Top Ten

September 2, 2020

Nunavut Arctic College connects territory to NREN

Through the Nunavut Arctic College, Nunavut has officially joined Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN) and started the process of connecting the territory to CANARIE’s backbone network. CANARIE states that Nunavut is the final “spike” for Canada’s NREN, as now all thirteen provinces and territories have joined the network and fulfilled the federal mandate for a pan-Canadian research and education network. “Nunavut Arctic College is honoured to be Nunavut’s designated institution in this important network,” explained Patterk Netser, Minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College on the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. “Signing on to CANARIE is an important stepping stone that will further improve research and education resources for all Nunavummiut.”  CANARIE  (NV)

USainte-Anne announces modernized classrooms, new makerspace with investment

Université Sainte-Anne has announced that it will be modernizing its learning spaces and technological infrastructure at its Church Point campus, thanks to a combined investment of $1.2M. The investment will modernize existing classrooms, increase classroom capacity, and see the creation of a makerspace. The university is also setting up a multi-functional, web-connected amphitheatre that would host, webcast, and record presentations and workshops by keynote speakers. “A modernization of our learning spaces was necessary even before the current health crisis,” stated USainte-Anne President Allister Surette. “But this financing came at the right time because we are now equipped with cutting-edge spaces, tools, and software, which will allow us to be flexible.”  USainte-Anne  (NS)

YukonU offering in-person student supports

Yukon University has announced that they will continue to provide in-person supports throughout the Fall semester as most credit programming is delivered online. Students in Whitehorse will be able to access in-person services such as program advisors; academic, personal, and wellness supports; student engagement; and First Nations and International student support. Students at campuses beyond Ayamdigut are able to access services via phone or video, or at community campuses by appointment. “We know the shift to online learning due to COVID-19 comes with the loss of social contact and sense of community on campus,” said Janet Welch, vice president Academic and Student Services. “We expect students to be in greater need of in-person supports than ever before, so this is where our focus will be.”  Nation Talk  (ON)

PhD students encouraged to explore various career options with a sense of optimism: Opinion

With the future looking uncertain for many PhD students and postdocs, Joseph Barber encourages those who were hopeful for faculty positions to envision themselves in different careers rather than focusing on a single career path. Broadening the scope of career interests is not a failure, writes Barber. Instead, the author argues that it enables students to engage in new narratives about themselves that express their strengths and talents in a variety of career contexts. Barber says that “separating your degree from a singular career path ensures that you can highlight the skills and experiences gained along the way in a much more flexible and adaptive way.” He concludes by encouraging students to optimistically explore a variety of career options.  Inside Higher Ed  (International)

Postsecondary students now eligible for Edmonton's low-income transit program

The Edmonton City Council has announced that it will not be providing an opt-in option for a U-Pass for postsecondary students in the city, instead expanding youth fares and the low-income program for transit passes to all postsecondary students. International students were briefly deemed ineligible based on concerns about documentation and income verification, but are now eligible for the program after pushback from the University of Alberta’s International Students’ Association. “There was a misunderstanding or misconception that international students wouldn’t be able to provide documents, which they are able to provide,” explained UAISA President Chanpreet Singh. The Edmonton Journal reports that the city and student unions will revisit the U-Pass and other alternative options ahead of the winter semester.   Edmonton Journal  | Edmonton Journal  (AB)

NS universities report possible COVID-19 cases as students return

Universities in Nova Scotia are reporting new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases as students return to campus. A student attending Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point is one of two new confirmed cases in the province. Two other students–one at Dalhousie University and one at Acadia University–have received indeterminate test results. The province has stated that these two cases are being treated as lab-confirmed positives to make sure all precautions are taken.  CBC  | The Star  (NS)

Lakehead, Bioenterprise sign MOU to enhance agriculture, food sectors

Lakehead University and Bioenterprise Corporation have signed a MOU that will enhance research and innovation commercialization in the agriculture and food sectors in northern Ontario. Lakehead will host the new project through its recently launched business incubator, Ingenuity. “This will open up all kinds of opportunities for northern entrepreneurship and innovation, supporting at the same time our desire to become a hub for agricultural innovation in north-western Ontario and increase the visibility of what we do to the entire agricultural ecosystem across Canada,” said Andrew Dean, Vice President (Research & Innovation) for Lakehead.  Lakehead   (ON)

Indigenous student group advocates for flexible approach to online learning

Indigenous postsecondary students in Quebec say that COVID-19 has the potential to disproportionately impact their studies this fall, and are calling for a “creative and flexible” approach to classes. Closures and the quick change to online learning in the spring were difficult for many who relied on libraries and computer labs, or were unable to access stable Wi-Fi after going home to remote areas. The group’s statement emphasized that “we are already at a disadvantage; we don’t want the pandemic to add to the pre-existing inequity.” Many postsecondary classes have been moved online this fall, and Indigenous students worry about the challenges of isolation, and the difficulty in accessing necessities for online learning.   CBC  (QC)

UNBC creates school of engineering

The University of Northern British Columbia has authorized the creation of a School of Engineering to unify the university’s engineering programs, reports the Prince George Citizen. Previously, the university’s programs were offered by separate schools within the university, and the move is expected to unify the faculty and students into a single unit and facilitate the development of the degree programs. "This is to really solidify UNBC's footprint in the engineering space," said UNBC interim president and vice-chancellor Geoffrey Payne. "The future is bright."  Prince George Citizen  (BC)

UBC, Tŝilhqot’in Nation strengthen research ties through signing MOU, IK Protocol

The University of British Columbia and Tŝilhqot’in Nation have signed a MOU and an Indigenous Knowledge Protocol Agreement (IK Protocol) to collaborate on research done at UBC’s Centre for Environmental Assessment Research (CEAR). This agreement establishes culturally safe research practices, which emphasize issues related to power imbalances, racism, and discrimination, while also laying the groundwork for collaborative research that recognizes the importance of Tŝilhqot’in knowledge and understanding of the land in future research projects. UBC and the Tŝilhqot’in National Government are already collaborating on research projects, and CEAR states that they look forward to continuing to learn from its Indigenous partners to understand more about the Tŝilhqot’in territory.  UBC Okanagan  (BC)