Top Ten

September 7, 2021

Concordia Edmonton opens McNeil Centre for Applied Renewable Energy

Concordia University of Edmonton has officially opened the McNeil Centre for Applied Renewable Energy. The new centre, which is named after alumnus Cam McNeil, aims to advance Canada’s adoption of renewable energy technologies and will focus primarily on communities in Alberta. The McNeil Centre will raise awareness about renewable energy technology-related opportunities, conduct workshops to support the adoption of technology, develop programs based on industry needs, and help with renewable energy planning. “Alberta is Canada’s energy leader, and this centre will be a hub to learn, explore, and discover, so that we can create a future that is cleaner and more sustainable,” said Concordia Edmonton President Dr Tim Loreman. Concordia Edmonton (AB)

USask, Yukon, RDP report stabilization, growth in enrolment

Postsecondary institutions are reporting enrolment stabilization and growth. The Saskatoon StarPhoenix says that the University of Saskatchewan’s overall enrolment has risen one percent compared to last year with international undergraduate and graduate student enrolment increasing by 30% and 34%, respectively. Yukon University says that its registrations have increased by 9% compared to this time last year, and that their campus housing is at full capacity again. The Red Deer Advocate reports that Red Deer Polytechnic’s enrolment has stabilized. “We’ve certainly maintained where we were at this time last year and I think we are well-positioned for growth,” said Kylie Thomas, RDP VP academic and research. USask | Yukon | RDP (AB | SK | YK)

Donor pledges $1M to UBC Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health if matched by others

A founding donor of the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health has pledged to donate an additional $1M to support the centre if matched by others. The funding would be used to continue the Centre’s growth through expanding programs, creating new programs, and increasing Indigenous enrolment in health career paths. “Donors to the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health at UBC have been absolutely monumental,” said Centre co-director Dr Nadine Caron. “Through their generosity, donors demonstrate there is passion and compassion outside the walls of UBC, so more students, faculty and staff can come to the Centre to bridge the gap between where Indigenous people are now and where we can be.” UBC (BC)

Students should be required to learn quantitative skills in postsecondary: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should require students to learn quantitative skills, writes Ryan Craig. The author argues that students must gain quantitative fluency–the ability to evaluate claims through using quantitative evidence–so that they can make sense of scientific information. Craig says that institutions should ensure that students are not allowed to avoid taking rigorous STEM coursework in non-STEM programs. “As fluency requires being able to assess quantitative relationships across different contexts, it’s more effective if students can build quantitative muscles in history, literature, political science and psychology,” writes Craig. “Moreover, developing quantitative fluency isn’t best accomplished via lectures or discussion groups, but by doing.” Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

SMU announces new financial support to reduce barriers to education

Saint Mary’s University has recently announced new financial supports that will reduce barriers to education for students. The Saint Mary’s University Post-Care Tuition Waiver Program provides a bursary that will cover up to 100% of the tuition and course fees for students who previously spent at least one year in Nova Scotia’s child welfare system and associated services. Applications to the program will be retroactive to the start of the Fall 2021 semester. SMU is also introducing the Scott McCain and Leslie McLean Diversity Excellence Award, which will provide Black and Indigenous students who have financial need with renewable scholarships. Eight students each year who are from any faculty or program will receive the award, with preference given to students from Atlantic Canada. SMU (1) | SMU (2) (NS)

Postsecondary institutions, officers respond to increase in partying

As students return to postsecondary institutions across Canada, bylaw officers and RCMP are responding to an increase in partying. A party near Queen’s University with about 2000 attendees was broken up early Thursday morning. The Whig reports that bylaw officers arrested four individuals for public intoxication and issued 16 court summonses and three administrative monetary penalties. The University of British Columbia is asking students to follow public health orders after RCMP officers issued $5K in fines for a non-compliant event at the frat village. Most people at the party were reportedly not wearing masks, and physical distancing was impossible due to the small space. London police are calling for Western University and Fanshawe College students to follow public health rules, and told CTV News that they will ensure that officers are patrolling student-oriented neighbourhoods. The Whig (Queen’s) | CTV News (UBC) | CBC (UBC) | CTV News (Western) (BC | ON)

SPU, Fleming, UWindsor announce new programs for Fall semester

Several postsecondary institutions in Ontario have announced new programs this Fall. Saint Paul University is offering a Graduate Microprogram in the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons. The microprogram will be offered in English for the first year and in French in the subsequent academic year. Fleming College has launched three part-time Geographic Information Systems programs: Application Specialist, Application Specialist (Online), and Cartographic Specialist. Fleming has also launched a full-time Aquaculture Foundation certificate program. The University of Windsor’s Continuing Education will once again be offering its International Trade and Border Management Program, which will be delivered in partnership with the Cross-Border Institute (CBI). UWindsor | Fleming | SPU (ON)

AU Arts to start most classes online to accommodate rapid testing program implementation

Alberta University of the Arts has announced that it will be starting most classes online to accommodate the implementation of a rapid testing program. AU Arts is planning to start in-person classes on September 22 after the rapid testing program is in place, though specific studio classes will start in-person due to their low numbers of students. AU Arts President Daniel Doz explained that the university only learned about the possibility of implementing a rapid testing program a few weeks ago, and that the set-up and background work to put the program in place requires more time. AU Arts | CBC (AB)

NBCC, CCNB among 10 CUPE locals expected to hold strike votes next week

10 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) locals, including the union representing staff at New Brunswick Community College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick, are expecting to hold strike votes next week. Workers in the unions have been without contracts since between 2016 and 2019, and CUPE New Brunswick president Steve Drost says the workers “feel they’ve been backed into a corner.” CUPE NB states that the provincial government walked away from the bargaining table, and CBC reports that the strike vote will likely go ahead even if a wage package is agreed upon. “The members feel it’s necessary to have a very strong message to government that they are expected to resolve these contracts,” said Drost. CBC | CUPE NB (NB)

Lethbridge launches LC Alumni Perks program

Lethbridge College has launched a new alumni benefits program called LC Alumni Perks. All Lethbridge alumni will be eligible to use the LC Alumni Perks pass, which will give them exclusive access to offers, discounts, news, events, contests from partner businesses, and more. Participating businesses include Budget car rentals, Lethbridge College bookstore, Olympus Energy, and SISU Hair Studio. “LC Alumni Perks [is] a great way … for the college to stay in touch with our alumni and give them a little something extra just for being part of the Kodiaks community,” explains Lethbridge College Alumni Engagement manager Stephanie Savage. “Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to use.” Lethbridge (AB)