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The Minerva project, an online education venture announced last spring with much publicity and a $25-million investment, has found a way around its problem of how to get accredited by aligning itself with an already-accredited institution. Minerva has announced that it will partner with the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences. However, the partnership still must be approved by Keck's accreditor, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Ben Nelson, the project’s founder, says Minerva plans to define "elite" differently from Ivy League and other highly selective institutions, at a lower price. Inside Higher Ed

Minerva project finds way around accreditation conundrum Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:57 07/24/2013 - 14:57

Many graduate and post-graduate students are postponing a number of life milestones such as buying a home, getting married or moving out of their family home, according to a TD Bank study. The study, which polled 590 Canadians currently attending graduate or post-graduate education or attended in the past 3 years, found that 30% of grad students accumulate more debt than expected, and 40% find it difficult to make minimum repayments on student loans in the first 2 years after graduating. This ultimately prevents Master’s and PhD students and recent grads from “moving to the next phase of their lives.” 40% of respondents said they postponed buying a home until their student loan debt is paid off. 18% of the participants even said they wouldn’t move out of their parent’s house until they were debt-free. TD News Release

Graduate student loans mean postponing life’s milestones Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:56 07/24/2013 - 14:56

On September 1, an agreement between Ontario and the federal government that allows scientists to perform experiments in the 58 lakes of the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) will expire, and there has been little effort to establish a new agreement after the federal government announced in the spring that it would no longer fund the outdoor laboratory project that has operated for 40 years. Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne pledged financial support for the ELA, but has failed to produce any concrete plans or numbers. The Winnipeg-based International Institute for Sustainable Development has offered to take on the ELA, but is waiting for Ontario to provide funding details before they can propose a business plan. The ELA provides scientists with an area for environmental research such as the effects of pollutants, and technology that allows for the easy determination of aquatic health. Globe and Mail

Deadline looms for Experimental Lakes Area Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:55 07/24/2013 - 14:55

The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) and the federal government will likely enter binding arbitration to find a solution to the rotating strikes and work-to-rule campaigns that have been in effect for several months at international visa application centres. PAFSO offered binding arbitration to Treasury Board president Tony Clement last week, who has responded with conditions, which will be reviewed by PAFSO before any further actions are taken. Registration deadlines are looming, and Canadian PSE institutions are concerned that international students unable to obtain visas eventually will go elsewhere to study, affecting the finances of institutions, and possibly giving Canada a negative reputation globally. The union and the government are at odds regarding salaries. Globe and Mail

Postscript: July 31, 2013

Negotiations between the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO) and the federal government have broken down after the union rejected the government’s response to the union’s July 18 offer to enter back into binding arbitration. Since then, 15 Canadian embassies were to withdraw services, causing further delays in the processing of student visas. Citizenship and Immigration Canada said it is prioritizing “urgent humanitarian visa applications” as the department monitors the labour situation. National Post

International students await arbitration as Visa processing lags behind Top Ten 07/30/2013 - 16:37 07/24/2013 - 14:54

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) this fall will launch a new online resource that will allow businesses to connect with research facilities at universities, colleges and research hospitals across the country to establish research partnerships and collaborations. The new section of the CFI website will list research labs and facilities that are funded by the CFI or use CFI-funded infrastructure, and that are working with or are interested in working with the private sector. The PSE sector has been discussing the need for greater industry-university collaboration for the past several years.  CFI News Release

CFI to launch new research collaboration resource Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:54 07/24/2013 - 14:54

Toronto’s George Brown College has expanded its experiential learning opportunities for students, offering field education opportunities in 75% of its programs. George Brown also plans to meet a target of 80% of programs by 2014, 90% of programs by 2015, and 100% of programs containing co-op education by 2016. Earlier this year, Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Council published a report that included the recommendation to increase the number of experiential learning opportunities for secondary and PSE students by providing more co-ops, work placements, and apprenticeships. George Brown News Release

George Brown College expands experiential learning offerings Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:53 07/24/2013 - 14:53

Ryerson University has launched a new program for students who are academically qualified to apply for admission but don’t meet the minimum English proficiency requirements. The Ryerson University Foundation Program, offered by Ryerson’s Chang School of Continuing Education, Faculty of Arts, and Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment, offers intensive English language and academic skills instruction combined with undergraduate course work. Students who successfully complete the course are admitted to degree programs with at least one undergraduate course credit. The program, which begins this fall, currently has 23 enrolled students from China, Turkey, Vietnam, Pakistan and Mauritius, speaking seven to 10 different languages. Recent studies have shown that English skills are poor among Chinese students planning to study in English-speaking countries. Ryerson News

Ryerson launches new English-language program Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:52 07/24/2013 - 14:52

The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of enrolled international students across its 4 campuses. In approximately 5 years, SIAST has gone from 30 international students to close to 300, and the majority of this growth happened without aggressive international recruitment policies. SIAST officials credit the institution’s high graduate employment rate and the labour market boom in Saskatchewan for attracting many students, who can choose to work in the province after graduation for 1-3 years before applying for permanent residency or returning to home countries. SIAST is now working with recruitment companies in China and India, and is adding ESL staff and other supports to ensure that international students receive the support they need. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

SIAST sees jump in international enrolment Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 14:51 07/24/2013 - 14:51

US families are relying more heavily on grants and scholarships to pay for PSE education, according to a new report released this week by lender Sallie Mae. The report, which polled 800 18 to 24-year-old undergraduates and 802 parents in April and May, says that “free money" now pays for 30% of PSE costs, up from 25% 4 years ago. The survey also revealed that parents are contributing less to their children’s higher education (27% down from 36% in 2010), and that a higher number of families factor college costs into the choice of school. Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed | Report

US families relying on financial help for PSE costs Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:24 07/23/2013 - 16:24

More than 150 degree-granting universities in the US failed the Department of Education's "financial responsibility" test for the 2011 fiscal year, according to a report released this week by the federal department. Of those failing in 2011, 54 non-profit institutions and 25 for-profits had scores below the threshold that requires them to post letters of credit in order to continue to participate in federal student-aid programs. Groups like the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the National Association of College and University Business Officers say that the department of education “calculates [the scores] in an inconsistent and erroneous manner and has been unwilling to reform its practices.” Public universities are not subject to the financial-responsibility requirements in the US. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

150+ US private universities fail financial responsibility test Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:23 07/23/2013 - 16:23

University of Northern Virginia, an unaccredited institution that was raided by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in 2011 in relation to its enrolment of foreign students, has had its operating licence revoked. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia said the university failed to obtain candidacy status with an accrediting agency approved by the US Department of Education in 5 years. The university has also been instructed to confer with Homeland Security "to determine viable options” for visa holders enrolled at the institution. Inside Higher Ed

U of Northern Virginia’s operating license revoked Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:22 07/23/2013 - 16:21

A new innovation-quality index reveals Canada’s global standing in innovation is better than we might think, but that the country lacks the number of patents that other countries boast. The Global Innovation Index, produced by Cornell University, French business school INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, puts Canada in the 11th spot, below traditional innovation leaders including the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. The new index focuses on university education, patents and publication of scientific research. What makes this index different from others is that it tracks only each country’s top achievements, rather than its national totals or averages – the idea being that the top achievements make up the most meaningful innovations. In the university education and publication measures, Canada comes out on top. However, where the country loses points is in the patents category, where Canada ranks 19th in the world. Globe and Mail | Global Innovation Index

New innovation measure shows Canada lags on patents Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:20 07/23/2013 - 16:20

With Canada’s youth unemployment rate sitting at 13.8%, and the national unemployment rate at 7.1%, the Conference Board of Canada is asking why so many temporary foreign workers (TFW) are still being imported into the country. As of December 2012, there were almost 340,000 TFWs at work in Canada, a dramatic rise from the 150,000 in 2006. The Conference Board has suggested 3 possible reasons for the increase in TFW employment: a skills mismatch, labour market rigidities (the suggestion that higher jobless benefits in some areas prevent people from moving for work), and the “perception” that employers can pay TFWs less. The TFW program has been the centre of controversy for some time, with some suggesting that the program distorts labour market needs. Globe and Mail

Conference Board questions unemployment rate vs temporary foreign workers Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:18 07/23/2013 - 16:18

Ontario’s 20 universities could be organized into at least 3 distinct clusters based on a set of variables that other jurisdictions have used to differentiate their university systems, says a new report by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). The report states that this move would “set the stage for a more coherent, diversified and sustainable system,” but that in order for the framework to be effective, the roles, rights and responsibilities of universities in each of the clusters need to be identified and tied to funding by the government. Using a variety of data on enrolment and research outcomes, the report’s authors identify possible clusters of universities that are research- and graduate-intensive, undergraduate-intensive, and research- as well as undergraduate-intensive. HEQCO recently released a report on the strategic mandate agreements that each Ontario university submitted to the government last year. The report recommended that funding formulas should target a proportion of an institution's funding to the achievement of specific outcomes and that it should be tied to specific institutional mandates. HEQCO News Release

HEQCO report calls for differentiation clusters tied to funding Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:17 07/23/2013 - 16:17

The University of Lethbridge has launched a Student Success Centre that will pool its various resources and services that help students successfully navigate through their university experiences. The centre will continue the activities that the Recruitment & Student Life office and Counselling Services have offered for the past 5 years to assist high-school students in their transition to university, and they will be extended to all years and levels of study, and to all 3 uLethbridge campuses. Tutoring assistance, time management help and student leadership development will also be added to uLethbridge’s complement of student services. uLethbridge News Release

uLethbridge launches student success centre Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:16 07/23/2013 - 16:16

Students in Windsor will soon have another option for student housing, as plans to convert the Riverside Inn into student housing have been announced. The hotel recently changed ownership, and the new owners have contracted a company to oversee the student housing conversion and rental arrangements. The site will offer “luxury” student housing, with bar fridges, microwaves, and vanity units in each room, with single occupancy rooms renting for $745/month, and double occupancy rooms for $425/month per person. The new residence will offer amenities such as a pool, fitness room, and common areas, and rental fees will include all utilities, internet, basic cable, and a bus pass. The site is located right across from the downtown campus of the University of Windsor, and is near the bus station. Students will be able to move in as of this September. Windsor Star

uWindsor students to get more off-campus housing Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:15 07/23/2013 - 16:15

North Island College has reached 89.3% of its utilization rate this year, which is the highest rate the college has seen in over 10 years and one of the highest of all BC colleges, according to NIC. "Given the way we operate, the regional delivery that we have to do, multi-campus, smaller class sizes, 100% is just not reasonable — we likely won't ever achieve that,” says NIC’s college and community relations director Susan Auchterlonie. The college had a total of 2,541 full-time students in 2012-13, including 104 international students. Comox Valley Record

NIC reaches highest utilization rate in 10 years Top Ten 07/24/2013 - 15:05 07/23/2013 - 16:14

A professor at Queen’s University has received threatening, homophobic letters in the mail. The letter purports to be written by a small group of Kingston residents dedicated to “removing the scourge of homosexuality” from the city. The letter states that Karen Dubinsky and her partner of 21 years are not welcome in the city, and should leave before “it’s too late.” A second note followed the first, threatening attacks with BB guns if the family doesn’t relocate. The local police have been contacted and are taking the threats very seriously, stating that the offenders could be charged with criminal harassment and uttering threats to cause bodily harm or death. Dubinsky says that in almost 20 years of living in Kingston, they have never encountered homophobia, and her family is grateful for the supportive community response they have received since the letters became public. Maclean’s (CP)

Queen’s professor receives homophobic threats Top Ten 07/23/2013 - 16:13 07/23/2013 - 16:13

The idea of using English as the global academic language is “picking up legal steam” in Europe. This past spring, the French National Assembly approved changes to one of its language laws that would ease restrictions on courses taught in English at French universities. However, the next day, a regional court in Italy struck down plans at the Polytechnic University of Milan to offer all masters- and doctoral-level courses in English beginning with the 2014 academic year. Both cases have ignited strong support for or opposition against the increase of the English language in academia. In Italy, the Milan polytechnic’s academic senate and board of directors have jointly decided to appeal the decision, defending “its duty to guarantee its students the ‘right to the best possible education and training’ and the institution’s autonomy in defining the instructional program.” But the courts maintain that the move towards English would demote non-English speaking faculty to basic courses “without considering which subjects might lend themselves better to one language or the other.” University World News

The rise of English in European PSE sparks controversy Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:40 07/22/2013 - 16:40

The French government has announced that it will increase funding by €318 million ($435 million CDN) for PSE student grants. The grants will be introduced in two stages, with the first (beginning in September) focused on students with the greatest needs: students from the most disadvantaged families and those who have to take paid work while studying. In 2014-15, the system will be widened further to include more students. French students’ union Unef said that the program’s funding represented “more than all the measures taken for students in the past 15 years,” and that the reform would mean less of a struggle for 100,000 students. University World News

France boosts student grants by €318 million Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:39 07/22/2013 - 16:39

Pennsylvania State University’s Board of Trustees announced recently that it has made settlement offers of $60 million to men who claimed to be victims of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach who is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for sexually abusing boys. Last year, Penn State launched an intensive public relations strategy to rebuild faith in the university. Later in 2012, Penn State announced that, although the scandal cost about $20 million, it was not affected in enrolment or donations. Chronicle of Higher Education

Penn State to settle former football coach victims’ claims Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:39 07/22/2013 - 16:39

The University of Alberta and Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada recently hosted a conference, “Canadian universities in a global context: A dialogue on international trends and opportunities,” that explored the future of PSE. Attendees discussed issues affecting PSE institutions such as government budget cuts and decreased funding, the increasingly competitive global market for students, researchers, and knowledge, and the changing expectations of key stakeholders. Organizers hoped the conference would be a “wake-up call” to the PSE sector, especially in Canada, in order for institutions to begin to implement measures in a proactive way. Delegates from England, Germany, China, and other countries discussed the challenges those PSE institutions and sectors have encountered in recent years, and the ways that they have been dealing with such challenges. Edmonton Journal

