Top Ten

January 26, 2022

UOttawa, TELUS partner on transforming campus to 5G-connected innovation hub

The University of Ottawa has partnered with TELUS on an initiative that will transform UOttawa’s campus into a 5G-connected innovation hub. TELUS will be investing $6M in implementing 5G technology across UOttawa’s campuses through the five-year partnership. The partners are also working on extending the partnership to support the creation of two on-campus 5G research labs. “5G will be a game changer in how we live, work, conduct research and teach in an increasingly digital world,” said Sylvain Charbonneau, VP, Research and Innovation at UOttawa. “This 5G investment allows us to immerse our students in the world’s most advanced digital technology during these formative years so they develop important skills to shape the digital economy of the future.” UOttawa (ON)

Top 50 Research Universities rankings for 2021 released

Research Infosource Inc has released its Top 50 Research Universities list for 2021. The organization reports that the top 50 universities posted a combined research income of $8.27B in the 2020 fiscal year, a gain of 3.0% over the year prior. In the overall national rankings, the top five institutions were the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, Université de Montréal, and the University of Calgary. When examining the Research Universities of the Year 2021 by individual university type tiers, the Medical tier was led by U of T, McGill, and McMaster University; the Comprehensive tier was led by University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, and Simon Fraser University; and the Undergraduate tier was led by the Université du Québec à Rimouski, University of Regina, and Ontario Tech University. Release (PDF) | Top 50 Rankings | RUY (National)

SAIT merges ICT, SADT schools to develop new tech talent pipeline

SAIT Polytechnic has announced that it will be creating a new tech talent pipeline by merging its School of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) with its School for Advanced Digital Technology (SADT). Through the merger, SAIT aims to enhance its goal of producing tech-savvy graduates who are ready to get hired with industry partners. “This kind of evolution will continue to open up doors for more growth of new applied programs, that are on-time and on-demand, as needed, while continuing to be recognized by employers as meeting their immediate and longer-term talent needs,” said Dean of SADT Dr Raynie Wood. “That’s where we’re going, and it will be an exciting journey!” SAIT (1) | SAIT (2) (AB)

Fleming, Trent form new pathway for conservation biology students

Fleming College and Trent University have announced that they have formed a new pathway that will allow students to complete both a diploma and degree in conservation biology. Graduates of Fleming’s conservation biology diploma program will be able to transfer into Trent’s BSc (Honours) in Conservation Biology or BSc (Honours) in Biology with an optional Specialization in Conservation Biology. Students can graduate with both a Fleming diploma and a Trent degree in as little as five years. “Transitioning from our unique diploma program to the bachelor’s degree at Trent will provide students access to the latest tools and practical knowledge and give students a competitive edge when entering the job market,” said Fleming President Maureen Adamson. Trent | PTBO Canada (ON)

USask announces plans to redistribute nursing seats to northern, rural communities

The Regina Leader-Post reports that the University of Saskatchewan’s college of nursing is planning to close its Regina campus and redistribute the seats to smaller communities in order to address the need for nursing education in northern and rural communities. The Regina campus will reduce its intake to zero for the 2022-2023 school year, and will wind down its operations in 2024 once all students in the program have graduated. The Leader-Post says that some faculty members have expressed concern about the plans and say that Regina provides opportunities for students to experience a greater variety of situations, which better prepares them for a career once they graduate. Regina Leader-Post (SK)

Lakehead seeks approval to offer Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program in partnership with UoGuelph

Lakehead University is seeking approval from the Government of Ontario to begin offering a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. The program would be offered in partnership with the University of Guelph, and students would complete their first two years in Thunder Bay before moving to Guelph to complete the last two years. “Veterinary capacity is desperately needed in northern and rural communities, and this partnership would provide an opportunity for us to further attract and retain local talent in the north, for the north,” said Lakehead President Moira McPherson. Lakehead is aiming to launch the program in Fall 2024, and will place a priority on recruiting local and Indigenous students. TB News Watch (ON)

Professors at four cégeps vote in favour of Bill 101

Professors at four cégeps have voted in favour of imposing Bill 101 to the cégep system and limiting access to English-speaking cégeps to the English-speaking minority, reports Journal de Montréal. Faculty from more cégeps will be voting in the coming weeks. The article says that faculty from Collège Montmorency, Collège de Maisonneuve, Collège de Bois-de-Boulogne, and Cégep de la Pocatière have voted in favour of the movement, referencing the challenges that historically English-speaking students have getting accepted into English cégeps and the practice of allowing the most gifted French speaking students to attend English-language cégeps. Journal de Montréal reports that the news follows the Government of Quebec’s recent discussion of limiting Bill 101 to use in elementary and secondary school. Journal de Montréal (QC)

UWaterloo, UAlberta, UCalgary support essential work, mental health care, businesses

Three postsecondary institutions have recently announced new initiatives to address the needs created by the pandemic. The University of Waterloo has announced that it will pay its employees their regular salary if they work in frontline positions at organizations such as long-term care homes and shelters. Eligible employees will be able to provide full or part-time help in essential areas for up to five weeks. The University of Calgary has developed three free virtual counselling programs that will see counselling psychology masters students providing mental health supports to Albertans who are struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the University of Alberta, students are partnering with local, small businesses to help them develop their online presence and grow more comfortable with e-commerce so they can support themselves through the pandemic. The program is being conducted in partnership with Businesslink and Digital Mainstreet, and is supported by a $960K investment from the provincial government. The Record (UWaterloo) | Edmonton Journal (UAlberta) | CBC (UCalgary) (ON | AB)

UPEI faculty call for further investigation after report finds need for major upgrades

A recent air quality report for the University of Prince Edward Island has found that several spaces on campus are in need of upgrades. CBC reports that while most classrooms were found to meet ventilation requirements, 16 classrooms have air quality problems such as mechanical ventilation systems or reliance on open windows. The UPEI Faculty Association is calling for other spaces on campus to be evaluated. “There’s probably problems in other places that they haven’t tested, in other workspaces,” said faculty association president Michael Arfken. UPEI has also extended online education until at least February 27th, citing the province’s pandemic circumstances. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | UPEI (PEI)

Businesses, philanthropists fund student awards, opportunities

Several postsecondary institutions have received funding from Canadian businesses and philanthropists to support student awards, innovation, and learning opportunities. Sheridan College has received $250K from Scotiabank’s ScotiaRISE initiative in order to create additional on-campus work opportunities for international students. At Mount Allison University, Jane Craighead and James Cherry have donated $250K to support students in pursuing experiences such as community engagement projects and entrepreneurship. Okanagan College has received $100K from the Merrifield Family Foundation in support of the construction of a modern Health Sciences Centre on Okanagan’s Kelowna campus, while Olds College received $100K from AGvisorPRO CEO Robert Saik to create an endowed award fund for students studying Agriculture Technology programs. Sheridan | MtA | Okanagan | Olds (National)