Postsecondary institutions across Canada are holding vigils and events to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, which falls on the anniversary of a 1989 shooting targeting female engineering students at École Polytechnique in Montréal. Polytechnique Montréal has shared resources, created a special webpage commemorating the day, and launched the Week of the White Rose to cultivate the next generation of women in engineering. On other campuses, engineering teams and student groups will be handing out white ribbons or placing white roses in recognition of the day. Institutions such as Memorial University, Vancouver Island University, and the University of Alberta are holding vigils to acknowledge the women who lost their lives. Other special events such as memorial walks and fire and tobacco offerings are being held on the campuses of institutions such as McMaster University and VIU.
All three of University of Toronto’s campuses—U of T St George, University of Toronto Mississauga, and University of Toronto Scarborough—have committed to achieving a climate-positive operating model by 2050. This “Climate Positive Tri-Campus Commitment” builds upon U of T’s 2019 Low-Carbon Action Plan and extends its 2021 pledge to make the St George campus climate positive by 2050. To achieve this goal, the three campuses will work together to align their Climate Action Plans, achieve sustainable campus growth, and increase the magnitude of their existing greenhouse gas reduction projects. “I look forward to achieving this goal together and to opening a path to go beyond net zero,” said UTM Principal and U of T VP Alexandra Gillespie. “It’s the right and good thing to do – for our lifetime and for lives to come.”
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has unveiled its World University Rankings: Sustainability 2024 and announced that Canada has more universities in the top 10 than any other country. The ranking featured a total of 1,397 institutions, assessing them on their environmental impact, social impact, and governance. The first place ranking worldwide went to the University of Toronto, which was closely followed by the University of British Columbia (#4) and Western University (#10). Other Canadian universities appearing in the top 100 were: McGill University (#13), the University of Alberta (#28), Queen’s University (#64), the University of Calgary (tied for #68), the University of Waterloo (tied for #68), the University of Ottawa (#72), McMaster University (#78), Université de Montréal (#81), the University of Saskatchewan (#89), Concordia University (tied for#96), and Simon Fraser University ( tied for #96).
Northern Lakes College has partnered with the Fort Vermilion School Division and Black Gold School Division to establish collegiate schools. These collegiate schools will offer students specialized programming, experiential learning opportunities, work experience, dual credit programming, and bridging opportunities. They will also offer a pathway to postsecondary education and a career. “Graduating from high school while having already achieved college credits gives students a head start on their career and entering the workforce, and we are pleased to provide those opportunities,” said Northern Lakes President Dr Glenn Mitchell.
A man was arrested by Western University’s Special Constable Service after allegedly spitting on Muslim students on campus. CBC reports that the individual has been banned from Western’s campus, charged with two counts of assault, and scheduled for a court date. “Hate and discrimination have no place on our campus and will not be tolerated,” reads a statement from Western. In a social media post, Western’s Muslim Student Association thanked the university for its response but added that it is “crucial to acknowledge that this isolated incident is one manifestation of the broader issue of hatred and Islamophobia” on campus.
Université du Québec à Montréal and Collège Ahuntsic have partnered on a new pathway agreement that will ease the transition from college to university for learners interested in chemistry and biochemistry. Under the new DEC-BAC pathway, students who complete Collège Ahuntsic’s Techniques de laboratoire program will be able to obtain recognition for up to 30 of their credits toward a bachelors’ degree. They will also be exempt from paying university admission and applications fees when pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry of biochemistry at UQÀM.
In a recent Chronicle of Higher Ed article, Megan Zahneis discusses the support work that Diane Wolf (University of California at Davis) does as an “Academic Doula” for faculty parents. Wolf runs a program that helps parent faculty members transition back to work once their formal leave ends. Wolf helps faculty members through the various challenges they are facing, suggests solutions and plots out logistics with them, and provides a validating third-party perspective. She also works with leadership to revise family-leave policies, get administrators involved where appropriate, and provide departmental leaders with suggestions for how they can be more understanding and compassionate with faculty parents.
A new University of Waterloo capstone course is giving learners the opportunity to tackle complex health problems–from climate anxiety to kidney disease–using the lens of social entrepreneurship. The course is the result of a partnership between UWaterloo’s School of Public Health Sciences, the Centre for Career Development, and United College’s social impact incubator GreenHouse. Students enrolled in the course are tasked with answering challenge statements provided by organizations affiliated with GreenHouse; students then brainstorm solutions using creative problem-solving techniques and pitch their ideas to the given organization. “It’s an opportunity for students to work on real health challenges with external organizations and to realize that they can actually make an important difference,” said UWaterloo Associate Professor Dr Jennifer Yessis.
The Government of Québec will reschedule the uniform language tests that cégep students are required to pass in order to graduate. Tests will be delayed by a week in case the seven-day strike planned by the Common Front–which represents groups such as public cégep teachers–moves forward; the strike is planned for December 8 to 14. Montreal Gazette reports that the possibility of this strike poses a problem for not just these exit exams, but also other cégep-specific tests planned for December. As a result, cégep leadership is considering extending terms into January or applying to QC for a shorter-term calendar.
Red Deer Polytechnic has announced that it has gained CIHR eligibility and that it has renewed its SSHRC and NSERC eligibility. With this new eligibility for CIHR funding, RDP will be able to access greater funding opportunities in health research, particularly in the areas of biomedical; clinical; health systems services; and social, cultural, environmental, and population health research. RDP states that being able to hold Tri-Council grants is “key to RDP’s vision of expanding the scope and impact of RDP’s research in central Alberta and beyond.”