Top Ten

April 28, 2020

MB launched $120M wage subsidy program to create jobs for high school, postsecondary students

The Government of Manitoba has launched the Summer Student Recovery Plan, a $120M wage subsidy initiative that will support high school and postsecondary students employed in the private and non-profit sectors. The program will be open to Manitoba students aged 15-29 from May 1 through September 4th. Employers will have access a $7 per hour wage subsidy, up to a maximum of $5,000 per student, and can hire up to five students. “The new wage subsidy program will support our students and connect them to summer jobs that help pay for their studies and also provide the opportunity to gain valuable work experience,” said MB Premier Brian Pallister. MB (MB)

NB begins phased recovery plan, enables limited reopening of postsecondary schools

The Government of New Brunswick has announced a phased recovery plan from the province that will allow postsecondary institutions to reopen on a limited basis given their adherence to guidelines that support physical distancing and other precautionary measures. Effective April 24th, the NB release states that “[postsecondary] students requiring access to campus to fulfill their course requirements will be able to do so.” The release also notes that a guidance document of the public health measures during the recovery phases is being developed and will be available soon. NB (NB)

Federal Court copyright ruling has different outcomes for students, educators, creators

The Federal Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court’s decision in favour of York University, stating that the collective licensing agency Access Copyright cannot enforce tariffs against the school or any non-licensed user. The court did, however, rule that York’s own guidelines for use of copyrighted materials did not meet Supreme Court of Canada guidelines. Access Copyright said the decision presents a mixed outcome for Canadian creators and publishers. “Educational institutions that are following the education sector’s fair-dealing guidelines are copying unfairly, but the collective that has been authorized by thousands of rights holders to administer and protect their copyright has no avenue to enforce their rights in their work,” said Access Copyright president Roanie Levy. CAUT | Time’s Colonist (ON, National)

Universities across Canada partner with industry, government to combat COVID-19

Several universities across Canada have partnered with life sciences organizations and research groups to combat COVID-19. Université de Sherbrooke, Immune Biosolutions, DIEX Recherche, and Keyrus Life Science have partnered to discover and develop innovative solutions against the COVID-19 virus. The teams will be collaborating to identify therapeutic antibodies from blood samples from recovered patients. Meanwhile, York University’s Jane Heffernan and Mount Allison University’s Matthew Betti are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and Statistics Canada to develop model frameworks for assessing different trends and scenarios for COVID-19 impacts in Canada. UdeS | MtA (QC, NB)

UFred signs MOU with CMC-Canada, launches Consulting Leadership Stream

The University of Fredericton has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC-Canada) that will allow the school to launch a Consulting Leadership specialty stream of its MBA and EMBA programs. Under the MOU, UFred will join the association’s Academic Partners Program. The program will focus on preparing UFred’s Sandermoen School of Business students for the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation and will see UFred and the organization engage in long-term research and educational collaboration. In addition to UFred offerings, student members of the association will also have access to benefits like student rates to attend CMC-Canada events, opportunities to view job postings, and access to career mentors. UFred (NB)

Students demand tuition, fee reductions amid changes to learning

University students across the country are calling on their schools to reduce tuition and other fees due to changes made to educational delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic. A student at the University of British Columbia has launched an online petition asking to the school to decrease tuition for the summer term and refund some winter term fees for online education that some students feel is “sub-par”. Meanwhile, the University of Toronto Students’ Union released a statement also asking for reduced summer tuition and the elimination of fees for services no longer available, such as athletics. In a different vein, the Simon Fraser Student Society has released a survey for students regarding how students are handling the recent changes to learning. CBC (National)

Camosun launches multi-disciplinary mental health, addictions, criminal justice program

Camosun College has launched a Mental Health, Addictions and Criminal Justice advanced certificate. The eight-month program features four courses delivered online and draws on the expertise from mental health, social services, and the criminal justice system. “Working in partnership with our mental health program at Camosun, we saw a need,” explains Camosun incoming chair of the Criminal Justice department Wendy Taylor. “The criminal justice system today is over-represented with individuals having mental health and addiction challenges and the program focusses on ways to better meet their needs in the community with an integrated, collaborative approach.” Camosun (BC)

Students from hands-on programs express frustration, limited learning through online learning

It is clear that many students in hands-on programs have lost access to equipment and space necessary for their studies. Students at Centennial College and Capilano University, for example, described the difficulties they faced in learning hands-on skills through online videos and demos. University of Toronto PhD student Nathaniel Winsor expressed frustration with being unable to access the labs, given that nearly all of his time is spent in the lab doing research. "Maintaining social distancing in those environments is going to be really hard," said Winsor. "I know we'll be back in the lab. … What that's going to look like, I have no idea." CBC (National)

UQAC creates online continuing education program to support businesses in crisis management

The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi has launched an online continuing education program to support businesses in crisis management. Adapter, réorganiser ses activités et innover dans un contexte de crise will cover topics like maintaining operations, production, and business volume; identifying new opportunities and innovation; and deploying a healthy and safe work environment. The program, which was created in response to the Government of Québec’s Programme actions concertées pour le maintien en employ, will be tailored to meet the current needs of organizations and is delivered in 4 training courses that total 44 hours. UQAC (QC)

On the benefits of virtual mentorship in the age of COVID-19

“As someone who thrives in social situations, I’ve long been a proponent of in-person meetings,” writes Kelly Hobson, a facilitator of the mentorship program at the University of Alberta’s Lougheed Leadership College. Based on past experience, the author offers three insights regarding the perks and potentialities of online mentoring: virtual mentorship can transcend time and space limitations that may prevent in-person meetings; create connections in a time of uncertainty; and forge more personal bonds by providing snapshots of personal lives. “Paradoxically, physical distancing can break down social barriers,” concludes the author. “Embracing virtual mentorship might help you emerge from the COVID-19 crisis feeling more connected and ready to tackle the new challenges that await us.” Medium (National)