Top Ten

January 27, 2022

ACA members sign agreement to give students, faculty, staff access to LinkedIn Learning

The Atlantic Colleges Atlantique’s (ACA) members have signed a three-year agreement with LinkedIn Learning. Students, faculty, and staff at Nova Scotia Community College, College of the North Atlantic, Holland College, New Brunswick Community College, Université Sainte Anne, and Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick will be able to access additional learning opportunities through LinkedIn Learning. “LinkedIn Learning resources can augment curriculum we are using in our colleges and give our students the ability to ensure that their skills are current and relevant in the workforce,” said Holland College President Dr Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald. Holland College (ACA) (Atlantic)

Laurentian to request extension of CCAA, new board chair to focus on path forward

Laurentian University will be requesting an extension under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act as it works on solving its financial issues, reports CBC. Laurentian’s court-appointed monitor has agreed with the institution’s request to have an extension until May 31 as it works on a plan to monetize its assets, addresses grievances filed by unions, and talks with former federated universities about pension obligations. New Laurentian board chair Jeff Bangs, who was appointed by the Government of Ontario, spoke to CBC about his hope for the future and the path forward. “It’s going to take a renewed level of respect and trust amongst partners and after the year we’ve gone through it's probably fair to say that some of that has been shaken,” said Bangs. “But I think we do have the right ingredients to move forward.” CBC (1) | CBC (2) (ON)

UCalgary announces Department of Biomedical Engineering

The University of Calgary has announced the creation of the new Department of Biomedical Engineering (BEM) at the Schulich School of Engineering. The department will use a multidisciplinary approach to bring together undergraduate and graduate programming, research, and scholarly activities, and will foster collaboration and teamwork. “This new department will be an anchor of multi-faculty biomedical engineering activities,” said interim department head Dr Michael Kallos. “Faculty, students and postdocs have been able to enjoy working with researchers from across the campus and those unique relationships and experiences will continue going forward.” UCalgary (AB)

UQuébec launches two certificates, new program

Two institutions in the Université du Québec network have launched new programs this week. Université du Québec en Outaouais has launched two new cybersecurity certificates: Certificat en gouverance et cybersécurité and Certificat en réseaux informatiques et cybersécurité. Both will start in Fall 2022. The Université du Québec à Montréal will be offering a new life sciences program, DESS en sciences de la vie et biopharmaceutiques, which is geared toward people who already have degrees in life sciences or biomedical sciences. The program will provide training in the skills and knowledge required by pharmaceutical companies, such as regulation, bioethics, project management, and data processing, and includes an internship. UQuébec | UQAM (QC)

Encouraging students to move to new environments to enhance development opportunities: Opinion

Attending postsecondary studies in a different region can help students develop diversity and cultural growth, writes Samuel J Abrams, but students may need to be encouraged to pursue these opportunities. Abrams discusses data from 2019 that showed that more students are interested in staying close to home than in previous decades. The author says that many students are choosing institutions based on their proximity to home and are showing increasing interest in engaging with their local communities. Abrams recommends encouraging those who are choosing an institution to move farther away so they will have more opportunities to engage with ideological and cultural differences. Inside Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)

UOttawa launches certificate in Indigenous law

The University of Ottawa has launched a certificate in Indigenous law, which is reportedly the first French-language program of its kind. The year-long certificate will introduce students to the legal systems of Indigenous peoples in Canada and will be taught primarily by Indigenous instructors. The program will be taught using Indigenous approaches and experimental and holistic methods and will provide a smooth transition for students looking to participate in the Licentiate in Law (civil law) program. “Establishing this certificate is one more step on the road to reconciliation,” said UOttawa vice-dean academic Sophie Thériault. “This unique program will further access for a greater number of Indigenous students to legal education and professions, which will deepen reflection on the interaction between state-derived and Indigenous law, as well as increase access to justice for Indigenous peoples.” Nation Talk (ON)

RRC Polytech, SkipTheDishes partner to deliver new Technovation Girls Manitoba course

Red River College Polytechnic and SkipTheDishes have partnered to deliver a new course in IT coding and programming for young women in high school. The Technovation Girls Manitoba course takes 12 weeks to complete and provides participants with hands-on, applied learning opportunities creating an app to meet a need within their community. “RRC Polytech is creating more opportunities to engage with young learners in Manitoba and broaden their options for future careers,” says Kathleen Kerr, Dean of the RRC Polytech’s School of Continuing Education. “It’s important for the College to empower underrepresented groups – which in the tech industry, includes women – to build their skills and know their perspectives and talent is needed.” RRC (MB)

France sets trial date for Diab in 2023

France has set a trial date for Carleton University academic Dr Hassan Diab, who was accused of involvement in the 1980 Rue Copernic bombing and subsequently freed due to lack of evidence. Diab was previously extradited to France in 2014, but was released in 2018 after the evidence linking Diab to the suspected bomber was discredited. Diab’s supporters are calling for the Government of Canada to reject any of France’s extradition requests, calling the continued pursuit of the trial a “miscarriage of justice” that will “likely lead to a wrongful conviction.” Carleton Department of Sociology and Anthropology Chair Blair Rutherford issued a message last June calling for justice for Diab. CBC (1) | CBC (2) | Justice for Hassan Diab (PDF) | Carleton (ON)

Students face challenges as pandemic, uncertainty continue

Several students have spoken to CBC to share the challenges they are facing as the pandemic continues and in-person learning plans change. Some students are frustrated with the isolation of studying from home, the inability to build strong connections with instructors, and the constant state of change with plans. Additionally, some are unable to access resources on campus to complete their work. “It’s been really challenging for me to find a place to work on my inventions and projects,” said York University electrical engineering student Erfan Nouraee. “I really was uncertain about it — what I really should do going forward. Should I stop all my work for the year ahead?” CBC says that educators are also experiencing challenges, such as feeling that they are not familiar enough with their students to write them reference letters. CBC (Editorial)

Northern, Child Welfare Political Action Committee partner on new bursary

Northern College has partnered with the Child Welfare Political Action Committee to create a new bursary for students who were formerly or currently are in foster care. The bursary will provide two students who have been in the foster care system with room, board, tuition coverage, and the necessary supplies to be successful in their studies. “To make it to college, so many things would have had to go right in a world that did not convince these children that they mattered,” said Northern President Dr Audrey J Penner. “It is our hope and intention to be there for them, welcome them and surround them with the support needed to further their education and career paths. Opportunity is the key to ending this cycle.” Sault Star (ON)