Top Ten

June 29, 2020

Canada launches initiatives focused on paid student employment

The Government of Canada has announced the launch of the Canada Student Service Grant, a program that will provide postsecondary students and recent graduates with a one-time payment of up to $5K to volunteer to serve in their communities. Grant amounts will be calculated based on the number of hours worked. A number of other initiatives designed to help young Canadians find paid work placements were also announced, including a $40M increase in funding to the Digital Skills for Youth program, the creation of thousands of job placements through the Canada Summer Jobs program, Mitacs, and the Student Work Placement Program; $6.7M in funding for the Computers for School Plus program, and the creation of 5,000 to 10,000 more work-integrated learning opportunities through the Business + Higher Education Roundtable. Canada | CBC (National)

USask signs MOU with SPS, SEPN to support K-12 climate change education

The University of Saskatchewan has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) and the Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) to support sustainability and climate change education for SPS administrators and teachers. Included in the agreement is the development of programming that helps K-12 students gain knowledge and be active in sustainable living, engaged citizenship and well-being. “We hope this will lead to actual changes in our schools, not just learning what climate change is,” said Grade 8 students Helena Blenkinsop and Vaeda Bly. “We want to hear our teachers say, ‘We’re going to tell you about this issue and we’re also going to tell you what we’re doing about it as a school.’” USask (SK)

Canada, provincial partners invest more than $109M in COVID-19 research

The Government of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Health Research, and provincial partners have announced the recipients of the second round of the COVID-19 rapid research funding competition. 139 research teams across Canada will receive $109.7M in funding to support a variety of COVID-related research projects including clinical trials and epidemiological studies; vaccines, diagnostics, or therapeutic studies; clinical management and health system interventions; and social, policy, and public health responses. Canada (National)

St Mike’s celebrates launch of new interdisciplinary research chair

The University of St Michael’s College is celebrating the launch of the Sutton Family Chair in Science, Christianity and Cultures. The position was jointly supported by a significant endowment from Marilyn and Thomas Sutton and the University of Toronto Faculty of Arts & Science. The new chair will examine how Christianity, science, and cultures interact and will be held by Adam Hincks. “The establishment of the Sutton Family Chair will advance research and teaching in multi-disciplinary ways that attest to the breadth and depth of the scholarship and learning that takes place in the Faculty of Arts and Science,” said U of T Faculty of Arts & Science Dean Melanie Woodin. St Mike’s (ON)

Indspire provides highest level of funding for Indigenous students in Canada

Inspire has awarded $17.8M in scholarships, bursaries, and awards to over 5,000 First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students for the current school year. “Indspire is thrilled to be helping so many Indigenous students realize their dreams of having a post-secondary education,” said Indspire President Roberta Jamieson. However, Jamieson added that Indigenous people are still struggling to obtain higher education in the Canadian education system: “Indspire only met 22% of applicants’ financial needs this year and the COVID-19 pandemic has further added to the financial pressure the students are facing.” Nation Talk (National)

Fanshawe announces launch of Mental Health Nursing program

Fanshawe College has announced that it will offer a Mental Health Nursing graduate program in the Fall. The program’s curriculum will extend beyond the biomedical model of care to include a social justice and human rights foundation, in turn preparing nurses in any work setting to be more aware of responsive to systemic issues, mental health promotion, and treatment of mental illness. “We created this unique mental health program to support nurses who are working on the front lines of healthcare,” says Fanshawe School of Nursing Associate Dean Sandra DeLuca. “Nurses will be better prepared to respond to the growing mental health needs of people within our community, especially during this global pandemic.” Fanshawe (ON)

UVic to change student field trips following report recommendations

The University of Victoria has announced that it will change how it conducts field trips to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre following a review of a fatal bus accident that occurred last September. An independent report made 43 recommendations that include pre-trip requirements, appropriate transportation and travel on the Bamfield Main road, emergency response protocols, and student and family support. “We know this devastating accident has caused immeasurable grief and that the impacts are ongoing for the families of the students who died, and for the other students on the bus and their families,” said UVic President Jamie Cassels. “We fully accept the review’s recommendations and are already working diligently to implement them to help prevent an accident like this from ever happening again, to improve planning for field trips off campus and to allow us to more effectively respond to critical incidents.” UVic | Times Colonist (BC)

Trent, Ontario Tech, Oshawa partner on City Idea Lab course

Trent University Durham GTA, Ontario Tech University, and the City of Oshawa have partnered to provide upper year students an opportunity to collaborate through a City Idea Lab course. Students from Trent and Ontario Tech will explore issues related to how communities can adapt and evolve in the context of ongoing crises. “At times such as these, this cooperation and sharing of our expertise is even more significant in helping the community in Oshawa and our surrounding region rebound from the economic and cultural impact of COVID-19,” says Trent Durham GTA Dean Scott Henderson. “I am excited to see what creative ideas these teams of students are able to produce.” Trent (ON)

Kindness alone will not reform a broken academic job market: Opinion

While advocating for the importance of kindness and basic decency when conducting academic job searchers, Zeb Larson argues that incorporating these traits and practices into hiring practices “will not solve the core problems of the academic job market.” Such problems include hierarchies that value some PhDs over others, expiration dates on a degree’s value, unrealistic expectations of accomplishments, failing to consider adjuncts for permanent positions, as well as various kinds of discrimination. While Larson notes that practicing kindness while conducting job searches is important, “simply resting on creating a more collegial process would still leave us with a broken, dehumanizing system.” Inside Higher Ed (International)

VCC, VFS partner to create joint diploma program in VR/AR

Vancouver Community College and the Vancouver Film School have partnered to create a joint diploma program in VR/AR Design and Development. The two-year program focuses on VR/AR solutions for industry and enterprise, allowing students to work on client-based projects while also developing their own capstone VR/AR projects and portfolios. “The unique collaboration between our schools will provide a dynamic learning experience for our students where they will learn from industry leaders and be well-positioned for their future careers as virtual and augmented reality experts,” said VCC Vice President, Academic and Applied Research David Wells. VCC (BC)