Top Ten

February 23, 2021

Community pushes back against demolition of UAlberta’s historic Ring Houses

The University of Alberta community is continuing discussion about the planned demolition of UAlberta’s historic Ring Houses. In a piece published by the Edmonton Journal, Marlena Wyman discusses how, even though there are costs to keeping houses, there are also social and historical costs to demolishing them. “Our built heritage is a tangible representation of our cultural heritage. The U of A, the province’s first university, should value its importance of place in history,” writes Wyman. Another Edmonton Journal article tells the stories of people who lived in the homes while emphasizing their significance to the community. “I ask the university administration to recognize the DNA embedded in these homes and restore them,” writes Ellen Schoeck. Edmonton Journal (1) | Edmonton Journal (2) (AB)

Canada invests $63.5M in trades training and certification

The Government of Canada is investing $63.5M over five years to help people facing barriers access skilled trades training and certification. The funding will see key groups, such as women, newcomers to Canada, people with disabilities, and racialized Canadians gain training and certification to prepare them to enter the skilled trades workforce as the economy recovers. The UA Piping Industry College of British Columbia’s Inclusion in the Trades from Upgrading to Red Seal Certification project will receive almost $9M for skills improvement programming for over 500 apprentices. “This funding will allow us to continue supporting underrepresented groups in the trades and help bring training to communities around the province of British Columbia,” said William Schwarz, Director of Operations at the College. Canada (National)

Ryerson to launch Cairo satellite campus

Ryerson University has announced that it will be launching a satellite campus in Cairo, Egypt through Universities of Canada in Egypt. Ryerson’s Cairo campus will enable local students to study subjects such as civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering; media production; and sport media through the Faculty of Communication and Design or the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. Ryerson will have oversight on the hiring of staff and faculty as well as course content. “This exciting partnership with Universities of Canada in Egypt, and new educational model, will make Ryerson’s strong academic programming available to more students as we continue to enhance the international scope of our aspirations and influence,” said Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi. Ryerson (ON)

UBCO pushes RCMP to revisit case after student talked out of laying charges against voyeur

A University of British Columbia Okanagan student states that she was talked out of laying charges by the RCMP after she was the victim of voyeurism on campus. The student says that she was filmed by another student while using a co-ed bathroom on campus. UBCO’s campus security called the RCMP, and in the following conversations between the responding officer and the student, the RCMP officer allegedly repeatedly expressed concerns about the suspect’s future if the suspect was charged. In the following months, the student continued to stay in touch with UBCO’s campus support centre director Shilo St Cyr. CBC reports that St Cyr reached out to deputy vice-chancellor Deborah Buszard, who in turn called on the RCMP to revisit the case. The RCMP has since assigned a new officer to the case, and the student is now pressing charges. CBC (BC) Update, March 18: The RCMP has charged the accused student with voyeurism. The accused is set to make his first court appearance in April. CBC

NB says “no promises” to universities after call for emergency funding

NB Minister of Postsecondary education and training Trevor Holder has indicated that he is not willing to commit to providing additional funds after four universities issued a request. The University of New Brunswick, St Thomas University, the University of Moncton and Mount Allison University have requested additional funds totalling $10.6M, citing a decrease in enrolment due to the pandemic. Holder indicated that the additional money would come with “difficult conversations” about the funding of postsecondary education. Green MLA Megan Mitton told CBC that she would encourage NB to provide the funds while People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin expressed reticence based on conversations with students. CBC (NB)

Medical schools see steep uptick in applications for 2021-22

North American medical schools have been receiving record numbers of applications for the 2021-22 academic year, writes Dylan Short from the Edmonton Journal. Compared to last year, Ontario’s medical schools have reportedly received 10% more applications, while nursing programs received 17.5% more applications. In the US, the Association of America Medical Colleges reported an 18% increase in applications to medical schools. The article says that the uptick could be related to a variety of factors, including the presence of medical workers in the media and applicants having the time to complete application prerequisites. Edmonton Journal (National)

ON provides over $4M to colleges, institutions to train PSWs

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will be investing over $4M in Personal Support Worker (PSW) training. The funding goes to a number of initiatives at institutions across the province. Canadore College will provide 20 unemployed individuals from Ontario Works with PSW training, Mohawk College will train 20 PSWs, and the Victorian Order for Nurses will train 33 participants through a partnership with Trios College and the National Association of Career Colleges. ParaMed London and Burlington/Hamilton will each train 30 individuals through the PSW Fast Track program with Conestoga College. ON (ON)

Campuses should support faith-based student supports: Opinion

Faith-based supports for students need to receive more institutional support, write Nimao Ali, Raina Lawendy, and Imam Yasin Dwyer. The authors explain that while students are increasingly accessing chaplaincy services for mental health issues that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, many chaplains are either volunteers or are funded through religious organizations or private donations. “Universities should reflect on this deficiency and invest in more dedicated and long-term sustainable solutions for providing chaplaincy services,” write the authors. “Similarly, dedicated government funding could go towards student mental health. The need to take care of the hearts and minds of students, helping to build what we hope is a post-pandemic world, has never been more apparent.” Ottawa Citizen (National)

NSCC, ACC programs aim to diversify shipbuilding, welding

Nova Scotia Community College and Assiniboine Community College are running no-cost programs in order to draw underrepresented students into careers in shipbuilding and welding. NSCC’s Pathways to Shipbuilding program, run in partnership with Irving Shipbuilding, the government, and community partners, works to bring groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in shipbuilding, such as women, Indigenous students, and African Nova Scotian students into the profession. CTV News reports that the most recent cohort was fully comprised of African Nova Scotians. ACC has announced that it plans to extend a partnership with Conestoga College that will allow diverse students to gain access to a tuition-free welding program. This intake will focus specifically on equity-seeking groups such as Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and people who are underemployed. CTV News (NSCC) | Brandon Sun (ACC) (NS | MB)

Surpassing job search challenges during COVID-19: Opinion

Searching for jobs in the current economic climate can feel overwhelming, writes Brandy L Simula, but effectively managing the job search can help alleviate pressure. The author discusses five strategies that job-seekers can use to more effectively search for opportunities while protecting their mental health. Simula recommends strategically managing the job search by setting a schedule for search activities and strategically applying for appropriate jobs. The article also discusses developing a strong support network, managing sharing information about a search with others, developing a self-care routine to mitigate stress, and remembering that you have control in your career path. Inside Higher Ed (International)