Conference explores the future of PSE in Canada and globally Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:38 07/22/2013 - 16:38

Millennials are beginning to invest for the future at a much younger age than their parents' generation did, undeterred by higher tuition costs, reports of shrinking job prospects and higher housing prices, according to a study by TD Bank. The “TD Investor Insights Index” reveals that the average Gen Y investor reported making their first investment at age 20. In contrast, previous generations waited to make their first investment until closer to 30, with Baby Boomers holding off until age 27. "Despite the perceived Gen Y plight, we're seeing young investors take action early on when it comes to planning for their financial future," said Cynthia Caskey, a VP and portfolio manager at TD. "While family support can certainly help shape good financial habits, millennials face a very different financial reality than their parents did.” TD News Release | Infographic

Millennials investing early, despite negative outlook Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:37 07/22/2013 - 16:37

Malcolm Gladwell, a journalist and best-selling author, is advocating for the banning of university football on the grounds that research has increasingly linked the head-injuries that football players regularly suffer to neurological disorders. One such research study showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease with similarities to Alzheimer’s, in the brains of former university and professional football players. It also revealed that, contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just head injuries that cause concussions that can cause long-term brain problems, but a series of “pre-concussive hits that football players endure several times per game.” Gladwell is calling on high-profile universities with successful football programs to set a precedent for other institutions by banning the wildly popular sport. Forbes Magazine

Malcolm Gladwell calls for ban on university football Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 21:39 07/22/2013 - 16:36

Simon Fraser University has launched a redesigned website, making it more mobile- and user-friendly. The refreshed site features responsive design, which means it will be “as easy to use on a large desktop as on a tiny mobile device.” The new design includes improved search, enhanced visuals and more intuitive navigation, as well as information portals aimed at specific audience groups such as students, alumni, employers and media. Over the next several months, most SFU faculties and departments will begin moving their pages into the new design. SFU Media Release | Website

SFU launches redesigned website Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:35 07/22/2013 - 16:35

A recent article in the New York Times is highlighting the many initiatives by Canadian universities to be more environmentally conscious. McGill has implemented several measures, including gardens that produce food used on campus and for local charitable organizations, such as Meals on Wheels. McGill also has a Sustainability Projects Fund, where students pay 50 cents per credit, and the university matches the contribution. uVictoria is another institution with measures to improve the environmental footprint, including campus-wide transit passes and showers for cyclists. uToronto focuses on the behavioural and cultural side of sustainability, by encouraging staff and students to turn out lights and recycle. Many Canadian PSE institutions have implemented sustainability strategies and policies, and continue to work towards improvement, even in the face of budgetary pressure. New York Times

Canadian PSE institutions implement sustainability measures Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:34 07/22/2013 - 16:34

The Economist magazine has ranked York University’s Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA program first globally in its new survey of top executive MBA programs. The Kellogg-Schulich program, also ranked number one by the Financial Times, is a partnership between the Schulich School of Business at YorkU and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois. McGill University and HEC Montréal’s EMBA ranked 29, University of Toronto Rotman School of Management’s Omnium global executive MBA, offered in partnership with Switzerland’s University of St. Gallen, ranked 35, Concordia University’s Molson School of Business ranked 47, and Rotman’s one-year EMBA came in at 50. To come up with its rankings, The Economist used a variety of criteria in 2 general categories: personal development/educational experience and career development. The magazine plans to run the rankings every 2 years. The Economist | Globe and Mail

4 Canadian MBA programs make Economist’s rankings Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 21:36 07/22/2013 - 16:33

The University of Lethbridge has taken a step towards addressing the $11.8-million shortfall in its 2013-14 budget by assigning definite layoff days for members of the Alberta Union of Public Employees employed by uLethbridge. AUPE employees will work 11 fewer days next year, with the layoff days falling mostly around non-busy times such as Christmas, reading week, and during the summer. uLethbridge has approximately 500 AUPE staff in a variety of supporting positions. AUPE president Guy Smith stated that the union will file a grievance, as they believe that uLethbridge is “misusing the layoff article in the collective agreement.” The 2 parties will meet in the coming weeks to discuss interpretation of the collective agreement, which expires in June 2014. Smith also noted that universities have been put into a position of having to make cuts in new ways, with the blame falling “right at the feet of the minister, Thomas Lukaszuk, for his budgetary decisions.” Lethbridge Herald

uLethbridge instates definite layoff days for AUPE employees Top Ten 07/22/2013 - 16:31 07/22/2013 - 16:31

As the school year gets underway in India this month, tensions are high over the popular practice of photocopying textbooks for course packs. The University of Delhi and Rameshwari Photocopy Services, one of dozens of photocopy shops that surround the university, are being sued by 3 of the world’s top academic publishers, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Taylor & Francis, for producing thousands of bound course packs a year. According to the publishers, this photocopying “violate[s] various copyrights, hurt[s] their bottom lines, and reduce[s] residual payments to the academics.” Indian students and educators insist that in India a majority of PSE students cannot afford even one textbook, never mind the dozens that are needed for the school year. In March, several hundred authors and academics, including 33 authors who are named in the suit, signed a letter to the publishers asking for the lawsuit to be dropped. Copyright infringement was a contentious topic in Canada in 2012 before the Supreme Court of Canada added the “fair dealing” provision to the Copyright Act. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Copyright lawsuit creates controversy in India, internationally Top Ten 07/19/2013 - 16:36 07/19/2013 - 16:32

Data shows that the millennial generation believes it can make a difference, but according to a new report, young donors are turned off by outdated websites and organizations that give more information about the organization than the cause they are fundraising for. The report, released last week, surveyed 2,600 young donors on the frequency and amounts of donations, and on their reactions to the websites of charitable organizations. The survey found that 63% of donors are making small donations of up to $100, but that they are willing to make small donations more often. Not surprisingly, 84% of young donors prefer to give via a website, but if the website is outdated, or doesn’t provide compelling information and/or graphics about the specific cause they are supporting, donors are turned off. Chronicle of Higher Education | Achieve Report

Charities need updated websites to attract young donors, study Top Ten 07/20/2013 - 15:10 07/19/2013 - 16:31

A new law in Iowa, which requires the state’s 3 public universities to formally monitor and report on student learning at the course level each year, has caused controversy from faculty. The universities must create and use "formative and summative assessments" for each course and submit a plan for using those assessments to improve student learning. Herman Quirmbach, a state senator who is also a professor of economics at Iowa State University, stressed that the measures weren’t designed for accountability, and said that this is about faculty being engaged in student learning.” Some faculty aren't convinced, however, saying that the additional plans and reports will be time and energy taken out of time for its “core mission of teaching and research." Other professors say they already monitor student learning and that reporting would just be more paperwork. The law so far focuses on courses that enrol more than 300 students, and will cover more and more courses each year as the plan is rolled out. Inside Higher Ed

New Iowa student-learning reporting law stirs controversy Top Ten 07/20/2013 - 15:10 07/19/2013 - 16:30

At a time when the momentum of free online courses has begun to slow, and institutions like San Jose State University have decided to take caution before forging ahead with MOOC plans, several community colleges in the US feel there is an effective use for online, open-source content: dealing with remedial education. Rather than using MOOC content as a substitute for regular class offerings, 2-year American colleges have been using the material for supplementary guides and resources for remedial classes, or for the placement tests that students must take. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Community College earlier this year developed a free online math course, and about half of the remedial course’s material includes Khan Academy lectures. The course is designed to encourage potential Cuyahoga students to brush up on their math skills. Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana has created 5 free online courses that all match up with remedial courses in math, English and reading. Inside Higher Ed

US institutions look to open-source for remedial education Top Ten 07/19/2013 - 16:29 07/19/2013 - 16:29

Americans with a PSE degree are generally less engaged on the job than those who have completed some higher education or none at all, according to a 2012 poll of more than 150,000 American adults. 28.3% of PSE graduates say they are engaged on the job, or “involved in and enthusiastic about their work,” compared to 29.6% of people who finished some college and 32.7% of people who didn’t go beyond high school. “This is not a statement about liberal arts, it’s not a statement about community college, it’s literally about higher education in general – that there’s something about the process and the experience that is preventing graduates from getting to a place where they’re doing what they’re best at,” says market researcher Brandon Busteed. They were also asked whether or not they agree with the statement: "At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day." Inside Higher Ed | Study

PSE grads less likely to be "doing what they do best" (US study) Top Ten 07/20/2013 - 15:10 07/19/2013 - 16:28

A new study conducted by the University of British Columbia’s School of Nursing has discovered that immigrant adolescents may be missing key information about sexual health and safety due to language barriers. The study found that most of the adolescents were not sexually active for cultural reasons, but of the 12% that were engaging in sexual behaviour, one in 4 consumed alcohol or drugs prior to having sex, and almost half of the girls did not use condoms during sex. Researchers noted that the East Asian adolescents came from cultures where formal sexual education is not provided, and that many parents would feel uncomfortable discussing such topics with their children. Researcher Yuko Homma suggests the need for community-based organizations to partner with schools to provide education in native languages, as many immigrant adolescents are more sexually active as they “adapt to Western norms.” Globe and Mail

Language barriers lead to lack of sexual education for young immigrants, study Top Ten 07/19/2013 - 16:27 07/19/2013 - 16:27

Vancouver Community College has launched an overhauled website this week. Using vibrant colours and dynamic photos, VCC has redesigned the site to be highly visual and convey more energy. The site content has also been updated, and features an expanded events calendar, live social media feeds, videos, and enhanced information pages for VCC’s courses and programs. The site is also designed to be a primary marketing tool. The college has also launched a new ad campaign around both the url as well as the tag line “Go ahead. Get Skilled …” VCC Website

VCC launches redesigned website Top Ten 07/19/2013 - 16:27 07/19/2013 - 16:26

A new partnership between BC’s College of the Rockies and the Ktunaxa Nation will allow community members to receive training for various careers in their home communities. The “Bridging to Education and Employment” program will have 4 pathways to employment: health careers, trades, tourism hospitality, and internal economy, with participants eligible to pursue several levels of certification, including transferable COTR credits. The goal of the program is to enhance career prospects and employability opportunities while offering traditional knowledge and culturally relevant teaching. The program will be open to people of Aboriginal heritage, over 18 years old, not currently receiving EI benefits or attending school. COTR News Release

College of the Rockies and Ktunaxa Nation partner to offer in-community training Top Ten 07/19/2013 - 16:26 07/19/2013 - 16:25

Last week, Dalhousie University officially launched the new Institute for Big Data Analytics, a first-of-its-kind in Canada and possibly North America, according to Dal officials. The institute will operate as part of the faculty of computer science and will build on work already being done in the department. In addition to conducting research, the institute will offer training programs and will partner on projects in various data-rich sectors, including science, technology, and health care. Big data is a term that refers to very large sets of data that are collected and analyzed to identify “hidden patterns and intelligence.” Computer science students will have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge big data research, as well as work on industry-relevant problems. Stan Matwin, Canada Research Chair in Visual Text Analytics, will lead the institute as director. Dal News | Halifax Chronicle Herald

Dal launches Institute for Big Data Analytics Top Ten 07/19/2013 - 16:25 07/19/2013 - 16:24

The Alberta town of Olds, population 8,500, is getting a huge 1,000-Mbps boost, thanks to a not-for-profit partnership between Olds College, the City of Olds, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Olds Agricultural Society. When the town realized that it couldn’t attract technology-based businesses, the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development came up with the plan to run new fiber cables through town and connect to Alberta’s “Supernet.” Roughly 60 homes are currently connected to the high-speed network, which offers enough bandwidth to stream at least 5 high-definition videos at the same time, and the Olds Institute expects to have 100% coverage by 2014. Olds College is benefitting from the one-gigabit boost as well. The college announced this past spring that it would offer the highest bandwidth per student in the country, allowing it to also introduce a new mandatory course in entrepreneurship that is offered in the form of an iPad game. CBC

Olds Alberta gets giant broadband boost Top Ten 07/20/2013 - 15:09 07/19/2013 - 16:23

Student loan borrowers in the US now owe the federal government a total of $1.2 trillion, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced this week. This is the first time the aggregated student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. The milestone was passed while Democrats and Republicans on the US Senate continued to spar over how to settle future interest rates on student loans, which doubled to 6.8% on July 1. Chronicle of Higher Education

US federal student loan debt surpassed $1 trillion Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:48 07/18/2013 - 15:48

Times Higher Ed has released this year's batch of "Exam Howlers," submissions by professors of typos, mixed metaphors, and other student slip-ups.  Some of this year's gems include a reference to Alfred Hitchcock as a "torched Catholic," and one essay that opened with the line, "Sex has puzzled biologists ever since it was discovered by Darwin and Mendel." Another example shows how one very small error can lead to a very different sentence: "General Franco was supported by right-wing panties." THE reports that sex features heavily in the bloopers year-to-year.  Inside Higher Ed

This year’s best exam gaffes Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:47 07/18/2013 - 15:47

Target stores have increased the "back-to-school creep" by launching an early annual marketing campaign aimed at millenials returning to university and college this fall.  This year's "Bullseye University" campaign includes an interactive YouTube reality series featuring popular web personalities. Viewers can interact with the "roommates," virtually attend events via YouTube, and purchase dorm room items featured in the videos from Target's website.  College-education-related spending is up over 40% in the last 2 years, and students, especially girls, report pressure to meet high standards of dorm room decor. CNBC News

Target aims at millenials with new ad campaign Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:46 07/18/2013 - 15:46

