Top Ten

February 21, 2020

CUTRIC partners with ON postsecondary schools to create research cluster on zero emissions buses

The Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium has partnered with OCAD University, Ontario Tech University, Queen's University, the University of Windsor, Centennial College, York University, and Canadian Nuclear Labs to create a research cluster dedicated to researching battery electric and fuel electric buses. Described by CUTRIC as "North America’s first-ever cluster of post-secondary institutions" dedicated to researching zero emissions buses, the research cluster hopes that their work will enable governments to make more informed decisions when it comes to procuring and deploying zero-emission buses across Canada. “Our research will answer the question of how researchers and implementation teams can accurately track the progress and impacts of ZEB [zero emissions buses] implementation,” said OCAD U Professor Jeremy Bowes.   CUTRIC  (ON)

StatsCan report shows enrolment, graduation rates on the rise

Statistics Canada has released a report demonstrating that student enrolment at Canadian public universities and colleges rose for a third year in 2017/2018. The report explains that the growth is majorly attributable to a 15.6% in international student enrolments at universities and colleges, while enrolments by Canadian students increased by 0.2%. The report also noted that just over half of international students are from China or India, enrolment in STEM programs are on the rise while enrolments in BHASE programs have slightly decreased, and the number of postsecondary graduates is rising.   StatsCan  (National)

YorkU creates Faculty Environmental and Urban Change for sustainability education, research

York University has announced the creation of the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change to advance sustainability and justice in the fields of environmental change and urbanization. Launching September 2020, the new faculty will mobilize interdisciplinary collaborations toward producing innovative scholarships and research. YorkU states that the faculty will launch new curricular offerings in September 2021, preparing students for careers as chief sustainability officers, environmental lawyers, and advocates and diversity educators. " This interdisciplinary and collaborative approach will help society tackle its most complex challenges," said YorkU President Rhonda L Lenton, "while training the leaders who will put solutions into practice.”  YorkU  (ON)

Viewing on-campus mental wellness resources as a shared responsibility

Colleges and students are trying to find a middle ground between the increasing demands for mental health services and the rising costs of providing it, writes Greta Anderson. The author reflects on interviews with students and service providers, stating that while students typically understand the availability of on-campus mental wellness services to be a core responsibility of the institution, some counselling centre directors believe that campus mental health services are a shared resource and responsibility. Anderson also highlights how institutions face challenges with no-shows and late appointments, which can increase wait times for other students, and describes how medical centers are reshaping their structure and employing new tactics to mitigate no-shows, such as increasing the amount of walk-in appointments and sending appointment reminders.    Inside Higher Ed  (International)

UOttawa, UWindsor take steps to address racism on campus

The University of Ottawa has released a second report from an independent investigator regarding the school's policies on addressing racism and discrimination on campus. While the report notes that the university has "begun some good work," there are three issues that still need to be addressed by the institution: providing clear definitions of key terms used in the application of Protection Services, addressing the over-representation of racialized members of the university community in interactions with Protection Services, and providing guidance in the enforcement of the Trespass Property Act. To address these issues, the investigator recommends that the university begin collecting race-based data on its student population, continue to build on changes made to policies governing campus security, and provide ongoing training for Protection Services Officers. Relatedly, the University of Windsor's law school has announced it is investigating incidents of anti-black racism that occurred during lectures at the school.   UOttawa  | Ottawa Citizen  | Windsor Star (ON)

USainte-Anne partners with University of Veracruz to deliver cultural immersion program

The Université Sainte-Anne has partnered with Mexico's University of Veracruz to deliver a program that aims to increase student's cultural awareness and facilitate student exchanges between the two institutions. The program is available to students enrolled in the school's Integrated French Immersion Option, and will allow select students to travel to Mexico for a cultural immersion experience. Six students from Veracruz will also visit USainte-Anne's Church Point campus to complete a three weeks summer immersion session. "In a globalized world, it is becoming increasingly important to encourage openness to other cultures and ways of life," said USainte-Anne Professor François Bélanger. "Our students are fortunate to be able to participate in this enriching project and we are delighted to be able to offer them such an opportunity."  USainte-Anne  (NS)

Niagara launches Peer Wellness Program, encourages supportive conversations among students

Niagara College's Health, Wellness and Accessibility Services, the college's Student Administrative Council, and the Wise Guys Charity Fund have partnered on the creation of a Peer Wellness Program that promotes supportive relationships and conversations among students. Launching later this month, the program will allow students to engage with trained Wellness Peers on common student challenges and wellness concerns, such as loneliness and stress. “Niagara College prides itself on its reputation as a welcoming college that is passionate about creating a positive student life experience," said Niagara Senior Vice-President, Academic and Learner Service Steve Hudson. "The Peer Wellness Program is an important addition to the suite of services that support the physical, mental and emotional well-being of all its students.”  Niagara   (ON)

Aurora students complain of glycol smell caused by heating problems

Students at Aurora College are speaking out about a heating issue at the institution that is producing offensive smells. Aurora Vice President of Student Affairs Lynn Morris Jamieson stated that the school has been dealing with glycol leaks and smells for around five years.  "We've worked on a case-by-case basis," said Jamieson. "Every time we've had an issue we've dealt with it with our emergency response plan." CBC reports that Aurora has been working with the Government of the Northwest Territories, NWT Community Services Corporation, and the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission to find a resolution.  CBC  (NT)

Canadore will not publicly release investigator report, OPSEU calls for Ministry intervention

Canadore College has announced that it will not be publicly releasing an external investigator's report regarding the school's workplace culture. A Canadore spokesperson told the North Bay Nugget that the external investigator cautioned the school against releasing the report and advised against divulging specifics. "The purpose of the exercise was to gain an understanding of employees’ perceptions of any issues that were impacting on the work environment,” read a Canadore statement provided to the Nugget. “It was not a fact finding exercise.” OPSEU President Warren Thomas has released a statement suggesting that Canadore's refusal to release the report is indicative of an "attempted cover-up." Warren's statement concludes with a call for "President George Burton and Vice-President Shawn Chorney of Canadore College to be placed on administrative leave while the Ministries step in to ensure that the investigation report is disclosed to the appropriate parties, including the Union, and that the allegations of a poisoned work environment are fully addressed.”  OPSEU  | North Bay Nugget | CTV (ON)

Making career choices based on openness to change, possibility

During her career as an academic adviser, Akiba Covitz was often told by colleagues that they had previously been advised to become the leading expert in their chosen subject matter. The advice Covitz offers is quite different: "Make decisions that open up the most future pathways." To help one make decisions that are amenable to change, the author recommends being open to alternative forms of teaching and learning and develop a new set of interests, as well as skills around online delivery. "If faculty can model a broader mind-set and a broader skill set, we are more likely to recruit, retain and ultimately reward our students in a rapidly changing economy," concludes Covitz.  Inside Higher Ed  (International)