Top Ten

May 19, 2021

Canada announces $10M for recruitment, training, mentoring 2,000 energy advisors

The Government of Canada has announced that it is investing $10M to recruit, train, and mentor 2,000 energy advisors and support the retrofitting of 700,000 homes. The energy advisers will support the Canada Greener Homes Grant by providing EnerGuide home evaluations to homeowners, helping them understand how to improve their house’s energy efficiency, and aid the homeowner in making changes that will offer the best return for their investments. Carleton University’s Efficiency Canada, which has benchmarked the number of energy advisors in Canada and worked to promote energy advisor careers, was a part of the announcement. The announcement included a call for proposals from partners to help develop the energy efficiency workforce. NewsWire | Canada (CFP) | Carleton | Efficiency Canada (National)

Teachers, students worry high school graduates are not prepared for postsecondary studies

A recent CBC News questionnaire has found that teachers across Canada are concerned about high school students who may struggle as they enter postsecondary studies. CBC reports that teachers worry that students have fallen behind, with 70% saying that they felt students would not catch up by the time in-person classes started again. “A significant group of students are significantly behind with potential long-term consequences,” said Wilfrid Laurier University professor and researcher Kelly Gallagher-MacKay. Grade 12 students also told CBC that they are worried that they have not been well equipped for postsecondary education. “I just feel like we're not very well prepared [for postsecondary studies]” said Markham District High School student Charis Liu, who said that her grades “skyrocketed” because exams were cancelled and tests were open book. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (National)

ON to provide almost 400 postsecondary projects through Virtual Learning Strategy

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will be providing postsecondary institutions with support for almost 400 projects as a part of its $70M Virtual Learning Strategy. The projects focus on partnerships that aim to transform virtual learning in key priority areas such as creating or adapting digital content, ensuring faculty and students are able to teach and learn online, identifying technologies that support online learning, and providing Indigenous institutions with support. “Our Virtual Learning Strategy is aimed at creating a platform that will allow all postsecondary institutions to compete in the new and necessary environment of learning from home,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “These projects will help ensure institutions and their faculty have the tools they need to create great curriculum online and that students can access education where and when they need it.” ON (ON)

Dawson, John Abbott, Vanier release joint statement on Bill 96

Dawson College, John Abbott College, and Vanier College have released a joint statement responding to Bill 96. The colleges state that a variety of aspects of the bill need to be clarified, such as the French exit exam and the application of enrolment caps. They also argue that Bill 96 will not address students’ desire to attend English cégeps or the interest parents have in supporting their children in becoming bilingual, and that the bill may force students to study outside of QC. “As institutions of higher education, we believe in the principle of freedom of choice, which provides young adults with the opportunity to shape their own future, as well as admissions based primarily on academic qualifications,” reads the release. Dawson (QC)

Strategies for institutions moving forward after COVID-19: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should avoid getting stuck in a rut when planning the move back to “normal” post-pandemic, writes Kimberlee Josephson. The author explains that institutions should be innovative and business-minded when considering how to keep enrolment numbers strong. Josephson discusses four areas in which institutions can adopt an innovative business mindset: product innovation, process innovation, marketing innovation, and organizational innovation. The author suggests focusing on program offerings that set an institution apart from others, offering a wide variety of options for accessing program offerings, enacting change through marketing innovation, and getting students involved within the organization to boost connections. “[I]f institutions want to inspire future generations to go further and challenge existing norms, they must do the same,” writes Josephson. University Business (Editorial)

UWindsor’s SHIELD, AUTOCRYPT partner on security solution R&D

The University of Windsor’s SHIELD Automotive Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence and AUTOCRYPT have partnered to collaborate on research and development focused on security solutions for connected and autonomous vehicles. SHIELD and AUTOCRYPT will collaborate on security-focused technologies for connected and autonomous vehicles through use of AUTOCRYPT’s over 5000 kilometers of smart highways and roadways and SHIELD’s research and innovation in automotive cybersecurity technology and ability to provide training. The partnership will emphasize the importance of securing vehicles and mobility infrastructure in order to build awareness of the value of automotive cybersecurity. NewsWire (ON)

Concordia, Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation partner on digital oral archive project

Concordia University has partnered with the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation to start a digital oral archive project through a collaborative agreement with the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. The project will focus on creating an archive that will deepen understanding of artist Jean Paul Riopelle by gathering stories from those who knew or were inspired by Riopelle and providing these to the public. The project will be led by Lea Kabiljo, a doctoral student at Concordia’s Department of Art Education. “This oral archive promises to take us beyond the images, photos and works of Riopelle to discover the artist behind the art,” said Manon Gauthier, executive director of the Jean Paul Riopelle Foundation. Concordia (QC)

Researcher turned back on research chair due to ethical concerns

Le Journal de Montréal reports that Polytechnique Montreal researcher Christopher Pal decided to refuse a $4M research chair funded partly by Huawei amid the controversies surrounding the company, leading the polytechnic and Huawei to cancel the creation of the chair position in 2019. The cancellation was reportedly made at the “eleventh hour,” as the partners had been planning to set a date to announce the creation of the chair. Pal explains that he stepped away due to ethical concerns, and that an article in the Globe and Mail about the Canadian Security Intelligence Service advising institutions to be cautious in partnerships with Huawei was the last straw. The researcher told Le Journal that it was the right decision to make, but that he refuses to criticize other researchers who collaborate with Huawei. Le Journal reports that the ties between the polytechnic and Huawei have continued to develop in recent years. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Choosing work-life balance in an academic career: Opinion

Work-life balance is difficult to achieve when working an academic career, writes Joshua Kim. The author describes the challenges that academics today have with managing academic careers compared to the challenges of the previous generation. Kim describes the way that the academic job market has declined over the last few decades, compared to its growth in the 1970s, as well as the financial constraints that lead to the need for both individuals in a couple to work, such as home costs, tuition costs for children, and other expenses of life. Kim also discusses the way that changes in technology and the use of digital communications platforms have led to the erosion of work-life balance. The author concludes by emphasizing the importance of academics choosing to prioritize balance. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Acadia student creates lab to share traditional Mi’kmaw knowledge

Acadia University student Leah Creaser, member of the Acadia First Nation, has created a lab to share Mi’kmaw traditional knowledge with first-year biology students. Creaser noticed her first-year lab on plant identification did not include information on Mi’kmaq use of the plants, and her professor invited her to create a lab based on Mi’kmaw traditional knowledge as part of a research assignment. The lab has since become a core part of Acadia’s required biology course. The lab gives information on the Mi’kma’ki, medicines made from the plants, their identification, and plant names in Mi’kmaw and English. “I ... did it for every Indigenous student who’s sitting in those seats because we need to see more of that,” said Creaser. “There needs to be the acknowledgement, the meaningful acknowledgement.” CBC (NS)