Top Ten

December 17, 2021

MB announces investment in 259 nurse training seats at five postsecondary institutions

The Government of Manitoba has announced that it is investing $19.5M to create 259 nurse training seats at five postsecondary institutions, an investment that includes previously announced funding for the University College of the North. The investment is part of a provincial multi-year plan and includes funding for 55 licensed practical nursing seats at Assiniboine Community College, 32 registered nursing and registered psychiatric nursing seats at Brandon University, 15 combined bachelor of nursing and licensed practical nursing seats at the Université de Saint-Boniface, and 120 registered nursing seats at the University of Manitoba. “[Offering programs close to home] not only increases access to opportunities for students but also supports health-care facilities in communities who recruit graduates of these programs,” said MB Premier Heather Stefanson. Brandon Sun | CTV News (MB)

Facing rising COVID-19 cases, institutions delay return to the classroom in Winter semester

Postsecondary institutions in Ontario are continuing to adapt their exam schedules and plans for the next semester as COVID-19 cases increase in the region. York University has announced changes to its winter schedule: Events planned in December will be cancelled or held virtually, and activities and classes will start remotely in the new semester. The University of Guelph will also be holding virtual classes for the first two weeks of the Winter semester, and is encouraging students to get third shots when eligible. The University of Toronto is pivoting in-person exams to other delivery modes or cancelling them, and will plan a remote start for classes. McMaster University also is planning for a remote start, while the University of Waterloo has cancelled gatherings and meetings on campus during the holiday season. OCAD University has delayed the start of the Winter 2022 term to January 28. City News | UoGuelph | CBC (U of T, McMaster) | OCAD U (ON)

Tips for finding and hiring transformative leaders: Opinion

Postsecondary administrators who are involved in hiring leadership members can take a variety of steps to ensure that they hire talented, transformative leaders, writes Nathan O Hatch. Hatch recommends using creativity and unconventional strategies when searching for talented senior administrators, such as modifying a position to match the right candidate, pouring energy into the recruiting process, gaining an understanding of how a candidate might be frustrated by their current position, and protecting the candidate’s confidentially by not requiring top candidates to “stand” publicly with other finalists. The author also encourages leadership to hire for talent’s sake, invest in building long-term relationships, purposefully diversify their leadership, and empower faculty dreams. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Editorial)

TRU announces expansion of on-campus housing with modular units

Thompson Rivers University is expanding its on-campus housing with a modular housing village called West Gate Dormitories, which will be ready for students in January 2022. The modular units, which are built on an under-used parking lot, will provide rooms and private bathrooms to students who are having trouble finding housing in Kamloops. “Using an underused parking lot is a good allocation of our land resources to help address the need for more student accommodations,” said TRU Associate Vice-President Campus Infrastructure, Sustainability and Ancillary Services Warren Asuchak. Castanet reports that construction has started despite the fact that a building permit has not been issued yet for the units, but that city staff are awaiting a few final details and are not concerned about the likelihood of a permit being issued. TRU | Castanet | KamloopsNow (BC)

UAlberta, Tribal Chiefs Ventures sign agreement to recruit physician trainees from First Nations

The University of Alberta has signed an agreement with Tribal Chiefs Ventures that will aim to increase the number of Indigenous physicians by recruiting from six northeastern Alberta First Nations. The First Nations included in the joint partnership are Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Cold Lake First Nation, Frog Lake First Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Kehewin Cree Nation, and Whitefish Lake First Nation No. 128. The partnership will focus on building trust and engaging in relationships that will support success in order to recruit more Indigenous medical school applicants and improve trainee physicians’ understanding of healthcare gaps faced by First Nations peoples. “There is a need for Indigenous medical practitioners — physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, RNs, dentists and others — to help address the needs of First Nations peoples,” Alexis said. “Recruit from us.” UAlberta | CTV News (AB)

Laurentian receives ON financial support, pledges to renew Board of Governors

Laurentian University has announced that it is receiving funding from the Government of Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities to strengthen it and enhance its sustainability. The support includes $35M to enable Laurentian to refinance its existing debtor-in-possession financing, $6M in COVID-19 funding, and $22M in enrolment corridor and performance protection. Laurentian has also announced that it will renew its Board of Governors by appointing five new Lieutenant-Governor-In-Council nominees. CTV News notes that the three existing LGIC nominees and eight other board members resigned on Wednesday, for a total of eleven outgoing members. “With this announcement, new applicants who may be considering Laurentian can feel even more confident in their choice to study in the North, with a fully restructured university,” reads the release. “This package of support from the Province will benefit the entire Laurentian community, as well as the broader region in the North that it serves.” Laurentian | CTV News (ON)

URegina, UEL, VNU-HCM sign MOU focused on international teaching, research

The University of Regina has announced that it has signed an MOU with the University of Economics and Law, Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City (UEL, VNU – HCM) that will encourage international teaching and research collaborations. The MOU includes a student exchange agreement as well as an arrangement that would allow UEL, VNU-HCM lecturers to take doctoral studies at URegina. “Our partnership with UEL, VNU-HCM engages us in a positive vision by recognizing that educational institutions have the opportunity – and indeed, the responsibility – to help move their respective countries forward on the world stage through international education,” said URegina President Dr Jeff Keshen. URegina (SK)

Durham, UoGuelph, Queen’s undertake major infrastructure projects

Three institutions in Ontario have recently announced major infrastructure projects on campus. Durham College has received $900K from the Weston Family Foundation to construct the Centre for Organic Regeneration. The Centre will process Whitby campus food waste and return it to the fields at the W Galen Weston Centre for Food. It will also be used for research and work-integrated learning. Queen’s University has announced a major renovation for Duncan McArthur Hall that will include a substantial addition to the building, and which will aim to achieve LEED Gold certification through its design and use of sustainable technologies. At the University of Guelph, the OVC Pet Trust has launched a $8.36M infrastructure project to accommodate complex case referrals amid the current shortage of veterinary professionals and increased number of pet owners. Durham | Queen’s | UoGuelph (ON)

Supporting students who have experienced negative life events: Editorial

In a recent article from Psychology Today, Ross E O’Hara discusses the barriers faced by students who have experienced life-disrupting challenges or “shocks” while pursuing postsecondary education. O’Hara says students who have experienced disruptions will often shift to short-term programs, while those who have not started their education may select short programs to avoid potential repercussions if they experience a shock. The author says that postsecondary institutions can provide support to students who have had a negative life experience by offering flexibility with micro-credentials as they study, providing supports like debt-forgiveness or re-orientations for returning students, and providing wraparound supports such as expanded campus-based childcare and mental health services. Psychology Today (Editorial)

Brock, NWT collaborate on creating environmental courses

Brock University has announced that it will be working with the Government of the Northwest Territories to co-create environmental courses. The three-year partnership will see Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre and NWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources creating a certificate program for NWT’s sustainability leaders. Courses include a professional development social science course as well as accessible courses that will be part of a non-credit certificate. “This is an exciting opportunity that will benefit our faculty and students, but equally important is the positive impact it will have for those working and living in the Northwest Territories,” said Brock Interim President Lynn Wells. Brock (ON)