Top Ten

August 27, 2019

StFX receives $7.7M for health centre

St Francis Xavier University has received a $7.7M investment over 8 years from the Government of Canada for the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH). The funding will support research and evidence-based knowledge exchange focused on improving health equity for Canadians, as well as enabling the public health community to take action on the social determinants of health. "The work of the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health is essential in helping tackle challenges, which not long ago were not thought of as health issues," stated Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. "The stable funding announced today will help find new ways to improve our health care systems and to address disparities in access to health services across the country." StFX (NS)

Laurentian introduces trilingual signs on campus

Members of the Laurentian University community will be greeted by trilingual signs when they return to campus this community. The signs now feature English, French, and Anishinaabemowin, thanks to the translation efforts of Anishinaabemowin speakers over the summer. “With Laurentian University sitting on Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Territory, I am ecstatic to know that the history and language of the Anishinawbek people is being recognized throughout the university through trilingual signs.” said Valerie Richer, Chief of Atikameksheng Anishinawbek. Laurentian stated that the signage change is part of its strategic plan, which aims to make the university into the school of choice for northern, francophone, and Indigenous students from across the world. Laurentian (ON)

Global Charter for Co-op and Work-Integrated Education signatories to improve WIL opportunities

Over 50 institutional presidents, education association executives, and high-ranking government officials from around the world have signed the Global Charter for Co-op and Work-Integrated Education. The first-of-its-kind charter calls on organizations to respond to three calls to action: Create a significant number of new opportunities for students to obtain meaningful, international, work-integrated experiences; develop and deliver educational offerings specifically designed to enhance student intercultural fluency and resilience with focus on equity, diversity and inclusion; and facilitate conversations between higher education and business to determine what constitutes ‘global work readiness.’ “Canada has played a leadership role in co-op and work-integrated learning for over 45 years,” stated CEWIL Canada President Kristine Dawson, “and I was pleased to sign this global charter today as a symbol of Canada’s ongoing commitment to this critical talent pipeline tool.” CEWIL (International)

Gender minority students four times more likely to struggle with mental health: US study

A survey out of the US has found that postsecondary students who identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, or nonbinary are four times more likely to have mental health challenges than other students. According to Reuters, the research team analyzed responses from a survey of 60,000 students, of whom 1,200 identified as gender minorities. The researchers stated that about 78% of gender minority students met the criteria for one or more mental health disorder, compared to 45% of cisgender students. “What’s surprising is the magnitude of disparities, and the consistency across all the indicators makes you step back and take pause,” said researcher Sarah Ketchen Lipson. National Post (International)

CEGEPs experience enrolment drop

CEGEPs have experienced a 0.8% drop in enrolments this year, reports the Montreal Gazette. The greatest drops were noticed in the North Shore, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and Mauricie; while Laval, Gaspésie, and Centre-du-Québec experienced increases. Fédération des cégeps President Bernard Tremblay stated that the federation had anticipated the drop, and that enrolments should be on the upswing next year. The CEGEP network has also turned to international students to compensate for enrolment drops. “It allows students from Gaspé, Matane or Baie-Comeau to stay in their region,” added Tremblay. “If there are only four people enrolled in a program, the arrival of four to six international students will permit that program to be maintained.” Montreal Gazette (Presse Canadienne) | La Presses (QC)

UNB implements policy change

The University of New Brunswick has implemented a tuition policy change in which students taking nine or more credit hours, or three courses, will be considered full-time both financially and academically. CBC reports that the change has left some students scrambling to cover an unanticipated increase in tuition costs. Chris Kim, an international student studying software engineering, told CBC that he now has to pay $9.2K per semester when he had expected to pay $3.5K. UNB President George MacLean said the university implemented the change so that students taking three courses per semester would have access to full-time benefits such as the university health and dental plan. CBC (NB)

TRU initiative challenges students to divert plastic waste

A fourth-year economics student at Thompson Rivers University is leading a project to reduce the number of disposable cups and bottles on campus by 20,000 this September. A release explains that the Fill It Forward Challenge involves an app in which participants scan a barcode on their re-useable bottles every time they fill up. Participants in the challenge are entered for prize draws, and each scan of the bar-code donates the equivalent of one cup of water to a charity. “If half the people who participate in our challenge continue to scan their barcodes and continue to use their reusables,” said Canyon Sinclair, “then that’s a number of people who have developed a green habit and are not buying a cup when they go to the coffee shop, or aren’t getting a disposable water bottle.” TRU (BC)

Ryerson launches toy invention program

Ryerson University is introducing a toy invention program. University Affairs reports that the program will include courses on the principles of toy invention and gamification, an introduction to intellectual property, market research techniques, and product prototyping. “Toy invention is at the intersection of creativity, entrepreneurship and design, and we believe that Toronto is a creative and entrepreneurial city,” said Lorena Escandón, program coordinator at Ryerson. The Chang School for Continuing Education will host the program, with input from OCAD University and the toy company Spin Master. University Affairs (ON)

CDI College student terminated after absences due to concussion

CDI College has reportedly terminated a student after missing multiple classes due to a concussion. Student Abby Carrothers began the dental assisting program in March and was on track to graduate by February 2020, but was terminated from the program after she suffered a concussion. Carrothers states that she missed classes during her recovery, but that she provided doctor's notes explaining her absences. CDI College told CBC that it is "currently working with this student to seek a mutually-agreed upon resolution, with the goal of the student successfully completing with no financial penalty." CBC (AB)

BCIT SMART team, Denesoline build cleaner future for NWT community

The British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Smart Microgrid Applied Research Team has partnered with the Denesoline Corporation Limited to build a renewable energy platform for the Lutsel K’e First Nation Community in the Northwest Territories. A release from BCIT states that the community’s electricity needs are currently provided by diesel generators, which can increase the risk of toxic spills. The proposed hybrid energy platform will help the community transition away from diesel. “Supported by local knowledge, we will be able to develop an accurate picture of the Lutsel K’e community’s energy needs,” said BCIT SMART Director Hassan Farhangi. “This is critical in helping us identify suitable technologies and designing the Microgrid concept.” BCIT (BC)