Monday, November 2, 2020 | Category: Eduvation Insider
Good morning, happy Monday, and welcome to November!
Hallowe’en is over now, the ghosts and spirits have left our streets, and apparently the graveyards are filling up again. The pandemic is rapidly overwhelming hospital capacity in Europe, leading to lockdowns across a half dozen countries. The US is setting new global records as COVID19 rages out of control, and Stanford researchers have calculated just how many are because of a certain politician’s rallies.
In Canada, the second wave is rapidly gaining momentum and the prime minister and federal PHO are urging Canadians to cut their social contacts by 25% immediately. Saskatoon and Winnipeg are set to overwhelm their hospital capacity within weeks. While there were just a couple of COVID19 cases reported at CdnPSEs this weekend, >150 Western students were crammed into a townhouse for a Hallowe’en party, and the local PHO fears many will travel home this week for reading week.
Also today, I take a look at enrolment numbers from more than a dozen Atlantic universities, new compassionate grading policies at Carleton, and #ICYMI a new ad from Curtin U in Australia…
In Australia, Melbourne lifted its lockdown late last week after 111 days – but most other parts of the world were not celebrating. Indonesia has been experiencing a COVID19 surge since Sept, now totalling 413,000 cases and about 14,000 deaths – one of the world’s highest fatality rates. Jakarta’s 73 cemeteries are running out of space to bury the dead.
Europe: Following the lockdowns in France and Germany I mentioned on Friday, more have followed over the weekend. Faced with rising hospitalizations and deaths, Belgium imposed a strict lockdown – through at least Dec 13 – “to ensure that our health care system does not collapse.” Indoor gatherings are not permitted, outdoor ones are limited to 4 people, schools and non-essential businesses are ordered closed. Experts calculate that hospitals could reach their capacity in Belgium by the end of the week, France and Switzerland by mid-November, and Germany soon after that – despite having significantly invested to build capacity this summer.
With >3M infections and the worst recession since 1930, Spain has declared a 6-month state of emergency (until May 2021), giving regions the authority to impose curfews and travel restrictions. In England, COVID19 has killed almost 46,000 people – the highest death toll in Europe – and cases are doubling every 9 days. On Saturday, as the UK passed 1M cases, PM Boris Johnson announced a strict month-long lockdown to begin Thursday, although schools will remain open. The government projects that hospitals will be at capacity by the beginning of December, even if additional temporary hospitals are opened.
America: The US has set a new world record, exceeding 100,000 COVID19 cases and 1,000 deaths on Friday, and hospitalizations setting new 7-day records in 18 states – while president Trump continues to insist the country is “rounding the corner” on the pandemic, and his son dismisses COVID19 deaths as “almost nothing.” A George Washington U medical prof told CNN that these record levels of cases will turn into “perhaps 2,000 deaths per day, 2 or 3 weeks from now.” (Remember the mortality lag!)
Perhaps even sadder, Stanford researchers have calculated that 18 Trump campaign rallies in Jun-Sept sparked >30,000 cases of COVID19, and likely >700 deaths. “The communities in which Trump rallies took place paid a high price in terms of disease and death.” (The study didn’t even consider events held at the White House, or rallies since Sept 22. Trump is holding 14 more rallies in the final 3 days of the campaign, in the Midwest – which is currently overwhelmed with cases.)
Canada: While Ontario and Quebec continue to report massive numbers of new COVID19 cases, the rest of the country is also setting records. Current “targeted” efforts at health restrictions do not seem to be working, and modelling indicates Canadians need to cut their current rate of contacts by at least 25% to get the second wave under control. Wastewater studies from uSask are providing early warning that COVID19 cases will be climbing significantly in Saskatoon over the next 2 weeks.
Doctors in Manitoba have been calling for province-wide shutdowns, while the government advances an austerity agenda. COVID19 hospitalizations have skyrocketed in recent days, and will overwhelm the systemwithin 1-2 weeks. Late Friday night, protesters erected 65 cardboard tombstones outside premier Pallister’s home – one for each Manitoban killed by COVID19 so far. Effective today, Manitoba’s PHO has elevated the province to Orange (Restricted), and the Winnipeg region to Red (Critical). Red River College indicated that will not change their current academic operations. uManitoba has announced it is closing libraries and galleries, recreation facilities will operate at 25% capacity, food services will be reduced, and staff on campus will be reduced to <30%.
