Top Ten

December 20, 2021

MB, SK postsecondary institutions announce changes, monitor COVID-19 situation

Due to rising concerns about COVID-19 cases, several institutions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have issued updates to their communities about their plans for the new term. The University of Winnipeg has announced that it will be shifting online in the winter term, with most courses delivered virtually until the end of reading week and employees working virtually where possible. The University of Manitoba anticipates that its phased reopening will continue and is requiring students to provide proof of vaccination to attend campus in the Winter semester. Red River College Polytechnic is reviewing its approach for the Winter semester, and the University College of the North is continuing to monitor the situation. In Saskatchewan, Parkland College and Southeast College have both announced new vaccination and testing requirements for entry to campus. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC | Southeast College | Parkland College (MB | SK)

Loyalist introducing standalone nursing program

Loyalist College has announced a new four-year, bachelor of science in nursing program that will be offered in Fall 2022. Previously, the college offered the program through a joint partnership with Brock University. Students currently enrolled in the joint program will have the option of completing their program at Brock or Loyalist. Loyalist President Dr Anne Marie Vaughan expressed excitement about the opportunity for the college to help address the labour shortages in nursing and stated that the college will be offering 300 seats in the new program and developing a PN-RN bridge program in the future. Quinte News. (ON)

Bishop’s receives $1.8M for sustainable agriculture, food systems program development

Bishop’s University has received a grant from the Government of Québec to advance the development of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program. QC will provide Bishop’s with a total of $1.8M over three years to support the recruitment of professors and researchers who will strengthen the ongoing development of the program. “The development of expertise in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems of biological agriculture is important for our economy and that’s why I’m glad for the support offered to Bishop’s,” said QC Minister of Higher Education Danielle McCann. Bishop’s (QC)

Six Canadian institutions rank among GreenMetric World University Rankings

Six Canadian postsecondary institutions have ranked among the GreenMetric World University Rankings, with two appearing in the top 100. The rankings evaluated over 900 postsecondary institutions for their performance in six categories: education and research, setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, and transportation. The Canadian universities that appeared in the rankings are Université de Sherbrooke (#17), Carleton University (#39), Trent University (#133), Ontario Tech University (#233), British Columbia Institute of Technology (#281), and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (#623). Rankings | PTBO Today (National)

UWindsor Anti-Black Racism task force releases report, 40 recommendations

The University of Windsor’s Anti-Black Racism task force has released a report with 40 recommendations for how UWindsor can better support the Black student population. The task force found that, despite reports from incidents such as Jordan Afolabi’s ban from campus and racist and homophobic messages from Delta Chi members, “[p]recious little has been accomplished.” The report notes that Black faculty, staff, and students still do not feel safe or protected at the institution and continue to endure racist and dehumanizing behaviour. The report recommends actions in 10 separate areas, which include restructuring the office of human rights, equity, and accessibility; creating Black-centric inclusivity expectations, developing a safe space for Black students, and auditing the equity of Lancer Athletics. CBC (ON)

STM, ACC, UQAM receive donations toward campus centres to support education, research

St Thomas More College, Assiniboine Community College, and the Université de Québec a Montréal recently received donations in support of centres on campus. STM received a $1M gift from Irene Ositis-Schmeiser in support of the college’s new Irene and Doug Schmeiser Centre for Faith, Reason, Peace, and Justice. ACC received a $500K donation toward its Prairie Innovation Centre for Sustainable Agriculture from the Brandon Area Community Foundation and business leaders Gord and Diane Peters. The UQAM Foundation received $1M from the Jean-Louis Tassé Foundation in support of the ESG UQAM Entrepreneurship Center and scholarships for management sciences students. STM | Discover Westman (ACC) | UQAM (MB | SK | QC)

CoVaRR-Net receives $9M grant extension to continue research on variants

The Coronavirus Variants Rapid Response Network (CoVaRR-Net) has received a $9M grant extension from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The network consists of 90 teams across Canada, and is led by Dr Marc-André Langlois of the University of Ottawa. “Scientists around the world have seen how important it is to quickly share findings and engage with interdisciplinary scientists to study SARS-CoV-2 variants from various perspectives,” said Langlois. “This renewed funding from the CIHR will allow our Network to continue this vital work, particularly at this time when Omicron is causing so much concern.” Eurekalert (National)

Lethbridge student food banks receive support through community Hockey Challenge

The Lethbridge College Students’ Association Food Bank and University of Lethbridge Students’ Union Food Bank are among the beneficiaries of an upcoming Mayor’s Community Hockey Challenge in Lethbridge. The challenge includes a hockey game in which community partners, including Lethbridge Hurricanes alumni goaltender Logan Koopmans, will play against a City of Lethbridge roster. Attendees can bring in non-perishable food donations, winter clothing, and gifts for children or can contribute through cash donations. “It’s going to be a tough game and we want to make sure everybody is doing their stretches,” said Lethbridge Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “Make sure you’re prepared for this game.” Lethbridge Herald (AB)

MtA, MAFA announce two-year extension of collective agreement

Mount Allison University and the Mount Allison Faculty Association (MAFA) have announced a two-year extension of their current collective agreement. The extension will impact approximately 210 full and part-time faculty members, librarians, instructors, and teachers at the university. “This type of collaboration allows for continued growth in many areas including program development and new learning opportunities for students,” said MtA President Dr Jean-Paul Boudreau. “I take this opportunity to thank our full-time and part-time faculty and academic support staff for all the innovative ways they have stepped up this year, managing change, all the while advancing our students’ development each and every day.” MtA (NB)

Perceptions of WIL in students with disabilities: Report

A new study by Laura E Gatto, Heather Pearce, Miana Plesca, and Luiza Antonio of the University of Guelph examined the perceptions that students with disabilities have of work-integrated learning (WIL). The researchers conducted a survey of 187 students who had registered their disability with the Disability Services Office for academic accommodation. The results showed that 23% of students had not participated in WIL, and that half of those students cited their disability was a factor. Only 17% of the surveyed students who completed a cooperative education program had requested accommodations. The authors say that the results suggest that students with disabilities are not requesting accommodations for WIL, possibly due to a lack of understanding, and are less comfortable taking part in WIL. They suggest that these findings warrant further exploration and present challenges as Canadian universities grow their WIL programs. Abstract | Article (PDF) (Research)