Top Ten

January 12, 2022

Students left without answers as three QC colleges, recruiting firm file for creditor protection

CBC reports that three colleges in Quebec and a recruiting firm owned by the Mastanuono family have filed for creditor protection, leaving students uncertain about their futures. M College, CDE College, CCSQ, and Rising Phoenix International recruiting firm have requested protection. Students are reportedly facing challenges in securing refunds from the colleges, compounding the difficulties many faced with delayed student visas. Most students are from India, and some told CBC that their parents had saved for years in order to send them to school abroad. In a letter to students, CDE President Joseph Mastantuono told students that it is “within your right to withdraw from your college,” but that due to the creditor protection filing, “no refunds of tuition can be processed at this time.” CBC | MSN News (FR) (QC)

UWindsor launches Master of Science in Translational Health Science

The University of Windsor has launched a Master of Science in Translational Health Science. The program aims to bridge the gap between laboratory medical research and health care in clinical practice by having multidisciplinary teams work together on solving health and social problems. Students will learn how to relate basic and clinical research and analyze health-related data and will be offered experiential learning opportunities. Graduates of the one-year program will be prepared to work in laboratory, clinical, or public health fields; clinical trials; academic settings; and government agencies and community organizations. UWindsor (ON)

Putting action behind land acknowledgments: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions need to ensure that they are putting action behind their land acknowledgments, writes Western University Political Science Professor Christopher Alcantara. Alcantara argues that though it is now common for institutions to use land acknowledgments, some Indigenous voices have criticized institutions for not putting their words to action. The author says meaningful reconciliation could mean paying rent or making a financial gift to the Indigenous communities displaced by universities, requesting formal permission before bringing in guest speakers, or waiving tuition for Indigenous students from the communities. “It’s time for universities to either honour the commitments made in their land acknowledgements, or to drop them altogether and acknowledge that they are in fact deeply colonial institutions incapable of meaningful reconciliation,” writes Alcantara. Policy Options (Editorial)

US lawsuit accuses 16 postsecondary institutions of participating in “price-fixing cartel”

In the United States, 16 postsecondary institutions have been identified in a lawsuit as having allegedly participated in a “price-fixing cartel.” The lawsuit, which names institutions such as the Ivy League’s Brown University, Cornell University, and Dartmouth College, contend that the institutions are taking students’ financial circumstances into account for admissions and effectively unfairly disadvantaging applicants in need of institutional financial aid. The plaintiffs are seeking damages and the prevention of collaboration between the colleges, and the lawsuit indicates that over 170,000 former students could be eligible to join the plaintiffs. CTV News | Forbes | Chronicle of Higher Ed (International)

UWaterloo opens Waterloo Aquatic Threats in Environmental Research facility

The University of Waterloo has opened the Waterloo Aquatic Threats in Environmental Research (WATER) facility which will research how aquatic stressors and threats such as climate change impact fish stress. The facility is capable of housing a wide range of aquatic organisms and will be used to bridge the gap between lab and fieldwork. It can trace multi-generational effects of environmental stresses on aquatic life and includes a pathogen challenge area so that researchers can study how exposure to contaminants affect aquaculture. “With the opening of the WATER facility, we are looking to expand our research areas and expertise, and invite researchers across Canada in areas water research and aquatic conservation to collaborate with us to carry out new and innovative research,” said UWaterloo Department of Biology Professor Paul Craig. UWaterloo | The Fish Site (ON)

Yukon U, BioEnterprise partner on agri-innovation

Yukon University’s IncubateNorth business incubation program and BioEnterprise Canada, Canada’s Food & Agri-Tech engine, have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on agri-innovation. The partnership will foster collaboration through innovation support, resources, and commercialization services to start-ups, entrepreneurs, research organizations, and businesses in the food and agriculture sector. “This partnership allows us to support Yukoners in food and agribusiness with access to entrepreneurial, mentorship and investment networks across the nation,” said YukonU Innovation & Entrepreneurship Department Head Lauren Manekin-Beille. “YukonU is committed to providing Yukoners with the tools, resources and allies that support northern, place-based economic development - allowing them to play on the national stage.” YukonU (YK)

RRC Polytech instructors, staff Indigenize ACME programs

Red River College Polytechnic’s Applied Commerce and Management Education (ACME) programs has announced that it will be Indigenizing its courses. ACME instructors and staff were inspired by a presentation about incorporating Indigenous content into courses, and came together to make changes. The group was guided by Carla Kematch, RRC Polytech’s Director of Truth and Reconciliation and the Elders-in-Residence who provided them with support as the group created an Indigenized curriculum. “The most thrilling thing for a teacher is when your students are engaged,” said ACME instructor Taras Wasyliw. “Now that we’re seeing that in our department, interest is growing, and I can see the number of Indigenized courses rising over time.” RRC Polytech (MB)

Students in NL, BC sign petitions requesting extensions to online learning

Students at Memorial University, the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Langara College, and Douglas College have created petitions asking their institutions to reconsider requiring in-person classes due to high COVID-19 case counts. Memorial students created a petition requesting that in-person labs be moved online at least until the end of January. The students questioned if there were adequate safety measures in place on campus. In BC, almost 1,000 Langara students signed a petition asking for a delayed return to class for nursing students. Over 1,500 Douglas students and over 3,500 BCIT students signed petitions to continue online learning. Saltwire (MUN) | CTV News (BCIT, Langara) (NL | BC)

Changing the rules not a simple solution to nursing crisis: Opinion

Changing the rules around what institutions are allowed to offer nursing degrees may not be a simple solution to the nursing crisis, writes reporter Patty Winsa. An announcement from Ontario in 2020 allowed colleges to offer stand-alone nursing degrees, which resulted in several institutions receiving approval to offer bachelor’s degree programs in nursing in 2021. The college programs may have the greatest impact in rural areas where nurses are desperately needed, since students can complete their clinical practices in these communities and may be more likely to stay there. However, Winsa says retaining current nurses is as challenging as getting new ones, as nurses are facing burnout, feel they are not being compensated adequately, and face changes to the professionalism and skills required of them. (ON)

CNC, UNBC raise new Lheidli T'enneh First Nation flag

The College of New Caledonia and the University of Northern British Columbia raised the new Lheidli T'enneh First Nation flag on their campuses last week. The flag is decorated with an orange ribbon in the bottom right corner in remembrance of the children who did not come home from residential schools, and was raised 215 days after the old flag was lowered to half-mast to commemorate the children whose remains were found near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. “The orange ribbon has become a national symbol of remembrance for children who died while attending church-run residential schools,” said LTFN Chief Dolleen Logan. “Having an orange ribbon on our new LTFN Memorial Flag is a reminder that we will never forget the kids that didn’t make it home from residential schools and their families.” CBC | Nation Talk (BC)