The Government of Canada has announced a $5.5M investment to create the Canadian Digital Media Research Network (CDMRN), a research community that aims to strengthen defences against online disinformation. The network will bring together Canadian researchers, civil society organizations, and journalists to analyze Canada’s information ecosystem and develop strategies to respond to threats against it. CDMRN will be administered by the Media Ecosystem Observatory (MEO), which is led by McGill University and the University of Toronto. “We are thrilled that the Government of Canada has committed to resourcing a national community of researchers to help all Canadians better understand the impact of the digital world on our everyday lives,” said project co-principal investigator Peter Loewen (U of T).
The Government of British Columbia is investing $4.5M over three years to expand work-integrated learning opportunities at 13 postsecondary institutions, primarily in communities outside the Lower Mainland. The funding will increase access to on-the-job learning, co-op placements, and internships. Postsecondary institutions receiving funding include Capilano University, Coast Mountain College, College of New Caledonia, College of the Rockies, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Justice Institute of British Columbia, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, North Island College, Northern Lights College, Royal Roads University, Selkirk College, University of Northern British Columbia, and Vancouver Community College. This investment is part of the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan.
The University of Regina’s Hill and Levene Schools of Business have secured a $9.3M grant to develop and deliver the Canadian Program in Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship. The free, online program is tailored to high school and postsecondary students and consists of eight modules focused on entrepreneurial skills. “This program is going to equip the next generation of Canadian workers with the creative and entrepreneurial skills needed to not only participate, but also excel in our rapidly changing economy,” said URegina President Jeff Keshen. The program is scheduled to launch in December 2023.
Postsecondary institutions are offering an increasing number of micro-credentials and digital badges to reconcile gaps in technical skills, write Aysegul Timur, Clay Motley, Glenn Whitehouse, Shawn Felton, and Dave Jaeger for Inside Higher Ed.These badges are often met with some skepticism from educators who view badges as potentially devaluing the traditional degree and the “evergreen” skills acquired therein. To address these concerns, the writers suggest awarding “transferable skills” badges for skills such as leadership and critical thinking that students will acquire during their degree. This would not require any changes to the existing curriculum and, the writers argue, could help students tell a better story about their degree as they seek a career post-graduation.
King’s University College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with GD Goenka University in Delhi, India. The MOU will foster cross-border academic and cultural collaborations between Canada and India over the next five years in the form of student pathways and exchanges, faculty mobility, and joint research activities, among other initiatives. The MOU will also include the creation of an International Students’ Bridging program that will support new international students at King’s and develop a financial support initiative that will offer eligible Indian applicants up to $32K to start their educational journey at King’s.
The University of Fredericton has launched two new online business degree-level programs: The Associate Degree in Business Administration (ADBA) and the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA). These fully accredited programs blend theoretical and applied learning, preparing students for the demands of the evolving workforce. “At UFred we strive to provide lifelong learning paths for our students that are both academically rigorous and highly practical,” said UFred VP of Academics Dr Sheri McKillop. “Our ADBA and BBA programs do just that by connecting core business foundations with real-world context.”
Carleton University has opened the Centre for Advanced Building Envelope Research (CABER). CABER is a state-of-the-art facility equipped for research on materials and design strategies for retrofitting homes to conserve energy. CABER researchers will study the movement of heat, air, and moisture through materials and wall systems and develop new approaches to building envelope construction and retrofits. The facility includes a “two-storey guarded hot box” for research on retrofit wall assembly performance, as well as a two-storey pressurized spray rack that will be used to assess how structures interact with the outdoors and to assess moisture resilience. CABER will support knowledge mobilization; provide training opportunities; and collaborate with industry, government, and academia to foster solutions to building problems.
Collège Ahuntsic has announced that it will offer both Microsoft training courses and certifications exams in French starting this Fall; the college reports that it is the first and only school in North America to do so. Ahuntsic will provide certification preparatory courses on topics such as Microsoft fundamentals and security issues in collaboration with the Microsoft Learn for Educators (MSLE) program. The college also obtained Certiport accreditation, enabling it to become an officially authorized examination centre for Microsoft credentials. These training courses are targeted at both new and experienced IT professionals.
A recent article from Campus ID News discusses how the University of Alberta is using student ID card data to improve systems and streamline operations. Jennifer McNeill, who manages UAlberta’s ONEcard program, explained that the student card data “can include precise traffic patterns for dining areas, peak use of fitness centers, and which printers are underutilized and can therefore be moved to a wiser location.” McNeill discusses the challenges of collecting and analyzing data, emphasizing the need to anonymize data and follow provincial privacy laws closely, and notes the opportunity that non-anonymous data poses for student wellness checks and interventions.
Lakehead University has opened the Climate Action Park, a co-designed space that aims to restore aquatic habitat and improve stormwater management along the McIntyre River. Other objectives of the park include raising awareness of the climate crisis, contributing to climate change adaptation efforts, and creating a space for connection and learning. Lakehead Sustainability Coordinator Devon Lee stated that the university engaged with stakeholders such as students, staff, and respected Elders on the development of the park. “The climate crisis compels us to work together for change in the places where we live, work, and study, and this project is an excellent example of collaborative climate action,” said Lee.