Top Ten

August 25, 2021

Vets face pressure from labour shortage, increase calls for graduates

A shortage of vets across Canada is causing strain and overwork for veterinarians, who say that the demand is greater than the number of graduates from postsecondary institutions can address. CBC reports that PEI vet clinics are having a difficult time attracting graduates from the Atlantic Veterinary College, as they have more opportunities to practice in other places. In Ontario, Dr Sherri Dennett, who runs a veterinary practice in Riverside South, says a 2015 workforce survey did not anticipate an increase in the demand for vets. The Ottawa Citizen says that though there are plans to increase spaces at the Ontario Veterinary College, the increase will only be “modest.” In British Columbia, vet and vet tech graduates cannot meet the current demand for care. The Society of BC Veterinarians has requested that BC fund 20 additional student seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. CBC | Alberni Valley News | Ottawa Citizen (National)

UCalgary launches Embedded Certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship

The University of Calgary has announced that it is launching a new Embedded Certificate in Pluralism and Global Citizenship. All UCalgary students who can complete the course requirements “as a complement to their program of study” will be able to take the certificate. “We are operating in an increasingly complex society and employers are looking for people who can work in diverse settings and understand why people have diverse experiences,” said Dr Gavin Cameron, academic coordinator for the program. “Students will learn to recognize their own assumptions and values, appreciate different sets of values shaped by other cultures and identities, develop a disposition toward openness and an active engagement with people from diverse backgrounds who have their own perspectives and interests.” UCalgary (AB)

URegina, EDR partner to support entrepreneurs

The University of Regina’s Hill and Levene School of Business have signed a new MOU with Economic Development Regina focused on supporting entrepreneurs. The agreement commits the partners to accomplishing several objectives over the next two years, such as exploring paths to create work-integrated learning opportunities, developing mentorship opportunities, and supporting entrepreneurship in Regina. “Entrepreneurship is both a form of business ownership and a mindset,” said Dr Gina Grandy, Dean of Hill and Levene Schools of Business, “and with EDR we will play a role in creating opportunities on both sides of that.” URegina (SK)

MB announces institutions have autonomy with COVID-19 vaccination mandates

The Government of Manitoba has announced that it will not be implementing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for postsecondary institutions. MB’s Advanced Education Minister Wayne Ewasko said that the decision was made out of respect for institutional autonomy and for the differences between institutional sizes, operation, population, reopening approach, and wants and needs. “A lot of concerns that were out there was that the government was going to be telling the post-secondaries what to do and they wanted to (retain) their autonomy and so that’s what we’re respecting, said Ewasko. Winnipeg Free Press (MB)

Sask Polytech, Service Hospitality sign MOU to increase training, education

Saskatchewan Polytechnic and Service Hospitality have signed a MOU that will lead to more skills training, educational opportunities, and future educational initiatives for Service Hospitality members. Through the collaboration, Service Hospitality members will be able to pursue kitchen safety training through Sask Polytech’s School of Continuing Education and School of Hospitality & Tourism. “This agreement capitalizes on our unique strengths and offers a fantastic opportunity to promote training for Service Hospitality members,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. Sask Polytech (SK)

As cégeps re-open for in-person classes, students share excitement

As many cégeps in QC re-opened on Monday for in-person classes, students expressed their excitement about going back to classes in person. Students at Dawson College said highlights included seeing friends, being less distracted while attending classes, and seeing people rather than looking at a screen. “Today I met a lot of new people and made some friends, so I think I’m pretty lucky to be in on the first day, compared to last year’s students,” said first-year student JJ Vanderzon. Global News says that faculty are also enjoying the transition back to in-person classes. Dawson instructor Jonathon Sumner described how he “could feel the excitement in the classroom, it was really palpable.” Montreal Gazette | Global News (QC)

BC implements COVID-19 vaccine card, postsecondary institutions affected by order

The Government of British Columbia has announced that it will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccine card for certain events, settings, and activities that will impact certain activities at postsecondary institutions in the province. The University of British Columbia has clarified that activities including varsity and intramural sports and student clubs are included in the order, and that students living in student housing will be required to show proof of vaccination. “UBC and other post-secondary institutions are participating in ongoing dialogue with the provincial government on additional health and safety topics of concern for students, faculty and staff,” wrote UBC President Santa J Ono. UBC | BC (BC)

How institutions can help academics to not fall through “chutes”: Opinion

Academe is a game of Chutes and Ladders rather than a leaky pipeline, write Leah Cathryn Windsor and Kerry F Crawford, and more must be done to support academics who are likely to land on “chutes” rather than “ladders.” The authors argue that many of those who “make it” have “manhole covers for the chutes and extensions for the ladders,” such as supportive partners, family money, and a well-connected adviser, while those who leave academia may not have these safety nets. The authors argue that the system should be reformed, with institutions and departments offering equitable and transparent family-leave policies, providing clear communication about these policies, establishing parent-friendly hiring practices, and prioritizing mentoring for early-career professionals. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Paywall) (Editorial)

Students, staff at MUN raise concerns over COVID-19 mandate

Staff and students at Memorial University are raising concerns about COVID-19 vaccine mandates and their implementation. Kat McLaughlin, chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador, said that students are concerned about vaccine requirements limiting their access to education, and that there are still outstanding questions around exemptions and international students’ circumstances. CUPE Local 1615, the union representing 800 administrative, technical, and instructional support staff at Memorial said that it supports vaccination programs, but is considering the possibility of a human or Charter rights challenge in response to the vaccination mandate. “I want to make sure that all members feel that their rights [are] being protected, and we do have to defend everybody in regards to their choices that they make,” said CUPE Local 1615 President Theresa Antle. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (NL)

BrandonU, SaskPolytech, Georgian to host on-campus vaccination clinics

Brandon University, Red Deer Polytechnic, and Georgian College have announced on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinics. BrandonU is partnering with Prairie Mountain Health to provide first and second doses to students and staff for three days in September. Employees will be able to get vaccinated using paid time and will be able to use sick time if they experience side effects. RDP will be hosting a drop-in clinic for students, faculty, staff, and guests on September 8th and 9th. Georgian partnered with Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for an on campus COVID-19 clinic on August 24th. Georgian’s practical nursing and paramedic students helped with the clinic. BrandonU | Brandon Sun | Barrie 360 | RDP (MB | ON)