The Government of Québec recently announced that out-of-province students coming to Québec’s anglophone universities will have to pay almost twice as much tuition, starting in Fall 2024. This change impacts out-of-province students seeking to attend McGill University, Concordia University, or Bishop’s University, with the minimum cost for tuition rising from the current $8,992 to about $17K per year. QC Minister of the French Language Jean-François Roberge explained that this new fee structure will increase funding for French-language universities and promote the French language throughout the province. In a statement for the Bishop’s Principal Sébastien Lebel-Grenier said that this change could represent an “existential threat” to Québec’s anglophone universities.
Collège Boréal has been awarded more than $1.5M from the Government of Canada to bolster employer awareness and increase supports for people with disabilities in the workplace. Boréal’s new “L’inclusivité fonctionne” initiative was developed in collaboration with NorQuest College — Autism Cantech, STRIDE, and the Ontario Disability Employment Network. Through the three-year project, the college will develop training courses, workshops, and a resource kit on accessibility in the workplace. These will support employers as they diversify their workforces and create more inclusive working environments. Boréal président Daniel Giroux said that “L’inclusivité fonctionne” reiterates the college’s commitment to building a fairer society.
Mount Royal University and Arctic airline Canadian North have partnered to address the country’s critical pilot shortage and empower Inuit students. Under a new nomination program, Canadian North will nominate up to 10% of admissions in MRU’s aviation program–specifically focusing on Inuit students–and will offer successful candidates conditional offers of employment. MRU and Canadian North will also work with the Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB) to provide financial assistance to the selected candidates. “We could not be more pleased that, with the support of ATB, this will help reduce a financial barrier that prevents many students from being able to pursue a career in aviation,” said MRU Dean Kelly Williams-Whitt.
A master’s program at Memorial University’s Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology has gained international recognition. The Master of Applied Ocean Technology (Ocean Mapping) Program recently received S-5 category A recognition for hydrographic surveyors from the International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers (IBSC). This is the highest level of international recognition that can be awarded by IBSC. “This recognition demonstrates to the international hydrography industry that we are delivering a relevant and progressive ocean mapping curriculum with exceptional teaching from our faculty,” said Joe Singleton, head of Memorial’s School of Ocean Technology. Memorial says that this it is the first graduate-level program in Canada to receive this certification.
In an editorial, Rahul Kumar (Brock University) argues that generative artificial intelligence (AI) now has the capacity to create a “passing” university essay; as such, these essays are no longer an appropriate mechanism to evaluate a student’s knowledge. Kumar outlines possible alternatives to the traditional university essay, including assignments that involve students using generative AI as an intermediary tool, much like how a mathematician uses a calculator. The author also recommends evaluations based on interactions with others and experiential learning. Kumar concludes that instituting these alternative assessment mechanisms will require large-scale commitment from the postsecondary community. “The fact is that the university essay in its current form cannot continue,” writes Kumar.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has created a transfer agreement with Green River College (GRC) in Washington state. The agreement will allow GRC students to seamlessly transition to KPU to continue their studies in a bachelor of arts or bachelor of business administration degree. They also can explore admission into other bachelor level programs, with the number of transfer credits granted subject to their program of choice. “With this agreement, KPU is providing a new pathway for GRC learners to succeed and achieve their higher education goals,” said KPU Director of Global Engagement Zainab Al-koubaisi.
Lakeland College will receive $16M from the Government of Alberta for revitalization efforts and to support student enrolment. $13.3M will be used to revitalize the Bentley Building on Lakeland’s Vermilion campus; the renovated building will include features such as a child development centre and labs, a design studio, and a smudge-safe Indigenous lounge. Lakeland will also receive $2.7M to support capital maintenance and renewal projects. Northern Lakes also recently received $1.9M from AB to upgrade its HVAC systems and to improve student learning experiences. They also received a $250K grant to support the implementation of a pre-employment plumber program.
A student from the University of Victoria is calling on the university to allow students to sleep overnight in vehicles in campus parking lots. Braedon Lowey transferred to UVic in 2022 and chose to live in a van, rather than rent an apartment due to the increasing housing costs. Lowey began to sleep in UVic parking lots because of the convenience and security, but was recently told by a security guard that he could no longer do this. Lowey said that he knows of other students who live in vans and is hoping that UVic will change its bylaws to allow people to sleep in vehicles in campus parking lots. A UVic spokesperson said that the university does not have infrastructure to support overnight camping, and that the university is working to expand housing options for its students.
Operating engineers at Western University officially went on strike last week. Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Local 772, said that a key issue is a wage cap that keeps raises to 1% a year. The union says that this has led to a staffing shortage and a lack of applicants for positions. In a statement in the , Western indicated that classes, exams, activities, and services will not be interrupted due to the strike and that the school remains open.
Booth University College has announced that it will move its full operations to a different location in Winnipeg. The new location is a heritage building which Booth previously owned and has continued to rent space in. Booth will be repurchasing it and relocating from a location downtown which has been acquired by Providence University College. Booth’s new location will undergo renovations and will be named the Waldron Building in honour of the role that the late Commissioners John and Helen Waldron played in establishing Booth. “This space will facilitate innovation in learning and teaching across multiple platforms and modalities,” said Booth VP Academic & Dean Dr Linda Schwartz. “[It will] foster learning engagement within a purposeful, relevant and rich environmental hub of learning communities.”