Top Ten

April 13, 2020

Unnamed Canadian university domain up for sale on dark web

Intelligence firm KELA has reported that an unnamed Canadian university’s network may be at risk for a cyberattack. Earlier this month, a threat actor on the dark web put administrative access to the domain of an unnamed Canadian university up for sale. It is not clear at this point how access was obtained. KELA has notified a contact at the University of Toronto and asked it to pass on the threat to other institutions, reports the Financial Post. “We hear about this sort of thing in general, all the time,” said Ryerson University CIO Brian Lesser in an email. “But, I can’t say I’ve heard about the access to a specific university system being sold.” Financial Post (National)

Changes to policies will allow some international students to begin, complete education online

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada have announced changes to its Post-Graduate Work Permit policies, allowing some international students to complete up to 50% of their degree online without impacting eligibility for a work permit. International students who have a study permit or have been approved for a study permit for a program beginning May or June can begin and complete up to 50% of their program online from abroad. “While our hope is that students can transition to Canada, or begin new programs in the fall,” explained a CICan release, “we will continue to ask for flexibility should the situation not improve and students remain unable to travel to Canada for reasons beyond their control.” The Star | CICan | The Record (National)

MB establishes $5M fund to support COVID-19 research

The Government of Manitoba has created a $5M COVID-19 research fund to support a clinical trial to determine if a commonly used drug can be used as a virus treatment. “The fund will also provide support for local researchers to develop solutions to health-care issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained MB Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen. Researchers are developing projects to test possible treatments in clinical trials, better understand how the disease is developing in the province, and investigate how the health system needs to react to different complications that are emerging around the world. MB (MB)

Feds expand Canada Summer Jobs program, student advocates call for additional supports

The federal government has announced that it is expanding the Canada Summer Jobs program to encourage businesses to hire students for summer work. The program, which normally subsidizes employers to hire students by paying up to half of the local minimum wage toward the worker’s salary, will now cover 100% of salaries. The federal government estimates that the program could create up to 70,000 jobs for young people. Student advocates, although grateful for the assistance, argue that it is not enough. The Canadian Federation of Students, for example, told the Times Colonist that 70,000 jobs is a drop in the bucket as more than two million students are enrolled in postsecondary education across the country. “Supporting 70,000 jobs is a good step forward,” stated Canadian Alliance of Student Associations Chair Adam Brown. “We hope to see additional relief from the federal government to support students in this trying time.” Time’s Colonist | CBC | CASA (National)

McGill receives $2M to launch structural biology centre

McGill University has received $2M in funding to create the Centre de Recherche en Biologie Structurale. Funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – santé, the centre will draw upon the expertise of 38 McGill researchers to advance knowledge of the molecular basis of disease, and leverage biophysical, chemical, and synthetic biology for human health worldwide. “Structural biology is of fundamental importance for human health research,” said McGill Vice-Principal, Research & Innovation Martha Crago. “Creating this new centre will enable us to be on the leading edge of new discoveries and will maintain the prominence of Québec as a hub for world-leading medical inquiry." McGill (QC)

UWinnipeg receives $3.5M in NEIHR funding to support Indigenous health research

The University of Winnipeg has received $3.5M in funding from CIHR’s Network Environments for Indigenous Health Research (NEIHR) to increase health research support to Indigenous organizations. Specifically, the funds will support Kishaadigeh, an Indigenous-led health research project developed by and with Indigenous communities and organizations to empower health research initiatives that reflect their priorities. “As we respond to the health crisis within our urban Indigenous population, this funding provides a vital resource to understand the needs of our community and adapt services to meet those needs,” said Manitoba Association for Friendship Centres executive director Coreen Roulette. UWinnipeg (MB)

Moody’s predicts that pandemic will negatively impact higher ed globally

Moody’s Investors Service has released a report that indicates they believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a negative effect on higher education globally for the next year. "We expect rated universities in all of our current jurisdictions – U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, Singapore and Mexico – to enroll fewer students for the next academic year than planned, due to the outbreak," said Moody’s vice president and senior analyst Jeanne Harrison. "In addition, if campuses remain closed for part of the year, income from residence halls, catering, conferences, and sporting events will be lower than budgeted. Endowment and gift income may also decline." Inside Higher Ed (International)

Lambton announces several pathway, transfer agreements with colleges, universities

Lambton College has announced that it recently signed pathway and transfer agreements with several Canadian schools to offer students a variety of postsecondary educational options. Lambton has partnered with various universities and colleges to offer students pathways to pursue bachelor's degrees and earn transfer credits in fields like Office Administration, Public Safety, and Early Childhood Education. “While agreements between post-secondary institutions are common, many students aren’t aware of pathway programs when they first apply to a college program,” explains a Lambton statement. “Lambton College is pleased to have various pathway opportunities in place for students, including exclusive agreements with universities across the country and in some cases, internationally.” Lambton (ON)

Students petition for reinstatement of SHAD program

Students have begun a petition to reinstate a program that enabled grade 11 and 12 students to visit 19 universities across the country while planning of their postsecondary schooling experience. The program, SHAD Canada, not only allows participants to visit campuses, but to gain experience in their potential future field through workshops and labs. While the petition agrees with the decision to cancel the program due to COVID-19, it asks the organization to allow grade 11 students the opportunity to attend their in-person program next year. Accepted students have received a statement from SHAD stating online programming will become available for them. MyGrandPrairieNow (National)

Canadore, UWindsor offer free online courses to public, instructors amid COVID-19

Canadore College and the University of Windsor are offering free online courses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadore is offering one module from each of their six general education courses covering topics from Astronomy to World Culture. No previous experience or prior education is required to participate, and there will be no grading or evaluation. UWindsor, on the other hand, is offering a free online course for instructors to develop skills and tools needed to move their summer courses online. Canadore | Windsor (ON)