Top Ten

April 1, 2021

African immigrant students deterred from postsecondary education: Report

A report from Wilfrid Laurier University has found that African immigrant students in Southern Ontario have been deterred from pursuing postsecondary education. The study interviewed 67 young African immigrants and found that these students faced barriers such as experiences of systemic racism, discouragement from taking classes that led to higher education, and low expectations from teachers and counsellors. Additionally, factors such as academic streaming and types of curricula determined which African students proceeded to postsecondary education. The report gives a variety of recommendations to combat the issue, including inclusive treatment, encouragement and support from school authorities, and understanding that streaming and/or tracking policies impact students’ career ambitions. WLU | CBC (ON)

McGill turns 200 years old

McGill University has announced that it is celebrating its 200th anniversary. The university is celebrating with a special broadcast – Celebrate 200: Launching Our 3rd Century – as well as Bicentennial celebrations that will be held throughout the year. “As we embark on our third century,” said McGill Principal Suzanne Fortier, “McGill’s greatest strength will continue to be its people – people who, through their pursuit of knowledge, their creativity, and their commitment, will shape the future of our University and our world." McGill (QC)

NAIT launches four skilled trades programs, receives TAC accreditation for five engineering programs

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has launched four new School of Skilled Trades diploma programs: Advanced Plumbing Technology, Advanced Welding Technology, Automotive Service Technology, and Electrical Installations Technology. The two-year diploma programs will teach students the skills and knowledge needed to write the exam required by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training. Students have the option to either secure employment at an apprenticeship provider or complete their apprenticeships through NAIT’s complementary apprenticeship offerings. NAIT also recently received accreditation from Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) for five engineering technology programs: Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Design, Nanosystems Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Power Engineering NAIT | TAC (AB)

Canadore, IION, EnCata partner to create Industrial Solution Centre

Canadore College’s Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping (ICAMP) has announced that it has partnered with Innovation Initiatives Ontario North and EnCata to launch the Industrial Solution Centre. The centre, which will open in 2022, will house specialized equipment to enable Northern businesses to create prototypes. The centre will allow businesses to get insight from engineers who can guide the testing process and become involved in the design, development, and testing of their ideas. “Students will work with these companies through the Centre, and we have no doubt that they will bring new and progressive skills to the workforce when they graduate,” said Canadore President George Burton. Northern Ontario Business | Canadore (ON)

Douglas proposes expansion to provide additional academic, student housing spaces

Douglas College has proposed a new expansion that would provide additional academic and student housing spaces near its main campus in New Westminster. The proposed L-shaped tower that would introduce 217,000 square feet of academic space and 121,000 square feet of student housing. The building would enable programs to expand, as well as creating 244 beds for students. 350 employees would work within the academic space at the building’s opening, with some transferring from a nearby leased space. The proposed lower levels of the building would use concrete construction, while the upper levels would use encapsulated mass timber construction. The proposal also includes 344 underground vehicle parking stalls and 303 bike parking spaces. Daily Hive (BC)

MtA announces launch of interdisciplinary academic programs, two minor programs

Mount Allison University has announced the launch of multiple interdisciplinary academic programs for Fall 2021. Programs include a Joint BA major in Computer Science + Economics, an Honours BSc in Computer Science + Physics, the Major and Honours BSc in Biopsychology, and a Major and an Honours BA in Visual and Material Culture Studies. MtA has also launched two minor programs: Visual and Material Culture Studies and Screen Studies and Popular Culture. “The new program offerings are aimed at providing an interdisciplinary education for students and helping to prepare them for future careers in any field in New Brunswick and beyond,” says MtA President Dr Jean-Paul Boudreau. MtA (NB)

Queen’s medical students revamp their curriculum to include diverse skin tones

Students at Queen’s University’s medical school have worked together to ensure that diverse skin tones are represented in their course materials. After noticing that many slides only showed images of medical conditions on white people, students Aquila Akingbade, Iku Nwosu, and Eric Zhang embarked on a curriculum review of all of their classes. “[Dermatology classes are] where you would expect to see diverse skin tones because it’s a skin-focused specialty,” said Nwosu. “But we still saw entire lectures of entirely white skin.” After conducting the review, the students used medical image libraries and other materials to create packages for their professors with suggested updates. The students have also shared the framework with students at schools such as McGill University, Université de Montréal, and NOSM. “This issue was not something that was unique to Queen’s University,” said Akingbade. “This is something that was actually quite prevalent in the entirety of North America.” The Star (ON)

Fleming launches Plumber Apprenticeship program

Fleming College has announced the launch of a new Plumber Apprenticeship program for registered apprentices with sponsoring employers. Apprentices will complete three 240 hour in-school sessions that cover basic, intermediate, and advanced skills and provide an understanding of advanced topics relating to plumbing systems, piping systems, and trade documentation. Training will be held at the state-of-the-art Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre, which has cutting-edge technology and labs. Fleming (ON)

RCMP investigating racist attack on UBC student, UBC president expresses horror

The RCMP are seeking witnesses after a Korean University of British Columbia student was attacked in the University Village neighbourhood. The student was taking out the garbage while working at a store when she was approached by a man who used a racial slur before attacking her. “This investigation is in the early stages and we are not ruling any motives including that this crime had an element of bias or hate involved," stated RCMP Cst. Christina Martin. UBC President Dr Santa J Ono issued a statement through Twitter to express his horror after hearing about the racist and misogynistic attack in the neighbourhood. “I know that this will be unsettling for our community,” wrote Ono. “We must continue to work together to affirm our commitment to challenge all forms of racism and discrimination.” Ubyssey | Castanet (VIA) | Vancouver Star (BC)

External review finds no external influence in U of T’s decision to rescind offer of employment

Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell has completed an external review of the University of Toronto’s decision to rescind an offer of employment to Valentina Azarova and concluded that a sitting judge’s concerns did not influence the decision. The article explains that Cromwell found that the decision had instead been influenced by concerns around Azarova’s need for a work permit and request for summers off. Shree Paradkar of The Star argues that the report has revealed impropriety and gaps in confidentiality in the hiring process. The Globe and Mail | The Star (ON)