Top Ten

July 26, 2019

Canada invests $2M in digital skills for K-12 students, aims to bolster PSE enrolment

The Government of Canada has announced an additional $2M in funding for MindFuel as part of the second phase of the CanCode program. MindFuel will see over 124,000 Canadian K-12 students learn digital skills, including coding, data analytics, and digital content development; and will provide over 4,600 teachers with the skills needed to teach coding in their classrooms. The news release states that supporting digital skills in the K-12 population is a critical step in encouraging postsecondary enrolment in STEM fields and training youth to meet future workforce demands. Canada (National)

George Brown partnership focuses on world of service robots

George Brown College has partnered with Global DWS and Autonetics Universe, leaders in their respective areas of robotics solutions and innovations, to help meet the growing demand for service robots. In addition to developing programming together, the partnership will see George Brown study the potential of service robots on campus. “We believe service robots will enhance the user experience and augment the workforce. They have the potential to help us work better and smarter,” said Rick Huijbregts, George Brown’s Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation. “We need to focus on how to work with them, rather than how we will work against one another. George Brown (ON)

UVic calls on ACURA to ensure TMT project development respects Indigenous groups

The University of Victoria’s Vice President of Research Lisa Kalynchuk has issued a public statement on the Thirty Meter Telescope project in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. As one of 20 member universities in the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy, UVic stated that it is “fundamentally important to us” that the TMT “be developed in a way that respects local communities and their cultural practices.” “The TMT project will provide enormous scientific benefits to astronomy research and support important advances in knowledge,” concluded Kalynchuk. “However, these benefits should not be achieved without the engagement and support of the local Indigenous people.” UVic (BC)

Lakehead, SGEI partner to deliver All Nations Nurses Entry Program

Lakehead University and Seven Generations Education Institute have partnered on the delivery of the All Nation Nurses Entry Program (ANNEP), a nine-month certificate program. The program is designed to encourage Treaty Three members to pursue careers as Registered Nurses while remaining in their communities. The program provides students with the prerequisites needed to enter a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program after graduation. “Travelling far away from home to complete a program like this serves as a huge barrier for our learners,” said SGEI CEO Brent Tookenay. “Opening doors to a rewarding career that starts in a student’s own community provides opportunities they may otherwise not have pursued.” Nation Talk (ON)

UC3 announces platform to fight climate change

The University Climate Change Coalition’s 20 members have announced a platform to fight climate change during the coalition’s inaugural conference at the University of British Columbia. Through the platform, universities from around North America – including UBC, Queen’s University, and the University of Toronto – have pledged to accelerate research, lower on-campus emissions and push for progressive climate policy at all levels of government. “Universities and cities are leading the charge on climate action and collaborating to magnify that impact and scale it across big cities and regions,” said former Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson. “There’s a steadier commitment to science and evidence-based action at universities that’s unhindered by volatile politics.” Vancouver Sun (National)

CCNB, USP establish pathway to bachelor’s education

The Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick and the Université Saint-Paul d’Ottawa have established a partnership that will create a pathway for graduates of select CCNB programs to pursue bachelor’s programming at USP. In particular, the pathway will provide graduates of CCNB’s programming in business, arts and culture, justice, health sciences, and community services with up to 60 credits towards an SPU bachelor’s degree. CCNB CEO Roger Doucet stated that it is important to the college to act more as a stepping stone and less as a goal; and indicated that the college was proud to be able to open doors to students and graduates through partnerships with universities. CCNB (NB | ON)

For students, recent grads, financial decision-making predicts success in other domains

A recent study out of the US found that when students make sound financial decisions during their final year of postsecondary school, “they more quickly develop their adult identity.” Doctoral student Xiaomin Li examined the “emerging adulthood” period–defined as the span between a student’s fourth year of college and five years after graduation–and found that “emerging adults’ development in the financial, personal, and relational domains are interrelated, with progress in financial domains predicting progress in personal and relational domains.” Li suggested that the period could be longer and more challenging for those who do not attend postsecondary education, and called for more research with the non-college-educated population. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Laurentian, Fleming create pathway to master’s degree

Graduates of Fleming College’s Environmental Visual Communication (EVC) program will have the opportunity to continue their education in the Master’s of Science Communication program at Laurentian University. Laurentian states that the pathway program is unique to postsecondary education in Ontario. “This unique pathway to a master’s degree is ground-breaking for Fleming College and we are very pleased to offer this to our qualified EVC graduates,” said Fleming Frost Campus Principal Brett Goodwin. “The environmental sector is experiencing strong growth and the EVC program provides students with a unique and highly marketable portfolio of communication skills that will only be enhanced through this pathway into a Master’s of Science Communication.” Laurentian (ON)

Cambrian receives funding for pre-apprenticeship, applied research programs

Cambrian College has received funding from the Government of Ontario to increase skilled trades training in the North. The college will be introducing a 45-week welder program for female Indigenous participants, as well as a 26-week program focused on the skills and experience needed for general carpentry, electrician and refrigeration, and air conditioning systems mechanic trades. “Employers are looking for job-ready people to help fill vacancies in the skilled trades,” said Ross Romano, ON Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “These programs are designed to help people interested in apprenticeships to bridge the gap between the skills they have and the skills employers need.” Manitoulin Expositor (ON)

Continuing decline in textbook spending suggests successful affordability measures, OER uptake

A recent US-based survey has found that student spending on textbooks is continuing to decline. The decrease coincides with falling textbook prices that were identified by another survey, writes Nick Hazelrigg, and the lowered usage may indicate that students are increasingly utilizing open-source material and other educational resources. “One of the effects of high costs of textbooks is that it has started conversations on campus about the limitations of traditional textbooks and created opportunities for faculty to tailor more of their material to their course or even go beyond textbooks to other collections of resources,” explained Nicole Allen, director of open education at the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Inside Higher Ed (International)