Our Campus Manitoba Virtual Help Desk spent a few days at the University of Manitoba and Brandon University to talk with students about Set Your Course and eCourses Manitoba.
Brandon University welcomed over 3,000 students, a 13 percent increase since 2013. “The beginning of the academic year is an exciting time for our students and the staff and faculty as well,” says Katie Gross, BU’s Director of Recruitment and Retention. “We’ve placed our greatest emphasis on providing an outstanding student experience, and we’re pleased that more and more people are coming to Brandon University to pursue their dreams.”
The University of Winnipeg welcomed over 9,000 students to campus in September.
Enrollment at the University of Winnipeg has remained stable with over 9,000 students registered for 2016. New undergraduate students who identify as Indigenous make up 12% of students, making UWinnipeg “among the strongest in Canada for Indigenous participation.” The University of Winnipeg has also seen an increase of 13% for international students. “One of our core missions at UWinnipeg is to attract and support a wide diversity of students, with a particular focus on those who have been under-represented in post-secondary institutions such as inner city students, adult learners with families, Indigenous and new Canadian students,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg. “We consider this our greatest strength.”
The University of Manitoba was home to several orientation events, including a dedicated Indigenous Orientation week. For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Manitoba welcomed over 29,000 enrolled students to campus. In a letter to students at the beginning of the fall term, President David Barnard encouraged students to explore. “Both on campus or through intellectual curiosity in the classroom,” he said, “Embrace the strange and uncomfortable, test your limits, [and] make your choices.”
University of Manitoba Students’ Union supports Front and Centre campaign
Students take part in an announcement about the Front and Centre campaign.
The University of Manitoba Students’ Union is contributing $15.9-million to Front and Centre, UM’s ambitious fundraising campaign. The commitment will support the revitalization of student spaces, increase childcare options on campus, double undergraduate research opportunities, and increase the number of scholarships and bursaries for Indigenous students. To acknowledge the contribution, the University is renaming University Centre to the UMSU University Centre. “This is a proud day for our students, and for our community of alumni – many of whom are celebrating Homecoming this week,” said President David Barnard. “Today, we recognize the incredible impact that students themselves have on this community – an impact that continues well after graduation.”
BU and UM introduce Campus Master Plans
Brandon University is in the process of creating a Campus Master Plan, which included two sessions of community consultations and an open house in September. “Planning now ensures that the university will be able meet the community’s future needs as effectively and appropriately as possible,” said BU President Dr. Gervan Fearon. “For example, student needs are changing, as more people choose to continue their education later in life, combining their degree with raising a family and pursuing a career. These evolving needs require that we bring different approaches to meeting their needs. Similarly, student study places, how science is taught and the quality of these spaces, and our relationship to the City’s future developments are all examples of what the Campus Master Plan needs to consider. Input from across the university and community is therefore very important to us through the process and we look forward to a bright future ahead.”
Collaborative housing project opens in downtown Winnipeg
The University of Winnipeg announced the opening of a downtown apartment complex that will provide affordable living options in the center of Winnipeg. The $31-million project was developed by the University of Winnipeg’s Community Renewal Corporation. “Downtown Commons is possible because of collaborative partnerships and UWinnipeg is proud to continue strengthening our campus and downtown community through the innovative Community Renewal Corporation,” said UWinnipeg President Dr. Annette Trimbee. “Just as importantly, we are investing in people. High quality, affordable housing makes education more accessible, particularly for non-traditional students from underrepresented communities such as parents who are juggling family life and studies.”
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation initiatives underway
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation partnered with the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba to host a two-part conference that began this week.
The University of Manitoba’s 2016 season of Visionary Conversations opened with a panel discussion about Reconciliation in Canada. Director Ry Moran joined the conversation to talk about the work they are doing, which includes “carefully collecting testimonies from the TRC and archival documents of the Residential School System. In speaking with Indigenous people and communities across the country, these collective memories need to be shared in order to move forward, toward Reconciliation.” A recording of the panel is available at UM Today.
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation are partnering to support the work of Reconciliation. Downie has committed to donating proceeds from his upcoming multimedia project, Secret Path, to a fund that will support the NCTR’s initiatives related to missing children and unmarked burials. A preview of the multimedia project is available at UM Today.
