Starting this October, the University of Toronto will cover tuition fees for students from nine First Nations communities as part of the university’s ongoing efforts to bolster inclusivity, accessibility, and reconciliation. The nine communities’ territories are either situated on or adjacent to U of T’s campuses. Additionally, the university has announced that Indigenous or Native American students from the United States will be charged domestic tuition rates in recognition of the Jay Treaty, which acknowledges how colonial forces defined the US-Canada border. U of T’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives Senior Director Shannon Simpson said that these initiatives will reduce barriers to education and strengthen the institution’s relationships with neighbouring communities.
McGill University and Concordia University are concerned that recently proposed immigration rules that require international students to master French to qualify for certain immigration programs will impact recruitment and retention. Earlier this year, QC tabled a reform package for the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ), which would change the French skill requirements and distinguish between Francophone and Anglophone applicants. McGill has argued that the rules create a two-tier system and that students should be individually evaluated for immigration. A brief from Concordia stated that the change will “de facto exclude graduates from anglophone universities, even if they master French.”
Northern College, Red River College Polytech, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology have announced new installations on campus to honour truth and reconciliation and recognize the traditional land they are on. Northern unveiled four matching bronze statues representing a Shawl Dancer and a Grass Dancer. The statues reside at each of the college’s campuses to remind viewers of the impacts of the residential school system and the importance of truth telling and honouring Indigenous strength. RRC Polytech has collaborated with Portage Community Revitalization Corporation to install a new sign that welcomes the community in Indigenous languages and recognizes its place on Treaty One territory. NAIT has unveiled a new flagpole plaza with seven flags, including Treaty 6 and Métis flags, that permanently recognize that NAIT is on Treaty 6 territory. The seven flagpoles connect with the seven Grandfather Teachings of knowing and doing.
Former Université de Sherbrooke professor Robert Day has been arrested by the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC) for allegedly embezzling more than $100K in research funds. According to a statement from UPAC, Day is accused of fraud and the fabrication and use of false documents. UPAC added that the former professor allegedly misappropriated funds from the university, its foundation, and the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute for his own personal use between 2012 and 2018. USherbrooke dismissed Day in 2021 after it was suspected he was involved in major financial fraud and notified the police.
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology has unveiled a new name for its Indigenous resource centre. The lodge now bears the name Natoysopoyiis (nah-toy so-poh-yees), meaning holy wind lodge in the language of the Blackfoot people. The lodge provides a safe space for Indigenous students to tend to their mental, emotional, and spiritual health. “With the new name, our students will see themselves reflected to an even greater degree within the institution, and have a space with a name that strengthens the Indigenous world view of the education experience,” said SAIT Indigenous Student Supports Manager Steve Kootenay-Jobin. At the renaming ceremony, SAIT also introduced its new Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Thomas Snow, who will share teachings and foster connection between SAIT’s campus community and Indigenous culture.
Canadore College has received an additional $2M in funding from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund for its multi-use sports complex. The Canadore Multi-Use Recreation Facility will host the School of Sport and Recreation and will support the college’s academic, sport, and wellness needs. It will include artificial turf and a hard court, among other features. The says that the complex will be the region’s only full-service sports facility and that it will be capable of supporting a variety of sports throughout the year. It will also serve the North Bay and Nipissing region as a community recreation hub and will host large community events, tradeshows, and conferences. The facility is planned to be complete by late spring 2024.
The Government of British Columbia Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson has confirmed that Simon Fraser University’s new medical school will help address the family doctor shortage with a program that focuses specifically on family and community medicine. Robinson said that the program will be modelled after Queen’s University and Lakeridge Health’s physician training program. It will also focus on providing Indigenous communities with care. UBC Assistant Professor Dr Rita McCracken said that though a dedicated family doctor training program is a positive step, the way in which primary care is delivered should be rethought to ensure that family physicians are encouraged to go into longitudinal community-based primary care.
A Tim Hortons located on the University of Waterloo’s main campus has been temporarily closed after a viral video showed three rats emerging from the restaurant’s ceiling and scurrying down the kitchen wall. The video was posted on TikTok to an account called @RatsWaterloo and has received more than 272K views. UWaterloo spokesperson Rebecca Elming said that when its food services department became aware of the video, they immediately closed the location and notified pest control. The service location will remain closed until the issue is resolved.
In an editorial for University World News, Shakina Rajendram (University of Toronto) outlines the benefits of “translanguaging,” which can be defined as the practice of communicating, teaching, and learning in multiple languages at the same time. At the broader level, translanguaging supports university internationalization efforts and ensures international education is not “English-only,” explains Rajendram. It also has many benefits for students by facilitating equitable learning experiences, making complex academic concepts easier to comprehend, improving engagement, promoting intercultural understanding, and enabling more inclusive access to opportunities.
Students and faculty at Brescia University College are “devastated” after last week’s news that Brescia would be fully integrating into Western University in May 2024. A group of students shared their intent to hold a protest later this week, start a letter-writing campaign, and distribute petitions. “We just want the university experience we were promised,” said first-year Brescia student Alex Wild. “We want that safe space, the small class sizes, the manageable campus and the opportunities for female leaders.” Brescia faculty association president Heather Kirk said that they were “completely blindsided” by the news: “It’s devastating for both faculty and students.”