Top Ten

October 11, 2022

Canada lifts international student work hour restrictions, announces project to automate study permit processing

The Government of Canada has made two key announcements related to international students. First, the off-campus work hours limit for international students has been temporarily lifted. From November 15th, 2022 and December 31st, 2023, international students and eligible individuals who have submitted a study permit application will no longer be restricted to 20 hours a week of off-campus work. Students will be expected to balance their studies and work so that they can continue to take classes full time. The change was made to address labour needs while providing international students with a way to gain more work experience in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will also be launching a pilot program that will automate the processing of some international student study permits. If successful, it will be expanded to other study permits to help reduce processing times. Canada | Brandon Sun (National)

AB provides $4M funding boost for creation, development of dual credit courses

The Government of Alberta has announced that it is providing a funding boost of $4M to school authorities to support the creation and development of dual credit courses. School authorities can apply for start-up grants or enhancement grants, with a total of 61 grants being allocated. The grants will support the development of dual credit courses for the 2022-23 school year. “Dual credit programs help students make meaningful transitions to post-secondary education, trade designations or the workplace,” said AB Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. “Expanding on these opportunities is vital to improving high school completion rates and building a qualified, educated and engaged workforce.” AB (AB)

Instructors should consider a variety of issues when students fail their classes: Opinion

In a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Beckie Supiano discusses a recent debate over who should take the blame when students fail a course. Supiano writes that high rates of failure in STEM are typical and that instructors do not necessarily see themselves as potentially being at fault. However, there are other issues that may influence the failure rates, including teaching approaches, evaluations, student response to active learning, and the assumption that high failures are the equivalent of having high standards. Supiano discusses research conducted by Elaine Seymour, which noted that the practice of intentionally trying to identify or prioritize the “best students” is detrimental not only to the top students, but also to those who had less educational opportunity, associate their grades with their identity, or who enrolled in a class without the intent of majoring in the class’s topic. Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.) (Editorial)

UNB receives $2.8M to create scholarships, form endowment to support Fredericton campus

The University of New Brunswick has received a $2.8M gift from the estate of Jack and Eileen Iwanicki that will be used to support research excellence, create new opportunities, and form scholarships in both of the Iwanickis’s names. The gift will create the Jack and Eileen Iwanicki Funds, which will support research excellence and the creation of opportunities for UNB’s Faculty of Arts and the philosophy department. It will also support scholarships for students with a demonstrated interest or major in environmental studies or who are majoring in philosophy. UNB (NB)

Olds launches new equine care certificate

Olds College is launching a new Equine Care & Management Certificate starting Fall 2024. The one-year program, offered through the School of Life and Business, will prepare students for careers in the equine sector. Students will gain foundational skills in equine behaviour and handling, management of horses and herds, management of businesses in the equine industry, and equine first aid. Students will also participate in a six- to eight-week learning placement. “Olds College of Agriculture & Technology worked very closely with industry and our faculty team to develop a program that will deliver in-demand graduates, while increasing flexibility and course options for students," said Olds Vice President, Academic & Student Experience, Debbie Thompson. Olds | RD News Now (AB)

TRU, StFX, CBU partner with local communities to create scholarships for students

Thompson Rivers University, St Francis Xavier University, and Cape Breton University have each partnered with their community to create scholarships to support students. TRU’s Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics partnered with Kamloops resident Norm Daley to launch a $1M endowment campaign called the Norm Daley Initiative. The initiative will collect donations to create scholarships in the name of the donors’ families, businesses, or people they wish to honour. CBU and StFX have each received a matched gift of $250K from the Sisters of St Martha’s to support Indigenous students. Together, the universities have received$1M to create scholarships for Indigenous students from seven eastern Indigenous communities in Nova Scotia who are studying nursing or education. TRU | StFX | 989 XFM (NS | BC)

Cambrian, Centennial, SLC receive equipment to enhance student experience

Three Ontario colleges recently received equipment donations that will expand hands-on learning opportunities for students. Cambrian College has received a bucket truck from Alectra that will provide students in the Powerline Technician program with expanded opportunities to work with equipment used in the industry. Centennial College received a Global 7500 Flight Test Vehicle from Bombardier. St Lawrence College received a donation of $150K worth of specialized equipment, such as turntables, chain conveyors, and frequency controllers to support a variety of programs, including Mechanical Technician, Industrial Mechanic Millwright, Industrial Electrician, and General Machinist. Newswire (Cambrian) | Newswire (Centennial) | SLC (ON)

Dal opens two new dental surgery suites

Dalhousie University has unveiled two new dental surgery suites that were created with a $1M donation from Dr Theresa Chiang in honour of her late husband, Dr Wah Jun Tze. The Tze/Chiang Paediatric and Adult Special Needs Clinic will be equipped with specialized equipment that will increase Dal’s capacity to help those who are waiting for care. “[Dr Chiang] knows how urgently clinics like these are needed everywhere,” said Dal Faculty of Dentistry Dean Dr Ben Davis. “This generous gift will enable us to do more [pediatric and special needs dentistry], and we are so grateful Dr Chiang approached Dalhousie with her vision.” Saltwire | Dal (NS)

Student unions walk out of discussions on sexual violence policy with Concordia

CBC reports that the Teaching and Research Assistant at Concordia (TRAC) union, Concordia Student Union, and Graduate Student Association have walked out of Concordia University’s standing committee on sexual misconduct and sexual violence. The unions claimed that Concordia cared more about institutional reputation than student safety and that the administration had been dismissive of their voices. CBC reports that the groups have further complained that Concordia still lacks standalone sexual violence policy and that the existing policy neglects survivor's needs. Concordia spokesperson Vannina Maestracci stated that the university was only notified of the groups' withdrawal before the first scheduled meeting of the standing committee and that they were not informed of the reasons for the withdrawal. Maestracci further stated that they are attempting to have discussions with the groups to move forward. CBC | Global News (QC)

UWindsor, Horteca partner to establish innovation greenhouse

The University of Windsor and Horteca have partnered on a project that will advance agricultural research, development, and innovation through an innovation greenhouse. The two-acre greenhouse will be created under “Agriculture at UWindsor” (AgUWin) and will be used for research, proof-of-concept designs, partnerships, and testing technologies. Students will use the space to participate in hands-on learning in sensors, biologics, data and artificial intelligence, sustainability, and more. AgUWin will also be used to foster leadership and talent development in the sector. UWindsor (ON)