Top Ten

September 8, 2022

CICan launches skills enhancement initiative for newcomers

Colleges & Institutes Canada has launched Skills Enhancement for Newcomers, a two-year national initiative that will help newcomers develop their soft skills for a career in Canada. 1,000 newcomers will take part in microcredentials provided by public colleges and institutes. These programs are designed to supplement learners' existing professional skills and provide an understanding of how Canadian workplaces differ from those in their home countries. “In a globalized world, soft skills are an essential part of working together and across cultural differences and help ensure that our workforce in Canada is futureproof,” stated CICan President Denise Amyot. CICan states that the program will also provide Canadian employers with access to a talent pool with intercultural and global skills. CICan (EN) | CICan (FR) (National)

AB creates advisory board to guide skills development, postsecondary needs

The Government of Alberta has named an 11-member advisory board that will focus on the alignment between AB postsecondary programming and the needs of high-demand sectors. The Calgary Herald reports that the group will report to AB Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides, and their feedback will inform government policy. “We must look ahead to the Alberta of the future and ensure that graduates enter the workforce with the training and skills that are relevant,” said AB Premier Jason Kenney. According to RD News Now, NDP Labour Critic Christina Gray noted that the council includes many essential voices, but is “noticeably light on representatives from Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.” Calgary Herald | RD News Now | CTV News (AB)

SFU launches new varsity sports team name: Red Leafs

Simon Fraser University has announced the new name for its varsity sports teams: the Red Leafs. The university retired its former team name – the Clan – in 2020 due to concerns about its potential negative connotations and embarked on an extensive consultation process to select a new team name. As the only Canadian NCAA-affiliated team, Burnaby Now reports that the Red Leafs identity positively reflects SFU’s teams’ identity at home and abroad, and the leaf logo is recognized as a symbol of unity on campus. The team is holding their launch party and debuting the new identity today. CBC | City News | CTV News | Burnaby Now (BC)

StatsCan analysis highlights impact of inflation on postsecondary students

Statistics Canada has published the findings of the Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs survey, which highlight the impact of inflation on full-time students. StatsCan reports that inflationary pressure has had a particular impact on the purchasing power of postsecondary students, whose main spending is focused on tuition, rent, and food. The cost of groceries increased by 9.7% between April 2021 and April 2022, while rent increased by over 4% in the most populous provinces. The study found significant differences in tuition fees by level and field of study, and noted that the tuition fee gap between domestic and international students has continued to widen with international undergraduate students now paying 429% more than their domestic counterparts. StatsCan (National)

SAIT announces post-diploma in cybersecurity

SAIT has launched a new Cyber Security Analyst post-diploma program for mid-career IT professionals looking to upskill and improve their competencies. All courses will be delivered on a part-time basis, and the program will include 51% workplace learning and mentorship to help respond to talent gaps in the local, provincial, and global workforce. “With the rapid pace of technological advancement, there is a corresponding increase in demand for entry-level and mid-career cybersecurity professionals,” explained Jessica Ager, Academic Chair of SAIT’s School for Advanced Digital Technology. SAIT (AB)

MSVU researcher examines impact of tuition waivers

Dr Jacquie Gahagan at Mount Saint Vincent University has launched a pair of research studies into how tuition waivers benefit learners who were in the care system. Gahagan found that recipients would not have been able to access postsecondary education without the waiver. They further noted that recipients need to receive more information about the continued support they will receive from the program. New research will be underway this fall, reports CBC, and the results of the research will be used to improve the waiver programs. CBC (NS)

Western applies for court approval to remove name of professor from scholarships

Western University has received court approval to remove the name of Kenneth Hilborn from six academic prizes that were created with funds from Hilborn’s estate. Hilborn was an emeritus history professor at the university and has been criticized for espousing racist, radical views. In 2019, scholars began calling on the university to intervene with the scholarships given the views expressed in Hilborn's academic work. Western's history department originally decided that the awards would stay, but struck a research group to consider the criticism levelled at Hilborn. The group reportedly found that Hilborn’s work was harmful and noted that maintaining the awards would "be seen as tacitly condoning and endorsing his views." The university has applied to the provincial court to remove Hilborn’s name from the awards. CBC (ON)

Holland College, Camosun, Sept-Iles announce updates on infrastructure, centres on campus

Three colleges have recently announced updates on centres and infrastructure on their campus. Holland College has opened an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Testing Centre on its Prince of Wales Campus. IELTS is used to assess the English language proficiency of those looking to immigrate to English-speaking nations. Camosun College has posted a Request for Pre-Qualification on BC Bid to advance its plans for a film studio and education centre on its Interurban campus. Ma Côte-Nord reports that Cégep de Sept-Îles is seeking $70M, primarily from the Government of Quebec, to support the construction of new pavilions for its health programs and research & development. The cégep is also looking to relaunch its sports pavilion project in 2025-26. Holland College | Camosun | Ma Côte-Nord (Sept-Îles) (QC | PE | BC)

UWindsor, Unifor Local 444 ratify three-year collective agreement

At the University of Windsor, Unifor Local 444 has ratified a new three-year collective agreement with a 90% vote in favour. Members of the union include campus community police officers and parking services at the university. The ratified agreement provides a 2% wage increase in the first year of the agreement and 3% for the two subsequent years, as well as improvements to members’ pensions. Improvements have also been made to working conditions, job postings, and vacations. Windsor News Today | IHeart Radio (ON)

Report on TACs reflects on past decade of work, praises model’s success

Tech-Access Canada has released a new report on the “decade of success” experienced by Technology Access Centres (TACs) across Canada. Over the last ten years, the report states that TACs have stimulated research & development investments at thousands of enterprises across Canada, helped create paid work placements for over 2,300 postsecondary students, and generated a 4x return on the $14M base funding that the 60 TACs receive from NSERC. Looking to the future, the report notes that there are two critical issues that remain to be addressed: the fragility of the current model and the need to maximize the TACs’ growth potential. Newswire | Report (Study)