Top Ten

September 9, 2020

UFV’s SASI to deliver Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project

The South Asian Studies Institute (SASI) at the University of the Fraser Valley has received new supports to continue a project showcasing Punjabi Canadian history in British Columbia. Haq and History: A Punjabi Canadian Legacy Project is part of a six-year partnership between SASI, the Royal BC Museum, and other community partners. $1.14M from the provincial government will enable the project to be extended to include further research, documentation, and digitization. “Education is key to fostering a greater respect and appreciation for one another across our communities and society,” said SASI Director Satwinder Kaur Bains. “A primary goal of the project is to improve the historical record of the significant contributions of South Asian Canadians with the goal of reducing racism while underscoring the value of B.C.’s diverse society.” BC | UFV (BC )

BVC, BMB International partner to encourage more international health care students

Bow Valley College has announced an agreement with immigration consultant group BMB International that will allow international post-graduate students in the health care field to complete BVC’s post-diploma certificate program in Health & Human Services Management. “Healthcare is a highly competitive field,” said Nora Maclachlan, Dean of Health and Community Studies at BVC, “and this HHSM program is innovative, combining elements of business study and management of the Canadian healthcare system.” This program will prepare foreign-educated health care workers for various careers and help address Canada’s need for more foreign-educated healthcare workers. BVC (AB)

PQ leadership candidate proposes breaking funding model for CEGEPs

Parti Québécois leadership candidate Sylvain Gaudreault says that he would gradually cut funding to anglophone CEGEPs as a means of breaking the “vicious cycle” he believes they are in. Based on the current funding model, English-speaking CEGEPs receive more funding due to the number of students attending; more funding in turn attracts more students. If elected, Sylvain says he will remove the funding model and make cuts to the institutions. Gaudreault stated that he does not plan to enforce Québec’s language policy, Bill 101, on CEGEPs, as “adult students can make choices on their own.” Montreal Gazette (QC)

UNB to develop space weather monitoring device for Canadian arctic

The University of New Brunswick’s physics department will be developing and installing a Modular Ionospheric Sounder at Resolute, Nunavut. This space weather monitoring device, funded by the Canadian Space Agency, will be part of the Canadian High Arctic Ionospheric Network. Undergraduate and graduate students will have an opportunity to participate in the development of this technology, which will be designed to provide better ionospheric measurements and to use less energy. “This project will help us improve communications and navigation systems, while also providing a unique and exciting hands-on experience for the next generation of researchers and specialists,” said PT Jayachandran, UNB Physics Department Chair. UNB | CBC (NB)

UoGuelph goes cash-free in response to COVID-19

The University of Guelph has added an extra COVID-19 precaution by making its campus cash-free. UoGuelph stated that, “in light of the uncertainty around whether the disease can be transmitted via paper and coin currency,” it will no longer accept cash for any purchases on campus. Community members will be able to carry out transactions at the campus bookstore, independent stores, parking, library, eateries, and other on-campus outlets by using credit, debit, a UoGuelph ID card, or an Express Plus Credit Account. UoGuelph (ON)

Mistakes are an important part of learning: opinion

Mentors should let students make mistakes as part of the learning process, says René S Shahmohamadloo, PhD candidate at the University of Guelph. Reflecting on his experience as a mentor, Shahmohamadloo says that students find memorizing and regurgitating facts a frustrating and ineffective way to learn, and instead encourages providing them with the opportunity to practice critical thinking skills or apply their learning. He argues that taking a hands-off approach with inexperienced students helps them learn from their mistakes and allows them to grow as scientists. “Good mentorship means trusting your mentees’ capacity and treating them as more than instruments to collect data,” Shahmohamadloo writes. “When given the chance, mentees can handle the responsibility.” ScienceMag (National)

ULethbridge women’s soccer suspended over sport cohort protocols

The University of Lethbridge announced in a statement that it has suspended its Pronghorns women’s soccer program for violating sport cohort protocols related to COVID-19. The Lethbridge Herald explains that, while soccer seasons for Canada West and U SPORT have been cancelled this fall, teams were able to continue practicing in a cohort model. The article states that the team was suspended for allowing players outside the cohort to participate in practices. “While we are confident everyone associated with the program is healthy, the protocols are in place for a very good reason and no one should have been put at risk,” explained Pronghorn Athletics Director Neil Langevin. “There is nothing more important than the health and safety of our student-athletes and our potential recruits.” Lethbridge Herald (AB)

COVID-19 vaccine task force members declare conflicts of interest, some call for disclosure

Since June, members of Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force have recused themselves from discussions due to conflicts of interest 18 times. Global News reports that the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force includes a number of individuals “who may have a real or perceived conflict of interest with respect to one or more proposals to be evaluated.” The reason for recusal is reportedly not public, which press secretary John Power states is in keeping with other task groups. However, The BMJ Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee argued that disclosing these conflicts is essential to maintaining public trust. “I do think it’s a surprise that they’ve gone to such trouble with this task force to outline the way in which they’re going to manage the conflicts of interest,” said Godlee. “But they’ve missed out this next step ... of simply declaring those publicly.” Global News (National)

Humber launches RapidSkills, Advanced Manufacturing Micro-credentials program

Humber College is launching a new RapidSkills, Advanced Manufacturing Micro-credentials program to respond to the impact COVID-19 has had on the economy. Humber says that this program will give those without knowledge of the manufacturing industry the skills they need to succeed in the sector, while also helping others upgrade and re-learn skills. Students will receive a digital badge once they complete the program. This program is a “collaboration with employers and leading industry experts to prepare those unemployed and underemployed with the skills needed to secure a future in manufacturing,” explained Nadia Desjardins, associate dean of Humber’s Corporate Training Solutions. Humber (ON)

New US research suggests de-emphasizing test scores is key for diversification

A new research paper that examined the data from 368 US institutions suggests that de-emphasizing test scores is the only thing that consistently helps to diversify student populations. Though some institutions have tried to boost minority or low-income enrollment through stressing extracurriculars and subjective factors, the paper says that data suggests “these considerations may do little to dramatically alter enrollment for these students in either more or less equitable ways.” NACAC CEO Angel B Perez said that, in his experience, “when admissions officers were told to specifically look for other qualities and characteristics that predict success, and not focus as much on test scores, they paused, and were much more intentional in giving students credit for other things.” Inside Higher Ed (International)