Top Ten

November 10, 2021

SK announces ECE training partnership with Collège Mathieu, Sask Polytech, SIIT

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced a $4.8M partnership with Collège Mathieu, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies focused on providing Early Childhood Education (ECE) training. The partnership will support initiatives such as the development and delivery of training opportunities, accelerated ECE training, supports for high school students and adult learners interested in pursuing careers in the area, and professional development. SK is also providing an additional $1.9M to support staff participation in training and learning opportunities provided by the postsecondary institutions. SK (SK)

MB, partners launch Retrain Manitoba to support skills training, retraining

The Government of Manitoba has partnered with Economic Development Winnipeg and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to launch a new $12.5M workforce skills development grant program called Retrain Manitoba. Retrain Manitoba will allow employers to apply for a reimbursement on training costs of up to $2.5K per employee. The program will cover industry-recognized training courses from MB and other locations that are provided by third-party organizations. “The economic disruptions businesses have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects on the local, national and global economies,” said Manitoba Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration Minister Wayne Ewasko. “This investment will go a long way to helping businesses support employees who are looking to expand their skills so they can diversify and grow our economy.” MB (MB)

YorkU Prof pens article on history, current constraints on Academic Freedom

A new article by York University Professor Emeritus Paul Axelrod in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education takes a deep look at academic freedom in the Canadian university sector. Axelrod discusses the origins of academic freedom, the “long, complex history” of academic freedom and its evolution, and the many factors that have supported or constrained it. Looking to the future, the author points to potential risks for academic freedom that will need to be mitigated, including those related to different tiers of faculty, relationships with research sponsors, and industry contractors. CJHE | CJHE (Article) (Editorial)

NS to boost student loans for Dal nursing students

The Government of Nova Scotia has announced that it will be increasing student loans for nursing students after a CBC article found that the current loans were not enough to cover housing and food. CBC reports that the gap was only an issue for nursing students at Dalhousie University because their studies are considered intensive. NS will be reassessing 250 students and issuing them up to $3.3K in additional funds. “The ability to have student loans assessed for the correct number of weeks will help ease our stress around tuition, food and rent,” said the Dalhousie University Nursing Society’s co-president Anika Daclan. “Moreover, it will allow for us to concentrate on finishing our studies and giving back to our community through service.” CBC (NS)

McMaster receives donations for library, increasing access to education

McMaster University has recently received large donations for increasing its library collections and supporting equity-deserving students in accessing university education. Carol and Victor Nunn, who met as colleagues working at McMaster’s library, bequeathed almost $1.1M to the library. The funds will be used to build on their legacy by building the library’s collections. “These kinds of gifts [allow] you to do that little bit more, to purchase things that you wouldn’t ordinarily have had the opportunity to purchase,” said McMaster’s head librarian Vivian Lewis. McMaster alumnus Alan Hitchen has established the Alan Hitchen Access Strategy Award through a $1M gift. The award will be given to students who otherwise would not be able to attend university due to financial constraints. The Standard | McMaster (ON)

MHC launches Service Dog and Canine Studies Management diploma

Medicine Hat College has announced that it is launching a Service Dog and Canine Studies Management diploma. Students in the two-year program will be prepared for careers in areas such as training service dogs to support people living with health issues and owning and operating kennels, dog grooming businesses, or training operations. The program includes work-integrated learning where students will work directly with dogs. “We are partnering with other organizations in the sector to ensure that our students gain the work experience and knowledge required to be successful upon graduation,” said MHC VP, academic and Provost Dr Vicky Roy. “A lot of passion and work went into developing this diploma.” MHC says that it is the first postsecondary institution in Canada to offer such a course. MHC (AB)

Rare tornado causes damage to UBC’s Grey Point campus

An EF0-rated tornado caused damage to the University of British Columbia’s Grey Point campus on Saturday. The waterspout, which CBC reports is the first in the City of Vancouver in over five decades, formed near Vancouver International Airport and moved north toward Howe Sound, causing damage to vehicles, trees, and power lines. The tornado caused hail, rain, and winds of 90 to 110 kilometers an hour on the UBC campus. As of Monday, University Boulevard was closed because of the storm, resulting in three bus routes being rerouted and shuttle busses being added in one area to provide transit for passengers. CBC | CTV News | Global News (BC)

KingsU collaborates with FCW to allow students to gain credits through playing in FCW bands

A new collaboration between The King’s University (Edmonton) and Festival City Winds (FCW) Music Society has enabled KingsU instrumentalists to earn large ensemble credits by playing in one of four levels of Edmonton’s FCW bands. Students are be placed at an appropriate level, ensuring that they can continue to play music for the love of it. “Smaller universities don’t have big enough music departments to run a band program and yet a lot of students who come to university to do music come through school band programs and they’d like to keep on playing,” said KingsU music instructor Dr Eila Peterson. Peterson added that the option to play in a band will fulfill the large ensemble credit students need to complete a music degree. KingsU (AB)

CapilanoU introduces Minor in Cinema Studies

Capilano University has announced a new Minor in Cinema Studies. Students in any faculty can choose to pursue the minor as part of their bachelor degree, starting in January 2022. The program will focus on teaching students about aesthetic and theoretical traditions related to cinema. “Building on the School of Motion Picture Arts’ technical expertise and award-winning industry experienced instructors, the Minor in Cinema Studies will provide students with the skills to recognize the forces that shape motion pictures and impact audiences, while increasing their own media literacy and critical thinking skills,” said CapilanoU VP Academic and Provost Laureen Styles. CapilanoU (BC)

Scholars discuss how to improve open access while avoiding spreading misinformation

Scholars are debating how to ensure that open-access science is used appropriately and how to effectively avoid spreading misinformation, writes Suzanne Smalley. Smalley discusses the views of a variety of scholars who provide their insight on open access publications. While open access has made research more available, Librarian Roger Schonfeld explains, it has also made it easier for research to be misinterpreted and used to spread misinformation. Brian Nosek discussed how since researchers advance through publishing, there is a conflict of interest between what is good for professors and what will benefit science. Ivan Oransky explained that not all the blame of misinformation can be placed on preprints, since peer review has not caught all problems texts may have. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)