Top Ten

December 15, 2020

ON invests $50M in Virtual Learning Strategy

The Government of Ontario has invested $50M in a Virtual Learning Strategy. The Virtual Learning Strategy will position ON as a global leader in virtual education as it focuses on accessibility and sustainable growth. The funds will be used to create high-quality, accessible virtual learning and education technologies for postsecondary students, including lifelong learners and international students studying from home. “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of high-quality and accessible virtual learning,” said Ross Romano, Minister of College and Universities. “It became abundantly clear during [the early days of COVID-19] that Ontario could once again demonstrate our world renowned leadership in postsecondary education by developing our own ‘Ontario Made’ virtual strategy with education that is flexible and responsive to the needs of the labour market.” ON (ON)

UAlberta’s virology institute receives $20M from AB

The University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute has received $20M from the Government of Alberta. The funding supports pharmaceutical and vaccine treatment research and commercialization, and will help to grow AB’s biotechnology industries. “We’re unleashing our world-class research universities to boost our expertise to not only find cures, but commercialize and manufacture them here at home,” said AB Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer. “With this funding, the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute and the valuable work that they do will grow and diversify the economy and pave the way for our innovators and emerging sectors to grow and succeed.” UAlberta (AB)

Canada improves position as “go-to” study destination

Two surveys suggest that Canada has improved its position as a “go-to” study destination for international students. The article suggests that Canada is ahead of other countries, given its positive response to international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information was based on surveys conducted in May 2020 and September 2020. The article reports that, since May, Canada has improved its overall position and is currently competing with the United Kingdom for top spot. The survey suggests that Canada is considered both “safe and stable” and “open and welcoming,” qualities which are not always seen together in other countries. CIC News (National)

MUN creates Signal Initiative to bring together NL innovation ecosystem

Memorial University has created a collaborative forum called the Signal Initiative. The aim of the Signal Initiative is to bring together Newfoundland and Labrador’s innovation ecosystem to strengthen and increase innovation in all sectors. It will also provide a mechanism for collaboration between MUN and the province. “As one of Canada’s top 20 research universities, coupled with our recent record high growth in total research funding, Memorial is cultivating a vibrant ecosystem and supporting our leading-edge creators and discoverers,” said MUN vice-president (research) Neil Bose. “Our research and expertise are contributing daily to the creation of a more diverse, sustainable economy and society.” MUN (NL)

The overwhelming virtual student workload: Opinion

Jody Greene explores the conflict of the virtual workload: Educators have used strategies to design courses with student wellbeing in mind, but many students feel that the demands that educators are putting on them are unreasonable. Greene explains how students, who have been used to a traditional class structure, may be struggling to adapt to increased accountability and the stress of continuous low- or no-stakes assessments. Greene writes that students are experiencing the change in educational design as more work, and questions how a better balance can be achieved to reduce student stress. Inside Higher Ed (International)

George Brown announces virtual education-abroad WIL pilot project

George Brown College has announced a pilot project that will enable students to participate in international work-integrated learning (WIL) opportunities through virtual placements. Through the program, companies in Spain, Portugal, China, Japan, Singapore, and Sweden will host students for virtual WIL placements. Students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in education-abroad programs will be given priority access to the program. “This pilot program will engage students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to gain international experience, while providing the data we need to make international WIL more accessible to all,” said Dario Guescini, Director, Work-Integrated Learning, Experiential Education and Global Mobility at George Brown. George Brown (ON)

Finding an effective writing routine: Opinion

Finding a writing routine can be a challenge, writes Manya Whitaker. The article gives tips for supporting better brain function, planning for writing, and completing writing tasks. The author suggests following a brain-healthy diet and prioritizing rest. Whitaker explains how to effectively plan a project, including associated reading, research on publishers, and creating an appropriate schedule. The article also details how to write effectively; Whitaker suggests setting time-based goals rather than focusing on word or page count, taking breaks, editing as you go, and not forcing yourself to write when unmotivated. “Try a lot of strategies, and adapt them for your goals, your process, and your life context,” writes Whitaker. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

Loyalist launches Emergency Management & Incident Response certificate program

Loyalist College has launched an Emergency Management & Incident Response Program. The program will cover a variety of topics, including incident management systems, incident response and crisis communications, and risk and assessment. Graduates will be prepared to conduct training programs, test emergency management programs, and implement business continuity plans. The one-year graduate certificate program will be delivered in a blended format. “The shortage of emergency managers that existed prior to the pandemic has been exacerbated by increasing demands for the safeguarding of society through disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation,” said Loyalist President Ann Marie Vaughan. “This new program […] will immediately address these skills gaps to help Ontario strategically prepare for a safer future.” Loyalist (ON)

TÉLUQ, Universidade de Brasilia sign partnership

Université TÉLUQ and the Universidade de Brasilia have announced the signing of a framework agreement. The new partnership is aimed at supporting collaborative initiatives in research and teaching. The agreement was developed from links established by TELUQ Professor Myriam Fillion and Brasilia Professor Carlos José Sousa Passos. Faculty at both institutions who either have existing relationships with one another or who wish to develop them can now use the framework agreement to facilitate this process. TÉLUQ (QC)

Vancouver Career College, TRU partner on RMT pathway

Vancouver Career College and Thompson Rivers University have partnered on a degree pathway for Registered Massage Therapy (RMT) students. The partnership will allow students who have completed the college’s RMT program to build on their education by pursuing TRU’s Bachelor of Health Science degree. “Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning has a long and proud history of being a bridge to educational opportunities for learners across sectors,” said TRU Associate Vice-President, Open Learning Don Poirier. “We are pleased to continue this tradition with the Vancouver Career College.” Newswire (BC)