Top Ten News

Mar 26, 2024 • National

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has provided an update on its rules around public-private college partnership programs (PPPs) for international students. The update states that international students beginning their studies through PPPs will no longer be eligible for post-graduation work permits (PGWPs), effective May 15th, 2024. Previously, this change was not going to take effect until September. IRCC has clarified that the change will not prevent graduates from applying for other types of work permits.

Canada (IRCC)

Top Ten News

Mar 26, 2024 • BC

BCcampus has released the BC Digital Literacy Hub, an online collection of digital literacy materials for postsecondary educators. Developed in collaboration with the Government of British Columbia and postsecondary instructors, the hub provides a collection of courses and professional development materials tailored to both learning about and teaching digital literacy. It covers topics such as ethical and legal considerations, digital wellbeing, digital scholarship, and community-based learning. “The BC Digital Literacy Hub significantly impacts the post-secondary sector by serving as a dynamic resource hub that addresses the evolving needs of learners and educator,” said BCcampus Executive Director Amanda Coolidge. “It’s not just a collection; it’s a practical toolkit for the digital age.”

BCcampus, BC Digital Literacy

Top Ten News

Mar 26, 2024 • National

At the recent Toronto Metropolitan University Democracy Forum, Government of Canada Immigration Minister Marc Miller discussed the recent changes to the international student program. Miller stated that the federal government is willing to step in if the provinces do not allocate international student permits fairly and advised that “good actors”—institutions that have not contributed to the over-enrolment of international students—should not be negatively affected by the cap. Miller also explained that the federal government’s intent is to both limit student numbers and “[reward] those institutions that have the ability to welcome and attract the top talent for which the international visa student program was designed for in the first place.”

The Star (1), The Star (2), YouTube (Democracy Forum)

Top Ten News

Mar 26, 2024 • QC

Student groups from the Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University are calling on their universities to boycott companies that support the Israeli military. The Gazette reports that all student unions at UQÀM have adopted boycott, divestment, and sanction mandates against Israel, which the unions say is a first in Canada. At McGill, a dozen students have spent more than a month engaged in a hunger strike with the intent of pressuring their institution into divesting from companies that support the Israeli military. La Presse reports that one of these students has since been hospitalized, having fasted for 34 days. McGill issued a statement saying that they are “concerned about the well-being of the students participating in this initiative.”

The Gazette (UQAM), The Guardian (McGill), La Presse (McGill)

Top Ten News

Mar 26, 2024 • AB

Student engineers at the University of Alberta are combatting plastic pollution through a plastic recycling and manufacturing initiative called Level 7 Plastics. The initiative aims to highlight the benefits of domestic recycling and encourage others to take action. Through this initiative, students collect local plastic waste and bring it to the lab to shred and melt into products, which are then sold online. Students created the recycling machinery from scratch in a garage and later relocated it onto campus. “Our goal is to hit a point to break even so we’re not just begging the university to fund us every year,” said Level 7 Plastics Co-founder Connor Povoledo.

CTV News, Level 7

Top Ten News

Mar 26, 2024 • International

As Gen Z enters online postsecondary education in higher numbers, there are steps that postsecondary staff can take to prepare for parent involvement, writes Dawn Coder (Penn State World Campus) for Higher Ed Dive. Coder explains that while mature students were historically the most common online learner, many institutions are experiencing an uptick in the percentage of their online students who are under 22 years old. Accordingly, some advisors and educators are seeing their students’ parents get more involved with their educational experience. The author argues that since parents can be their children’s strongest supporters, their involvement should be viewed as an opportunity. Coder offers several recommendations for institutions and staff looking to manage this relationship, including offering a dedicated orientation for family members and other supporters, offering resources and guides for parents and advocates, and setting clear boundaries around policies.

Higher Ed Dive

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Mar 26, 2024 • ON

AstraZeneca has announced that it will acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded spin-out company of McMaster University’s Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, for $2.4B USD. Fusion Pharmaceuticals—which develops radiopharmaceuticals to provide precision cancer treatments—will continue to complete its research and manufacturing operations in Canada and the US, including at its location in McMaster Innovation Park. “This agreement speaks to our researchers’ ability to convert their world-class research into innovations that generate economic activity, create jobs and, most important, improve health outcomes for patients in Canada and globally,” said McMaster President David Farrar. McMaster says that this is one of the highest-valued acquisitions of a Canadian university spinout company.

McMaster, Globe and Mail

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Mar 26, 2024 • QC

Around 1,600 McGill University teaching assistants have gone on strike this week after negotiations with the university failed. The Association of Graduate Student Employees of McGill (AÉÉDEM) voted in favour of an eight-week strike mandate last week. The main point in the dispute pertains to salaries, but the union is also calling for teaching assistants’ course hours to be indexed in relation to the number of students that they are responsible for. “[The repercussions for undergraduate students] will really depend on the duration of the strike,” said McGill Teaching Assistant Fanny Teissandier. “Otherwise, indeed, undergraduate students could have difficulty obtaining their final grades for the courses in which they are currently registered.”

CTV News (CP), La Presse (CP) (FR)

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Mar 26, 2024 • ON

In a recent opinion piece for the Toronto Sun, Adrian Sharma (Board Chair of Career Colleges Ontario) discussed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marc Miller’s recent comments around the international student permit cap. Sharma said that while Miller’s comments directed blame toward private institutions, IRCC data demonstrates that “the issue of exploding international student populations is disproportionately linked to a handful of institutions.” The author argues that career colleges in Ontario are regulated and provide flexible and affordable learning pathways that are unavailable elsewhere for training much-needed skilled workers. He encourages governments to hold bad actors accountable through regulatory processes. “This important discussion in our province will be better if we park the political rhetoric and inaccurate one-liners and start to collaborate on real solutions,” writes Sharma.

Toronto Sun

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Mar 26, 2024 • MB

The University of Manitoba has opened three new Quiet Pods on the third floor of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library. The pods will provide individuals with a bookable quiet space. They are ideal for students who require a space to concentrate, attend an online class or exam, or participate in a virtual meeting or call. Each pod is equipped with ventilation and lighting controls, an adjustable table, power for devices, and internet connection.

UManitoba (1), UManitoba (2)