Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) recently released a new national framework to bolster lifelong learning and support individuals in entering the workforce faster. The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Reference Framework analyzes the tools, processes, and best practices used in Canada that allow people to receive recognition for prior formal and informal work experience. PLAR will also be shared with international partners with the aim of enhancing education and employment outcomes worldwide. “Recognizing skills and competencies gained from prior formal, informal, and non-formal education and work experience enriches our workforce and makes quality education more accessible for more people,” said CICan President Denise Amyot. The framework was developed by Cégep Marie-Victorin and Collège Boréal with support from CICan.
Canada and India have agreed to increase discussions on the movement of skilled professionals and students between the two countries, given the impact on the countries’ economic ties. Canadian federal minister Mary Ng and Indian minister Piyush Goyal met as part of the India-Canada Ministerial Dialogue on Trade and Investment, where they agreed to strengthen the bilateral innovation ecosystem, coordinate in key sectors, and enhance their cooperation on fronts such as student mobility. The two parties also discussed the potential for strengthening cooperation and collaboration; top Canadian universities were also invited to establish campuses in India.
Concordia University’s District 3 Innovation Hub has launched a new social impact incubator called Balsam Impact. The name is inspired by the balsam fir tree, known for its resilience. The incubator’s objective is to provide coaching support and mentorship to nurture social entrepreneurs who will innovatively improve the society and the environment. “Social entrepreneurs look at three layers: the economic model of the business, the impact on the environment and the impact on society,” said Balsam’s Managing Director Julie Hamel. “It’s about solving issues and making a difference in the community.”
The University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have partnered to launch the Researching Strategies for Rehabilitation (RESTORE) Network. The network focuses on conducting clinic trials and testing new therapies and technologies with the aim of improving the quality of life of individuals with neurological disorders. The network will focus on spinal cord injuries, stroke, and movement impairment. RESTORE is supported by a $4.7M gift to UCalgary from the late Calgary philanthropist Edith Rodie, who was passionate about rehabilitation and wanted to leave a legacy of supporting rehabilitation research.
Global University Systems Canada (GUS Canada) has called for more residency seats for internationally-trained medical students to address the need for doctors in Canada. GUS Canada argues that internationally-trained medical students have a limited number of residency seats available to them when they return to Canada. To address this, GUS Canada urges the provinces to open more residency placements for International Medical School Graduates so that students of these programs can integrate into the Canadian healthcare system and help alleviate the doctor shortage. “Having enough available residency spots is the first step to get them to return and stay home,” said GUS Canada, SABA University School of Medicine CEO Cyndi McLeod.
Sheridan College has partnered with the Canadian College of Technology and Trades (CCTT) to deliver two diploma programs in the skilled trades: Mechanical Technician – Computer Numerical Control & Precision Machining; and Welding and Fabrication Technician. The partnership aims to increase access to skilled trades training in order to address the worsening shortage of skilled workers in Ontario. CCTT employees will create and deliver services and course content, while Sheridan will set and maintain control over academic quality standards.
As generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like ChatGPT increasingly make their way into student coursework, Canadian universities are beginning to rethink their approach to academic misconduct. An editorial in University Affairs by Diane Peters highlights the different approaches institutions are taking to ChatGPT, from issuing outright bans to creating dedicated task forces or using AI detectors like GPTZero in assignment evaluations. Peters additionally writes that many instructors are considering integrating more oral exams, handwritten essays, and in-class projects to limit ChatGPT use. The author concludes that prevention and a “deeper embrace of equity issues” may be the best solutions for universities to address academic misconduct moving forward.
York University Assistant Professor Sachil Singh was recently knighted in Japan. Singh was knighted by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (DNBK) at a recent ceremony in Kyoto, where he received the rank of Fourth Dan and title of “Renshi” for his accomplishments in karate-do. In addition to his work in YorkU’s Faculty of Health, where Singh leads research in areas such as medical sociology and critical race studies, Singh will teach a practicum course in karate-do at YorkU starting in Fall 2023. Singh explained that karate-do can help students to understand the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion; as it enables students to embrace differences and nurture their individual development.
The University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan have jointly launched the Cognitive Kitchen in the Yorkton-Melville area. Cognitive Kitchen is a dementia support program for older adults from rural areas – including those with dementia and their caregivers. The project includes six sessions that teach participants about dementia, nutrition-based approaches to dementia prevention, and food literacy skills. “We provide a welcoming space where learning and socializing provide a recipe for fun,” said USask Assistant Professor Dr Allison Cammer.
Brock University has issued an alert notifying its community that traffic will be disrupted on campus by a chariot race. The chariot race will be held as part of the Ontario Students Classics Conference (OSCC), where high school students from 13 schools engage with the classical world through a variety of academic, athletic, and artistic events. In addition to the chariot race and activities such as pottery making, students will also attend lectures from Brock, McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University, and University of Ottawa faculty members.