Top Ten

July 27, 2020

MUN establishes School of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Studies

Memorial University has established its first academic unit based in Labrador: The School of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Studies, which will focus on Indigenous and Northern-led research and education. The new campus, which is yet to be built, will bring Indigenous groups in Labrador directly into academic decision making through dedicated voting seats on the academic council. “The growth and expansion of Memorial University in Labrador, in partnership with the Innu Nation, the Nunatsiavut Government and the NunatuKavut Community Council, will become a core pillar of the growth and development already happening in Labrador, and an exemplar of university-community relationships in the country,” stated MUN Director of the Labrador Institute Ashlee Cunsolo. MUN | CBC (NL)

BC announces new funding for health-care education, training

The Government of British Columbia has announced $4.4M in new funding for postsecondary health care education in the province. The new funding will benefit programs for nurses, health care and anesthesia assistants, and mental health and community support workers. The funds are also expected to create opportunities for existing professionals to upgrade their skills. In terms of distribution, the funding will go to Vancouver Community College, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the College of New Caledonia, Camosun College, North Island College, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, Okanagan College, and Thompson Rivers University. CBC (BC)

AB Economic Recovery Task Force issue preliminary recommendations

The Alberta Colleges Economic Recovery Task Force has released 15 initial recommendations regarding how AB’s colleges can support and expedite local, provincial, and national economic recovery amid the pandemic. The Task Force’s recommendations focus on four key areas: attaining and analyzing workforce data; developing and implementing micro-credentialing; designing and delivering work-integrated learning; and innovating Canadian higher education by redefining the roles of AB colleges in the provincial ecosystem. “Alberta’s colleges have always been leaders in their regions supporting local research and innovation while meeting local business and industry needs,” said Grande Prairie Regional College President Robert Murray. “It is imperative Alberta’s colleges are embedded in federal, provincial, and local economic recovery through education and skills development.” GPRC | GPRC (Recommendations) (AB)

With classes moving online, students face difficult decisions about residences

As many postsecondary institutions move their classes online and concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in public settings continue to circulate, many students face difficult decisions about their living arrangements. The Star shares the stories of several students who have opted to study from home, negotiated safety rules with housemates in off-campus housing, or started to prepare for the reality of living on residence during the school year. “In the beginning of the summer, I wanted to go — like, desperately wanted to go,” said Queen’s University biology student Caleb Rodrigo, who had planned to move into a residence building until the pandemic hit. “[But] why pay the extra thousands of dollars to go there and do the same thing that you could do at home?” The Star (Subscription Required) (National)

KPU, NEC partner to create educational pathways

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has partnered with the Native Education College to create pathways for students. Specifically, the agreement will allow NEC students to count the Indigenous Land Stewardship certificate toward KPU’s Horticulture Urban Ecosystems bachelor’s degree. “We felt the strong synergies between the Indigenous Land Stewardship program at NEC and the Horticulture Urban Ecosystems program at KPU were worth connecting,” said KPU Vice President, Students Steve Cardwell. “We’re proud to partner with the NEC to assist their students in obtaining degrees that will help them maintain ecosystem health and build resilience for their communities.” NationTalk (BC)

How to embed career prep in the undergrad experience

As higher education undergoes substantial transformations, “career preparedness is more important than ever,” writes Steven Mintz. The author argues that colleges and universities need to ask how to best prepare new, existing, and returning students for a turbulent economy. To this end, Mintz provides seven suggestions regarding how institutions can embed career preparation across the undergraduate student experience, including increasing systematic assessment of student skills and interests; apprising students of shifts in the job market and structure of employment; instituting courses that address contemporary work life; increasing experiential and applied learning opportunities; and establishing preprofessional centres. “I suspect that many students could do better if our institutions provided them with more information about employment opportunities and gave them straightforward ways to build their skills,” concludes Mintz. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Expanding apprenticeships, rethinking education models to boost AB’s economy

In a discussion of apprenticeship-based learning in Alberta, Janet Lane considers how expanding the number of occupations trained through this model could improve the training opportunities for under- and unemployed Albertans. Lane compares Alberta’s model to successful European models of workplace learning and describes how these could provide the government and higher education institutions with examples. “With so many well-educated and experienced workers looking for good quality work right now, apprenticeship could be the way to fill their gaps in required competencies and enable them to become the job-ready candidates that new employers are looking for,” concludes Lane. The Province (AB)

Queen’s researchers, partners receive over $4M for COVID-19 research

Queen’s University researchers and partners have received over $4M through the Digital Technology Supercluster’s COVID-19 program to support two projects that are investigating how to best respond to problems caused by the virus in Canada. “The Superclusters initiative demonstrates what we can do when we harness the collective strengths of industry, academia. and research,” said Kimberly Woodhouse, vice-principal (research). “Queen’s is a key partner in helping to grow these companies and collaborations … and providing vital expertise that will help in our national efforts to combat COVID-19 through strength in digital technology.” Whig Standard (ON)

Opinion: Canada can help lower-income countries train health professionals

As Canada wrestles with COVID-19, “our own health and well-being cannot be walled off from that of neighbours,” Greg Moran, executive director of Academics Without Borders-Universitaires sans frontières, argues that, “no matter how distant those neighbours may seem […] viruses do not recognize international boundaries.” Moran argues that building the health-care capacity of lower-income countries will take health-care professionals who are renewed across generations. In support of this, Moran calls for greater efforts from Canada to invest in and help develop higher education institutions in these countries once the COVID-19 crisis eases, in order to not leave them vulnerable to future health crises. The Province (National)

Loyalist creates financial assistance waiver to support youth in extended society care

Loyalist College has announced that current and former youth in extended care of a Children’s Aid Society are eligible to apply for a financial assistance waiver which covers the cost of tuition. “Many youths face ongoing hardships after care,” explained Jane Kovarikova, Founder of Child Welfare PAC and former foster child. “Tuition waivers without age limits level the playing field for this group long-term.” Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan added: “we want these amazing individuals to know we care and we are here to help them advance, regardless of their age or stage in life.” Loyalist (ON)