Top Ten

May 3, 2021

AB releases Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy

The Government of Alberta has announced Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs, a 10-year strategy for its postsecondary system. The strategy includes six key goals, including improving access and student experience, developing skills for jobs, supporting innovation and commercialization, strengthening internationalization, improving sustainability and affordability, and strengthening system governance. The strategy will cap tuition fees, boost student aid, and allow AB’s largest postsecondary institutions more freedom and autonomy. “Our system will be highly responsive to labour market needs, allowing our programs, services and policies to keep pace with the changing needs of industry and economy,” said Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides. AB | Lethbridge News Now | CBC | Edmonton Journal (AB)

Using HCL to improve the experiences of university communities: Opinion

Human-centric lighting (HCL) can improve the experiences of university communities, writes James Tu. HCL uses advanced electronics and control technologies to control wavelengths of light and minimize flicker. The article explains that HCL can improve the university community’s wellness, reduce environmental impact, and maximize long-term investments. The author says that HCL can be used to adjust wavelengths throughout the day to match biological clocks, increase student learning and test scores, and help student athletes perform at their best in the evening. Tu explains that HCL decreases flicker, which can promote wellness by decreasing eyestrain, headaches, or fatigue. Additionally, the author says certain wavelengths can disinfect surfaces and the air, and that HCL is sustainable long term. University Business (International)

TRU, Skeetchestn Indian Band, TteS partner on ASUR certificate

Thompson Rivers University has partnered with the Skeetchestn Indian Band and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) to create the Applied Sustainable Ranching (ASUR) Certificate through $300K of funding from the BC First Nations Post-Secondary Partnership Program. The certificate will train students in regenerative agriculture and traditional and cultural land use practices, including topics such as grazing management, riparian management, invasive species, and soil management. Students will complete the program through distance learning, and will have the opportunity to complete work practicums and workshops at Secwépemc community ranches and farms. “Food sovereignty, or our ability to take control over our food, is so important to make sure our youth do not lose the traditions of the past,” said Terry Denault, Skeetchestn Elder advisor to the program. “This program will help ensure our indigenous practices are incorporated into the teachings.” Castanet | TRU (BC)

MRU receives $15M for transformation of student spaces

Mount Royal University has received a donation of $15M to transform empty and old spaces within MRU’s main building into spaces that will enrich student experiences. The gift, which is from the Taylor Family Foundation and is added to the Government of Alberta’s $50M in capital funding, will see MRU’s former conservatory converted into four multi-functional classrooms. The former library space will be converted into a student services hub, which will focus on innovation, inclusion, and experiential learning programs. “This donation will enhance the student experience by supporting much-needed classroom and gathering spaces, as well as the supports and services provided on campus,” said Spirit River Striped Wolf, president of the Students’ Association of MRU. MRU | Calgary Herald | CTV News (AB)

George Brown launches The Food Tourism Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate

George Brown College has announced that its Centre for Hospitality & Culinary Arts has launched The Food Tourism Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate. The certificate will prepare students to start their own food tourism businesses, work with existing businesses, and pursue consultancy work in the sector. Students will be trained in topics such as sustainability and transparency, the evolution of hospitality, and post-pandemic processes and consumer expectations. “As the economy recovers from the pandemic, the hospitality and tourism industries are poised to bounce back,” said Mohamed Mohsen, Chair, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at George Brown. “With a robust recovery on the horizon, this is an ideal time to study, train and get ready to join a dynamic, sustainable and vastly diverse sector.” NewsWire (ON)

Maritimes graduates experience rise in unemployment due to pandemic: Report

A report released by the Maritimes Provinces Higher Education Commission shows that there has been a rise in unemployment for those who recently graduated from Maritimes universities. The report indicated that 14% of Maritimes university bachelor graduates in 2018 were unemployed between September and December 2020, while only 8% of the class of 2012 and 9% of the class of 2014 were unemployed after two years. CBC reports that 50% of the class of 2018 had had their employment affected. “Maritimers are experiencing significant challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent university graduates are no exception,” said commission CEO Catherine Stewart in a news release. “The increase in the class of 2018 unemployment rate compared to previous graduating classes can be tied to the pandemic.” The Star | CBC (National)

BrandonU launches the Teaching House program

Brandon University has announced the launch of the Teaching House, a program that will focus on creating space to share Indigenous knowledge. Teaching House is a gathering place that will put on events approximately once a month featuring a variety of different topics and teachings. “The Teaching House is the vision for a gathering place for the sharing of knowledge and teachings for all nations – created for connection, relationship and community,” said Cree Knowledge Keeper Susie McPherson-Derendy. “Initial events and conversations are a starting place that will help shape the Teaching House vision – inviting, including and involving many voices.” The aim is to build the Teaching House’s programs into monthly events that allow people to engage in learning, sharing, and relationship building. BrandonU (MB)

Report on NL state of higher education recommends lifting tuition freeze

The All Hands on Deck report, which examines the state of higher education in Newfoundland and Labrador’s, has offered 84 recommendations for the province’s postsecondary institution network, including lifting NL’s years long tuition freeze. The report calls for a new tuition model that gives postsecondary institutions more autonomy. “We’ve got the lowest tuition in the country. How long is that sustainable?” asked NL’s Education Minister Tom Osborne. “The amount to freeze tuition keeps growing.” NL students have concerns about the suggestion, and Kat McLaughlin, director of advocacy with Memorial University's student union, explained that the current tuition draws students from across the world to MUN. The Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador noted that a tuition increase would make student debt increase rapidly. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (NL)

Cegep teachers to go on strike in May

Cegep teachers who are part of the Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec (FNEEQ-CSN) have announced that they will be going on strike for two days in May. Teachers from 40 cegeps will hold strikes to protest the deadlock in negotiations with the government on their collective agreement, which expired a year ago. FNEEQ-CSN is protesting that continuing education lecturers receive lower pay than regular teachers, and are requesting that resources be supplied in certain disciplines, and for increased support for students with disabilities. Journal de Montréal (QC)

How academic libraries might change post-pandemic: Opinion

Academic libraries provided valuable leadership during the first days of the pandemic, in which classes had to be put online quickly, writes Scott Carleson, and are now faced with decisions about shaping the library’s future. The author discusses the way that libraries have adapted over the pandemic, and notes the potential for a permanent shift to the digital with outreach programs and careful curation of online resources to keep the library’s work in front of community members. The author suggests that libraries pursue having much more aggressive outreach programs, creating “holistic online experiences,” and exploring how hosting online events can encourage more participation. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Subscription required) (International)