Top Ten

October 15, 2021

UoGuelph launches Bachelor of One Health degree program

The University of Guelph has announced that it is launching a Bachelor of One Health (BOH) degree program. The program will examine health problems from a holistic perspective, considering interactions between animal, human, and ecological systems. Students in the program will learn about socio-cultural and scientific perspectives, interdisciplinary problem solving, and mitigation of issues such as transmission of zoonotic diseases and anti-microbial resistance. “This program helps to meet the needs of students who have interests in both science and social sciences, and those who are looking to make connections with real-world complex health issues and challenges facing society,” said Heather Pollock, UoGuelph’s CBS manager of academic programs. The program is reportedly the first four-year undergraduate One Health program in Canada. UoGuelph (ON)

Concordia receives $1M for Beat the Odds internship program

Concordia University has received a $1M gift from the RBC Foundation that will strengthen the institution’s Beat the Odds internships. The internships provide students who are from historically underrepresented backgrounds with experiential learning opportunities. “The Beat the Odds internships funded by RBC will help level the playing field,” said Concordia’s vice-provost of partnerships and experiential learning Nadia Bhuiyan. “RBC’s support will promote inclusiveness and address challenges often encountered by international, Black and Indigenous students, refugees, peoples of colour, students with significant financial challenges, students who are parents and students with disabilities.” Concordia (QC)

Mohawk Technology Access Centre in Digital Health receives $1.75M renewal grant

Mohawk College’s mHealth & eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC) has received a renewed $1.75M federal grant to support its Technology Access Centre in Digital Health. The funding, which comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, will support innovation at the centre as well as adoption and commercialization of digital technology in the healthcare field. “This renewal allows the talented MEDIC team to continue providing the digital health sector with world-class applied research support,” said Mohawk VPA Alison Horton. “At the same time, it offers dozens of student researchers the opportunity to apply their keen, innovative perspectives to pressing digital challenges and to gain hands-on experience in the field.” Mohawk (ON)

Lethbridge announces launch of Esports

Lethbridge College has announced that its students will now have the opportunity to competitively compete in Esports. Lethbridge gamers can now join the Canadian Collegiate Esports League (CCEL), and will have the opportunity to play a variety of games including Rocket League, League of Legends, and Super Smash Bros. Students will be able to participate in both tournaments and intramural leagues. “It is exciting that we can add more student-athletes to our Kodiaks family,” says Todd Caughlin, manager of Lethbridge’s Kodiaks Athletics. “We saw the passion our inaugural Kodiaks esports student-athletes brought to their competitions last year, and we feel like we can build something really special with a dedicated coach and resources. Lethbridge News Now (AB)

Tips for another semester of pandemic teaching: Editorial

In a recent Chronicle of Higher Ed article, Beth McMurtrie discusses a variety of teaching tips compiled from instructors around the world that faculty can use as they navigate another semester of pandemic teaching. Tips include making more detailed slides and documenting class discussions to make it easier for students who must miss class time, fostering online discussions, offering students flexibility in assignments and due dates, and giving students the option of pre-recording their presentations. Ontario Tech University professor Sharon Lauricella explained how allowing students to be creative with their final projects resulted in unique projects that played to students’ strengths and were also fun to grade. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

UMFA says low wages at UManitoba lead to brain drain, hiring challenges

As the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) moves toward a strike vote, the association is saying that the University of Manitoba’s low salaries are contributing to a “brain drain” and making it difficult to hire new faculty. UMFA says that the Government of Manitoba has imposed restrictions which have resulted in salaries that are too low to attract and retain faculty and are leading to talent choosing to join other institutions. UManitoba faculty are saying that this has led to a staffing shortage, with students unable to get into the classes they need to progress in their programs and staff facing unsustainable workloads. “When we don’t properly fund our universities, students go elsewhere — so does research and innovation,” said UMFA president Orvie Dingwall. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC (MB)

ON invests over $400K to strengthen training for Francophone students at UOttawa, organizations

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will be investing over $400K in training and hands-on opportunities to strengthen ON’s bilingual health care workforce. The funds will allow the University of Ottawa, La Cité, and Montfort Hospital to enhance French-language tools and clinical experiences. Francophone students will have patient care and simulation exercises paired, which will help them develop their clinical competency skills while respecting health and safety regulations. UOttawa and La Cité will also be partnering to develop virtual modules in French to provide Francophone students with training in areas such as ethics, infections, and immunity. “We … recognize the importance of offering French-language training for nurses to prepare for work in Francophone and bilingual health settings,” said Jill Dunlop, ON’s Minister of Colleges and Universities. ON (ON)

Postsecondary institutions are not preparing students adequately for job market: Editorial

In a recent CBC article University of Toronto students Grace Cameron and Rui Liu, former University of Calgary President Harvey Weingarten, historian Erin Bartram, and author Oz Almog discuss how postsecondary institutions are not preparing students to meet the basic expectations of the job market, saying that a decline in higher education was occurring previous to COVID-19. The article details a variety of challenges that the sector faces, including rising domestic and international tuition, stagnant or decreasing public funding, more use of adjunct instructors, and a difficult job market for graduates. Weingarten said that potentially one in four or one in five graduates do not have basic literacy and numeracy levels, and some may not have adequate critical thinking skills. Almog described how education could be reimagined to provide students with more personalized support, while Weingarten noted that reimagining education in terms of personalization and small, boutique public universities could potentially help solve these problems. CBC (Editorial)

CAUT, FQPPU, SPUL denounce proposed changes to ULaval governance

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), the Fédération Québecoise des Professeures et Professeurs d’Université (FQPPU), and the Syndicat des professeurs et professeures de l’Université Laval (SPUL) are denouncing proposed changes to statutes that would undermine the principle of collegial governance at Université Laval. Changes would limit the ability of academic staff to participate in academic governance, and would limit the Conseil universitaire’s power. “It has been well established and widely accepted that academic staff, through their participation in Senate and other academic governance bodies, exercise the primary responsibility for decision-making on all academic matters,” said CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “This must be maintained by all institutions to ensure the quality and integrity of the academic mission.” CAUT (National)

Sask Polytech opens new DICE office

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has announced that it has opened its new Polytechnic Digital Integration Centre of Excellence (DICE) office. The office, which is located at Innovation Place, provides a space for DICE to work on its data-driven digital applied research. “We are excited for DICE to join the Innovation Place community,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. “DICE has an important role to play in advancing Saskatchewan’s growing tech sector and continues to position Saskatchewan Polytechnic at the forefront of data and digital applied research in Canada.” Sask Polytech (SK)