Top Ten

May 26, 2021

AB institutions to suspend new research with links to Chinese government

The Government of Alberta has ordered the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge and Athabasca University to suspend all new research with links to the Chinese government. A letter sent to the institutions by the AB Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios expressed concern over the Chinese government potentially stealing Canadian intellectual property for use in its military and intelligence agencies. The letter requested that they “pause the pursuit of any new or renewed partnerships with [People’s Republic of China/Chinese Communist Party]-linked entities, undertake a thorough review of their institution’s relationships with entities potentially linked to the PRC/CCP, and ensure these ongoing partnerships follow stringent risk assessments and due diligence.” CBC says that the institutions are required to submit a report to AB within 90 days. Edmonton Journal | CBC (AB)

Using co-operatives to solve issues faced by postsecondary students, staff: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions could use campus co-operatives to solve problems faced by staff and students, writes Michelle Stack, Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. The author explains that housing and food insecurity issues were already prominent before COVID-19, and that post-COVID-19, it may be difficult or impossible to go back to “normal.” Stack says that co-operatives are a way that students can access a more affordable education and ensure more money is invested into the education system. The author says that co-ops are also able to better weather economic downturns. “Co-ops provide a place to learn about more democratic and equitable ways of living, working and learning together — and also offer ways to re-imagine alternative business models,” writes Stack. The Conversation (Editorial)

CICan joins Groningen Declaration Network

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has announced that it has joined the Groningen Declaration Network (GDN), an organization that supports digital credential mobility. The membership will see CICan working with other GDN signatories to cooperate internationally in a variety of areas, including fair credential recognition, student data exchange, and privacy concerns. “Given the rapid changes in the labour market, we believe it is essential to facilitate credential recognition so learners can more easily move across geographic and institutional boundaries,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. “This means more digital data portability to enable learners to access and manage their own records throughout their lifetime. We believe these principles are key to the future of a successful work force.” CICan (National)

Dawson Student Union files request for injunction to block in-person exams

Dawson Student Union has filed a request for an injunction against Dawson College to keep it from holding in-person exams during the COVID-19 pandemic. Global News reports that in-person exams have been scheduled for chemistry, math, and physics classes. DSU chairperson Kevin Contant-Holowatyj explained that Dawson students are concerned that they might catch COVID-19 while travelling to take the exam or while writing the exam, and are worried that this will put their families at risk. Contant-Holowatyj noted that Dawson has been “unwavering” and has not made concessions on in-person exam requirements. “After a resounding opposition to in-person exams from our students, it is clear to us that we had to move forward. … Students have a right to feel safe in their learning environment,” said Contant-Holowatyj. Montreal Gazette | Global News (QC)

Loyalist launches Financial Technology graduate certificate

Loyalist College has announced that it will be launching a Financial Technology graduate certificate program. The program will prepare students to work in the financial services centre, with a focus on digitizing and mobilizing financial services. The program will take eight months to complete, and students will complete an applied workplace project in their second semester. “Low-touch, high-tech preferences for dealing with money, driven out of necessity by the COVID-19 pandemic, have forever transformed the way businesses operate and transact,” said Loyalist President Dr Ann Marie Vaughan. “[Employers are] looking for help navigating and implementing the best solutions for their customers, and our graduates will be ready to respond and lead.” Loyalist (ON)

Lethbridge College, NLC, CNA establish education partnerships with local community

Postsecondary institutions across Canada have announced the establishment of educational partnerships with local communities. Lethbridge College will be working with the Taber Police Service on an initiative that will allow candidates to self-sponsor their training, rather than being sponsored by the police service. Six people can participate in the initiative, which is reportedly the first in the province. Northern Lakes College and the Town of Hinton have established a partnership that will see NLC offering its programming and services to residents of the town through its Supported Distance Learning model. College of the North Atlantic’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation will be partnering with high schools in Newfoundland and Labrador on a pilot project that will see students earning micro-credentials and postsecondary course credits as they complete grades 10-12. My Lethbridge Now | NLC | CNA (National)

Camosun receives $444K for student scholarships, new equipment

Camosun College has announced that it has received $444K in funding from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Seaspan for student scholarships and new equipment. The funding, which will be provided over three years, will allow Camosun to offer additional scholarships and bursaries for women and Indigenous students in trades programs. Students can use the funds to pay tuition, as well as costs related to schooling such as food, childcare, work clothing, and equipment. $144K will go towards acquiring equipment such as marine welding booths and virtual training consoles for a new marine welding program. The investment aims to address BC’s shortage of trained tradespeople who work in a variety of areas, including the shipyards. Times Colonist (BC)

UAlberta establishes research chair in Forest Growth & Yield

The University of Alberta has announced that it will be establishing a new research chair, the Endowed Chair in Forest Growth & Yield, through an over $4.1M endowment from the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta. Robert Froese will hold the chair, which will focus on biodiversity, sustainably managing land for timber, and forest growth and yield. Froese will research how various factors affect the landscape and create models of forests to inform the forestry industry. The chair will be housed in UAlberta’s Department of Renewable Resources in its Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES). Froese will also teach undergraduate and graduate students within the faculty. UAlberta (AB)

UWinnipeg PACE graduates to earn advanced standing for SCMP designation

A partnership between the University of Winnipeg’s Professional, Applied and Continuing Education (PACE) and Supply Chain Canada will allow graduates of UWinnipeg’s Supply Chain Management diploma to achieve a Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation. The designation will increase opportunities for graduates entering the supply chain profession in a variety of areas, such as sourcing, logistics, inventory, and distribution. “This partnership with Supply Chain Canada allows our graduates to not only take the next steps to certify their knowledge through the industry association but also demonstrate their commitment to continued excellence,” said PACE Executive Director Kim Loeb. UWinnipeg (MB)

Prioritizing diversity for more innovative research: Opinion

Canada must prioritize diversity within STEM disciplines in order to produce more innovative research, writes Jennifer D Adams, Canada Research Chair of Creativity and STEM and Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. The author describes some of the challenges that minorities face within the Canadian context, such as racially diverse instructors receiving lower wages and prestige and being seen as “illegitimate academics.” Adams also discusses the lack of mentors for STEM students who have diverse backgrounds. The author says that diversity leads to the highest quality of science, increased citations, and more equitable peer review. Adams explains that the systemic barriers students face to pursuing STEM fields need to be understood and dismantled, and the work of Black and Indigenous scientists needs to be made visible. The Conversation (Editorial)