The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA)”a collaboration between Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo”has received a $5M donation from the Balsillie Family Fund. The donation will be used to establish the Technology Governance Initiative (TGI). The TGI will include the development of The Balsillie Scholars Program; the establishment of an annual Balsillie Survey; the publication of the Technology Governance Case Study series; and student-focused initiatives such as a Technology Governance Summer School, internship support, and an annual student symposium. “[I]t allows the Balsillie School to not only leverage Waterloo’s strengths in technology but also facilitates the kind of transformative outcomes that can only be achieved when leading researchers approach problems through the diverse disciplinary lenses,” said UWaterloo AVP, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs Jeff Casello.
Dalhousie University has launched its new University Research Chair program in order to attract leading scholars in an increasingly competitive global market. The program has two categories: Emerging Scholars”early career academics with the potential for international recognition in the next ten years” and Established Scholars academic who have achieved international recognition in their fields. “The scholars attracted through this program will serve as catalysts, drawing new faculty and student talent, forging global collaborations, and igniting the formation of dynamic hubs for research within Dalhousie,” said Dal VP Research and Innovation Dr Alice Aiken. The program launch includes the launch of four new chairs in the faculties of Health, Medicine, Computer Science and Agriculture.
Executive Education HEC Montréal has received a $6M grant from the Government of Quebec for its Next AI and CDL-Montréal programs. The programs focus on incubating and supporting the success of tech businesses that specialize in artificial intelligence. “This funding will strengthen our ability to train entrepreneurs, help them acquire the skills they need to lead the way in their respective industries and support them at every step of their journey,” said Executive Education HEC Montréal Director Serge Lafrance.
The University of Alberta has announced that it will return an endowment to the family of Yaroslav Hunka, a Ukrainian veteran who fought in a Nazi unit and was controversially honoured in the Canadian House of Commons. UAlberta reportedly began a review of the $30K endowment fund to the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) after Hunka was recognized in the House of Commons. “After careful consideration of the complexities, experiences and circumstances of those impacted by the situation, we have made the decision to close the endowment and return the funds to the donor,” said UAlberta Interim Provost and VPA Verna Yui. “The university recognizes and regrets the unintended harm caused.” The move was praised by the Jewish Federation of Edmonton and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies (FSWCHS), the latter of which added that the institution has other funds and connections that need to be investigated.
In an open letter to the community, Canadore President George Burton discusses the college’s housing situation. Burton says that a recent tent set-up at Commerce Court was a “publicity stunt” by a third-party that came about after students turned down accommodations offered by the college. He said that the third party “involved itself in our efforts to find housing for our international students” and “prevented us from interacting directly with those looking for housing, and provided information and advice that was unfounded.” Burton urged any students who are in need of housing to come forward for help. Additionally, Canadore will implement a mandatory confirmation of housing as part of the registration process starting in the Winter 2024 semester.
The University of Saskatchewan, Northern Lights School Division, and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN) Education Authority have signed an agreement to offer the Cree Teacher Education Program (CTEP) Bachelor of Education degree program in Pelican Narrows. The arrangement will allow students to access postsecondary education in their home community and balance their studies with other commitments. “The desire of our local communities to expand and offer language and cultural programs is also crucial to our First Nations to revitalize Canadian Indigenous languages and cultures,” said PBCN Director of Education Darren Linklater. “Indigenous peoples are significantly underrepresented in the teaching professions.”
Government of Québec Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette has responded to the concerns expressed by McGill University and Concordia University about the impacts of new eligibility rules for the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ). Fréchette said that she does not believe university recruitment will be affected by changes to PEQ. She dismissed the argument that recruitment and retention would be affected by changes that would fast-track students who are Francophone or who studied in French, asserting that this “is not backed up by the numbers.” “I think that McGill has an attraction, an appeal that is worldwide,” said Fréchette. “They will be able to attract international students even though we have changed the rules of the PEQ diplomé.”
In an article for the , Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations President Allison McCulloch and VP Patrick NoÃ«l call on the Manitoba election candidates to do “better” for the province’s universities. “Better, to our minds, means Manitoba’s universities are affordable and accessible; provided with stable, multi-year funding, and independent from government,” they explain. MOFA reportedly reached out to the four major parties, asking them to commit to university autonomy and clear, predictable multi-year funding plans: The Manitoba NDP and Manitoba Liberal Party made a clear commitment to the issues while the PC Party of Manitoba did not respond and the Green Party indicated an “inability to respond.” The authors conclude by highlighting the far-reaching benefits of higher education for MB.
In British Columbia, labour negotiation updates and news on labour action have come from Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and Simon Fraser University. CapilanoU and its faculty association recently met to discuss topics such as a wellness spending account, improved benefits, and community-based projects. ECU reached a tentative agreement with CUPE Local 15, which represents approximately 230 staff at the institution. At SFU, reports that members of the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU) walked the picket line last week as an “indefinite teaching work stoppage” began at all campus locations. TSSU is reportedly striking for various changes including improved pay and a pension for sessional instructors.
The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has published a report on Ontario college applicants’ decision-making processes. The study drew on data from OCAS to understand applicants’ evolving attitudes toward online learning. The researchers found that learning format was a key driver of decision making for all applicants. As a whole, applicants were more open to online learning than prior to the pandemic, but there was a notable difference between age groups: 16-to-24-year-old students are reportedly less enthusiastic about this method than their 25-to-34-year-old counterparts. The authors encourage colleges to monitor applicant and student preferences in order to optimize their program and course offerings.