Another academic year is underway. Campuses are full of life, ideas are being set into motion and schedules are kicking into high gear. With so much going on we have you covered with a collection of stories from Manitoba’s universities and colleges.
Skilled trades education is making its way to Indigenous communities thanks to ‘trades in a box.’ Assiniboine Community College has sent out three separate trailers that house equipment necessary to provide hands-on training for carpentry, electrical or piping trades.
“Indigenous partners continue to express enthusiasm and a strong need for construction trades training in their communities,” said Assiniboine President Mark Frison. “These trailers allow us to build on the success we’ve seen in the past offering programs beyond our campuses by providing increased flexibility and additional resources.”
Each of the three trailers come with a 5-month program created by the college. Applied Building Construction, Applied Electrical Installation and Applied Plumbing Installation were created to provide both theory and hands-on training.
Manitoba has seen the highest tuition increase throughout the country. Data from Statistics Canada show that undergraduate and graduate programs both increased by 6.5 per cent this academic year. “I think there is an attitude among many Manitoba universities of catching up to other universities across the country, as they erase all the gains in affordability that were made through the more than decade of a tuition freeze” states Brandon University Students’ Union president Justin Shannon.
The passing of Bill 31 allows post-secondary institutions to raise tuition by the rate of inflation, plus 5 per cent. Despite this, Manitoba still maintains the lowest undergraduate tuition fees across Western Canada.
Thanks to Manitoba post-secondary institutions, the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary (MSBI) initiative has exceed its $20 million fundraising goal. Approximately 13,000 students will benefit from the $16 million raised by participating institutions. This leveraged $23 million in scholarships and bursaries.
“Last year, we announced formula changes to the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative that puts money directly into students’ pockets to help them successfully complete their studies,” said Kelvin Goertzen, Education and Training Minister. “The generosity of private donors and fundraising efforts of universities and colleges has exceeded our goal and allowed us to help more students with scholarships and bursaries in the province.”
Sheila North, Red River grad and former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), is tasked with leading the University College of the North’s new Centre for Indigenous Community Development. Once completed, the Centre will be a pillar of UCN’s mission to provide relevant and responsive education and training.
“I am excited to be leading this great initiative,” North says. “As a Grand Chief, I led the development of MKO’s economic action plan, as well as the organization’s Health Transformation framework, along with many other initiatives to assist communities in growing and prospering.”
BU and ACC have partnered to provide students with a unique learning opportunity with their newest joint program. Launched this term, the Public History program combines academic history courses at BU with practical media arts programs at Assiniboine. The joint program provides students with four options to earn combined degrees.
“Enrolment in this new program has been extremely strong, which points to both the ongoing interest in history programs as well as the definite value in interpreting local history for local audiences,” said Dr. Rhonda Hinther, an associate professor of history at BU. “The first course is already almost full, and we could only accommodate a couple more.”
This collaboration formalizes the relationship for the two institutions. Along with the Province of Manitoba, they signed Growing Together – Vision 20/20 in 2014. This memorandum aims to foster collaboration between the two institutions which will benefit the students and the community.
In late September, Dr. Tony Bates went to the UCN The Pas Campus for a site visit and presentation. Dr. Bates is the lead researcher on The National Survey of Online and Distance Education in Canadian Post-Secondary Education project. With over 40 years experience in higher education, Dr. Bates presented on Teaching in a Digital Age: Developments in Online Learning in Canada. Additionally, he met with faculty to discuss innovations in practice at UCN.
Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to campusmanitoba.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.ca, setyourcourse.ca, and openedmb.ca.