Top Ten

September 11, 2020

SAIT to launch School for Advanced Digital Technology

SAIT has announced that it will be launching a School for Advanced Digital Technology to help meet Calgary’s demand for tech talent. The Calgary Herald says that Calgary’s numerous startups and technology companies are experiencing a significant shortage of talent, and that SAIT’s new school will meet these needs. In addition to the regular programs offered, SAIT will also have a Digital Transformation Talent Hub, which will offer continuing education training for those pursuing further education or already in the workforce. “Our goal is to ensure students – whether they are career starters or career changers – have the digital literacy, personal agility and entrepreneurial spirit to succeed in a future powered by technology,” said SAIT president David Ross. Calgary Herald (AB)

ITA, Cégep de La Pocatière shut down after COVID-19 outbreak

Two institutions in La Pocatière, Quebec have shut down after COVID-19 outbreaks that regional health authorities believe are tied to a large party held at the end of August. At least 12 students at the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire and Cégep de La Pocatière have reportedly tested positive for the illness, according to CBC. Any in-person activities and courses have been suspended at the institutions, which will be switching fully to online courses until September 24th. The regional health authority is asking that everyone who has been to bars in La Pocatière or Rivière-du-Loup or who attended the party get tested for COVID-19. CBC (QC)

Researchers at NOSM, Lakehead collaborating on workforce research

Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Lakehead University researchers are collaborating on two studies on the workforce in Northern Ontario. One will focus on the human capital planning of Northern Ontario’s healthcare workforce, and will investigate how Northern Ontario’s workforce is evolving to meet different community needs. The other will examine the impact that welcoming communities and organizations have on immigrant recruitment and retention. “Both respond to issues that are unique to our region and will yield meaningful results for improving health-care services and economic development locally and regionally,” said Andrew Dean, Lakehead’s VP Research and Innovation. The projects received over $330K of funding from the Ontario Human Capital Research and Innovation Fund. Lakehead (ON)

Worldwide Educonnect launches office in Kenya to support students looking to study abroad

Worldwide EduConnect has established a new office in Nairobi, Kenya to help accelerate growth in the region and provide professional support to African students who wish to study higher education in other countries. Founder and CEO Vinay Chaudhry stated that, with a combined population of 1.2 billion and an insufficient local education infrastructure, Africa is poised to become the fastest growing international student market in coming years. Georgian College and Brock University have partnered with the African office, and King’s University College has shown a keen interest in the initiative. “This is an exciting venture,” said Georgian Vice President (Academic) Kevin Weaver, “and part of our ongoing strategy to build a strong Georgian brand in this dynamic, growing market.” Worldwide Educonnect (International)

Camosun’s Culinary Arts students prepare food hampers

Camosun College’s culinary arts students are welcoming students back to campus through Camosun Cares food hampers. Each week, culinary arts students are preparing 30 food hampers, which include fresh foods and simple recipes, and volunteers distribute them to students in need. Camosun’s Culinary Arts Chair Steve Walker-Duncan explained that students are “getting their professional cook training in the time of COVID, when we don’t have an active cafeteria and we’ve limited access to customers for utilising our food services.” Providing hampers to students in need gives culinary arts students the opportunity to use training kitchens to prepare baked goods, meals, and soups. The students “are quite excited to be part of something like this, because they’re helping their peers,” said Walker-Duncan. Camosun (BC)

Why PhD students fail dissertations: opinion

UK Barrister Daniel Sokol offers insight into the common reasons why students may fail their PhD dissertations. In this article, Sokol describes four common mistakes that these students make: a lack of critical reflection, lack of coherence, poor presentation, and failure to make required changes. Sokol says that “probably the most common reason for failing a PhD dissertation is a lack of critical analysis,” but that also “the majority of failed PhD dissertations are sloppily presented.” Sokul says that before submission, students should ask themselves if their work is critical or analytical enough, coherent, well-structured, and if it has a strong thesis, before turning around and asking their supervisors the same questions. Inside Higher Ed (International)

New book discusses implementing decolonization, reconciliation

BCcampus has published an excerpt from Kory Wilson’s Pulling Together: Foundations Guide instructing readers on decolonization and reconciliation. Wilson says that “the process of decolonization is a process of healing and moving away from a place of anger, loss, and grief toward a place where Indigenous Peoples can thrive.” Wilson summarizes what decolonization would look like in Canada, and asserts that decolonization “must include non-Indigenous people and Indigenous Peoples working toward a future that includes all.” Reconciliation is an especially important part of this process, and Wilson encourages Canadians to participate by listening to Indigenous people tell their stories to gain a shared perspective on the past and future. BCcampus (BC)

UoGuelph launches online anti-oppression, anti-racism module

The University of Guelph has developed an online anti-racism training module, titled “Principles of Belonging: Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism.” UoGuelph says that this course is required for incoming students and that the two-part course will provide “core principles to foster more inclusive spaces and create an authentic sense of belonging for all campus community members.” “The Principles of Belonging module is an important step forward to assist students, faculty and staff in their anti-Black racism and anti-oppression education,” said UoGuelph’s AVP (diversity and human rights) Indira Naidoo-Harris. UoGuelph (ON)

Major gatherings lead to police intervention, fines for students

Several major gatherings have resulted in police intervention, complaints from the community, and fines for students. In Nova Scotia, the RCMP have fined four students $1K each for failing to self-isolate after arriving on campus. While most people are following the rules, Premier Stephen McNeil expressed concern about complaints about some who are becoming complacent and taking risks. "This is what's going to get us in trouble,” said McNeil. “I'm worried arrogance is seeping in." The Star also reports that a fraternity in London cancelled its unofficial frosh week plans at the urging of Western University, while, in Kingston, Queen’s University professor Jeff Masuda expressed worry for the city in an open letter after the campus neighbourhood was strewn with litter following student partying. The Star | CBC (National)

WE Charity winding down operations in Canada after student grants scandal

WE Charity has announced that it will be closing its operations in Canada after the student grants scandal, stating that it was “ill-equipped” to fight “political battles,” reports CBC. The fallout from its failed effort to administer a $912M contribution agreement on behalf of the federal government reportedly made fundraising difficult for the organization, and WE Charity states that the “financial math for the charity’s future is clear.” Virtually all of the charity’s operations in Canada will come to an end, and WE will be liquidating its assets to create an endowment fund to support projects that are underway in Latin America, Asia, and Africa that are underway but not yet completed. CBC | Medicine Hat News (National)