The Canadian Colleges for a Resilient Recovery (C2R2) has unveiled a new national project, which aims to support workforce development in Indigenous and rural communities across Canada. The Resilient Housing and Upskilling Canada’s Communities project will provide specialized training in high-growth employment areas for up to 20 communities and 204 workers across four provinces. It will include consultation with Indigenous communities about housing opportunities and training needs, the creation of resources guiding Indigenous communities in planning and constructing housing solutions, and the development of certification and skills training for Indigenous workers in trades that are related to planning and building housing. C2R2 institutions participating in the project include the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Cégep de Rimouski, Mohawk College, Okanagan College, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. The project is funded through a $3M grant from the Government of Canada.
Wilfrid Laurier University will receive $2.5M in funding from the City of Waterloo to put towards upgrades for its University Stadium. This funding will be used to replace the stadium’s field, turf, scoreboard, and lighting, and will contribute to the installation of a new “winter bubble” cover that will allow the WLU facility to be used year-round. In exchange for this financial support, the city will be able to use the university’s renovated facilities for community sports groups and organizations as well as sports tourism. These updates are part of a 10-year, multi-phase project to update and revitalize the WLU University Stadium.
Instructors should be aware of the ways that students are using tools to paraphrase artificial intelligence (AI) generated text, writes Elizabeth Steere (University of North Georgia). Steere writes that though instructors can increasingly use mechanisms to determine if essays were written using generative AI, these tools may be unable to determine if the student used both generative AI and “text spinners,” which are applications that humanize AI writing. Steere argues that understanding the types of AI tools and how they are marketed to students is essential for instructors, and can help them guide their students without accidentally accusing them of using AI or creating confusion by recommending a writing tool that includes generative AI.
The Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta (AASUA) is calling for stable and secure employment for academic staff. AASUA–in conjunction with the Canadian Association of University Teachers–launched a Fair Employment Week campaign to draw attention to employment issues facing educators, which include short-term contracts that keep employees from accessing benefits and pension plans. The campaign is a response to the recent release of UAlberta’s strategic plan, which shared that the institution intends to grow enrolment by 35% over the next decade. An open letter from AASUA President Gordon Swaters contends that a “plan to grow student enrollment is misguided without a commitment to job security” for UAlberta’s academic staff, librarians, and administrative officers.
The University of Toronto has redesigned its University of Toronto Advanced Planning for Students (UTAPS) program, which provides needs-based financial aid to students. The redesign aims to be more accessible and better aligned with the costs associated with living in the Greater Toronto Area. All domestic students applying for UTAPS now must complete an application through U of T’s Need Navigator tool, which also allows students to simultaneously be considered for supports from faculties and academic divisions. U of T asserts that this change will allow UTAPS financial support to better bridge the gap between the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and total education costs.
Yukon University has established a Research Chair in Northern Governance, thanks to a $1M gift from the real estate company Northern Vision Development (NVD). The NVD funding will support the research chair position for ten years. The Chair will be held by Dr Rebecca Major, a Métis scholar who specializes in the preservation and growth of knowledge in northern governance. “It is particularly exciting that the focus of this role is on northern Indigenous governance,” said Major. “Yukon First Nations have much to offer; they’ve moved the dial on modern relationships and I look forward to learning, and working together.”
The University of King’s College and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia (BCCNS) recently announced that they will partner to bolster the university’s ongoing work on equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion. Through this collaboration, BCCNS will establish an advisory committee that will make recommendations for how U of King’s College can provide a more inclusive environment to African Nova Scotians and Black students, faculty, and staff. The committee will also explore how U of King’s College can create additional educational opportunities for Black students from the Caribbean and from Canada’s Caribbean community.
The University of Saskatchewan is considering the future of its historic Stone Barn. The barn”which was completed in 1912″helped USask incorporate Canada’s first College of Agriculture, but was closed in 2010 due to structural issues. The president recently apprised the board of governors of plans to restore the barn’s roof and renew its siding; reports that the cost of this restoration is between $3M and $7M. The university will also be looking at the long-term future of the building while restoring the roof and siding. “It is part of the fabric and the identity of who USask is for getting beyond a century,” said USask Vice Provost of Students and Learning Jerome Cranston. “So it is going to be a significant [decision] that’s going to have to be made.”
The Université du Québec à Montréal’s École des sciences de la gestion (ESG UQAM) has received a $2M gift from Cascades to advance knowledge, research, and innovation on social impact entrepreneurship. This gift will be delivered over a period of 10 years and will focus on supporting ESG UQAM’s Carrefour Entrepreneuriat à Impact, an initiative that brings researchers, educators, and businesses together to combat challenges associated with social and environmental transitions. UQAM recteur Stéphane Pallage said that this donation will continue the institution’s ongoing sustainable development and partnership with Cascades.
Athabasca University has partnered with HCLTech to provide HCLTech employees with advanced learning opportunities. Employees who have completed HCLTech’s IT apprenticeship program will be able to flexibly pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems degree at AU. AU will provide education that builds upon the HCLTech IT apprenticeship program, giving students new training opportunities and on-the-job learning. “[W]e’re pleased to be able to help major international organizations like HCLTech to meet their employees’ further education requirements,” said AU President Dr Alex Clark. “Our flexible online learning environment allows anyone to advance their post-secondary education.”