Top Ten

September 10, 2020

UQAM, Queen’s researchers to head bilingual research network focused on national security, defence

Professors from 18 Canadian universities have joined to create a research network as part of the federal government’s Mobilization of New Ideas in Defence and Security (MINDS) program. The Réseau d’analyse stratégique or Network for Strategic Analysis (RAS-NSA) will focus on three key research themes related to national security: global power transition; multilateral cooperation in international security; and the future of defence capacity building. The network is co-led by Justin Massie, professor at Université du Québec à Montréal and Stéfanie von Hlatky, professor at Queen's University. UQAM | RAS-NSA (National)

CICan issues 8 recommendations for Budget 2021

Colleges and Institutes Canada made eight recommendations to the Standing Committee of Finance for Budget 2021. The recommendations focus mainly on investments into upskilling and reskilling, technical and trades training, sustainability initiatives and research on campus, increasing access to postsecondary for underrepresented populations, and supporting Canada’s position as an international study destination. “Supporting colleges and institutes will always have an impact well beyond the individual institutions, and CICan’s recommendations reflect how our members serve their communities, including industry and small business partners, social and health organizations,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. “Most importantly, they serve the learners of all ages and levels of experience, forming the labour force that will power our exit from the crisis and help us build back better.” CICan (National)

ON cities close parks, crack down on gatherings as postsecondary students return to campus

Several cities in Ontario have closed parks or issued warnings as returning students opt to hold parties or gather in public places to celebrate the start of the school year. Waterloo Region’s acting medical officer of health Hsiu-Li Wang expressed disappointment after a party in the city drew over 100 students and saw three people charged under the Emergency and Civil Protection Act. Following the return of postsecondary students in Kingston, Ontario, Mayor Bryan Paterson signed an emergency declaration closing Breakwater Park beach and Gord Edgar Downie Pier, which are located near Queen’s University, for the remainder of the season. Middlesex-London Health Unit medical officer of health Chris Mackie also warned that classroom activities were not as big a concern as “large uncontrolled gatherings, like student parties, where there aren’t really any public health measures in place.” CBC (Waterloo) | CBC (Kingston) | London Free Press (ON)

UFV to launch Peace and Reconciliation Centre

The University of the Fraser Valley is launching the Peace and Reconciliation Centre (PARC) this month. PARC will be a place where people from many disciplines can work together to build community and to solve conflicts. “We will facilitate constructive processes aimed at transforming conflict and building community that is characterised by relationships of trust, social justice, and the celebration of our diverse and common humanity,” said UFV College of Arts Dean Jacqueline Nolte. While one focus of PARC is Indigenous and settler relationships, PARC will also focus on global reconciliation issues. PARC hopes to be successful through providing “a space for learning and a space to spark and launch conversations and research,” said PARC chair Keith Carlson. UFV Today (BC)

OECD publishes Education at a Glance 2020

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published its Education at a Glance 2020 report, which provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems across OECD countries and a number of partner economies. The report examines indicators related to the impact of learning, access to education, teachers and the organization of schools, and financial investment in education in various OECD countries. In this year’s report, OECD notes the impact of COVID-19 on the world and on education in particular, noting how conventional schooling has been interrupted in most countries and spending on education compromised. Report (International)

TRU faces deficit of $9M, proceeding with layoffs in October

Kamloops This Week reports that Thompson Rivers University is facing a deficit of $9M caused by COVID-19’s impact on enrolment. The article says that enrollment is lower this year all around, and that international enrolment is projected to decrease around 30%. Additionally, Kamloops This Week says that TRU will be laying off 80 CUPE staff members in October, some of which may only be for the next four to eight months. “It’s kind of all over the place, but we’ve adjusted our expenses the best we could in line with our revenues,” TRU VP finance and administration Matt Milovick said. Kamloops This Week (1) | Kamloops This Week (2) (BC)

Two postsecondary students test positive for COVID-19

Two postsecondary students, one at Briercrest College in Saskatchewan and one at Loyalist College in Ontario, have tested positive for COVID-19. The student from Briercrest had been tested in their home province, but only received their test results after already being on campus. The student is being quarantined in an isolation dorm. The student from Loyalist tested positive for COVID-19 after travelling to Canada to attend classes. This student has been in quarantine since they arrived in Canada and has not visited campus. Discover Moose Jaw (Briercrest) | Quinte News (Loyalist) (ON | SK)

QuestU campus for sale

Colliers International has listed a 55-acre property that includes Quest University’s school and sports centre, as well as the surrounding property. CTV News says that QuestU “was forced to seek court protection in February after being unable to pay its debts.” The 55-acre property is now for sale, and parts of the original property have been sold or developed. “Ideally, the school hopes for offers to sell the development lands around the campus, but the listing says Quest University would consider a sale that includes a long-term lease back for continued use,” reports Kendra Mangione of CTV News. CTV News (BC)

USask’s WCVM, western provinces renew interprovincial agreement

The governments of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have renewed an agreement with the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). This agreement will see the provinces provide the WCVM with $134M over five years to train veterinarians with in-depth knowledge of animal health and public health. “The WCVM is built on collaboration, and its people and programs strengthen the University of Saskatchewan’s impact in everything from agriculture and animal health to comparative medicine and public health,” said USask Interim Provoist and VP Academic Melissa Just. SK (SK )

YukonU expands Continuing Studies fall offerings

Yukon University has been able to increase its variety of offerings through the Continuing Studies department now that courses are being offered online. The switch to virtual has also expanded the institution’s reach by increasing access for more individuals interested in higher learning. Opting to suspend offerings at first, the Continuing Studies department pivoted to online, self-paced learning using Zoom. “Our vision was always to offer more online and virtual learning opportunities, the pandemic response accelerated this,” said Shelagh Rowles, executive director, Continuing Studies. “The response from businesses, governments, and individuals has been positive. Virtual learning removes barriers such as travel costs and time away from work for training and professional development.” YukonU (YK)