Top Ten

July 23, 2021

Sask Polytech, SATCC receive roughly $13M to engage under-represented groups in PSE

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission (SATCC) have received approximately $13M to support programs that will engage under-represented groups in postsecondary education. Sask Polytech will receive $11.3M to support the development and delivery of three programs: Disability Services Programming for adult learners with disabilities, Newcomer Services Programming for those new to Canada, and a Supportive Care Assistant Program for adult learners interested in entry-level healthcare careers. SATCC will use the remaining $1.68M for coordinating three initiatives that will involve K-12 educators, Indigenous apprentices, and youth interested in exploring apprenticeships trades programming. Prince Albert Daily Herald | Sask Polytech (SK)

Lakehead, Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians to create Indigenous law institute

Lakehead University’s law faculty and the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians have received a pledge of $918K over three years to support the creation of an Indigenous law institute in Thunder Bay. Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti said that the funds will support research on Indigenous law-making and “lay the foundation” for a new legal centre that will reinvigorate Indigenous legal systems. The funding will support a project to improve Lenape, Mohawk, Oneida, and Anishinaabe law-making processes and a project to revitalize Anishinaabe and Metis law. “While Indigenous laws have been observed as customs and traditions in Indigenous communities, Canadian legal institutions have long either ignored or overridden these orders and have at times criminalized Indigenous leaders for applying Indigenous laws,” said Jula Hughes, dean of the Lakehead law faculty. CBC (ON)

UCalgary Hunter Hub launches Experience Ventures

The University of Calgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking has launched a nation-wide work-integrated learning program called Experience Ventures. The program, which runs in partnership with 10 postsecondary partners from across Canada, provides students with flexible placements that will help them develop their entrepreneurial thinking skills. Experience Ventures includes three key pillars: Encouraging students to develop future-ready skills and experiences, making an impact through innovation across disciplines, and building and growing innovation networks to bridge school and work. “Our goal is to ignite and empower an entrepreneurship mindset in students across Canada to develop the next generation of talent that will build our future,” said Keri Damen, executive director of the Hunter Hub. “We’re excited about creating opportunities for students to connect with our country’s innovators.” UCalgary (AB)

Fleming to establish CAMIIT, CIAP research centres

Fleming College will be establishing two new applied research centres, thanks to nearly $8M in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Ontario Research Fund College-Industry Innovation Fund. The Centre for Advancement in Mechatronics and Industrial Internet of Things (CAMIIT) will be located at the Sutherland Campus, while the Centre for Innovative Aquaculture Production (CIAP) be located at the Frost Campus. “Both centres will build experience, capacity and expertise in emerging areas of applied research at the College,” said Brett Goodwin, Vice President, Applied Research and Innovation at Fleming. Fleming (ON)

ON, QC postsecondary institutions wind down COVID-19 centres, testing sites due to decreased need

Several postsecondary institutions across Ontario and Quebec have announced that they are winding down the COVID-19 related field hospitals, vaccination centres, and testing sites that were set up on their campuses as the need for these facilities decreases. St Clair College’s Sportsplex field hospital and vaccination clinic has been dismantled and returned to its former use as a basketball court. A mass vaccination clinic located at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus will be closing on July 27 as vaccines become more easily accessible at other locations and vaccination rates increase. A vaccination clinic at Lakehead University will also be closing due to a drop in appointments, and McGill University’s Health Centre’s testing clinic has closed due to a reduction in number of daily tests. CBC (St Clair) | Global News (UTM) | CTV News (McGill) | TB Newswatch (Lakehead) (ON | QC)

Higher ed should participate in shaping beneficial, safe technology: Opinion

Higher education should take on a greater role in shaping a future where technology is beneficial and safe, writes Francine Berman. The author argues that higher education can change tech culture by laying a groundwork for improving and teaching “tech offense” and “tech defense”. Berman says that postsecondary institutions should train students how to successfully live in a world that is driven by tech, and that exposing students to Public Interest Technology (PIT) curriculum helps them to develop critical thinking skills that can be applied to the use of technology. Berman argues that students have an interest in learning “tech defense” and “tech offense” skills through these kinds of courses, and notes that the need for these skills and learning opportunities is applicable to the broader community as well. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

RBC invests in Calgary tech sector, potentially creating new work-integrated learning programs

The Calgary Herald reports that the Royal Bank of Canada has made an investment in Calgary’s technology sector that will see the launch of the Calgary Innovation Hub and will potentially create new opportunities for work-integrated learning at Mount Royal University and SAIT Polytechnic. Calgary Economic Development is also partnering with postsecondary institutions to develop work-integrated programs. “We believe everybody in our education system should have an opportunity to do hands-on learning, and we’ve built out this plan to build a platform that will allow companies to more easily access students that are wanting to get that experience,” said Brad Parry, interim president and CEO of Calgary Economic Development. “RBC, in making that commitment to work-integrated learning, is huge.” Calgary Herald (AB)

UWOFA calls for vaccine requirement for community members coming to campus

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) has called on Western University to require eligible members of its community to receive full vaccination before coming on campus this fall, exempting those who might have medical or religious reasons for not being vaccinated. “Everyone has a right to a safe work and learning environment, and this can only be achieved if the vast majority of individuals on campus are fully vaccinated and strict health and safety measures are in place such as proper indoor ventilation,” reads a statement from the union. UWOFA argued that there are concerns about the Delta variant and a potential fourth wave, and that the return to campus should be safe for all Western community members. The Sudbury Star | CBC (1) | UWOFA (ON)

AB urged to reconsider reducing SFAA age eligibility

The Government of Alberta is being urged to reconsider its decision to reduce the age of eligibility for the Support and Financial Assistance Agreement program from 24 to 22 years of age, which postsecondary students who previously have spent time in care are saying will cause challenges to those in similar situations. The reduced eligibility would see older Albertan youth in government care no longer able to access supports such as funds for rent, groceries, and health benefits. NDP Critic for Children’s Services Rakhi Pancholi told CBC that the cut endangers hundreds of vulnerable Albertans: “The hard truth is that most of these young Albertans will not find work and will fall into poverty,” said Pancholi. The Edmonton Journal and CBC estimate that 450 to 500 recipients will be affected by the decision. Children’s Services spokeswoman Becca Polak pointed to other programs that youth will remain eligible for, such as the Advancing Futures Program, which supports 18-to-24-year-old youth pursuing postsecondary education. Edmonton Journal | CBC | CBC (AB)

UWindsor, Municipality of Leamington partner to provide additional opportunities for students

The University of Windsor’s Continuing Education has partnered with the Municipality of Leamington to offer Applied Leadership Program students with opportunities to address real-world challenges. Through the program, students will practice hands-on tactics and learn leadership skills through guidance from experienced instructors. They will also complete a capstone project. Students will receive feedback from Leamington on their approaches and solutions to problems. “[Leamington’s] partnership will provide program participants with valuable feedback and real-case scenarios that are crucial to the growth and learning of potential employees and future leaders,” said Jennie Atkins, executive director of UWindsor Continuing Education. UWindsor (ON)