Top Ten

August 31, 2021

Students from India feel impact of extension of ban on direct flights from India

International students from India are feeling the impacts of Canada’s recently extended ban on direct flights from India. Global News reports that students are struggling to find flights that connect through other countries in order to get to Canada for their studies. Sachin Dev, an international student who plans to travel from Delhi to Canada, explained that flights with connections through other countries are both more expensive and associated with a higher infection risk. “I’ve faced financial issues because I am not able to access my (university) stipend, which requires a Canadian bank account and study permit, which I will receive only at the airport,” said Dev. Student Gaurav Kamath added that students from India have already paid their fees and are so desperate to get to Canada that they will take any route. Global News (International)

Ryerson president, Indigenous historian share reactions to Ryerson’s name change

Two pieces from The Star discuss the decision to change Ryerson University’s name. Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi explains that the name change and the decision to adopt all of the Standing Strong Task Force’s recommendations is a step forward. “A name change is more than symbolism; it is an opportunity to take real action that will, in even a small way, help to address a national wrong,” says Lachemi. Indigenous historian Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill of the Six Nations of the Grand River writes that the name change brought relief. “It feels like a prophecy: we were told this day would come,” said Thomas-Hill. “The truth will be known. And with the truth being known, the people will become awake and will make changes.” The Star (Lachemi) | The Star (Thomas-Hill) (ON)

UCalgary SU receives complaints over courses moved online

The University of Calgary’s student union has received an “unprecedented” number of complaints after around 10% of its classes were moved online. CBC reports that UCalgary professors were recently allowed to make decisions about moving their courses online, and the number of online courses is continuing to increase. Students who travelled to Calgary to attend school are upset that they will be missing out on the in-person aspects of their schooling while they pay for travel and housing. “I already bought my parking pass,” explained UCalgary student Orianne Aviv. “I already went back-to-school shopping. ... [W]hen I found out it was online, I cried all day about it.” The student union has said that it was not consulted before the decision was made. UCalgary SU | CTV News | CBC | Calgary Herald (AB)

SAR calls for more support for Afghani scholars: Editorial

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is calling for support to evacuate over 600 individuals from Afghanistan, reports Brendan O’Malley of University World News. O’Malley discusses how scholars in Afghanistan are facing a range of threats from the Taliban due to their fields of study or global connections. SAR is calling for practical steps to be taken to help academics who need to escape, and is calling on postsecondary institutions in Europe and North America to provide placements for them so that they do not get stuck in asylum-seeking processes. “The eroding situation in Afghanistan poses a threat, not only to the lives of our colleagues still in Afghanistan, but to the future of that country,” said Scholars at Risk Executive Director Robert Quinn. Scholars at Risk Canada Section has called on the Canadian government, universities, and colleges to take action on behalf of Afghanistan's scholars, students, and civil society actors through the creation of placements on Canadian campuses. University World News | Scholars at Risk (International)

Fanshawe launches Customer Relationship Marketing and Sales Management program

Fanshawe College has announced that it is launching a Customer Relationship Marketing and Sales Management program. The one-year graduate certificate program will prepare students for careers in business-to-business sales and marketing and analytics. Through the program, students will develop an in-depth knowledge of customer relationship technology such as Salesforce Social Studio. “There are very few post-secondary programs out there that produce industry-ready sales talent for businesses that need it,” says Nick Hollinger, a member of the program advisory committee. “Fanshawe’s new program will give students the skills and experience they need to hit the ground running.” Fanshawe (ON)

Teaching students to effectively use syllabi: Opinion

Students may not inherently know how to use a syllabi and would benefit from being taught how to read one, writes Loleen Berdahl, executive director of the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. Berdahl encourages instructors to use a variety of techniques to help students engage with the syllabus, including making the syllabus available prior to their first class; requiring students to bring a copy to the first class; and teaching students to use the syllabus as a source of information through activities such as learning outcome mapping, syllabus quizzes, and jargon searches. Finally, Berdahl says instructors can use their email signature to guide students to the syllabus for answers to their questions in addition to referring to the syllabus continuously during class. University Affairs (Editorial)

ON institutions face opposition over COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Some postsecondary institutions in Ontario that have mandated COVID-19 vaccines are facing opposition from members of their communities. Two students are reportedly preparing to sue Seneca College over its vaccine policy, saying that they will be unable to complete their programs online. They argue that the policy will delay the completion of their programs, which in turn impacts their student loans. A group of protesters also gathered outside Lambton College earlier this month to rally against mandatory COVID-19 vaccines. At the University of Waterloo, 32 members of the community – including faculty, staff, students, and parents – have signed an open letter opposing UWaterloo’s vaccine mandate. Narcity (Seneca) | Blackburn News (Lambton) | CBC (UWaterloo) (ON)

Portage, CodeCore College announce partnership to provide business programs in BC

Portage College and CodeCore College have announced a new public-private partnership that will provide Portage with an official campus outside of Alberta and provide CodeCore students with access to new business programming. Through the partnership, CodeCore will deliver Portage’s specialized diploma programs in accounting or management on its New Westminster, BC campus. “We are really excited about this new collaboration with CodeCore,” said Bev Lockett, Dean of Hospitality at Portage. “Portage is a destination for students looking for quality programs that help make them job-ready. We look forward to future collaborations with CodeCore so that more international students can access quality programs and help strengthen communities across our two provinces.” Portage (AB | BC)

USask, Wanuskewin renew MOU to support Indigenous education, growth and development

The University of Saskatchewan has signed a three-year agreement renewing a partnership with the Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority (Wanuskewin). The MOU will see USask and Wanuskewin collaborating on cultural resources, outreach programming, and facility usage as they support Indigenous education and find mutual growth and development opportunities. “Indigenization is a pillar of our university plan, and our close relationship with Wanuskewin supports our commitment to transformative decolonization, leading to reconciliation,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “This memorandum of understanding is the embodiment of that commitment to collaborate, and a testament to the strong partnership between USask and Wanuskewin.” Nation Talk (SK)

NDP, Conservative parties make promises to support Sudbury postsecondary institutions

The New Democratic Party and the Conservative Party have made pledges in support of Laurentian University and the University of Sudbury. In a visit to both institutions, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said that an NDP government would act to “save” Laurentian, and announced plans to support students through efforts such as student debt forgiveness, the removal of interest from federal loans, and increased federal student grants. The Conservatives spoke about USudbury, pledging that they would support USudbury in its bid to become a French-language school as well as the transition of French-language programs from Laurentian to USudbury. CBC | The Sudbury Star (NDP) | The Sudbury Star (Conservatives) (ON)