Top Ten

July 31, 2020

StatsCan releases study on potential earnings losses among high school, postsecondary graduates

Statistics Canada has released a new study that presents estimates of the cumulative earning losses that this year’s graduating classes could experience in the next five years, depending on the scale of the economic downturn. The study investigates five scenarios for this year's youth unemployment rate – 16%, 19%, 22%, 25%, and 28% – in comparison with the long-term historical average of 14.3%. The researchers note that, with an unemployment rate of 28% for example, students belonging to the 2020 class of high school, college, and bachelor's degree graduates could lose up to $44K over the next five years. While the report notes that these potential losses do not outweigh the potential long-term earning benefits for persons who attain a postsecondary degree, they warn that other factors will impact graduates’ earnings. For example, the report notes that “this year's female postsecondary graduates may incur larger earnings losses during the next five years than their male counterparts.” StatsCan | The Globe and Mail (National)

Ocean Supercluster announces $29M in funding for Ocean Aware project

Canada's Ocean Supercluster announced $29M in total funding for the Ocean Aware project, an initiative that will see Dalhousie University and Memorial University work alongside industry and government to develop and commercialize solutions for monitoring fish health, fish movement, and the environment. Ocean Aware will develop world leading aquaculture technology to monitor fish health; new approaches to stock assessment modeling and predictive fishing in the wild fishery, and; innovative and increased capability to monitor marine life around fixed subsea structures. “The Ocean Aware project is a great example of the supercluster's ability to bring together a variety of industry partners to develop new aquaculture technology and further support sustainable fishing practices,” said Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains. Newswire (NL, NS)

NS invests $19.4M in infrastructure upgrades for NSCC campuses

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced a $19.4M investment in infrastructure upgrades at nine of Nova Scotia Community College’s 14 campuses. The upgrades include exterior wall upgrades, an upgrade to the culinary kitchen, and upgrades to the campus residence washrooms to make these gender neutral and fully accessible. “These funds are extremely important investments in our campuses, which are situated across Nova Scotia and serve as both important educational centres and community resources, said NSCC President Don Bureaux. “By addressing these much-needed repairs now, we’re able to reduce our future costs and extend the life of our campuses.” NS (NS)

U of King’s College announces funding extension for J-School Noire

The University of King’s College has extended its financial sponsorship of J-School Noire (JSN), an educational initiative spearheaded by the Canadian Association of Black Journalists (CABJ). The financial commitment will ensure that Black youth across Nova Scotia will be trained and mentored by Black media professionals in 2021-22. “JSN is unique in that we are connecting Black youth with Black journalists for a hands-on, on-campus learning experience,” said Nadia Stewart, CABJ Executive Director. “By empowering youth to tell their own stories, we’re giving them the tools and connecting them with mentors who’ll help them find their voice and even launch their own platforms. These kids are the future of this industry.” U of King’s College (NS)

Imagining the future of higher ed in Canada from administrator, faculty perspectives: Study

In this essay, George Velestsianos, Nicole Johnson, and Jeff Seaman provide “a snapshot of 273 faculty and administrator perspectives on whether they are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of higher education over the next 2 years.” Overall, respondents reported to be slightly more optimistic than pessimistic over the future of higher ed; however, administrators are far more optimistic than faculty (55% vs 41%) and faculty are far more pessimistic than administrators (48% vs 22%) in terms of their perception of this future. Reasons for pessimism centered on the compounding financial challenges of higher ed, while reasons for optimism clustered around themes of higher ed’s role in times of crisis, how the pandemic provides an opportunity for positive change and the value of higher education. Academic Matters (National)

Concordia Edmonton launches Master of Science in Information Technology program

Concordia University of Edmonton has launched a Master of Science in Information Technology program. The MScIT will teach students how to identify and deal with complex and unpredictable professional IT environments as they develop the necessary soft skills to communicate ideas, issues, and conclusions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences. The program includes an industry internship designed to enhance students’ skills and real-world experience. “There is a demand and vibrant labour market for IT professionals across our province and country,” said Concordia Edmonton Dean of Science Patrick Kamau. “We look forward to welcoming our first MScIT students in September and seeing all that they accomplish throughout their professional careers.” Concordia Edmonton (1) | Concordia Edmonton (2) (AB)

UVic establishes Research Accelerator Fund to support COVID-19 recovery research

The University of Victoria has established a new fund supporting researchers as they find solutions to make communities stronger and bolster their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The UVic Research Accelerator Fund, will allow donors to empower researchers in various initiatives and projects such as a rapid, non-invasive tests and virus-resistant surface coatings. “UVic researchers are driving recovery from COVID-19,” said Lisa Kalynchuk, UVic Vice-President, Research. “Donor support unlocks and accelerates research with local and global relevance. The UVic Research Accelerator Fund advances big ideas to make real change in our everyday lives over the long term.” UVic (BC)

CNA launches Accelerated Software Development (Post-Diploma) program

The College of the North Atlantic has announced the launch of an Accelerated Software Development (Post-Diploma) program beginning September 2020. The one-year, full-time program will ensure that graduates are meeting skilled technological needs that today’s businesses demand, while at the same time, filling the labour gaps identified by industry. “We are confident that these programs will provide existing graduates with a strong combination of technical and theoretical skills, as well as the ability to apply concepts learned in the classroom that will ultimately better prepare them for work in this burgeoning sector,” said CAN Dean of the School of Business and Information Technology Stephen Warren. CNA (NL)

UFV, Faculty Association ratify 2019-2022 Collective Agreement

The University of the Fraser Valley and the UFV Faculty Association have ratified the 2019-2022 Collective Agreement under the Government of British Columbia’s Sustainable Services Negotiating Mandate. The three-year agreement, expiring March 2022, includes an annual general wage increase of 2%, updated gender-neutral collective agreement language, and increased extended health care coverage. In addition, the agreement includes advances in Indigenization. Other notable aspects of the agreement include, the establishment of a Service Improvement Training fund for staff employees, as well as the creation of a Faculty/Student Research and Scholarly Activity Fund. UFV (BC)

Addressing equity issues through race-based data collection at Canada Universities: Opinion

“In order to fulfill their commitments to EDI [Equity, Diversity, Inclusion], Canadian universities must critically evaluate the selection and retention of racialized people at various stages of the academy,” writes Evelyn Asiedu. However, in order to accomplish this, the author argues that such institutions should begin collecting race-based data to help understand the scope and breadth of the problem. While there are many steps that need to be taken to ensure the integrity of such data collection processes, the author suggests other ways individuals and institutions can begin to address equity issues, including talking to friends and colleagues, as well as considering if EDI policies are being effectively implemented. Maclean’s (National)