Top Ten

April 5, 2022

Dal, U of T, USask, KPU announce tuition increases

Several postsecondary institutions across Canada have recently announced increases to their tuition and fees. Dalhousie University has announced a 3% tuition and student free increase for 2022-23 to prevent deeper program cuts. At the University of Toronto, The Varsity reports that non-Ontario domestic students and graduate students will see a 3% increase, while international students will see a 2% tuition raise. ON students will not see a tuition increase due to the provincial tuition freeze. Global News reports that the University of Saskatchewan is increasing tuition by an average of 3.8% for undergraduate students and 1.8% for graduate students. Kwantlen Polytechnic University will be increasing its tuition by 2% for all students for the next academic year. Dal | The Varsity (U of T) | Global News (USask) | The Runner (KPU) (National)

U of T students give to gain extra credit

An initiative created by faculty at the University of Toronto has gained attention for allowing students to earn extra credit by helping others. U of T Mississauga Assistant Professor Jerry Flores collaborated with faculty members Jayne Baker and Nathan Innocente to run an Extra Credit Donation Drive in March. Students could donate items such as diapers, crayons and toys, socks, coats, and hygiene products, which were then given to a local charity. Students received extra credit for giving, with all students receiving the same amount of credit regardless of the number of items they gave. “[W]e have so much power [to] make positive social change in our communities,” said Flores. “I try to show my students that we sometimes feel that these issues are too big for us to handle, but there’s always something we can do.” U of T (ON)

UAlberta team joins LaserNetUS

A team of seven scientists from the University of Alberta has joined the LaserNetUS global network, and UAlberta engineering doctoral candidate Chandra Breanne Curry has been appointed the co-ordinator of the network. As part of the network, researchers will be able to use 10 high-power laser facilities in North American to conduct research. In her new role, Curry stated that she will focus on making the facilities globally accessible and encouraging collaboration within the scientific community. “There's so many questions that you can answer with these lasers,” said Curry. “We’re really trying to bring a global community of scientists together to solve a range of big problems.” UAlberta also recently acquired a 15-terawatt laser, which it says is the second-highest intensity laser system in Canada. UAlberta (AB)

ON invests over $7M in free training, job placement program through Northern

The Government of Ontario has announced that it will be investing over $7M in a free training and job placement program for more than 500 people in Northern Ontario. The program, which was developed by Northern College, will train job seekers for work in the healthcare and long-term care industries. Northern will be offering four programs to train participants as healthcare support service workers, food service workers, personal support workers, and personal support worker assistants. Participants will be given up to $3K to cover expenses while they study and access to paid work placement opportunities with local employers, while employers will receive $1K for each work placement. ON (ON)

International research community needs support during conflict: Opinion

The international research community needs support, especially during wars, writes Jeremy N McNeil (Western University), Alain-G Gagnon (Université du Québec à Montréal), Julia M Wright (Dalhousie University), Janine Brodie (University of Alberta), John P Smol (Queen’s University), and S Karly Kehoe (Saint Mary’s University). While scholarly research is not typically the most pressing issue in conflict zone contexts, the authors argue that it is still important to maintain global research capacity to advance equity, economic prosperity, confidence in the knowledge production, and international relationships. “We all rise if we work together—and learn to trust each other through intellectual exchange and collaborative discovery,” write the authors. They call for research communities to become safer, more inclusive, and active, and for academics to discuss how those affected can be supported. The Globe and Mail (National)

Student occupation at UMontréal ends after institution promises to divest from fossil fuel sector

A student group called L’Écothèque at the Université de Montréal has ended its occupation after the university agreed to withdraw its investments from the fossil fuel sector by 2025. Five student associations went on strike to call for divestment, and a petition with around 4,400 signatures was sent to the rector. CTV News reports that UMontréal rector Daniel Jutras agreed that a plan to divest the institution’s direct and indirect publicly traded shares in the fossil fuel industry would be created by June. No plans have been made to change pension investments. “However, the fact that the endowment fund is going to move, we think it will have a ripple effect on the pension plan, and that it will make (it) look bad if it doesn't follow the rest of the institutional policy,” said L’Écothèque student group spokesperson Vincent Blondeau. CTV News | Le Canada Francais (QC)

Preserving data so it is accessible for future generations: Opinion

Data must be intentionally preserved so that it is available and accessible for future generations, writes Michael Eisenstein. Eisenstein argues that while data sharing can keep data from being lost, data still can become inaccessible as it fades from both human memory and – in the form of obsolute software and physical storage degradation – computer memory. The author points to the FAIR Data Principles framework, which was published in 2016 and includes goals that can be met through data curation and metadata creation. Canada’s Living Data Project aims to preserve historic data sets through training and preservation. However, Eisenstein says that data preservation efforts must be continual as technology progresses. “With better tools available, the trick now is to give researchers incentives to put in the extra effort — a task that entails overcoming long-entrenched views on how scientific effort is credited and rewarded,” writes Eisenstein. Nature (Editorial)

NL Auditor General announces review of Memorial’s use of government funding

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Office of the Auditor General has announced that it will be completing a review of Memorial University. The Auditor General will be completing an overview of the university’s use of its government funds to determine if they are being used effectively. “Both the Provincial Government and the people of this province place significant value on the contributions of Memorial University to the social and economic fabric of the province, and taxpayers provide a significant contribution to Memorial’s operations,” said NL Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Siobhan Coady. “As the stewards of an ongoing, sustained investment of this size, it is imperative on us, as we look to expand Memorial’s level of autonomy, to ensure that this investment is being used to maximize the benefit for post-secondary students and their educational outcomes.” NL (NL)

HEC Montréal, Esthetic Academy, Georgian launch new learning opportunities

HEC Montréal, Esthetic Academy, and Georgian College have launched new short-term learning opportunities for students looking to pursue new or improved career opportunities. HEC Montréal has launched a massive open online course in Spanish called Introducción a la gestión de energía con RETScreen, which will teach Spanish speakers how to use the RETScreen Expert clean energy decision-making software. Esthetic Academy has announced that it will be offering a series of approved micro-credentials in beauty-related areas such as nail applications, hair removal, and massage. Courses are comprised of 50% theory and 50% practical instruction. Georgian will be launching four new graduate certificates this Fall: Business Management, Marketing Management, Mental Health – Interprofessional Practice, and Supply Chain Management – Global. Each certificate takes one year to complete and includes work placements or applied learning opportunities. HEC Montréal | The Star (Esthetic Academy) | Georgian (QC | ON)

International students face exploitation, challenges as they navigate Canada’s working world

Two recent articles have highlighted the serious challenges faced by international students in Canada as they navigate adapt to life in the country and search for jobs that will give them access to permanent residency. In The Star, international students describe their challenges and share recommendations for other students, such as making connections right away to gain access to social and job opportunities and being aware of scams. Finding appropriate work in a short amount of time can also pose a challenge for international students, and the Winnipeg Free Press describes how students are sometimes taken advantage of by employers. In one example shared by the newspaper, an employer asked an international student to work extra hours illegally, but then paid them a lower hourly rate so that they would not be reported. The Star | Winnipeg Free Press (Subscription) (National)