Top Ten

March 16, 2021

UTM, Redbird Circle Inc launch Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program

The University of Toronto Mississauga, in partnership with Redbird Circle Inc, has launched the Indigenous Entrepreneurship Program. The program will provide support to Indigenous students and alumni from all three U of T campuses. The training uses the medicine wheel as a teaching tool, and students will build foundational knowledge in lessons about personal development, healing, reconciliation, and community building, before using the knowledge in a venture or community project-creation. “The history of oppression of Indigenous Peoples in Canada creates unique challenges for their participation in entrepreneurship, and we hope this program will help level the playing field,” says Ignacio Mongrell, assistant director of ICUBE. U of T (ON)

MB students, faculty push back against Bill 33

Students and faculty are pushing back against Bill 33, which they say will make it possible for the Government of Manitoba to set tuition and student fees or make some student fees optional, potentially threatening student-led initiatives. Winnipeg Free Press explains that student and faculty organizations are calling for MB to withdraw the bill because of its negative impact on academic freedom and student services. “To perform their mission, universities must be free from political interference over academic matters,” said Scott Forbes, president of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations. MB Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Wayne Ewasko has responded to the concerns by tweeting that many services would not be affected, explaining that Bill 33 “excludes fees set by student unions or associations from future tuition and student fee guidelines.” CBC | Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Gaelic College to create Mabou Hill College satellite campus

The Gaelic College will be creating a satellite campus in Mabou, Cape Breton, through $1.92M in funding from the Government of Nova Scotia. The funding will transform the former St Joseph’s Convent and Renewal Centre into Mabou Hill College, also known as Beinn Mhàbu. The college will offer a foundation year program with options to study Gaelic culture and history, with select for-credit courses provided by Cape Breton University. Mabou Hill College will also house artists-in-residence, a Gaelic Medium School, and a Gaelic radio station. “The Gaelic culture, Mi'kmaw culture, African Nova Scotian culture, all those things really help to ensure that we have celebration of our traditions and, again, the economic benefits are huge,” said Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin. CBC | Chronicle Herald (NS)

UOttawa expands French teachers’ education at Windsor campus

The University of Ottawa has announced plans to expand French teachers’ education at the university’s Windsor campus. UOttawa will spend $1.2M to renovate a new location for the Windsor campus, which will enable the campus to double the number of students on-site and add a new junior/intermediate teaching program. It will also accommodate a master’s degree program, professional development, and will serve as a community hub for French speakers. “This project will enable us to considerably increase our capacity to educate future teachers in Southwest Ontario, and to diversify our program offerings in Windsor," said Richard Barwell, dean of UOttawa’s faculty of education. CBC (ON)

ON, SK postsecondary institutions discuss changes to enrolment, applications

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario and Saskatchewan are discussing changes to enrolments and applications. The Ontario Universities’ Application Centre has noted that high school students have submitted around 10,000 more applications to universities this year. In contrast, The London Free Press says applications to ON colleges has dropped almost 6%. “It seems to be consistent across the board for all colleges that direct student numbers have declined and to varying degrees the non-direct students have climbed,” said Fanshawe Student Recruitment Officer Devin Robinson. CTV News reports that the University of Saskatchewan has seen an increase in applications for its College of Medicine and College of Nursing, with a 12% increase in applicants to the nursing program. “I think as the months have unfolded and people have really seen the impact of nursing and other members of the healthcare team, and really their ability and their desire to sacrifice for the greater good, has been inspiring,” said College of Nursing Associate Dean Hope Bilinski. London Free Press | CTV News (ON | SK)

MSVU announces Bluechardt stepping down as president

Mount Saint Vincent University has announced that Mary Bluechardt has stepped down from her role as president early. CBC says that Bluechardt, whose term was set to expire on June 30, 2022, had to state her intention to renew the contract by Jan 1, 2021. MSVU Board of Governors Chair Anne McGuire said Bluechardt had “recently announced” that she was not planning to reoffer. “In light of this, the Board and Dr. Bluechardt have agreed that she will leave the University before the end of her term to permit the Board to move forward on the search process and for Dr. Bluechardt to pursue other opportunities, including her focus on national and provincial board work,” said McGuire. Former MSVU president Ramona Lumpkin will return as interim president. CBC (NS)

Building collaboration between faculty and staff: Opinion

Faculty members are becoming more aware of the work that staff members do, writes Jenae Cohn, but many faculty still do not trust staff to take on decision-making. The article discusses the roles that staff play on campus and describes three ways to encourage collaboration between staff and faculty. The author suggests offering incentives for faculty-staff partnerships through grants, fellowships, or special groups. Cohn also suggests rethinking hierarchical traditions and creating shared experiences. “[I]f you’re going to hire highly skilled people — who have a clear and sophisticated understanding of institutional cultures and expectations — why not take advantage of our expertise?” asks Cohn. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

ON postsecondary institutions, law enforcement prepare for St Patrick’s Day

Ontario postsecondary institutions and law enforcement are working together to plan for St Patrick’s Day. Brock University has hired additional Niagara Regional Police to complete neighbourhood patrols, while Brock’s Student Union will be providing safe alternatives to in-person gatherings through the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre. Wilfrid Laurier University and City of Waterloo officials are preparing to monitor the university district in order to stop any parties before they can occur. Kingston police and officials have been using pamphlets to educate people in the Queen’s University and St Lawrence College areas on social gathering rules and the fines for breaking them. I Heart Radio | Kitchener Today | CTV News (ON)

GPRC to launch two health career pathways

Grande Prairie Regional College has announced that it will launch a Health Care Aide certificate program and a Practical Nurse diploma program. The eight-month Health Care Aide program will train students to provide basic health services and support patients in a variety of settings. The Practical Nurse program will train students in the required skills to be licensed with the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta and will prepare students to provide care within acute care settings. “Not only does this decision set the stage for better local outcomes, these programs will add even more depth to GPRC’s growing portfolio of important health care professions,” said Dr Carly McLeod, Interim Dean, Health, Wellness and Career Studies. GPRC (AB)

UNBC pilot project to end period poverty, install free menstrual product dispensers

The University of Northern British Columbia is piloting a project to end period poverty by installing free menstrual product dispensers in high-traffic campus washrooms. The pilot program, which is spearheaded by several student organizations, will provide eco-friendly products in select washrooms to give menstruating people the tools they need to attend campus. “We don’t want people to have to choose between coming to class or staying home because they don’t have proper products to make their day comfortable and sanitary,” said UNBC Social Work student Emily Erickson. “Everyone has the right to feel clean and comfortable.” UNBC | CBC (BC)