“An exponential phenomenon starts with very small numbers, and it is not tangible for weeks and weeks and weeks for people out there. If you look at the numbers, you have very strong indicators early on that things are going wrong, but it is only at the very end that things explode.” – Emmanuel André, Belgian virologist
“If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalisations, and deaths.” Anthony Fauci, White House Coronavirus Advisor
“When you’re thinking of seeing people outside your household, ask yourself: ‘Is this absolutely necessary?’ …If we work together, cases will go down again… but it is going to take weeks and months.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
There were 2 new cases of COVID19 on CdnPSE campuses:
uSaskatchewan had an “exposure” Oct 24 at the Fitness Centre. Regina Leader-Post
Western U has another student case in the London Hall residence, bringing the total to more than 76 cases among students this fall, 6 of them in the residence. Gazette
With fall reading week beginning today, regional PHOs are urging students to “minimize unnecessary travel,” particularly to COVID19 hotspots. But students don’t need to travel to spark an outbreak…
Major Party Near Western U
This weekend, CdnPSE Twitter feeds were filled with reminders to avoid indoor Hallowe’en parties and practice safe trick-or-treating. Nonetheless, on Friday night London Police broke up a party with >150 people crammed into a student townhouse near Western U. CTV
“This is an important time for us all to continue to be vigilant. The second wave is here and it’s real, and we all have an important role to play, keeping ourselves safe, our friends and family safe, and our community safe.” – Jennie Massey, AVP Student Experience, Western U
Grading Reforms Extended at Carleton
On Friday, Carleton U’s senate passed a compassionate grading policy for the Fall 2020 term, based on efforts of the Carleton Academic Student Government. All failing grades will automatically be converted to an unsatisfactory credit (except where academic integrity offences were involved). Students can convert grades for up to a half-credit this Fall as “satisfactory” instead, so it does not affect their GPA. And punitive academic performance evaluations for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 will be delayed until the 2021-22 academic year. The Charlatan
The Association of Atlantic Universities released preliminary enrolment data on Friday (data as of Oct 1) for institutions in NS, NB, PEI, and NL. Overall, headcounts rose slightly this fall compared to last fall (+1.3% for undergrad and +3% for grad) – but many were enrolled part-time, since full-time students dropped (-1.1% for undergrad, and -3% for grad). Full-time international visa students dropped -6.6% for the Atlantic region overall. Full-time first-year enrolments dropped most significantly, -10.5% across the region – which will impact enrolments for the next 3 years too. CBC
There was of course considerable variability between institutions. The biggest gains were at Dal, MUN and UPEI – and MtA and MSVU came out quite well too. The biggest challenges will be at CBU, SMU, uStA and NSCAD. Here are the details:
Acadia U saw overall undergrad headcount drop -0.6%, and grad rise +0.4%. Looking only at full-timestudents, both dropped (-2.6% and -4% respectively). FT visa students dropped -13.7%.
Cape Breton U saw overall undergrad headcount drop -9.9%, and grad rise +14.7%. Looking only at full-timestudents, both dropped significantly (-22.6% and -56.4% respectively). Part-time enrolments rose 166%. FT visa students dropped -27.9% – and considering that was -958 students, it was the biggest loss in the region. CBU scaled back operations and tapped into reserves, but still faces a $9M shortfall. CBC
Dalhousie U saw overall undergrad headcount rise +4.5%, and grad rise +1.1% – a total of +623 additional undergrad students, the biggest gain in the region. Looking only at full-time students, the gains were +4.6% and +0.9% respectively. FT visa students actually rose +1.4%.
uKing’s College saw overall undergrad headcount rise +1.1%, and grad was unchanged. Looking only at full-time students, undergrad dropped -1.2%. FT visa students dropped -4.3%.
Memorial U saw overall undergrad headcount rise +4.5%, and grad rise +0.4% – a total of +184 additional undergraduate students, the third-largest gain in the region. Looking only at full-time students, undergrad rose just +1.5%, and grad fell -2.2%. FT visa students dropped -1.1%.
Mount Allison U saw overall undergrad headcount rise +5.1%, and grad drop -6.3%. Looking only at full-time students, undergrad rose just +1.2%, and grad was unchanged. FT visa students actually rose +7.1%.
MSVU saw overall undergrad headcount rise +2.3%, and grad rise 15.9%. Looking only at full-time students, undergrad rose just +1.9%, but grad rose 27.9%. FT visa students actually rose +6.7%.
UNB saw overall undergrad headcount drop -0.6%, and grad rise +3.4%. Looking only at full-time students, undergrad dropped -2.1%, and grad rose +1.7%. FT visa students actually rose +3%.
UPEI saw overall undergrad headcount rise +5.5%, and grad drop -5% – a total of +212 additional undergrad students, the second-largest gain in the region. The numbers were similar for full-time students (+5.3% and -4.6% respectively). FT visa students actually rose +3.2%.
NSCAD saw overall undergrad headcount drop -12.5%, and grad rose +4.5%. Looking only at full-timestudents, both dropped somewhat more (-17.2% and -4.9% respectively). FT visa students dropped -17.5%.
uSte Anne saw overall undergrad headcount drop -10.5%, and grad rise +19%. Looking only at full-timestudents, however, undergrad dropped -12.3%, and grad was unchanged. FT visa students dropped -22%.
StFX saw overall undergrad headcount rise +2.0%, and grad rise +32.5%. Looking only at full-time students, though, undergrad dropped -3.3% and grad rose only +1.4%. FT visa students dropped -8.6%.
Saint Mary’s U saw overall undergrad headcount drop -2.0%, and grad drop -9.5%. Looking only at full-timestudents, both dropped (-3.1% and -9.5% respectively). FT visa students dropped -12.3% – representing -242 students, the second-largest loss in the region.
St Thomas U saw overall undergrad headcount drop -2.7%, and grad was unchanged. Looking only at full-time students, undergrad dropped -4.1%. FT visa students dropped -4.2%.
(At some point today I’ll ensure that these numbers, and those from Ontario, are updated in my Google spreadsheet of 100 CdnPSEs.)
Change is Here. Join Us.
Australia’s Curtin U released an inspiring, slick 1-min spot last week, with some impressive special effects and action scenes. “It feels like change is never going to come… I say that when enough of us believe real change is possible, it’s already begun.” “If you’re ready for change, we’re ready for you.” The video appears on YouTube, but also on the Change is Here landing page.
Thanks for reading! Be safe and stay well,
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