Top Ten

December 3, 2021

Too much of ON tuition coming from international students: Lysyk

A recent report from the Ontario Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk says that Ontario’s reliance on international student tuition poses serious financial risks to the postsecondary system, reports the Globe and Mail. In Ontario, 68% of college tuition revenue reportedly comes from international students. Journalist Joe Friesen writes that 62% of international students are from India, and that the number of international students has increased partially in response to government funding stagnating. Domestic enrolments have declined 15% since 2012-2013, while international enrolments have increased 342%. Lysyk says that relying on funds from international students is risky, since institutions do not have control over factors such as visas and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities does not have a plan for managing a sudden decline in international students. The Globe and Mail (ON)

UAlberta receives $55.1M investment for vaccines, anti-viral diseases

The University of Alberta has received a $55.1M grant from the Government of Alberta to conduct research on the prevention and treatment of viral illnesses like COVID-19. In addition to supporting new and ongoing research work at the university, the funds will pay for upgrades and new facilities. Among these will be a new structural biology lab equipped with a cryogenic electronic microscope, which is the fourth of its kind in the country. “If we’re going to remain competitive internationally — which we all want to be — you need great people with great instruments. This is critical,” said UAlberta Professor and Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology Founding Director Dr Lorne Tyrrell. UAlberta | CBC (AB)

NS Auditor General raises question around COVID-19 relief deal with Dal

A report from Auditor General Kim Adair has questioned the amount of money provided by the Government of Nova Scotia to Dalhousie University to create and run COVID-19 relief programs on the government’s behalf before they had been developed and costed, reports CBC. The money has not been fully spent to date, according to CBC. Dal officials told a Nova Scotia Legislature committee that the university was open to renegotiating the $100M deal signed in March 2020, but Associate Deputy Minister Geoff Gatien told the committee that the department is not looking to do so. Economic Development Deputy Minister Scott Farmer said NS had not had the resources to handle relief programs alone. "[Dal was] a valuable tool in the toolkit the province had to be able to deliver relief," said Farmer. CBC (1) | CBC (2) (NS)

QC unveils $3.9B Opération main-d'oeuvre plan to incentivise study in areas of high need

The Government of Quebec has unveiled its $3.9B Opération main-d'oeuvre plan, which will implement 80 measures in six areas to meet labour needs. Individuals who are currently unemployed will be given an allowance of $475 a week to study in areas that currently have a shortage of workers. The plan aims to integrate 60,000 individuals in the mental health, youth protection, education, and childcare sectors, and 110,000 skilled workers in information technology, engineering, and construction. Programs in these areas will be made more attractive through providing financial support and work-study programs. All students enrolled in high-need areas will be eligible for scholarships of $9K for three-year cegep-level programs, $15K for three-year university-level programs, and $20K for four-year university programs starting in Fall 2022. CBC | Journal de Montréal (QC)

RRC Polytech launches largest fundraising campaign in institution’s history

Red River College Polytechnic has launched its largest-ever fundraising campaign: In Front of What’s Ahead. The $60M campaign will pursue three priority areas: Enhancing student life, transforming spaces, and amplifying impact. “As Manitoba’s polytechnic, we have a responsibility to equip our students and partners with the skills, facilities, technology and pathways they need to get in front of a rapidly changing workforce,” says Fred Meier, RRC Polytech President. Prior to the campaign’s official launch earlier this week, the institution received $13M in support from individuals, organizations, and other supporters. RRC Polytech (MB)

McGill receives $2M grant for carbon-free energy storage, conversion research

McGill University’s Centre for Innovation in Storage and Conversion of Energy has received a $2M grant from TD Bank Group that will be used to boost research capacity in carbon-free energy solutions, support students and researchers, and facilitate technology transfer. The Centre, which is based in the Faculty of Engineering, brings together a network of 40 professors, each with teams of students, from multiple faculties across the university. The research will contribute to a cleaner, carbon-free future. “We are very grateful to TD for this timely and visionary donation to help find solutions to the climate crisis,” said Jim Nicell, Dean of McGill’s Faculty of Engineering. “In our work to move towards a sustainable economy based on renewable energy, it is imperative that we develop affordable carbon-free energy carriers and energy storage technologies.” McGill (QC)

Laurentian, Cambrian, Boréal collaborate on video about victims of sexual violence

Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal have collaborated on the production of a video that features the testimonials of three victims of sexual violence. The institutions hope that the video will encourage other victims of sexual violence to report their cases. "We know that there's one in three women will go through some sort of sexual violence throughout their life. There's one in six men that will go through that,” said Isabelle Chaussé, Boréal's manager of mental health initiatives. CBC reports that ON introduced new regulatory amendments around sexual violence and harassment policies in September 2021, and that institutions have until March 1st to amend their polices accordingly. CTV News | CBC (ON)

BurmanU joins MyCreds™ National Network

Burman University has announced that it has joined the MyCreds™ National Network. As part of the network, BurmanU students and graduates will be able to access a virtual credential wallet that contains their official transcripts and parchments and share these documents securely with other institutions, the government, employers, and third parties. “We are delighted to join the MyCreds™ family and expand the National Network across institutions of all sizes in the country,” said BurmanU Registrar Lawrence Murrin. “Our learners will now benefit from 24/7 access to their digital academic documents to support their journey to employment or future study.” BurmanU | My Creds (AB)

18-year-old facing charges after pointing imitation firearm at Carleton students

An 18-year-old from Durham, Ontario is facing charges after pointing a pellet gun that looked like a firearm at Carleton University students. Ottawa police received a call from campus security after midnight on Saturday, who said they were investigating an incident involving a person aiming a firearm at students on campus. The accused is facing charges for pointing a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon, as well as unlawful possession of a counterfeit document after they were discovered to have a fraudulent driver’s license. Global News | Ottawa Citizen (ON)

Ambrose acts on two Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations

Ambrose University has announced that it is acting on two recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The board has acted on recommendation numbers 48 and 49, which are to affirm the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery. “[This] represents a deep resolve of the Board and the university as a whole,” wrote Board of Governors Chair Debi Mills and President Gordon T Smith. “[W]ith God’s help, we will do all we can to live in truth, pursue justice and foster reconciliation between indigenous and settler peoples. Moreover, we join those who share this resolve in working towards a reality that reflects these core values in our society and in the church.” Ambrose (AB)