The Université du Québec à Trois-Riviéres is set to play a key role in the recently announced Vallée de la Transition Énergétique, Québec’s newest innovation zone. The zone will be deployed in partnership with the cities of Trois-Riviéres, Bécanour, and Shawinigan and will accelerate three priority areas: the development of the battery sector, electric transportation, and green hydrogen optimization in the industrial supply chain. The project includes a scientific research consortium brought together by UQTR which will contribute expertise related to these priorities. Other members of the consortium include: Cégep de Shawinigan, McGill University, Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Université Concordia, École de technologie supérieure, and Polytechnique Montréal.
The Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER) recently announced a series of partnerships that will develop work-integrated learning (WIL) pathways in support of a net-zero future. Among BHER’s new partners are Fanshawe College, Royal Roads University, United College (University of Waterloo), Queen’s University, and Trent University. The partnerships aim to develop a highly skilled net-zero workforce by providing relevant WIL experiences to students across Canada. Partnerships will support transforming workforces in energy-intensive regions, attracting green talent in priority sectors and in small- and medium-sized municipalities, supporting students launching climate ventures, and fostering cross-institutional collaboration.
McMaster University and Virtualware recently unveiled a virtual reality room at McMaster Innovation Park. The custom-built lab was created as part of a four-year partnership with McMaster’s engineering program. The virtual reality lab offers students, faculty, and businesses a place to explore virtual reality tools and services. McMaster Automotive Research Centre research fellow Hanna Haponenko noted that the lab offers technology that is user-friendly and accessible for beginners. “[I]t really invites the broader community to come in and make simulations that ten years ago they probably wouldn’t have been able to,” said Haponenko.
The University of Saskatchewan has released an article discussing the changing landscape of AI and supporting students in the ethical use of AI tools. USask senior director of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Dr Nancy Turner discussed the need for both students and educators to be informed about AI capabilities and limitations, noting that increased AI use can be seen as a learning moment and an opportunity to reconsider assessment styles and classwork. The university has created a FAQ page detailing common AI-related issues, and Turner’s office is collaborating with academic experts to develop AI-related learning strategies, professional development, and support. “Above all, we need to engage ethically in use of these tools, including appropriately acknowledging when we use AI,” said Turner.
Collège Lionel-Groulx has officially broken ground on a new pavilion as well as several modular classrooms. The facility will enable Lionel-Groulx to welcome more students in fields that have been particularly affected by ongoing labour shortages, including nursing, computer science, and childcare. The pavilion will house 29 classrooms on five floors as well as a snack bar. The project was made possible thanks to grants of more than $45M for the pavilion and over $6M for the classrooms from the Government of Québec’s Ministère de l’Enseignement Supériur.
Burman University has announced that it has received approval from Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education to offer an Early Learning and Child Care Certificate. Graduates of the certificate will be able to work in daycare centres and other childcare facilities. The credential also prepares students for Early Childhood Educator II certification. The program will be delivered online for two semesters and will launch in Fall 2023.
Both Vanier College and Simon Fraser University recently announced programming updates in collaboration with Siemens, a multinational manufacturing company specializing in the field of mechatronics. Vanier will offer Level 1 of the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Program (SMSCP). Training will be delivered by Vanier teachers, while Siemens will provide the teaching materials and train the Vanier teachers. SFU and Siemens will launch a new training facility for instructors delivering Level 3 of the SMSCP. This Level 3 certification is the most advanced SMSCP standing and will prepare students to become experts on complex mechatronic systems.
In a recent article for Inside Higher Ed, Jenny Darroch encourages educators to recognize how today’s students engage differently, rather than to blame COVID-19 for declining student engagement. Darroch writes that today’s students are knowledge workers who actively engage in acquiring knowledge and are interested in developing critical thinking skills, conducting research, analyzing data, and applying their learnings. Darroch recommends that institutions take steps to increase engagement levels, including letting students identify tasks to achieve outcomes, providing students with constructive feedback, holding students accountable for their work, expecting innovation and improvement, and encouraging a thirst for learning.
The Calgary Board of Education (CBE)–in partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and several industry partners–recently announced the development of a new Digital Futures Pathway program for secondary students. The initiative will enable participating high school students to enroll in online and in-person internships and postsecondary courses in the field of information technology. Students can choose one of three pathways for their studies: business fundamentals, communications technology, or innovation technology. The program was made possible thanks to $6.2M in funding from CBE and the Government of Alberta and is set to launch in Fall 2024.
Mount Saint Vincent University has rescinded an honorary degree awarded to Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond in 2005. MSVU’s Senate Tributes Committee recommended that the degree be rescinded after receiving a request from the Indigenous Women’s Collective, reviewing publicly available information regarding the disputed claims, and consulting with Indigenous advisors. “Mount Saint Vincent University is committed to reconciliation and we sincerely regret the pain this situation has caused Indigenous community members and others,” wrote MSVU President Dr Joël Dickinson.