Top Ten

December 21, 2021

Postsecondary institutions in NB, NS, ON announce changes to Winter term due to COVID-19 cases

More postsecondary institutions in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Ontario have announced changes to the upcoming Winter semester due to concerns about rising COVID-19 case counts. Mount Allison University, the Université de Moncton, the University of King’s College, Nova Scotia Community College, and Dalhousie University will start classes online for the first two weeks of the semester. St Clair College and Fleming College are delaying the beginning of the semester for a week, and first-year St Clair students will be completing the entire semester online. The University of Windsor, King’s University College, Western University, Brescia University College, Huron University College, and Cambrian College will begin the semester virtually until the end of January. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | King’s | Fleming | (National)

SPU opens Living Laboratory for Knowledge Mobilization

Saint Paul University has officially launched the Living Laboratory for Knowledge Mobilization. The lab is a hub for SPU’s research centres and contains space for researchers, faculty, and students. A new Senior Research Advisor will provide support to faculty and student researchers as they write grant applications. “We are very excited about the Living Laboratory for Knowledge Mobilization’s potential to foster collaboration and innovation, qualities that are integral to the spirit of our University,” said SPU Rector Chantal Beauvais. “Faculty and students will benefit from the interdisciplinary partnership and I am confident that the fruits of the lab’s research will go on to have a positive impact on the communities we serve.” SPU (ON)

URegina, FNU researchers receive grant for virtual health care project

Researchers from the University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples Health Research Centre (IPHRC), and the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital have received $1.27M to pilot a virtual health care project in northern First Nation communities. The project will use a robot that is remotely operated by a pediatrician to conduct virtual clinical visits. “Each community our team is working with will now have access to pediatric specialists without patients or their families having to leave their communities—something that is long overdue,” said FNU IPHRC Director Cassandra Opikokew Wajuntah. Financial Post (SK)

Study of tenure finds time to gain tenure increasing, gender-related differences in attainment: StatsCan

A study from Statistics Canada has found that the average time to achieve tenure among university academics has increased by a year over the last 30 years, from 4.6 years in 1990-91 to 5.5 years in 2020-21. Women represented just over one-third of academics in tenured positions, took slightly longer (3.5 months) on average than men to achieve tenure, and were typically 2.5 years older on average when achieving tenure. Given that women account for nearly half of all doctoral degrees granted by Canadian universities, the report suggested that the underrepresentation of women among tenured faculty could be attributed to both inequity in the tenure-track system and career choice related to marriage and family responsibilities. StatsCan (1) | StatsCan (2) (National)

Olds, SLU sign MOU facilitating international student exchange

Olds College has announced that it has formed a partnership with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) that will facilitate student exchange. The MOU will provide two students each year with an immersive educational experience. “By signing this agreement with SLU, we are providing Olds College students with the opportunity to expand their world-view and help them find success through cross-cultural collaboration,” said Olds VP Academic and Student Experience Debbie Thompson. “Partnerships with post-secondary institutions who are globally-minded and future focused help us in achieving our social purpose of ‘transforming agriculture for a better world.’” Olds (AB)

How volunteering can enhance professional development: Opinion

Volunteering offers an opportunity for purposeful and dynamic professional development for faculty, staff, and students, writes Keira Wilson. Wilson argues that volunteers gain a variety of unexpected skills that will support them in their careers, such as self-awareness in different contexts, agile problem-solving abilities, and comfort with ambiguous issues. The author says that volunteering also enables individuals to develop their teamwork skills and active preparedness. “[These skills] are the foundation for building supportive and well-functioning workplaces on our campuses,” writes Wilson. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

BCcampus, BC create new mental health resource for postsecondary students

BCcampus and the Government of British Columbia have created a new educational resource that will help teach postsecondary students how to help peers who are experiencing mental health issues. The OER resource, titled Starting a Conversation About Mental Health: Foundational Training for Students, was adapted from a University of British Columbia resource with input from an advisory group of students, staff, and faculty from various postsecondary institutions in the province. Indigenous perspectives on mental health and wellness are incorporated in the materials, as well as scenarios written by students on how to respond to students in distress. The training can be added to existing mental health and wellness programs or implemented as a new or stand-alone service. BC (BC)

UQuébec network announces new programs in preschool education, electronic sports

Two new programs have been announced by the Université de Québec network. UQAM will be launching a new two-year, part-time program in preschool education in 2022, which will support teachers’ professional development. UQTR has launched a new program in electronic sport development focused on the establishment of electronic sports, player development, and event organization. UQAM | Journal de Montréal (UQTR) (QC)

CapilanoU, Talent Basket partner on virtual international work experience opportunities

Capilano University and Talent Basket have signed an MOU that will offer students the opportunity to gain virtual international work experience. Students in the School of Tourism Management and School of Outdoor Recreation Management will be able to complete internships through Talent Basket while earning credits toward their program and building skills to prepare for their future career. “CapU’s agreement with Talent Basket supports our commit[m]ent to educate and develop globally minded graduates in tourism and outdoor recreation management who are ready to take on future challenges,” said Stephanie Wells, CapilanoU chair of the School of Tourism Management. “Additionally, the virtual nature of Talent Basket projects creates contemporary opportunities for students at a time when international internship opportunities are challenged by pandemic related travel restrictions.” CapilanoU (BC)

Memorial creates Engineering One first year opportunity at Labrador Institute

Memorial University has announced that students will be able to take the first year of Memorial’s engineering program (Engineering One) at the Labrador Institute. The initiative, which is the result of a partnership between the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Labrador Institute’s School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies, will see students completing courses through a partially remote learning method. Students who complete their first year can continue their studies in-person at the St John’s campus. Memorial Engineering Faculty Dean Dr Greg Naterer explained that the partnership responds to calls from the TRC to increase postsecondary access for Indigenous peoples and create learning opportunities reflecting the unique context of Labrador. MUN (NL)