Top Ten

October 20, 2021

NS nursing students question why NS not “hurrying” to recruit them

Nursing students are questioning why Nova Scotia’s nursing recruiters are not more actively recruiting them for jobs, given the provincial need for nurses, reports CBC. Dalhousie University students in their final year of nursing studies have taken the initiative of organizing meetings with NS recruiters to talk about opportunities, and students have reportedly been approached by recruiters from provinces such as British Columbia with offers and bonuses before being approached by NSHA. NSHA stated that it typically reaches out to Atlantic university nursing programs in September, but Nova Scotia Nurses’ Union president Janet Hazelton said that students from other institutions are also in the same situation. NS office of health-care recruitment CEO Dr Kevin Orrell has said that in the future, students will be approached with offers at the end of their first year so that they can choose clinical placements strategically. CBC (NS)

RRC Polytech celebrates the opening of new innovation centre

Red River College Polytechnic has opened its new $95.4M innovation centre to the public. The 100,000-square-foot facility can hold 1,200 people, and has 18 classrooms and five labs which will serve as learning spaces for programs at the Exchange District campus. Students will be able to engage in “reverse-practicums” through a space that has 18 offices situated around a common area. Offices will be given to entrepreneurs innovating in areas such as health, community, and government, who will use the space for four months and receive assistance from students in applied computer education. Winnipeg Free Press (AB)

Western extends pause on international exchange program

Western University has announced an extension of its pause on its international exchange program, reports the Woodstock Sentinel-Review. Exchange programs, internships, faculty-led study abroad courses, research placements, and conference travel will continue to be affected by the suspension. The extension is aligned with the Government of Canada’s recommendation to avoid non-essential international travel, as well as Western’s safety abroad policy. “At this time, we are planning for summer 2022 international programs and experiences to go ahead,” said Western International Senior Director Lise Laporte in a statement. “We will continue to monitor and assess the situation and will advise on any changes to summer 2022 travel by the end of March.” Woodstock Sentinel-Review (ON)

UMFA members vote to authorize strike

The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) has voted to authorize a strike, with 85% of members having voted in support of a strike. 1,088 out of 1,265 members participated in the vote. The UMFA is requesting a salary increase of 4.5% over the next two years to put salaries at the University of Manitoba more in line with other U15 institutions. A judge from the Manitoba Court of Appeal has also “reinforced” a previous ruling that the Government of Manitoba interfered with contract negotiations between UManitoba and UMFA by “secretly” giving UManitoba a salary mandate in 2016. CBC | The Star (MB)

How changes to USask’s Engineering program have supported student success

In a recent article from the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, students, alumni, and staff from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Engineering reflect on the changes that the program has undergone to support student success. The program’s first year has been completely overhauled, with staggered start dates for classes and synchronized student schedules. The emphasis of the program’s evaluations has been moved from exams to competency-based assessments, and classes have been better integrated so that students are not asked about material that they have not covered yet. The programming also focuses on teaching students marketable skills so that they are job ready. “We’re just trying to do a better job ... [of p]reparing the students for second year and beyond. And for having a more interesting, fun and stimulating first-year experience,” said Sean Maw, the Jerry G Huff Chair in Innovative Teaching at USask’s College of Engineering. The Star Phoenix (SK)

Queen’s announces two partnerships to increase opportunities for students in Nigeria, BC

Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business has announced two new partnerships that will increase opportunities for students in Nigeria and British Columbia. Queen’s has partnered with the Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria to allow Queen’s MBA and Master of International Business students to pursue exchange opportunities at the Pan-Atlantic University’s Lagos Business School. The collaboration will facilitate exchange between students and faculty as well as contribute to solving shared problems and local challenges. Queen’s Centre for Business Venturing has partnered with Spalyan Education Group to train individuals from six Indigenous communities in business, entrepreneurship, and management through three programs. Programs will focus on training around 30 members of First Nations in skills such as business applications, proposal writing, and Indigenous leadership. Queen’s (1) | Queen’s (2) (ON)

How NOSM is inspiring other universities to develop progressive medical education

In a new editorial for University Affairs, Diane Peters describes how the Northern Ontario School of Medicine has developed into an independent institution with a progressive view on medical education and how this view is inspiring the development of other medical schools. Peters describes how NOSM’s student training is embedded with social accountability, prioritizes community-based training through placing students in communities, and strives to meet community needs by attracting local students with the hope that they will fill general practitioner positions in underserved regions. “Developing the best health professional workforce is less about the university setting and more based in clinical practice,” said NOSM President Sarita Verma. Peters says that other institutions that are planning to launch medical schools, such as Ryerson University, York University, and Simon Fraser University, are drawing inspiration from NOSM. University Affairs (National)

UBC, Stellat’en First Nation partner on Remote Communities Drone Transportation Initiative

The University of British Columbia and Stellat’en First Nation have partnered on the Remote Communities Drone Transportation Initiative, which will study how drones can be used to deliver medical supplies to remote communities. The one-year study will examine the efficacy of unpiloted aerial vehicles throughout all seasons and their ability to carry supplies such as COVID-19 swabs and blood products. The initiative will work on creating a scalable model for the delivery of medical supplies to Canada’s remote and rural communities. “I think the story to be told here is that we need to start our journey understanding how drone technology will advance the medical supply chain and really deepen our relationship with technology, in a thoughtful, relationship-based way with rural, remote and Indigenous communities,” said UBC professor Dr John Pawlovich. Global News | Nation Talk (BC)

Man charged with three counts of assault with a weapon after stabbing at Loyalist residence

Police have charged a 21-year-old man with three counts of assault with a weapon after an attack at Loyalist College over the weekend, reports Global News. Three people were sustained non-life-threatening injuries in a stabbing at a Loyalist student residence just before 12:30am on Saturday. Two received treatment in hospital. Roland Brazeau has been charged with three counts of assault with a weapon. Global News says that police believe that this is an isolated incident and that there is no continuing danger. Global News (ON)

The hidden “cost” of using OERs: Opinion

Open educational resources (OER) have a hidden cost even though they may decrease the cost of educational materials for students, writes Stuart Barbier. Barbier describes how, although OERs may be free, they are not necessarily of the same quality as paid resources that are developed by experts over hundreds or thousands of hours. The author describes the process of reviewing available OERs that did not present the material effectively, were not written by experts in the field, and were not peer-reviewed. The author says that high quality textbooks can be low cost, and encourages instructors to ensure their chosen texts are affordable and that students are informed about purchase and rental options in advance. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)