More former youth in care from British Columbia will be able to access postsecondary education, thanks to the provincial government’s removal of the age restriction associated with the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program. As of August 2023, former youth in care of any age will be able to access tuition waivers to support their postsecondary training. Students will also be able to access individual grants to cover expenses for necessities such as textbooks, computers, and internet costs. The expansion is expected to support an additional 1,200 students and will receive $19.2M in support from BC over three years. “Our government wants to ensure that all former youth in care can access post-secondary education and skills training, which will open up doors and opportunities and help them to thrive,” said BC Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson.
Yukon University recently received a $3.4M investment from the Government of Canada toward a five-year project to improve the resilience and safety of transportation corridors in the Yukon. The YukonU project is coordinated alongside McMaster University and the Government of Yukon’s Highways and Public Works. “This funding will also allow Yukon University to grow northern research capacity by investing in training for the next generation of climate change researchers,” said YukonU President Dr Lesley Brown. Additional contributions to the project from both YukonU and McMaster bring the combined total investment to nearly $5M.
Members of the Nipissing University Indigenous Council on Education (NUICE) will support Nipissing University’s development of a treaty based on mutual obligations and promises called Waawiindamaagewin. The two parties met as part of the university’s strategic planning process and noted an opportunity to further Indigenization efforts at the university. “Even now at this point, there is a lot more going on at the elementary and secondary level around inclusion of Indigenous perspective in a curriculum,” said NUICE Member Fran Couchie. “That’s really good but there’s definitely a lag at the post-secondary level.” NUICE Chair Maurice Switzer emphasized the importance of providing a welcoming environment for Indigenous students to support learning and critical thinking, as well as providing cultural training to all Nipissing community members.
Vancouver Community College is considering using its Broadway site to create affordable housing options for students and the city, reports the Globe and Mail. VCC President Ajay Patel said that the development would be created with VCC student needs in mind. The college is reportedly looking at non-dormitory options, with plans to potentially build multiple housing towers on the site. “We feel this is the right thing. It lines up with our values in delivering relevant education,” said Patel.
The Government of Alberta has revoked ABM College’s ability to access student loans after an audit completed by a third party demonstrated that the college has “poor practices and weak controls.” Postmedia reports that former employees questioned the number of applicants who were provided with student aid but were not enrolled at the college. The college will continue to operate, but its applicants and students will not be able to apply for new student aid funding while the issues are being resolved. “We’ll keep looking into this issue and restore access to student aid once we have more information confirming they have appropriate internal practices and controls in place,” explained Advanced Education Press Secretary Sam Blackett. The college indicated that it will continue to co-operate with AB during the audit.
Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, Cégep Garneau and Cégep de Lanaudière à L’Assomption recently launched the first phase of their campaign to promote the optician and dispensing optician professions. The “Rien de plus clair!” campaign seeks to raise awareness among high school students, postsecondary students, and professionals considering returning to PSE about the in-demand professions. The campaign is a direct response to the growing need for qualified labour in the field, and the three cégeps, state that graduate placement rates for their respective related programs are reported to be close to 100%.
York University and the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce (CBCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) this week to foster positive change for Black-owned businesses and social enterprises. The agreement creates a pathway for CBCC members to fast track their applications in the university’s Social Procurement Vendor Portal. “As an anchor institution, we have an opportunity and an obligation to lead by example and maximize our economic and social impact on the communities around us,” said YorkU President Rhonda Lenton. York states that the change is part of its broader efforts to prioritize vendor diversity, which include the launch of a Social Procurement Vendor Portal in 2022 and revisions to its policies.
In recognition of the interruption caused by the recent labour disruptions, Memorial University will return tuition to students. Memorial will return over $3M altogether, with students receiving an amount that is proportional with their tuition rate and course load. Students whose coursework continued during the strike, such as technical and diploma students at the Marine Institute and Faculty of Medicine students, will be exempt. Funds will be disbursed at the end of the semester.
NOSM University and Laurentian University established a new deal to support Northern health research. The research agreement will see the two universities leverage each other’s strengths to work on Northern health research that will serve the needs of the region. “We have a shared interest to strengthen research capacity and attract more research funding to Northern Ontario,” said NOSM U Vice Dean, Research Innovation and International Relations Dr David Marsh. “Continued research alongside aligned health-research partners is a must if we’re going to help solve the health-care challenges in Northern Ontario and beyond.”
“The day before my 40th birthday was a rather remarkable one: I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” writes Bradley J Irish for the Chronicle of Higher Ed. “And just as suddenly as I was diagnosed, I began to realize the extent to which my unacknowledged autism had shaped my life — especially my professional life.” Noting that institutions “could do much more to protect autistic and other neurodivergent professionals,” Irish offers a series of recommendations on what this could look like in practice, including offering dedicated attention to neurodiversity in diversity, equity, and inclusion programming and shifting from a hiring culture of neurodiversity as “something to be accommodated” to one that values it as a competitive advantage. Irish concludes by noting the benefits embracing neurodiversity in staff and faculty has for all members of the postsecondary community.