UCN adds traditional land acknowledgements to course outlines
At the University College of the North, course outlines will now acknowledge that the University operates on traditional Indigenous lands. “Acknowledging treaties and that we are located on traditional lands of Aboriginal peoples is a critical first step to restoring the understanding that we all share the land together,” said President Konrad Jonasson. “Many universities and colleges have added acknowledgement statements to their course outlines to communicate to students the value of our relationship to the land and the history of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. UCN believes this is a positive step forward in acknowleding the truth of Canada’s past and reconciling with that history.”
Indigenous Homecoming a success at University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba celebrated leaders from the U of M’s Indigenous alumni community at the Indigenous Homecoming on September 21st. Alumni came together to share their experiences and stories of growth in the field of Indigenous education. “It was an historic day,” said President David Barnard. “The Indigenous community, Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions and public school boards, came together to make a commitment to advancing Indigenous education and reconciliation. Together, we took action on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations.”
Employment and experience opportunities for Manitoba students
Assiniboine Community College recently celebrated graduates from its Practical Nursing program. “It’s a great time for these graduates to be entering the healthcare field,” said Karen Hargreaves, ACC’s Dean of Health & Human Services. “Employment opportunities are strong across the province and our Practical Nursing program has helped to prepare them for success in their chosen careers.” In another September graduation, students from ACC’s First Nations Safety Officer and Community Safety Officer programs were awarded their diplomas. “We pride ourselves in partnering and providing relevant training within First Nation communities,” said Hargreaves.
BU students take part in Orientation 2016.
Students in Brandon University’s Computer Science program will benefit from a new partnership with ACD Systems. Experts from the software company will be available to provide constructive feedback on BU students’ projects. “There is a great demand for skilled university graduates in the tech industry,” said Assistant Professor Gautam Srivastava. “There is a real push right now for computer science programs at universities to form industrial partnerships, because they provide students with learning opportunities and experience beyond what a professor can give them. This will be a real incentive for students to study at BU.”
Five Brandon University alumni received awards from the BU Alumni Association for their achievements. “Every year, it is humbling to read through the outstanding accomplishments of Brandon University alumni who are nominated for our awards. In their work and in their life, they have really left their mark. What struck me this year was really the depth of commitment that each display,” said Carla Eisler, the BU Alumni Officer.
Donation to U of M supports performing arts community
Philanthropists Gail Asper and Michael Paterson are donating $2-million to the Taché Arts Project that will support a “reinvisioning” of an iconic building on the Fort Garry Campus as a multi-displinary home for art, music, and theatre programs. “When Mike and I learned about the Taché Arts Project, we were inspired,” said Asper. “Here was this incredible opportunity for us to contribute to a theatre program―so close to my heart―that has enriched our arts community for years. It is our hope that this facility will encourage students to embark on their own journey of self-discovery, and help enrich the arts and theatre community here on campus and throughout the province for years to come.”
Manitoba faculty receive grants for research innovation
Four researchers from Brandon University have been awarded prestigious Insight Development Grants for innovative work and emergent scholarship in their fields. “This success is unprecedented at Brandon University and a credit to all of the researchers involved,” says Dr. Heather Duncan, BU’s Associate Vice-President (Research) and Dean of Education. “The professionalism and commitment to innovative research displayed by our faculty is inspiring to our students and other researchers. Their work is lighting the way for future success at BU.”
Faculty at the University of Winnipeg also received Insight Development Grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), totaling over $1-million in research funding. “We are delighted to have received these grants to help further research at UWinnipeg,” said Jino
Distasio, Vice-President, Research and Innovation. “These grants promote and support our research abilities. We are proud to contribute to Canada’s pool of expert research, fostering excellence and providing a stimulating environment for our students and faculty.”
Red River College awarded significant funding for applied research
Representatives from Red River College and NSERC attend announcement of applied research funding.
Red River College has received $5.9-million in research funding to support innovation in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development industries. “This is a red-letter day for the College, our partners, and for Manitoba’s innovation outlook in general,” says Paul Vogt, President and CEO of Red River College. “These national awards acknowledge not only industry needs, but the ability of the College to deliver innovation services, and Manitoba as a place where leading-edge products are developed.”
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Campus Manitoba’s administrative office is located on Treaty 2 territory, with offices in Treaty 1 territory, the shared traditional lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Assiniboine, Dakota and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. Let this acknowledgement be an opening for us to learn more about the land we live on and envision a way to challenge racism, inequality and colonialism.