Top Ten

April 23, 2020

NorQuest to close Whitecourt, Drayton Valley campuses permanently, move to online delivery

NorQuest College has announced that the permanent closure of their physical campuses in Whitecourt and Drayton Valley as of August 30th and move to an online delivery model. In a statement, NorQuest explains that the decision was based on the success of online delivery models during the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost savings that will be achieved through the move. “As we temporarily launched all programs to the online model due to the pandemic, it became clear that we can still deliver an exceptional student experience in a more efficient way,” said NorQuest Interim President Joan Hertz. “We appreciate the support of the communities in the region and look forward to continuing to deliver workforce-ready training, but in a new way.” NorQuest noted that their campuses in Wetaskiwin and Edmonton will continue to deliver programming as planned. NorQuest (AB)

UofT receives $10M donation to support COVID-19 response efforts

The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine has received a $10M gift from the Temerty Foundation to support Toronto’s hospital and health-science network during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applied to the Dean’s COVID-19 Priority fund, the gift will support efforts like the expansion of U of T’s containment level 3 facility, providing isolation housing for U of T Medicine residents, and finding innovative ways to reuse PPE. “We are deeply grateful to the Temerty Foundation for their outstanding leadership in responding to this unprecedented global crisis,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “Receiving a gift of this magnitude so early in the crisis has helped us meet the urgent needs of our region’s front-line clinicians and medical trainees, and will continue to provide vital support to researchers in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic.” U of T (ON)

13 Canadian schools make top 100 of THE’s Impact Rankings

Time’s Higher Education has released their Impact Rankings of 2020 and 13 Canadian postsecondary institutions have made the top 100. THE’s Impact Rankings assess the social and economic impact of universities using metrics based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The overall ranking includes 766 universities from 85 nations/regions. In the Canadian context, the University of British Columbia ranked seventh, followed by the University of Waterloo (16th), McMaster University (17th), Simon Fraser University (19th), Western University ranking (26th), University of Toronto (28th), the University of Calgary (29th), York University (33rd), and Université Laval (41st). Also in the top 100 is the University of Victoria (82nd), Dalhousie University (85th), the University of Saskatchewan (96th), and Lakehead University (98th). Time’s Higher Education (National)

Students, faculty express concerns over proposed budget cuts

Students and teachers alike are expressing concerns about the Government of Manitoba’s call for universities to prepare budget cut scenarios of up to 30% over the next four months. President of the University of Manitoba Students' Union Jakob Sanderson calls the potential cuts “backward,” as students were hoping for funding increases this year to expand much needed counselling services. The Winnipeg Free Press adds that the cuts match demand as Manitobans who have been laid off try to retool to find work in the inevitable recession. The University of Winnipeg’s spring enrolment, for example, has reportedly increased 100% since this time last year. From the faculty perspective, President of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations Scott Forbes said the cuts are “not rational” as budget adjustments required will make UManitoba "a shell of its former self," while UWinnipeg and Brandon University will no longer be able to offer university-level programming. CBC | Winnipeg Free Press | CAUT (MB)

CFS releases open letter requesting tuition waivers, time and funding extensions for grad students

The Canadian Federation of Students has penned an open letter asking governments, funding councils, and senior university administrators drawing attention to the unique issues that graduate students are facing due to the pandemic. The letter outlines three key areas for action: implementing a tuition waiver for graduate students for spring/summer tuition; granting an extension on completion time for all graduate students; and extending all of Canada’s Tri-council grants and funding for graduate students. “We have a duty of care to all who work within the sector to prioritize individual wellbeing above all,” concludes the letter. “Taking immediate and necessary measures to respond to the needs of graduate students is a responsible fulfillment of academia’s ultimate purpose.” CFS/FCÉÉ (National)

Langara, CapilanoU partner to offer degree pathway in design

Langara College and Capilano University have announced the creation of a pathway partnership for the Design in Visual Communication bachelor’s degree. The agreement will allow graduates of Langara’s Design Formation Diploma to complete a bachelor's degree in Design in Visual Communication at CapilanoU in less than three years of full-time study. “This pathway allows Langara College graduates to further develop their design skills and become industry-ready; it also helps address the supply needs of B.C.’s booming creative economy,” said CapilanoU chair of the IDEA School of Design Carol Aitken. Langara (BC)

Professors, students move final projects online to engage communities

Professors, instructors, and students across the nation are moving various kinds of exhibitions online to showcase students’ term works. Holland College, for example, has moved the exhibition of “All about Hue” –a showcasing of School of Visual Arts students’ works–to the school’s online gallery. Meanwhile, art history and museology students and a lecturer at Université du Québec à Montréal have taken their project to organize an exhibit online, showcasing the works of four artists that explores the fragility and complexity of human relationships with living things. In a bit of a different vein, 105 students participating in the University of Fraser Valley’s CityStudio Abbotsford Hububb—a show-and-tell community building event—are delivering their projects addressing civic challenges virtually. “I hope this new method of collaboration in experiential learning will further highlight the role that the higher education plays in the community,” said UFV Experiential Education Coordinator Larissa Horne. Holland College | UFV | UQÀM (PE, BC, QC)

Sheridan, ECUAD, UQAC chart in world’s 25 top animation schools ranking

The Animation Career Review has released their 2020 international rankings of the top animation schools and colleges. Animation Career Review surveyed members of 185 institutions to assess academic reputation, admission selectivity, depth and breadth of the program, value as it relates to tuition and indebtedness, and employment data. Three Canadian schools made the ranking,: Sheridan College placed first, the Emily Carr University of Art + Design ranked 11th, and the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi ranked 23rd. “Our animation legacy is a longstanding point of pride at Sheridan,” said Sheridan President a Janet Morrison. “Some of the most beloved characters on the big and small screen have been created by our graduates.” Animation Career Review | Sheridan (ON, BC, QC)

UQAM to launch MBA program this fall

The Université du Québec à Montréal has announced the launch of a Master of Business Administration program. Beginning the fall of 2020, the program aims to provide baccalaureate graduates and experienced managers with the management skills needed to access leadership positions or to start a business. The program will offer four specialized profiles in: science, engineering, and technology; legal sciences and law; business launch; and hospitality and reception services. The program plans to offer a hybrid of online and in-person courses, and will be delivered over 24 months at the rate of two weekends per month. UQÀM (QC)

Schools launch initiatives to promote student, community learning throughout pandemic

Higher ed institutions are continuing to implement creative learning initiatives for students, children, and the general public amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Students enrolled in Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s Level 2 Bakery, Quality Foods, and Contemporary Cuisine picked up pre-packaged ingredients to create the dish for their final project. Students then took pictures of their creations and emailed them to the instructor for assessment. “When things changed rapidly, we quickly identified solutions and kept moving forward,” said Sask Polytech program head for the Culinary Arts program Paul Wheeler. Meanwhile, Western University’s Engineering Outreach has launched STEM @ Home, a program that will provide STEM activities for children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 for free, and Trent University has launched Trent Talks, an open and free online learning series to provide reliable and thought-provoking information about the COVID-19 pandemic to communities. Sask Polytech | Western | Trent (SK, ON)