Top Ten

October 7, 2021

Canada invests $2.2B in biomanufacturing, life sciences sector

The Government of Canada has announced an investment of over $2.2B over seven years into Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector through its Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy. Funding will be allocated to institutions through the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and the Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF). The CBRF will support academic collaboration with industry, skills and training needed to facilitate growth in the biomanufacturing industry, as well as support projects that are on a scale that is usually too large to be viable. The BRIF will be used to strengthen postsecondary research infrastructure in order to support pandemic preparedness. Canada (National)

YorkU launches Securing Black Futures partnership to support students transitioning to postsecondary

York University has launched the Securing Black Futures: A National Partnership to Advance Youth Academic & Career Success program to support high school students who are transitioning into postsecondary education or the workforce. The program, which is funded through a $1.2M donation from RBC Future Launch, is a national three-year initiative that will focus on addressing systemic barriers for Black youth. It will focus on providing support in key areas, which include hosting an inaugural National Conference for Black youth in Canada; supporting student pipeline initiatives, establishing a Research & Data Hub; and creating new opportunities, supports, and training. YorkU anticipates that the program could serve up to 900 high school and postsecondary students. YorkU (Release) | YorkU (ON)

UCalgary partners with campaign to raise funds for Calgary Cancer Centre

The University of Calgary, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, and Alberta Health Services have partnered to launch the OWN.CANCER Campaign. The campaign seeks to raise $250M for the Calgary Cancer Centre. Funds will be used to support the campaign’s five main pillars: reducing cancer in the population, improving cancer treatment, improving the patient experience, improving outcomes, and empowering the “best and brightest.” Donations to the campaign will be used to acquire cutting-edge equipment, fund research, and provide supports for patients and their families. The centre is located next to UCalgary’s Foothills Campus, which will allow it to access UCalgary’s research. “Working together, we can break down barriers to ensure we have more cancer survivors than ever before,” said UCalgary President Dr Ed McCauley. UCalgary | CTV News (AB)

The role of postsecondary institutions in drug overdose awareness: Editorial

Postsecondary institutions need to play a role in raising awareness about drug overdoses, writes Mark Cardwell. Cardwell explains how, at Thompson Rivers University, overdoses are an issue that must be addressed by the institution since many overdose deaths occur among populations that are represented on campus. Though TRU and the University of Calgary have implemented harm-reduction strategies and most Canadian universities have implemented measures such as training and stocking naloxone kits, harm reduction expert Mark Tyndall says more needs to be done around awareness. “Universities can help bring it out of the shadows by making students aware it is happening and recognizing that people are using these drugs for self-medication and coping,” said Tyndall. University Affairs (National)

Brock launches PhD in Sustainability Science

Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre has launched a PhD in Sustainability Science. The program, which Brock calls the first of its kind in Canada, will provide students from a variety of different fields with the knowledge they need to address issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and inequality. “[T]his program will train the next generation of researchers in a discipline that is extremely relevant to the issues our planet is facing today,” said Suzanne Curtin, Brock’s Vice-Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. “Our students will be able to the break the boundaries of traditional disciplines and make valued contributions to both academic and industry challenges.” Brock (ON)

Discussions continue about use of French in cégep

As the larger discussion of Quebec’s language laws continues, a debate around the use of French in Quebec’s cégeps has erupted, with some calling for further protection of French in cégeps while others argue that cégeps are not causing Anglicization. A brief signed by over a hundred cégep professors and members of the Pour le cégep français argues that the education system has made French an optional language that students do not need to thoroughly understand in order to participate in Quebec’s society. The Fédération des CEGEPs has stated that “CEGEPs are not the cause of anglicization in Quebec,” but has called for a review of language testing given that French test scores have been low. Journal de Montréal (1) | Journal de Montréal (2) | CTV News | CBC (QC)

Michener launches Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion program

The Michener Institute has announced that it is launching a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (CVP) program. The program, which will start in September 2022, will train students with the aim of addressing Canada’s shortage of cardiovascular perfusionists. “A Master’s Degree Program is an investment in the future of the Cardiovascular Perfusion profession. Having research embedded in our programming equates to better clinical practices through ongoing development of evidence that will constantly improve patient care, and perfusion leadership presence interprofessionally and institutionally,” said Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion President Maggie Savelberg. Michener says that this is the only CVP program in Ontario and the only Master of Science in CVP in Canada. Michener (ON)

StatCan releases findings on youth, education in Canada

Statistics Canada has released a new report on youth and education in Canada that shows that younger Canadians are more likely to have earned postsecondary credentials than previous generations, with 73% of youth ages 25-34 having gained a postsecondary qualification in 2019. StatCan found that young women are more likely than young men to have received a postsecondary credential. The highest education levels were found to vary across population groups. StatCan also found that employment rates have continued to be higher for individuals who hold a postsecondary credential compared to those with high school or trade education, and that those with postsecondary credentials have higher average annual income. The study found that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted education for students, which may affect the earnings of those graduating during the pandemic. StatCan (National)

Western buys building in downtown London, ON to increase off-campus presence

Western University has announced that it has bought the $7.3M Greene-Swift Building in downtown London after a three-year search. The building, which will become a part of the community off-campus, may be used to host a variety of events such as public lectures, concerts, poster sessions, and courses, and could house galleries and public-facing clinics. By developing a downtown presence, Western hopes to “break the bubble” and encourage students to experience life off-campus, while London benefits from having Western’s research and culture in its downtown. “We look forward to consulting both our internal stakeholders and local leaders to explore the potential of this space,” said Western President Alan Shepard. CBC | MSN (Global News) (ON)

Lakeland launches pre-employment automotive service technician program

Lakeland College has announced that it will be expanding its programming with the pre-employment automotive service technician program. Students in the program will complete 12 weeks of classroom work alongside students in the apprenticeship program as well as a four-week practicum. The program will cover topics such as basic maintenance, brake, and electrical systems; steering and suspension; and safety. Program graduates will be eligible to write the 1st year apprenticeship exam upon completion. The program is expected to launch in 2022 at Lakeland’s Vermilion campus. Lakeland (AB)