Northlands College has established a full campus in the Metaverse with the official launch of the Northlands College Metaverse Campus. This Metaverse campus aims to bridge distances across Northern Saskatchewan by offering online access to education and services, opportunities to develop digital skills, and supporting enhanced learning experiences. “The launch of our campus in the metaverse is not just a milestone for Northlands College but also opportunities for members of our communities across Northern Saskatchewan to learn, grow, and excel in an area of Industry 4.0,” said Northlands President Karsten Henriksen.
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has received a $1.58M gift from Spartan Controls. The gift will support the work of SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy and the School for Advanced Digital Technology in the digital intelligence field. It will also facilitate the acceleration of overlapping program offerings, infrastructure upgrades, and a new suite of student awards. “Spartan’s support will enable SAIT to keep pace with the digital transformation taking place across the energy sector,” said SAIT President Dr David Ross.
Concordia University’s Applied AI Institute and the not-for-profit Open North are partnering on a variety of initiatives related to Artificial Intelligence (AI), data, and technology use and adoption to solve challenges faced by Canadian cities. The parties will focus on collaborative research, program creation, public engagement, and the creation of professional development workshops. Through these efforts, the partners hope to increase collaborations between different public and private stakeholders, raise awareness of the responsible adoption of data-driven analytics, and create best practices for public-interest applications of emerging technology.
Two new AI-focused education resources have been released. OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, has released a new “Teaching with AI” resource that includes an explanation of how the software works, outlines ChatGPT’s limitations and issues with bias, and suggests prompts for how to teach with the application. Additionally, eCampus News reports that Kathryn Conrad (University of Kansas) has released a “sneak preview” of her “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights in Education,” which will be published in February 2024. The blueprint touches on a set of proposed rights and supports for educators and students regarding the use of AI. Conrad states that universities cannot ignore AI and that they have the potential to lead the way to a better, more ethical future.
George Brown College has partnered with the Guyana Online Academy of Learning (GOAL) to launch a new online certificate program for individuals in the Guyanese manufacturing sector. The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Technician Certificate Programme offers experiential learning and skills development to sharpen learners’ knowledge of advanced technology and machinery processes. “The partnership is committed to equipping students in Guyana with the skills and knowledge they need to enter the rapidly growing industrial automation and control sector, and to further contribute to the industry’s overall efficiency and success,” said George Brown President Dr Gervan Fearon.
HEC Montréal has officially opened the doors to its Hélène Desmarais Building in downtown Montréal. The new space will house much of HEC’s continuing education diploma programs, short-term courses, and the institution’s First Nations Executive Education school. This fall, the building will welcome more than 3,200 students attending one of the 150 courses offered onsite. “Our return to downtown Montréal will increase accessibility to our continuing education programs,” said HEC Director Federico Pasin. “It will also lead to greater collaboration with the academic, social, cultural, creative, business and entrepreneurship communities.”
Postsecondary students from across Alberta have expressed that they are struggling financially amid the rising cost of living. According to Chris Beasley, chair of the Council of Alberta University Students, many students have been forced to reduce their food options to make ends meet this year. Erin O’Neil, Executive Director of Campus Food Bank at the University of Alberta, echoed this sentiment, detailing that the organization has had to significantly increase the amount of food they provide to students in recent months. A statement from the Government of Alberta indicated that the province has increased its student supports in response to this crisis and encouraged students to apply for available scholarships and bursaries.
In a recent article for student newspaper , University of Toronto student Alyssa Villar writes about the growing Instagram account “@UofTears_,” through which students share anonymous thoughts about the university. Over 19,000 followers have read the account’s posts, which range from “hot takes” and “love triangles” to “students’ hopes, worries, dreams, and contemplations of the future.” Villar writes that the account fosters a unique student community by sharing both the funny and the difficult aspects of university life, with commenters offering sympathy and honest advice on each post. “With three sprawling campuses, it is difficult to run into the same people and form a large school community,” writes Villar. “Despite the vast separation, the account is relatable to U of T students across all campuses.”
Last week, Kanien’keha:ka Kahnistensera–otherwise known as the Mohawk Mothers–filed an emergency motion with the Québec Superior Court to stop the renovation work taking place at the former Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal. The Mohawk Mothers contend that, by proceeding with this construction work, McGill University and the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI) have violated the settlement agreement made last April pertaining to an archaeological investigation to search for unmarked graves at the site. According to McGill Associate Provost Angela Campbell, the construction work “that’s being carried out on the site is in line with the terms of the agreement.” A judgement regarding this emergency injunction is set to be made this week.
Last week, students and faculty from Queen’s University and Memorial University joined protestors from around the world in a series of rallies that drew attention to the adverse impacts of climate change. A protest in Kingston, co-organized by Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Crisis and Seniors for Climate Action Now!, called on all of Canada’s biggest investors to cut back on fossil fuels and look to renewable energy instead. At Memorial, students and community members gathered at the campus clock tower and marched to the Confederation Building. In a series of speeches, performances, and poetry, the protesters demanded that Memorial divest its holdings in fossil fuels.