A recent report released by Institut du Québec (IDQ) asserts that the federal government is turning away too many international students who have been accepted by universities in Québec, a move that is inconsistent with the federal government’s objectives. The refusal rate was particularly high among African applicants: In 2022, nearly 72% of African applicants accepted into a QC university had their study permit applications rejected. “These reasons [low probability of returning to country of origin] are inconsistent with the federal and Quebec strategy,” said IDQ Executive Director Emna Braham. “It is a criterion that is no longer relevant, simply because both the Quebec and Canadian governments are investing in promotional efforts to retain international students, particularly in the regions.” Braham called for clarified objectives from the federal government and better communication of targets from the universities to ensure that the “right hand talks to the left hand.”
The University of Victoria will be embarking on a number of active transportation projects as part of the federal government’s plan to invest nearly $11M into the Vancouver Island region. Nearly $2.4M will be used to create new bike and pedestrian pathways, add traffic-calming measures at crosswalks, and improve lighting and signage. “I think the benefit will be safer cycling, which will bring more cyclists,” said UVic President Kevin Hall. “(It) is going to reduce the amount of carbon that we put in the atmosphere by people who typically come here driving their vehicles.”
Mohawk College has received a $1M donation from Branthaven Homes to support the City School program, which helps students from underserved communities gain education and find meaningful careers. The donation will create new education and employment opportunities related to residential construction and will support a $2M, five-year workforce development strategy. This strategy will leverage City School rapid skills-training programs and other Mohawk assets to increase training capacity and address labour shortages, and will include developing industry-focused training programs, addressing and removing barriers faced by those in underserved communities, promoting careers in construction trades, and delivering demand-led programs through City School. Mohawk honoured the donors’ generosity with the unveiling of the Branthaven Construction Trades, Technology & Research Centre, and Branthaven Homes’ support will also be recognized in City School’s mobile classroom branding.
A new study published in the Journal of Academic Ethics examines the relationship between student misconduct and stress levels. Corrine D Ferguson (Bow Valley College), Margaret A Toye (BVC), and Sarah Elaine Eaton (University of Calgary) examined academic misconduct through the lens of a stress process model to better understand cheating in the relation to student stress. Based on the self-reports of 916 college students, the study found that students who had engaged in academic misconduct often reported significantly higher levels of stress. In their discussion of the results, Ferguson, Toye, and Eaton propose a more holistic approach to academic integrity, noting that efforts to address stressful conditions could help deter students from engaging in academic misconduct.
George Brown College has launched the Brookfield Sustainability Institute (BSI), which will focus on offering solutions to support the construction of environmentally, socially, culturally, and financially viable communities. The BSI will be housed in a soon-to-be completed net-zero carbon emissions, mass-timber building. The institute will focus on helping companies, municipalities, and institutions develop solutions to achieve net-zero carbon emissions. It will support knowledge sharing, develop talent by training students, and offer upskilling opportunities. “Climate change is not a problem that governments can solve alone” said BSI Chair Luigi Ferrara. “The Brookfield Sustainability Institute brings together knowledge and expertise from diverse experts to share best practices and foster applied projects undertaken by collaborative working groups.”
Simon Fraser University has formally opened a new residence hall at its Burnaby campus. The new residence will provide an additional 383 beds to the campus, which in turn will help to address housing pressures in the community and the need for housing for students. “[This] addresses the demand from students who want to live on residence and helps to build more community on campus,” said student resident and SFU Residence Hall Association president Emmanuel Adegboyega. “Having the Courtyard Residence open helps meet those needs, and when you look at the architecture, rooms and views, it’s definitely one of the best buildings we have on Burnaby campus.”
In a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Beth McMurtrie discusses the ways that postsecondary institutions are attempting to make general education courses more engaging for students. McMurtrie writes that when students perceive gen-ed courses as being pointless and unavoidable, this evidence that the institution has not overseen the courses adequately. When optimized, gen-ed courses can offer students an opportunity to learn about other areas of study and how they may apply to their interests. McMurtrie gives examples of some programs that ensure their gen-ed courses help students gain transferrable skills and knowledge and discusses strategies that instructors may use to facilitate student engagement.
Health professionals and institutions from Canada and around the world have signed the Academic Health Institutions’ Declaration on Planetary Health. The Declaration states that the health of the planet is a Code Red emergency and encourages academic health institutions to stop any negative impacts of activities on the planet and institute adaptive and regenerative measures. 17 of Canada’s faculties of medicine have endorsed the Declaration to date, including those at McGill University, McMaster University, Memorial University, NOSM University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary, Université Laval, the University of Manitoba, the University of Ottawa, the University of Saskatchewan, Université de Sherbrooke, and Western University.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has released “Teaching and Assessment,” a policy paper written and published by students that offers recommendations on postsecondary teaching and assessment in Ontario. Students expressed concerns about teaching and learning quality, limited high-impact learning opportunities, and inadequate inclusive learning experiences. The authors recommend that the province support improved teaching and learning, expand high-impact learning opportunities to be available to all students, and enhance inclusivity within postsecondary learning environments. “We owe it to our students to ensure that essential learning opportunities are equitable, accessible and tailored to the needs of all students,” said OUSA President Jessica Look.
Memorial University President pro tempore Dr Neil Bose and Chair of the Board of Regents Glenn Barnes have released an update on the university’s Indigenous identity work. In the statement, Bose and Barnes affirm the importance of Indigenous identity verification to the university. While the university was exploring the use of a round table to address Indigenous identity verification, Memorial has decided to engage independent, external Indigenous resources. These external consultations with members of Indigenous communities will shape Memorial’s process of Indigenous identity verification. The university will next reach out to experts in the field and determine what external resources should lead the engagement.