Universities Canada has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Universities Wales to enhance educational cooperation and research efforts between the two countries. The MOU aims to facilitate more staff and student exchanges between Wales and Canada, solidify bilateral relations between their respective education sectors, and foster joint research in the areas of green energy, health and well-being, creative industries, digital advancements, and manufacturing. “In today’s increasingly interconnected world, it’s more important than ever to cultivate long-term relationships between peoples, cultures and societies,” said Universities Canada President Paul Davidson.
The University of Manitoba has announced that it is planning to implement a new Indigenous identity policy this Fall. CBC reports that the institution is considering using a tiered process of formal and alternative methods for verifying the cultural identity of individuals who are applying for Indigenous-specific opportunities. UManitoba VP (Indigenous) Catherine Cook said that the community wants the policy to be inclusive of Indigenous peoples who have been disconnected from their cultures or communities, who are non-status, or do not believe in verifying their heritage through formal documentation. “The challenges that have occurred nationally with Indigenous identity fraud have certainly supported our need to be able to better support our Indigenous colleagues,” said Cook. “It will be an evolving process. We’ll learn as we go and we’ll adjust.”
The Government of Canada has announced an over-$30M investment in job-creation and training opportunities for youth in STEM and related natural resource sector fields that are focused on positive environmental outcomes. Nine organizations—including Colleges and Institutes Canada—will create 960 green jobs and training opportunities designed to provide young people with on-the-job experience in energy, forestry, mining, earth sciences and clean technology sectors. “Whether it’s building electric vehicles, mapping clean energy sites or managing our growing smart-grids, the interns and trainees we are supporting today will be the leaders of tomorrow,” said Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Julie Dabrusin. “A net-zero future means many more sustainable jobs, and today’s investment is an important step toward creating them.”
The Université de Moncton recently signed a collaboration agreement with the Maison de l’Innovation de la Médecine Spécialisée (MIMS), a French non-profit organization that enhances partnerships and promotes technology transfer in the health sector. Under this agreement, UMoncton will become an official research partner of MIMS and its partners. The university will provide MIMS with an office in their institution and participate annually in the MIMS Innovation Forum. The partnership will also support the exchange of students and trainees between France and Canada. UMoncton recteur Dr Denis Prud’homme said that this partnership will lead to further collaborations in the health field and enrich the academic careers of UMoncton students.
In an interview with The evoLLLution, Jamie Hansard (Texas Tech University) discusses some strategies and best practices for mitigating summer melt and improving retention. Hansard notes that there are a number of reasons why students may unenroll from an institution over the summer, including concerns about affordability and the value of a postsecondary education and/or the draw of other opportunities that become available to them. To combat this, Hansard encourages institutions to devote resources to cross-departmental collaborations that will better familiarize incoming students with their prospective institution. Hansard also touches on Texas Tech’s communication efforts with both the students and their families to ensure students are excited and informed about what they can expect in the Fall.
Some graduates of McGill University’s Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning (MATL) program are frustrated after waiting months to receive their Ministry of Education-approved teaching licence. McGill must send the MATL graduates’ documents to the Ministry of Education before the graduates can receive a license that will allow them to teach anywhere in Canada. However, 45 MATL graduates have said that their documents have not been sent to the ministry, preventing them from finding teaching positions. According to McGill spokesperson Claire Loewen, the issue is reportedly due to a software system change for graduate students and “an unforeseen complication [that] occurred affecting the MATL student records.” Lowen told CBC that the students’ credits have undergone a review process, were verified, and have been sent to the ministry for licensing.
Cube satellites built by students at Concordia University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Saskatchewan, York University, and Western University have made their way to the International Space Station. The satellites are each approximately the size of a Rubik’s cube. Once they are launched into space, the students will use the “cubesats” to collect data and imaging for a variety of different projects: For example, Concordia’s satellite will focus on the effects of climate change, York’s satellite will observe snow and ice coverage in northern Canada, and UManitoba’s satellite will look at space weather. The satellites will send information back for about two years before being pulled back to earth by the atmosphere.
The University of Waterloo is investigating a suspected ransomware attack on its online systems. The Record reports that UWaterloo received an alert last week from the RCMP and was able to promptly interrupt the attack. As a result, only the on-premises email server was compromised, affecting approximately 12 email accounts in total. UWaterloo spokesperson Rebecca Elming maintained that other email users were not affected. “We are fortunate that the prompt actions of law enforcement agencies, our internal IT teams, Microsoft and external cybersecurity partners acted quickly to identify and respond to this threat to avoid the worst outcomes,” said Elming. The RCMP and UWaterloo are currently investigating the source of the attack.
In a recent editorial from University World News, Nathan M Greenfield discusses how students who fled from Ukraine may struggle to pay tuition because they are not classed as refugees and must pay international student rates. While Ukrainians who fled to Canada receive free elementary and secondary education, they were not categorised by the United Nations as refugees, and students who have now graduated from high school and are hoping to continue to postsecondary studies must pay international tuition rates. Greenfield writes that some provinces have announced that the students will pay domestic rates starting in September, but that the Government of Ontario has not made a similar province-wide decision.
Royal Roads University’s gardens temporarily closed last week after a black bear was spotted on campus. Campus security saw the bear walking down a trail towards the south end of the campus on Thursday evening. University spokesperson Maddy Gareau noted that a bear that was seen on Friday is likely the same one that was seen on Thursday. “We’re waiting for it to head out,” said Gareau. The bear is being monitored by conservation officers, who are waiting to set a trap in an appropriate location. The gardens reopened on Saturday after no further bear sightings were reported.