Top Ten

December 7, 2021

UManitoba, PolyMTL, UWindsor, Trent announce updates on labour negotiations

Four institutions have recently provided updates on key labour negotiations. At the University of Manitoba, Global News reports that a tentative deal has been reached between the university and the UMFA. The UMFA Executive Council advised members to ratify the tentative agreement before the ratification vote late last night. Polytechnique Montréal has reached an agreement with the Association des professionnelles et professionnels de recherche de l’École Polytechnique (APREP), which represents approximately 200 research associates. Faculty at the University of Windsor have ratified a collective agreement that will see improvements in areas such as including equity, Indigenization, and workload. Trent University and the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3908 Unit 2 have reached a tentative deal on a new contract, which will be voted on by members. Global News | PolyMTL | OCUFA | Peterborough Examiner (Trent) (QC | ON | MB) | PS. The tentative agreement between UMFA and UManitoba has been ratified, bringing the strike to an end. UMFA

BC announces $5.5M in funding for 46 co-op, WIL projects at postsecondary institutions

The Government of British Columbia has announced that it is providing $5.5M in funding for 46 co-op and work-integrated learning projects at 25 public postsecondary institutions. The funding will give students access to up to 3,000 new co-op or WIL opportunities, including opportunities in Interior and northern communities, opportunities for students with disabilities, opportunities with new employers, and more. The projects include the re-establishment or re-start of co-op programs at institutions such as College of the Rockies and Nicola Valley Institute of Technology; multi-institutional partnerships such as a regional partnership between the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, University of Northern British Columbia and Thompson Rivers University; and the expansion of internal capacity with new positions such as an employment development officer at the University of Victoria. BC | BC (Backgrounder) | Castanet (BC)

Preparing for interviews for faculty jobs: Opinion

Those interviewing for academic positions can use a number of strategies to prepare to do their very best on interviews, writes Gaeun Seo. Seo writes that candidates can expect search committees to ask questions about the candidate’s values and experiences with research, teaching and advising, and service. Candidates can prepare and practice for these questions well in advance of the interview to ensure they have talking points. Finally, Seo recommends that candidates prepare their own questions for the search committee to demonstrate their interest in the position. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

PEI housing crunch creates crisis for students looking to live in Charlottetown

The ongoing housing crisis in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island has made it difficult for students to find rental apartments in the area. At the University of Prince Edward Island, the student union is asking the provincial government to expand eligibility for rental vouchers for postsecondary students. "Rent prices around Charlottetown are just so high it's taking food off students' tables," said UPEISU Vice-President Anagha Muralidharan. Another recent article in CBC showcased the experience of mature international student Adrian Mendez, who walked 32 kilometers each day in 2019 to attend Holland College. Mendez had travelled to PEI from Mexico to study computer networking technology on the island. "I will recommend [to international students] to look very hard before coming, to find a place where to live and have good enough money to buy a good car,” said Mendez. CBC | CBC (PEI)

Carleton receives $3M to support students with disabilities

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will be providing Carleton University with $3M to support postsecondary students with disabilities. The three-year funding aims to address barriers to employment for persons with disabilities through providing support and resources to help them transition into employment. The funds will support the David C Onley Initiative’s second phase, which includes initiatives such as building renovations, research, pedagogical development, and an online toolkit other postsecondary institutions can use to support students across ON. “Carleton is committed to being the most accessible campus in Canada,” said Carleton President Benoit-Antoine Bacon. “This investment will allow the university to continue to help graduates with disabilities enter and succeed in the working world.” Carleton | ON (ON)

AB invests $2M in expanding educational opportunities for students with disabilities

The Government of Alberta is investing $2M to expand educational opportunities for students with developmental disabilities. The funding will create more spaces in universities, colleges, and technical institutes to give students the opportunity to gain education. Eligible individuals will be able to access training through the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Program or the Transitional Vocation Program, which will give them the opportunity to participate in classes, develop personally, and build the knowledge and skills they will need in the workforce. “Every Albertan deserves the opportunity to live independently and fully participate in their communities by finding and maintaining meaningful employment,” wrote AB Minister of Community and Social Services Jason Luan. “Expanding access to inclusive post-secondary education programs in Alberta is a step in the right direction.” AB (AB)

Institutions, students navigate pandemic instruction methods

Postsecondary institutions across Canada are continuing to navigate adapting their modes of teaching to the risks associated with COVID-19, writes Joe Friesen of The Globe and Mail. Some institutions are weighing the risks and benefits of offering in-person instruction and are waiting for direction in regards to the Omicron COVID-19 variant. However, some are offering more on-campus activities. Students have various demands, with some petitioning against and some for online classes. Christopher Buddle, associate provost at McGill University, explained that there is a value to in-person instruction, but says that thought must be given to which elements are best in person. Carleton University economics professor Frances Woolley suspects that the pandemic has brought “permanent change[s] in the way we deliver education” in the future. Globe and Mail (National)

Sask Polytech receives RBC funding to support student success

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has received $450K in funding from the Royal Bank of Canada's Future Launch program. The funding will support skills enhancement training that will focus on increasing diversity in the trades and reducing barriers to education and employment for those who are at-risk or vulnerable. “This funding will help learners build their technical skills, soft skills and enhance their self-confidence to reach their educational goals or launch a new career path,” said Sask Polytech President Dr Larry Rosia. Sask Polytech (SK)

Concordia receives $1M for Social Justice Centre

Concordia University’s Social Justice Centre has received a $1M gift from the Flanagan Foundation. The centre was originally launched through Flanagan Foundation funding, and the new investment will be used to strengthen it by expanding social justice research and teaching. “Social justice is an urgent issue that must be addressed from multiple perspectives,” said Flanagan Foundation founder and co-director Jacqueline Flanagan. “Accelerating research, dialogue and fellowships in social justice is a priority shared by our foundation and by Concordia University.” Concordia (1) | Concordia (2) (QC)

Northern, Algonquin sign MOU to offer Agriculture Business program at Northern campuses

Northern College and Algonquin College have signed a MOU that will see Algonquin’s Agriculture Business program being offered at Northern campuses. Students in the program will learn farming management skills through in-class lectures and co-op placements in order to meet the labour needs of the region. “We are excited about this collaboration that will provide Northern students access to Algonquin College’s programming expertise,” stated Algonquin President Claude Brulé. “Agriculture is an increasingly complex industry, and this collaboration will help us meet the growing demand to have students knowledgeable about farming practices and technology.” Northern also recently announced that it is developing plans to offer a three-year degree program in Welding Technology and Metallurgy. Algonquin | Northern (ON)