Capilano University has purchased Primacorp Ventures’ university campus property in Squamish, supported by $48M in funding from the Government of British Columbia. The 18-acre purpose-built campus–formerly used by Quest University–includes teaching spaces, a library, an athletic centre and sports field, and a cultural and creative activity area. 100 students are reportedly expected on campus in 2024. CapilanoU is also exploring options for operating a childcare centre as well as student housing on the campus property. “Together, we have an established 40-year history of collaboration and shared vision for Squamish and the district is thrilled CapU has returned to Squamish in this way,” said Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford. “We look forward to new opportunities and renewed connections as we begin this next chapter.”
The University of Waterloo has outlined its plan to address campus safety and rebuild community trust following the June 28 attack on Hagey Hall. In a statement released by the Provost’s office, UWaterloo shared that it is currently undertaking an assessment of its emergency processes and plans to remove class locations and instructor names from public websites. Additionally, UWaterloo stated that it will make investments to advance scholarship regarding antagonism in academia, continue to meet with the community, and create a new position in the Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-racism that will focus on gender identity and expression.
With students struggling to find housing in St John’s, Memorial University is asking current and former employees to consider renting a room in their homes to students. Saltwire reports that all of the university’s on-campus housing options, except for one, are full. The university has also asked students with single occupancy in traditional double dorm rooms to consider taking in a roommate and is giving incoming students without a place to live the option to take a year off. “We’re aware that students here, and at universities all across the country, are having a hard time finding affordable rentals near campus, and will do all we can to help,” said Memorial Manager of Communications and Media Relations Chad Pelley.
The College Employer Council (CEC) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)”representing over 16,000 faculty”have reached a mediated settlement on compensation from 2021-24. The decision follows the court’s determination that Bill 124, which imposed constraints on public sector wages, is unconstitutional. The mediated settlement includes salary increases of 3%, 3%, and 3.5% annually and “a significant increase” to paramedical benefits. “Faculty members showed their commitment to correcting a legislative injustice throughout this bargaining process,” said OPSEU President JP Hornick. “It is the same commitment that they showed to their students and communities by providing high quality education throughout the pandemic.” The next round of bargaining will occur in less than one year.
In a recent editorial, Takhmina Shokirova (University of Regina), Lisa Ruth Brunner (University of British Columbia), Karun Kishor Karki (University of the Fraser Valley), Capucine Coustere (Université Laval), and Negar Valizadeh (University of Ottawa) offer an alternative approach to international student orientation programming. Reflecting on their lived experiences, the authors assert that international student orientation can sometimes exacerbate feelings of exclusion, ignore the presence of international students’ families, and reproduce colonial legacies. They suggest that orientation programming should be reconceptualized as a fluid, ongoing process rather than a one-off presentation and encourage orientation organizers to adjust their programming to better reflect the multifaceted identities of international students.
The University of British Columbia has officially opened the doors to the Brock Commons North residence. The new residence brings an additional 316 beds to the campus, as well as a fitness area, games room, and study spaces. The residence is part of the ongoing Brock Commons construction project, which also includes Tallwood House (completed in 2017 with 404 beds) and Brock South (to be completed in 2024 with 282 beds). “We know the Vancouver rental market presents affordability and access challenges for some students,” said UBC Associate VP of Student Housing and Community Services Andrew Parr. “Being able to provide below market rate housing for students is a key goal for the university.”
Neuroscientists from Western University and the Atlanta-based Emory University have received $5.1M from the Azraieli Foundation to “break new ground” in motor neuroscience. Western researcher Andrew Pruszynski will use the funding to create a consortium of neuroscientists whose research would benefit from the use of electrodes developed at Emory. The researchers’ feedback would also be used to help refine the electrodes. “The Foundation’s support will help seed numerous research activities across the country, enabling scientists to make substantial gains in motor neuroscience,” said Pruszynski.
Portage College’s Practical Nursing (PN) program has been granted approval for subsidized education through the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Accreditation, Certification, and Equivalency program. Through a partnership between Portage and CAF, military personnel will have the opportunity to pursue the practical nursing program as they potentially prepare for a military career in health care. Portage states that applicants can also explore the Operating Room Technician career path offered by the CAF. “The subsidized education program will empower military members to enhance their skill sets, broaden their horizons, and unlock new career possibilities, all while serving their country,” said a statement from Portage.
Several groups representing cégep instructors and students are calling on the Government of Québec for official guidelines, best practices, and training on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom. The confederation des syndicats nationaux, the Fédération nationale des enseignantes et des enseignants du Québec, and the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec have each expressed concerns regarding the lack of tools available to cégeps to meet the potential challenges and opportunities presented by AI. In response, QC Ministère de l’Enseignmenet supérieur has stated that two expert reports on AI are expected later this fall, which will enable the province to develop a more precise framework on the subject.
With the continued crunch on the housing market, some have turned their attention to the impact of increased international student enrolments on housing. The Globe reports that Canada’s immigration policies and population growth plans have come under scrutiny in light of the housing shortage. Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller indicated that the federal government is open to reconsidering international student enrolments, but is unable to reduce immigration targets. In an article for CIC, Steve Pomeroy (Carleton University) noted that international students put pressure on Canada’s rental market and called for the federal government, developers, and institutions to improve housing and housing conditions. In an article for Castanet, Adam Wilson uses the case of the University of British Columbia Okanagan to argue that students are not the root cause of the Okanagan region’s housing crisis.