The University of Manitoba and the National Biomedical Research Institute in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have partnered to investigate the global spread of mpox and the virus behind the illness. “Unfortunately, we saw a global outbreak of mpox in 2022,” said project co-lead and UManitoba Assistant Professor Dr Jason Kindrachuk. “That has increased the spotlight on the virus, which is helpful for us to combat it, but we can’t let scientific interest fade now that cases are decreasing across most of the globe.” The researchers will study the movement of the virus, how it has changed, whether undetected transmission occurred, and how effective the Imvamune mpox vaccine is. The study has received $2.8M from the federal government.
The Government of New Brunswick has officially launched the Study and Succeed in New Brunswick program. The new program will provide international students with critical resources for launching a career and life in NB, which will in turn increase the availability of skilled labour in the province. “Growing our population base is essential to addressing the workforce needs of the future, and access to skilled talent is crucial for New Brunswick companies of every size,” said Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Not only are international students a critical component of our talent pipeline, they also contribute immensely to making our province more diverse and inclusive.”
Two recent articles highlight the gaps and opportunities in supporting internationally trained medical students and professionals as they seek careers in Canadian communities. In British Columbia, CBC reports that the province is planning to streamline licensing for internationally-trained nurses by reducing the registration waiting period and increasing space in the Practice Ready Assessment program. Former Canadian-trained nurses will also receive funds and bursaries to cover the costs of applications, assessments, and additional education so they can re-enter the system. In Saskatchewan, the Regina Leader-Post reports that the province risks a brain drain as internationally trained medical graduates become frustrated with the long wait times to complete residencies. The Leader-Post reports that many end up finding careers in other countries because they are not selected for residency, but that a change to the system with an increased number of residencies could help address the doctor shortage in a cost-effective, efficient way.
In a recent article for EvoLLLution, Gary Hepburn, Dean of the G Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Toronto Metropolitan University, discusses his perspective on the future of university continuing education. Hepburn writes that postsecondary institutions will want to thoughtfully consider how they serve adult learners, as career-focused adult learning is expected to experience growth in a time when university degree programs are likely to struggle. The author highlights challenges with sector-wide slow progress on adult learning offerings and the appearance of competing organizations in the adult learning space, as well as the opportunities for university continuing education units that can “escape their university’s gravitational field” and take a nimble, bold approach toward adult learning. Hepburn concludes by emphasizing the need for institutions to “get serious” about adult learning as its influence grows in the coming years.
The University of New Brunswick has announced a bachelor of science in environmental engineering program that is set to start in Fall 2023. Students will learn to study and develop solutions for issues such as water, soil, and air pollution in preparation for careers in areas such as water treatment or environmental compliance. “Our faculty looks forward to launching UNB’s environmental engineering program, which will focus on educating highly skilled engineers prepared to tackle complex and multi-faceted challenges in order to maintain a clean and safe environment in the world,” said UNB Saint John Chair of the Department of Engineering Idris Gadoura.
The British Columbia Institute of Technology has partnered with Jazz Airlines to introduce a new pathway into a career with the airline for students in BCIT’s Airline and Flight Operations Commercial Pilot (Fixed-wing) program. Students in the final year of the program can apply to the Jazz Aviation Pathway program, which will provide 78 weeks of training focused on aviation academics, ground school, and applied flight training. Graduates will qualify for a Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License, Multi Engine Rating, and Instrument Flight Rating, and will be recruited by Jazz Airlines as First Officers.
Collaboration between instructors and disability counsellors can make postsecondary education more accessible, writes Queen’s University Adjunct Associate Professor Philip Burge and National Educational Association of Disabled Students board chairperson Maggie Lyons-MacFarlane. Burge discusses the strategies and initiatives that institutions have introduced to improve accessibility in recent years, such as conducting accessibility audits or supporting partnerships between teaching faculty and disability counsellors, as well as the challenges faced by staff in the sector. The author points to a study conducted at Humber College, which found that collaborations between teaching faculty and learning specialists and disability counsellors supported greater implementation of universal design, which made learning more accessible.
Northwestern Polytechnic has announced that it will be one of the 14 hosts of the CWB Welding Foundation’s The Women of Steel™: Forging Forward Program. The 12-week program will provide women with the skills and confidence needed to pursue a welder apprenticeship through practical theory, skills development, and hands-on training. The program follows a flexible schedule and provides students with ability to obtain multiple CWB welding qualifications. “The Women of Steel pre-employment program will provide an exciting and empowering opportunity for women within our region to explore a rewarding future in the skilled trades,” said NWP School of Skilled Trades Dean Caitlin Hartigan.
Cambrian College recently hosted a community services fair in Sudbury where representatives from Greater Sudbury’s bylaw and building services presented students with information about their off-campus housing rights. Representatives handed out leaflets that contained information for new students to ensure that they understand what they can expect from landlords. Sudbury resident Maria Bozzo expressed concerns about rooming houses that violate standards and bylaws and said she is glad that students are being provided with tenant education so they are aware of property and housing standards.
Trent University Assistant Professor Kirsten Francescone and Carleton University Instructor Vladimir Díaz-Cuéllar have penned an article for the National Observer on the need for mandatory climate crisis education in Canadian postsecondary. Reflecting on the implementation of a mandatory climate crisis course at the University of Barcelona, Francescone and Díaz-Cuéllar highlight the need for similar courses in Canadian postsecondary that bring together the natural and social sciences . They discuss how the courses they have developed at Trent and Carleton tackle key questions around the issue and embolden students to drive positive change, and conclude by calling on universities to implement mandatory courses that examine the causes of the climate crisis.