The Government of New Brunswick has tabled its 2023-24 provincial budget, which includes investments in areas such as health and supports for vulnerable populations. Significant investments have been made in the education portfolio, primarily at the K-12 level, in order to respond to the population growth impacting the education system. For postsecondary education, up to $8.4M will be invested in operational funding for public universities and $7.6M will be used to increase the provincial loan and bursary programs for postsecondary students.
York University will launch a fully autonomous Indigenous Research Ethics Board (IREB) this July, which it says is the first of its kind in Canada. The Board will consist of YorkU faculty members, students, external elders and knowledge keepers, and non-university Indigenous community representatives. IREB will fully review and approve “all research ethics involving Indigenous Peoples” and will report to the Senate only, explains Sean Hillier, Co-Chair of the Indigenous Council at YorkU. This initiative has developed as part of YorkU’s ongoing efforts to decolonize research.
Okanagan College Kelowna has received a $44.8M boost from the Government of British Columbia towards a new Centre for Food, Wine and Tourism. This investment will help fund the design and development of the new 44,000-square-foot facility, which will include modern teaching spaces, food labs, beverage research and development facilities, and common spaces. The Centre for Food, Wine and Tourism will open in 2026 and is expected to increase the College’s enrolment annually by more than 125 culinary students and 450 hospitality and tourism students.
QS Top Universities has released its QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023. These rankings assessed programs from over 1,500 institutions across 54 disciplines, grouped into five broad subject areas. The University of Toronto was recognized for appearing in the Top 50 for 48 different subjects. Both U of T and the University of British Columbia ranked among the leaders in several broad subject areas. In the individual discipline rankings, notable appearances in the top 10 included McGill University (#6 Mineral and Mining Engineering), the University of Alberta (#5 for both Engineering – Petroleum and Nursing), UBC (#3 for Sports-Related Subjects), the University of Guelph (#6 Veterinary Science), and U of T (#5 for Sports-Related Subjects).
The Government of Ontario recently announced that it is investing $224M into building and upgrading private training centres that will prepare people for careers in the skilled trades. ON will invest an additional $75M in supporting operations and programs at new and existing centres over the next three years. Colleges Ontario issued a statement on behalf of the sector expressing disappointment at being excluded from the funding. “Ontario’s colleges already have many training facilities that prepare people for successful careers in technology and the trades,” said Colleges Ontario President Linda Franklin. “Many of those facilities are in urgent need of capital repairs. That should be the priority as the province strives to strengthen its workforce.”
Vancouver Film School and Kwantlen Polytechnic University have partnered on a pathway program that will give students the opportunity to earn both a diploma and a degree in three years. Graduates of VFS’s advanced diploma in Writing for Film, Television & Games will be able to take a VFS-KPU Pathway Program to gain advanced entry into a Bachelor of Arts degree at KPU in an area such as creative writing or general studies. “This partnership offers an excellent opportunity for VFS writing alumni to earn a bachelor of arts while furthering their industry-focused training with KPU,” said VFS Director of International Admissions and Business Development Scott Steiger. “We are thrilled to continue VFS’s commitment to excellence in post-secondary education and giving our artists the ability to flourish.”
Lakehead University and Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (OSMH) are partnering to address the need for health human resources in the region. The memorandum of understanding will enable the university and hospital to collaborate in a variety of ways, including academic and non-academic program development, projects and research, and collaborative long-term planning. “Lakehead and OSMH are integral to the growth of the City of Orillia and the region of Simcoe County, and we are excited to see where the formalization of this relationship with the hospital will lead,” said Lakehead Orilla Campus Interim Principal Dr Linda Rodenburg.
In a recent article for the Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) President Scott Forbes and MOFA VP Allison McCulloch discuss the precarious financial state of Brandon University. Forbes and McCulloch compare the university’s circumstances and context to those of Laurentian University and call for changes to ensure that BrandonU does not enter a similar financial spiral. These changes include an increase in public funding, greater financial transparency and a public audit of the university’s position, and the re-establishment of an arm’s-length body to perform its fiscal oversight. The authors also argue that the performance-based funding model proposed by the Government of Manitoba would make it more difficult for BrandonU to adapt.
McMaster University students have started a hunger strike to protest the school’s fossil fuel investments. Students from the McMaster Divestment Project (MacDivest) have demanded that the university divest completely from the fossil fuel industry by 2025 and cease the installation of four natural gas-powered generators. The students stated that this action comes after years of campaigning and that they hope the strike will facilitate further talks with the university. McMaster responded that “[w]e share the same goal with MacDivest of a net-zero carbon campus and divesting from investments in fossil fuels, but we recognize we have different timelines and ideas of how to get there.” The university’s emergency response team is conducting regular checks to ensure the students’ well-being.
Remote teaching during the pandemic came with its own unique set of challenges, but it also made educators more aware of and empathetic to the needs of their students, writes Lisa J Anderson. Anderson summarizes the findings of a series of reports on US institutions and concludes that that lessons from remote teaching experiences “could help lay the groundwork for a new emphasis on empathy as a driver of academic success.” Accordingly, she provides three recommendations for educators stemming from these findings: listen to student’s voices; build a culture of empathy in the teaching environment; and invite students to be co-designers of their learning.