Top Ten

April 12, 2021

Postsecondary institutions partner with Palette Skills to reskill workers

Postsecondary institutions across Canada have partnered with Palette Skills to help Canada recover from COVID-19’s economic impact. The initiative aims to collaboratively identify talent gaps and develop strategies to help workers fill roles in growing industries through building upon and scaling skilling models. Founding members of the partnership include Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, University of Guelph, Université Laval, University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto. “Canada has an extremely talented and diverse workforce, but we lack accessible pathways to transition large sections of the Canadian workforce into careers in industries that emerge from the pandemic ready to grow and compete on a global scale,” said Palette Skills CEO Arvind Gupta. “This newly announced consortium of business and higher education partners ensures that we can effectively provide a broad cross-section of opportunities to Canadians.” Business Wire (National)

UAlberta to receive $20M investment in bio-science industry from AB

The Government of Alberta has announced that it will be investing $20M in the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute (AVI). The funding, which will be invested over four years, will support accelerated research and development of vaccine and pharmaceutical treatments, and will support the bio-science industry in Alberta. “With the support of the Government of Alberta's investment in the U of A's Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, the province of Alberta will play an even larger role in vaccine and therapeutic research, development and production moving forward,” said UAlberta president Bill Flanagan. “[W]e can set a bold vision to speed the development of vaccines from discovery to market so urgently needed in Canada today.” AB | Edmonton Journal (AB)

Dal-led Black history project receives $1M federal investment

The Government of Canada has invested $1M in the A Black People’s History of Canada project, which is led by Dalhousie University Professor Dr Afua Cooper. The project will expand education on the history of Black Canadians through the creation of new bilingual materials for elementary and secondary teachers and students. “It is important that all Nova Scotians and all Canadians know the full story of people of African descent in this country — not just one or two names or places,” said Tony Ince, Nova Scotia Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs and Minister responsible for the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives. “That’s why I’m so thrilled to see Dalhousie University and Canadian Heritage undertaking this historic project.” Dal (NS)

Canada launches five multidisciplinary infectious disease modelling networks, invests $10M

Canada has announced the launch of five multidisciplinary infectious disease modelling networks with a total investment of $10M. The networks will work with the Public Health Agency of Canada to form a comprehensive research consortium and support short-, medium-, and long-term public health decisions. The networks are led by Dr Caroline Colijn at Simon Fraser University; Dr V Kumar Murty at the University of Toronto; Dr Huaiping Zhu at York University; Dr Christopher McCabe at the University of Alberta; and Dr Patrick Brown at the University of Toronto. Canada (National)

Ryerson releases report on student diversity in programs

Ryerson University has released the Student Diversity Self-ID Report, a report on student diversity in its programs. The “report card” examines the student body’s representation of women, racialized people, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ people and how these compare to the makeup of the GTA and Ontario. The study found that in undergraduate programs, faculty diversity scores averaged between 54% and 72%, while graduate programs averaged between 40% and 75%. "Equity and diversity are essential to Ryerson's continued evolution, as the university is strengthened by the broad ideas and rich experiences that our community members share with one another every day," said Saeed Zolfaghari, interim provost and vice-president, academic. "With this added insight into Ryerson's current student body, we are much better positioned to identify gaps and to create opportunities that will improve representation across our faculties for years to come." The Star | Ryerson (ON)

Professor files lawsuit, accuses MtA of reneging on recruitment promises

A professor has filed a lawsuit against the Mount Allison University, alleging that the university did not keep the promises it made during recruitment, reports CBC. CBC and Global News report that, during the recruitment process, business professor Steve Salterio met privately with MtA president Jean-Paul Boudreau and made special requests about his teaching assignments. Salterio states that he was assured that the faculty dean could “make it happen,” but that this was not followed through on after Salterio accepted the position and moved to New Brunswick. Saltiero is alleging “negligent misrepresentation,” and is claiming lost income, lost research grants, other costs, and damage to his reputation. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Fred Ferguson has permitted the lawsuit to go to court. No date has been set for the trial. Global News | CBC (NB)

UNBC expands BEd program through new delivery model

The University of Northern British Columbia has announced that it will expand its Bachelor of Education program by revitalizing its delivery model. Students at the Terrace and Quesnel campuses will be able to complete the program at their home campuses through a combination of in-person and blended learning. Students will also complete practicums in their home communities and two-week immersive sessions in Terrace, Quesnel, or Prince George. “The design of the Bachelor of Education program reflects northern British Columbia’s rich cultural diversity, especially concerning Aboriginal and Indigenous populations,” says UNBC Interim President Dr Geoff Payne. “This commitment ensures we are giving students the chance to complete their studies and practicum placements closer to home and at the same time meeting the need to train qualified teachers across the north.” UNBC (BC)

Fleming, LIT sign agreement to expand academic pathways

Fleming College and the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) have signed an omnibus articulation agreement to expand academic pathways for Fleming graduates. The agreement will allow Fleming graduates to enter the third or fourth year of LIT’s relevant degree programs, which include Business Studies and Biotechnology. “This has been a valued partnership over many years, and it all started with an MOU,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “We are thrilled to be adding to the many pathway options for our graduates to enhance their educational credentials with a degree and gain invaluable international experience while doing it. The variety of programs included in this omnibus agreement is proof of how robust and important our collaboration is with LIT.” Fleming | PTBO Today (ON)

QC adds training to police technology curriculum

Quebec’s Higher Education Ministry has added 45 hours of training focused on minority groups to the curriculum covered by police technology students. The Montreal Gazette states that the training will help to improve how students interact with minorities in an urban setting or in First Nations or Inuit communities. The article explains that the changes have been made in response to recommendations from task forces and commissions. “The next generations of police will be even more aware and, above all, better equipped in their dealings with these communities,” said Benoit Charette, QC minister responsible for the fight against racism. Montreal Gazette (QC)

How COVID-19 might change postsecondary teaching for the better: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions may not go back to their pre-pandemic ways of teaching and evaluating students, write University of Ottawa Associate Professor Eric Champagne and UOttawa Research Assistant Aracelly Denise Granja. The authors discuss the challenges of adjusting to online learning, but explain that the change to the virtual classroom has also led to positives. The article describes how the change has made universities more aware of the barriers students might face to accessing online learning, such as personal computers and internet, as well as demonstrating how online learning can help reduce costs for students. Champagne and Granja write that it has also led to greater accessibility for some students, such as those with disabilities or adult learners, leading to their participation in postsecondary programs. The Conversation (National)