The Government of Canada has increased the cost-of-living financial requirements for prospective international students. Single study permit applicants—who previously had to prove they had $10K—will be required to prove that they have $20,635 in addition to the funds to pay their first year of tuition and travel costs. The change was made to address the increasing cost of living and to prevent student vulnerability and exploitation. Moving forward, the threshold will be adjusted each year. Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller added that postsecondary institutions are expected to only accept the number of international students they can provide supports for, including housing options. Miller also noted that the waiver on the 20-hour-per-week off-campus work limit for international students has been extended; a measure allowing online studies to count towards future post-graduation work permits will no longer apply to international students who begin their studies starting in September 2024; and a temporary policy that provided an additional 18-month work permit to post-graduation work permit holders whose initial permit was expiring will not be extended.
Acadia University and the University of King’s College have both adopted the “Can’t Buy My Silence” pledge, through which the institutions have committed to never using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in cases involving sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, and other forms of misconduct. The “Can’t Buy My Silence” campaign was co-founded by activist Zelda Perkins and University of Windsor Professor Julie MacFarlane and urges all universities to end the use of NDAs in these circumstances, citing that NDAs are sometimes used as tools to silence victims. “The misuse of NDAs can lead to significant harm,” said Acadia President Dr Jeff Hennessy. “It’s important that victims not only recognize the support readily available but also feel empowered to openly share their experiences.”
CBC reports that upwards of 70 posters that used antisemitic language and defamatory statements against the late alumnus Israel Asper were discovered on the University of Manitoba campus. A statement from UManitoba indicates that the identified posters have been removed and that the incident has been reported to the Winnipeg Police Service. “We are deeply proud to have our business school named in honour of alum, Israel Asper,” reads a statement from UManitoba. “UM calls out racism and antisemitism in all its forms and does not tolerate the distribution of hateful propaganda on our campuses.”
In an opinion piece for the Calgary Herald, University of Alberta President Bill Flanagan asserts that the university can play a key role in helping the Government of Alberta achieve its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. Flanagan highlights the need for collaboration between government, industry, and academia; the development and refinement of new technologies; and major investments in research and infrastructure. “There is no magic bullet,” he writes. “We need a multi-faceted and multidisciplinary approach.” Flanagan additionally comments on the ways in which UAlberta can contribute to achieving net zero, including through its ongoing work pertaining to carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects; critical minerals research; and its new major research project entitled “Canadian Net Zero Energy Solutions.”
Students living in a McMaster University residence in downtown Hamilton that is still under construction are demanding action to address ongoing issues pertaining to the building. CBC and Global News report that these issues include tap water quality, constant construction noise, construction workers walking into units unannounced, a bug infestation in the laundry room, and no access to indoor parking that was promised. Students have made a variety of demands, including that McMaster give them partial rent refunds, guarantee 24-hour notice of entry, and implement a no penalty 60-day clause that allows tenants to break their leases. McMaster spokesperson Wade Hemsworth said that the university is working to address issues as quickly as possible and to accelerate the building’s completion.
Concordia University and McGill University have both indicated that they have seen a significant drop in applications from out-of-province students amid discussions pertaining to the Government of Québec’s proposed tuition hike for out-of-province students. Concordia President Graham Carr recently stated that the university has witnessed a 16% drop in applications from out of province students and a 33% decline in international student applications, while McGill Principal Deep Saini said that the university has experienced a “catastrophic” 20% drop in applications so far this year. According to the Montreal Gazette, when asked if McGill would consider moving some operations out of province, Saini replied that the university leadership would “look at all options.”
Durham College’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) has received $2.1M in funding from the College and Community Innovation (CCI) program’s Mobilize grant to support Durham’s applied research centres. The funding will be provided over the next five years and will increase the research and innovation training opportunities available to students. “This funding is critical. It anchors everything that we do in all of our applied research centres,” said ORSIE Dean Debbie McKee Demczyk. “It allows us to maintain a competitive edge. We’ve got expert staff and researchers, and companies know that we’re here to support them and we’re not going anywhere.”
In a recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Ketan Marballi (Toronto Metropolitan University) discusses how jobseekers can use AI to find a job while ensuring that they do not lose their own voice. Marballi recommends that jobseekers write with their original voice and use AI “to complement and for critique.” The author discusses how jobseekers can use their own voice to represent themselves by tying accomplishments to the job’s requirements and skills and by translating their skills into language that the employer uses. Marballi notes that students and postdocs should authentically demonstrate their accomplishments to potential employers by considering how their work affects their field, the organization, and society.
The University of Regina and the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Khalifa University of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates. Under the LOI, the parties have committed to promoting educational and research collaboration for clean energy technologies with a focus on carbon capture, utilization, and storage. The LOI also promotes joint educational activities–including faculty and student exchange programs–between the universities. “Through this partnership, we will enhance our global educational and research collaborations, leading to positive benefits for faculty, researchers, and students, which in turn, creates opportunities within our province,” said URegina President Dr Jeff Keshen.
Confederation College is partnering with the textile recycling program Sic Sox Circular Ltd. to help individuals in Northern Ontario boost their sustainability efforts. Through this partnership, Confederation will enable the placement of Sic Sox collection boxes throughout the community and citizens will be encouraged to donate used textiles that are in any condition. Once collected, Sic Sox will resell usable items or convert landfill-quality materials into industry-approved housing insulation. “Not only does the box prevent textiles from going into our landfills, but it also allows for perfectly good items to be resold at affordable prices, effectively promoting a culture of reuse within our region,” said Confederation Manager of Applied Research and Sustainability Robyn Gillespie.