Top Ten

February 25, 2021

ON announces new tuition-free PSW program at all 24 colleges

The Government of Ontario unveiled a $115M investment to train up to 8,200 personal support workers by Fall 2021. Through a collaboration with Colleges Ontario, 6,000 new students to enroll in a new tuition-free Accelerated Personal Support Worker Training Program being offered at all 24 publicly assisted colleges. The province additionally announced a tuition grant of $2K for an existing 2,200 PSW students. The accelerated program will allow students to complete their studies in six months, instead of the typical eight-month period. “These initiatives will lead to historic improvements in the quality of life and care for our seniors,” said ON Premier Doug Ford. ON | CTV News (ON)

Institutions highlight initiatives, resources in recognition of Black History Month

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are continuing to highlight initiatives and resources to recognize Black History Month. Camosun College’s library has published a resource guide created by an alumnus for students interested in reading or watching work by Black authors and creators. A University of Guelph student has launched BIPOC Capital, an organization that supports BIPOC businesses through interest-free loans and mentorship. University College of the North is putting on a four-part interactive workshop on the West African talking drum and the Yoruba culture in partnership with Mall of the Arts. A University of Northern British Columbia professor has been using Twitter to recognize the contributions to positive change that Black Canadian academics have made. Camosun | UoGuelph | The Star (UCN) | CK PG Today (UNBC) (National)

U of T, Novo Nordisk A/S set up $40M research network on Type 2 diabetes

The University of Toronto and Denmark-based pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S have set up a $40M research network on Type 2 diabetes. The investment, which is split between U of T and Novo Nordisk, will support research done on factors which influence rising Type 2 diabetes numbers, such as urban environment, transportation, and mobility. The research network will also study how wearable technology and virtual care can impact diabetes and obesity prevention, and how risk factors and socioeconomic inequalities contribute to Type 2 diabetes. The Star (ON)

Universities, not students, need to address ongoing human rights issues

Natalie Delia Deckard, Ayesha Mian Akram, and Jane Ku of the University of Windsor describe how, after 10 years of documenting systemic racism in Canada’s universities, little change has been made. The article explains that students are carrying the burden of protesting human rights violations, which can put their education and future careers at risk as students spend time organizing against racism while often facing threats. “It is problematic that students have felt the need to independently seek OHRC support,” said OHRC Chief Commissioner Ena Chadha. “Instead, the legal and practical responsibility to examine the conditions, challenges and impediments to a respectful learning environment is in the hands of the ‘directing minds’ of universities, namely senior administrators and their human rights advisers.” The authors conclude with ten recommendations to address ongoing issues. The Conversation (National)

Humber, Siemens sign MOU to support technologies training

Humber College has signed a MOU with Siemens Canada to provide students with experiential learning opportunities to prepare them to solve real life problems. The partnership will enhance Humber’s academic curriculum, research, and learning opportunities, and will support student engagement in areas of mutual interest, such as smart buildings, sustainable energy generation, mechatronics, and hackathons. “We know that higher education-industry collaboration is vital to producing the workforce of the future,” said Humber president Chris Whitaker. “With a rapidly evolving workforce, particularly during an ongoing global pandemic, we need our partners more than ever to help us give students access to the latest technology and training in and out of classrooms and labs.” Humber (ON)

HEC Montréal, Lancaster University sign dual degree agreement

HEC Montréal has signed a dual degree agreement with the Lancaster University Management School. HEC Montréal students who participate in the program will take two years of classes in Lancaster instead of continuing into their third year at HEC Montréal. Students who complete the program will receive both a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from HEC Montréal and a MSc degree from Lancaster University. Lancaster University students will similarly be able to study for two years in Montréal and graduate from the program with the two degrees. HEC Montréal (QC)

NAIT releases campus development plan for main campus

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has released a campus development plan for the redevelopment of its Main Campus over the next 30 years. NAIT’s plan includes integrating with the Blatchford neighbourhood, “re-animating lands with new uses and new energy,” potentially developing student housing, and transforming NAIT’s LRT station into a public transportation hub. The campus will be designed to be walkable and will be flexible enough to adjust to economic or technological changes. “While this plan is rooted in our past and present, it is a vision for our future that will allow us to be a leading polytechnic and an urban destination,” said NAIT president Laura Jo Gunter. “It is also helping us to transform to make our campus the best it can be.” NAIT (AB)

The implications of the Ontario Court of Appeal’s Decisions in the Subway debacle: Romano

Lawyer Emma Romano has written a reflection on the recent release of two decisions under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) legislation related to the story about Subway, CBC, and Trent University that was first covered in the Top Ten in 2017. Romano discusses the procedural history of the cases, which began with a claim that Subway’s chicken was only comprised of “slightly more than 50% chicken,” and examines arguments made by all parties before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal. She concludes by discussing what the court decisions mean for others pursuing anti-SLAPP motions. Weir Foulds (ON)

VCC offers free Building Service Worker foundation program

Vancouver Community College is offering a new, free harmonized Building Service Worker (BSW) foundation course and antiviral cleaning/infection prevention online module. The program, which takes 24 hours to complete, is directed toward students who are interested in custodial work. The course includes online and hands-on components, and will cover topics such as green cleaning, the chemistry of cleaning, the cleaning of specific areas and surface types, and antiviral cleaning. VCC (BC)

Expanding potential professional trajectories: Opinion

Those starting out in careers as scientists should seek out challenging opportunities and approach them with an entrepreneurial spirit, writes Adriana Bankston. The author explains that being bold and seeking out mentors can allow those just starting out to gain a variety of different experiences in roles that help them advance their skills in areas like communication with non-scientific audiences. Bankston also recommends accepting opportunities, even those that you are not completely ready for, as these challenges provide learning opportunities and open the door for other unexpected experiences. “It will take courage and taking a leap of faith into the unknown, but being bold and exploring options that you hadn’t considered will get you far and may even change your professional path,” writes Bankston. Inside Higher Ed (International)