Top Ten

June 16, 2020

Students, faculty call for institutions to take anti-racism action

Calls from students and faculty at various campuses urge Canadian institutions to do more when it comes to anti-racism and systemic racism in higher education. A petition from students at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa pushes for a mandatory anti-racism course at the universities in order to prepare students for dealing with racism in their future workplaces. Students and faculty at the University of Calgary have requested that the university release a statement condemning racism and demonstrating the ways in which the institution will address systemic racism in the sector. In Montreal, students at McGill are urging the institution to remove the statue of its founder, James McGill, because of his history owning Black and Indigenous slaves. Ottawa Citizen | Calgary Herald | CBC (National)

Queen’s launches program for licensed immigration consultants

Queen’s University has announced the launch of its Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law. The online program, which Queen’s says is the only English-language program of its kind in Canada, will be offered through the Faculty of Law beginning in January 2021. The program was developed in consultation with regulated immigration consultants, immigration lawyers, and experts in the field of immigration and citizenship. “We have developed a program that blends competency training with academics, to prepare the next generation of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants with both the knowledge and professional skills they need to thrive,” says Sharry Aiken, Academic Director of the program. Queen’s (ON)

Six recommendations for how higher ed can support Black people, communities

White allies in higher education should speak out on behalf of unheard Black people and communities, writes Jourdan Hilaire, and there are several ways they can do so. Hilaire makes a number of recommendations that include consistently attending cultural student-led organization meetings; partnering with the diversity or inclusion coordinator on campus; and engaging with media that highlights racial inequality and discrimination. “Black students, staff and faculty want and need more” from their higher education institutions, writes Hillaire. “All offices, departments, and university officials need to have these conversations as often as possible.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

Canadore, Actua launch Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin Virtual Training Program

Actua and Canadore College have announced the launch of their Kikandaaswiwin Mookiisin virtual training program. The for-credit program is available online to Actua network member instructors who are interested in delivering on-the-land STEM/STEAM programming for youth. Delivery will feature home-based learning and virtual circles. The training will give participants an understanding of Indigenous STEM learning, as well as Indigenous communities’ cultures, histories, and current realities. Canadore (ON)

UQAM, Montmorency, UdeM join forces to develop the digital creation sector.

The Université de Quebec au Montréal, Collège Montmorency, and the Université de Montréal have announced the virtual launch of a centre dedicated to higher education in the digital arts and creative economy. Pôle lavallois d’enseignement supérieur en arts numériques et économie créative (PLAN) will receive $500K annually from the Government of Quebec. PLAN will aim to increase collaboration between postsecondary institutions, artists, and businesses in Laval and contribute to the region’s economic development. UQAM (QC)

U of T Citizen Lab investigation uncovers hacking organization with international targets

Citizen Lab, part of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, has published a report identifying a hackers-for-hire group that targeted individuals and organizations around the world. The organization, Dark Basin, was found to have created nearly 28,000 web pages for personalized spear phishing attacks to steal passwords. The organization went after legal services, global banking and financial services, the energy sector, European oligarchs, high profile individuals, and multiple targets within governments around the world. “We see them again and again in areas where business and politics is contentious,” said Citizen Lab senior researcher and report author John Scott-Railton. Report | The Province (ON)

UMoncton signs collective agreements with three associations

At a recent Board of Governors meeting, the Université de Moncton signed collective agreements with three different associations representing staff members such as professors, technicians, and librarians at the university. The university signed an agreement for a four-year period with the Association des professeures et professeurs de l’Université de Moncton, campus d’Edmundston; an agreement for a five-year period with the Association des techniciennes et techniciens de l’Université de Moncton; and an agreement for a two-year period for an Association des bibliothécaires, professeures et professeurs de l’Université de Moncton. UMoncton (MB)

Dawson announces no intention to increase enrolment

Following on an interview published earlier this month, Dawson College has announced that it does not intend to increase its enrolment numbers with an expansion project. In the interview, directeur general Richard Filion said that the college’s capacity would be increased by 800 students through the expansion projects. Dawson has reportedly issued a press release clarifying that the pavilion will provide space for 800 current students, and that the college is not looking to increase enrolment. Dawson additionally stated that the number of students has held constant since 2012. Journal de Montréal (QC)

UoGuelph, Oak Tree Project partner to improve life in the local community

The University of Guelph and the Oak Tree Project have partnered to improve life in the local community by fostering campus-community collaborations for social change. The long-term effort will involve UoGuelph’s Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) program and ICON, a course that teaches students the skills needed to address today’s pressing challenges. Local charities will be able to propose projects on the theme of strengthening the community in a post-COVID-19 world, and three projects will be further developed through a collaborative process with student teams from ICON and funds from Oak Tree. UoGuelph (ON)

BC provosts issue open letter to students

In an open letter to new and returning students of British Columbia, provosts from the province’s research universities pledge to provide high quality education, continuous support, and a feeling of continuity and community as students prepare for mostly online learning this fall. The letter was signed by the leaders of the University of British Columbia (Vancouver and Okanagan), Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia, Royal Roads University, and Thompson Rivers University. It addresses several student concerns, including access to academic, career, financial and learning supportsBeyond reassuring BC students, the letter also promises that the online experience will provide “opportunities to explore different forms of communication, to engage with classmates and instructors in new ways, to build bridges to other cultures, and to experience the opportunities that technology can provide in connecting people, issues, and ideas.” UNBC (BC)