Top Ten

February 19, 2020

Canadian PSE calls for $40M investment into applied research

Major associations and organizations representing colleges, cégeps, polytechnics, and institutes across the country have called on the federal government to include a $40M investment in applied research in the 2020 budget. Polytechnics Canada, the association pour la recherche au collégial, BC Colleges, Colleges Ontario, Colleges and Institutes Canada, Fédération des cégeps, Synchronex, Tech-Access Canada, and Atlantic Colleges Atlantique have co-signed a letter suggesting that such an investment will enrich collaborations between the college sector and SMEs. "We are confident that, with predictable, dedicated funding, the college sector will be better positioned to ensure partners are capitalizing on innovation-ready physical spaces, applied research expertise and cutting-edge technologies," states the letter. "Given their leadership in zero-waste initiatives, carbon-neutral buildings and micro-grid technology, they are also ideally positioned to share and scale this type of expertise." Polytechnics Canada (National)

“We’ve hit a wall”: MUN asks NL to reconsider substantive cuts

Several members of the Memorial University of Newfoundland community have spoken out against the substantive budget cuts faced by the university. Last week, outgoing MUN president Gary Kachanoski asked the provincial government to reconsider its request for MUN to find an additional $2.7M in savings per year for the next two years, especially given that the institution has seen four consecutive years of budget cuts. "The grant from the government is the same it was 10 years ago, yet the university is expanded in lots of ways," Memorial University Faculty Association President Ken Snelgrove explained, noting that many of the cuts have been taken out of maintaining the university’s infrastructure and programming. "I think that we've hit a wall. I don't think we can continue to cut without reducing the size of the university, that things have to start to disappear." Professors Carissa Brown, Julia Christensen, and Yolande Pottie-Sherman additionally wrote to the Telegram to explain how budget cuts would have a substantial impact on the province. CBC | The Telegram (NL)

Trent announces new forensic science centre

Trent University has announced that it will break ground on its new Forensics Crime Scene Facility in the coming month. The centre will reportedly be a first-of-its-kind professional forensics training building, which will set new academic and environmental standards and aim to be the first zero-carbon building certified by the International Living Future Institute. “This teaching-focused, environmentally-restorative building is being designed by an alumnus of Trent, a story that reflects our institution’s core values and the long-term impact of a Trent education,” said Trent President Leo Groarke. “We are very proud that this new facility will enhance the calibre of learning for our Forensics students while giving back to the environment.” Trent (ON)

Journal de Montréal releases rankings of cégep programs

The Journal de Montréal has released a new ranking of cégep programs. The rankings evaluate institutions by their graduation rates for common programs, such as social science and computer technology, excluding graduates who leave Québec. The Journal reports that English cégeps occupy the top ranks of several programs, particularly in the natural sciences and the humanities. Retired professor Michel Perron says that this finding is consistent with data that shows high school graduation rates in the province are also higher among Anglophones than Francophones. Journal de Montréal | Journal de Montréal (QC)

Lambton launches Chemical Laboratory Technology diploma to support emerging industries

Lambton College has launched a Chemical Laboratory Technology diploma to train professionals in lab skills needed for emerging industries. The three-year program will provide students with basic lab skills and a foundation in lab analysis that will later be applied to industry-specific studies in areas like natural health products, cannabis, and plastics and petrol chemicals. “With so much recent growth, Lambton College currently has infrastructure and equipment that you won’t find at any other post-secondary institution in the province,” said Lambton Dean, Technology & Trades Dave Machacek. Lambton (ON)

USask launches Community Centre focused on wellness-related activities

The University of Saskatchewan has officially opened the USask Community Centre, a bookable space for wellness-related activities. The centre was created to support and promote student wellness in social, emotional, and intellectual spheres, among others. To this end, the centre houses various activities like yoga, healthy eating classes, and the Peer Health education group. “It is well known that a sense of belonging, acceptance and connection are foundational to health and well-being,” said USask Director of Student Supports and Services Peter Hedley. “Spaces like this one, that offer an opportunity for students to find a sense of belonging and build community, are vital.” USask (SK)

U of T launches first-year seminar that analyzes American history through the lens of Hamilton

The University of Toronto has launched a course that explores early American history through the lens of the musical Hamilton. A first-year foundations seminar, the class aims to give students a critical perception of how pop culture represents history. “The class gives students the opportunity to discuss the musical and also think about early American history, issues of historical representation in popular culture and the benefits and challenges of adapting history for the stage,” said U of T University College post-doctoral researcher Shira Lurie. "Some students have been hesitant to think critically about Hamilton and I’m hoping that the course helps them realize that the best art is worthy of scrutiny.” U of T (ON)

UNBSJ partners to offer 24/7 mental health services to students

The University of New Brunswick in Saint John has partnered with Real Campus, an online student support platform, to offer mental health services to students. The confidential, virtual resource offers professional supports to all students, regardless of their health plan, at any time and in multiple languages. “Our partnership with Real Campus allows students to get support beyond typical business hours,” says Sheldon MacLeod, director of Student Services. “As part of our holistic approach to serving students, we see this as an extension of our Student Services and we’re proud to make these services available to all students at the Saint John campus.” CBC | UNB (NB)

Fleming to deliver prototype employment services project in Muskoka-Kawarthas region

Fleming College has recently received a multi-million dollar contract from the Government of Ontario to operate one of three Employment Services prototype regions. The prototype-project will test innovative and efficient approaches to employment services in the Muskoka-Kawarthas, Peel, and Hamilton-Niagara regions. “Fleming College is a trusted public asset delivering education, skills training and employment service programs that respond to the needs of students, job seekers and employers,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “We are very eager to work alongside our partners in the region and the provincial government to meet its goals and connect more adults with good quality jobs.” Nation Talk (ON)

NorQuest launches a fully-funded Foundations of Cooking program

NorQuest College has announced that it will be offering a 20-week Foundations of Cooking program to learners at no cost this Spring. Noting that Edmonton’s unemployment rate is among the highest in Canada, NorQuest states that the program has been fully funded by the Government of Alberta to help graduates find fast-paced employment in the food service industry. The program includes the essential skills needed for success in the industry and required by professional chefs and cooks, such as kitchen safety, knife technique, and practical elements of cooking from scratch. Students will also have access to a six-week work experience and will receive support for a job placement. NorQuest (AB)