Top Ten

March 24, 2021

UAlberta, TELUS partner to establish 5G “Living Lab” at UAlberta

The University of Alberta and TELUS have entered a five-year partnership to establish a 5G “Living Lab” at UAlberta. A $15M investment from TELUS will allow UAlberta to acquire 5G infrastructure, which will enhance its capacity in areas such as precision agriculture and autonomous vehicle systems. “Having precision agriculture highlighted in the first stage of the partnership will create unique opportunities for us to generate new, innovative ideas with our partners,” said Stan Blade, dean of UAlberta’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences. “Our expertise across the entire agrifood value chain and extensive industry collaborations will generate many new initiatives in both teaching and research using the strengths of the TELUS 5G Living Lab.” UAlberta (AB)

INRS announces creation of five inter-university research units for strategic research

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique has announced the creation of five unités mixtes de recherché (UMR) in partnership with five universities in the Université du Québec network: Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, the Université du Québec à Rimouski, the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, the Université du Québec en Outaouais, and the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. The inter-university research units will prioritize research that will be strategic for Quebec, such as materials and technology for energy transition, cybersecurity, digital transformation to support regional development, sustainable health, and Indigenous studies. The project, which is funded through $15M from the Government of Quebec, will create three new professorships at each UMR. UQuébec (QC)

Camosun’s Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology receives TAC accreditation

Camosun College has announced that its Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (Renewable Energy) program has received accreditation by Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC). The accreditation, which is granted to programs that meet or exceed TAC’s criteria during an audit, will allow Camosun graduates to expedite their professional certification through Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC and other Canadian certifying bodies. “Receiving TAC accreditation for our program is an important way that we can demonstrate to our students the value of their credentials,” says Alan Duncan, Chair, Electronics and Computer Engineering Department at Camosun. It is the first program at Camosun to receive TAC accreditation. Camosun (BC)

AB scales back performance-based funding, institutions concerned about budget cuts

The Government of Alberta has announced that it will be scaling back its plans to implement performance-based funding this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AB will base each institution’s funding on their ability to meet work-integrated learning targets for a one-year term. Postsecondary institutions are responding by warning that the budget cuts will have an impact on AB’s economic growth, and that if institutions are unable to stay competitive, students will leave to pursue education in other provinces. The Association of Academic Staff at the University of Alberta (AASUA) have responded to the funding cuts by creating an online petition to attempt to reverse them. “[I]n order for the province to recover properly, economically, from COVID-19 we need the kind of innovation, research, creativity, (and) entrepreneurship, that only comes from a thriving post-secondary sector,” said AASUA president Ricardo Acuña. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | Edmonton Journal (AB)

Western joins Business + Higher Education Roundtable

Western University has announced that it has joined the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), a national consortium of postsecondary partners devoted to creating more work experience opportunities for students. The membership will bolster Western’s student work-integrated learning opportunities in order to increase innovation and collaboration. “It’s all about offering the best preparation for, and careers in, the knowledge economy,” said Western president Alan Shepard. “Western has to be front and centre in this work, and we need to engage in ways that we haven’t always been. The Roundtable provides Western with a ready-made platform to collaborate with major institutional partners across the country that share the same goal.” Western (ON)

NAIT, Schneider Electric partner on NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has partnered with Schneider Electric to complete phase two of NAIT’s Centre for Grid Innovation and extend the centre’s capacities. The partnership will support the installation of Schneider Electric's EcoStruxure Microgrid Operation (EMO) and Microgrid Advisor for Energy Optimization and Economic Dispatch. The system will provide technologies to maximize renewable energy use and test connected and off-grid scenarios. "Our partnership with Schneider Electric is crucial in developing the infrastructure that our Centre for Grid Innovation uses to support companies in developing, testing, validating, and advancing products and training in the distributed energy field," said Sandra Marocco, VP Industry Partnerships and Chief Marketing Officer at NAIT. NewsWire (AB)

George Brown, Sheridan enter partnerships to foster diversity, inclusion

George Brown College and Sheridan College both recently announced new partnerships and programs to improve diversity and inclusion. George Brown has partnered with RBC and the Michael “Pinball” Clemons Foundations to produce a 13-week Foundations in Banking program. The program is for BIPOC youth who are interested in the financial sector, but face barriers including low income, underemployment, or unemployment. In addition to being considered for recruitment by RBC, each graduate will receive a certificate from George Brown. Sheridan has partnered with Pride at Work Canada to foster an inclusive and respectful workplace for 2SLGBTQ+ persons. Sheridan will create a dedicated profile page on the Pride at Work Canada’s website and have employment opportunities featured in the Pride at Work Canada’s job board database. Additionally, Sheridan employees will be able to access free webinars and workshops through the Pride at Work Canada’s webinar page. Nation Talk (George Brown) | Sheridan (ON)

QC college teachers announce strike at “opportune moment”

The Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ) has announced that the 10,000 Quebec college teachers it represents will be on strike as of March 30. The union membership has voted 73% in favour of a strike lasting “the equivalent of five days” and occurring at an “opportune moment.” Members of the CSQ are protesting the stalled negotiations with the government, as well as requesting more support for teachers and better salaries. Elementary and high school teachers represented by the CSQ will not participate in the work action. Montreal Gazette (QC)

ON provides $2.35M to fund OHL postsecondary programs

The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries has announced that it will be providing $2.35M to the Ontario Hockey League to fund postsecondary education programs during COVID-19. The funds are part of the $15.3M that ON pledged to support sport and recreation organizations and high-performance athletes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Times Colonist explains that each of the 17 Ontario hockey clubs will receive $138K for player scholarship commitments, with more possibly providing funding to help the league return to play. Times Colonist | The Sudbury Star (ON)

UFV undertaking Building Renewal Project

The University of the Fraser Valley is embarking on a Building Renewal Project, funded by the Government of BC, that will see upgrades to the campus’s Building A. The project, which is “98% complete” according to UFV, includes improvements to the building’s exterior, energy efficiency, and updated infrastructure such as Wi-Fi, fibre networks, lighting, flooring, and window coverings. Classrooms have been repainted and touchless entry has been installed for access to A-East. “While we certainly miss the energy our students bring to campus, this project is another example of the work being done to ensure the best possible campus learning environment upon their return,” said UFV President Joanne MacLean. “We’re especially excited knowing this targeted capital funding from the Ministry will continue to help us engage learners, transform lives, and build community for generations to come.” BC | UFV (BC)