San Jose State University is planning to “pause” its experimental partnership with MOOC provider Udacity, which offers 3 online for-credit math courses for $150 to 100 students per course. According to SJSU provost Ellen Junn, the “breather” was prompted by disappointing student performance. Preliminary results from the spring semester found that students did not do as well in the Udacity courses as those who attend normal classes. However, Junn warns against reading too much into the results, citing the “significant differences in the student populations.” Junn also points out that courses included at-risk students, high school students and SJSU students who had already failed a remedial math course, a combination that caused the university to "stack the deck against [them]selves." SJSU plans to keep working this fall with edX, another MOOC provider, and reports that students in the edX experimental classes are actually faring better than regular SJSU students. The edX partnership is different from the one with Udacity, which is designed to replace classroom learning, because SJSU is using edX material only as a supplement to the classroom experience. Inside Higher Ed

San Jose State puts Udacity project on “pause” Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:45 07/18/2013 - 15:45

Jim Stanford, an economist for the Canadian Auto Workers, offers an alternate view on the oft-touted skills-gap issue. Stanford references a Tweet by new minister of employment and social development Jason Kenney, which establishes that the government is focusing on the skills mismatch problem: skilled employees aren’t being matched with the right jobs. Stanford suggests that this theory is wrong, and that “except in very rare circumstances, the labour market almost never runs out of workers.” He says that the problem is actually a “persistent inadequacy of employer demand for labour,” and that the clear restriction to a higher employment rate is the “number of jobs, not the availability of willing workers.” He also states that a lack of skills are not the problem either; citing the high PSE attainment rate in Canada. “While investments in more training always make sense, there is no general skills shortage.” To back up this claim, Stanford also points out that StatsCan reports just over 200,000 unfilled job vacancies in the entire economy, a number that has declined, and is small relative to the overall economy (equivalent to barely 1% of the labour force). Stanford concludes that job-creation should be the government’s main focus. Globe and Mail

We’re missing jobs, not skills, opinion Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:44 07/18/2013 - 15:44

Queen's University has formed an educational alliance with Humber River Hospital in Toronto to provide Queen's medical students with further learning opportunities. All students, residents and clinical fellows from Queen’s University's School of Medicine will rotate through each of the hospital’s acute care service disciplines, beginning with the Women’s and Children’s Program this August. HRH is one of Canada's largest regional acute care hospitals, and is home to Ontario's first Centre of Excellence for laparoscopic bariatric surgery. HRH is currently undergoing a redevelopment to become North America's first fully digital hospital. Queen's News

Queen's partners with Humber River Hospital Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:43 07/18/2013 - 15:43

The University of Waterloo’s Department of Athletics has launched a refreshed version of its website to provide users with smoother functionality and enhanced visual appeal. The new site places a greater emphasis on photo and video content. “With social media playing such a big role in all aspects of communication, our goal is to continue to drive traffic through those outlets back to our site,” says social media and brand manager Steve Brooks. New features include a live Twitter feed, a larger video portal, more images, a scrolling event ticker, and rollover links. uWaterloo News Release | Athletics Website

uWaterloo Athletics launches refreshed website Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:42 07/18/2013 - 15:42

Colleges in Ontario are calling for an expansion of online learning programs in the province as they meet this week with training, colleges and universities minister Brad Duguid to discuss the subject. “The province needs a forward-thinking online strategy to help more people acquire the advanced skills they need to succeed in their careers,” says Lorraine Carter, Senior VP Academic at St. Lawrence College. “Ontario must become a world leader in online learning.” The colleges want to see more programs and courses offered through OntarioLearn, a consortium of Ontario’s colleges that registers more than 69,000 students each year. Other proposals include expanding the availability of online/in-class blended programs at individual colleges, and increasing access to the theory portion of apprenticeship programs through e-trades models. St. Lawrence College News Release

Ontario colleges call for expansion of online learning Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:41 07/18/2013 - 15:41

The Schulich School of Business at York University has announced the launch of a new entrepreneurship institute, with the first cohort of participants to begin this September. The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute will accept 20 fellows who fall into either a for-profit track or a not-for-profit track. Program director Dana Ayrapetyan says they are aiming to help the not-for-profit sector become more self-sufficient. Ayrapetyan says “developing a stronger entrepreneurial culture around socially-motivated ventures is important for that reason.” Schulich’s new institute is part of a long list of new entrepreneurship programs and accelerators created by universities in the last few years. Some recent examples include a new university-wide entrepreneurship course at UBC, the new Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at uCalgary, and a multi-institutional entrepreneurship centre currently being built in Montreal. Yonge Street Media

YorkU launches new entrepreneurship institute Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:41 07/18/2013 - 15:41

A Western University professor has been suspended after London Police charged him with several counts of online child luring and gun posession. As part of an investigation that began July 12, police examined the home of Graham Wagner, a uWestern physiology and pharmacology professor. They found a small amount of marijuana, two shotguns, a .22-calibre rifle, and a .22 Smith and Wesson handgun. Wagner has also been charged with 2 counts each of “telecommunication with person under or believed under 16 years for specific criminal offences and telecommunication with person under or believed under 18 years for specific criminal offences.” uWestern officials say Wagner is suspended "pending a review of the matter." Canadian Press | London Free Press

WesternU prof charged with online child offenses Top Ten 07/18/2013 - 15:39 07/18/2013 - 15:39

Edudemic, an education technology website, has launched a new online learning platform that teaches users how to use popular technology. “Modern Lessons” will offer a mix of free and paid courses in subjects ranging from introductions to social networks like Twitter and Learnist to “how to” lessons on “registering African domain names and instituting BYOD programs.” Edudemic hopes to have the number of courses up to around 200 by the end of the year. “The site is not meant to be like Udemy or other online learning market places. We want just a few teachers who are passionate and able to offer premium courses for free,” says co-founder Jeff Dunn. Education Dive

New online learning platform focuses on new technology Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:34 07/17/2013 - 16:34

The US-based Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has released new data on the fundraising campaigns and endowments of institutionally-related foundations. The survey, which included a range of foundations from research universities to community colleges, found that in 2012 63.6% of respondents experienced some drop in the value of their endowments, with the median decrease at 1.6%. Of those that saw an increase in endowment value (31.8%), the increases were minimal, with a median increase of 1.2%. Although the median amount of private money raised per institution increased in 2012, this could be partially due to the increase in research/doctoral institutions surveyed this year compared to last. The report also found that a majority of institutions are increasing their fundraising goals, with community colleges tripling previous median campaign goals. Chronicle of Higher Education | CASE News release

US PSE institutions increase fundraising goals Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:33 07/17/2013 - 16:33

Some millennials still prefer reading long texts and academic selections in print, according to a small study done by the City University of New York. The study tracked the reading habits of 17 CUNY students through diary entries, interviews, and discussion groups over the course of 2 weeks. The research shows that the students almost always used e-book readers, mobile devices, and tablet computers for non-academic reading, but turned to paper printouts for academic reading. Some of the participants said that embedded links found in e-books were distracting, and that they could not interact with the medium like they could print text. For instance, they couldn’t highlight sections or take notes in the margins on digital formats. The study also found that many of the participants, who are mostly under 25, felt they belonged to the generation before the first “truly digital generation,” and that perhaps later cohorts would be more comfortable reading academic material digitally. Chronicle of Higher Education

Students prefer printed text for academic reading, study Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:32 07/17/2013 - 16:32

A new working paper issued by the US National Bureau of Economic Research explores the issue of differential tuition, examining 50 universities that have raised tuition for nursing, engineering, and business programs. The author found that the effects of implementing differential tuition vary among groups and areas of study, with women and minority students in particular negatively influenced by higher tuition rates. The report also concluded that raising tuition for programs that cost more to run, such as engineering, may not increase revenues as policy makers had hoped, because the higher tuition could mean lower enrolment numbers. Differential tuition has been gaining popularity over the last couple of decades, with many in the PSE sector connecting tuition to potential post-graduate earnings. Inside Higher Ed | The Wall Street Journal | NBER Paper

The cost of differential tuition Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:32 07/17/2013 - 16:32

Loyalist Group, the owner of private education schools in Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria, has acquired MTI Community College for $8 million. MTI is an accredited community college with 7 campuses in the Greater Vancouver Area that specializes in the areas of healthcare, early childhood education, business, and travel, tourism and hospitality. “[The acquisition] allows us to further pursue our plan of offering everything from basic ESL through English-language accreditation in multiple professional disciplines," says CEO Andrew Ryu. Loyalist Group News Release

Loyalist Group acquires MTI Community College in Vancouver Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:31 07/17/2013 - 16:31

RBC has launched a new YouTube web series in an attempt to reconnect with the youth market. The 3-part series follows an RBC executive as he goes “back to school” at the University of Toronto to learn what students need from an institution and how challenging it can be to live within a student budget. Each short webisode “tells students that the financial institution empathizes with their budgetary limitations, and understands the challenges they face.”  RBC is also running a contest that offers daily prizes of $1000 to students. Marketing Magazine | RBC Web Series

RBC launches web series to reconnect with students Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:30 07/17/2013 - 16:30

Montreal’s university-city reputation has been deemed in jeopardy due to policies that are need of change, but a new study indicates that this hasn’t yet affected the city’s international reputation. Montreal has topped a list of 80 cities that offer the best return on investment for foreign undergraduate students, according to the Chinese Bank of Communications Ltd’s “Sea Turtle Index.” Montreal, with an overall score of 72, topped London and Hong Kong due to its financial returns, range of academic programs, and positive social experience. The city was also given a perfect score of 100 for its student mix, quality of cultural attractions, and openness and diversity. Unlike university rankings that consider specific universities or majors, the Sea Turtle Index looks at education as a type of investment, and has factored in elements that influence its returns. CBC News Montreal

Montreal ranked best of 80 cities to attend university Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:28 07/17/2013 - 16:28

The University of Prince Edward Island’s Atlantic Veterinary College is the subject of a national investigation recently launched by the Canadian Association of University Teachers. UPEI’s Faculty Association has made several allegations regarding AVC, including irregular hiring procedures, ignoring staff input, and failing to clarify staff’s roles. The UPEIFA acknowledges that “unresolved tensions” exist between staff and administration, which VP Academic Christian Lacroix says is due to “ongoing staff and program cuts.” UPEI administration is so far refusing to take part in the CAUT investigation, stating that such problems should be resolved internally. CAUT will make the first of several visits to UPEI in late August. Once the investigation is complete, a report will be issued to faculty and administration with non-binding recommendations to address the issues. CBC

CAUT investigates UPEI's Atlantic Veterinary College Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:27 07/17/2013 - 16:27

The University of Ottawa has made a significant move towards addressing its chronic student housing issue by issuing a request for expressions of interest from local architectural firms. The Ottawa Citizen reports plans for a 165-bed facility that would have potential for conversion to condominium units, cost approximately $12 million, and be completed by August 2015. Current plans include a “suite style” residence, with a shared bathroom in each 2-bedroom unit, and communal laundry, dining, kitchen, and study space. Although the much-needed student beds will help the current situation, estimates suggest that upwards of 1,000 more beds are needed by 2016-17. Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa plans $12-million residence on campus Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:26 07/17/2013 - 16:26

The New York Times reports that research universities in the US are increasingly becoming victim to cyber-attacks, with millions of hacking attempts weekly. Tracy B. Mitrano, the director of information technology policy at Cornell University, says that the largest numbers of hackers come from China, but that they are becoming good at routing their penetration attempts through multiple computers, even multiple countries, making them hard to trace. Universities are now facing the dilemma of needing to protect themselves from cyber-attacks while also preserving the free flow of information that they try to promote. The problem has also caused an increase in IT security spending as well as a need for consultations with the FBI. Some universities have even begun to forbid faculty from taking their laptops out of the country, and in some cases, from taking them off-campus. New York Times

US universities face increase in cyber-attacks Top Ten 07/17/2013 - 16:25 07/17/2013 - 16:25

A Chronicle of Higher Education blog discusses the recent trend in which PSE institutions in the US are using outsourcing as a way of looking beyond traditional sources of income in the uncertain government funding outlook. Blogger Eric Kelderman cites the example of Ohio State University, which signed a $483-million deal to lease its parking facilities to an Australian company for 50 years, adding 20% to the value of the university’s endowment. The University of South Florida earns $100 million annually through agreements with companies that manage its sports arenas and other auxiliary arrangements. According to its spokesperson, North Carolina State University’s  endowment, which is being managed by an outside nonprofit company, is earning more in the market than are endowments at most universities. The article points out that these alternate sources of funding do come with some risks. For example, the company that North Carolina State hired was at its nearby rival, the University of North Carolina. The move made some staff members uncomfortable, saying the university was giving up control of its investments to an institution that had different goals and a more conservative investment strategy. Chronicle of Higher Education

Institutions increasingly seeking alternate sources of funding Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:58 07/16/2013 - 16:58

Ghanashyam Sharma, an assistant professor in writing and rhetoric at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, discusses in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education blog that the PSE sector should develop some healthy skepticism” about the commonly-held idea that MOOCs are a great way to “do good” by making quality teaching available globally. Sharma argues that in order to have any meaningful effect by “educating the whole world from the convenience of our laptops,” more research is needed on how students learn in MOOC environments, and particularly how students from different academic, cultural and social backgrounds fare in such environments. Sharma suggests that a solution to these types of barriers may be to encourage foreign participants “to start by taking courses on the fundamentals, including terms, concepts, cultures, practices, and worldviews underlying the broader education system in which they want to participate." She suggests MOOC “platforms seem unwilling to go beyond 'efficient' but disingenuous solutions such as literal translation of course materials, analysis of 'big data' for understanding students’ experience, and machine and/or outsourced grading.” Chronicle of Higher Education

PSE caught in “a MOOC delusion,” opinion Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:57 07/16/2013 - 16:57

A trio of academics is launching a new open-access platform in October that will host open reviews of manuscripts solicited by the authors themselves. Libre, the new platform to be run by Open Scholar in the UK, is designed to allow researchers to take control of peer review from journals, thus “removing academic publishers’ justification for charging high prices for their titles.” Pandelis Perakakis, a Spanish researcher and co-founder of Open Scholar, says he does not want to see journals go away, and that the pressure on academics to publish in the high-status journals is too great to expect Libre to be used exclusively. But he believes that rather than being the “gate keepers of quality,” the role of journals should be “to detect the most interesting articles and combine them in meaningful collections for specific audiences,” and at a lower cost. Also frustrated with the escalating cost of academic journals, Harvard University last year encouraged faculty to make their research freely available through open-access journals and to resign from periodicals that keep articles behind pay walls. Times Higher Education

