The University of Waterloo announced that it will build a 500-bed mixed-year residence that will prioritize Indigenous design principles. Construction is slated to begin in July 2024, pending ongoing approvals. UWaterloo’s Office of Indigenous Relations and the Indigenous-owned architecture firm Two Row will collaborate on the building’s design, ensuring that Indigenous engagement and principles are incorporated throughout. The building will feature a community healing garden, gathering spaces equipped for smudging, and areas for live-in Elders to meet with students. The building will also be designed for improved accessibility and sustainability, utilizing a low-carbon heating system and constructed from recycled building materials. The residence is projected to open by Fall 2026.
The University of Saskatchewan has announced that it is currently developing policies on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom. CTV News reports that USask leaders are both cautious and optimistic about how AI can be used and that faculty have been granted authority on whether they incorporate generative AI programs, such as ChatGPT and Bing AI, into courses. USask AI policy specialist Nancy Turner said that the university will take a balanced approach and noted that “there are challenges that come with the broader accessibility of generative AI.”
The annual G20 Scorecard: Research Performance 2023 has been released, and this year’s edition includes data on how each member nation contributes toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In an interview with , scorecard author Gordon Rogers explained that the measure draws on data from the Web of Science. This year’s results are also available in a dashboard format for the first time. Canada was distinguished for boasting an above-average proportion of output in the fields of social sciences, medicine, humanities, and arts, but was also noted as having a below-average open access output in all categories.
Conestoga College’s School of Health & Life Sciences will begin offering hands-on nursing and personal support worker training to students in the Halton Region at the college’s Milton campus this spring 2024. The new Conestoga Centre of Excellence in Healthcare Education will provide programming for 800 full-time students and offer more than 19,000 square-feet of teaching and learning space. The addition of this centre contributes to Conestoga’s growing presence in Milton. “We are thrilled to expand our programming into Milton to address the specific workforce needs of the community,” said Conestoga Dean, Nursing and associated programs Heather Cross.
Université Sainte-Anne Professor Bryan Gibson wrote an editorial for the about the need to address rape culture on campus at USaint-Anne. Gibson writes about his experience learning about the sexual assaults that occurred on campus between 2015 and 2019 and shares the stories of students who did not feel adequately supported by the university upon reporting the events. The author also highlights the development of a student group called , which created a petition and called on the university to enact five basic reforms. Yvette d’Entremont of the has also penned an article sharing the experiences of the students behind the campaign.
The University of Manitoba has opened a new Student Wellness Centre (SWC) on its Fort Garry campus. The hub will offer harm reduction and mental health and wellness services, while also increasing awareness of existing resources, such as the UManitoba wellness services and the Health and Wellness and Healthy U supports. It will operate on a drop-in basis, providing students with a space where they can learn about how to maintain their wellbeing while they study, connect with others, and seek support from health and wellness professionals and trained peer educators. The space will also be used for health promotion events and other activities.
The University of New Brunswick has announced that it will launch a three-year delivery option for its Bachelor of Nursing program in Saint John, starting in September 2024. Under this option, students will take three terms (instead of two) per year, allowing them to graduate one year earlier. The Government of New Brunswick will provide $412K to help launch the program and has made a commitment of up to $1.2M over a three-year period thereafter. “UNB and the Government of New Brunswick have a shared commitment and a shared vision for solving the challenges facing our province’s health-care system, which includes addressing the nursing shortage,” said UNB President Dr Paul Mazerolle. UNB’s Saint John campus additionally announced that it will offer 21 more seats for the nursing program as part of this initiative.
Two universities have announced increased efforts to make it easier for people with disabilities to access postsecondary education. Athabasca University has partnered with Inclusion Alberta to provide people with disabilities with inclusive education opportunities. Students with intellectual disabilities will be fully included in AU programs and courses in a way that works around their learning needs and work-life commitments. Royal Roads University announced that it has met the Accessible BC Act requirements. To meet these requirements, a project team engaged with RRU’s community, conducting research, attending workshops, and consulting with disability advocates to create the university’s first institutional Accessibility Plan. RRU has also created the RRU Accessibility Committee, which brings knowledge, lived experiences, and skills together to guide the university on accessibility work.
In a recent editorial for The Conversation, N Zoe Hilton (University of Toronto) and Sandy Jung (MacEwan University) highlight how police-academic partnerships could contribute to better policies, stronger access to critical data, and meaningful knowledge mobilization. Hilton and Jung discuss how police-academic collaborations could help to address issues such as coercive control”a factor related to intimate partner violence”and outline the advantages these partnerships bring to both sides. For example, police could benefit from the independent research and knowledge provided by academic institutions on the matter, while academics would have improved access to up-to-date data sets provided by the police. They conclude that “collaboration is the essence of knowledge mobilization” and will be fundamental to the success of anti-coercive control efforts.
Keyano College and the Métis Nation of Alberta’s Métis Education Foundation and Rupertsland Institute have partnered to establish a $1M student award endowment. The Métis Education Endowment Fund will provide financial support to qualified Métis students, with the goal of reducing financial barriers to education. “This marks the most substantial endowment in the history of Keyano College,” said Keyano President Jay Notay. “The Fund reflects our commitment to accessibility and recognizes the unique perspectives and contributions that Métis students bring to our academic tapestry.”