Top Ten

July 19, 2021

Canada invests $39.6M in post-doctoral researchers, doctoral students

The Government of Canada has invested a total of $39.6M over three years in 236 postdoctoral researchers and doctoral students through Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. The funds will support students and researchers in a variety of areas from health sciences, natural sciences, and engineering to social sciences and humanities. “To build Canada’s world-class research ecosystem, we must foster the development of Canada’s next generation of researchers,” said Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health. “These talented individuals have bright futures ahead of them and will make discoveries that make life better for Canadians.” Canada (National)

NS colleges scale up ECE training after expansion of childcare spaces

Nova Scotia colleges are expanding their programming and offering new supports in response to the Government of Nova Scotia’s announcement that it will be creating 9,500 new childcare spaces over the next five years. Minister of early childhood education Derek Mombourquette noted the increase in early childhood educators (ECEs) will be “substantial,” but that a variety of measures have been introduced to help them reach the number, such as free tuition and books as well as bursaries. Nova Scotia Community College plans to open its doors to 300 students who are already working in the child-care sector, and will improve virtual learning opportunities and offer more classes outside of typical work hours. Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education has also announced that it is scaling up its operations and has opened 60 additional seats to meet demand. CBC (NS)

Western launches scholarships, awards posthumous degree in memory of victims of anti-Muslim attack

Western University has launched scholarships in honour of Western student Madiha Salman and alumni Salman Afzaal, who were killed in an anti-Muslim attack, and has posthumously awarded Salman a doctorate. The Madiha Salman Memorial Scholarship in Civil and Environmental Engineering will be given to a female graduate student who is an advocate for inclusion and who is enrolled in doctoral or master’s studies in the department of civil and environmental engineering. The Salman Afzaal Memorial Scholarship in Physical Therapy will be awarded to a graduate student in health and rehabilitation sciences, with preference for those involved in leadership, research, and/or innovation in physical therapy. “We hope these scholarships will help to carry on the incredibly positive legacies they have left at Western,” said Western president Alan Shepard. Western (ON)

Increased interest, enrolment in environmental science as students face climate crisis

Postsecondary students are becoming increasingly interested in environmental science as the climate crisis becomes more obvious through heat waves, writes Maggie Macintosh of the Winnipeg Free Press. Macintosh speaks to students and researchers, such as University of Winnipeg student Catherine Goltz, who have been inspired to continue studying environmental studies in order to protect the environment. Macintosh reports that UWinnipeg’s Prairie Climate Centre has seen enrolment in the undergraduate department of environmental studies increase by almost 200% in the last decade, and that the centre plans to start a new interdisciplinary environmental and social change program in Fall 2021. “In order to solve a big, complicated challenge like climate change, it’s not going to be someone with a degree in climatology working in a room by themselves,” said Nor Casson, co-director of the Prairie Climate Centre. Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription req.) (MB)

Red Deer Polytech launches two degrees, two diplomas

Red Deer Polytechnic has announced that it will be offering two new degrees and two new diplomas in the Fall semester. Red Deer Polytech will be offering a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as a University Arts Diploma and a University Sciences Diploma. The programs will allow students to access more educational options in central Alberta. “We are pleased to expand our offering of credentials at Red Deer Polytechnic to meet the demand of learners,” said Kylie Thomas, VP Academic and Research. “These new programs signal another important benchmark in the evolution of our post-secondary institution.” CTV News (AB)

USainte-Anne announces recreational infrastructure, green technologies projects

Université Sainte-Anne has announced two projects that will enrich its campus environment. Investments from the Government of Canada, Government of Nova Scotia, Municipality of Clare, and USainte-Anne will see the construction of a new athletics track, a new recreational building, and a regulatory size artificial grass soccer field. USainte-Anne will also be installing $300K Photovoltaic panels near the Church Point campus greenhouse. The solar panels are an investment in green technologies that will provide electricity that will be sold to Nova Scotia Power through the Solar for Communities Buildings Program. USainte-Anne (1) | USainte-Anne (2) (NS)

UOttawa announces vaccines will be mandatory

The University of Ottawa has announced that COVID-19 vaccines will be mandatory for students living in its residences. Students who are planning to live in UOttawa’s residences in the upcoming academic year must receive a COVID-19 vaccine before or within two weeks of moving in, and must receive a second dose in the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health. UOttawa says that students who do not have an exception and who refuse to be vaccinated could have their residence agreement terminated. “Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most effective means of protecting people and those around them,” said spokesperson Patrick Charette in a written statement. Other institutions in Ottawa –Carleton University and Algonquin College– are encouraging vaccination for on-campus students, and Carleton is allowing students in residence to request that they be paired with a roommate who is vaccinated. CBC | Ottawa Citizen | Journal de Montréal (ON)

McGill launches GCHM

McGill University has launched the Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Management (GCHM), which will train those working in healthcare professions to be effective decision makers when taking on leadership roles. The 15-credit program is offered online in a flexible, part-time format, and taught by McGill professors and healthcare leaders. The curriculum will train students in the key competencies of the Leader Role, and students will reinforce their learning through participation in group assignments, workshops, mentorship, and a capstone project. “[W]e are helping healthcare workers develop the expertise to address organizational challenges and lead change through practical course content,” said Leslie Breitner, co-director of the GCHM. “Students will gain new perspectives and the transferable skills needed to take the helm of a hospital-based division or private practice with confidence.” McGill (QC)

SLC, Queen’s work with Kingston to reinstate student bus program, Montreal offers student discount

After the student bus pass program was cancelled for the duration of the pandemic, St Lawrence College and Queen’s University are working to reinstate the program for the Fall semester. Kingston’s city council is considering a plan which would provide students with a four-month transit pass for $119. The Whig reports that this plan takes into account the difficulty of re-establishing a contract agreement without full understanding of student travel needs. In Montréal, a newly introduced fare structure will provide all full-time students aged 18 and up with a 40% discount on their monthly passes. The Whig | CTV News (ON | QC)

Discussions on free community college in the US

The United States's recently released $3.5T budget blueprint, which included tuition-free community college for every adult, has reignited the debate about the benefits and downsides of tuition-free education in the postsecondary sector. In the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Oyin Adedoyin details the way that some postsecondary institutions have previously attempted or planned to go tuition free, as well as how institutions have financially supported students with the hope that students would reciprocate after they graduate. In Inside Higher Ed, Steven Mintz discusses some of the challenges associated with community colleges and the difficulties that free tuition would help resolve, and Sara Weissman discusses the barriers to education that adult learners experience, such as limited access to free programs and fewer opportunities. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Subscription req.) | Inside Higher Ed (1) | Inside Higher Ed (2) (International)