Algoma University and NOSM University have signed a collaborative agreement to address mental health and addictions challenges in Northern Ontario. The partnership sets the stage for the co-creation of focused research, medical education, and training programs that respond to community needs. The first phase of this collaboration involves the creation of a new Mental Health Research and Training Institute at AlgomaU. “The Institute will expand addictions and mental health research that is informed in treating trauma-related mental health illness through cross-cultural approaches and multi-world views including what we are learning from community wellness in local and global Indigenous communities,” said AlgomaU President Asima Vezina.
Olds College of Agriculture and Technology and AGTECH ACCELERATOR have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a global agricultural technology hub in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Under this MOU, Olds and AGTECH will develop a platform for sharing information among agtech startups, provide learning opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the sector, and deliver entrepreneurial programming for agricultural students. “This partnership reflects our joint commitment to advancing the industry and building a sustainable future for Canadian agriculture,” said Olds VP, Development Todd Ormann. “By combining our agricultural expertise and infrastructure with AGTECH ACCELERATOR’S capabilities in agtech startups, incubation, and acceleration, we aim to drive innovation within the Canadian ag industry.”
The Government of British Columbia has released the results of its public engagement on the topic of international credential recognition. “We’ve heard from regulators, post-secondary institutions and internationally trained professionals that the system isn’t working,” said BC Minister of State for Workforce Development Andrew Mercier. “This is a question of fairness and about making sure that internationally trained professions have the supports they need to succeed and practise in BC.” The province identified eight themes for improvement, including strengthening collaboration between stakeholders such as postsecondary institutions and regulatory authorities to support licensure and integration. The feedback will be used to inform new legislation and other initiatives.
Students are reportedly facing food quality challenges at the Royal Military College. CBC reports that RMC’s dining hall had a rat infestation in the summer of 2022 and was closed in late July 2022 for pest control services. Cadets were fed through a temporary setup during this time. Though the college says that a rat infestation has now been resolved, CBC reports that other issues with food quality—including bug sightings, raw meat and spoiled fruit being served, and other issues—have been reported and posted by students to a Facebook page. RMC acting director of support services Maj. Cindy McLeod said that students can report issues anonymously by scanning QR codes that are posted throughout the dining hall. “I appreciate all the comments,” said McLeod. “We are trying our very best to do better.”
The University of Manitoba recently signed research and exchange agreements with the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6) in Morocco. Under these agreements, the two institutions will develop research in areas such as green energy, agricultural sciences, and sustainable water management. The agreements also include exchange programs for students and faculty members. “Through this agreement, we will exchange students and researchers across disciplines to support world-leading innovation and impact in green energy and environmental sustainability for the benefit of both institutions,” said UManitoba VP, Research and International Dr Mario Pinto.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University is planning to build a pre-fabricated barn on its farm as a safety and security enhancement. The barn would provide the KPU farm with secure storage and an emergency shelter space. “The farm is exposed to the elements and the existing structures are designed to support plant growth so this barn would help if severe weather rolls in,” said KPU VP, Administration Peter Smailes. KPU also shared its plans to upgrade the Tsawwassen Farm School to enable the installation of new lighting, as well as upgrading the external lighting at its Surrey and Langley campuses.
Brock University faculty members and staff are currently moving into the institution’s interim Burlington campus, which is located at the former Lester B Pearson High School. This interim campus will host the Teacher Education programs for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years. This move is part of Brock’s plans to relocate its Hamilton campus to a future community hub in the City of Burlington to better serve students along the Hamilton-Burlington-Oakville corridor. Faculty and staff will operate out of the interim Burlington campus while work continues at the future community hub site.
Michelle Alvarez (Northeastern University) recently interviewed Mike Jackson (Northeastern) about the strategic and operational roadblocks and opportunities associated with micro-credential development and acceptance. Jackson and Alvarez discuss Northeastern’s process and experience with launching micro-credentials, before outlining some of the best practices and recommendations for other institutions. Jackson discusses the importance of having representation from academic and non-academic departments on micro-credential development teams, taking the time to identify an audience for the credential in question, and ensuring the necessary supports—including technical systems and adequate financial and operational resources–are in place.
The University of British Columbia has reportedly announced that its residence front desks will not be staffed at night, a decision that UBC Associate VP of Housing Andrew Parr explained stems from staffing challenges. The university will instead have an overnight mobile team available between 11 PM and 7 AM to respond to calls for assistance. Access to amenities overnight will also change. Some students and student representatives have voiced their concerns about the impact of the change on student safety. “If a student is experiencing an issue within their residence, it’s much easier to go to the front desk and receive immediate help and access than waiting for however long it takes to call the mobile overnight team or campus security,” said UBC Alma Mater Society VP Kamil Kanji.
An international research group led by the University of Saskatchewan’s UNESCO Chair in Biocultural Diversity, Sustainability, Reconciliation, and Renewal has developed a set of foundational principles for community-engaged sustainability research. The paper outlines seven principles: honouring self-determination and nationhood; committing to reciprocal relationships; co-creating the research agenda; generating meaningful benefits for communities; approaching research in a good way; ensuring equity, diversity, and inclusion; and emphasizing critical reflection and sharing. Chair co-holders Dr Maureen Reed and Dr Jim Robson explained that these principles are not intended to be a prescriptive blueprint, but rather a guide for equitable, respectful, and responsible engagements. “It is working with communities rather than working on communities or studying them,” said Robson.