Top Ten

July 3, 2020

Indspire releases report on BBF program, calls for more funding for Indigenous education

Indspire has released the Building Brighter Futures (BBF) Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards Program Recipients’ Outcome report, which highlights the impact of BBF scholarships on recipients. Surveying over 6,500 individuals who received BBF funding in recent years, the report found that approximately 90% of recipients had graduated, 90% are employed, and nearly 50% work for an Indigenous community or an Indigenous-owned business. The report also found that while more Indigenous students are attending or want to attend post-secondary institutions, the funding is not there to adequately support them. “Right now, we are only able to meet 22% of the financial needs of the students who apply,” said Indspire President Roberta Jamieson. “Without more funding, the brighter futures promised to First Nation, Inuit and Métis students will fade.” GlobalNewswire | Indspire (report) (National)

UCalgary surpasses $1.4B goal in latest fundraising campaign

The University of Calgary’s Energize fundraising campaign has surpassed its goal, raising over $1.4B to support a variety of research, educational, and student support initiatives. The funds raised will directly contribute to supporting research at the International Microbiome Centre, funding the institution’s student-focused mental health and wellness programs, and advancing innovative work at several hubs and labs. “Every gift reflects a personal decision from our extraordinarily devoted community of alumni and friends to support their passion through this university,” said UCalgary vice-president (Advancement) Nuvyn Peters. “All of it points to our community’s unwavering belief in the crucial work we do, and the valuable role we have in this city. An investment in the university is an investment in the community.” UCalgary | Calgary Herald (AB)

Concordia Gina Cody School, ENCQOR 5G, Ericsson partner on 5G research chair

Concordia University’s Gina Cody School has partnered with ENCQOR 5G and Ericsson to “build the digital highway to 5G” through the creation of a new industrial research chair. The chair, which is valued at $2.67M over five years, will bring together industry and academia to proactively develop the networks of the future. Internet speed is “a matter of life and death when we’re talking about something like remote robotic surgery,” explained Concordia Professor Roch Glitho, who holds the Ericsson/ENCQOR 5G Industrial Research Chair in Cloud and Edge Computing for 5G and Beyond. “Having fast, reliable communications is a necessity to enable the next generation of ‘smart’ Internet of Thing (IoT) devices for our increasingly interconnected world.” Concordia (QC)

Queen’s President issues statement on vandalism of Four Directions Student Centre

Queen’s University President Patrick Deane recently issued a statement decrying the vandalism of the flags outside the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre. In a statement, Deane explained that the flags represent the Indigenous communities and include a rainbow flag that celebrates LGBTQ+ members of the community. “Disgusting in itself, this new expression of racism and bigotry is all the more reprehensible for occurring in the context of that broader repudiation of racism and hatred that has gripped our society since the death of George Floyd in the United States,” stated Deane. “Queen’s University will do everything within its power to identify the individuals responsible, and will redouble its efforts to effect broad and systemic change within our community.” Queen’s (ON)

Camosun announces temporary closing of Continuing Education, layoffs

Camosun College is temporarily closing their Continuing Education department and laying off staff due to issues spurred by the pandemic. The Times Colonist reports that two memos were distributed to staff about the changes, attributing the decisions to mounting financial pressures and the need to focus on core educational programming. Camosun Vice-President of Partnerships Geoff Wilmshurst explained that “when they run well, in normal times, [Continuing Education] makes a small profit. But when we can’t have face-to-face or that is extremely limited, you can’t get enough people in a virtual classroom to make it viable financially.” Program cuts will affect eight staff members directly. The college will also reportedly be cutting positions in services that are not currently required. Times Colonist (BC)

York creates new hive of interdisciplinary bee research

York University has announced that the Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (BEEc), an interdisciplinary initiative, has become an Organized Research Unit (ORU). The move will enable the BEEc to dive deeper into the crisis affecting the health and decline of bees globally. “The bee crisis is multidimensional and there is no simple solution,” said BEEc Director Amro Zayed. “BEEc will allow us to bring talented biologists and mathematicians, but also engineers, social scientists and economists to help us answer the big questions in the field.” York (ON)

AB to create $27.8M agri-food hub that will support local culinary education, research

The Government of Alberta has announced a $27.8M investment in a new agri-food hub at Lethbridge’s Exhibition Park. In addition to expanding the hub’s food production space and introducing a conference space, the will provide training and research space for culinary students from Lethbridge College. "This will be an economic catalyst for Lethbridge and southern Alberta," said Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman. "We need to grow a stable and resilient economy in Alberta. As we begin to recover from COVID-19, this is a bright light as to how we might work together ... we welcome this investment in our community." CBC (AB)

Partnership provides new pathway for teachers through Bois-de-Boulogne, CSSMB, UdeM

Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne, the Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys (CSSMB), and the Université de Montréal have established a new pathway for teacher training. In the Fall, students in select programs will be able to begin their education at Bois-de-Boulogne, acquire their first concrete practical experiences through the CCSMB, and then continue to the Université de Montréal to become teachers. CSSMB directeur général Dominic Bertrand explained that the new collaboration will help address the shortage of teaching staff in QC. Bois-de-Boulogne (QC)

WLU launches Global Crime and Justice certificate program

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Human and Social Sciences and the Centre for Public Safety and Well-Being have launched a new online undergraduate certificate program, Global Crime and Justice. The program, developed in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), is based on modules created by the UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) initiative. “Governments around the world are developing partnerships in response to international justice issues such as cybercrime and human trafficking,” said WLU program coordinator James Popham. “Our program will help prepare students to engage with these issues by introducing them to international perspectives.” WLU (ON)

McGill partners with national think tanks to launch Policy Scholars Program

McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy has partnered with three Canadian think tanks to launch the inaugural year of the Policy Scholars program. Supported by the Max Bell Foundation, the program will see three students partner with the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the Canada West Foundation, and the CD Howe Institute to conduct policy-related research. “With the launch of our MPP degree and the arrival of our inaugural cohort, we knew providing impactful career opportunities was essential for both the success of our program and the career trajectory of our MPP students,” said Max Bell School Director Chris Ragan. "The Policy Scholars program gives our students the opportunity to work within leading policy organizations and apply their newly acquired skills directly.” McGill (QC)