Brandon University has published an open letter responding to an editorial published by the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA) in the Winnipeg Free Press. In the letter, BrandonU President Dr David Docherty disputes the allegations made in the editorial about the university and its financial stability, as well as the comparison to Laurentian University’s pre-CCAA circumstances. Instead, Docherty notes that the university’s budget is balanced annually and that there is “every reason for optimism” as the institution looks to the future. Docherty concludes by stating that both optimism and misleading rumour can be self-fulfilling prophecies for an institution.
The Government of Ontario has released its $204B 2023 Budget. CBC reports that 5.9% of the budget for 2023-24 has been allocated to the postsecondary sector. Over the next decade, the budget’s capital plan includes $5.4B for the postsecondary sector, which includes $2B in capital grants to support the modernization of classrooms, critical repairs, and improved environmental sustainability. Other key investments over the next three years include $75M for the Skilled Development Fund, $32.4M to build research internships through Mitacs, $15M to support reskilling through Better Jobs Ontario, $5M over three years for micro-credential projects, and $3.3M to expand access to healthcare related dual credit opportunities. The province is also investing $14.7M over two years to launch a collaborative Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program with the University of Guelph and Lakehead University, which will provide seats for 20 new students each year.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has released its Budget 2023. The budget includes a cumulative investment of just under $500M for the postsecondary sector. The funding includes $295M for Memorial University’s core operating grant, $58.4M for Memorial’s medicine faculty, and $69M for the College of the North Atlantic; a $28M investment into Student Financial Services; and a $2.2M investment to double capacity in Memorial’s Nurse Practitioner program. The province also plans to invest in workforce development and training and announced a significant investment into health care recruitment and retention, including the creation of 10 new seats in Memorial’s faculty of medicine.
The Government of British Columbia is permanently doubling the number of subsidized students who want to study at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatchewan. With a provincial investment of $21.8M over three years, 40 students from BC will be able to pursue veterinary studies at WCVM and ultimately practice in BC. “Last year, we doubled the number of BC students funded to study veterinary medicine and today we are committing to continue this funding so more people receive quality training, and our pets and farm animals can get the health care they need,” said BC Minister of Postsecondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson.
Sheridan College and Georgian College have entered into an international Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Khoi Nguyen Investment Group (KNI) in Vietnam to advance internationalization. “This MOU will enable Sheridan to uphold its commitment to internationalization and global connectivity by exploring further opportunities to foster collaboration, inclusion, and multilateralism,” explained Sheridan President Dr Janet Morrison. Sheridan and the City of Brampton have also unveiled the Brampton Charter for Improving the International Student Experience.
Red Deer Polytechnic and Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières have announced new programs that will be released in the upcoming academic years. RDP has announced four new programs that will launch in Fall 2023: A Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies, a Bachelor of Business Administration, an Instrumentation and Automation Engineering Technology Diploma, and an Early Childhood Education Leadership Development Certificate. UQTR has partnered with Université de Montréal to expand its health programming and will be offering new bachelor’s and master’s programs in physiotherapy. The programs will be available in Fall 2024 and will help to address the regional labour shortage in physiotherapists.
The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has issued a report on how applied research activity at Ontario’s public colleges has shifted over time. HEQCO found a substantial increase in the amount of applied research activity since the introduction of bachelor’s degrees and applied research to the ON college sector. Full-time college faculty positions have also become more focused on complementary functions and less teaching intensive. Workload hours have stayed consistent throughout the shifts, but HEQCO says that these trends need further analysis because of the impact they could have on institutional cultures, faculty recruitment, retention strategies, and operating costs.
In a recent article for University Affairs, Émilie Paquin and Suzanne Beth discuss the factors that lead to a “happy” scholarly journal. Drawing on recent studies, Paquin and Beth identify three common characteristics of journals that are satisfied with their situations: Significant institutional support, no issues finding qualified peer reviewers, and feeling up to date on current issues in the publishing field. Those that are “unhappy” experience a lack of institutional recognition; out-of-touch grant policies; a feeling of a lack of understanding; and team and resource burnout. “[A] journal is happiest when it exists within a network of forces that feeds and supports the publication, rather than pressuring them,” write the authors.
A petition has begun to circulate regarding the relocation of a feral cat colony that is currently housed on the College of the Rockies campus. The East Kootenay Community Animal Response and Education Society reportedly launched the petition after it was notified by COTR that the college it would be moving the colony out of its campus. The society told CBC and 100 Mile House that relocating the animals would be “inhumane, cruel, and not acceptable.” COTR issued a statement indicating the cats pose an increasing health and safety issue on campus and that they have damaged some of the vehicles used for the auto trades programs. The college has offered financial resources to support a relocation effort and states that is in discussions with the organization “to find a solution in the best interest of the feral cat colony, as well as the College.”
Mount Saint Vincent University recently opened a new equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (EDIA) hub. The EDIA Hub will improve university and community access to EDIA resources, as well as providing opportunities for collaboration and community-building. MSVU President Dr Joël Dickinson and MSVU EDIA Advisor Delvina Bernard led the initiative. “For students, faculty and staff from historically underrepresented groups, the EDIA Hub provides a space where they can access the resources that they need to support them, and that already exist here on campus,” said Bernard. “And for all others, the hub provides an opportunity to connect and share information and perspectives on advancing EDIA at MSVU.”