Leaders and teams from numerous postsecondary institutions across Canada have issued statements condemning the violence that occurred at the University of Waterloo and expressing solidarity against these types of violence. Several noted that the violence happened in the midst of Pride Month and emphasized that postsecondary campuses should be inclusive and welcoming spaces. Institutions re-emphasized their commitments to campus and community safety, and many shared resources for their community, as well as links to an open statement from Women’s and Gender Studies Recherches Féministes (WGSRF).
Saint Mary’s University has received a $3M gift from Scott McCain and Leslie McLean toward the university’s Centre for the Study of Sport and Health. The donation will be used to strengthen key areas of work in the Centre, which brings together academics, athletics, research, and industry: It will support curriculum development, research capacity, and collaborative research resources, and be used to offer leadership and social responsibility training and personal development opportunities. To recognize the donation, the Centre will be renamed in honour of McCain and McLean.
Selkirk College has launched the 94 Days of Education and Action initiative to recognize the impacts of the residential school system. The initiative–which is inspired by the 94 calls to action released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada–will provide opportunities for learning, reflection, and action on the road to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. “It’s essential that we grow a collective understanding of what has happened in the past and the importance taking action in the present so that we can move forward to meaningful change,” said Maggie Keczan, Director of Communications & Public Engagement at Selkirk. The first days of the campaign featured “mini book clubs” and workshops.
The Government of Québec has announced that it is granting $3M to Université Laval to support its AI-focused institute–L’Institut intelligence et données–and related projects. ULaval will use the funds to encourage innovative research in the sector and offer training, knowledge transfer, and development activities to businesses in the Québec city region. ULaval institute acting director Denis Laurendeau explained that the institute has anchored itself in the national and international AI ecosystems. Looking to the future, Laurendeau explained that the institute intends to grow and leverage its strengths in order to develop AI in an ethically and socially responsible manner using real-world data and fundamental research.
The Government of Ontario is expanding the number of spaces in paramedic programs at colleges across the province, resulting in an addition of over 300 new seats in primary care paramedic programs. 14 colleges will offer expanded enrolment in the upcoming academic year: Algonquin College, Cambrian College, Centennial College, Collège Boréal, Collège La Cité, Conestoga College, Confederation College, Durham College, Fanshawe College, Georgian College, Lambton College, Northern College, St Clair College, and St Lawrence College. Students in their first year of the program will also receive funding for tuition, books, and other fees through the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant. “There is a significant demand for paramedics in communities across the province,” explained ON Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones, noting that the expansion will help address this demand for “years to come.”
The Archival Records of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at the University of Manitoba have been inscribed into the Memory of the World International Register created by UNESCO. The register serves to safeguard and promote access to documentary heritage of global significance. “This is a great honour,” said NCTR Executive Director Stephanie Scott. “The NCTR is the protector of truths for residential school Survivors and preserving their memories is vital as we move forward on the path for truth, reconciliation, and healing, not only across Canada, but globally.”
Niagara College and Kwantlen Polytechnic University have both recently made student housing announcements. Niagara will add spaces for approximately 1,000 students at its Welland and Niagara-on-the Lake campuses over the next four years, which will triple its on-campus housing. The expansion is part of Niagara’s new master plan, which also includes renovations and improvements for the existing on-campus residences. KPU will develop a business case to support a future application for project funding from the Government of British Columbia. The funding would support a student housing project at KPU’s Surrey campus that would address the need for student housing.
Three postsecondary institutions recently announced accreditation news. Brock University’s Goodman School of Business has had its accreditation extended by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Keyano College’s Social Work Diploma Program has been reaccredited until 2027 by the Alberta College of Social Workers. The reaccreditation ensures that graduates can continue to be registered as Social Workers in Alberta. Lethbridge College has received accreditation from the International Coaching Federation, which allows it to offer the Leader as Coach program. Lethbridge says it is the only postsecondary institution in Alberta offering this training.
Polytechnique Montréal and Université Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) have signed an agreement to promote academic mobility and collaborate in engineering research. The two institutions will work together on promoting joint research projects, student exchange that may lead to a credential, and faculty exchange. Polytech MTL and PSL will offer thesis co-supervision, support student mobility with internships and research stays, and collaboratively establish a fund to support faculty mobility for research collaborations.
In the United States, the Supreme Court has ruled that race-conscious admissions programs—a type of affirmative action in college admissions—in use at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are unconstitutional. The Chief Justice John Roberts said that the reviewed programs “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner” and “involve racial stereotyping,” while dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that the decision was “further entrenching racial inequality in education.” In an article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Eric Hoover explained that the decision demonstrates a “gulf” between the two understandings of merit in admissions and the role that race plays in shaping opportunities. Hoover noted the drastic impact the decision will have on institutional operations and questioned what leaders will do next to maintain their commitment to the goal of a diverse student body. BBC reports that the action may also have impacts beyond higher education in the country, including affecting hiring practices.