Top Ten

April 12, 2022

Suggested language law amendments draw mixed reactions from QC cégeps

The Government of Quebec’s Bill 96 and the proposed application of QC’s Bill 101 to cégeps have been a point of contention in the province. 24 of the province’s 48 cégeps have reportedly voted in favour of the application of the Bill 101, citing concerns about cultural assimilation and the loss of Francophone culture without a French language requirement. Cégep Édouard-Montpetit’s faculty union voted in favour of limiting non-Anglophone enrolment at English cégeps, although union President France Demers told le Courrier de Sud that many felt “torn” due to their concerns about colleagues at those institutions and whether French-language mastery was the responsibility of cégeps. The amendments outlined in Bill 96 include a possible enrolment number freeze for the English system, and CBC reports that the cégeps feel that they are being unfairly targeted for their success and “scapegoated” for the vitality of French in the province. CBC | Radio-Canada | Journal de Québec | Le Courrier du Sud (QC) | P.S. CTV News reports that the Quebec legislature passed the amendment to Bill 96 as part of a rapid-fire session on Thursday, May 12th. It will next need to be passed into law to take effect, which is expected to happen in early June. CTV News

ON expands degree options at public colleges to allow three-year degrees, expanded four-year offerings

The Government of Ontario has announced that it is expanding the degree options at public colleges. Colleges will now be able to develop new three-year programs and expand their four-year program offerings in key areas that address ON’s labour shortage. Colleges will be able to develop three-year programs in fields such as health care, data, artificial intelligence, and infrastructure. ON has also raised the cap on degree programs that colleges can offer by 5%. “Ontario is facing a historic labour shortage, and we need all hands-on deck to tackle it,” said ON Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton. “That is why our government is taking action to ensure young people are graduating with the skills they need to earn bigger paycheques that are waiting for them.” ON (ON)

Supervisors should respect grad student boundaries to avoid “toxic paternalism:” Opinion

In a recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Elizabeth Stice discusses the difficulties some graduate students have with “helicopter advisors” and their “toxic paternalism.” Some advisors make negative comments regarding their students’ life and career choices, Stice writes, and while this behaviour may be accepted within institutional culture, it demonstrates disrespect and often enforces gendered standards. The author says that toxic paternalism disproportionately affects women grad students who choose to get married or have a family during their careers, as supervisors may criticize students for making these choices. Stice recommends that academics respect students’ choices, respect boundaries regarding students’ personal lives, and receive training in advising to lead to better student outcomes. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

VIU announces expansion of Shq’apthut (A Gathering Place)

Vancouver Island University has announced that it will be expanding Shq’apthut (A Gathering Place) at its Nanaimo campus, thanks to $3.7M in funding from the Government of British Columbia and VIU. The space is used for cultural, academic, recreation, and social activities for Indigenous students, and the expansion will create more ceremonial space and Elder-in-residence offices. The space will be heated and cooled sustainably by VIU’s District Geo-Exchange Energy System. “The expansion of Shq’apthut is a tangible demonstration of our strategic commitment to build stronger partnerships with Indigenous communities in the regions we serve,” said VIU President Deborah Saucier. “[T]his project will enhance the on-campus learning experience for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at VIU and allow the Elders the space they need to do their work.” BC | VIU (BC)

U of T, Moderna partner on research, tool development

The University of Toronto has announced that it is partnering with Moderna Inc on RNA science and technology research and the development of tools to address infectious disease. The collaboration will focus on studying the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, including Risk Group 3 pathogens, with research taking place at U of T’s Lash Miller Chemical Laboratories and the Combined Containment Level 3 facility. “It is not every day that an opportunity presents to combine a world-class life sciences research community and a disruptive biological innovator,” said U of T VP, research and innovation and strategic initiatives Leah Cowen. “We are proud to say that today is one such day.” U of T | BioSpace (ON)

UCalgary, Raytheon, ENFOCOM open CATE Centre

The University of Calgary, Raytheon Canada, and ENFOCOM Corporation have partnered to open the Canadian Cyber Assessment, Training and Experimentation (CATE) Centre. The CATE Centre will house a variety of cutting-edge technology such as a highly automated cyber range and modular, scalable architecture that can simulate real-world cybersecurity challenges. Students will be able to use the facility to develop their cybersecurity skills, assess cyber solutions, and experiment with cyber resiliency concepts. “Students can enact a variety of curriculum-based scenarios to prepare, simulate, detect, analyze, contain, eradicate and recover from realistic cyberattacks,” said UCalgary dean of the Faculty of Science Dr Kristin Baetz. Students will begin to use the cyber range starting in 2022. UCalgary (AB)

SLC, Irish university announce renewal, expansion of pathways agreement

St Lawrence College and the Technological University of Shannon (TUS) in Ireland have announced the renewal and expansion of a pathways agreement that will give students more study opportunities. The pathway involves programs from fields such as hospitality, health promotion, business, biotechnology, and energy. Graduates from SLC’s diploma programs can ladder into the third or fourth year of TUS’ honours degree programs. “This is a wonderful announcement for our students, as these agreements will allow them increased opportunities to gain global knowledge and intercultural skills,” said SLC President Glenn Vollebregt. “We will be able to deepen our relationships with international partners and further our vision of being a globally recognized college.” SLC (ON)

UMoncton increases tuition by 2%, invests in new supports

Tuition at the Université de Moncton is set to be increased by 2% for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The institution has a budget surplus of $1.2M for the fiscal year, but noted the need for updates to student services, technological infrastructure, and buildings. UMoncton President Dr Denis Prud’homme said that the institution still faces challenges even though there is a surplus: “Although we have seen an increase in enrolment over the past few years, the New Brunswick government grant is still below inflation and in the current economic climate, we must be vigilant.” The budget includes $1.42M in upgrades to student services at UMoncton’s three campuses, which include new scholarships and improved psychological and technological services. UMoncton | Bend CKNI 91.9 (NB)

Quebecers raise concerns after racist caricatures discovered in French-language course material

Asian Quebecers have denounced the use of materials for provincially funded French-language courses that contain offensive stereotypes about Asian people. École internationale de français of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and the Centre Louis-Jolliet used two different worksheets in francisation classes: One included an offensive stereotype about Chinese food, while the other included a cartoon of an Asian man and a reference to his eyes. The worksheets sparked ire after they were circulated online. A UQTR spokesperson said the worksheet discussing Chinese cuisine was intended to portray a character who was ignorant of culinary habits. The university has removed the worksheets from a website where it was available to students and apologized for causing discomfort. CBC (QC)

URegina receives traditional Buffalo Winter Count Robe

The University of Regina has received a traditional Buffalo Winter Count Robe from knowledge keeper and creator Wayne Goodwill of the Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation. The robe is painted with the story of Indigenous experience from precolonial to present times. Goodwill, who is one of the last known robe painters in Saskatchewan, started painting the robe in spring 2021 and completed it in November. URegina will be using it to further truth and reconciliation through education. “The stories embedded in this robe help expose the truth of Canada’s colonial past and the impact on the original inhabitants of this land,” said URegina AVP (Indigenous Engagement) Lori Campbell. “These stories are also a celebration of the remarkable strength and perseverance of those who have gone before us, those who are walking with us, and those who will come after us.” URegina | CBC (SK)