Top Ten

October 29, 2020

Academic “inbreeding” is ignored discrimination: Opinion

Hiring practices in academia are often highly discriminatory, writes Bruce Macfarlane, and while academics tend to be vocal about discrimination, academic patronage or favouritism through personal relationships is often ignored. Macfarlane writes that the consequences of patronage are not understood. The author says that those who benefit from this “academic inbreeding” often follow a certain academic and career path, and that those who do not fit this pattern are often excluded. Macfarlane says that awareness of the problem needs to be raised and that institutions need to review how much this is occurring. Times Higher Education (International)

CBU reveals plan for $80M Centre for Discovery and Innovation

Cape Breton University has revealed a plan for a new $80M Centre for Discovery and Innovation, which is contingent on securing funding from the federal and provincial governments. The proposed centre would replace part of the Arseneau-Britten science building, which is over 50 years old, with an 80,000-square-foot modern research and instructional facility. The building would support engineering and technology, nursing, public health, and emergency management programs. The building would additionally house the Marshall Institute, which will focus on environmental justice and Indigenous approaches to climate change. The institute is named in honour of Donald Marshall Jr, a Mi’kmaw man who fought for the Indigenous right to fish for a moderate livelihood. CBC | CBC (NS)

Yellowhead Tribal College, UAlberta collaborate to deliver Indigenous program

Yellowhead Tribal College and the University of Alberta have signed a memorandum of relational understanding focused on a new continuing education program. The two institutions will be co-delivering the Indigenous Community Industry Relations Certificate (ICIR) program, with Yellowhead taking responsibility for the courses that encompass ancestral knowledge of the land and UAlberta delivering courses that contribute to skills in business. “With this partnership, we make a historic move to have Indigenous students surrounded by their culture, Elders supports and Indigenous academics at YTC, while accessing programming from one of the finest universities in the world,” said Chief Tony Alexis of the Nakota Sioux Nation. UAlberta (AB)

New report released on academic credential assessment in Canada

CICIC has released a new report focused on Canada’s implementation of the 1997 Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC) – an agreement on credential evaluation ratified by member states in Europe and non-member states such as Australia, Canada, Israel, etc. The report has found that, as a whole, Canada is compliant with the LRC “to a leading extent” among signatories. However, the researchers also identified room for significant improvements in areas such as an overarching pan-Canadian qualifications framework, a Canadian digital diploma supplement, and the speed of adoption of learning outcomes and recognition of prior learning. CICIC | Report (National)

NS postsecondary institutions approved as DLIs

Nova Scotia postsecondary institutions anticipate that they will be welcoming international students again in November. NS says that almost two dozen institutions are expected to be on the list of approved as designated learning institutions (DLIs) when it is updated on November 3rd. “International students play a vital role in Nova Scotia’s social and economic well-being,” said NS Labour and Advanced Education Minister Lena Metlege Diab. “We are thrilled to begin welcoming them to our post-secondary institutions again, knowing that we have the necessary protocols in place to keep both students and communities safe.” NS | CBC (NS)

MUN launches CSE Social Ventures Incubator

Memorial University has launched the Centre for Social Enterprise (CSE) Social Ventures Incubator, which incubates businesses that focus on social impact. This incubator, which is the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, provides support to businesses through space and funding. “Unlike traditional entrepreneurship incubators, our aim is to support ventures whose objective is positive social impact,” said CSE Manager Nicole Helwig. “They must have a strong social mission at the core of what they do, and they must make a commitment to demonstrate their social impact.” The incubator’s first cohort includes three social ventures: Stormy Shore Studios, Cloudberry Forest School and Co-housing NL. MUN (NL)

Humber receives $3M from Magna

Humber College has received a $3M gift from Magna, a leading automotive supplier and long-time Humber partner. The funds will be used for 22 scholarships, initiatives to develop and enhance student skills in the advanced manufacturing sector, and to support the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation’s equipment needs and special initiatives. The gift will also support the creation of upskilling opportunities, which will be made available to Magna employees. “We are immensely grateful for Magna’s generosity and we look forward to working together to provide students with new learning and employment opportunities,” said Humber president Chris Whitaker. Humber (ON)

Lakehead joins domestic, international institutions as founding partner of Læra Institute

Lakehead University has joined Trent University, the University of Northern British Columbia, Yukon University, the Arctic State Agrotechnological University in Russia, and Nord University in Norway as a founding partner of the University of the Arctic’s new Læra Institute for Circumpolar Education. The Læra Institute will hold faculty workshops and student symposia, as well as focus on Indigenous and other perspectives on “circumpolarity” across the Circumpolar North. “As part of our Academic Plan, Lakehead University has committed to continue to develop regional nodes for professional program delivery with a focus on increasing access to education in northern communities through remote program delivery,” said Michel S Beaulieu, Lakehead’s Associate Vice-Provost Academic (Special Projects). Lakehead (ON)

How to confront racism in admissions: Opinion

Racism must be confronted in admissions policies even as institutions undergo financial difficulties during COVID-19, writes Elizabeth Redden. The author describes the significant barriers to admitting Black students, and makes suggestions on how to take action on some of these issues. In the context of the US, Redden recommends removing legacy admissions and measures such as demonstrated interest, as well as long-term strategies that include offering financial aid, addressing institutional racial inequity, making standardized tests optional, and considering race in admission. Inside Higher Ed (International)

UoGuelph, Community Living go virtual with partnership

The University of Guelph and Community Living Guelph Wellington have announced that they will be running their Campus Friends program virtually for the year. The program, which has been in place from 2016, typically sees UoGuelph student mentors and adults with developmental disabilities get together one day per week to take part in learning opportunities, volunteering, athletics, and special events. During the upcoming 12-week program, students and mentors will be connecting online each week for a total of six hours. UoGuelph (ON)