Top Ten

February 5, 2021

QC announces institutions can begin reopening Monday

The Government of Quebec has announced that provincial postsecondary institutions will be allowed to gradually reopen starting on February 8th with students attending in-person classes once a week or more. “I think it’s time for [students] to see people after 11 months,” said Premier François Legault. Reopening is not mandatory, and institutions will be allowed begin teaching classes in-person when they have made adequate preparations. CBC reports that Concordia is waiting to hear more details before it announces the specifics of an in-person return, while McGill has acknowledged that it will soon be permitted to gradually implement activities such as “tutorials, conferences sections, some laboratories activities, or some lectures.” Montreal Gazette | CBC (QC)

Concordia Edmonton announces PsyD in Clinical Psychology

Concordia University of Edmonton has announced that it will be launching its first doctoral program: A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology. The five-year program will meet local mental health needs while providing students with opportunities to practice leadership skills. Students will complete 1,600 hours of clinical residency, teach undergraduate courses, and provide supervision in a clinical setting. “Our PsyD program has been designed to create a strong foundation on which our students will continue to build throughout their careers,” said Dr Tim Heath, Concordia Edmonton Dean of Arts. “We are focused on setting the conditions for our students to be successful, address meaningful clinical problems, and improve everyday practice.” Concordia Edmonton (AB)

Canada announces $6.7M investment into Phase II of The Canada Learning Bond Pilot Project

The Government of Canada has announced that it is making a $6.7M investment into postsecondary education for families and at-risk communities through Phase II of The Canada Learning Bond Pilot Project. Organizations can apply to receive up to $1M over two years to test ways to help people access Registered Education Savings Plans and the Canada Learning Bond. The project will focus on children from at-risk communities and youth who are transitioning to postsecondary education. “[O]ur most vulnerable communities are the ones that face the greatest barriers to accessing [the Canada Learning Bond],” said Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion. “With the funding I am announcing today, we can help reach and support more Canadian families so they can build a better tomorrow.” Canada (National)

Durham launches two degree programs, graduate certificate program

Durham College has announced that it has launched two degree programs and a graduate certificate program to address labour shortages in high-demand areas. Students in Durham’s Honours Bachelor of Construction Management will be prepared for careers in construction and technology sectors through multi-disciplinary training that includes a field placement, while the Honours Bachelor of Artificial Intelligence will prepare students for careers in artificial intelligence. Durham has also launched a three-semester Pharmaceutical Science graduate certificate program, which will prepare students for careers in the pharmaceutical sector. Durham (ON)

BrandonU board member resigns after announcement of travel restrictions

Brandon University board member and board treasurer Kerry Auriat has resigned after the provincial government’s announcement of travel restrictions on order-in-council appointees to boards, agencies, and commissions. According to the Brandon Sun, Auriat said that he travels frequently and would rather step down than potentially become an embarrassment to BrandonU. “It was easier for me to say ‘I’ll step down’ than, in a month or two, somebody doing some kind of a study and finding out that maybe I have travelled,” said Auriat. Brandon U told the Sun that no other members of its Board of Governors had resigned and Assiniboine Community College has reportedly not received any board resignations. Brandon Sun (MB)

HS students, young adults face difficult decisions about Fall 2021

High school students are deciding if they should pursue postsecondary education in the fall semester or wait until classes resume in person, writes CBC reporter Jessica Wong. The article discusses the stories of students who are facing difficult decisions about their educational futures while facing uncertainty about the postsecondary experience for Fall 2021 semester. The author says that some students have chosen to stay at home and take classes part-time or full-time classes; others have chosen to pause their education because they feel that learning online would not give them the same experience. “I would be isolated, doing my homework and my schoolwork by myself,” said 18-year-old Mika Leblanc. CBC (National)

Postsecondary institutions use virtual events for recruitment, mentoring, career networking

Postsecondary institutions are developing virtual and online ways to recruit new students and connect graduates with employers. Université du Québec à Montréal has announced that its Open Doors event will use over 100 activities, including webinars, one-on-one sessions, and chat rooms to engage people who are interested in UQAM. Enactus Lakehead has launched the Dear Stranger platform, which allows students to connect with upper-year Lakehead students. The University of Prince Edward Island is finding a way to connect UPEI graduates with potential employers; UPEI has asked potential employers to produce recruitment videos that students can watch so that students can make connections with companies. UQAM | CBC (UPEI) | Lakehead (National)

Carleton announces renaming of three campus buildings to recognize diverse communities

Carleton University President Benoit-Antoine Bacon has announced the New Names for New Times initiative, which seeks to recognize Carleton’s diverse communities. The initiative will see Carleton engage Algonquin communities, Black communities, and the Inuit community as they rename three main campus buildings: The University Centre, Residence Commons, and Robertson Hall. “ I am proud that Carleton will be taking this important step towards further strengthening our commitment to Indigenous Reconciliation and against anti-Black racism,” said Bacon. Carleton (ON)

U of S Muslim student Zoom ceremony hijacked by individuals yelling threats, racism

A Zoom ceremony organized by the University of Saskatchewan Muslim Students Association on the anniversary of the Quebec mosque shooting was hijacked by people making racist statements and uttering threats. CBC reports that as the names of the shooting victims were read, someone said “Shut up. No one cares. Shut up,” before other people yelled death threats, praised Hitler, and drew a swastika on the screen. “It’s hard to explain how it feels to be attacked like that and the harassment and the threats that all Muslims should die. It was just so — I can’t explain it,” said Iqra Khan, the association’s treasurer. The article says that after the individuals were removed from the service, the meeting continued, but that students feel shaken by the event and are seeking support. CBC (SK)

RRU removes barbed wire from fencing to send message of openness

Royal Roads University has announced that it will be removing the barbed wire that tops its fencing. The university, which was formerly a former military academy, made the decision as part of its vision of “inspiring people with the courage to transform the world.” Times Colonist describes a variety of other initiatives that RRU is undertaking to ensure that the campus is inviting to people from all stages of life, which include opening the forest trails, creating community gardens, eliminating admission fees, and removing the barbed wire. “We have this spectacular gift of land and we want to bring people in to feel part of it,” said RRU President Philip Steenkamp. “At the same time, we want to be out in the community providing learning.” Times Colonist (BC)