Top Ten

June 17, 2021

SK renews eight interprovincial agreements with AB, BC to support access to health sciences training

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced the renewal of interprovincial agreements that will allow SK students to access health sciences programs in other provinces. The eight interprovincial agreements (IPAs) will reserve seats for students at postsecondary institutions in Alberta and British Columbia in programs such as Respiratory Therapy, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. “These agreements provide our students with the opportunity to access education in specialized health professions that are important for the province,” said SK Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky. “This collaborative approach with post-secondary institutions in Alberta and British Columbia helps ensure our province continues to deliver high-quality health care to the people of Saskatchewan.” SK (SK)

Queen’s Provost, AVP respond to Collective Indigenous Scholars’ Statement

Queen’s University has issued a statement in response to the Collective Indigenous Scholars’ Statement on Identity and Institutional Accountability. Queen’s Provost Rahswahérha Mark F Green and AVP (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) Kanonhsyonne Janice C Hill write that they agree with several of the challenges and issues raised in the letter, and provide further detail on how the report was assessed by Queen’s. “We acknowledge that Indigenous identity is a very complex issue that remains the focus of rigorous and intense debate, particularly as it relates to equity hiring of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis (FNIM) faculty and staff,” write Green and Hill. “Queen’s encourages this inquiry and supports the continuation of respectful Indigenous processes that include meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities.” Queen’s (ON)

How institutions can support the scholarly work of student affairs practitioners: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should cultivate and support the scholarship done by student affairs practitioners, writes Chelsea Gilbert. It can be difficult for student affairs practitioners to produce scholarly work due to the lack of a supervisor and exhaustion from factors such as the pandemic, writes Gilbert, so institutions must actively take steps to support the work of “pracademics.” The author suggests that institutions should provide time for student affairs practitioners to focus on scholarship, provide funding for research, and elevate their work. “If we are truly committed to the success of not just our teams, but also our students, we must capitalize on the oft-untapped expertise of student affairs professionals,” writes Gilbert. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Carleton PhD student released from Turkish prison

CBC and the Ottawa Citizen report that Carleton University PhD student Cihan Erdal, who had been arrested and detained in Turkey during a mass arrest in September, was released from prison on Tuesday. Erdal was in Turkey last year to research his thesis on youth-led social movements and was accused of inciting terror and violence. “We were very confident that he was going to be released because it was so utterly baseless,” said Erdal’s lawyer Paul Champ. “We’re confident that Cihan will be fully acquitted in the next couple of months.” Erdal will reportedly remain in Turkey until his lawyers can gain permission for him to come back to Canada. Ottawa Citizen | CBC | CBC (video) (ON) P.S. In September 2022, Erdal officially arrived back on Canadian soil. CBC

Concordia Edmonton, IFSul establish international partnership focused on innovation, research opportunities

Concordia University of Edmonton and the Sul-Rio-Grandense Federal Institute of Education, Science, and Technology (IFSul) in Brazil have partnered to create opportunities for collaboration on artificial intelligence and machine learning projects. The partnership will see the development of research and innovation opportunities and applied research with a focus on student mobility. “We know that creating high-impact talent is critical for Alberta’s future and that the challenges facing industry today are not localized to our province,” said Dr Manfred Zeuch, VP External Affairs and International Relations. “Global challenges require global solutions, and through partnerships like this one, we can set the conditions for our students, and industries, to achieve success.” Concordia Edmonton (AB)

Olds, Loyalist sign MOU to advance Canadian agriculture

Olds College and Loyalist College have signed a MOU to work together on research, education, and training to advance Canadian agriculture. Through the two-year agreement, Loyalist and Olds will work together to establish and enhance work-integrated learning opportunities, and will potentially collaborate in areas such smart agriculture, vertical farming, and urban planning. The MOU will see the institutions sharing expertise, knowledge, and data while supporting local industries and providing opportunities for graduates to advance the sector. “Our institutions have extensive networks within Alberta and Ontario and this agreement will allow us to leverage and add value to our networks for a pan-Canadian impact,” said Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. RD News Now | YouTube (Signing) (ON)

URegina, WESK sign MOU to advance women entrepreneurship

The University of Regina’s Hill and Levene Schools of Business and Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan (WESK) have signed a MOU to advance initiatives that support women entrepreneurship in SK. The Schools of Business and WESK will be working on understanding and responding to the needs of diverse women entrepreneurs, exploring the feasibility of non-credit investor development programming, and showcasing the best practices in women entrepreneurship. “With the research projects that we have planned, we will be able to better understand the barriers and challenges that women entrepreneurs face,” said Dr Kathleen McNutt, URegina VP (Research). “This information will enable us to support women entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses and contribute to the province’s economic growth.” URegina (SK)

Boréal vet tech program has accreditation reinstated

Collège Boréal’s veterinary technician program has had its accreditation reinstated by the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT). The program has been granted “provisional accreditation” for two years in response to an appeal from Boréal. Students in this year’s graduating class are retroactively covered by the provisional accreditation and will now able to complete the provincial competency exam. “It is our sincere hope that Collège Boréal continues to address the areas for improvement and subsequently applies for full accreditation with the OAVT to ensure students graduating from their programs meet the minimum standards for entry to practice,” said OAVT in a release. CBC | Boréal (ON)

QC plans to test cegep, university air quality

The Government of Quebec is considering plans to test the air quality in cegep and university classroom as students return to in-person classes in the fall semester. Radio Canada reports that postsecondary institutions have not had to test air quality while students have been largely studying remotely. The Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur is scheduling meetings with public health to address the return of students to classes. The article says that QC does not currently know whether the buildings’ ventilation is sufficient to reduce the risk of COVID-19, and that higher education institutions have historically been encouraged to ensure that health standards and occupational safety – including ventilation standards – are carefully monitored. Radio Canada (QC)

Ryerson to require COVID-19 vaccinations for students living in residence

Ryerson University has reportedly announced that it will be requiring students living in residence to have had a COVID-19 vaccine. The decision was reportedly made for a variety of reasons, including the communal living situation of students in residence, the high rates of cases in young population groups, and to foster a welcoming community for students. Ryerson recommends that students receive a first dose two weeks before moving in. “This measure is necessary to support students’ safety, growth and development, Ryerson’s mandate and commitments surrounding applied knowledge and research to address existing and emerging society needs, and to prevent and mitigate outbreaks and disruptions during the 2021-2022 academic year,” said Ryerson spokesperson Karen Benner. CP24 (ON)