Top Ten

March 3, 2021

CIBT funds construction of Education Mega Centre’s construction

CIBT Education Group Inc has announced that its subsidiary, GEC Education Center Limited Partnership, is planning to fund the GEC Education Mega Center’s construction. The Center will be located in downtown Surrey, BC and will have space to house at least five postsecondary institutions. The institutions will share spaces such as dining areas, student lounges, an electronic library, and video-conferencing and meeting rooms. The 542-foot-tall building will have student-centric apartments, allowing students to reside in a location that will save them time and money. The Center will also be located near Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus and Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey Central Campus, enabling students from these campuses to reside in the building as well. Street Insider (BC)

YorkU partners with RBC Future Launch to support Jean Augustine Chair

York University has partnered with RBC Future Launch, which has provided $1.2M to York to support the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community and Diaspora. The chair creates and builds initiatives to support Black youths and scholars in their education. The donation will support to programs in four areas, including hosting the first National Conference for Black youth in Canada; supporting pipeline initiatives to encourage high school students to enter university; establishing a Canadian data hub; and creating new opportunities, supports, and training for Black scholars. “York University is committed to offering a diverse student population access to a high-quality, research-intensive university committed to the social, economic, cultural, and environmental well-being of society,” said YorkU President Rhonda L. Lenton. YorkU (ON)

AU to develop Integrated Learning Environment

Athabasca University will be launching the development of an Integrated Learning Environment (ILE) that will bring together online learning, teaching, and learning support. The ILE will provide a single environment for learners, allowing them to navigate between courses, resources, records, and academic and financial services within the platform. The ILE will also provide instructors with tools and services that will automate many of their tasks. AU says that they will be seeking input and feedback from both learners and team members on the ILE and will be working with D2L and Ellucian on the technological components. AU (AB)

Students believe value of PSE has declined: US Report

A new report on US postsecondary education has found that has found that report from Barnes & Noble Education indicates that in the US context, students both believe that the value of PSE during COVID-19 has decreased, and that online classes should cost less than in-person classes, writes Greta Anderson. The survey showed that nearly all students questioned the cost of PSE and say that it should be reduced, while only 43% of administrators and 41% of faculty members felt the same. The report also showed that students were interested in their institutions providing more career planning services, mental health supports, and academic supports. Inside Higher Ed (International)

MHC launches accounting post-diploma certificate, puts first year of business diploma online

Medicine Hat College has announced that they are launching a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation post-diploma certificate. The certificate will enable students to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce and gain a CPA designation. Students will also be able to participate in a work placement through the program. MHC has also introduced a new online option for the first year of the business diploma program to give learners additional flexibility and reduce barriers. MHC (AB)

UoGuelph receives over $4M in NSERC funding for six research projects

The University of Guelph has received over $4M in funding from NSERC to fund six research projects. These projects include the development of “pollution-eating bacteria” to be used in an aquifer that has been polluted by a hazardous chemical will receive, an investigation into the gut function and digestive disorders in dairy calves, the development of new barley cultivars, and more. “This generous funding will enable University of Guelph researchers to pursue cutting-edge investigations that will lead to real-world improvements in food production, drinking water protection and human health,” said Dr Malcolm Campbell, VP (research) at UoGuelph. UoGuelph (ON)

Holding “sitting beside” job assessments to help leaders develop: Opinion

“Sitting beside” job assessments can be valuable and productive in helping leaders develop during a challenging year with uncertainties ahead, writes Larry Braskamp. The author explains that a Sitting Beside Assessment Is an assessment that is built on mutual trust and provides both challenge and support to the administrator. Braskamp writes that an assessment should highlight the qualities, actions, and the advancements of developing leaders, foster and promote collaboration, and be future-focused. The author goes on to provide tips for conducting effective “sitting-beside” sessions. “[A] Sitting Beside Assessment provides a useful mind-set and strategy for fostering the development of leaders in this era of heightened uncertainty,” writes Braskamp. Inside Higher Ed (International)

Northern universities are undermined by policies, not market: Opinion

The challenges that Northern universities face come from government policy, not the market, argues Catherine Murton Stoehr. The author argues that policies such as the Liberal government’s funding based on annual enrolment and the 2013 cuts to spaces in teachers’ colleges by 50% have disproportionately damaged Northern institutions. Stoehr explains that the Northern grant is inadequate to make up for the economic disadvantages these policies create. Furthermore, these policies undermine Northern schools’ efforts to support students while “finding efficiencies” and “right sizing.” “Financial instability in the province’s Northern universities results from interventionist government policies that seriously threaten northerners’ access to, and control over, research and university education to the detriment of all,” writes Stoehr. The Sudbury Star (ON)

UMontréal to offer psychotherapy, workshops, sleep clinic for students

Université de Montréal has announced that its students will be able to access psychotherapy through an external provider of psychological services. The services, which are funded by a grant from the Government of Quebec Ministry of Higher Education, will increase the capacity of the Services aux étudiants by over 15%. The funds will allow the Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique to offer workshops on anxiety, self-esteem, and depression in collaboration with organization Relief. Students will also gain access to the HALEO sleep clinic and online sleep-enhancing and coaching services such as a sleep optimization program, cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia, and consultations with specialists. UMontréal (QC)

ON PSE consider options for Fall course delivery

Ontario postsecondary institutions are considering their plans for education for the Fall. Western University has announced that returning to in-person learning may be an option for the fall term, depending on vaccine availability and the vigilance of Western’s community. The University of Ottawa is planning to have a “revitalized” Fall semester campus experience and is equipping classrooms with technology that will allow both in-person and video conference teaching. UOttawa is also planning more in-person services and improved residence options for the fall semester. Algonquin College has announced that it will be continuing its current model of education, which uses virtual learning with some in-person classes, in the Fall term. CTVNews (Western) | CTVNews (UOttawa) | CTVNews (Algonquin) (ON)