Top Ten

January 14, 2021

SFU to launch Low Carbon Cities Canada Innovation Centre

Simon Fraser University’s Renewable Cities program will be establishing a regional Low Carbon Cities Canada Innovation Centre with the support of a $21.7M investment from the federal government. The centre will help improve the economy and public health by reducing carbon emissions in Vancouver. The release says that the centre will use the funding to “identify, finance and launch ideas ranging from expanding electric transportation fleets to retrofitting buildings.” It will provide a place to develop and test solutions to reduce building and transportation carbon emissions that can then be used across the region. Times Colonist | CBC (BC)

Brock, LCC partner on pathway program for union leaders, members

Brock University has partnered with the Labour College of Canada (LCC) on a pathway program that will allow union leaders and members who are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress to pursue higher education in Labour Studies. Courses cover a variety of topics, including unions and labour leadership, and may be transferable to meet part of the requirements of a certificate or undergraduate degree. “Our department is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in labour studies research, teaching and public engagement,” says Kendra Coulter, Chair of the Department of Labour Studies at Brock. “We are delighted to be able to recognize the knowledge and experience of labour activists from across Canada through this partnership and look forward to welcoming them into our classes and academic community.” Brock (ON)

AB considers creating boards to govern postsecondary institutions

The Government of Alberta is reportedly considering a proposal created by an international consultant to create boards that would govern multiple AB postsecondary institutions. This model would allow AB postsecondary institutions to better coordinate and cooperate, and would also allow improved changemaking around tuition and credit transfer. CBC reports that this is a model that Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides is “examining closely,” but that it would be tailored to fit AB’s needs. “I don’t believe that a copy-paste approach is appropriate,” said Nicolaides. “I believe we need a made-in Alberta solution.” CBC (AB)

USherbrooke, Bell partner on 5G wireless communication system

The Université de Sherbrooke has partnered with Bell to install a 5G wireless communications system at its Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT). The 5G system will allow USherbrooke to undertake research projects to develop technology in areas such as manufacturing, smart energy, and the Internet of Things. “Large-scale smart antenna networks are the cornerstone of 5G,” said USherbrooke Professor Sébastien Roy. “The partnership with Bell will make it possible to continue the research and development of these technologies as a primary focus, but now based on real data over genuine networks and commercially available or soon-to-be-available products.” NewsWire (QC)

Using scholarships to improve EDI: Editorial

Scholarships are important factors in equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), write Mirjam Fines-Neuschild and Bibiana Pulido. The authors explain that a typical conception of “excellence” usually favours privileged, male individuals with publications, no career gaps, and multiple funding options. The article explains that these inequities must be revealed and remedied to allow those who have been marginalized to be successful and develop diversity among talent. Additionally, they explain how those evaluating students for scholarships must break the cycle of favouring a linear career path by valuing alternative career paths. “[I]n order to develop an equitable system for evaluating scholarship applications, we will have to reinterpret the notion of excellence and seek a more inclusive definition for the concept,” write Fines-Neuschild and Pulido. University Affairs (National)

King’s receives $500K for Indigenous Reflection Circle

King’s University College has received $500K toward the purchase of the King’s Green and the creation of a Reflection Circle. The circle will be accessible by the King’s community, and will be designed in consultation with stakeholders and Western University’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives. “The Reflection Circle further supports our students by encouraging them to explore meaningful ways of interacting with each other, with nature, and independently in self-reflection, said King’s Principal Dr David Malloy. “Whether used for prayer, quiet contemplation, or ceremonial gatherings, I am confident the Reflection Circle will benefit the social and spiritual well-being of our entire community.” King’s (ON)

VIU joins Young Africa Works in Kenya Initiative to establish training for electricians

Vancouver Island University has announced that it has joined the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works in Kenya-TVET initiative. VIU will work with Durham College and Humber College to support three Kenyan institutions in technical and vocational education. The collaboration will focus on establishing curriculum and materials to train junior electricians, supporting the implementation of the program, and training instructors. “With an expansion into new trades areas in Kenya, additional VIU instructors will be able to broaden their global perspective and enhance their intercultural competency skills,” said VIU Manager of Global Engagement Darrell Harvey. “There will also be opportunities for other student service areas to become involved in these global engagement activities.” VIU (BC)

Confederation limits class size, changes schedules in response to ON’s COVID-19 regulations

Ontario’s new guidelines for postsecondary institutions means that Confederation College will be changing schedules and cutting the number of students in classes. Since COVID-19 regulations limit Confederation to having 10 students within a classroom, some students in programs with enrolment exceeding that have been dropped from their classes. CBC reports that the impact is being particularly heavily felt in apprenticeship programs. “We have about 1,100 to 1,200 students that still have face-to-face delivery here at the campus,” said Neil Cooke, VP academic at Confederation. “[A]ll of those students right now, with the exception of health are limited to a 10 student per class limit.” CBC (ON)

NorQuest launches discount card to support local businesses

NorQuest College has partnered with local businesses to create a NorQuest YEG Discount Card that will connect shoppers with over 50 small businesses in Edmonton. NorQuest developed the program to give students and staff discounts, and broadened it for the wider Edmonton community to support the local economy and generate an extra source of revenue. “Local businesses are crucial to the region’s economy, but they rely on the support of local consumers to stay afloat,” said Kaisha Marinus, Business Enterprise Specialist at NorQuest. “It’s a community relationship that results in so many wonderful and unique products and services.” NorQuest (AB)

USainte-Anne cancels spring and summer French immersion sessions

Université Sainte-Anne has announced that it will not hold spring or summer French immersion sessions this year due to COVID-19. The release says that USainte-Anne will be cancelling registrations and refunding fees, and is encouraging students interested in pursuing French courses to explore online options instead. “It is a necessary but difficult decision,” said USainte-Anne President Allister Surette. “These sessions require a significant amount of planning and logistics and with all the uncertainty because of the pandemic, it is best to cancel. Our priorities remain the health and safety of our university community and to limit the spread of the virus.” USainte-Anne (NS)