|2009 UPEI Master of Education Graduates, Iqaluit, NU (Photo by Steve Simon).|
Funded by ArcticNet, a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada, Improving Access to University Education in the Canadian Arctic is a collaborative, interdisciplinary research venture involving researchers at Université Laval, Carleton University, and University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), along with Nunavut partners and Inuit organizations.
The research is focused on gathering “evidence-based data on Inuit participation in University education across Inuit Nunangat” (Improving Access report, 2010), as well as promoting a broad national discussion on Inuit university education. This is an effort to hear from Inuit students and educators about their university experiences and goals. Ultimately, the project will attempt to identify what is working and what is not working regarding access to university for Inuit students, and how university access for Inuit can be improved.
Dr. Fiona Walton, Associate Professor, and Dr. Darlene O’Leary, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, are investigating the experiences of students and graduates of UPEI’s Master of Education (MEd) Nunavut program. Naullaq Arnaquq and Nunia Qanatsiaq, graduates of the MEd program, act as research collaborators. The research highlights the importance of the MEd program, as the first graduate program offered to Inuit students and delivered in Nunavut. The program offers a unique, blended model delivered in Inuktitut and English, informed by the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) and incorporating Inuit values and worldviews in all courses. The MEd has worked to build capacity among Inuit educators as they accept leadership roles in education and elsewhere. This research has involved recently graduated MEd students, along with previous graduates of the program.
Read the report on Improving Access to University Education in the Canadian Arctic: Learning from Past Experiences and Listening to Student Experiences, from a workshop held at Kativik School Board Office, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik November 23, 2011.