Top Ten

October 8, 2021

MEI report describes how QC can become a leader in online learning

A new publication from the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) called How Can Quebec Become a Leader in Distance Learning? describes how Quebec university’s responses to pandemic-related public health measures could give them an edge in online learning. Creating a permanent distance learning model could benefit universities financially, since a larger number of students could be attracted to universities without an increase in physical class sizes. It could also help train students in rural areas and decrease migration to cities and benefit taxpayers. “This gives us the opportunity to position ourselves as a leader in distance learning,” said Miguel Ouellette, co-author of the report. “The introduction of a permanent distance learning model in Quebec universities will require increased collaboration between universities and the companies that are already leaders in this field.” The Suburban (QC)

Maclean’s releases 2022 University Rankings

Maclean’s has released its 2022 University Rankings. The rankings sort institutions into one of three categories–Comprehensive, Medical Doctoral, or Primarily Undergraduate–and evaluate them according to performance indicators such as scholarships and bursaries, student/faculty ratio, and student services. The Top Comprehensive Schools of 2022 were Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria (tied for 1st) followed by the University of Waterloo (3rd). The top Medical Doctoral schools of 2022 were McGill University (1st), the University of Toronto (2nd), and the University of British Columbia (3rd). The top Primarily Undergraduate Schools of 2022 were the University of Northern British Columbia (1st), Mount Allison University (2nd) and Trent University (3rd). Maclean’s | Maclean's (Comp.) | Maclean's (MD) | Maclean's (Under) (National)

Western launches MD+ program

Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry has launched a new program called the MD+ program. The program provides medical students with time, as well as financial and academic supports to pursue additional professional and graduate training in their interests as they complete their medical degrees. Students can pursue graduate training in a wide variety of areas through four pathways: thesis-based, course-based, concurrent, or international. “I know how difficult it is to pursue graduate training during and after residency,” said Dr John Yoo, dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. “We wanted to create a construct that reduces those challenges, while broadening new possibilities for our students.” Western (ON)

Concordia neuroscientist Nadia Chaudhri passes away from ovarian cancer

People around the world are mourning the death of Concordia University neuroscientist Nadia Chaudhri, who passed away on Tuesday after battling ovarian cancer for over a year. Chaudhri used her Twitter account, which was an “online diary” with over 143,000 followers, to encourage strangers from around the world and raise funds for marginalized students until the end of her life. As part of Concordia’s annual Shuffle fundraiser, Chaudhri raised over $625K for her Wingspan Award in support of neuroscience students from minority and historically marginalized students. “Nadia was a force of nature,” said Concordia President Graham Carr. “She was an incredibly talented researcher with a passion for teaching and student success matched only by her commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. She enriched us.” Concordia | CBC | CTV News | The Star (QC)

Loyalist, GreenCentre Canada sign MOU to support SMEs

Loyalist College has announced that it has signed a MOU with GreenCentre Canada. The partnership will establish an integrated services model which will support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in innovation in sustainable chemistry and advanced materials. The partnership will focus on accelerating technology development as well as reducing commercialization timelines. Loyalist students will benefit from the partnership’s enhancement of the institution’s bio economy; agritech; and science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics clusters. Quinte News | (ON)

Deans should be invited to discussions about broad institutional issues: Opinion

When it comes to broad institutional issues, deans are often an underutilized resource, writes Marie Chisholm-Burns. Chisholm-Burns described how completing a survey of deans led to the discovery of several key issues of importance across departments. Deans were concerned with a variety of issues, including budget and resources, student enrolment, diversity and social justice, and politics and relevance. They also identified potential opportunities to address questions about higher education’s relevance, and suggested changes and innovations that could positively affect enrolment. “[The further inclusion of deans] would not only give deans insight into broad institutional issues but also allow opportunities for exchanging ideas among deans and other constituents,” wrote Chisholm-Burns. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

NB CUPE locals vote to strike, UMFA authorizes strike vote

10 CUPE locals in New Brunswick, which include workers from the New Brunswick Community College and Collèges communautaires du New Brunswick, have voted overwhelmingly to strike. Communication reportedly broke down between the CUPE members and the Government of New Brunswick on Sept 3. CBC says that NB wanted CUPE to agree to a variety of concessions, and argued that wage restraint was necessary due to the pandemic’s impact on the province. In Manitoba, members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association have voted to authorize the union to hold a strike vote. “It’s hard to attract new staff and keep existing staff when they can work elsewhere for fewer hours and more money,” said UMFA president Orvie Dingwall in a release. The UMFA has also accused the Government of Manitoba of interfering in negotiations, noting that the similarity of the latest wage offer from the university to wage freeze restrictions imposed by the government in 2016. CBC (NB) | CBC (MB) | Global News (NB | MB)

WLU, Fleming renew pathway program for Environmental Studies students

Wilfrid Laurier University and Fleming College have announced that they have renewed their 2+2 pathway that allows graduates from Fleming’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences to earn both a diploma and degree in four years. The program allows graduates from six Fleming programs to enter the third year of WLU’s Honours Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. “We are pleased to extend this pathway opportunity with Laurier for another two years,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. “Our changing climate has created an urgency and put an increased focus on the protection of our environment and natural resources through sustainable growth. With the renewal of our agreement, we will continue to train future leaders in the field whose knowledge and expertise will be in high demand.” Fleming (ON)

Postsecondary institutions unveil new Indigenous logos, projects

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario and British Columbia have unveiled new logos, art pieces, and other projects to recognize Indigenous contributions and Truth and Reconciliation. At George Brown College, a new logo for Indigenous Education and Services featuring a star blanket design has been unveiled. The College of New Caledonia has unveiled a new ?Esdilagh logo, which has been placed alongside the logos of other First Nations on CNC’s atrium wall. Canadore College has installed the “Every Child Matters – Tree of Life” created by the General Carpenter Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Women in the Commerce Court Campus atrium. Ryerson University has unveiled a steel Ring art installation at the intersection of Gould Street and the Nelson Mandela Walk, which was designed by Indigenous architecture firm Two Row Architect. Nation Talk (1) | Nation Talk (2) | Nation Talk (3) | Nation Talk (4) (National)

Queen’s AMS call for end to relationship with Coke Canada Bottling

Students from Queen’s University’s Alma Mater Society have called on the university to open up opportunities for more local and sustainable products by ending an exclusivity agreement with Coke Canada Bottling. “We’re really home to like a lot of great local vendors who produce on a small scale and sustainably,” says AMS Environmental Sustainability Commissioner Jessica Wile. “Especially if you’ve been to the Memorial Centre farmers market, I always see some great vendors there, as well as some more local general stores.” Queen’s states that it has formed a stakeholder group to review the future of exclusivity contracts, and Wile says that Queen’s administration has been supportive in giving her a seat at the table for further discussions. Global News (ON)