Top Ten

February 27, 2020

Colleges Ontario, OUSA, Ontario's Universities, CSA release report on student mental health

Colleges Ontario, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, Ontario's Universities, and the College Student Alliance have released a report on the mental wellness challenges facing Ontario's postsecondary students today. "Foundations for Promoting Mental Wellness in Campus Communities" provides updates on the organizations' 2017 action plan for addressing postsecondary student mental health. They also offer three key recommendations for a proactive approach to addressing mental wellness issues: taking a 'whole-of-community' approach to student mental health and well-being; ensuring that all students have access to timely, effective, culturally relevant, and flexible on-campus mental health care; and promoting life-long mental health and well-being for all Ontarians through harm reduction and access to mental health care. Colleges Ontario | NationTalk (ON)

NS announces amendments to University Foundations Act, $2.2M investment for loan forgiveness

The Government of Nova Scotia has made important announcements regarding amendments to the University Foundations Act and an expansion of the Student Loan Forgiveness to Nova Scotia Community College program. Amendments made to the University Foundation Act will allow universities who no longer wish to operate their foundations to dissolve them. “We’ve heard from our universities and for many of them, there is no longer a need to operate a foundation in addition to the university itself,” said NS Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Labi Kousoulis. NS also announced an annual $2.2M investment in expanding Student Loan Forgiveness to NSCC students. “We are proud to see Government expand the Student Loan Forgiveness Program to NSCC students, who have faced program inequality in comparison to university borrowers” said Chair of StudentsNS Mary Navas.  NS  | Students NS  (NS)

Lakeland receives $4M donation to establish bison herd at college

Lakeland College has received a $4M donation that will allow the college to purchase land and establish a bison herd at the college. The donation, provided by Armin and Rita Mueller, will not only provide Lakeland's student-managed farm students with new learning opportunities, the gift will also allow the college to participate in bison research projects with other organizations, like the Canadian Bison Association. "Adding another SMF unit ensures students can be fully immersed in the management of a livestock enterprise which is key to them developing technical, business and soft skills they’ll use throughout their careers," said Lakeland President Alice Wainwright-Stewart. "Work-integrated learning is what makes the SMF learning model so valuable."  Lakeland  (AB)

Sept-Îles to host pilot project for Indigenous student community living

The Cégep de Sept-Îles and the Regroupement des centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec (RCAAQ) have announced a community living environment pilot project for Indigenous students that will be held on Sept-Îles’ campus. The project aims to provide more living and educational resources to Indigenous students, 75% of whom are women in their late twenties with children and are looking for a community environment that is safe and quiet, and that fosters mutual aid, sharing, and support. "This promising and innovative project is being carried out thanks to collaboration between Indigenous partners, the school system and universities, and municipal and government actors," said QC Minister of Education and Higher Education Jean-François Roberge. "I firmly believe that it will support the development of the full potential of adult and Indigenous students and that all educational establishments in Sept-Îles will reap significant long-term benefits.”  Cégep de Sept-Îles   | NationTalk  (QC)

University reputation, operation, foundation in crisis: Opinion

Universities are in crisis, we are told, in reputation, operation and foundation, writes Joseph Brean. While institutions face problems that range from internal mismanagement of finances to the increasing numbers of contract lecturers who are over-qualified and underpaid, Brean notes that more people are attending university than ever before. Part of the problem, suggests the author, is that universities no longer seem certain about what they stand for or how they fit into civil society. For example, Brean points to the former Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, who tried to use budget legislation to replace the words 'search for truth' in the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement with the words 'meet the state’s workforce needs. “The dream is getting more complex,” said University of Saskatchewan Professor Ken Coates. “We’re asking the university to be too many things to too many people at all times.”  National Post  (National)

MRU approves tuition, student services fee increases

The Board of Governors at Mount Royal University has announced that it has approved a seven percent tuition increase and a 25% increase in student services fees for the next school year. The fee hike will cost the average full-time student about $400 more when they pay tuition in the fall. Students’ Association President Shayla Breen, one of three board members to vote against the tuition increase, pointed to the Government of Alberta’s budget cuts and tuition freeze removal as the cause of the decision. MRU President Tim Rahilly stated that more factors went into the decision-making process: “This seven-per-cent increase [...] assist[s] in balancing the school’s budget as MRU strives to be as efficient as possible while still providing quality undergraduate programs.”  CBC  | Calgary Herald   (AB)

UNB, NBCC sign agreement to create pathways to MBA program

The University of New Brunswick and New Brunswick Community College have signed an agreement to provide a pathway for NBCC’s International Business Management graduates to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree. Students who complete the postgraduate program at NBCC and meet eligibility requirements will now be able to transfer directly to the UNB Saint John campus MBA program. “This MOU will further diversify our campus’ MBA program by admitting NBCC students who have completed the post-graduate program and meet eligibility requirements,” said UNBSJ Vice-President Petra Hauf. “We hope to see the first intake of students in the fall of 2020.”  UNB  (NB)

Lethbridge formalizes, expands partnership with Farming Smarter through MOU

Lethbridge College has formalized and expanded its relationship with Farming Smarter through the creation of a 15-year memorandum of understanding. The MOU agreement is built around three core pillars—applied research and innovation; education, training and knowledge transfer; and communication and branding—and will see both organizations pursue opportunities that will support the agriculture industry in southern Alberta and throughout the province. “This is an exciting opportunity to really look at the strengths of both the college and Farming Smarter and how we can leverage those strengths into new opportunities,” said Lethbridge President Paula Burns. “Our two organizations have worked together in the past on innovative and important projects that support agricultural research, education and student success. We look forward to new opportunities that will be possible because of this agreement.”  Lethbridge   (AB)

Fanshawe's Canadian Centre for Product Validation receives accreditation

Fanshawe College has announced that its Canadian Centre for Product Validation has received accreditation in the field of mechanical testing. The accreditation will allow CCPV to perform Salt Corrosion, Low Temperature, High Temperature, Humidity and Plastic Tensile tests on materials like plastics, metals, rubbers, and coatings. "The accreditation opens up more opportunities for CCPV and, more importantly, provides business and industry from across the region with more options in terms of meeting their product testing requirements from an accredited lab," said Fanshawe Chief Executive Officer of CCPV Bruce Smith. "The successful accreditation represents CCPV's and Fanshawe College's commitment and continued investment in Ontario's innovation economy."  Fanshawe   (ON)

Holland College, UPEI take extra precautions in light of firearms threat

Holland College and the University of Prince Edward Island took extra precautions on Monday following an anonymous firearm threat. RCMP say they received an anonymous tip Friday that an unidentified person planned to take a firearm to school. Although a police investigation determined that the threat was not credible, Holland College hired six private security guard to patrol campus, while UPEI issued emails to students, faculty, and staff, and increased their Security Services staffing. "Having the visibility of the additional officers as well as security present on our campuses will hopefully provide that additional sense of reassurance that we took this threat as something and we're not just going to brush it off," said Holland College Manager of Campus Projects Jonathan Barrett.  CBC  (PE)