Top Ten

February 6, 2020

Canadian postsecondary institutions respond to fear, racial stereotyping regarding coronavirus

Several Canadian postsecondary institutions are responding to stigmatization and racial stereotyping of Chinese students and the broader community in light of fears about the coronavirus. Kwantlen Polytechnic University is encouraging community members to "remain vigilant about the risks of embracing stereotypes at a time of heightened concern." Relatedly, Queen's University Principal Patrick Deane posted a statement warning students of an "insidious social challenge" in light of the novel coronavirus. “Ignorantly ostracizing Chinese and Asian students will rip apart the beautiful tapestry of our international campus and must be repudiated by everyone,” stated Deane in a news release. Global News | Aldergrove Star (National)

Royal Roads creates graduate certificate program Science and Policy of Climate Change

Royal Roads University has announced the creation of a graduate certificate program in Science and Policy of Climate Change. Beginning in January 2021, the online certificate will teach students how to identify climate solutions and address sustainability issues. The certificate can be taken as a stand-alone program or can count for credit toward a graduate-level program. “Climate change awareness has grown exponentially, but far too often ends up being an exercise of shame and blame,” said CEO of ECO-Canada Kevin Nilsen. “The best way to tackle the real challenge is to empower environmental professionals with knowledge and education that is focused on creating solutions from a competent workforce; this certificate is the first of its kind to do just that." Royal Roads (BC)

Cégep defends decision to open English-only campus for international students

A French-language college, Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, has defended its decision to open a private English campus that caters to international studies. Cégep continuing education coordinator Sylvain Vachon said the English program was created to meet demands from Chinese and Indian markets, denying allegations that the program was created to compensate for low enrolment in the region. "If [we] didn't seize the opportunity, another Cégep from the island of Montreal would have," Vachon said. "We were just faster." Education Minister Jean-François Roberge stated that the problem with the program is that it is delivered exclusively in English, and indicated that he will be asking the school to include at least one French class. CBC | Medicine Hat News (QC)

McMaster joins international Digital Credential Consortium as founding member

McMaster University and the University of Toronto have become a founding member of the Digital Credential Consortium, an international digital academic credential group. The twelve founding members of the group are designing an infrastructure to distribute, issue, store, display, and verify academic credentials digitally. “The recognition provided to McMaster through an invitation by such a distinguished group of institutions, all committed to exploring the new frontier of digital credentials, is another reward for our contributions to educational innovation,” McMaster Dean of Engineering Ishwar K Puri. McMaster (ON)

Students, faculty across Canada participate in initiatives to address climate change

Students and faculty are engaging in initiatives to promote action on climate change. CTV reports that nearly 250 university and college professors across Canada have signed Extinction Rebellion's letter calling for radical change to combat the climate crisis. "We represent a diverse group of academics at colleges and universities across Canada, who can no longer remain passive in the face of climate change caused by human activities," the letter reads. Meanwhile, in Québec, a coalition of students is organizing a weeklong strike from late March to early April to put pressure on federal, provincial, and municipal governments to address climate change. “If the government cannot inform the student population about the climate crisis, we owe it to ourselves to take charge of this education,” said spokesperson for the Coalition étudiante pour un virage environnemental et social Tristan Pérez. Montréal Gazette | CTV (QC)

eCampusOntario to lead ON micro-certification strategy

eCampusOntario has announced that they are leading the province's micro-certification strategy to help public colleges and universities adopt short, focused credentials to verify mastery of a particular skill. eCampusOntario is running 14 pilot projects that involve postsecondary institutions and industry partners designing micro-certification pilot projects that test the principles and frameworks established by a working group. By increasing the availability of micro-certification programs, the initiative will establish education-industry connections for faster workforce development and job placement. "Whether developing new or building on existing skills and competencies, these certifications support life long-learning and allow our workforce to remain up to date and responsive to the needs of local labour market, said ON Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano. Newswire (ON)

Best practices for aspiring, new senior administrators

Teresa Valerio Parrot shares tips and best practices for aspiring or new senior leaders. For instance, Parrot argues that communication can only go so far; if tough leadership decisions are not being made, then it is difficult to reach communication goals that demand a leadership stance. The author also recommends that new or aspiring senior admins immediately update resumes and LinkedIn pages after self-evaluations. Other tips include prioritizing physical and mental health; building strong relationships with your leadership teams; valuing trust; and saying yes to opportunities. Inside Higher Ed (International)

HEC Montréal partners with local organizations to deliver ethics and compliance certificate

HEC Montréal, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, the Osler law firm, and Hydro-Québec have partnered to create a new certification program focused on ethics and compliance. Targeted at professional and business managers, the program is designed to offer tools for promoting and managing ethics and compliance in public and private organizations. The program will launch on June 3, 2020 and will require participants to attend four two-day theory modules, and a one-day practical exercise. HEC Montréal (QC)

VIU to launch diploma integrating mechanical, drafting, civil technologists training

Vancouver Island University has created an Integrated Engineering Diploma, a program that combines mechanical, drafting, and civil technologist training into a single learning stream. To be launched in September 2020, the program responds to the projected shortfall in engineers and technologists in British Columbia by providing students with flexible learning options. The program allows students to either enter the workforce after completion or transfer to another institution to pursue an engineering degree or another technologist pathway. “The new diploma will provide needed, employable skills in civil design, computer-aided design, and mechanical technology, while emphasizing teamwork, communication and hands-on experiences,” said VIU Chair of the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy Brian Dick. VIU (BC)

Seneca, Peruvian fashion school partner to deliver programs, develop creative industries

Seneca College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Peru's Chio Lecca Fashion School on the delivery of programs and to develop creative industries. The agreement notes that, beginning in May 2020, the Chio Lecca will host a group of students from Seneca’s School of Fashion to participate in a two-week faculty-led program to learn about Peruvian textiles and techniques of natural dyeing. Students will also learn about the challenges Andean communities face when marketing of their products and propose a research project that offers real solutions. "The goal of this cross-cultural partnership is for students to implement their knowledge and tackle challenges in real world situations," said Seneca Dean, Faculty of Communication, Art & Design Kurt Muller. Seneca (ON)