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Feb 08, 2024 • National

Mitacs and the Petroleum Technology Research Centre (PTRC) have announced a four-year funding program that will create new internship positions for students in “cleantech” research and development. Under this agreement, PTRC and Mitacs will contribute a combined total of $6M from 2024 to 2028 to support student interns and postdoctoral researchers at St Francis Xavier University, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, the University of Regina, and the University of Saskatchewan. The funded projects will investigate cleantech topics, such as geothermal energy, blue hydrogen, and CO2 capture and storage, among others.

Mitacs, Global News,

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Feb 08, 2024 • QC

According to theGlobe and Mail, Bishop’s University, Concordia University, and McGill University have witnessed a substantial drop in applications from out-of-province students compared to last year. Concordia and McGill cited the Government of Québec’s tuition increases for out-of-province students as a probable factor in this decline. “The message sent to prospective students outside Quebec who may have been considering McGill was pretty negative,” said McGill Deputy Provost Fabrice Labeau. Bishop’s Principal Sébastien Lebel-Grenier added that a lot of prospective student feedback has reflected an uncertainty around whether out-of-province students are still welcome in QC. Representatives from the three universities added that it is too soon to determine if this decrease in applications will translate into a decline in confirmed students.

Globe and Mail (Acct Req), Radio-Canada (FR),

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Feb 08, 2024 • National

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published a notice with additional information on the reforms to the International Student Program. Among these clarifications, IRCC has indicated that new undergraduate and college-level international postsecondary students are required to provide a provincial attestation letter (PAL) as of January 22, 2024; students whose applications were received before this time do not need to make changes to their applications. Provinces and territories have until March 31, 2024, to determine a plan for issuing PALs. With regard to the post-graduate work permit (PGWP) program, IRCC has clarified that graduates of master’s degrees of less than two years in length will be eligible for a PGWP of a maximum of three years and that currently enrolled students in public-private partnership college programs will remain eligible for these programs. IRCC has also provided further details around the open work permits for spouses or common-law partners of international students.

Canada, The Pie News,

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Feb 08, 2024 • National

Polytechnics Canada CEO Sarah Watts-Rynard has penned an article for the Globe and Mail arguing that the cap on international students, with its exemptions for master’s and PhD students, demonstrates a bias for universities. While the Government of Canada says that these exemptions will address labour market needs, Watts-Rynard points to labour market demand data that suggests that there are more demonstrable shortages in advanced technical professions that are typically filled by graduates of colleges or polytechnics. Watts-Rynard concludes by writing that problems with international student population growth typically are not due to public postsecondary institutions, but are the result of factors such as reduced educational operating grants and Canada’s immigration policy.

Globe and Mail (Acct Req), ,

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Feb 08, 2024 • MB

Research Manitoba has invested over $1.9M in matching funds for projects supported through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R Evans Leaders Fund. The investment will support nine projects taking place at the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg, which will investigate topics such as agrifood, autism, green energy, arthritis, genomics, biomachines, plant-based proteins, tissue imaging, and neuroscience. Research Manitoba has also invested just under $550K into five UManitoba research projects to support proof of concept projects in the areas of bioscience; infrastructure, transportation, and technologies; and advanced manufacturing over the next two years.

Research Manitoba, UManitoba,

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Feb 08, 2024 • BC

The University of the Fraser Valley has officially broken ground on a 398-bed student housing building for its Abbotsford campus. The six-storey residence will offer a variety of living arrangements, with accessible units on each floor. “This is an exciting community-focused project that fills a critical housing need in the Fraser Valley and our greater region,” said UFV President Dr Joanne MacLean. The project was made possible by funding from the Government of British Columbia. Construction is expected to be completed by Summer 2025.

UFV, ,

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Feb 08, 2024 • QC

The Université du Québec à Montréal has launched a mental health hub that promotes transdisciplinary approaches and research pertaining to psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing. The Pôle institutionnel sur la santé mentale has three main objectives: To promote equitable access to mental health supports, establish and maintain healthy and inclusive living environments, and to develop prevention and intervention tools. The hub will foster partnerships, communication, and research on topics such as neurodevelopmental conditions, personality and behavioural disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. Within the next few weeks, the hub will appoint its scientific management, train governance committees, and implement its first partnership approaches.

UQÀM, ,

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Feb 08, 2024 • AB, SK

Northwestern Polytechnic, the University of Regina, and Portage College have each recently announced new short-term training opportunities. NWP has been approved to offer a Primary Care Paramedic program in Fall 2024. Students in this certificate program will learn the skills they need to become first responders and receive online instruction, onsite lab learning, and clinical and ambulance placements. URegina’s Hill and Levene Schools of Business have designed and launched a free program called the Imagineur Program to train the next generation of entrepreneurs. The program includes eight online modules that cover topics such as problem solving, customer growth strategies, and predicting financial feasibility. Portage has partnered with the Town of Bonnyville to offer town employees and elected officials the opportunity to complete a micro-credential each year for free.

NWP, URegina, Portage

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Feb 08, 2024 • International

In a recent article from the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Beth McMurtrie discusses some of the challenges associated with teaching evaluations and how some institutions are attempting evaluation methods. In a discussion of current teaching evaluations, McMurtrie notes that these are often ad hoc and superficial in nature, and as a result, do not adequately measure instructors’ teaching efforts. The author highlights three case studies of US institutions that are implementing change: the University of Colorado at Boulder uses faculty as course evaluators and has implemented a standardized form for evaluating instructor performance; the University of Oregon has implemented a student survey; and the University of Kansas’s instructors are reinforcing teaching reform by effectively documenting their work.

Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.), ,

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Feb 08, 2024 • QC

The Institut national de la recherche scientifique has been awarded gold-level certification with the Sustainable Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) for its performance in sustainable development. STARS evaluates the efforts of postsecondary institutions along environmental, social, and economic dimensions. INRS interim directrice scientifique Isabelle Delisle expressed that receiving this international certification has reaffirmed the importance of many of the organization’s recent sustainable development initiatives, including the MosaïPlastiQ project–which raises awareness about plastic pollution–and the INRS endowment fund investment policy, which commits the institution to investing in companies with a positive social and environmental impact.

INRS, ,