UK non-profit launches Libre open-access review platform Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:56 07/16/2013 - 16:56

The Globe and Mail is reporting that observers of the Canadian government’s relationship with the country’s researchers are estimating that there won’t be “a substantive change in federal science policy” following this week’s cabinet shuffle. Greg Rickford, who has replaced Gary Goodyear as science and technology minister, has not been closely associated with science and technology issues in Canada. Rickford’s new boss, the federal industry minister has similarly little experience with science and technology issues. “Both of these guys are starting from scratch,” says Paul Dufour, a political science professor at the University of Ottawa. Furthermore, Rickford’s riding was the home of the Experimental Lakes Area, a research station that lost its government funding and caused protests from scientists. However, in May Rickford announced that the government had signed a MOU with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, based in Winnipeg, to transfer operation of the ELA. Globe and Mail

New cabinet not expected to shift Ottawa’s science policy Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:55 07/16/2013 - 16:55

A work-to-rule campaign by workers who handle visa application processing in key visa application centres such as Beijing, Delhi, Sao Paolo, and Mexico City could affect the many international students set to begin studies at Canadian PSE institutions this fall, according to the Association of Atlantic Universities. Contract negotiations between the federal government and the union representing diplomats and immigration officers abroad have been ongoing for months, causing a significant slowdown in visa processing. International students who planned to attend a Canadian university may choose to go elsewhere if their visa application is not processed in a timely manner, causing the loss of significant revenue to institutions. The work-to-rule campaign is also hurting international graduates who wish to remain in Canada for work placements. CBC

Work-to-rule campaign could harm Canadian PSE Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:54 07/16/2013 - 16:54

Independent career college Academy Canada will be expanding its adult basic education programs in Newfoundland and Labrador, from 2 to 13. Director James Loder is excited about the expansion, calling it the “next natural step” for the academy. According to Loder, there will be lower rates for student training, due to competitive bids for contracts; “this allows us to expand and help support and build rural Newfoundland in a way we’ve wanted to do (for) a long time.” Most of the new spaces are close to being finalized, and all locations will be ready for the start of classes on September 6. Academy Canada is nationally accredited by the Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC). The Telegram | VOCM Radio News

Academy Canada expands ABE to 11 new locations in NL Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:53 07/16/2013 - 16:53

The Council of Ontario Universities this week launched a new website designed to help students, graduates and entry-level employees match their education, skills, desires and goals with jobs. features resume and interview tips, online budgeting tools, information on job market trends, and links to job listings. It also provides links to Ontario university career and student services, and will be updated regularly with the latest news from the marketplace. “ is an extra resource to help students find the help they need to translate their skills into meaningful work,” says Max Blouw, COU chair and Wilfrid Laurier University president. COU News Release |

COU launches new job resources website Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:52 07/16/2013 - 16:52

McGill University has avoided any large-scale job cuts while coming close to reaching its $43.5-million operating budget reduction. This past spring, McGill’s principal, Heather Munroe-Blum, announced that wage reductions, salary freezes, a Voluntary Retirement Program (VRP) for staff over age 60, and potential layoffs would be necessary to achieve the cuts. McGill reports, however, that the VRP has allowed the university to avoid major cuts or freezes. More than 250 employees opted to take early retirement under the VRP terms, which is much more than McGill anticipated. The university reports that a gap remains between the money saved and the $43.5-million target, which will be closed using plans that include further position reductions, “but these can be achieved largely by not renewing some term contracts, attrition, and ‘workforce efficiencies, and reorganisations resulting in strategically targeted position abolitions.’” McGill Reporter

McGill avoids large-scale staff cuts Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:51 07/16/2013 - 16:51

The University of British Columbia has launched a new college for first-year international students from countries with school systems that are significantly different from Canada’s. Students at UBC Vantage College will complete a 12-month program that includes English-language and academic study, and then if successful, will advance to the second year of a UBC degree course. The first cohort, to begin in September 2014, will enrol 300 students and can grow to a capacity of 1,000 students. The Vantage students will live on-campus in student residences along with students from other undergraduate programs, and will have full access to all the UBC campus facilities. Study Travel Magazine

UBC launches new international college Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:46 07/16/2013 - 16:45

Montreal may lose its status as a university city if the provincial government does not change some of its policies, especially those regarding international student tuition and funding provisions, reports the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The report is a follow-up to a summit on higher education held in February, and reiterates the need to address chronic underfunding and problematic student fee policies in order for Montreal to continue competing on a global field. Currently, surplus fees gathered from non-Quebec students are pooled by the province and then redistributed among PSE institutions, regardless of where the students study. There are 6 programs exempt from this rule, but McGill University and other institutions are pushing for full deregulation. McGill is facing a $43-million budget cut, which could be softened by full collection of student surplus. Last year, McGill had a student-fee surplus of almost $76 million, but only got to keep $24 million. Montreal Gazette

Montreal in danger of losing university-city status, report Top Ten 07/16/2013 - 16:43 07/16/2013 - 16:43

A group of Chinese high-school principals, frustrated with alleged “fraud and abuse” in the college applications of Chinese students seeking to study in the US, has banded together to promote best practices in transparency in the application process. As the number of Chinese students studying abroad approaches 200,000, concerns have been mounting about the unethical ways in which they are getting into PSE institutions. A Chinese recruiting consultancy has estimated that 90% of Chinese applicants seeking to study in the US submit false recommendations and 70% have others write their personal essays. Approximately 50 Chinese principals and 30 US admissions officers met last fall to establish a set of ethical principles for applications, which include discouraging students from using outside recruiting agencies or authenticating transcripts and other paperwork. The group will meet again this October. Chronicle of Higher Education

Chinese principals aim to better flawed China-US PSE application process Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:18 07/15/2013 - 16:34

US state governments increased spending on student financial aid by nearly 2% during 2011, and used a larger share of that money for needs-based aid than they had since 2003, according to an annual survey released this week. The Chronicle of Higher Education points out that while the increase is quite small, the data does reveal a trend: that many states are shifting focus to funding that is based on financial need rather than giving merit-based grants. 60% of the dollars went to families with incomes less than $40,000 annually, which shows that states focused funding on the neediest students. The figures were compiled by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs. Chronicle of Higher Education (article) | Chronicle of Higher Education (data)

US financial aid focusing on needs-based grants Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 17:29 07/15/2013 - 16:33

Children are using tablets and smartphones at younger ages and higher rates every day, influencing the way today’s youth approach learning environments. Glenn O’Farrell, president of Groupe Média TFO, suggests that as it becomes more prevalent for toddlers to use tablets as a learning resource, the education system must adapt in order to prevent a “young generation of elementary school dropouts.” Because tablets afford the child control over their learning experience, they will be used to a level of interaction and choice that may not be available in a traditional classroom. O’Farrell encourages parents to engage with educators to ensure that the needs of today’s unique youngsters are being met, and he recognizes the need for teachers and administrators to adapt “on the fly,” by employing new teaching methods and embracing collaborative models of learning. Globe and Mail

Education changes needed as technology reaches toddler audience Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 16:32 07/15/2013 - 16:32

University of Alberta director of Religious Studies Andrew Gow suggests in a recent op-ed that Canadian, and particularly Alberta, universities don’t do a good enough job of “selling” their many positive attributes and unique offerings. To offer an explanation, Gow points out that there is no “precedent or model to follow.” The US operates on an “American class system,” where things like successful sports programs and alumni prestige create more competition, and therefore a system in which it is easier to communicate success. He contrasts that system with Canada, where “university education is essentially an accessible public resource, rather than a scarce, expensive, prestige-driven commodity.” Gow states that, paradoxically, higher tuition and lower access seems to cause people to value institutions even more. One of the ways that Gow suggests universities “sell” themselves more effectively is by engaging graduates in the promotion of their Alma maters. “Canadian universities focus on the core work of training students and doing research, instead of cultivating relationships and networks or spending money on PR and image management. Now we are being punished for that functional, public-service-minded focus on the main task,” concludes Gow. Edmonton Journal

Canadian universities must learn how to sell their quiet virtues, opinion Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 17:27 07/15/2013 - 16:31

If Ontario is to have “any serious hope” of creating good job opportunities for young people, it must put more focus on the skills mismatch, write Colleges Ontario president Linda Franklin and Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters VP Ian Howcroft in a recent op-ed. Franklin and Howcroft point to a recently-published Conference Board of Canada report, which states that this skills gap is costing Ontario billions of dollars each year, as well as a report by Rick Miner which identifies data that backs up the skills gap theory. It states that 700,000 people in Ontario will be unemployable by 2021 “due to insufficient education and training.” The authors suggest that Ontario: follow the examples of countries like  Switzerland and Germany, which do a better job matching their educational programs with employers’ requirements; do more to “promote and value the career opportunities in the private sector, which is where most of the job growth will occur in the years ahead;” help more students get a combination of both college and university; and expand its range of degree programs, including allowing colleges to offer 3-year degrees in career-focused programs. Toronto Star

Ontario’s skills mismatch must be addressed, opinion Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 17:26 07/15/2013 - 16:30

A survey of 12,000 millennials (people aged 18-30) in 27 countries has revealed that youth today believe they can make a difference locally, but that they don’t always feel that difference can be made politically. 62% of respondents said they could make a local difference, while only 45% thought one person’s participation in politics can make a difference in one’s current system. The Telefónica Global Millennial Survey also found that millenials are concerned about the health of the economy and the planet. “They believe strongly in protecting personal freedoms and are tolerant of other religious beliefs.” Telefonica Report

Millennials believe they can make a difference, study Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 16:29 07/15/2013 - 16:29

A recent Globe and Mail article points out a new trend in which governments are giving companies vouchers, or business credits, to stimulate private sector R&D and commercialize academic discoveries and inventions. For example, Ontario’s new voucher program, which began accepting applications at the end of June, allows businesses to apply for grants from 3 different granting agencies. According to program administrator Tom Corr, “this is the first time in Canada organizations have worked together to create a single application and single review process.” The article points out that there seems to be a change in the complicated process of having to navigate the many different research grant programs, and that governments are increasingly talking about collaborating to make it easier for private companies to apply and receive grants for innovation. Alberta and Nova Scotia have had similar voucher programs in place since 2008. New Brunswick introduced its own voucher program in May, while British Columbia wrapped up a pilot project in March. This article follows a survey of Canadian business leaders that identified a lack of innovation in the country. Globe and Mail

Government R&D vouchers reduce red tape Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 16:28 07/15/2013 - 16:28

The Canadian government, in partnership with Genome BC, Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé (FRQS) and the Japan Science & Technology Agency, will give $21.8 million in funding over 5 years to 9 research teams in health. 6 Canadian teams and 3 teams composed of both Canadian and Japanese researchers will examine how environmental factors can alter the expression of our DNA and potentially affect our health. The 9 teams include researchers from uToronto, UBC, uManitoba, the BC Cancer Agency, McGill, University Health Network in Toronto, the University of Tokyo, the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto, Kyoto University, SickKids Hospital in Toronto, and the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan. CIHR News Release

Canada partners with Japan to study environmental effects to DNA Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 17:26 07/15/2013 - 16:27

Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops has received $2.5 million for the establishment of a Regional Innovation Chair in Aboriginal Early Childhood Development. The funds are provided by the BC government, with $1.25 million through the Leading Edge Endowment Fund (LEEF). The chair will specialize in Aboriginal early childhood development and maternal and child health, and will work closely with local Aboriginal communities to determine current needs and identify strengths and traditions in childhood development. Dr. Rod McCormick has been named as chair, bringing years of experience focusing on Aboriginal health research, careers and life planning, mental health and counselling, and youth suicide prevention. TRU News Release

TRU establishes new research chair in Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 17:23 07/15/2013 - 16:26

Algonquin College has won an international bid to operate a new English language campus in Jazan, Saudi Arabia beginning in September 2013. At capacity, the campus will allow for 2,000 male students in business, engineering and several other technical fields, and will raise over $25 million in revenues. Algonquin has been providing the government-run Jazan Economic City Polytechnic (JEC PT) with both curriculum and faculty. The new Algonquin-run campus in Jazan will take over JEC PT’s facilities. It will be operated as a public-private partnership with the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), Saudi Arabia’s equivalent of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The new campus will also offer a Foundation Year focused on English competency and study skills. Algonquin College also began building a campus in Kuwait in April, at which the college hopes to have 1,000 students enrolled by 2017. Algonquin News Release | Ottawa Citizen

Algonquin College to launch campus in Saudi Arabia Top Ten 07/15/2013 - 17:23 07/15/2013 - 16:24

A new survey has found that many chief financial officers of universities and colleges are doubtful about the financial sustainability of their institutions. Only 27% of CFOs express strong confidence in the viability of their institution's financial model over 5 years, and that number drops in half to 13% when they are asked to look further over a 10-year period. Also, more than 6 in 10 CFOs surveyed disagree or strongly disagree with the statement that "reports that a significant number of higher education institutions are facing existential financial crisis are overblown." The online survey was completed by a total of 457 campus and system chief business and financial officers. The survey also found that: health care costs are weighing increasingly heavily on the minds of CFOs, retention is displacing recruitment as institutions' top priority, CFOs want better-use data to evaluate programs and identify potential problems or solutions, many CFOs believe that new spending at their institutions will come from re-allocated funds rather than new dollars, and nearly half of CFOs say their institution has increased its dependence on debt to finance projects. Inside Higher Ed

CFO survey reveals negative outlook on financials Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:17 07/15/2013 - 08:36

