Top Ten

January 10, 2022

Institutions need increased public financial resources to support students: Opinion

Canadian postsecondary institutions need financial resources in order to support students, who will play a pivotal role in the post-pandemic future, writes University of Waterloo President Vivek Goel. Goel writes that Canada is falling behind the global precedent for public funding for its universities, which in turn hinders the institutions’ ability to set themselves apart with their high-quality offerings. Goel argues that the government needs to make public investment in higher education a priority in order to enable institutions to prepare students to make a meaningful impact in Canada’s future. Macleans (Editorial)

Cumberland launches two new certification programs

Cumberland College has announced that it has added two new certification programs for Fall 2022. The 39-week Occupational Health and Safety Certificate will train and certify students who want to pursue careers in occupational health and safety. The program will prepare graduates for careers in areas such as transportation firms, educational institutions, and oil and gas companies. The Health Care Cook Certificate program will prepare those with an interest in cooking for work in a variety of settings, including care homes, hospitals, and care facilities. Students will learn how to meet diet modifications and nutritional requirements, and how to adapt menus for those following traditional food practices. northeastNOW | Cumberland (SK)

Conestoga launches Bachelor of Engineering – Cyber Systems Engineering program

Conestoga College has launched a new Bachelor of Engineering – Cyber Systems Engineering program for students who are interested in careers in communications infrastructure engineering. The program will focus on systems-level architecture and network design and management. Project-based learning opportunities will enable students to work with cutting edge software and equipment and practice skills related to network design. “Critical infrastructures are those that support society’s safety, prosperity and well-being, including health care, transportation, government and water,” said Conestoga chair, School of Engineering & Technology Rafik Guindi. “These systems have an underlying layer of digital infrastructure to manage day-to-day operations. It relies on a layer of communication working with interconnected computers and security.” Conestoga (ON)

SFU student president resigns citing mental health reasons

Simon Fraser Student Society President Gabe Liosis has stepped down from his position, citing the need to prioritize his mental health in an open letter. A statement from Liosis shared by the Simon Fraser Student Society explains that though serving as President “has been the greatest honour of my life,” the pandemic led to mental health issues, which combined with the difficulty of his role to make the situation “increasingly unbearable.” “But I do not, and will not, regret taking any actions I deem necessary to protect my mental health, even if it means stepping away from a job that I love with immense passion,” wrote Liosis. Tom Zytaruk of the Surrey Now-Leader commended Liosis for having the courage to honestly speak about the mental health challenges brought on by the pandemic and destigmatizing these mental health issues. The Georgia Straight | Surrey Now-Leader | SFSS (BC)

How researchers will help fight climate change: Editorial

A recent article from Nature discusses the various ways that researchers can help fight climate change with research in the new year. Nature describes how innovation has been prioritized by governments in the fight against climate change, as it can be used to develop green technologies, reduce the cost of grid-scale electricity storage, and develop affordable electric and hydrogen powered vehicles. Additionally, scientists will play an important role in evaluating climate policies, tracking government and business commitments, and evaluating climate change spending. Nature (Editorial)

Brock introduces new tuition structure to make studies more affordable for international students

Brock University has announced that it will be introducing a new tuition structure for international students that will make it easier for students to anticipate their tuition costs throughout their studies. The new tuition structure will see international students paying the same amount of tuition in their first year as they will pay throughout the later years of their studies. Tuition will also stay constant in students’ fifth years if they need an additional year to complete their program. “Brock is known for its outstanding student experience, and part of that is affordability,” said Brock Vice-Provost, Strategic Partnerships and International Camille Rutherford. “For our international student population, this tuition structure change will have a big impact in alleviating financial stress and allowing them to focus on their education.” Brock (ON)

Supporting the positive changes in teaching and learning brought about by the pandemic: Opinion

Suzanna Klaf and Amanda L Irvin discuss five ways that department chairs can help sustain the pedagogical approaches that have developed during the pandemic. The authors encourage chairs to intentionally discuss teaching during department meetings, encourage faculty members to connect with each other to discuss teaching, recognize teaching efforts, and invite students to share their perspectives on teaching and learning. Klaf and Irvin also encourage chairs to partner with their institution’s centre for teaching and learning or other support entities to ensure faculty have the support they need to implement positive changes. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

URegina, RPS dispose of potentially unstable lab chemicals

On Friday morning, the University of Regina and the Regina Police Service’s bomb squad disposed of bottles of older chemicals that posed a potential explosive hazard. During a recent chemical inventory check, the chemicals were found to have degraded to the point that they could be hazardous if disturbed. URegina temporarily closed buildings, roads, and parking lots while the chemicals were removed, transported, and destroyed, and asked that people avoid coming to campus. The chemicals were disposed of using controlled detonation in an unpopulated area of campus. URegina | CJME | 620 CKRM (SK)

Disagreements at Cégep de l'Outaouais lead to resignations from board

Le Droit Numérique reports that recent disagreements and dissatisfaction around a leadership search at Cégep de l'Outaouais has led to two resignations. Board of Directors chairman Jean-François Parent and VP Guylaine Marcil, whose respective terms were to expire in early 2023, sent their resignation letter on Christmas Eve. The letter directly cited the committee’s work to identify a new leader for the cégep as their reason for leaving the board of directors. Le Droit reports that two candidates are in the running to succeed cégep director general Frédéric Poulin, who has led the institution for a decade. Le Droit (QC)

Institutions on east, west coasts close due to inclement weather

Postsecondary institutions in on the east and west coast of Canada closed late last week due to inclement weather. In New Brunswick, Mount Allison University, Crandall University, and the University of New Brunswick’s Saint John campus were closed due to snow and wind gusts. In Nova Scotia, all NSCAD University campuses and several Nova Scotia Community College campuses and learning centres closed on Friday, while Acadia University and Dalhousie University closed their campuses at noon. On the west coast, heavy snowfall led North Island College and Vancouver Island University to close campuses. CBC (NB) | CBC (NS) | VIU | NIC (National)