

Lakehead University has formally opened its new Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences. The state-of-the-art facility houses a number of different programs and facilities, including the Aboriginal Mentorship Program, the Biomass Utilization Laboratory, the Human Origins Laboratory, and the INGENUITY business incubator space. “CASES will be a hub for research, innovation, and job creation for Thunder Bay and throughout Northwestern Ontario,” said Judith Monteith-Farrell, MPP Thunder Bay - Atikokan. “I believe that CASES will be an important part of attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce as we grow our region’s economy.” The $26.2M project received funding from the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, and other partners. Lakehead | CBC | ON (ON)

QC government to revisit how CEGEPs are funded

The Québec government reportedly wants to change how CEGEPs are financed. La Presse reports that the proposed changes come in response to demands from CEGEPs concerning the distribution of funds across the network and the overall allocation of funding. According to La Presse, CEGEPs currently receive funding based on enrolments, a policy that is said to put smaller institutions at a disadvantage. La Presse adds that the appointment of Youri Chassin, QC’s new parlementaire du ministre de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur, raised concerns for some educators because of his inclination toward private sector solutions for public goods such as hydro. La Presse (QC)

URegina holds rally for missing student

The University of Regina held a rally recently in support of Promise “Max” Chukwudum, a 19-year-old student and URegina rugby player who has been missing since mid-November. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix reports that Chukwudum’s last known whereabouts were at a Regina pub. URegina Provost and VP Academic Thomas Chase stated that the university hopes to meet with Chukwudum’s father, who is travelling to Regina from Nigeria. “It’s scary. You have your children in a different country, and hearing that one of them has gone missing, it can be really traumatic,” said Chuwudum’s sister, Chinaza, who studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Police and Search and Rescue Regina have conducted searches through several neighbourhoods, added the StarPhoenixSaskatoon StarPhoenix | CBC (SK)

Centennial opens Innovation Hub

Centennial College has officially opened a new, off-campus Innovation Hub. A Centennial release states that the 4,500 square-foot facility will give students the opportunity to work on industry projects in aerospace, health technologies and cybersecurity. “We’ve been impressed with the energy the students have brought to the work,” said Kyle Schmidt, VP of Product Development and R&T Engineering at Safran Landing Systems Canada. “Working with Centennial on this project provides a great opportunity to find our future employees.” Centennial adds that the Hub features a prototyping lab with computer-aided design stations and an isolated cybersecurity lab for secure testing. Skies MagazineCentennial College (ON)

USherbrooke to offer employees $50 off monthly bus passes

The Université de Sherbrooke is offering employees a substantial discount for monthly bus passes to encourage them to leave their cars at home. According to CBC, those who work at the university’s Sherbrooke campus will be offered the chance to buy a monthly pass for $16, rather than the usual $66. USherbrooke told CBC that its parking lots have been overflowing, and that administrators hope the incentive results in 120 less cars on campus. CBC adds that 3,500 of the university’s 5,500 spaces are used by students, who typically drive to campus to avoid inconvenient bus schedules. CBC (QC)

NAIT receives recognition, accreditation for five programs from Technology Accreditation Canada

The Edmonton-based Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has received certificates conferring national accreditation for five of its engineering technology and applied science. The accreditation has been conferred by Technology Accreditation Canada, based on a process that involved audits of each program, including interviews with alumni, students, faculty, and employers of graduates. “I’d like to thank TAC for recognizing the hard work and dedication of our staff,” said NAIT School of Applied Sciences and Technology Dean Stewart Cook. “The accreditation of these five programs affirms NAIT’s commitment to our students and to the industries we serve.” TAC (AB)