Graduate and postdoctoral students from more than 40 universities across Canada participated in a nation-wide walkout protest to call on the federal government to increase funding for their scholarly activities. The protest was led by the grassroots organization Support Our Science, which is advocating for increased federal investments–through scholarships, fellowships, and grants–to provide graduate and postdoctoral scholars with a livable wage. University of British Columbia Interim President Deborah Buszard issued a statement supporting the walkouts, explaining that the dollar amount of the Canada Graduate Scholarships has remained relatively stagnant since 2003.
The Government of Canada has launched a consultation process to assess how it can better protect the public interest in the instance of a postsecondary institution’s insolvency. The government is actively seeking feedback from universities, experts, and other stakeholders in an effort to mitigate the challenges posed by postsecondary insolvency to faculty, staff, students, and communities. “What happened at Laurentian University has raised concerns as to whether our current insolvency laws are fit for purpose to help publicly funded post-secondary institutions resolve financial distress,” said Federal Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry François-Philippe Champagne. CAUT also issued a statement welcoming the announcement, adding that “insolvency laws are misaligned with the goals” of public postsecondary institutions.
Université de Sudbury, Thorneloe University, and Huntington University have shared an update on their reinvention two years after the termination of the federation agreement. USudbury has embarked on a journey to become a French-language university, renovated its residence, and undergone substantive staffing changes. Thorneloe cut its programming to only offer theology studies and now operates with seven employees and 65 students. Thornloe President John Gibaut said that the university draws its income from its residence, the School of Theology, and the theatre. Sudbury.com reports that Huntington has “not offered courses or programs for the past two years,” aside from operating institutes like the Lougheed Teaching and Learning Centre. The university is currently exploring opportunities to develop and deliver university-level education in the future, both independently and through partnerships.
A second lawsuit related to the behaviour of former professor Wayne Hankey has been filed against Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, as well as the Anglican Diocesan Synod of Nova Scotia and Hankey’s estate. The lawsuit alleges that Dal, U of King’s College, and the Church failed in their duty to protect the plaintiff when he was a student in the U of King’s College Foundation Year Program. CBC reports that another civil lawsuit involving similar allegations against Hankey is ongoing.
Northlands College, United College at the University of Waterloo, and New Brunswick Community College have announced programming changes that will provide new opportunities for students. Northlands has introduced a Diploma in Health Studies that will prepare students for a career in healthcare and human services and offer a ladder into a degree at the University of Regina. The University of Waterloo’s United College has partnered with Bow Valley College, Assiniboine Community College, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win, Sault College, and Humber College to launch a Diploma in Indigenous Entrepreneurship that will be co-delivered at a distance to students at the colleges. New Brunswick Community College has shared several updates on its programming for the upcoming year, including the launch of a Carpentry Co-op program, the suspension of a Machinist program, and changes to its pharmacy assistant and cybersecurity programs.
Concordia University of Edmonton has announced that its campus is now is an Official Test Centre for Chinese language examinations. Concordia Edmonton’s agreement with Chinese Testing International allows it to administer the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test, which is required for non-native Chinese speakers who wish to study as international students in China and any individuals who wish to work, apply for permanent residence, or immigrate to China. The agreement will also see Concordia Edmonton offering the Youth Chinese Test (YCT), Business Chinese Test (BCT), and Medical Chinese Test (MCT).
Breaking down internal institutional silos is essential to nurturing successful lifelong learning ecosystems, explains University of Calgary Associate Vice President for Continuing Education Sheila LeBlanc in an interview with the EvoLLLution. LeBlanc asserts that internal partnerships are essential to operationalizing a lifelong learning model that benefits mid-career and career-transitioning adults. These partnerships can be developed by building a foundation of mutual trust and respect, as well as establishing shared goals and clear accountability between departments and faculties, says LeBlanc. “For those leaders who believe the lifelong learning model is the future of higher education,” concludes LeBlanc, “please continuously evaluate, encourage and where possible embed this vision through alignment at the organizational, team and individual levels.”
Brain Canada has announced the first recipients of the 2021 Platform Support Grants, which represent a combined investment of over $30M in brain research. The first of the nine recipients include McGill University’s the Neuro Virtual Integrated Patient (NeuroVIPs) platform, which received $6M; the University of Calgary, CSPR, and Sunnybrook’s expansion of the Canadian Stroke Recovery Clinical Trials (CanStroke) platform, which received $3.6M; the University of Alberta’s Sensory Motor Adaptive Rehabilitation Technology (SMART) platform, which received $3.14M; and a project by McMaster University and St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton called Enabling Neuroscience research Approaches for Brain, feeLings and Emotions (ENABLE), which will receive $2.4M. Additional recipients are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
North Island College has announced the launch of a pilot project that will focus on supporting the mental health of students in the trades. Through the two-year project, NIC will provide resources, a dedicated facilitator, and networking opportunities so that students continue to have support after graduating from the program. The college explains that the pilot program targets students in the trades because of the unique mental health challenges this demographic can face. “It’s very important that this is approached based on student feedback and engagement,” said NIC Dean of Trades & Technology Cheryl O’Connell. “It’s about being responsive to, and consulting with students and to work together to identify needs, challenges, and opportunities with a focus on personal well-being.”
An incident at The Journal of Political Philosophy has sparked debate regarding the competing interests within the field of academic publishing. Many academics were reportedly outraged after Robert E Goodwin revealed that journal owner Wiley had removed him as the editor without providing an explanation. The journal’s co-editors explained that the decision came at a time when “publishing more articles per year” had become a “major sticking point.” This has prompted further discussion within the academic community around the demand for more content, which can require fundamental changes to a journal’s operations and affect the output quality.