International students play a critical role in sustaining quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduate programs at US universities, according to a new report from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP). The report, which analyzes enrolment data from 2010, shows that international students make up the majority of enrolments in US graduate programs in many STEM fields. However, the data also show averages that mask even higher institutional numbers; there are 36 graduate programs in electrical engineering where the proportion of international students exceeds 80%, including 7 where it exceeds 90%. “International students help many universities have enough graduate students to support research programs that help attract top faculty,” says the report’s author, Stuart Anderson. The report also emphasizes the value that international graduate students can bring to the US economy, and encourages measures that make it easier for these graduates to get work visas. Chinese applications to graduate programs in the US this spring dropped by an unexpected 5%, which is causing some institutions to become concerned.  Inside Higher Ed

Foreign students help sustain STEM grad programs in US, study Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:17 07/15/2013 - 08:34

Among many explanations offered for the decline in humanities enrolment, an education blogger suggests that the weakening is more about women’s equality than waning popularity of humanities. Ben Schmidt, a graduate student in history at Princeton University and visiting graduate fellow at the Cultural Observatory at Harvard University, argues that the decline in humanities majors since 1970 can be explained by the “increasing choice of women to enter more pre-professional majors like business, communications, and social work.” Schmidt’s data breakdown shows that the enrolment for women in humanities declined much more sharply than male humanities majors did, and that at the same time, female majors in pre-professional fields increased from less than 5% of all degrees earned by women in 1965 to more than 25% today. Although many PSE stakeholders have lauded Schmidt’s theory, several people have expressed doubt over its validity. Schmidt’s idea follows a recent report and campaign by Harvard University, which seeks to revive excitement for the humanities. Inside Higher Ed

Decline in humanities enrolment may be due to broader career options for women Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:16 07/15/2013 - 08:32

The current popular university education model is flawed, according to David J. Helfand, president of Quest University Canada. In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Helfand points out what he sees as the 3 main faults of the “student as empty vessel” model of learning: students learn best by being involved and engaged, which arguably does not happen in a traditional classroom or lecture hall; the traditional model of learning is isolated, not collaborative; and the establishment of competition for marks can drive students towards cheating, which is cause for punishment. Helfand states that student brains today are “instinctively collaborative, innately cooperative, and structurally wired for small-group interaction mediated by language and an awareness of the intentionality of others.” QuestU is Canada's first independent, non-profit, secular university, and it operates on a “block plan” curriculum, where students study only one subject at a time. QuestU recently reported that they have reached a 65% yield rate for the upcoming school year. The average yield rate for Ivy League schools is 58.9%, and only Harvard had a higher yield rate this year. Chronicle of Higher Education | Quest U News Release

Traditional undergrad education model flawed, says QuestU president Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:16 07/15/2013 - 08:31

When Nova Scotia holds its next provincial election, likely sometime in the next 11 months, residents will have more options to cast their ballot. Dubbed “a dozen ways to vote,” the new measures will make it easier for many demographics to have their say, including students, youth and people with mobility issues. Residents can now vote anywhere in NS and have their vote count in their home riding, of particular importance to PSE students. As well, although there will be an official election day, with 2 days of advanced polls, voters will also be able to visit any returning office and vote, any day of the campaign except Sundays. Jessica McCormick, the national chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, is applauding the move, suggesting other provincial and federal elections could benefit from similar measures, as youth participation in elections continues to lag. Globe and Mail

Nova Scotia expands voter options, makes it easier for students to vote Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:15 07/15/2013 - 08:30

Canadian undergraduate students would most like to work in service and government positions, according to a recent survey of 28,700 Canadian students. Google and Apple came in first and third, respectively as most ideal workplaces, with Government of Canada sitting at number 2. Banks also ranked high for Canadian students, a marked departure from US results. Among business and engineering/IT students, the desire for a healthy work/life balance emerged as a career goal, with more than 60% of each group voting it most important. There were differences between groups regarding preferred work environment, with business students saying they wanted a friendly environment, and engineering/IT students stating they want a work environment that is “creative, dynamic and challenging.” Canada Newswire | Canadian Survey Data

Canadian students want work/life balance in service or government positions, study Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:15 07/15/2013 - 08:29

Students are growing frustrated with Cape Breton University, as the fourth boil water order in 2 months has been issued for CBU and the Marconi campus of Nova Scotia Community College, states the CBU student union president. A water sample taken last week came back with a positive count of one for total coliform. Coliform itself may not necessarily cause illness, but its presence can indicate system vulnerability. Only one sample out of 21 came back positive, but officials are being cautious. NSCC, which manages the wells that the institutions get their water from, has hired an outside contractor to do the water testing, in an effort to locate the source of the problem. Cape Breton Post

Cape Breton students frustrated by water issues Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:14 07/15/2013 - 08:28

The University of Phoenix has been informed by its regional accreditor that it has been put on “notice” for the next 2 years, after being told this past February that it might be put on probation. The notice status means that uPhoenix will have to submit a report that lists corrective measures taken to remain in compliance with accreditation criteria. A report from the accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, told uPhoenix that it had insufficient autonomy from its corporate parent, and that NCACS was also concerned about the institution’s graduation and retention rates, methods for assessing student learning, and reliance on federal student aid. Inside Higher Ed

Postscript: July 14, 2015

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) removed the University of Phoenix from “on notice” status effective June 25, according to corporate filings published Thursday. The Commission placed the school on notice two years ago over concerns about the school’s governance structure. The corporate filing indicates that uPhoenix submitted a report to HLC in November 2014 “providing evidence that the University has ameliorated those conditions that led to the Notice status.” Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education | Corporate Filing

uPhoenix given accreditation, but put on “notice” Top Ten 07/13/2015 - 22:10 07/15/2013 - 08:27

Lambton College in Sarnia is currently advocating to the Ontario government for funding for a new Centre for Health Education & Sustainable Care (CHESC), which will help meet the growing demand for healthcare professionals in the community. Lambton, which enrols about 1000 health science students, claims it “needs a new facility to ensure that the quality of training students receive continues to remain current.” The centre is part of Lambton’s 2013-18 strategic plan, which was announced in January. A researcher at the University of Waterloo has studied the number of healthcare professionals needed in the community, and found that Sarnia-Lambton has had to attract healthcare professionals from other regions. According to Lambton, this means that the college isn’t able to satisfy the need for workers for the local healthcare industry. Lambton News Release

Lambton plans to build new health education centre Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:13 07/15/2013 - 08:26

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that the University of Ottawa plans to increase residence space with approximately 1,000 additional beds in the next 3-4 years. There are early-stage plans to build a 156-bed residence on campus property, but they are not yet finalized, nor have proposals been requested. And, according to the president of a local community association, developers have begun approaching the community about possible building plans. The Sandy Hill community has become a student-living hotbed, as home owners rapidly converted houses to accommodate many students, with little communal space. Ottawa has recently imposed a temporary ban on such projects. The university is reporting they are “looking at all the options” to address the housing situation. Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa continues to seek solution to housing issue Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:13 07/15/2013 - 08:24

As PSE stakeholders worry about the declining demand for the humanities, a new UK report suggests that graduates of philosophy, literature, and related programs “play a significant role in the British economy.” The University of Oxford report is based on an analysis of the employment history of 11,000 graduates who matriculated at the university from 1960 to 1989. The data shows that the number of graduates with degrees in English, history, philosophy, classics, and modern languages who were employed in finance, media, legal services, and management rose significantly from 1960 to 1989. Asked whether the report provided evidence of the strength of a humanities education or just “the power of an Oxford diploma to open doors,” Oxford humanities division head Shearer West emphasized that “the study was just a pilot, without comparative studies to assess it against, and therefore doesn't provide a full answer to that question.” She did point out, however, that a section of the report, which asked students qualitative questions about their experiences, supported the view that it was the unique soft skills gained from a humanities education that had made the difference in their careers. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription required) | Full Report

Humanities grads play large role in economy, UK study Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:12 07/11/2013 - 23:03

As Canada deals with a perceived skills gap that has many stakeholders touting the benefits of more work-integrated learning, a new US report sees both strengths and failings in the country’s career and technical education (CTE) programs. The report says that there is an “exceptionally rich” variety of these types of programs in the US, and that labour market returns from CTE programs are good, on average. However, the authors also say that this diversity of programs may lead to confusion for students, leaving them wondering which programs are high quality and worth the investment. The authors are also concerned that there is a lack of strong accountability in such programs; that any accountability that does exist is “relatively weak and fragmented.” The report recommends: strengthening quality assurance measures for CTE programs, creating more CTE programs at the high-school and adult-learning levels, building better centralized articulation frameworks, and strengthening workplace and career guidance. Chronicle of Higher Education | Full Report

Report recommends changes to US career, tech education Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:12 07/11/2013 - 23:01

Students in Dalhousie University’s engineering program are blaming Facebook for their poor performance, reports CBC News. 10-15% of first-year engineering students are failing classes, and some are pointing to Facebook as the cause, as an addicting distraction. A special summer program at Dal, called “Refining Your Skills” teaches these students skills such as time management, and reminds them of the reasons they wanted to attend school in the first place. Estimates suggest up to 24 hours per week are being wasted online and on cell phones, instead of being used for scholarly pursuits. CBC

Facebook causes students to fail classes, say students Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:11 07/11/2013 - 22:59

Coursera, one of the largest MOOC platforms, announced this week that it has raised $43 million in new investment money to expand its user base and continue developing its software platform, including $10 million towards global expansion. A senior manager from the International Finance Corporation, one of the investors for the global expansion, says that “the global demand for education is a vast problem that probably cannot be met by building enough universities and finding enough qualified instructors,” and that this is where Coursera will be helpful. The announcement comes at a time when many PSE proponents are wondering if the MOOC hype is just a passing trend. Inside Higher Ed

Coursera raises $43 million Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:11 07/11/2013 - 22:57

Blackboard, the company that many PSE institutions use to manage online courses or online aspects of traditional courses, has announced that it will create a new MOOC platform that would be free for existing Blackboard customers. The company has already offered several MOOCs on a system called CourseSites, but the new platform will include features to help institutions run courses for large numbers of students. Users will also be able to make some connections between their on-campus courses and their free open courses, if they choose to. The Chronicle of Education points out how Blackboard is late to the much-hyped trend in MOOCs, and Blackboard’s teaching and learning president addresses this; “We watched really carefully, and we thought about doing something sooner. This is one of those times when we said this is a watch and develop, not jump on it.” Blackboard also announced that 15 additional institutions plan to offer MOOCs using Blackboard’s software starting this fall. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Inside Higher Ed

Blackboard announces new MOOC platform Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:10 07/11/2013 - 22:55

A new report released by a US food service research company has determined that more Canadian students are seeking nourishment off-campus. Only 20% of students purchased a campus meal plan in 2012, compared to 30% in 2011, with 58% of students purchasing food and/or beverage from off-campus venues at least once a week. Some key findings of the research suggest that students are not happy with food offerings on campus and that they wish there were more options for using their meal plan. According to a spokesperson from the research company, "menu variety in particular is key to boosting student patronage. Our year-over-year data indicates that there's an increased demand for unique items, ethnic offerings and customization opportunities.” Canada Newswire

Students not happy with campus meal plans, study Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:09 07/11/2013 - 22:53

Lethbridge College has launched an innovative partnership with local members of the Canadian Home Builders Association to increase funds to the Trades and Technology Renewal and Innovation Project (TTRIP), part of the college’s “Possibilities are Endless” Campaign. Participating builders have agreed to donate the proceeds from 2 homes a year for 5 years to the project, which will see improvements made to the trades building on campus. The value of any donated material or service will also be donated to the fund. In the spirit of collaboration, Lethbridge College will donate a $2,500 tuition credit to the home buyer of each of the homes. Interest in involvement has so far been high enough to warrant creating a waiting list for homebuilders. Lethbridge Herald 

Lethbridge College partners with local homebuilders Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:09 07/11/2013 - 22:52

Facebook this week rolled out its new "Graph Search" tool, which has been in the beta stage since January. The social search tool allows users to unearth information about their Facebook friends, such as friends of friends who enjoy a certain hobby, or nearby bars that a user’s friends enjoy. The search function revealed that Facebook users have been sharing quite embarrassing or controversial information through their search queries.  A recent study found that today’s teens are sharing more personal information about themselves than they have in the past, but at the same time, they are more aware of their audience and are using privacy settings and network controls to determine who sees this information. Facebook has reminded users that they can change their “who can see my stuff” settings to enhance security. CTV News

Facebook launches full social search tool Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:08 07/11/2013 - 22:50

PSE students flock to math and sciences, but change to other subjects in large numbers after finding out how hard they are, according to a report by researchers from Western University and Berea College in Kentucky. The researchers surveyed 655 students entering Berea College in the fall of 2000 and 2001, asking them about their majors 12 times throughout each year they were in school -- the first time prior to starting university. The researchers found that more students dropped out of math and science majors and fewer students switched into them than any other area of study, including professional programs, social sciences, humanities and business. They found that this wasn’t because students weren’t prepared for the amount of work, but that they were dissatisfied with their grades. “Students knew science was hard to begin with, but for a lot of them it turned out to be much worse than what they expected,” says Todd R. Stinebrickner, one of the researchers. “What they didn’t expect is that even if they work hard, they still won’t do well.” Wall Street Journal

Math and sciences popular, until students get their grades, research finds Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 16:07 07/11/2013 - 22:49

Members of Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE), an anti-rape group based out of the University of Alberta, are upset that someone has “perverted” a social media marketing campaign designed to bring awareness of the impact of drinking on sexual assault risk. The original campaign, “Don’t be that guy,” depicted men and women in social scenes, often consuming alcohol, with blunt messages like “It’s not sex when she’s wasted. Sex with someone unable to consent = sexual assault.” The copycat posters, with the tagline “Don’t be that girl,” have changed the messages to suggest that women make false accusations of rape due to regret over behaviour choices. SAVE members see this is an attempt to put the blame back on women, and state that the copycats are perpetuating the “myth” that false accusations are prevalent “when they’re not.” The copycat posters have shown up in downtown Edmonton and on the uAlberta campus. Maclean’s

