Top Ten

June 17, 2020

SK announces $20.9M increase in postsecondary funding for 2020-21

The Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Advanced Education has approved a $749M budget for 2021, a $20.9M increase from last year. The budget will see $34M go toward student financial supports such as the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship, and the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity scholarship. $694M is allocated for operating funding while $33M for capital projects and maintenance. “This funding provides increased support for students and the institutions they attend,” said SK Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor. “Our goal is a strong, sustainable post-secondary sector that delivers the education Saskatchewan students need to successfully enter the workforce.” SK (SK)

Indigenous researchers reshaping archeology, anthropology

Archaeology and Anthropology departments across Canada are increasingly implementing Indigenous ways of researching and thinking about fields that have by seen by some Indigenous peoples as colonial disciplines. “In a certain way this is not new, because archeology has increasingly emphasized collaboration and working with communities,” said University of Alberta archeologist Kisha Supernant. “But the majority of the practices still remain non-Indigenous.” Scholars and researchers like Supernant are increasingly listening to Indigenous stories, using non-intrusive investigative techniques, and conducting research through an Indigenous lens. “Anthropology has a very colonial history,” said Carleton University PhD student Krista Ulujuk Zawadski, “but that does not mean it has a colonial future. Let’s make it work the ways we need it to work for us.” Globe and Mail (National)

Conestoga receives $5M from Cowan Foundation to support PSW training

Conestoga College has received a $5M investment from the Cowan Foundation and has embarked on a partnership in a broader $10M initiative to address needs for additional health care professionals. The collaboration will build upon the college's existing Cowan Health Sciences Centre to create an epicenter for remote simulation learning. The initiative will also see an emphasis placed on innovative and tailored delivery approaches to eliminate many of the financial, travel, and time barriers for PSW students. “The Cowan Foundation's generous investment and vision for the future of PSW education will position us as an emerging leader in applied research and innovation focused on education and workforce development to improve the quality of life of Canadian seniors," said Conestoga President John Tibbits. Conestoga (ON)

McGill, Johns Hopkins partner to offer cooperative degree program

McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) have launched a cooperative degree program. The two-year program will allow students to earn a Master of Arts in International Affairs at SAIS Europe, the Johns Hopkin’s European campus, and a Master of Public Policy from McGill. Students spend one year at each campus and can begin their studies in either Bologna or Montreal. “As McGill prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary, this cooperative degree program reflects our university’s commitment to leading education and research that is driven by curiosity, creativity, and a desire to contribute to a better world,” said McGill Dean of Arts Antonia Maioni. McGill (QC)

Canadian universities respond to calls-for-action regarding anti-Black racism on campuses

Several Canadian universities are responding to calls to release plans for addressing anti-Black racism on campuses. The University of Windsor, for instance, has announced four action items such as establishing an Anti-Black racism task force and training and education frameworks to raise awareness about anti-Black racism. At the University of Carleton, the School of Journalism has indicated that they would make immediate changes to their curriculum, consult with students on ways forward, and have staff participate in training meant to address their implicit biases. St Jerome’s University has also committed to further anti-racist work, such as establishing an Advisory role to the university on anti-Black racism matters. CBC | UWindsor | Times Colonist | SJU (National)

Western launches Office of Indigenous Initiatives

Western University has launched the Office of Indigenous Initiatives to enhance Indigenous voices at leadership tables and throughout all levels of work, study, and research. The office will work with campus and community partners to help shape governance and decision-making; policy and practice; teaching, learning and curriculum; research and scholarship; physical space planning; workforce planning; and student affairs. “Establishing the Office of Indigenous Initiatives marks an exciting step toward elevating Indigenous voices and agency in the advancement of Indigenous education and research,” said Western Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Andrew Hrymak. “These are important institutional priorities for Western, and I am excited to see them move forward through this new office and its ongoing engagement with our campus and community partners.” Western (ON)

Student groups report confusion among students regarding emergency benefits

Student groups are reporting that several students still find the qualifying criteria for emergency benefits unclear. While the applications themselves are "very easy," according to Genevieve Charest of the Canadian Federation of Students, the organization has received a lot of questions about the criteria. "I think there is a disconnect here between students understanding whether the [Canada emergency] response benefit or the student benefit is right for them and actually whether they're eligible for either," said Bryn de Chastelain, chair of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. Student groups have also voiced concern for international students who may not be eligible for CERB or CESB. CBC (National)

FPSE, Nuxalk partner to promote Indigenous voices on decolonization

The Federation of Postsecondary Educators of BC has partnered with Nuxalk Radio to bring Indigenous perspectives on decolonization to a broader audience. Whose Land Is It Anyway? A Manual for Decolonization, originally released as a free e-book, will be re-released as a free audiobook beginning June 21st where Indigenous authors and academics will read their contributions. “This collection of voices serves as a reminder that the more we understand Indigenous Nationhood and Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights to the land, the healthier we and the earth can become in our shared existence,” said Nuxalk Radio Station manager Banchi Hanuse. FPSE (BC)

NOSM, HSN sign academic affiliation agreement

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has signed an academic affiliation agreement with Health Sciences North to align and strengthen academic work in clinical settings and enhance patient care, education, and research. The partnership will see NOSM and HSN integrate accountability and support for academic work into clinical settings, strengthen collaborative research approaches, and align strategic planning initiatives and priorities. “This agreement represents an important intersection between health care, health services and the training of physicians who deliver that care,” NOSM President Sarita Verma. “Together, we can educate health professionals in a critical setting that results in the improved health of our community.” NOSM (ON)

Canada, QC partner with international partners on AI initiatives, new centre

The Government of Canada and Government of Quebec, along with the 14 other founding members of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), have launched the International Centre of Expertise in Montréal for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (ICEMAI) and signed a memorandum of understanding. GPAI will facilitate collaboration between experts from industry, government, academia, and civil society and conduct activities across four themes. “By connecting the work of GPAI with the technological innovations of Montréal's AI sector and by establishing partnerships with the provinces and territories,” explained Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, “we will produce useful research and expertise for governments around the world.” Canada (National)