Top Ten

July 28, 2021

NSERC, SSHRC to use new payment method for postdoctoral fellows

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) postdoctoral fellows holding awards within Canada will now be paid through their Canadian host institutions. The payment method will harmonize payment processes, formalize relationships between host institutions and fellows, and promote inclusion of award holders within Canada’s research landscape. The new payment approach will apply to postdoctoral fellows starting their work on or after April 1, 2022. Those holding awards outside of Canada will continue to receive pay directly from NSERC or SSHRC. NSERC (National)

Ontario hair stylists call for updates to OCOT educational standards

Hair stylists in Ontario are concerned over the lack of training stylists receive for working with textured hair. The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), which sets educational standards for Ontario hairstylists, reportedly began work to incorporate Black and ethnic hairstyling techniques into the standards in 2017, but never finished the revisions. CBC reports that hair schools do not provide mandatory training on working with textured hair, and Algonquin College hairstyling program co-ordinator Deanna Douglas explained that the OCOT standards are ambiguous. “It’s time for the curriculum to be updated and to be really laid out,” said Douglas. OCOT has said that it is reviewing the current standards and plans to finalize the process for developing new standards by the end of the year. CBC (ON)

Quantum Algorithms Institute receives $2.21M to accelerate innovation, commercialization

The Quantum Algorithms Institute, which will be hosted on Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus, has received $2.21M from the Government of Canada. The institute is co-led by SFU, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. It will be a collaborative centre that brings academics, industry, and business experts together to create technological solutions, grow a world-leading talent pool, and develop the adoption of quantum technologies. “This funding will further contribute to the mission of the Institute in bringing academia, industry and government together, and raise awareness of the province’s flourishing reputation as a leader in quantum computing,” said Dugan O’Neil, VP, Research and International at SFU. SFU | Canada (BC)

AB delays UCalgary’s proposed hike due to insufficient student consultation

The Government of Alberta has delayed the University of Calgary’s proposed tuition hike because of insufficient student consultation. AB Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides asked UCalgary to conduct consultation with students and resubmit its proposal for the tuition increase by October 29th. University of Calgary Students’ Union is praising the move, saying that the student consultation that had been conducted was insufficient. “[W]e firmly believe going forward that there must be a minimum standard set for the university to adhere to when it comes to consultation and student feedback,” said union president Nicole Schmidt. Calgary Herald (AB)

Postsecondary education should promote holistic student growth: Opinion

Postsecondary education should focus more on promoting holistic student growth, writes Steven Mintz. Though “developmental” education is often seen as having negative undertones, the author explains that all education should strive to cultivate psycho-social developmental traits. Mintz describes six ways institutions can make the postsecondary experience more developmental, including devoting the first year of postsecondary studies to developing study skills, mind-sets, and academic success strategies; implanting writing, public speaking, and numeracy in a broad range of classes; and integrating career development across the curriculum. Mintz also recommends organizing more courses on essential topics, encouraging arts appreciation, and increasing access to physical activities. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Students Nova Scotia launches Get Out the Vote campaign

Students Nova Scotia has launched the Get Out the Vote campaign to encourage student voting in the upcoming provincial election. Students Nova Scotia will be holding online student information sessions with Elections Nova Scotia to help students learn about eligibility, registration, working at a returning office, and options for casting their ballot. The group will also be holding debates and Q&As with candidates, as well as encouraging students to pledge to vote. Lydia Houck, the executive director of Students Nova Scotia, explained that it is important for students to make their voices heard. “By showing up to the polls and showing decision-makers and politicians that students are paying attention, they're engaged, and these are the issues that matter to them, it really, really helps in ensuring those issues can be prioritized by government moving forward,” said Houck. CBC (NS)

Brock mandates COVID-19 vaccines for students living in residence

Brock University has announced that it will require students living in its residences to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Students will be expected to have at least one dose prior to moving into residence, and will be required to receive their second dose within 14 days of their move-in date. Brock has also been launching campaigns to encourage all students to get fully vaccinated before the beginning of the school year. “Reducing the spread of COVID-19 through vaccination is critical because of the close living arrangements in student residences,” said Brock VP, Administration Ken Chan. “As such, and after engaging with regional and provincial public health officials, we are taking this step to require that students living on campus are fully vaccinated.” Brock (ON)

NSCC suspends power engineering technology program at Marconi campus

Nova Scotia Community College will be suspending its Marconi campus’ power engineering technology program. NSCC reportedly gave no reasons for the suspension, but has said that it will still be offering the same program at its Akerley and Strait Area campuses. David Pearson, VP of faculty for the college’s academic union, has questioned the speed of the decision. Program graduate Alex Gallant said the program offered a variety of advantages, such as its realistic lab, and that the program’s suspension is a loss to those in the area who want to pursue careers as power engineering technologists. CBC (NS)

Discovery of deceased male by Lakehead campus entrance under investigation

An investigation is underway following the discovery of a deceased person by a Lakehead University campus entrance earlier this week. A passerby discovered the body on Saturday evening, and the campus entrance was closed for investigation on Saturday night and part of Sunday. Thunder Bay police have not specified if the death was suspicious, and a police spokesperson said that more information will not be released until the post-mortem has been completed. CBC | TB News Watch (ON)

Camosun, Blockchain Guru partner to provide blockchain training, AI, machine learning

Camosun College has announced that it will be partnering with Blockchain Guru to provide training in areas such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. Camosun will be offering new blockchain courses in Fall 2021, including Foundations in Blockchain, Digital Transformation in Shipping & Logistics and Blockchain Architecture. “With the direction that business around the world is going, in the very near future almost anybody in business or in a leadership role is going to need to have, at the very least, an understanding of the capabilities of blockchain technology,” says Geoff Wilmshurst, VP, Partnerships at Camosun. “We’re very excited to provide this cutting edge knowledge to our community with our valued partner, Blockchain Guru.” Camosun (BC)