The Globe and Mail reports that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is exploring the idea of creating a two-tier system that would expediate study permits for “trusted” institutions. The system would reportedly reward institutions that offer a “higher standard” of care and support for international students, explained Aissa Diop, spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Marc Miller. University of Toronto VP International Joseph Wong noted that several Canadian universities have been advocating “for a student-visa processing framework that incentivizes best practices around recruitment, retention, and support of international students and eliminates duplication of processes.”
Three more universities have made their course locations private in the wake of the June stabbings at the University of Waterloo. Brock University, McMaster University, and the University of Ottawa have removed classroom information from their public websites and timetables, citing the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Brock Associate Professor Margot Francis and McMaster Provost Susan Tighe also discussed the important role of representation and a strong culture of inclusion in preventing threats and hate crimes. recently reported that the accused in the stabbings case now also faces terrorism charges. He will face another court hearing on September 15, 2023.
Institutions such as Carleton University, Université de Moncton, and Université du Québec en Outaouais issued statements expressing their sympathies for Morocco following the devastating earthquake last week. The institutions stated that they stood in solidarity with the country and shared supports and resources for international students and staff from Morocco who were affected by the news. Students and staff at LaSalle College and the Arab Students’ Association at Western University have reportedly created fundraisers and begun collecting donations to support people in Morocco.
More than 240 university professors have signed an open letter calling for a review of the Government of Québec’s Bill 23. Addressed to Premier François Legault, the letter claims that the process under which Bill 23 was created suffered from a serious “democratic deficit” and lacked representation from QC’s education sector. The letter adds that Bill 23 has the potential to be one of the most important education reforms in decades and therefore requires additional consideration. Due to the issues with the development process, the letter concludes that the development of Bill 23 creates more problems than it solves and asserts that there is still time to review and redraw the bill collaboratively.
Former NorQuest College dean Tibetha Kemble has filed an official human rights complaint against the institution, claiming that she was denied the right to a psychologically safe workplace. Kemble reportedly filed an application with the Alberta Human Rights Commission that states that her formal complaints about bullying and harassment were dismissed, interfered with, or never investigated. The claim further alleges that her experiences of harassment, reprisal, and termination at the college were “driven by race.” A NorQuest spokesperson expressed to that it would not comment on employee-related matters out of respect for the privacy of their staff.
BCcampus has released an online toolkit to help British Columbia’s postsecondary institutions navigate the emerging world of micro-credentials. The provides 17 chapters pertaining to the design, implementation, and evaluation of micro-credentials, unique to the conditions of the province. The toolkit also includes stories and reflections from 12 postsecondary institutions. “This toolkit is a collection of resources–lessons learned, tools, and templates–developed by micro-credential innovators in our community,” said toolkit author Annie Prud’homme-Généreux. “Sharing them will amplify the sector’s capacity to offer micro-credentials and help learners adapt their work skills in this fast-changing world.”
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières has officially inaugurated its new campus in Terrebonne. The new campus will host up to 250 students each year for programs and training in accounting. Previously, this programming was offered on the Terrebonne campus of Cégep de Lanaudière. UQTR also recently celebrated the renewal of its partnership with Haute École spécialisée de Suisse occidentale and the Université Savoie Mont Blanc. The partnership agreement facilitates exchanges, research projects, special workshops, and summer school experiences between the three parties.
In an editorial for University Affairs, Benjamin Maiangwa (Lakehead University), Antony Puddephatt (Lakehead), and Oluwatomi Akinyede argue that the federal government’s failure to financially support its international students has serious consequences for the pursuit of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the postsecondary sector. The authors contend that the unique costs incurred by international students, coupled with their lack of access to financial assistance programs, place these students at a financial disadvantage. As a result, they have more difficulty integrating into the Canadian workforce post-graduation. The writers conclude that providing international students with graduate assistantships or scholarships would contribute to EDI goals, while enriching the overall education experience for all.
Humber College has launched an initiative that aims to alleviate the student housing crisis by pairing students with seniors from the local community who have extra space in their homes. Students who sign up for the program live with the senior hosts and pay for accommodation through the online platform Spaces Shared. According to representatives from Humber, more than 500 students have already signed up for the program. Humber Dean of Students Ian Crookshank said that not only does this initiative help students–and especially international students–save money, but it also provides companionship to the community’s senior citizens.
The Cégep de Baie-Comeau has officially inaugurated its Pavillon de recherche et d’innovation en forÃªt boréale, a new space dedicated to developing and expanding expertise pertaining to the sustainable development of the boreal forest. The new facility features an exhibition hall; collaborative workspaces; and four thematic laboratories on the subjects of entomology, plant tissue culture, forest extractives, and forestry, respectively. The development of this pavilion was made possible through funding from the Government of Québec and other partners.