Top Ten

February 18, 2021

Huron announces plans to become independent institution, grant own degrees

Huron University College is pursuing the option of granting its own degrees, a move that the London Free Press states would alter the Huron's 150-year relationship with Western Univers “Western and Huron have very distinct missions and I believe that Huron can best fulfill its mission if it has control over its curriculum and academic life,” stated Huron President Barry Craig. The Free Press says that Huron plans to request permission to grant degrees from the Government of Ontario while maintaining most of its current affiliation agreement with Western. If the Board of Governors votes in favour of the change, the changes would come into effect for the class of 2026 in the 2022-2023 academic year. Officials from King's University College and Brescia University College stated that they have no plans to distance themselves from Western.  London Free Press | HUCSC | The Gazette (ON)

Impact of NB blended learning model on applications debated

Representatives from postsecondary institutions are discussing what impact New Brunswick’s blended learning high school education model, in which students alternate in-person class with at-home learning, will have on student applications to postsecondary institutions. While some experts say students could be disadvantaged by not being properly prepared for life after graduation, others indicate that the blended model will have no effect on how applications from NB students will be considered by universities. “We trust that the program that’s being offered will meet our requirements,” said Ann MacDonald, associate director of admissions at Dalhousie University. Mount Allison University admissions counsellor Mark Lasanowski added that this model of learning may give students an advantage in blended or online university programs. CBC (NB)

Government advisor releases Laurentian interim report, Hache describes plans for restructuring

An ON government advisor working on Laurentian University’s financial issues has released an interim report that states that Laurentian’s deficits date back to at least 2014. “Laurentian University cannot even state precisely how long it has been in the zone of insolvency ... (which) does not reflect well on the university,” wrote advisor Alan Harrison. Harrison wrote that current university president Robert Hache is not to blame for the situation, noting that the university "was routinely taking deficits budgets to its board, without ... the board ever instructing (the university) to deal with this issue." In a Sudbury Star editorial, Hache outlined the university’s plans for restructuring "through a restructuring of our operations and academic programs with a bottom-line focus on student interest, financial sustainability, and strong outcomes." CBC | The Sudbury Star (ON)

SFU, Lakehead experience, respond to cyberattacks

Lakehead University and Simon Fraser University have recently been the subjects of cyberattacks. Lakehead has cut off access to its servers and has required all computers on campus to be shut off to manage the attack. Additionally, information on university servers as well as access to Lakehead’s Google-based services will be unavailable for a time. SFU has found that the personal information of around 200,000 people was exposed by a cybersecurity attack on a SFU server. The server contained information about students, alumni, applicants, faculty, and staff, but did not include bank account information or social insurance numbers, and SFU has said that there is low risk of identity theft. CBC (Lakehead) | CBC (SFU) (ON | BC)

BCI releases report on actions taken by QC universities to welcome Indigenous students

The Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire (BCI) has released a report on the ways that Quebec universities have made postsecondary education more accessible for First Nations members. The report describes the performance of each of the province’s 19 universities in the areas of governance, education, student experience, research, and services to the community. The report found that many universities have Indigenous people present in research activities, offer Indigenous studies and language programs, and promote a welcoming environment. “We wanted to know where we were starting from,” said BCI leader Johanne Jean. “This portrait allows us to be inspired by what others do. There are great initiatives in all university establishments.” CTV News (QC)

Queen’s defers renovation of John Deutsch University Centre

Queen’s University has announced that it will be deferring the renovation of its John Deutsch University Centre by a year. The decision was made to avoid an increase in fees during the COVID-19 pandemic, since most of the funding will be contributed by students through an increase in fees. “Deferring the introduction of additional fees until September 2022, and reducing overall risks to the project, is welcome news,” said Jared den Otter, President of Queen’s Alma Mater Society. Queen’s plans to move the project forward in May 2022. Queen’s (ON)

UoGuelph, Multiplex Genomics Inc, LifeLabs partner on high-volume COVID-19 testing

The University of Guelph has partnered with Multiplex Genomics Inc and LifeLabs to boost Ontario’s COVID-19 testing capacity and provide screening to identify variants of the virus. UoGuelph will provide technology for the high-volume testing and results within 24 hours. “This new alliance will lead to unprecedented testing capacity for COVID-19 and, more importantly, for its variants that are circulating without careful tracking in the population,” said Paul Hebert, Multiplex Genomics CEO and director of UoGuelph’s Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. The information gathered by the test results will help to inform the structuring of vaccines. UoGuelph | Guelph Mercury (ON)

Laval receives $900K research chair on permafrost

Université Laval’s Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics has received up to $900K from the Government of Québec over three years to create and support a research chair on permafrost in Nunavik. The chair will research adaptations to climate change through collaboration with communities and organizations in the region, as well as facilitating the application of research results by the communities. “This research chair will enable our institution to strengthen the ties that have already been established with northern communities and First Peoples,” said Sophie D’Amours, Rector at Laval. “Research carried out in partnership with these communities and in keeping with their ancestral knowledge will allow northern populations to be more resilient and develop their territory more sustainably.” NationTalk (QC)

Fleming launches employment support prototype for ON

Fleming College has announced the launch of the Muskoka-Kawarthas Service System Manager (SSM), a Government of Ontario prototype that aims to provide employment support for those looking for jobs. The SSM will provide job seekers with skills training and support in searching for jobs, as well as coaching during the first year of work. “We are pleased that the Ontario Government chose Fleming College to lead its new SSM model, and stand ready to address current labour market needs and advance the future of employment services,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. Fleming (ON)

MtA, UNB create MtA Pathway program

Mount Allison University and the University of New Brunswick have signed a MOU to create the MtA Pathway program. The program will allow MtA undergraduate students who are studying in the areas of law, education, and business to continue graduate and post-graduate education in several UNB programs. “This memorandum of understanding (MOU) is an example of our commitment to collaborating and working together to drive growth and development within our region, while providing New Brunswick students with the opportunities to grow and thrive in a challenging world,” said UNB President Dr Paul Mazerolle. “We want to encourage graduates to stay in New Brunswick to build a better and more equitable future for all.” MtA (NB)