Top Ten

February 26, 2020

UManitoba diversity push yields increased representation in education program

An effort to increase the number of education students classified as belonging to the University of Manitoba’s diversity categories has more than doubled the number of self-declared students from these categories. 29.3% of students in the Faculty of Education self-declared as belonging to one of the diversity categories last Fall. "Our population of teachers is really not diverse enough to meet the needs of K-12 students and their communities," said Francine Morin, Faculty of Education associate dean of undergraduate studies. "We also believe that diverse people simply bring different perspectives, different traditions … and a whole range of interesting experiences into classrooms, and they can use all of that to enrich the lives of their students in schools."  CBC  (MB)

King's UC "devastated" by L'Arche inquiry report, describes Vanier’s actions as "reprehensible"

King's University College Principal David Malloy says the school is "devastated" after a L’Arche report uncovered sexual abuse from L’Arche founder Jean Vanier. An internal report by the charity found that Vanier engaged in “manipulative sexual relationships” with at least six women. "The actions described in the report are reprehensible. Our concerns and thoughts are with those who had the courage to come forward and share their painful experiences," wrote Malloy in a statement. "As a community, we will support L’Arche in their ongoing search for the truth and healing." Malloy added that the institution’s recently launched Jean Vanier Research Centre will be reflecting on the findings and will engage with the community on the impact of these findings. CBC | Kings UC (ON)

MHC, NLC establish partnership, increasing access across AB

Medicine Hat College and Northern Lakes College have established a partnership that will expand access for learners across Alberta. The institutions signed a Memorandum of Agreement signifying their commitment to increasing regional access and delivering programming by Fall 2020. Using NLC’s Supported Distance Learning model, each college will offer the other college’s programming in their service region. “Northern Lakes College and Medicine Hat College are setting an excellent example for Alberta’s post-secondary system,” said Demetrios Nicolaides, AB Minister of Advanced Education. “I fully support all efforts to foster collaboration and reduce duplication, to improve student services and cut red tape, and to ensure programming meets the needs of the communities and regional economies served by both colleges.” MHC (AB)

Union pushes back against potential USask tuition hike

Public Service Alliance of Canada Local 40004 is pushing back against a potential graduate tuition hike at the University of Saskatchewan, stating that increases would put an “undue burden” on its members. The university board of governors is set to vote on a tuition increase for graduate students in late March, which the Star Phoenix says could see tuition for certain graduate programs increase by 10% per year over the next five years for domestic students, and by 6.9% for international students. The union—which represents USask graduate students employed as teaching assistants, teaching fellows, and student assistants—has stated that an approved increase would be taken into consideration in upcoming bargaining talks. The Star Phoenix | PSAC (SK)

Loyalist launches new programs in technology, trades

Loyalist College has announced that it is launching new programs in the 2020/2021 school year, as well as modifying several of its existing programs. Loyalist will offer a cyber security program and a wireless information networking program at the Mississauga campus, with the goal of launching the programs for January 2021. The college also reportedly has an artificial intelligence program currently undergoing approval, and is looking into adding new programs in the technology and trades departments. Quinte News reports that the college also plans to modify the law clerk advanced program, the global logistics program, and the nursing program. Quinte News (ON)

UQAM launches new visual arts concentration

The Université du Québec à Montréal Faculté des arts have announced a new concentration for the master’s level program in visual and media arts focused on intervention. The program builds on the education concentration, which was aimed at teachers interested in specializing in the visual arts, and will train artists who wish to provide interventions and mediations in a multitude of contexts and environments. The concentration is aimed at people from various backgrounds, including working professionals and recent baccalaureate graduates, and is in line with the recently created Canadian Research Chair—held by Mona Trudel—focused on the development of innovative practices in art, culture, and wellness. UQAM (QC)

URegina instructors criticize university for lack of Indigenous relations

Over 30 professors from the University of Regina have signed an open letter criticizing URegina’s leadership over a “breakdown in trust” between the institution and the Indigenous community. The letter points to the recent controversy surrounding George Elliott Clarke’s lecture as an example of this broken trust, asserting that “administration was warned by multiple different constituencies who are part of and connected to Indigenous communities about the real harm the lecture would cause.” The writers call on “all levels of administration, outgoing and incoming, to listen to those who are affected by their decisions and to take direction from the wealth of experience, knowledge, and wisdom both on and off campus.” URegina | CKRM (SK)

Canada-UK initiative invests in AI research at Canadian institutions

An international collaboration between Canada and the UK focused on artificial intelligence will see universities receive approximately $5M and £5M over the next three years. The Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative, which is being administered by CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC in collaboration with four research councils from the UK Research and Innovation, is focused on artificial intelligence initiatives and research projects. The Canadian institutions receiving funding include McGill University, the University of Alberta, the University of Ottawa, the University of Alberta, the University of Manitoba, and Simon Fraser University. “Today, we take one step further toward ensuring that AI innovation and growth builds competitive and resilient economies,” said Minister of Science, Innovation, and Industry Navdeep Bains, “and maximize the social and health benefits in both Canada and in the UK.” BetaKit (International)

MUN combats racism on campus

Memorial University of Newfoundland President Gary Kachanoski has issued a statement urging people to learn the facts about COVID-19 and “refrain from making assumptions and judgments. And most important of all, treat others with respect and kindness." CBC reports that the university received complaints from those who witnessed insensitive comments toward Chinese students in relation to the virus’s global outbreak. The outbreak has fueled incidents of xenophobia in North America, including in St John’s. "We want people to think before they talk," said MUN School of Graduate Studies Dean Aimee Surprenant. "We just wanted to get ahead of it before it started to get any worse.” CBC | CBC (NL)

MPHEC releases time-to-degree statistics for students in maritime university system

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission has released the time-to-degree statistics for students attending universities in the Maritimes. The report indicates that the average TTD has remained around 4.6 years for graduate cohorts between 2001 and 2009. Those who switched their field of study and/or their university of study typically took longer on average than students who did not; and men typically had a slightly higher TTD than women. MPHEC (Report) | (National)