Controversy over copycat anti-rape posters in Edmonton Top Ten 07/30/2014 - 15:50 07/11/2013 - 22:46

The department and institutions included under the Campus Alberta umbrella lack clarity on the mandates, roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, and interrelationships of collaborative entities and committees, says a report by Alberta’s auditor general. The audit found that “the department and institutions do not have well-designed systems to plan, govern, implement and sustain collaborative initiatives.” The audit focused on 3 non-academic collaborative initiatives to test the systems in place at institutions, and found that management lacks a clear understanding of the department’s strategic direction for Campus Alberta and of how specific initiatives fit into it. The auditor’s report recommends the department develop a business plan to clearly outline what it wants to achieve, how it will meet its goals, how much it will cost and where the money will come from, as well as implement a way of measuring the performance of Campus Alberta and publicly report the results and costs of initiatives. This spring, advanced education minister Thomas Lukaszuk issued mandate letters to all institutions directing them to increase partnerships and collaborative measures under the Campus Alberta banner. CBC (CP) | Edmonton Journal | Auditor’s Report

Campus Alberta plan lacks clarity, says provincial auditor Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 19:51 07/10/2013 - 19:51

Alberta’s auditor general has released a report on the international education division at Medicine Hat College, determining that it operated outside of the college’s control system, without board oversight, putting MHC at “legal, reputational and financial risk.” The findings include: former president Ralph Weeks failed to comply with provisions of the college’s policy to limit international activity ($325,000 was spent on 34 international trips racked up over 3 years) and the board didn’t give proper oversight to these policies; the IED’s strategic and operational planning did not have clear goals, objectives or targets, nor did it develop business cases to assess any risks associated with operating in foreign countries (the division had 3 international partnerships with China); and the decisions made by the IED were inconsistent with the academic integrity and quality regulations of MHC (in one case, international students were found to have passed courses after failing exams). Officials at MHC are “disappointed,” but according to board chair Don Bruce, the board “accept[s] the report, and [is] unified with administration in addressing all the deficiencies in a collaborative manner.” MHC update | Medicine Hat News (1) | Medicine Hat News (2) | Calgary Herald | Auditor’s Report

MHC’s international education gets failing grade in provincial audit Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:54 07/10/2013 - 18:54

On Tuesday, Ontario’s Appeal Court upheld the lower court ruling that George Brown College students were victims of a misleading course description. The 120 students in question enrolled in the graduate international business management program, under the assumption that they would be eligible for 3 industry certifications, as the course outline suggested. Students discovered shortly before graduation that, in fact, not only were they not receiving the designations, they were not necessarily eligible to take industry exams to obtain the certification. The Appeal Court agreed with an earlier court ruling that GBC owed the students a "duty of care," and breached the rights of the students under the Consumer Protection Act. The amount of damages has not yet been determined. Toronto Star (CP)

Postscript: July 2, 2014

The Ontario Superior Court has decided that plaintiffs in the case of Ramdath v George Brown will be awarded aggregate damages. The ruling means that members of the class action lawsuit will not have to prove individual damages to recover direct costs and residual value components of the claim; however, individual assessments will be required should individuals seek to recover foregone income and delayed entry components. “The key to understanding aggregate damages is in understanding that the measurement criterion is not what’s accurate but what’s reasonable,” said Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba. Financial Post

GBC loses appeal in class action suit Top Ten 07/02/2014 - 16:11 07/10/2013 - 18:52

Canadian business leaders see inefficient government bureaucracy and a lack of innovation as the main obstacles to doing business in the country, according to a 2012 executive opinion survey for the World Economic Forum. The survey asks business leaders to rank the 5 most problematic factors for doing business in their countries from a list of 16 possibilities. The data also shows that Canada’s standing in global competitiveness rankings continues to wane, and that weak access to financing is the third-most problematic factor for this waning of business success in the minds of business leaders. Conference Board of Canada News Release

Business leaders see bureaucracy, lack of innovation as barriers to success Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:51 07/10/2013 - 18:51

In the latest example of PSE institutions providing entrepreneurship education for students, the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business has launched Entrepreneurship 101. The new course in start-up creation is open to all UBC students in second year or higher, and requires no prerequisites. “We’re striving to have as much student diversity in the class as possible,” says Sauder lecturer Paul Cubbon, who is leading the design of the course. Olds College also launched an entrepreneurship course via iPads that will be mandatory for all students this fall.  UBC News Release

UBC launches university-wide entrepreneurship course Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:50 07/10/2013 - 18:50

Laurentian University is beginning a major $5.9-million modernization of its Single Students’ Residence (SSR), which was built in 1973 and accommodates close to 400 students each year. The renovations will include fresh exterior cladding, the replacement of insulation and windows throughout the complex, and retrofits to make it more energy-efficient. Laurentian recently opened a new upper-year residence, which cost $20 million. Laurentian News Release

Laurentian updates aging residence Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:49 07/10/2013 - 18:49

An op-ed in the Globe and Mail suggests that a paradigm shift in PSE would allow for more jobs and happier employers. Self-described entrepreneur, writer and activist (and Queen's Commerce student) Afraj Gill proposes that because employers are reporting more dissatisfaction with new-employee skills, employers and PSE institutions should collaborate to restructure education to provide students with the skills needed to succeed in the workforce. Gill states that a “diminished emphasis on grades due to a heightened focus on skills-based learning will open the door to different types of assessment,” but stipulates that employers need to work closely with education providers in order for changes to take place. Globe and Mail

PSE changes needed to equip students with employable skills Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:47 07/10/2013 - 18:47

Computer science and technology is another sector that can be included in the ongoing skills-gap crisis in Canada, according to Ryan Holmes, CEO of social media management company HootSuite. In a Financial Post article, Holmes discusses the difficult realities of finding young, talented computer science graduates to fill vacancies in tech corporations. He refers to a recent study that found “only one in 10 organizations in Canada is able to meet critical IT needs in emerging areas like mobile, cloud computing, analytics and social media.” Many new graduates are lured south of the border by “good, high-paying tech jobs and access to collaborators and capital,” as US companies also struggle to fill vacancies. Holmes suggests a sustained engagement with educators, at both the high school and PSE levels, is a logical first step to encouraging youth to pursue studies in computer science. He also suggests that the tech sector do a better job of promoting the image of software engineering as creative, inventive, and “sexy.” Financial Post

Computer science a surprising sector to experience skills gap Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:46 07/10/2013 - 18:46

Applicant numbers for UK universities have increased by 3.1% to 637,456, recovering slightly following an 8.7% dip in numbers in 2012 as tuition caps increased to £9,000. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service figures make up about 96% of all university applicants to full-time courses. “Until there is a full recovery in applications from mature and part-time students it would be premature to claim that the 2012 funding system in England has been a success,” says Pam Tatlow, chief executive of Million+, a UK PSE think-tank. Times Higher Education

UK applications begin to bounce back Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:45 07/10/2013 - 18:45

A recent letter from the US government to the University of Montana, Missoula is sparking controversy over the definition of university sexual harassment. The letter sets a broader standard for the definition of sexual harassment, suggesting that it should be any time a student receives “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.” Historically, institutions have defined sexual harassment as “conduct that creates a hostile educational environment.” Critics say the new standard would restrict free speech at college, and that it could have big implications preventing teachers from “teaching sexually explicit books and implicate everyday classroom flirtations.” Arizona Senator John McCain sent a letter to the Attorney General asking if “a student giving another student a Valentine’s Day Card” or “a student listening to music that contains content of a sexual nature overheard by others” could constitute harassment under the new standard. Time

US push for new definition of sexual harassment in PSE sparks debate Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 18:43 07/10/2013 - 18:43

A recent UK study reveals a lack of recognition for good teaching at the PSE level, with two-thirds of university staff having never been rewarded or recognized for their teaching. The report comes amid concerns from many countries that promotion -- and to some pundits, funding -- in the sector is too heavily based on research excellence. The study, commissioned by a publicly-funded PSE interest group in the UK, is meant to test the organization’s efforts to encourage universities to link rewards and recognition to outstanding teaching. The research reveals a need to do more to improve the quality of teaching. Times Higher Education

More recognition of good teaching needed, UK study Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 00:32 07/09/2013 - 16:23

France has taken steps to attract PSE students from India by easing its visa rules, according to University World News. France wants to increase the number of Indian students by 50% in the next 5 years, building on the 50% jump in numbers that has occurred over the last 5 years. Now, Indian students who live farthest from a French consulate or Campus France office will be given special attention, and students who attend and complete PSE in France will now have easier conditions to obtain a 2-year working visa to remain in France and gain work experience. The move is in sharp contrast to the UK’s situation, where recent changes to visa policies have resulted in steep drops in Indian student enrolment at PSE institutions. The UK is attempting to curb immigration from certain areas, but the new measures are having an impact on student presence. University World News

France makes it easier for Indian students to study Top Ten 07/09/2013 - 16:22 07/09/2013 - 16:22

A new study exploring Canadian involvement with the political system has found that young Canadians (18-34) are the most involved in civic activities, except when it comes to formal engagement, like voting or attending party events. The study looked at participation in politics between elections, such as posting on social media sites, in-person conversations, activism, community involvement, and formal engagement. Youth participate in most of these activities at the same or higher rates than non-youth, with the exception of those activities that involve interacting with a party, candidate or elected official. The report concludes with the observation that, “if a healthy democracy requires active participation, then Canada is on pretty shaky ground,” especially when it comes to the lack of formal participation by youth. Maclean’s | Report

Canadian youth involved in politics, just not at the polls, study Top Ten 07/09/2013 - 16:21 07/09/2013 - 16:21

Seneca College’s Learning Centre has been given certification by the College Reading & Learning Association (CRLA), an international association of tutoring and mentoring professionals. The CRLA certification means that Seneca can award its peer tutors with an International Tutor Training Program certification, which requires a minimum of 10 hours of training, as well as 25 hours of student tutoring. Seneca News Release

Seneca’s Learning Centre receives international certification Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 00:29 07/09/2013 - 16:20

The momentum in the hype of massive open online courses appears to be slowing down, as Inside Higher Ed reports that “even top proponents of MOOCs are acknowledging critical questions remain unanswered, and are urging further study.”  Dan Greenstein from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who has decided to spend $3 million for wide-reaching MOOC-related grants, has wondered whether MOOCs are just a passing fad. American Council on Education president Molly Corbett Broad said MOOCs have “perhaps been greeted with more hype than is appropriate.” Students seem to share the hesitation, at least in the case of Colorado State University-Global Campus, which last year became the first university in the US to grant credit to students who passed a MOOC. Almost a year later, not one student has taken the university up on its offer. Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education

Are MOOCs losing their momentum? Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 00:28 07/09/2013 - 16:19

North Island College and the Justice Institute of British Columbia have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore collaboration and joint initiatives. The MOU focuses on three key areas: opportunities to contribute to each other’s planning efforts and implement proposals that support student needs and regional needs; articulation of courses and programs to encourage student transfers, and the development and implementation of collaborative courses; and opportunities to collaborate on scholarly activity such as professional development, research partnerships, and joint proposal submissions. NIC News Release

NIC and JIBC agree to greater cooperation Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 00:27 07/09/2013 - 16:18

The Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg unveiled plans for its new $13.9-million campus expansion this week. The new facilities planned include a library and learning commons as well as a new pedestrian bridge that will connect 2 parts of CMU’s Shaftesbury Campus, which are currently separated by a street. To date, roughly $10-million has been raised in the project’s CONNECT Campaign. CMU Media Release | Winnipeg Free Press

CMU unveils $13.9-million campus expansion Top Ten 07/09/2013 - 16:17 07/09/2013 - 16:17

A group of artists is occupying the recently closed Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus, a satellite University of Saskatchewan campus north of Prince Albert. In November, uSask suspended all activities at Kenderdine through 2016 while university officials review the campus and related costs. The artists state they are not protesting; they are simply showing uSask that they “love the place.” No buildings are being used by the visiting artists, who plan to paint and work outside on art pieces throughout the week. Some artists expressed concern that the campus could be sold by the university at the end of the review process, but according to one uSask official, that “has never been a part of our communication at all. It hasn't been considered at all.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Saskatchewan artists use closed campus Top Ten 07/09/2013 - 16:16 07/09/2013 - 16:16

The Manitoba government this week announced that nurse practitioner students who agree to work in rural communities after graduating will be eligible for return-of-service grants to fully cover their tuition costs. Students will be eligible for up to $10,000 to cover the cost of tuition in exchange for one year of service working as a nurse practitioner in a designated rural community after graduation. The new grant is part of Manitoba’s nursing recruitment and retention plan introduced in 1999. Last year, the province’s nursing workforce grew by 387 nurses and nurse practitioners, bringing the total to 17,652. Manitoba News Release

Manitoba to refund tuition for nurses who work in rural areas Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 00:22 07/09/2013 - 16:15

Authorities have charged University of Toronto Ontario Institute for Studies in Education professor and former deputy minister Benjamin Levin with crimes relating to child pornography, following a multi-jurisdictional exploitation investigation that spanned from New Zealand to Canada. Toronto police have charged Levin with making and distributing child pornography, counselling to commit an indictable offence and an arrangement to commit a sexual offence against a child under the age of 16. According to reports, the investigation is still ongoing, and Levin’s bail hearing will take place today. Globe and Mail | Toronto Star | National Post

OISE professor charged with child exploitation Top Ten 07/09/2013 - 16:14 07/09/2013 - 16:14

A recent UK study reveals a lack of recognition for good teaching at the PSE level, with two-thirds of university staff having never been rewarded or recognized for their teaching. The report comes amid concerns from many countries that promotion -- and to some pundits, funding -- in the sector is too heavily based on research excellence. The study, commissioned by a publicly-funded PSE interest group in the UK, is meant to test the organization’s efforts to encourage universities to link rewards and recognition to outstanding teaching. The research reveals a need to do more to improve the quality of teaching. Times Higher Education

