Findings derived from the recent RBC 2023 Students and Fraud Poll indicate that 83% of postsecondary students admitted to actions that make them more vulnerable to scams. The poll was conducted with 1,017 Canadian postsecondary students. Other findings indicate that only 26% of surveyed students said that they regularly changed their passwords and 49% did not know how to report a scam. RBC VP of Fraud Management Kevin Purkiss said that “new sophisticated scams” are on the rise and that students should take measures to reduce their risk of fraud by changing their passwords regularly, enabling alerts from their banking apps for large transactions, and ignoring unsolicited calls or messages asking for personal information.
Holland College and the Holland College Foundation recently celebrated the launch of the Thrive campaign, which will support the establishment of a centre for student wellness, resilience, and success. The campaign has already raised over $2.1M out of its $2.5M goal for the renovation and expansion of a building that will house the centre; the Government of Prince Edward Island will match these funds and operational support. The centre will offer a variety of services”including mental health services, a health clinic, academic support services, and career and academic counselling” to all of the college’s students. “The needs of our students are growing and changing, which has challenged us and presented us with an opportunity to innovate and shift the way we deliver supports,” said Holland College President Dr Alexander (Sandy) MacDonald.
Diamond and Diamond Lawyers have filed a $15M class action lawsuit against York University and the York Federation of Students (YFS) regarding alleged anti-Semitic incidents at the university. The plaintiffs”who include students, alumni, and attendees from between 1998 and 2021″state that they were “made to feel unsafe on campus, silenced, forced to hide their Jewish identity, [“¦] harassed, and even threatened with physical violence.” YorkU and YFS are alleged to have shown negligence in failing to address these incidents, providing insufficient staff training, and violating YorkU’s non-discrimination policies. City News reports that YorkU issued a statement reiterating its commitment to providing an inclusive campus environment and indicating that “we unequivocally condemn all forms of discrimination and hate, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.”
Canada is facing challenges retaining the next generation of researchers, writes Sparrow McGowan for University Affairs. McGowan discusses recent reports and studies that identified that Canada is at risk of brain drain due to poor financial support and that many graduates may be not only working outside of higher education, but living outside of Canada. University of Victoria VP of Research and Innovation Lisa Kalynchuk said that universities and research organizations share some responsibilities to support postdocs. In response to funding challenges, advocacy group Support our Science is pushing for pay increases for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars and calling on the federal government to set adequate pay standards.
The Université du Québec network has expressed its support for the Government of Québec’s recent proposal to raise tuition for out-of-province students. In an open letter, 10 presidents and rectors from institutions in the UQuébec network indicated that they were in favour of QC’s approach. However, they believed that the focus should be shifted onto the core of the issue: The underfunding of French-language universities. The letter writers state that one aspect of QC’s proposal could involve income from tuition fees being redistributed to French-language universities, thereby rebalancing current inequities. With this increased income, UQuébec leadership argues that French-language universities in QC would be able to contribute more to the social, scientific, cultural, and economic development of the province.
Niagara College has received $1M from Simplii Financial, which will be invested in recreation and engagement opportunities for students. This gift is part of an ongoing collaboration between Niagara and Simplii. The funds will be used to develop and/or support a new extramural cricket program; additional financial supports for student athletes; enhancements to Niagara’s Broadcasting: Radio, Television and Film program; orientation fairs; and on-campus multi-cultural events. In recognition of Simplii’s investment, the Niagara College Athletic Centre will be renamed the Simplii Financial Athletic Centre. “Simplii’s generous support gives us a leg up in providing academic and co-curricular experiences that set our students up for success in work and in life,” said Niagara President Sean Kennedy.
In a recent editorial, Lauren Coffey writes that artificial intelligence (AI) could be beneficial to the human peer-review system. The author asserts that within the academic peer-review system, it is becoming increasingly challenging to attract reviewers who have the time and expertise to provide feedback. In light of this, AI applications like ChatGPT could be used as a tool to bolster peer review systems. Coffey outlines the concerns of some academics, who assert that the use of AI in peer review must be informed by guiding principles aligned with fairness and accountability. However, Coffey points out the need for systemic change, rather than using AI as a “Band-Aid” solution “to a wider issue in the peer-review world.”
The University of Calgary and City of Calgary have partnered to conduct research on public perspectives on short-term rentals. The initiative is part of a multi-year research collaboration focused on developing an evidence-based policy framework for short-term rentals that can be adapted to market conditions. UCalgary’s team will engage with interested groups, including short-term rental operators and community associations, tourism, business, and housing sector representatives. “Through this research partnership with The City, we are developing a data-driven and engagement-informed understanding of the market and the opportunities and pressures it creates,” said UCalgary Associate Professor Dr Lindsay Tedds. “As importantly, we are mobilizing this knowledge to set out implementable policy advice to inform how Calgary manages short-term rentals.”
Thompson Rivers University’s senate has endorsed the development of a new wildfire research institute. The Institute for Wildfire Science, Adaptation and Resiliency would conduct research focused on preventing, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from wildfires. “Our goal with the wildfire institute is to generate research that directly impacts the lives of British Columbians and Canadians, enhancing our collective ability to adapt to the ever-increasing threats posed by wildfires,” said TRU VP of Research Shannon Wagner. “We are committed to fostering collaboration and forging new alliances to bring cutting-edge knowledge into the field.” The proposed institute will be reviewed at a future board of governors meeting.
U SPORTS and Tennis Canada are working together to add tennis to U SPORTS programming. Tennis has become U SPORTS’ first Pilot Sport (P3), and through the pilot program, student athletes will gain additional higher-level competition opportunities within Canada’s postsecondary system. Tennis Canada will work with U SPORTS throughout 2024 with the aim of helping the sport move up to a P1 subcategory on the Partnership Sports Scale, which will allow it to progress to the Core National Championship Sports category. “Together with Tennis Canada and our members, we look forward to serving as a catalyst in the development of top-tier talent in Canada and promoting the values of excellence and equity within our university communities,” said U SPORTS Chief Sport Officer Lisette Johnson-Stapley.