Top Ten

June 2, 2020

NL enhances student aid program for 2020-21

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced enhancements to the Provincial Student Loans Program for 2020-2021. In alignment with changes made to the federal Canada Student Loans Program earlier this year, the enhancement will see the weekly loan limit increased from $40 to $100 per week of study and will exempt student and spousal contributions when assessing applications for provincial student aid. The exact date for the launch of the 2020-21 student aid application has not been finalized. “The combined effects of these enhancements to the Provincial Student Loans Program and the Canada Student Loans Program will ensure post-secondary students have access to much needed financial assistance in these unprecedented times,” said NL Minister of Advanced Educations, Skills and Labour Christopher Mitchelmore. NL (NL)

UWinnipeg’s PACE launches two post degree programs in big data, machine learning

Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) at the University of Winnipeg has launched two post degree programs in big data and machine learning. The Predictive Analytics Diploma program will begin in May 2021, while the Artificial Intelligence Diploma program will begin September 2021. Both programs are 13 months in duration and include a four-week internship for students who excel in the programs. “Graduates of our two new post-graduate diplomas will be among those contributing to the continued growth of the tech sector across in the city and across the province,” said UWinnipeg PACE Executive Director Kim Loeb. UWinnipeg (MB)

Conestoga researchers receive nearly $4.5M

Conestoga College’s Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has received nearly $4.5M in federal research funding to support four projects focused on delivering solutions for business and community challenges. The largest amount of funding, $2M over five years, will go toward a project focused on the digital transformation of supply chains, while research and development in the areas of high performance manufacturing and de-manufacturing will receive $1.75M over five years. A project that explores alternative solutions for improving housing affordability, as well as an initiative focusing on the mobilization and dissemination of Indigenous knowledge, will each receive $360K in funding over three years. Conestoga (ON)

USherbrooke researchers receive $1.87M for vitamin C COVID-19 research

Researchers at the Université de Sherbrooke have received an additional $1.87M grant from the Lotte & John Hetch Memorial Foundation to evaluate the effects of vitamin C for all COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization. François Lamontagne and Neill Adhikari began their research into the effects of high-dose intravenous vitamin C in 2018, but have since pivoted their research to investigate the potentialities of the vitamin in COVID-19 solutions and treatments. “In light of the current pandemic, we want to evaluate the overall effects of vitamin C on the progression of infections requiring stays in intensive care and on the disease progression in all COVID-19 patients who require hospitalization,” said Lamontagne. “So far, we have recruited 70 COVID-19 patients from across Canada.” USherbrooke (QC)

International students have concerns regarding Fall term

Despite several changes to policies impacting international students’ studies announced this spring, many students still face much uncertainty regarding the Fall term due to online or hybrid delivery models. Students told The Star that they are concerned about the quality of online education, uncertain about the in-person component of classes, and worried that they will miss out on campus life through a remote Fall term. Ijaz Ashraf, a student from Pakistan that has been accepted to Concordia University, said he is considering deferring enrolment: “I really want to explore the diversity of students in Montreal and I really want to be present in the university and communicate with teachers.” The Star (National)

York launches certificate program on environmental leadership for youth

York University’s Faculty of Education has launched a certificate program that will teach youth who are concerned about the environment the leadership skills they need to champion their cause. Rooted & Rising is a three-month course consisting of 12 sessions conducted on weekends and will teach participants knowledge needed to make lives and systems more sustainable. The course will begin in the Fall term and will be grounded Indigenous knowledges and practices. “We wanted to bring in Indigenous points of view and blend them into the course in ethical ways,” said York PhD student and course steering committee member Doug Anderson. “These young people are individuals we need to support and nurture. It should help us in turn to restore relationships with the land as Indigenous people.” York (ON)

UCalgary, Young Pipeliners, Beaver Drilling partner to offer microcredentials for energy workers

The University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, in partnership with the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada and Beaver Drilling, has launched an online course to retrain energy sector workers displaced by the pandemic. Offered this summer, the Avatar program will be delivered in six, two-hour virtual sessions over eight-weeks and will see students design a project and present it to a panel of judges from the industry. "There's a little bit of a hope that some of the projects, depending upon how quality they become, turn into business opportunities for the industry and for the workers who are working on the project," said Beaver Drilling president Kevin Krausert. CBC (AB)

GTA postsecondary institutions support city’s call to work from home until September

The City of Toronto has reportedly issued a request to postsecondary schools to continue work at home arrangements until September. Toronto Mayor John Tory said that an agreement with major downtown employers and postsecondary institutions will see employees telecommute, taking pressure off of the subway system and ensuring “a slower, steady, and safe restart.” “I am grateful to the entire community for making it possible to support the City of Toronto’s request to continue our work from home arrangements until September at the earliest,” said York University President Rhonda L Lenton in a statement. Toronto Sun | York (ON)

VIU, Mitacs partner to connect local businesses with VIU MBA students

Vancouver Island University has partnered with Mitacs to launch a program that will mobilize VIU MBA students toward supporting the local community’s economic recovery. The Vancouver Island Economic Resiliency Initiative will allow qualifying businesses to apply to hire a VIU MBA intern to help them solve a challenge or explore an opportunity. Businesses and VIU will each contribute $2.5K to the pooled funding and Mitacs will fund the remaining portion of the $10K total compensation for a four-month internship. “In this three-way collaboration, MBA Interns receive meaningful paid employment while the organization gains a talented human resource to assist in their strategic and/or operational challenges,” said VIU Associate Dean of the Faculty of Management’s Graduate Programs Office Stacie Chappell. “VIU has the support of our greater business community and now it is our turn to help them.” VIU (BC)

USask announces tuition decrease for most undergrads, increase for most grad students

The University of Saskatchewan has announced that average undergraduate student will see a0.2% tuition decrease for the 2020-2021 year, while the average graduate student will see a 0.4% tuition increase. In a statement, USask explains that the fees for the fall term “were determined following broad consultation between (the school) and all service providers […] to ensure that services currently offered and services expected to show increased demand over the term are fully supported financially and readily accessible to students as needed.” However, some students were displeased with the tuition decrease, arguing that the university could do more to find savings for students. CBC | Saskatoon StarPhoenix (SK)