Top Ten

November 17, 2022

MB pauses plans on new postsecondary funding model

The Government of Manitoba has paused its plans to roll out the controversial performance-based funding formula for the postsecondary sector, reports Maggie Macintosh for the Winnipeg Free Press. “I think especially through COVID it has been challenging for some of our post-secondary institutions and I think we need to take a bit of a step back, look at those institutions and say, ‘what is going to keep them going,’” said Premier Heather Stefanson. MB Advanced Education Minister Jon Reyes will reportedly be continuing to meet with stakeholders to identify the best path forward for the sector and ensure programs are tailored to labour market needs, and MB plans to take a “close look” at the system to ensure equitable funding. Winnipeg Free Press (Acct Req) | Brandon Sun (Acct Req) | CTV News (MB)

UMontréal launches research centre focused on EDI, decolonization

The Université de Montréal has launched a research centre focused on equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization. The Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la justice intersectionnelle, la décolonisation et l’équité (CRI-JaDE) focuses on bringing researchers, specialists, and students together to work on research and mobilize knowledge. CRI-JaDE researchers will focus on topics related to resilience, exclusion, and oppression of Indigenous peoples and equity-deserving groups; practices that lead to EDI and decolonization; and using interdisciplinarity to find diverse approaches and solutions to issues. The centre will also collaborate with institutional, government, and community partners to support knowledge mobilization. UMontréal (QC)

UNB, UMoncton collaborate with health networks to launch Navigating Dementia NB

The University of New Brunswick’s Centre for Research in Integrated Care, the Université de Moncton, Horizon Health Network, and Vitalité Health Network recently launched a pilot program called Navigating Dementia NB. The community-based, bilingual program provides support to people across the province who are living with dementia, caring for someone who has dementia, or part of a care team. The program includes seven patient navigators who will help connect patients and care partners with a variety of health and social services supports to ensure patient-centred, integrated care. UNB (NB)

Thorneloe appeals decision related to $9.8M claim against Laurentian

Thorneloe University is appealing a decision denying its $9.8M claim against Laurentian University, according to CTV News. Thorneloe was one of three federated universities to lose its affiliation to Laurentian through the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act process, and it previously claimed $9.8M in losses. The university was granted around $1.5M in damage claims to pay severance to former staff, and an appeal of the decision will be heard tomorrow. Thorneloe has also requested that the case be handled by a mediator. Justice Geoffrey B Morawetz wrote in a decision that “it is pure speculation to suggest that a mediated resolution will save costs,” and argued that Thorneloe’s request for mediation has been made late in the process. CTV News (ON)

The benefits of implementing transdisciplinary programs: Opinion

In an article for University World News, University of British Columbia Professor Naoko Ellis, Assistant Professor Derek Gladwin, and PhD candidates Klara Aishwarya Ramachandran and Klara Abdi, discuss the value of transdisciplinary programs in higher education. Reflecting on a study on transdisciplinary graduate programs at UBC, the researchers explain that these programs help students cultivate intellectual curiosity and openness, communicate with those outside their discipline, and participate in more professional activities. Based on their experiences, the authors provide a series of recommendations for universities looking to build transdisciplinary programming at their institution, such as creating the institutional infrastructure and providing resources to support transdisciplinary encounters, creating a unified set of degree requirements for transdisciplinary programs, and developing the programs with stakeholders to ensure they have relevance outside academia. University World News (Editorial)

AU students, staff benefit from an education focused on achievements, not location: Scott

Students and staff benefit from studying at a postsecondary institution that focuses on achievements rather than its location, writes Athabasca University President Dr Peter Scott. Scott discusses the value of open and online education, and how enabling students to study in a flexible manner with a digital connection to instructors, tutors, and staff from across the country makes education more accessible. The author notes that AU students do not care where their instructors are located and urges readers to consider the future when thinking about how education should best be provided rather than being motivated by a nostalgia for pre-pandemic times. “As the world of work changes, and with it, the needs of learners, the role and value of open education will only continue to accelerate,” writes Scott. “AU is embracing that change, and is already creating the future it represents.” Edmonton Journal (AB)

How universities can improve accessibility: Opinion

In an article for The Conversation, Western University Assistant Dean of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization A Kim Clark discusses the benefits of making universities more accessible. Reflecting on a small survey she conducted of students who self-identified as disabled, Clark discusses some of the ways that university practices impacted the students. Clark then identifies teaching practices that students found helpful, such as implementing flexible assignment deadlines, hybrid course delivery and lecture recordings to provide access to students whose symptoms prevented them from attending in person, and providing captioning for audiovisual materials for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Conversation (Editorial)

Trent partners with EV company to support clean technology innovations

Trent University has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) with electric vehicle manufacturing company Trouvé Victory Inc to advance clean technology innovations. Trent VP of Research and Innovation Dr Cathy Bruce said that the collaboration would draw on the work of researchers from a variety of fields, in addition to opening up research and experiential learning opportunities for Trent students. “The Office of Research and Innovation at Trent University is pleased to announce this industry collaboration with Trouvé, as it enhances our pursuit of green, clean tech innovations and their application in key sectors for Ontario and internationally,” stated Bruce. Trent (ON)

Robertson, Mosaic partner to provide English language training, ECE education to newcomers

Robertson College and Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network have partnered to provide English language training and a pathway to work in the early childhood system to newcomers to Canada. The 19-week course helps participants boost their English-language skills and competency so that they can communicate effectively in academic and professional settings. The training will focus on Manitoba’s early childhood sector, and upon completion, trainees will meet the educational requirements to work as child care assistants in the province or apply to Robertson’s Early Childhood Educator diploma. The course is delivered in an online format with weekly in-person supplemental sessions. Newswire (MB)

Universities need a “professor-entrepreneur” career track to support innovation: Opinion

Postsecondary institutions should introduce a “professor-entrepreneur” career track for academics who have an interest in practical research, writes McMaster University Associate Professor Tohid Didar. Didar writes that Canada has seen challenges fostering a culture of innovation. Creating advanced manufacturing opportunities through pathways such as a “professor-entrepreneur” career track would enable researchers to better support manufacturers who do not have in-house researcher and development teams. As “professor-entrepreneurs,” researchers could complete industry-based sabbaticals, participate in trade shows and industry expos, and gain specific funding and legal assistance. Didar writes that this would enrich the faculty members’ teaching and research and make it more likely that their innovations are used by manufacturers. The Globe and Mail (Acct Req) (Editorial)