Top Ten

February 17, 2021

Canada announces further supports for international students

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has announced new measures that will provide more flexibility for international students. Eligible international students will now be permitted to complete up to 100% of their program online from outside of Canada, while remaining eligible for the post-graduate work permit. “Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting. This new policy means that students hoping to work in Canada after graduation won’t miss out on opportunities, while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow,” said Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco E L Mendicino. “Our message to international students and graduates is simple: We don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.” Canada | CICan | The Star (National)

QC premier vows to defend freedom of expression in universities

Quebec Premier François Legault has taken to Facebook to criticize the “radical activists” who he says have taken censorship and political correctness to the point of risking freedom of expression. In the statement, Legault argues that the problem started with universities and so will need to be solved at universities first, adding that QC Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann is looking into how to address the matter. The Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d’université (FQPPU) has praised the statement, according to the Montréal Gazette, and stated that it believes QC can provide universities with the tools necessary to resist outside pressure and strengthen their independence. FQPPU adds that the situation has developed out of underfunding institutions, as “controversy affects a university’s reputation and, ultimately, its financing,” and that a distinction must be made between words of a discriminatory nature and words used within a pedagogical perspective. Facebook | CBC | Montréal Gazette | CTV News (QC)

GPRC, UAlberta Campus Saint-Jean partner on French Bachelor of Education degree

Grande Prairie Regional College and the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean have partnered to offer a French Bachelor of Education degree. Through the program, GPRC students will be able to choose from four French Bachelor of Education programs at the new Grande Prairie satellite campus, which will allow them to study without having to leave Grande Prairie. The collaboration will train students to fill the needs of French immersion programs and Francophone schools across Alberta. “Together with Campus Saint-Jean we are mobilizing opportunity while delivering in-demand, student centred and future focused programming,” said Dr Brian Redmond, Dean, School of Arts, Science and Upgrading at GPRC. “It’s these types of partnerships that bring GPRC one step closer to our goal of becoming the northern centre of post-secondary excellence in Alberta.” GPRC (AB)

Dal launches juris doctor certificate in Aboriginal and Indigenous law

Dalhousie University has launched the juris doctor certificate in Aboriginal and Indigenous law. Through the specialization, students will take courses on topics such as interactions between federal and provincial laws and Indigenous people, section 35 of Canada’s Constitution, and Indigenous legal orders. The certificate program, which is a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will enhance student knowledge about Indigenous people and the law. “As we tell our students, the law touches on almost virtually every area of interaction between Indigenous peoples and the state and also Indigenous peoples’ own legal orders, and so it is so key for future lawyers to realize that,” said Assistant Professor Dr Naiomi Metallic. CBC (NS)

Lakehead, Confederation, Canadore sign MOU to support Indigenous transfer students

Lakehead University, Confederation College, Canadore College, and the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) are collaborating to streamline the transfer process for Indigenous students and strengthen transfer student retention. The MOU will see the institutions working together to establish internal and external working groups and a seamless transfer agreement for Indigenous students. “This unique partnership will find new and better ways to support Indigenous students and enrich our learning as a transfer system,” said Yvette Munro, Executive Director of ONCAT. Lakehead | Confederation (ON)

SMU, Acadia, Dal to allow students to play exhibition games

Saint Mary’s University, Acadia University, and Dalhousie University have announced that their sports teams will be allowed to play exhibition games. Hockey, volleyball, and basketball teams may be allowed to participate in exhibition games before the end of the semester. “It gives the athletes a little bit of normalcy,” said SMU athletic director Scott Gray. “Their lives have been turned upside down. Hopefully this helps their mental health and well being.” Fans will not be allowed to attend the games. Cape Breton University has announced that they are waiting for approval to participate in the games as well, while St Francis Xavier University has confirmed that it will not be participating. CTV News (NS)

Ontario Fire College closure comes as shock, sees townships push for reversal of decision

The closure of Ontario Fire College has come as a shock to firefighters in the area, reports Collingwood Today. The facility based in Gravenhurst, Ontario had been in operation since 1949 and reportedly saw a decline in training numbers over the years. “Although the college wasn’t big enough to handle all the training needs, it always gave fire departments access to affordable, high quality training in a great facility,” said OPSEU Local 317 President Chris McConnell, who added that the college could have provided education to more firefighters if it had had a larger staff. Training will be diverted from the college to be offered online and in-person at 20 smaller regional training centres across the province. Collingwood Today states that several Ontario townships have voted in favour of lobbying the provincial government to reverse the decision made in January. Collingwood Today (ON)

New cégep ranking looks to measure impact of institution

Journal de Montréal has released its revised and improved cégep rankings, which compares Quebec’s 52 public cégeps. The rankings evaluate the institutions according to factors such as the strength of incoming students and graduation rates in thirteen programs: Three pre-university programs and ten technical programs. According to the publication, the ranking aims to put cégeps that accept “initially weaker” students and have a high graduation rate at the top of the ranking, in order to demonstrate the impact that the institution has on the students. Journal reports that the Jonquière and Rimouski cégeps come first in several rankings. Journal de Montréal (Release) | Journal de Montréal (Rankings) (QC)

UNBC, Saik’uz First Nation partner on Dakelh language course

The University of Northern British Columbia and Saik’uz First Nation have partnered to offer an introductory language course in the Saik’uz dialect of Dakelh. The course, which is taught online, aims to preserve the Dakelh language. “Language revitalization is key,” said Dr Daniel Sims, UNBC chair of First Nation Studies and Tsay Keh Dene First Nation member. “But then also providing back to the community.” The course will run from February 26th to May 21st, and participants will gain three credits. Prince George Citizen (BC)

OCADU secures space in Gehry Toronto Project

A new design released by the Gehry Toronto Project for the construction of two mixed-use condo towers includes space for OCAD University. OCADU states that the space will include research and learning areas for OCADU faculty and students, and will enable collaborations with the community and local industry on arts, media, and design projects. “We see tremendous opportunities for collaboration with Great Gulf, Westdale and Dream as this project becomes a reality,” said OCADU President Ana Serrano. “With its close proximity to both OCAD University and TIFF, and situated within Toronto’s Entertainment District, this project is poised to become a cultural hub within the city, offering opportunities to showcase the talent of the next generation of artists, designers and developers.” OCADU (ON)