Top Ten

July 30, 2019

Cross-Canadian Feast Centre at McMaster to address STBBIs among Indigenous populations

A multidisciplinary, cross-Canadian project based at McMaster University has received $4.8M in federal funding to respond to the growing problem of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) among Indigenous populations. In response to priorities identified by Indigenous stakeholders, workers of the Feast Centre for Indigenous STBBI Research will incorporate Indigenous knowledge and ways of living into their research. McMaster reports that the centre will bring together dozens of partners—researchers, clinicians, community members, Indigenous elders, people with lived experience of STBBIs, advocacy groups, non-profit agencies and many others—from every province. McMaster (1) | McMaster (2) (ON)

New SMU partnership breaks down employment barriers for students with disabilities

A new partnership at Saint Mary’s is making it easier for students with disabilities to overcome employment barriers. SMU reports that the Student Employment Initiative, launched this past May, is a joint program from Saint Mary’s Career Services and The Fred Smithers Centre that helps students with disabilities find part-time and summer employment that matches their career aspirations. Participating students receive access to resume help, interview workshops, workplace accommodations, and other supports, such as regular check-ins with a job developer who assesses the student’s progress and work conditions. SMU (NS)

USask, Arctic College receive funding to enhance legal education in NU

The University of Saskatchewan Nunavut Law Program at the Nunavut Arctic College has received funding from the federal government to address the need for more practicing lawyers in Nunavut. Business Insider reports that the funding will enable students to engage in experiential learning opportunities in legal advocacy and will establish a legal clinic in Iqaluit where they can gain hands-on law practice experience. The program is a partnership between Nunavut Arctic College and the University of Saskatchewan College of Law. "This funding will help us provide our students with new opportunities to engage actively with the legal profession, obtain hands on practical skills, and their knowledge of Inuit Traditional Law,” said Stephen Mansell, Director of USask’s Nunavut Law Program. Business Insider (NU)

Student mobility as a form of “soft power”

International students provide many benefits to both their host and origin countries, but what often goes unmentioned is the way that international student mobility offers countries a way to exercise “soft power” on the global stage, write Ainur Yerezhepekova and Zulfiya Torebekova. The authors define soft power as the means by which a country can use its citizens living abroad to increase the global attractiveness of its own culture, political ideals, and policies. The authors point to China as an example of a nation that has used its students studying abroad to legitimate itself on the global stage. Inside Higher Ed (International)

First Nations initiative in Cape Breton receives funds to help students find career success after graduation

The federal government has announced nearly $1M in funding to support a program that prepares Indigenous students in Cape Breton for post-secondary education and future career success. CBC reports that the Mi'kmaw Economic Benefits Office will use the funds to support its existing programs, which include promoting employment opportunities and apprenticeships, recruiting from First Nations communities, delivering small business and personal finance workshops, and helping new high school graduates prepare for post-secondary. It will also help the office launch a new program aimed at increasing the number of Indigenous people in science, technology, engineering, math, and business fields. CBC (NS)

Post-secondary cannabis programming helps normalize industry, provides talent pipeline

Since cannabis was legalized in Canada last year, courses dedicated to the plant have emerged at college and university campuses across the country, reports the Toronto Star. According to the Cannabis Council of Canada, at least 12 post-secondary schools have added cannabis-related programs that cover everything from production research and training to marijuana law and business. The Star notes that the knowledge and skills developed in post-secondary labs and classrooms will be critical to a healthy and growing industry, in addition to the legitimizing effect that partnerships with post-secondary offer the industry as a whole. Toronto Star (National)

SFU to fuel entrepreneurship, clean tech with nearly $3M investment

Two initiatives at Simon Fraser University, one focusing on entrepreneurship and another advancing clean technology research, will benefit from nearly $3M in federal funding. Disbursed through Western Economic Diversification Canada, $1.9M will help the Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection expand its youth entrepreneurship program, while more than $1M will go to SFU’s School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering, in conjunction with the new School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, to create an experimental research facility to prototype clean technology solutions for the aerospace industry. SFU (BC)

More than half of faculty believe tech in the classroom increases student engagement: US study

54% of faculty say they believe adding more technology to their classroom would definitely increase student engagement, with another 35% saying that more tech could possibly do so, according to a new survey. The survey asked university professors across the US about their use of technology, students' expectations, institutional support for tech, and more. Respondents noted that the biggest thing university administration can do to get faculty to embrace tech in the classroom is offer more support and training for educators, while other popular suggestions included offering more budget, offering more support and training for students, and setting aside time to get the technology set up. Campus Technology (International)

Extended PSE access programs for youth in care have yet to move the needle in BC

Two years since the British Columbia government mandated that the province’s post-secondary institutions waive tuition fees for youth who have been in government care, uptake from this group has remained low, reports the Tyee. Three major factors for this lack of uptake reportedly include inadequate support, limited awareness, and eligibility restrictions. The Tyee cites a report recommending a number of policy changes that could help improve the numbers for programs in this area, including the extension of basic government supports for youth to the age of 24. “Studies in other jurisdictions suggest that the benefits of improved educational outcomes from increased support will, in themselves, pay for the incremental funding requirements,” the report notes. The Tyee (BC)

Pretenure professors’ feelings about teaching are more positive than their feelings about research: US study

Paying more attention to pretenure faculty members' emotions is a key component of both individual and institutional success, according to a new paper based on a US study. The study looked at assistant professors’ emotions regarding teaching and research and found that teaching was much more associated with positive emotions, while research was associated with more negative feelings. A more advanced analysis also found that faculty members’ sense of control, value, and positive or negative emotion mediate relationships of collegiality and balance with self-reported success. Inside Higher Ed (International)