Top Ten

November 8, 2021

Report backs UOttawa professors in using N-word in academic contexts

A report prepared by a committee at the University of Ottawa has backed the rights of professors to use the N-word in an academic context, report CBC and the Ottawa Citizen. “The committee is not in favour of institutional or self-censorship that is apt to compromise the dissemination of knowledge or is motivated by fear of public repudiation,” read the report. “The committee believes that students and the University community must be willing to address sensitive topics in an academic context.” The committee stated that UOttawa should “unequivocally reaffirm its commitment to academic freedom and freedom of expression,” and made other recommendations, including the establishment of a committee that would implement policies and receive complaints and the creation of a plan for fighting racism. The university student union stated that the report’s recommendations fell “grossly short” of their expectations, and UOttawa Black Student Leaders Association member Josiane N'tchoreret-Mbiamany expressed shock at the report’s recommendation. CBC | Ottawa Citizen | UOttawa (ON)

NSCC, MHC, COTR launch programs to address labour shortages, labour market changes

Nova Scotia Community College, Medicine Hat College, and the College of the Rockies have all recently announced new training opportunities and programs to address labour shortages in their local communities. NSCC has partnered with the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association to provide skills training and employment opportunities related to the boatbuilding industry. MHC has announced a one-year practical nurse refresher certificate that will help nurses re-enter the field, as well as a sustainable innovation program that will provide learners with career paths that will lead change, drive new ways of doing business, and create a future in line with the UN’s Global Sustainable Development goals. College of the Rockies has received $650K from the Government of British Columbia to deliver two intakes of a professional Class 1 truck drivers program and foster talent for professional driving jobs in the Columbia Valley. NS | MHC (1) | MHC (2) | BC (NS | AB | BC)

Canadian students prioritize skills training over university education: Editorial

Canadian students are prioritizing skills training over university education, writes Nicole Edwards in the Globe and Mail. Based on data from 2019, Edwards reports that Canadian youth are three times more likely than youth from other countries to have earned a college diploma. The author says that students appear to be increasingly seeking employability and hard skills. With the crossover between universities and colleges increasing, universities are offering more experiential learning opportunities, and colleges are looking at offering more than just skills. Edwards says that graduates of colleges, universities, and polytechnics have a similar ability to find jobs related to their area of study in many sectors, although some still expect a university degree in order to move up in a company. The Globe and Mail (Editorial)

Sault, NFCS partner to increase access to experiential learning, development of training

Sault College and the Nogdawindamin Family and Community Services (NFCS) gathered at Garden River First Nation’s Teaching Lodge to hold a ceremony and sign a MOU. The two parties will work together to increase Indigenous-specific experiential learning for Sault students, promote Sault as a viable education option for and offer Employment Solutions access to youth transitioning out of care, and develop training and upskilling programs to meet the NFCS’s hiring needs. “With this partnership, we will enhance our complement of staff who are recent graduates of Sault College, knowing the College will provide them with the education that directly reflects the field they will be working within, such as Indigenous Agencies like Nogdawindamin,” said NFCS CEO Kerry Francis. Sault (ON)

BCIT officially opens Industrial Network Cybersecurity Lab

BCIT has officially opened the doors to its Industrial Network Cybersecurity Lab, which it says is the first facility of its kind. The fully interactive, state-of-the-art INC Lab will be used to train students in the two-year Industrial Network Cybersecurity program using game-based learning. “We had a sizeable equipment donation from Cisco utilizing their Country Digital Acceleration funding and CBVL Robotics in Coquitlam provided the Operations Desk. Rockwell Automation gave us a significant discount on the remaining operational technology,” said INC Program Head Roger Gale. “The very strong support from industry for the lab is a testament to BCIT’s vast industry network.” BCIT (BC)

UWindsor Board approves four-year contract with WUFA

The University of Windsor Board of Governors has approved a new four-year collective agreement with the Windsor University Faculty Association (WUFA). WUFA represents nearly 1,000 faculty members, librarians, learning specialists, psychologists, and coaches. The contract includes the introduction of a new rank to the professoriate of “Teaching Intensive Faculty,” provides additional flexibility to faculties, and a salary increase. Several changes have been made to the contract regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations. “Overall, the new collective agreement strengthens the rights of our members, affords faculty members improvements that facilitate a more research-intensive environment, and promotes better governance at the University,” said WUFA President Anna Lanoszka. UWindsor (ON)

QC organization calls for paid internships to resolve education program drop out rates

Québec solidaire has called for all educational internships to be paid experiences in order to encourage more students to pursue and graduate from educational programs in Quebec. Last week, Journal de Montréal reported that high drop out rates in education programs was fueling a teacher shortage in the province, and QC Premier François Legault promised to take action. The Journal reports that student financial insecurity and a high demand for teachers means that some students will interrupt their studies to take up work opportunities with QC school districts. Québec solidaire spokesperson Alexandre Leduc stated that paid internships would reduce the financial pressure faced by students and allow them to complete their program. Journal de Montréal (QC)

Federated universities continue to feel fall out of insolvency, NOSM missing bursary money

Institutions that were federated with or connected to Laurentian are continuing to feel the fallout of the university’s insolvency and restructuring situation, report CBC and The Star. Thorneloe University stated that it is in an “unwelcome transition year” with a grim short-term financial picture. University of Sudbury president Serge Miville expressed optimism about the potential future as USudbury lobbies the provincial and federal government for permanent funding and invests $1.5M in renovations into its 150-room residence. In a recent town hall, The Star reports that NOSM University believes it may be losing out on “millions of dollars in bursary money” that were held by Laurentian as a result of Laurentian’s insolvency situation. CBC | The Star (ON)

TRU receives $550K to equip training lab for finance students

Thompson Rivers University’s School of Business and Economics has received a $550K investment from Raymond James (Canada) Ltd and FactSet. The funds will be used to equip a trading lab for TRU’s finance students to give them an opportunity to experience what a stock trading floor is like. The Raymond James Trading Lab will have five dual-screen trading stations. Included in the gift is a five-year commitment to equip the stations with cutting-edge software and to provide training for students. “The new trading floor will elevate the experiential learning by providing professional training and research experience for our students,” said TRU School of Business and Economics Dean Mike Henry. TRU (BC)

MPHEC releases graduate degree outcomes data

The Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission has released an infographic on the residence and activities of master’s and doctoral degree graduates from universities in the Maritimes. The data shows that just under two-thirds of master’s and doctoral degree graduates from the Class of 2015 remained in the region three years after graduation. This retention was strongly related to the graduate’s origin: 83% of graduates originally from the Maritimes stayed after graduation, compared to 19% who came from another Canadian province or territory and 53% of international students. Similar results were noted in the Classes of 2000, 2005, and 2009-10. MPHEC | MPHEC (NB | PE | NS)