Top Ten

March 11, 2020

UWindsor, St Clair celebrate launch of WE-SPARK Health Institute

The University of Windsor, St Clair College, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, and Windsor Regional Hospital have celebrated the launch of the WE-SPARK Health Institute. “Research and Education are among the main drivers of the new Windsor-Essex Hospitals System,” said Windsor Regional Hospital President David Musyj. “Through this unique partnership we have a chance to think big, build collaboration into the new system and position the region as a leader in medical research.” The institute states that its mission will be to enhance the health, well-being, and care of people through transformative research and knowledge translation, creating a thriving and engaged research community driving enhancements in health. Windsor Star | WE-SPARK (ON)

Great Plains, Fresh Start sign MOU expanding access to mental health counselling

Great Plains College and Fresh Start have created a partnership that will formally introduce a walk-in mental health counselling service for Maple Creek, Saskatchewan. The services will be offered each Friday at the College’s Program Centre, and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no fees and no physician referral requirements for individuals to access the service. “Great Plains College is proud to be a part of the initiative to help provide additional mental health services in Maple Creek,” said Great Plains President David Keast. “We are looking forward to the positive relationship and outcomes as well to the additional services and benefits that will be available to the community.” Great Plains (SK)

NLC, BC Hydro launch program to train heavy equipment operators

BC Hydro and Northern Lights College have partnered to train heavy equipment operators on the Site C project in Fort St John, BC. During the two-week course, participants will be provided with applicable site safety orientations, study employment essentials, and take part in hands-on learning with both small and large equipment on site. The two partners additionally announced that they will be offering a pre-carpentry skills program, which teaches essential carpentry skills in preparation for employment opportunities with the Site C project. Participants in both programs will stay at the Site C worker accommodation camp. Journal of Commerce (BC)

TWU launches virtual tours amid COVID-19 concerns

Trinity Western University has gone virtual in a bid to keep its annual spring recruiting weekend on track amid growing COVID-19 fears. “We are making lemonade out of lemons,” said Scott Fehrenbacher, senior vice-president of external relations for TWU. Students can register for headsets at TWU’s website. The headsets will allow students to hear an introduction from the school’s president and take a 360-degree look at the campus and dorms. In addition to helping resolve concerns about COVID-19, the headsets will allow the school to give the demo to more people. “We do have a cap on how many people we can host here on campus,” explained Fehrenbacher. “With a virtual reality headset we don’t have that cap.” Global News (BC)

USherbrooke lecturers go on strike

Lecturers at the Université de Sherbrooke have begun a general strike this week after the union - Syndicat des chargées et des chargés de cours de l'Université de Sherbrooke – and the institution were unable to come to an agreement. The Journal de Montréal states that USherbrooke lecturers have not had an employment contract for nearly two years. The union represents approximately 2,600 lecturers, who deliver nearly 50% of all courses at the institution, including 75% of undergraduate courses. Journal de Montréal (QC)

SNI celebrates conclusion of successful collaborative partnership

The Study North Initiative, the result of a collaborative partnership between six northern Ontario college, has come to a successful conclusion. The initiative generated 656 enrolled students from Central and Southern Ontario and TB News Watch states that the initiative has generated up to $31M of economic activity for the region over its 5-year span. “A few short years ago, market research indicated students in the GTA were unable to identify any of the colleges in northern Ontario,” said Sault College President Ron Common. “With NOHFC funding and lots of collaboration between our six northern Ontario colleges, this is no longer the case.” TB News Watch (ON)

MUN political science department head steps down in light of ‘untenable’ situation

Memorial University Political Science Professor and Department Head Russel Williams has stepped down from his role after budget cuts created an “untenable situation” at the institution. Williams states that he was asked to cut 20% of the 28 courses in the political science program. "Rather than the money going into the places that it probably should be in terms of improving the economy and diversifying the economy, we're seeing cuts in order to subsidize old sectors of the economy which are actually in decline," said MUN Political Scientist Stephen Tomblin. “I think there's this kind of sense of frustration because we're making decisions that are more political as opposed to policy informed or based on evidence." CBC additionally reported that a planning committee within MUN is considering “a dramatic overhaul of tuition fees.” CBC | CBC (NL)

Mohawk launches mobile classroom in Ancaster

Mohawk College’s City School initiative has launched a second mobile classroom in Ancaster, Ontario in order to spur trades training. The initiative is focused on providing apprenticeship and trades training through a state-of-the-art mobile classroom. “We want to make sure that people have ample accessibility to access training,” said Jim Vanderveken, Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies at Mohawk’s Centre for Community and Experiential Learning. “When we can locate within communities, it’s really an opportunity for us to make sure that the broad spectrum of needs across the community are being met. It’s really a campus on wheels.” The program was originally made possible through $4M in funding from the federal government through the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Training program and is provided free to students. The Spectator (ON)

Protecting enrollments in uncertain times

Faced with the potential losses caused by international crises, market downturns, and other risks, institutions are looking for ways to guard against lost revenue. In the United States, this has led one institution to take advantage of an emerging form of insurance that guards against lost international tuition revenue due to issues such as comprehensive sanctions, verified travel warnings or alerts, and/or visa restrictions. “It remains to be seen whether other colleges and universities will look to purchase similar policies to guard against decreased international enrollments,” writes author Michael Rush, later adding: “Faced with such decreased enrollments (and thus decreased revenues), colleges and universities may look to insurance in their risk assessments.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

ON announces updates to Second Career program for manufacturing workers

The Government of Ontario has announced changes to the Second Career program, which will help people laid off from manufacturing jobs apply to the program more quickly. Previously, workers had to look for work for 26 weeks before they could apply for the program, which helps to pay for tuition, books, and transportation for postsecondary education. Applicants will no longer need to wait to apply for the program, and will be eligible regardless of how long they worked in the manufacturing or auto industry. The new measures go into effect at the beginning of April. ON has also announced that it is reviewing workforce development and training programs. CBC | ON (ON)