Top Ten

July 6, 2021

Resetting higher education post-pandemic: Goel

Higher education has a post-COVID-19 chance to reset, writes University of Waterloo President Vivek Goel, and going back to what was once considered “normal” would be a “failure.” Goel explains that the pandemic has proven that teaching can be both innovative and flexible, as well as highlighted issues around inequality, globalization, populism, and nationalism. The author explains that post-pandemic higher education can be reimagined to create a foundation upon which to address generational challenges. “A successful postpandemic university will be one that sees this moment for what it is: a time to seize technological advances to build on centuries of expertise; to use these technologies as a tool to break down barriers to access; and to understand how these challenges are connected,” writes Goel. The Globe and Mail (Editorial)

Seneca launches Bachelor of Engineering – Software Engineering program

Seneca College has launched a Bachelor of Engineering – Software Engineering program to prepare students for careers in artificial intelligence (AI). The program takes four years to complete, and students will learn how to use AI to solve complex problems. Students in the program will also gain hands-on skills and experience and technical skills, and will be given opportunities to develop their leadership, critical thinking, and project management skills. “We are proud to offer Seneca’s first engineering degree that will fuel digital futures and contribute to Canada’s economic recovery,” said Ranjan Bhattacharya, Dean of Seneca’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering Technology. “Graduates will be able to create intelligent software that saves lives, increases production, informs societal and business decisions and builds secure infrastructure.” Graduates of the program will be eligible to pursue a professional engineering license. Seneca (ON)

Tech companies get involved with creating micro-credentials to train, reskill workers

Faced with challenges in hiring postsecondary graduates who have the right skills, tech companies are working with institutions to design micro-credentials that will fill the skills gaps in their industries. The Financial Post says that by the time they graduate, many students’ knowledge and skills sets may be out of date, or they may not have familiarity with the new technologies that have become popular in the industry. In response, those within the industry are helping to create micro-credentials to fill their vacancies in a shorter amount of time and to reskill workers from adjacent industries. “The consequences of relying on a traditional university experience is that we’re putting our future generations at a disadvantage if we’re expecting them to have work experience to start with,” said Evans Adnani, senior lead for Shopify Inc’s postsecondary training program. “[S]o it will be up to industry to start new programs to try to train their employees.” Financial Post (Editorial)

NS adds 70 permanent first-year nursing seats at CBU, Dal

The Government of Nova Scotia has added 70 permanent nursing seats to help meet the demand for nurses. 62 seats will be added to Cape Breton University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which will bring the number of seats in this program to 133. Dalhousie University’s Yarmouth campus nursing program will receive eight permanent seats, bringing its total number of seats to 33. “We need more nurses, which is why we are significantly increasing the number of first-year nursing seats at Dalhousie University’s Yarmouth campus and Cape Breton University,” said NS Health and Wellness Minister Zach Churchill. “This means more people can complete their education here at home, and we will have more nurses to provide the care we need in the future.” CBC | Dal (NS)

ULethbridge develops certificate courses to help foreign-trained accountants gain CPA

The University of Lethbridge’s Dhillon School of Business has developed three certificate courses that will provide a pathway for foreign-trained accountants to gain their Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. The certificate courses, which are part of ULethbridge’s CPA Bridging program, will give students the opportunity to complete the courses required to acquire their designation and advance their careers. The Post-Bachelor Certificate in Accounting Fundamentals was created for students with a degree that is unrelated to accounting, while the Post-Bachelor Certificate in Advanced Accounting is for students who have previously completed substantial accounting coursework or an accounting degree. The Post-Bachelor Combined Certificates in Accounting combines these programs into a two-year program that includes a co-op position. ULethbridge (AB)

Carleton signs on as founding academic partner in Hub350

Carleton University has announced that it has signed on as a founding academic partner in Hub350 through a partnership with Kanata North Business Association (KNBA). Hub350 is a global tech centre run by KNBA that provides access to high-tech businesses that are both Canadian and internationally based. Through Hub350, Carleton will provide students with enhanced work-integrated learning opportunities while filling the talent pipeline and fostering research and collaborative relationships. Carleton will be opening an innovation space at Hub350 this fall, which will provide professional development training through custom and open enrolment programs. “Carleton’s partnership with KNBA will allow us to expand the impact of our research and education partnerships,” said Dana Brown, dean of the Sprott School of Business. “That will benefit everyone.” Carleton (ON)

Sask Polytech joins UArctic network

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it has joined the University of the Arctic higher education and research institution network. Through the membership, Sask Polytech students and faculty will have enhanced Arctic program options, as well as the opportunity to support more northern research. Sask Polytech will also work on a project that will reimagine energy security in northern and Indigenous communities. “Sask Polytech’s membership in UArctic is a great opportunity to forge stronger academic and research collaborations on northern challenges,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “Membership will provide the institution with access to a wide range of research networks and exciting mobility opportunities for our students.” Sask Polytech (SK)

NOSM becomes official signatory of Okanagan Charter

The Northern Ontario School of Medicine has adopted the Okanagan Charter, which provides guiding principles and a framework that campuses can use to promote health and well-being. By signing the Charter, NOSM has committed to a variety of actions which include promoting EDI, developing a global health strategy, making strategic investments, and encouraging creativity. “The health and well-being of NOSM learners, faculty and staff is a top priority as we transition from a medical school to a university,” said NOSM President Dr Sarita Verma. “It’s important for the entire NOSM community to focus on wellness as we look to the future — a future where access to equitable, quality health care for all Northerners is a reality.” The Sudbury Star (ON)

NS has record number of co-op placements, expands reach with skills development program

Nova Scotia saw a record number of participants in university and college co-op placements in 2021, reports CBC. CBC explains that 861 people participated in the program as part of their postsecondary education, which is 100 people more than the previous year. “Employers have really worked hard with us to ensure that we had students employed over the summer in our summer skills program,” said Nancy Hoddinott, a senior executive director with the NS Department of Labour and Advanced Education. “Employers are still eager to bring youth into their workforce, so that’s an encouraging sign.” NS also adapted its skills development program, which offers retraining and back-to-school supports, to accommodate those who normally would not qualify. The program was adapted to be more accessible to people from Indigenous, African Nova Scotian, and minority communities, as well as persons with a disability or new immigrants. CBC (NS)

Canadore announces nearly $5M in infrastructure investments

Canadore College has announced that it will be making almost $5M in investments in infrastructure at its four campuses to support program growth, contribute to human-centric spaces, and prepare for the return to campus. Projects include facility updates, with Canadore’s Education Centre Campus being transformed into a hybrid space that can be used for student life as well as academic, alumni, and community-based activities. Other projects include renovations, updates, and the creation of office spaces. Canadore will also be taking on “greenification” initiatives through landscape updates, the planting of trees and orchards, and updates to signage and lighting. Canadore (ON)