Students, parents need more information on student aid, UK study Top Ten 07/10/2013 - 00:30 07/08/2013 - 21:05

Schoo, a Japanese massive open online course (MOOC) provider, announced this week that it has raised $1.5-million from venture-capital firms. Schoo offers more than 130 courses, and is aimed at a Japanese audience of mainly office workers in their late 20s and early 30s. Other MOOC providers who will begin to compete with US companies include Australia’s Open2Study, Brazil’s Veduca, Britain’s FutureLearn, and Germany’s iversity. Chronicle of Higher Education

US MOOC providers face international competition Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 21:03 07/08/2013 - 21:03

A recent article in University World News explores the growing phenomenon of Professional Practice Doctorates (PPDs), which have seen tremendous recent growth in the US and globally. PPDs differ from traditional PhDs in several ways, most notably length-of-study (PPDs are much shorter than a PhD) and lack of original research requirements. Many of the new PPD programs are in health-related fields, and some see the PPD as the new required norm for entering practice in many fields. Supporters of the new programs suggest that they are needed to address “the growing complexity of professionals' work environments, rapid expansion of knowledge underlying practice, and increases in technological interventions;” however, the author cautions that there are still unresolved questions about PPDs that need to be answered before the benefits of such programs can be fully touted. University World News

The increased popularity of professional practice doctorates Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 21:02 07/08/2013 - 21:02

University Affairs editor Leo Charbonneau discusses the rise of the “non-traditional” PSE student, in a summary of an address by Boston's Northeastern University president Joseph Aoun. Aoun says that non-traditional students – older, part-time and often returning to their education mid-career – are “actually the majority of students and their expectations can be very different [from those of the traditional students].” According to Aoun, non-traditional students are “particularly eager for experiential learning opportunities – the integration of the classroom experience and real-world learning.” They also want programs to have a strong outcome – often job-related – and to be flexible and adaptable to fit into their family lives and occupations. He suggests that universities should look for ways to better serve these “non-traditional” students.University Affairs

Pay attention to the “non-traditional” students too Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 21:00 07/08/2013 - 21:00

A recent Globe and Mail article discusses the idea that more opportunities for vocational training should be offered to students much earlier than it is in Canada -- while students are still in high school – as a solution to the low youth employment numbers and skills gap issue. The author cites Germany, Austria, Poland, and Slovenia as examples of jurisdictions where vocational partnerships between businesses and schools begin in high school, and training continues throughout one’s career. Germany’s labour minister has even talked about university being an option only after some form of vocational training is completed. The article also suggests that a national education minister would allow for more national policies and programs in vocational training. Globe and Mail

Should vocational training be introduced at high school? Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 20:58 07/08/2013 - 20:58

The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Association of University Heads, Israel to strengthen research collaboration and improve student and faculty mobility between the two countries. Canada and Israel already collaborate in a variety of sectors including energy, solar power, waste management, and medicine, and their universities share research interests in a number of key areas, such as brain research, water technology, renewable energy, and biotechnology. AUCC News Release

AUCC signs research accord with Israel Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 20:57 07/08/2013 - 20:57

Spending on research and development (R&D) in Canada's higher education sector increased by 3.4% on a fiscal-year basis between 2010-11 and 2011-12 to $11.6 billion, according to new data from Statistics Canada. The data also shows that provincially, R&D spending by PSE institutions increased in every province except PEI and Saskatchewan, and that Ontario and Quebec combined continue to report about two-thirds of R&D spending. These 2 provinces have the highest concentration of universities, research hospitals, experimental stations and clinics in Canada. StatsCan Website

PSE research and development increased in 2011-12 Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 20:55 07/08/2013 - 20:55

The Canadian government has launched a joint pilot program with the University of Alberta to allow students to obtain a university degree while also gaining leadership experience in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserves. The 4-year Civil Military Leadership Pilot Initiative at uAlberta will serve as a test-model for similar program development at other Canadian universities. Students will need to complete uAlberta’s formal academic objectives, as well as meet specific military training requirements to be eligible to receive a certificate marking their participation. The program will be open to both officers and non-commissioned members of the reserves. “This keeps very much with the tradition of the Canadian Officer Training Corps which was set up on campuses around Canada until 1968,” says national defence minister Peter MacKay.Canada News Release

Canada, uAlberta launch Civil Military Leadership program Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 20:54 07/08/2013 - 20:54

The University of Guelph has received $3 million from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) to support a permanent faculty position in dairy microbiology at the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), as well as a research chair in dairy cattle health at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). The timing of the new positions coincides with the construction of a $25-million dairy research facility at the UoGuelph-run Elora Research Station. DFO is also committing up to $5 million on behalf of industry stakeholders.UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph receives $3 million for dairy research Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 20:52 07/08/2013 - 20:52

College of the North Atlantic, Douglas College, and Fanshawe College have partnered to launch Career Start, a national wage subsidy program designed to help PSE graduates move into high-demand careers. Employers in the communities of the 3 partnered colleges will receive a subsidy of up to 50% of the participant’s hourly wage, and the program will be open to graduates aged 15 to 30. Career Start is partly funded by Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy. CNA News Release

3 Canadian colleges launch Career Start program Top Ten 07/08/2013 - 20:50 07/08/2013 - 20:50

Oregon has passed legislation approving a “pay it forward” model for funding higher education. Essentially, students would pay no up-front tuition, but upon graduating and entering the workforce, 3% of each paycheque for 24 years would go towards funding the program for future years. The model is based in part on an Australian model that has been in place for several years. The legislation directs the state’s Higher Education Coordination Commission to establish a pilot project by 2015 for legislative approval. Estimates suggest it will cost $9 billion to fund the first set of students for their years of study, factoring in the loss during the time before students begin working and contributing to the fund. Huffington Post | Addicting Info | House Bill

Oregon legislates tuition-free PSE Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:40 07/07/2013 - 19:40

City College of San Francisco will lose accreditation in one year unless they prove to the regional Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that they have improved practices, especially relating to 2 key remaining obstacles: a "lack of financial accountability and deficiencies in leadership and governance.” The college was put on sanction last year for multiple reasons, but CCSF officials say they are surprised by the decision, as they have made many improvements over the last year. The college of 85,000 students and 2,700 faculty and staff would be the largest institution to lose accreditation. The decision has sparked controversy in the PSE sector, with some suggesting the “accreditation system has lost its way.” Inside Higher Ed | Commission report

Large US college to lose accreditation Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:39 07/07/2013 - 19:39

The US Department of State is urging American citizens to leave Egypt, which will likely mean further evacuations of students on study abroad programs, according to anInside Higher Ed report. Earlier last week, the Arabic Overseas Flagship Program, which enrols 18 students from 5 American universities, announced that it was relocating from Egypt to Morocco. AMIDEAST, a nonprofit organization that runs study abroad programs in Egypt, said that all 26 of its students there have left, with many electing to join other AMIDEAST programs in other countries. Other study abroad programs that are taking students out of Egypt include Fulbright, the University of California at Davis, and the University of Texas at Austin. However, the American University in Cairo, which originally had 95 American students enrolled this summer, is not requiring students to leave. Inside Higher Ed

US study-abroad students evacuated from Egypt Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:37 07/07/2013 - 19:37

Bob Rae, former MP and Liberal interim leader, has joined the University of Toronto as a distinguished senior fellow at the School of Public Policy and Governance, effective July 1. Rae will also be chief negotiator for First Nations in talks with the Ontario government about development of the Ring of Fire, an area in the James Bay Lowlands of Northern Ontario where mining exploration is under way. Rae attended uToronto’s University College during his undergraduate years. uToronto News Release

Bob Rae joins uToronto Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:36 07/07/2013 - 19:36

The youth unemployment rate has held steady at 13.8%, which is only .2% higher than in May and virtually the same as in June 2012, according to the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) data from Statistics Canada. The numbers are based on youth aged 15 to 24, and are seasonally adjusted, which means the results are adjusted by removing the effects of seasonal variations. StatsCan also released a study on “Changing labour market conditions for young Canadians,” which reports that both men and women under 25 years old experienced lower employment outcomes between 1981 and 2012, but that women fared better than men. Unemployment rates for women have only increased by .9% since 1981, while for men unemployment has gone up by 2.2%.Statistics Canada: LFS | Statistics Canada: Changing labour market report

StatsCan data confirms unemployment holding steady Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:34 07/07/2013 - 19:34

The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is capitalizing on the economic downturn and the restructuring of health care in the US, as it continues to attract world-class medical researchers. The “brain gain” is attributed to several reasons, including an availability of research funds, the strong international reputation of the Heart Institute, and the attraction of Ottawa itself. The Heart Institute’s foundation “continues to sustain research,” and according to scientific director Dr. Peter Liu, research funding in the US is awarded to 1 in 15 proposals, while at the Heart Institute it is closer to 1 in 5. Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa Heart Institute achieves “brain gain” Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:33 07/07/2013 - 19:33

University of Guelph research is bringing some qualitative data to the popular discussion on the unique challenges that millennials are facing in today’s job market. Business professor Sean Lyons’ research finds that people between the ages of 25 and 29 now change jobs more than twice as often as baby boomers did at the same age. To find out why, Lyons studied the career stories of people from both generations. “I was a bit shocked to find that young people today don’t actually express a greater desire to move than previous generations,” he says. “But they have high expectations for their careers, and they often move because they are not satisfied with their work… This dissatisfaction leads to restlessness.” Lyons connects this phenomenon with his earlier research, which shows that PSE students tend to have unrealistic expectations about what they will earn when they begin working. He says this may be one reason for the “restlessness” of youth. Lyons also points out that although many people say millennials are “entitled and demanding,” they should be given a break because “they are at a disadvantage because the economy is just not expanding in the way it was for the baby boomers, and they were raised to expect things to be different.” UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph research adds to millennials vs. boomers discussion Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:32 07/07/2013 - 19:32

Brandon University is establishing a new centre of excellence to support teaching and learning, which will provide leadership in the development of student-centred, evidence-based approaches to teaching within the university. The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology will also launch a comprehensive website for organizing presentations and workshops on teaching, learning and technology topics, coordinating a faculty mentoring program, encouraging the scholarship of teaching and learning, providing support for instructors engaged in distance delivery, and compiling and sharing curriculum development information and new faculty resources. BrandonU News Release

BrandonU to create teaching and learning centre Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:30 07/07/2013 - 19:30

Université Laval last week announced the completion of its $81.46million sports complex expansion, which makes the building the largest of its kind in Quebec, according to the university. The new facilities at the Pavillon de l’éducation physique et des sports (PEPS) include a 3,100-seat amphitheatre, an aquatic centre with an Olympic-size pool and seating for nearly 1,000 spectators, as well as a training facility accessible to students, athletes and the public. The project was funded by the Canada, Quebec and Quebec City governments. Laval News Release

Laval completes sports complex expansion Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:29 07/07/2013 - 19:29

A new study released last week ranking Canadian medical schools “on the strength of their conflict-of-interest policies,” has determined that there are significant gaps in policies meant to “restrict the influence of the pharmaceutical industry.” Medical schools are supposed to limit the influence that a pharmaceutical company has on educational resources and course content, but the study found that at more than half of all schools, policies were either “permissive” or nonexistent in most categories. This is the second study to emerge recently about pharmaceutical industry influence on medical schools; in June the Toronto Star published an article suggesting a lecture series at uToronto was biased. Although some institutions are protesting the results, others suggested the study could be used to re-examine existing policies. Toronto Star

Big Pharma influencing medical schools, study Top Ten 07/07/2013 - 19:26 07/07/2013 - 19:26

New research funded by the UK government has concluded that women are significantly less aware of current affairs and politics than men. The report also determined that in industrialized countries with the most gender equity, there is a larger knowledge gap than in countries that do not have strong gender equity established. In Canada, men answered close to half of the multiple choice survey questions correctly, while Canadian women answered about one-third correctly. The report gives 3 possible reasons for the gender gap, including “historical hangover,” the fact that women are often busier than men, and the prevalence of men being featured in politics and current affairs. According to the report, “in this cross-national, comparative study, we confirmed that women’s inferiority in political knowledge is a global phenomenon.”National Post

Women know less about current affairs than men, research shows Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:17 07/04/2013 - 18:17

A UK government proposal suggests charging foreigners at least £200 a year to use the National Health Service (NHS), which currently allows visitors and people who are living in the UK temporarily to use the services, often free of charge. As Times Higher Education points out, this would affect international students studying at UK universities. The proposal seeks to make up for “health tourists” who “take advantage of the current generous entitlements and are able to avoid detection or payment.”Times Higher Education

Planned foreigner health levy in UK would affect overseas students Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:16 07/04/2013 - 18:16

Discussions around the skills gap in Canada’s labour force often centre on attracting students to training in trades and apprenticeships, but a recent article in the Edmonton Journal highlights the importance of ensuring that students who enter the trades are able to successfully complete their apprenticeship. The national average for apprenticeship completion is about 50%, and experts say one of the biggest barriers to completion is weakness in “essential skills including reading, writing, numeracy, oral communication, working with others, and computer use,” because 20% of the apprenticeship program is in-class training and industry exams. The article suggests that extra tools and resources are needed for students who lack such essential academic skills. Apprenticeship preparation programs can help students focus on building skills before the actual apprenticeship begins, and can make the completion of an apprenticeship much more attainable. Edmonton Journal

Students need help completing apprenticeships Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:15 07/04/2013 - 18:15

Royal Roads University has changed the name of its School of Peace and Conflict Management to the School of Humanitarian Studies to reflect a growing field and breadth of study within the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences. “Humanitarian Studies captures the trans-disciplinary scope of our student and faculty work,” said Matthew Heinz, dean of the Faculty. RRU News Release

RRU renames School of Peace and Conflict Management Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:13 07/04/2013 - 18:13

