Top Ten

February 4, 2021

UVic divests working-capital fund from fossil-fuel investments

The University of Victoria has announced that it will be divesting its working-capital fund from fossil-fuel investments to investments that are lower carbon footprint. UVic will transfer $80M to a short-term bond, which will reduce the “carbon intensity” of its investments, with plans to transfer their entire $225M portfolio by 2030. UVic says that the changes are a response to engagement from students, staff, and faculty. “We are acting on our commitment to address climate change in every domain at UVic, including through our investments,” said UVic treasurer Andrew Coward. “The opportunity to invest in renewable power is clear and it aligns with UVic’s responsible investment strategy, allowing for support of future technologies while also ensuring a strong financial return.” Times Colonist | UVic (BC)

Brock, Niagara create pathway agreement for Brock Labour Relations students

Brock University and Niagara College have created a pathway that allows students in Brock’s Labour Relations program to achieve a Niagara Human Resources Management graduate certificate. Students in the certificate program will benefit from academic and applied learning experiences, as well as an internship, while gaining networking opportunities. “There is a strong synergy between the two programs at Brock and Niagara College,” said Justin Williams, Niagara’s dean of Business, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport. “Brock students will benefit from the applied learning experiences and connection to industry which our HR program has to offer at NC; and, they add a great deal to our HR Management program with their thoughtful contributions and strong academic foundation.” Niagara (ON)

Holland College offers Sport and Recreation Management and Kinesiology programs

Holland College has announced that it will be offering two new sport and recreation programs: Sport and Recreation Management and Kinesiology. The Sport and Recreation Management program will train students in a variety of areas, such as marketing, public relations, sport event tourism, and leadership, and will prepare students for careers in areas such as recreation programming, facility management, and athletic administration. Students in the Kinesiology program will take courses such as anatomy and physiology, athletic therapy, and business management, and be prepared for careers in areas like recreation programming and fitness coordination. The two programs will replace Holland’s Sport and Leisure Management program in order to better respond to student needs and changes in the industry. Holland College (PEI)

Updates to Laurentian insolvency situation

Newspapers such as The Star and The Sudbury Star have released new articles on the situation of Laurentian University. The Star reports that Laurentian owes a total of $91M to three banks in addition to having a pension deficit, and states that the university is unable to pay its staff for February. The Sudbury Star explains that Laurentian has begun the process of obtaining a $25M loan to cover its operating costs during the months it will take to restructure its finances. Another Sudbury Star article by reporter Harold Carmichael examines what the creation of “Laurentian 2.0” could entail, such as a re-evaluation of the current programs and of the factors driving enrollment. The Star | The Sudbury Star (1) | The Sudbury Star (2) (ON)

Online learning’s advances, concerns, distractors, and promising developments in 2021

A new article from Contact North | Contact Nord describes online learning’s advances, concerns, distractors, and promising developments in 2021. The article describes how online learning will likely see more of a focus on using AI for instruction, reimagining assessments, and see more people taking open online courses. However, online learning continues to raise concerns such as the ineffective use of Zoom, cheating, and a lack of investment in professional development. Contact North writes that they anticipate that 2021 will likely see distractions from the mission of online education, such as debates over in-person vs online education, and advises readers to watch closely for developments in AI/virtual and augmented reality for immersive learning. Finally, it describes how online education’s development and growth will depend on access to broadband internet and technology, a boom in micro-credentials, and the emergence of new delivery approaches. Contact North (National)

JIBC, CGA sign MOU giving firefighting students access to CGA training resources

The Justice Institute of British Columbia has signed a MOU with the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) that will give JIBC firefighting students access additional training resources. Through the partnership, JIBC students will have access to CGA online training and resources, which cover natural gas emergency response considerations. “We are pleased to partner with the Canadian Gas Association to improve our training of first responders in natural gas safety and the handling of related emergencies,” said JIBC President Dr Michel Tarko. “This is part of JIBC’s ongoing commitment to work with industry stakeholders to ensure we develop and deliver relevant and responsive programming and curriculum to our students. There can be no better authority and source of educational resources on the subject than the industry itself.” JIBC (BC)

Sault, Places4Students partner on centralized off-campus housing resource

Sault College and Places4Students Inc have partnered to create a resource for students looking for off-campus housing. The college states that landlords can post their property on the website and include photos, text, features, and their contact information through a free advertising model. Sault states that the centralized website will make the search for student off-campus housing easier. “This partnership provides a great opportunity to connect local landlords with our students who are searching for off-campus housing and makes the housing search a little easier by providing a centralized website to view listings and determine what they need and want in off-campus housing” said Emily Milito, Manager Housing Services at Sault. Sault (ON)

U of T, STU, UNB, UoGuelph launch anti-racism and education initiatives

The University of Toronto, St Thomas University, the University of New Brunswick, and the University of Guelph have announced partnerships that are focused on anti-racism and education initiatives. UNB and STU have partnered with Black Lives Matter Fredericton to launch the Black Lives Matter in New Brunswick Education Project database that will help educators teach about Black history in NB schools. The material can be integrated into social studies curriculum and will give teachers curriculum, lesson plans, and resources to present Black history knowledge to their students. U of T researchers have partnered with Ontario University Athletics to complete a study on anti-racism. The study focuses on a variety of topics, including racial demographics, the perceptions of the sport community, the role of postsecondary institutions, and anti-racism in postsecondary settings. At UoGuelph, Black veterinary students have launched Canadian VIBE, a national non-profit organization for fostering diversity in veterinary medicine. U of T | CBC (STU and UNB) | UoGuelph (National)

Alumni networks can increase student, graduate success: Report

A US report on alumni networks has found that these networks can be an important part of boosting student and graduate success. Campus Technology says the report found that students who connected with alumni were “more likely to graduate with the skills and networks they need for success in the workplace,” and advocates for institutions to put alumni in roles where they will interact with students. These include working with students through mentorship, career advice, experiential learning, or as part-time program delivery staff. The report also outlines five areas where alumni networks can make a difference: employment outcomes, technologies, access to alumni connections, flexibility to innovate, and rethinking alumni engagement. Campus Technology (International)

Cegep education should remain synchronous to maintain engagement with instructors: Opinion

Cegep education should not move towards increasing asynchronous class time while decreasing synchronous time with instructors, writes Jean-Sébastien Bélanger, an instructor in Sorel-Tracy Cegep’s Department of Philosophy. The author discusses the challenges associated with reduced amounts of synchronous classes, and describes the importance of instructors connecting with students in person. Bélanger further argues that distance education is not desirable because it contributes to student disengagement. The author explains that though cegeps have been precarious for almost a year, they have continued to be successful by maintaining a class schedule and a dynamic relationship between students and teachers. Increasing asynchronous distance education, he argues, would damage this environment and alienate students. Journal de Montreal (QC)