The First Nations University of Canada will be creating its fourth campus near the town of St Louis, Saskatchewan, thanks to new funding. FNU will receive over $2M from the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan to build a new campus that will include cabins, a permanent sweat lodge structure, an outdoor learning centre, and more. “For this land-based learning centre, we hope to expand the opportunities from our students to the community, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous,” said FNU President Jackie Ottman. “I think it will be a source of healing, a source of reconciliation. I’m really excited that we can engage and (begin) construction fairly quickly.”
Forbes has released its list of the top employers in Canada in 2023 and several postsecondary institutions were featured prominently. The rankings assessed companies and institutions with at least 500 employees based on surveys that asked employees questions about their current employer and other companies they would recommend. Several postsecondary institutions appeared in the rankings, with Sheridan College (#1) taking the top position overall. Other institutions represented within the top 50 employers in Canada include Carleton University (#6), McMaster University (#13), Concordia University (#16), the University of Victoria (#25), the University of Manitoba (#31), the University of New Brunswick (#36), British Columbia Institute of Technology (#37), the University of British Columbia (#40), Dalhousie University (#42), and Université Laval (#50).
Mount Saint Vincent University has officially begun a year-long celebration of its 150th anniversary. MSVU has launched a 150th anniversary website section and the MSVU 150 Fund: Access & Impact Fund to support those with barriers to education. The launch event included a presentation by Raymond Sewell from the Pabineau First Nation and Mi’kmaq dancer Jesse Benjamin of the Eskasoni First Nation, as well as reflections on the university from community members. “For 150 years now, MSVU has been challenging the status quo, opening doors to higher education that otherwise remain closed,” said MSVU President Dr Joël Dickinson. “For 150 years, we’ve been more than a place of learning – we’ve been a place of letting go of old ideas and unlearning outdated perspectives.”
Five postsecondary institutions in Quebec and their private sector partners will be embarking on aerospace research and innovation projects through the Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace of Quebec (CRIAQ). Cégep Édouard-Montpetit’s Centre technologique en Aérospatiale, Concordia University, École Technologie Superieure, McGill University, and Polytechnique Montreal will be working on six projects that respond to market demand. CRIAQ states that these new projects are supported by a $38M investment from the provincial government and industry that was first announced in 2022.
The Conference Board of Canada has released a report highlighting the benefits that a polytechnic university would offer to the Northwest Territories. The report examines how Aurora College’s transformation to a polytechnic university would enhance its contribution to the territory and ensure that NWT residents are able to access postsecondary education. “External reports such as this one support the work being done by Aurora College and the GNWT to increase and enhance academic opportunities for Northerners at all levels, in all communities,” said Aurora President Glenda Vardy Dell, who further noted the report’s support of the college’s growing Northern-based research.
The University of Windsor has partnered with Telus to launch a 5G connected campus and commercial lab on campus. The Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation’s central space will be named the Telus Atrium in recognition of the company, which is investing $5M through a multi-year agreement. The lab will foster collaboration and multidisciplinary research using 5G technology in areas such as agriculture, manufacturing, and connected and autonomous vehicles. “By expanding our partnership with Telus, University of Windsor students and faculty members will have further opportunities to engage in meaningful research and sponsored participation in beneficial, industry-collaborative events and activities,” said UWindsor Interim VP, Research and Innovation Chris Houser.
In a recent editorial for Inside Higher Ed, Marcelle Dougan discusses steps that academics can take to thrive in the first year of their academic career. Dougan encourages new academics to get to know their department chair, find people to connect with within and outside of their department, and set aside time and build in accountability using writing groups to ensure their research moves forward. To maintain their mental health, the author also encourages academics to keep student evaluations in context and look for themes within them rather than focusing on specific comments, as well as prioritizing their health to avoid burnout and stay mentally sharp.
York University has increased its safety measures in response to incidents on the Keele Campus. Three cases of assault have been reported this month, with the latest being an assault with a weapon. YorkU will be taking a variety of steps to protect its community members, including increasing York Security Services patrols during evening hours, temporarily contracting third-party security services and Toronto Police Services officers, requesting that TPS patrol the campus during the night, and expanding active real-time monitoring using CCTV cameras. YorkU VP, Finance and Administration Carol McAulay also encouraged community members to take precautions and to use the safety resources supplied by the university.
A new US report suggests that trauma and social anxiety are increasing concerns for postsecondary students, writes Kate Marijolovic for The Chronicle of Higher Ed. The study examined the connection between mental health and academic success and found that students with some mental health risk factors were more likely to drop out than their peers. Those who stayed enrolled had improved mental health. Marijolovic explains that the report found that reports and assessments of trauma increased over the past 10 years, while the number of students experiencing social anxiety saw a significant increase from 2021 to 2022. The study also explored the factors associated with students who were at higher risk of dropping out.
The Surrey community has raised the alarm about a string of drug-related deaths among international students. Narinder Singh Walia, president of the Sikh temple in Surrey, said that the alarming rate of overdose deaths among South Asian students has gotten worse over the last two years. Kwantlen Polytechnic University Student Association President Armaan Dhillon described how moving to Canada can be shocking and isolating for students. “There are a number of issues which [the students] face, which include the high price of groceries and loneliness from their family members as they live alone,” said Dhillon. “If they’re going towards addiction, sometimes there’s peer pressure, sometimes they want to belong to a community, belong to a group, and they go under that peer pressure.” British Columbia’s Mental Health and Addictions ministry is reportedly seeking solutions to the situation.