Top Ten

March 23, 2021

PEI invests over $2M in support for students

The Government of Prince Edward Island is investing over $2M to make PEI’s postsecondary education more affordable. $500K will support the Island Advantage Bursary, $200K will go to the Experiential Learning Fund, and additional funding will support initiatives such as the UPEI Open Education Resource Development Program and Mental Health Supports Grants. The University of Prince Edward Island, Holland College, and Collège de l'Île will also receive 2% budget increases to keep tuition low. “Helping students by reducing barriers to post-secondary education is an essential part of our COVID economic recovery,” said Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning Natalie Jameson. PEI (PE)

Laurentian excluded from $106M ON COVID-19 funding

Laurentian University community members and OCUFA have expressed dismay at the university’s being excluded from the $106M in funding provided by the Government of Ontario to postsecondary institutions. The funds were to go to institutions that had been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, explains The Sudbury Star but Laurentian, which has declared insolvency, was excluded. “It is beyond comprehension that this government would allocate $106.4 million to public post-secondary institutions in Ontario and not spend a single penny to support the only public post-secondary institution in Ontario currently facing insolvency,” said OCUFA President Rahul Sapra. Colleges and Universities Minister Ross Romano responded that “[a]t this time, a one-time injection of funding through this COVID-19 Support Fund is not going to fix the significant long-term and systemic challenges faced by Laurentian.” The Sudbury Star (1) | The Sudbury Star (2) | Newswire (OPSEU) (ON)

RDC students stage “Collective Day of Action,” request approval of degrees

Red Deer College students are staging a “Collective Day of Action” to encourage the Government of Alberta to approve RDC’s proposed degrees. The Students’ Association explained that RDC’s lack of degrees is forcing some students to move out of the region to earn a degree, and that the situation is difficult for 167 psychology students who were in collaborative degrees with the University of Calgary that have since been cancelled. “We do not need to be a university or a polytechnic to have degrees. If the minister needs a pen, the students of Red Deer College easily can get him a pen,” said association president Brittany Lausen. “How long will government make us wait?” RDC has submitted five degrees for AB’s approval, including Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science Psychology, Bachelor of Arts Psychology, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science Biology degrees. RDNewsNOW | Red Deer Advocate (AB)

PhD graduates seldom find jobs in the areas their programs prepare them for: Report

Recent reports documenting the employment prospects of PhD graduates highlight the need for programs to change to fit the outcomes, writes Diane Peters. Recent reports from universities such as Concordia University, McGill University, University of Toronto, University of Alberta, and University of British Columbia have found that a minority of PhDs go on to hold tenure-track positions. The author explains that while graduates found meaningful employment, it was “seldom” in the jobs for which their program prepared them. The article argues that changes such as less intensive comprehensives, lowered dissertation expectations, and integrated professional development opportunities can help prepare graduate students for meaningful employment. University Affairs (National)

YorkU instructor no longer teaching course after denying accommodation to student

An instructor from York University is no longer teaching a course after a series of messages with a student who was seeking deferral of an exam. CBC reports that a student living in Myanmar asked for a deferral after the Myanmar military coup cutting off internet and cellular services, but that the instructor denied the request. When the student asked if they needed to worry about the test, The Guardian reports that the instrutor responded: “Of course you should. The next time you miss something, it’s over. […] Your remarks (both related to this course and to your home country) made me wonder how you understand reality.” YorkU has responded by confirming that it is taking steps to address the situation, including contacting the student to assure them that they would receive accommodations and making alternate arrangements for the course’s instruction. CBC | YorkU | The Guardian | The Star (ON)

NS invests $16.8M in computer science programs

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced that it will be investing $16.8M into computer science programs in NS. The funds will support accelerated digital adaptation and the development of digital talent in NS, and will contribute to economic recovery. St Francis Xavier University will receive $794K to expand and enhance its computer science programs; Dalhousie University will receive $13.3M to support students, increase research capacity, and expand community engagement; Acadia University will receive $1.47M to improve access to digital training and enhance work with partners; and Saint Mary’s University will receive $1.27M. “Universities and the provincial government are taking a strategic approach to investments in the post secondary sector,” said SMU president Rob Summerby-Murray. “Investing in computing science and data analytics will have direct benefits for our youth and our province’s prosperity.” NS | StFX | Dal (NS)

CapilanoU, Fleming announce tourism 2+2 agreement

Capilano University and Fleming College have announced a 2+2 block agreement that will allow graduates of Fleming’s Tourism - Global Travel and Hospitality – Hotel and Restaurants Operations diploma programs to complete a Bachelor of Tourism Management degree at CapilanoU. The pathway will prepare graduates to lead the tourism industry’s post-pandemic economic recovery. “Hospitality and tourism have been two of the hardest hit industries over the course of this pandemic,” said Fleming president Maureen Adamson. “With people eagerly waiting for the opportunity to travel again when it is safe to do so, Fleming’s cross-country partnership with CapU will prepare our students with the skills and training that will be in high demand.” Fleming (ON | BC)

Blue Quills Literacy Centre, UnBQ, Portage College partner on “Read Learn Laugh” program

Blue Quills Literacy Centre, University nuxełhot’įnethaaɁehots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills, and St Paul Community Adult Learning Program at Portage College are launching the “Read Learn Laugh” program. The program will be supported by students in Portage’s Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Diploma Program and will focus on supporting Indigenous family literacy using books that contain both the nêhiyawêwin and English languages. “Read Learn Laugh is an excellent program to support literacy skills. Students in the Portage College Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Diploma Program will be making this innovative program available for learners as part of the Language Growth ELCC 222 course in the Spring of 2021,” said Patricia Flatla, Portage Program Coordinator. Portage (MB)

Postsecondary institutions respond to COVID-19 outbreaks

More postsecondary institutions have reported COVID-19 outbreaks on campus. Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are impacted by connected outbreaks; Waterloo Public Health has connected least 23 COVID-19 cases to student gatherings that occurred in three different homes. Trent University’s Gzowski College residence is now experiencing an outbreak and has been issued a Section 22 order to control infections. Luther College has shut down and will continue remote learning until after the Easter break after two students tested positive for COVID-19. Dorm students will be required to complete 14 days of quarantine. Global News (1) | Global News (2) | Global News (3) (ON)

BrandonU expands co-op program by 450 spaces through RBC Future Launch investment

Brandon University has announced that it will expand its Co-operative Education Program by 450 spaces, thanks to funding provided by RBC Future Launch. The funds will focus on expanding Co-op placements for Metis students, international students, students with disabilities, and students from rural backgrounds. “Students are so excited by the opportunity to jump right in that Co-op provides them, and it’s so satisfying to find a great match between student and employer,” said BrandonU’s Co-operative Program Coordinator. “Employers also see the benefit, as early as Day 1, and that is success we can judge from the employers who come back to the program year after year.” BrandonU (AB)