Top Ten

February 13, 2020

ON announces colleges can deliver BScN programs independently

The Government of Ontario has announced that colleges will now have the option to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) independent of a university partner, giving students more choice regarding educational pathways for a registered nursing career. Since 2000, the province has required any college wishing to offer a nursing degree program to partner with a university, which they state creates additional costs and bureaucratic hurdles that can discourage students from going into nursing. “This is a tremendous improvement in health-care training in this province,” said Colleges Ontario President Linda Franklin. “It will attract more students into nursing programs in communities where there is a clear demand for more nurses.”  ON | NationTalk (ON)

UPEI launches OER program to reduce learning costs for students

The University of Prince Edward Island's Robertson Library has partnered with the Government of PEI and the UPEI Student Union to develop open education resources (OERs) to make learning materials more affordable for students. The pilot program encourages professors to put their textbooks online, making them free to access for students. Professors can apply to get funding for developing, adapting a book into an online format, or peer-reviewing other online textbooks. “Rising textbook costs pose a significant barrier to education, and this is a monumental first step in addressing that issue," said UPEISU Vice-President Academic and External Sweta Daboo. "We thank the Province and the University for putting the work and resources into this project and look forward to continued investments and collaboration for students.”  UPEI  | CBC  (PE)

Concordia launches hub to support, connect Black initiatives and scholarship

Concordia University is launching the Black Perspectives Initiative (BPI), a hub that aims to support and connect Black initiatives and scholarship at the school. Opening later this month through the Faculty of Arts and Science, BPI will initially focus on strengthening relationships within Concordia’s Black community by offering funding, mentorship, research opportunities, and programming that support Black perspectives. “At its core, this project was informed by Black student activism, which has been very strong at Concordia since the university’s inception," said Concordia BPI Founding Coordinator Annick Maugile Flavien. "The BPI allows for those perspectives to be heard, respected and supported from within the university’s structure.” Concordia (QC)

UWaterloo launches Autonomous Vehicle Research and Intelligence Lab

The University of Waterloo has officially opened the Autonomous Vehicle Research and Intelligence Lab (AVRIL), a new research hub for self-driving cars. The new hub will allow researchers to host numerous vehicles and work on multiple projects at a single location. The hub is also equipped with an immersive driving simulator, a level-two charter for electric vehicles, and truck-height bays. According to UWaterloo, both levels of government provided around 20% of the funding for the $4.5M project, with the university supplying $3M. "We always had good equipment, but now we have the space to host numerous vehicles for different projects with various industry partners," said UWaterloo Centre for Automotive Research Managing Director Ross McKenzie.   Kitchener Today  | Betakit  (ON)

SFU signs agreement with FNHA supporting Indigenous self-determination in health research

Simon Fraser University has signed a Research Affiliation Agreement with the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) to help increase Indigenous self-determination for health research. The agreement will give FNHA research affiliate status with SFU and appoints SFU as a financial supporter of FNHA's publicly funded research. While a typical research agreement acknowledges the academic partner’s ownership of intellectual property, this agreement acknowledges that FNHA holds the right to ownership of intellectual property. “Managing research grants directly will help us to focus more on improving Indigenous health outcomes,” explains FNHA Interim Chief Executive Officer Richard Jock.  SFU  (BC)

Holland College pilots Aboriginal Coaching Certification program

Holland College is piloting an Aboriginal Coaching Certification program focused on improving the application of Indigenous culture in sport. The certification is facilitated by Richard Lush on behalf of the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island and will include three modules: A Holistic Approach to Coaching, Dealing with Racism in Sport, and Individual and Community Wellness. Lush told CBC that the certification is for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous coaches so they can provide relevant learning experiences when coaching Indigenous athletes. "It's kind of history in the making for P.E.I. in particular because the Aboriginal coaching module, in my understanding, hasn't been involved in the post-secondary education system," said Lush.  Holland College  | CBC  (PE)

UOttawa President responds to student death, disappearance

University of Ottawa President Jacques Frémont has released a statement reminding students of various on-campus mental health supports following the death of one student, and the suspected disappearance of another. In the statement, Frémont offers his condolences and support to the deceased student's friends and family, and calls on anyone with information about the missing student, Jonathan Blanchette, to contact Gatineau police. Frémont acknowledges there is a mental health crisis, but states that the university is working on implementing further supports. "I know that at times this university can feel large and impersonal. But I want you to know that in reality it is filled with kind and caring people [...] If you are struggling, if you feel you can no longer cope, please reach out to our counselors. They care. Talk to them. Please."  UOttawa  | CBC  (ON)

Niagara takes over Canopy Growth vineyard

Niagara College’s Teaching Winery will take over operations at the Concession 5 Vineyard, a Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard property owned by Canopy Growth. The take-over will “sow the seeds” for new learning opportunities for wine students, where they will learn about environmentally and socially sustainable practices, as well as different terroir and grape varietals than are used at the college’s Teaching Winery. “With grape growing and wine production integral to Niagara’s economy, we applaud Canopy Growth’s decision to preserve the vineyards on this Niagara-on-the-Lake property,” said Niagara President Dan Patterson. “We are proud to be a part of this historic new partnership that bridges Niagara’s established wine industry with its emerging cannabis production industry, and we’re dedicated to applying our expertise in a manner that will benefit our students and the community.”  Newswire  | Niagara  (ON)

Police charge man in connection with murder at Arctic College residence

RCMP have charged an Iqaluit man in connection with the murder of a woman that occurred at a Nunavut Artic College housing unit. William Autut has been charged with second-degree murder and failure to comply with a probation order, stated RCMP press release. According to Autut's Facebook page, he was a student at the school. Police stated that the circumstances of the woman’s death appear to be “suspicious” in nature. Autut has been remanded into custody and will appear in court on March 3 at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.   CBC  | Nunatsiaq News  (NT)

Queen’s, Nord University partner to better prepare teachers of the future

Queen’s University’s Faculty of Education and Nord University in Norway have established a partnership that aims to prepare “the teachers of the future.” The partnership will take a holistic and international perspective to address pressing issues facing the education sector and to better prepare the next generation of teachers. “Having education students, faculty members, people who work in school boards and senior administrators of the Faculty of Education from two different countries be part of the same group created a dynamic environment full of exciting possibilities for future collaborations and wonderful ideas that each of us will be taking away with us in our practice,” said Dean Rebecca Luce-Kapler.  Queen’s  (ON)