The Government of Canada has announced several changes to the International Student Program to protect international students from fraud. Starting in December, postsecondary designated learning institutions (DLIs) will need to confirm each applicant’s letter of acceptance with IRCC to ensure that study permits are only issued with genuine letters of acceptance. IRCC will be adopting a “recognized institution” framework for Fall 2024 that will benefit DLIs that have higher standards for international student services, supports, and outcomes. Recognized institutions will receive benefits such as priority processing for study permits. IRCC will also be completing an assessment of post-Graduation Work Permit Program criteria and introducing reforms to ensure the program meets labour market needs and immigration goals.
Okanagan College has kicked off the campaign, which will support the construction of a $14M Recreation and Wellness Centre. The centre will house varsity athletics and provide a space for intramural sports and fitness activities. It will have a gymnasium, walking track, and fitness suite, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2024 with a goal of opening the centre in 2026. The campaign has received $9M so far, including a $5M donation from the Folk family.
The Globe and Mail reports that recently released transcripts of a 2020 phone call between former Government of Ontario Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano and Canada Christian College President Charles McVety contradict public statements from ON stating that PEQAB approval would be required for the college to attain university status. The Globe states that Romano advised McVety to follow the PEQAB process and address any shortcomings in order to either get a positive recommendation or make it “as easy as possible for me to sign off no matter what.” On the call, McVety also took issue with PEQAB publishing the college’s application on its website without redacting sensitive information, which PEQAB CEO James Brown later apologized for. OCUFA President Nigmendra Narain described the transcript contents as “alarming” and “another example of the government’s problematic approach to our universities.”
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and provincial partners have announced a $26.6M investment into projects focused on integrated health care. The funds will support 13 implementation science teams and the creation of a knowledge mobilization and impact hub, both of which will seek to address Canada’s high priority health care challenges. The hub will also foster research team coordination and mobilize research findings. The funded research teams are based out of Memorial University, Université de Sherbrooke, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Saskatchewan, and University of Toronto.
Loyalist College is reportedly the first college in Canada to receive a Controlled Drugs and Substances License from Health Canada for psilocybin research. A release from Loyalist notes that the federal government is currently investing in research into psilocybin, the active compound found in “magic mushrooms,” for its potential therapeutic applications. “The potential of psilocybin research to aid those struggling with mental illness aligns seamlessly with our long-term vision,” explained Loyalist President Mark Kirkpatrick. “Specifically, we aim to leverage this expertise in applied research to become [a] national leader in advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals such as Good Health and Well-being and Quality Education.”
Cégep de Sorel-Tracy and the Université de Sherbrooke have signed a pathway agreement for environmental studies students. Under the agreement, USherbrooke will recognize up to 15 credits from Sorel-Tracy’s DEC en environnement, hygiène et sécurité au travail program towards the university’s bachelor’s degree in environmental studies. Sorel-Tracy states that the agreement will ensure students can develop complementary skills, receive favourable positioning for placements, and complete both the DEC and bachelaureatte degree in a shorter period of time.
Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings by Subject for 2024 have been formally released. This ranking evaluates institutions by their performance in 11 subject areas and in many individual disciplines. The number of countries and territories represented in the top 10 of the 11 subject rankings has reportedly grown over the last five years as Australian, Chinese, and Singaporean institutions have risen in the ranks. In Canada, the University of Toronto frequently appeared in the top 25 and ranked among the top 10 for three overall subject areas: Clinical and Health (#9), Education (#9), and Psychology (#10); University of British Columbia ranked in the top 25 for Education (#23) and Psychology (#17).
The Fondation du Cégep de Granby has unveiled a new logo. The foundation states that the new logo is reminiscent of Cégep de Granby’s logo, as it draws on the same font and blue colour, but has a distinct shape that symbolizes the foundation’s energy and involvement in supporting academic perseverance. The logo’s image represents the foundation’s commitment to representing the needs of the college and the student population. The logo was designed by the Foundation’s administrator and student in Specialized Education Techniques Luc Bélanger.
Cape Breton University, College of the North Atlantic, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic have each recently reported significant gains in their enrolment. CBU has experienced a greater than 50% increase in its student enrolment for Fall 2023, growth that says is primarily due to international enrolment. CNA has seen its enrolment increase by over 10%, with its international student enrolment increasing by nearly 80% over the last year. The college states that the overall increase is also partly attributable to changes and expansions in its programming. Sask Polytech’s enrolment has grown by 27% compared to last year: reports that the institution has reportedly experienced a 60% increase in international students and a 7% increase in Indigenous students.
Dawson College students had the opportunity to help butcher three moose after Cree student Angela Ottereyes organized a traditional event to bring her culture to the campus. While autumn is moose hunting season in Northern Quebec, it is difficult for those who are pursuing postsecondary education and studying for midterms to return to their home territory to hunt moose. Cree students and non-Indigenous students worked together to butcher and process the moose. “[I]t brought me a little bit back home,” said Tristan Beauregard, a Cree student who helped clean the moose. The First Peoples’ Centre will use half of the meat for traditional cooking activities, and the skulls will be donated to Dawson’s biology department.