In a recent intelligence memo for the CD Howe Institute, Academica Group’s Director of Research Insights Roger Pizarro Milian outlines the surging demand for hybrid learning among postsecondary applicants. The memo draws on data from the annual University/College Applicant Study to examine the evolving demand for hybrid and online learning. Pizarro Milian notes that the demand for in-class learning in recent years has dropped, while applicants have demonstrated a growing interest in hybrid and online learning. “We don’t know when PSE student demand will stabilize, but it is difficult to imagine interest in hybrid forms of learning – along with the flexibility they offer students – disappearing anytime soon,” he writes. “The genie appears to be out of the bottle.”
The Government of Canada has announced new funds to support the launch of a new consortium, research projects, and training platforms that will foster medical innovation. The Accelerating Clinical Trials Consortium, which will be led by McMaster University Professor PJ Deveraux, received $39M to expand existing clinical trial networks and create new networks in order to support collaboration and knowledge sharing. Canada also invested over $32M into seven training platforms that will train scientists and researchers, as well as approximately $60M into 22 research projects related to clinical trial phases, designs, and objectives. The institutions receiving funding for these initiatives include McMaster, Concordia University, McGill University, Western University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Alberta.
The Fondation du Cégep de Drummondville has launched a $2M fundraising campaign. The campaign’s theme is “Notre histoire s’écrit en grand,” which the foundation says is a reference to the long history between the cégep and the surrounding community. The funds raised will go toward construction and renovation projects on campus to support the cégep’s expansion. The first $1M has already been raised by donors, the City of Drummondville, and a group of cooperatives and mutual funds. Drummondville says this is the second such major campaign in its history.
Humber College recently launched a recruitment campaign that encourages students to “BRING IT.” The campaign uses dimensional typography, vibrant graphic elements, and messages that highlight the college’s community, programs, and spaces. The college collaborated on the campaign with local artist Ben Johnston, who will also create a wall-sized mural and live painting at the Lakeshore Campus in the Spring highlighting the impact students have when they “BRING IT.” “Humber values every student’s individual identity, interests, abilities and aspirations, and we provide a supportive and inclusive environment to enable students to achieve their goals,” said Humber VP External Affairs and Professional Learning Kelly Jackson. “BRING IT is about celebrating and supporting Humber’s inclusive community of talented students with bold and motivational graphics and messaging that are reflective of who they are.”
More universities have announced that they are reviewing honorary degrees that they awarded to Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond. The Canadian Press reports that six universities – University of Regina, McGill University, Brock University, Royal Roads University, St Thomas University, and Mount Saint Vincent University – that have awarded Turpel-Lafond an honorary degree are now reviewing the situation. “We need to ensure that our children’s and grandchildren’s indigeneity will be respected and protected,” read a statement from the Indigenous Women’s Collective, which has called for the honours to be withdrawn.
The Government of Ontario has expanded the Learn and Stay Grant program, which offers a tuition-free education in health care to students who agree to work for two years in a region with need for health care workers. The grant has been expanded to 2,500 students and in addition to nursing, now includes paramedic and medical lab technician students. The program is intended to address the need for healthcare workers in key communities, and provides the full funding required to cover tuition, books, and other educational costs. Students who receive the grant will be required to complete two years of work in the region in which they studied.
Lakeland College has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Association of Administrative Professionals (AAP) that will create a new pathway for students to attain a Canadian Certified Administrative Professional (CCAP) designation. Students who complete four compulsory courses and three electives and who are employed in the administrative/executive assistant field can apply to receive CCAP designation. “This will provide administrative professional staff and students the opportunity to further advance their skills and knowledge in the workplace while also enabling them to excel in their careers,” said Lakeland School of Business Chair Angela Minish.
Dalhousie University and Université du Québec en Outaouais have both announced new research chairs. Dal’s inaugural Simon and Riva Spatz Chair in Jewish Studies replaces a visiting chair program with a tenured appointment. The chair, which will be held by Dr Eva Mroczek, will focus on expanding Dal’s educational opportunities in Jewish Studies; creating new courses with multi-disciplinary approaches; and connecting students and scholars with Jewish Studies. UQO has partnered with the Center de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys to create a research chair focused on innovation and best practices in education. The chair will focus on analyzing educational contexts, evaluating educational practices, and implementing and improving best practices.
Cambrian Collage, Western University, and Brandon University have opened new student spaces that encourage connection and wellness. Cambrian has opened a Spiritual Centre that provides students with a space where they can worship and reflect. The idea was proposed by students, and the centre includes cubicles for private prayer and meditation as well as a foot washing station. Western has launched the Western Wellness Hub, which provides courses for students that will teach them how to thrive and will complement the professional support offered by wellness services. At BrandonU, the student union has celebrated the opening of a new café called Bailey’s. The café is named after the BrandonU mascot, and it will offer students a place to get food and relax together on campus.
Marketing and communications in postsecondary education will need to navigate the shift to direct admissions, employee recruitment and retainment, and artificial intelligence in 2023, writes Mallory Willsea for Inside Higher Ed. Willsea discusses these three major challenges in further depth, explaining that US postsecondary institutions are increasingly offering direct admission programs where institutions apply for students. She also predicts that teams will face a shortage of qualified employees, making it imperative that they develop ways to retain their top talent. Finally, Willsea discusses how artificial intelligence creates more opportunities to reduce costs while ensuring that recruitment, marketing, and engagement efforts are more efficient, which may help to overcome staffing shortage issues.