Top Ten

June 23, 2020

BC to provide $6.15M in funding to support Indigenous postsecondary students

The Government of British Columbia has announced $6.15M in funding to support Indigenous students at public postsecondary institutions in the province. The funding will aid in the development or enhancement of respectful and welcoming learning environments, partnerships, and programs that improve the postsecondary educational experiences and outcomes of Indigenous learners. “We are committed to ensuring Indigenous learners have greater access to post-secondary education and training, and cultural supports to succeed in their educational goals,” said BC Minister of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training Melanie Mark. BC (BC)

UMoncton’s Evolution fundraising campaign exceeds goal, raises $55.6M

The Université de Moncton has exceeded the goal for its Evolution fundraising campaign, raising $55.6M for investments into the university community. The campaign, which sought to raise $50M, constitutes the largest sum raised in the university’s history. UMoncton interim rector and vice-chancellor Jacques Paul Couturier stated that the funds raised will allow the university to stand out by offering a memorable student experience and enhancing excellence in research and innovation. UMoncton (NB)

Okanagan, WFN sign MOU to support Indigenous students, deepen partnership

Okanagan College and Westbank First Nation (WFN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will increase access and support for WFN members. The agreement outlines seven ways in which the partners will continue to collaborate on projects and programs that will benefit learners from the WFN community, while helping both organizations learn from one another and build professional capacity. “Our members have been accessing post-secondary education and training opportunities at Okanagan College for decades and in growing numbers,” said WFN Chief Christopher Derickson, “and so we value being able to provide input and guidance into how the College can continue to make good on its commitment to providing welcoming, inclusive and supportive spaces for Indigenous students to thrive.” Okanagan (BC)

Ryerson’s Ted Rogers redesigns MBA curriculum with focus on mental health, wellbeing

Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management MBA program is updating its program with a renewed focus on mental health and wellbeing. The redesigned core curriculum will teach theoretical and applied knowledge, while also covering business fundamentals to better prepare students for their future careers. The program will also offer students an elective course called “Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workplace,” and host workshops and webinars on mental health and wellbeing starting this Fall. “Maintenance of mental and physical health, along with a new perspective on leadership should be integrated into organizational culture,” said Ted Rogers MBA program director Donna Smith. “This will pave the way for fulfillment on the job, achievement of organizational objectives, and ultimately, personal growth.” Ryerson (ON)

NIC launches craft brewing, malting courses

North Island College has announced the launch of an online Craft Brewing and Malting program that aims to provide students with foundational knowledge of the core principles and business practices of craft brewing. Students will complete some program components online in Fall 2020, while an in-person, hands-on component is set to be offered in 2021. “There has been a massive shift to the community model of producing quality beer and this program recognizes and embraces that,” said NIC Continuing Education manager Bob Haugen. “Once graduates have left the program, they will be qualified to work in a wide variety of beer industry positions or expand their skills with other certifications.” NIC | Comox Valley Record (BC)

USudbury signs endorsement agreement with Jesuits of Canada

The University of Sudbury and the Jesuits of Canada have signed a three-year endorsement agreement to deepen the university’s links with local communities and global Jesuit postsecondary institutional networks. “Signing this agreement connects us to local, national, and global Jesuit networks, enriching not only the University of Sudbury but also the Laurentian Federation,” said USudbury President John Meehan. “We look forward to working with local community partners to educate thoughtful global citizens and servant leaders who have a passion for social justice and reconciliation.” USudbury | Sudbury Star (ON)

UBC Board of Governors Chair resigns after engaging with racist social media content

The Chair of the University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors, Michael Korenberg, has announced his immediate resignation from the Board following the publication of his social media interactions that seemed to support regressive voices online and undermine legitimate protest. "We as the Board reaffirm our commitment to anti-racism and anti-discrimination, particularly at this moment where collectively we need to advance the actions of the university, to engage in learning and provide strong leadership,” stated the UBC Board, which has committed to internal conversations about how to further these values in the coming months. Korenberg has also issued an apology for his actions. Sandra Cawley will assume the role of Chair for an interim period until a new Chair is elected. UBC | CBC (BC)

Medical students frustrated with tech issues plaguing online final exams

Fourth-year medical students across the country are reporting stress and frustration due to technical and communication issues during nine-hour qualifying examinations. The Medical Council of Canada (MCC) Qualifying Examination Part 1, which made a major shift to online testing with virtual proctors due to COVID-19, has encountered a series of system failures during the first months of the exam, such as students being kicked out of online examinations and proctor unresponsiveness. In a written response to CBC questions, the MCC called the problems with remote exams "unacceptable," and stated that it is working to improve the situation. CBC (National)

How to talk about racism with students: Opinion

“As protests over the police killing of George Floyd and other Black people, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, and debates about policing put the spotlight on the country’s struggles with racism, many professors are wondering how to address those events in their classrooms this fall,” writes Beth McMurtrie. In consultation with several teaching experts, the author offers several tips for broaching the subject. Some examples include not being afraid to discuss current events in class, being willing to admit one is not an expert, and seeking out advice, collaboration, and support when teaching and discussing unfamiliar topics or subjects. “In short, say teaching experts: Prepare yourself, open a conversation with your students, acknowledge what you don’t know, and be willing to listen and learn,” concludes the author. Chronicle of Higher Education (International)

Layoffs, program suspensions to come at Sask Polytech

Layoffs and the suspension of several programs are expected at Saskatchewan Polytechnic according to a letter sent to CBC. According to the letter, 37 people will be laid off from the postsecondary institution’s facilities and that it will be suspending the addictions counselling, cytotechnology, and dental assisting programs. "Each program has its own unique reasons for why we made this decision to suspend," said Sask Polytech School of Nursing and Health Sciences Dean Sandra Blevins. "We are now focused on communicating with the students to ensure they understand their options for studying at Sask Polytechnic." The statement also confirmed some programs would be suspended or deferred for the upcoming fall. CBC (SK)