The Government of Canada has announced nearly $5.9M in funding for 28 organizations, including three postsecondary institutions, across the country to carry out zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) awareness projects. These investments are part of Canada’s ongoing efforts to ensure all new passenger vehicles sold in Canada are zero-emission by 2035. Several of these federally funded projects are spearheaded by postsecondary institutions. The British Columbia Institute of Technology will receive $300K to demonstrate the advantages of ZEVs to Canadian consumers; Ontario Tech University will use $300K to create educational campaigns and a micro-mobility pilot; and the University of Manitoba will receive $118K to raise regional awareness, knowledge, and confidence in ZEVs.
The Government of Canada has announced that it will be renewing its International Education Strategy (IES) as the current strategy is due to expire in March 2024. The consultation process is supported by a series of IES planning papers focused on four pillars: Digital marketing, scholarships, diversification, and education agents. The Pie News reports that Global Affairs Canada (GAC) identified education agents as a “key vulnerability,” and that the discussion papers suggest that agent regulation could be a priority in the new strategy. “The unethical practices of some education agents used by certain Canadian education institutions pose a direct risk to Canada’s reputation as a provider of high-quality education services,” read the IES papers. “[T]he issue has risen to prominence recently and is regarded as a key vulnerability to Canada’s international education sector.” GAC discussions will include how agents can be regulated, the role of aggregators, and the widening of source countries.
McGill University and University of Toronto have partnered to stage the L’anima del filosofo (or Orfeo: The Soul of the Philosopher), an opera penned by Joseph Haydn. While the opera was declared contraband and cancelled before its premiere in 1791, the university collaboration will bring it to a North American stage for the first time. U of T Professor Caryl Clark and McGill University Professor Dorian Bandy have put together a cast and crew from both universities, as well as theatre practitioners from across the continent. “Collaborations of this nature are usually between individuals – in this case between me and Caryl,” explained Bandy, “However, both of us have gotten many other people from our respective universities involved in the production. … The performances will really embody an ideal synthesis of the strengths and energies of each university.”
Dalhousie University, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Université Laval, and Memorial University recently officially launched Transforming Climate Action. Dal will lead the research program, which focuses on climate science, innovation, and solutions and uses an ocean-first approach to address climate change. “One of the most remarkable aspects of Transforming Climate Action is its collective approach, reaching across academic disciplines, provinces, institutions, and languages, and guided by Indigenous values and Traditional Knowledges,” said Dal Acting President Dr Frank Harvey. “This project will solidify our nation as a leader in ocean carbon capture.”
McMaster University has concluded its academic misconduct investigation into former faculty member Jonathan Pruitt and determined that Pruitt breached the university’s Research Integrity Policy. After reviewing thousands of documents and conducting numerous interviews, McMaster’s hearings committee found that “Pruitt engaged in data falsification and fabrication in several papers” prior to joining the university’s science faculty in 2018. McMaster first received complaints about Pruitt’s research conduct in early 2020 and soon after launched a formal investigation. Pruitt formally resigned in 2022 while the investigation and hearing process was still underway.
University Canada West has partnered with Fulbright Canada to establish and host the Fulbright Canada Research Chair. The chair will be held by a US scholar based at UCW who will complete research, give guest lectures, collaborate with colleagues, and mentor students. They will engage with UCW’s community and the broader Vancouver population and will focus on enhancing understanding between Canadians and Americans. “The Fulbright program is the gold standard for academic exchange scholarships,” said UCW President Sheldon Levy. “Its mission is to promote reason, compassion, and international peace and friendship. These values all lie at the core of UCW’s mission.”
Several postsecondary institutions have announced programming updates for forthcoming terms. Cégep de Drummondville will offer a Diplôme d’Expertise Comptable en Techniques d’éducation spécialisée starting in Autumn 2024. Cumberland College will launch an Educational Assistant Certificate program this Fall; the program will be brokered through Saskatchewan Polytechnic and offered part-time over two years. Douglas College’s two-year American sign language interpretation (ASL) diploma program will move to Vancouver Community College, which already offers a one-year certificate in ASL and Deaf studies. The co-location of these two programs at VCC will provide greater opportunities for curriculum coordination and program alignment. The Government of British Columbia is providing $655K for the transition of this program.
In an editorial for evoLLLution, Tonya Amankwatia (North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University) writes that integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into instructional design can help “bridge the gap between industry and education” as it pertains to skills-based learning. The author argues that AI can simulate authentic work situations, provide adaptive feedback, and help learners develop complex problem-solving skills, all of which prepare students “for success in today’s rapidly changing digital economy.” However, Amankwatia cautions education leaders about the obstacles to implementing generative AI into online, hybrid, and continuing education programs. The writer points to costs, privacy concerns, and specialised technical skills as potential barriers to effective integration.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has returned an honorary degree to York University, which makes it the latest in a series of institutions that have had an honorary degree returned by from Turpel-Lafond. YorkU released a statement noting that its Subcommittee on Honorary Degrees was reviewing the bestowed honour when Turpel-Lafond decided to voluntarily return it. The subcommittee has noted that Turpel-Lafond is no longer the university’s honoree. “York University has clearly heard the concerns that have been raised and the harm caused when false claims of Indigeneity are alleged,” read the statement. “York University takes this issue very seriously and acknowledges the pain and turmoil that such claims cause Indigenous community members.”
In a recent editorial, Chris Clay of Humber College explores the potential reasons why an increasing number of Canadians are attending college after completing their bachelor’s degree. The author points to the latest census data, which show that “one in five college students in Canada, or 19.4 per cent, had previously completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher.” For international students, the writer identifies similar figures, highlighting that one in three international college students have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Clay writes that the college programs these students pursue are typically closely related to the prior bachelor’s degree, concluding that the college programs were chosen to enhance or specialize the skills established by the undergraduate degree.