Top Ten

June 1, 2020

MB launches Student Jobs MB to connect students with potential employers

The Government of Manitoba has launched Student Jobs MB, an online platform that matches students looking for job opportunities with employers. The free service will allow students to be matched with and apply for multiple jobs posted by private-sector employers, not-for-profit organizations, and governments. “Summer jobs are important for youth in not only helping pay for an education, but for building life skills and developing future career interests,” said MB Premier Brian Pallister. “Employers also benefit from hiring students, who can bring energy and new perspectives to their operations and assist them greatly in rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic. This new tool will help bring them together.” MB | Brandon Sun (MB)



MHC partners with local school divisions to offer alternative high school completion options

Medicine Hat College has partnered with Prairie Rose School Division and Medicine Hat Public School Division to offer local students alternative pathways to complete their high school education. Beginning next fall, two outreach schools—Beyond Walls and Central High—will be brought together under MHC’s roof to offer flexible distance and classroom learning options for outreach students and adult learners. “Medicine Hat College is proud to support this initiative which will help streamline the student experience and provide a smooth transition from high school to a postsecondary environment,” explains MHC President Kevin Shufflebotham. “Our goal is for students to feel comfortable and well-served on campus, and confident in their pursuit of higher education as a result.” MHC (AB)

York Continuing Studies launches two blockchain programs

York University’s School of Continuing Studies has created two blockchain programs: the part-time Certificate in Blockchain Development and the full-time Post-Graduate Certificate in Back-end and Blockchain Developments. Both programs will begin September 2020 and are described by Newswire as “the first and only university continuing education blockchain programs in Canada.” Each program is designed to align with the blockchain job skills that employers are currently seeking. "Blockchain has become one of the most revolutionary technologies today, with skilled blockchain developers driving business innovation and improvement,” said York Assistant Vice-President, Continuing Studies Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly. “This innovation is vital to solving problems created by the pandemic." Newswire (ON)

Brock researchers received $2.5M to investigate policy impacts on diverse families

A Brock University research team has received a $2.5M grant to lead an international team of researchers in investigations of how services and policies impact diverse Canadian families. The seven-year program will investigate what kinds of policy and services are best for Canada’s diverse families with young children. Developed prior to the pandemic, Brock Professor and project lead Andrea Doucet said the project is even more relevant today. “The pandemic has revealed how intertwined our working and caring lives are; how important and ‘essential’ care services and care workers are,” she said. “Childcare has emerged as one of the critical issues to economic recovery in Canada and in many other countries.” Brock (ON)

UWOFA releases statement of opposition regarding Western, Navitas partnership

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association has released a statement detailing their opposition to a partnership between Western University and private education services provider Navitas. The partnership in question proposes to create pathways for entry to Western University for some international students who do not meet the school’s first-year entrance standards. Currently, according to UWOFA, Navitas has partnered with 120 postsecondary institutions in eight countries, including Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Reasons for the UWOFA's opposition to the partnership include concerns about privatizing functions of the university, outsourcing labour to precariously employed instructors, the treatment of students as profit-generating commodities, and the compromising of admission requirements and academic standards. UWOFA (ON)

Laurentian, LUFA sign agreement regarding working conditions for Fall term

Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) have signed an agreement detailing specific modalities and working conditions for professors. Specifications of the agreement include evaluations of academic programs and courses will be conducted by Respective Deans and in consultation with the Units, and the outlining of factors that determine how courses will be delivered. “We would like to thank our labour partners, LUFA, for their dedication to our students and in collaborating with us to sign this memorandum of understanding,” said Laurentian Interim Vice President, Academic and Provost Serge Demers. “This is the first step in our plan to be able to resume teaching on campus and we look forward to implementing further steps of the plan as we look forward to the Winter term.” Laurentian (ON)

QC revises PEQ program, Fédération des cégeps calls for broader program scope

The Government of Québec has launched a revised version of the Programme de l'expérience québécoise (PEQ), an accelerated selection program for skilled workers who wish to obtain a Certificat de sélection du Québec and hope to become permanent residents. The new version of the PEQ will recognize programs leading to the diploma of college studies (DEC) without restrictions. However, the Fédération des cégeps has expressed disappointment that the revisions do not include attestation d'études collégiales programs. The Fédération is calling on QC to widen the scope of programs included given labor shortages in health, social services, and IT sectors. Newswire (QC)

inlingua Vancouver closes, union expresses concern about job losses

inlingua Vancouver, a private career college in BC, has announced that it will be closing at the end of the semester and providing refunds to active students for any incomplete programs or courses. “The closure of inlingua Vancouver effective May 29 adds 20 more job losses to a sector already hard-hit by COVID-19,” writes the Federation of Post-secondary Educators of BC. The Education and Training Employees' Association (ETEA) estimates that its membership has been reduced by half due to job losses and layoffs due to low enrolment spurred by the pandemic. “I’m disappointed and saddened about the closure of inlingua Vancouver,” said ETEA First Vice President Graeme Cheadle. “Private English language schools are an important part of the BC economy, and the impact of COVID-19 has been devastating.” FPSE | inlingua (BC)

Addressing the loss of social interaction for laboratory-based sciences

In addition to some laboratory-based scientists losing the capacity to execute experiments, David Kent notes another important aspect of this work that has been impacted by the pandemic: social interactions. “I miss it dearly,” writes Kent, “not just the social interaction that comes with being a lab-based scientist, but the spur of the moment conversations that cannot be pre-planned and are inspirational for where the next set of experiments might go.” Aside from online meetings, the author recommends that lab-based scientists think outside their normal spaces and consult groups with experiential knowledge on running group interactions remotely. UA (National)

Students express dismay at tuition increases amid pandemic

Students at several Canadian universities are expressing anger and concern regarding recent announcements about tuition increases amid the pandemic. In reaction to Dalhousie University’s decision to increase tuition by 3% this year, Dalhousie Student Union vice-president of academic and external Erica Seelemann said “…every organization almost in the world has had to make accommodations for this pandemic, but the university has not, […] sticking to their four-year plan of fee increases, which students weren’t OK with from the beginning.” Dal president Deep Saini said that the increase is necessary to “maintain the high quality of our academic programming.” Meanwhile, some international students at the University of Guelph are facing 10%-37% tuition increases and have expressed that they are stressed and worried about the fee increases. “In terms of our international tuition rates, U of G’s remain among the most affordable in Ontario,” said UofGuelph spokesperson Lori Bona Hunt. Global News | CBC | The Star (National)