The Université de Moncton has signed an affiliation agreement with New Brunswick's French-language health network, Réseau de santé Vitalité. The agreement outlines the intentions of both parties to work in partnership towards identifying and meeting the training needs of health professionals in Francophone NB. Students will benefit from the alliance through increased opportunities to conduct research and receive hands-on training in the network, while health professionals will have resources available to them to conduct field research. uMoncton News Release (in French)

uMoncton signs agreement with French-language health network Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:20 07/04/2013 - 18:12

The University of British Columbia Okanagan campus has announced that its research funding has grown by 110% since its inception in 2005. UBCO received $14.05 million and 538 grants in 2012-2013, up from $6.69 million and 335 grants in 2005-2006. The Faculty of Applied Science, mainly through the School of Engineering, quintupled its research dollars to $5 million in 2011-2012 and quadrupled its grant total to 137. UBCO News Release

UBC Okanagan research funding has more than doubled since its opening Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:10 07/04/2013 - 18:10

Law students from the University of Calgary have teamed up with several pro-bono legal organizations in the city to provide information and advice to people affected by the recent southern Alberta floods. “With many people displaced from their homes due to the flooding, questions related to landlord-tenant, employment, mortgage, family and insurance laws have come up,” says Ben Leung, student director with Student Legal Assistance at uCalgary. Leung, along with Kevin Stenner, president of the Society of Law Students, and Eleanor Carlson, program co-ordinator with Pro Bono Students Canada, have organized 4 consultation sessions over 2 days, which will include a panel of lawyers specializing in the pertinent areas of law. The sessions will provide an opportunity for people to meet with lawyers to ask specific questions about their situation. uCalgary’s UToday

uCalgary law students using their education to help flood victims Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:09 07/04/2013 - 18:09

The PEI government has expanded the criteria for eligibility in its Graduate Mentorship Program, which gives private sector employers wage subsidies for recent graduates. To be eligible for the program, graduates used to be required to have a current or recent claim for employment insurance (EI) benefits. These requirements have since been removed, allowing students who are not EI eligible to apply for the program as well. The University of PEI Student Union has applauded the move, but also says more can be done to help recent PSE graduates find work, especially those from other provinces and international graduates. PEI News Release | UPEI Student Union News Release

PEI expands eligibility for recent grad employment program Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:08 07/04/2013 - 18:08

The University of Alberta has released a first draft of a MOU with the province, in response to mandate letters sent by Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk earlier this spring. uAlberta says the “province must balance respect for academic freedom with overseeing the institution’s performance targets.” Lukaszuk’s mandate letters drew criticism for their perceived focus on specific performance targets that could affect the ability to conduct pure research. Another concern by some members of the uAlberta community is the loss of reputation and visibility under the adoption of the Campus Alberta umbrella brand. The draft is still in the internal consultation stage, and uAlberta has incorporated suggestions made in response to the original mandate letters. Lukaszuk says that there is no MOU document, that it is still a “mandate letter;” “that’s the only letter issued and that’s the only one that will be signed.” Edmonton Journal | uAlberta MOU

uAlberta wants academic freedom, autonomy Top Ten 07/04/2013 - 18:06 07/04/2013 - 18:06

The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) has been authorized to provide its first degree program, a Bachelor of Psychiatric Nursing. Applications will be accepted on a first-qualified, first-admitted basis for 15 seats, and the program is slated to begin in September. Applicants must already hold a diploma in psychiatric nursing to be eligible. SIAST is only the second institution in the province to be authorized to grant a degree, other than the two universities. SIAST president and CEO Larry Rosia stated that by providing the degree program, they are responding to industry and student demand. Regina Leader-Post

SIAST approved to grant psychiatric nursing degree Top Ten 09/25/2013 - 13:58 07/04/2013 - 18:05

The recently-appointed Australian minister for higher education, Kim Carr, has pledged to re-examine A$2.3 billion in cuts to universities planned by the administration under the former prime minister. Carr also said he would consider re-imposing a numbers cap on undergraduate admissions, which was taken away in 2010 to increase the number of young Australians earning degrees from 32% to 40% by 2025. Critics of the 2010 legislation say a rise in undergraduate numbers comes at the expense of quality at PSE institutions. Times Higher Education

New Australian government reviews PSE policies Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:27 07/03/2013 - 21:27

India and the US have announced 8 new partnerships in health, technology, energy and sustainable development, and training of human resources – amounting to around US$2 million – as part of the second round of the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. The initiative was first announced in November 2009, and will amount to a total of US$10 million. The funding goes towards projects with the objective of cultivating educational reform in areas that include online education, fostering economic growth, generating shared knowledge to address global challenges, and developing junior faculty at Indian and American PSE institutions.University World News

India and US announce new partnerships in PSE Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:26 07/03/2013 - 21:26

Cengage Learning, Inc., one of the largest US publishers of PSE course materials, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, citing $5.8 billion in outstanding debt. A company statement says that the move will help reduce the debt as well as help Cengage reach their long-term goal of switching from print to digital learning and research material. “[The print side of the operation] has seen a pretty steep drop in terms of unit sales," says Michael E. Hansen, CEO. This has reduced overall performance, and he expects it will be another 2 or 3 years before sales of digital products offset that loss. Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education

Major US publisher files for bankruptcy protection Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:24 07/03/2013 - 21:24

Memorial University of Newfoundland has received accreditation from the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB) for its undergraduate co-operative programs in civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and process engineering. The programs have received full accreditation status until June 30, 2017 CEAB accreditation is recognized globally and involves multiple evaluations of curriculum, program environment, and learning outcomes to ensure that program graduates have the necessary requirements for licensure as a professional engineer in Canada. 38 other Canadian institutions have CEAB accreditation. MUN News Release

MUN’s engineering programs receive accreditation Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:23 07/03/2013 - 21:23

Youth employment numbers for the month of May could be the signal of some relief to a 5-year slump, says Conference Board of Canada senior VP and chief economist Glen Hodgson in recent commentary. Roughly 95,000 jobs were created in Canada in the month, and 54,000 of them went to young workers, causing the Canadian youth unemployment rate to fall by almost a full percentage point, to 13.6%. Hodgson points out that one month does not make a trend, but that “if the labour market for young workers in Canada has reached a positive turning point, it would be a further and welcome sign of a sustained growth recovery.” Still, Hodgson warns that the Canadian labour force participation rate will steadily decline over the coming decade, due to the number of baby boomers at or nearing retirement age, and that engaging young Canadians in the workforce should be a higher national priority than relying upon temporary foreign workers. Globe and Mail

Conference Board VP cautiously optimistic on youth job rate Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:20 07/03/2013 - 21:20

Engineering and computer science degree holders enjoy higher salaries than those with degrees in marketing, business and humanities, but any university is best in terms of long-term return on investment, says a new study by a Canadian job-search firm. The study found that civil engineering alumni are the best-paid grads in Canada, with an average entry-level salary of $68,356, followed by software engineers at $67,274. It found also that humanities degree holders earned on average less than $30,000 in their first year of work. However, all university graduates, regardless of their degree type, earn almost $15,000 more than those without a university degree when they begin their careers, with a potential boost of $466,476 over their working lives, according to the study. Toronto Star

Engineering, computer science grads make the most money, study finds Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:19 07/03/2013 - 21:19

St. Francis Xavier University is enjoying some positive media coverage amid recent unwelcome news of budget cuts, the faculty strike, and president Sean Riley’s stroke. A Globe and Mail article lauds StFX for its brand-building, which is represented by the traditional X-bearing ring that has not changed since the 1940s. The Globe author points out that StFX is promoting itself as the “Canadian version of an American Ivy League school with the help of devoted alumni,” which include former New Brunswick premier and ambassador to Washington, Frank McKenna, and former prime minister Brian Mulroney. The author also praises Sean Riley’s long-time presidency, in which he “raised nearly $250 million and transformed a crumbling campus into a state-of-the-art facility.” Speaking about getting through a period of provincial funding cuts and a 3-week faculty strike earlier this year, McKenna (who is finishing his term as chair of the StFX board) said, “I think if our brand wasn’t so strong, it would have [had] more impact.” Globe and Mail

StFX gets front-page praise Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:17 07/03/2013 - 21:17

Dalhousie University’s incoming president, Richard Florizone, has launched “100 Days of Listening,” a drive to “gather ideas and opinions on Dal’s current state of affairs and its future direction.” It consists of a series of meetings, consultations and information-sharing opportunities designed to inform “not just the early days of Dr. Florizone’s presidency, but also the next chapter in Dalhousie’s history.” Dal has launched the 100 Days of Listening website, which explains the consultation process and provides an opportunity for Dal stakeholders and the public to share general thoughts as well as answer several questions on a variety of topics: academic programs, enrolment, research, global and local impact, managing resources, technology, human resources, the overall reputation of the university, and how Dal can work together with stakeholders. Dal News Release

Dal president kicks off “100 Days of Listening” Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:16 07/03/2013 - 21:16

PSE students in Manitoba are worried that the recent introduction of a new ancillary fee at the University of Winnipeg could be just the beginning of the province offloading operating costs onto students. uWinnipeg introduced a $5-per-credit-hour IT ancillary fee in order to fund upgrades to computer and internet system after the provincial budget cut back on a promised funding increase. In Manitoba, tuition increases are capped at the rate of inflation, and PSE institutions that need further funds must apply for permission from the province before implementing ancillary fees. The Manitoba representative for the Canadian Federation of Students agreed that the IT systems at uWinnipeg need upgrading, but questioned the direct billing of students, suggesting that the province and universities should be providing the funds.Winnipeg Free Press

Manitoba PSE students concerned about ancillary fees Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:15 07/03/2013 - 21:15

One of the-hardest hit PSE institutions during the recent floods in Alberta, Bow Valley College, announced it will resume classes as of July 8. However, several BVC campuses remain closed, and officials are not yet sure when they will be open. BVC’s downtown Calgary campuses remain closed to students, although limited services are being provided by the Office of the Registrar and Learner Success Services at the North Campus. BVC’s computer systems and email services are still largely unavailable, but they have introduced a info [at] (temporary email platform)

 to deal with inquiries. BVC is cautioning students to watch for further updates regarding class locations, as some may be moved until all campuses are open to students. BVC Update

Bow Valley College to resume classes, locations undetermined Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 21:13 07/03/2013 - 21:13

India and the US have announced 8 new partnerships in health, technology, energy and sustainable development, and training of human resources – amounting to around US$2 million – as part of the second round of the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative. The initiative was first announced in November 2009, and will amount to a total of US$10 million. The funding goes towards projects with the objective of cultivating educational reform in areas that include online education, fostering economic growth, generating shared knowledge to address global challenges, and developing junior faculty at Indian and American PSE institutions. University World News

India and US announce new partnerships in PSE Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:33 07/02/2013 - 22:33

The UK government has announced up to £125 million to support disadvantaged students into further study, as a new report reveals postgraduate numbers fell last year. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Higher Education Funding Council for England will distribute grants of between £300,000 and £3 million to universities and colleges in an attempt to bolster postgraduate numbers. After studying the success of the program, the government will then invest an additional £50 million in “removing financial or cultural barriers to participation in postgraduate education.”Times Higher Education

UK government announces grad student support as enrolment falls Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:31 07/02/2013 - 22:31

The interest rates on PSE Stafford federal student loans doubled from 3.4% to 6.8% this week when Congress missed the July 1 deadline to strike a new interest rate consensus. Students and PSE stakeholders in the US are now wondering if Congress will be able to come to an agreement on the interest rate before students begin signing loan documents this fall, but they will have to wait until Congress returns from a July 4break. A White House spokesperson predicted a deal could be reached before students return to campus. Times Colonist

Postscript: The US Senate failed to reverse the doubling of interest rates on subsidized student loans this week. The Senate Democrats' bill would have reduced rates on the loans to 3.4% for a year, giving lawmakers more time to craft a long-term fix. The interest rate on subsidized loans doubled on July 1 because lawmakers could not come to an agreement on a proposed plan to tie the rates to financial markets. Chronicle of Higher Education

US federal student loan interest rates double Top Ten 07/11/2013 - 23:10 07/02/2013 - 22:30

Newfoundland and Labrador premier Kathy Dunderdale last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, which states that they will each encourage their PSE institutions to formally recognize diplomas, degrees and certificates from the other’s jurisdiction. Under the agreement, for example, Chinese BA holders who have achieved outstanding results will be eligible for admission into further studies leading to graduate degrees at Memorial University. College of the North Atlantic currently provides the curriculum for diploma programs at 8 Chinese universities, and supports and trains faculty at 2 of these PSE institutions. Memorial News Release

Newfoundland and Labrador signs MOU with China Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:28 07/02/2013 - 22:28

York University’s Schulich School of Business has added a specialization in Regulatory Affairs for Financial Institutions to its Master's in Finance program, a stream that according to Schulich is one of the first of its kind in the world. “Since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the importance of sound supervisory and regulatory practices has been increasingly recognized, causing demand for training and capacity-building programs,” said John R.V. Palmer, Chair of the Toronto Centre (the organization that partnered with Schulich to design the Regulatory Affairs specialization). Schulich News Release

Schulich adds regulatory affairs to Finance grad program Top Ten 07/03/2013 - 13:55 07/02/2013 - 22:26

University of Alberta researchers have received combined funding of just over $1 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for cardiovascular research. Dr. Ayman El-Kadi, Associate Dean, Research & Graduate Studies will receive funding towards his research that will identify the molecules responsible for the enlargement of the heart and heart failure, and Dr. Paul Jurasz, Assistant Professor, hopes his research will “lead to a better understanding of cardiovascular biology and the mechanisms by which strokes and heart attacks occur.” uAlberta News Release

uAlberta receives $1 million for cardiovascular research Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:25 07/02/2013 - 22:25

The Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) has released its 2013 list of the world’s top 100 Universities, and 4 Canadian institutions have made the list: the University of Toronto (29), McGill University (47), the University of British Columbia (58), and the University of Alberta (97). CWUR bases its rankings on the quality of student education and training, and the prestige and quality of the institutions’ research. The US has the greatest number of institutions on the list (57), as well as the top 2 schools (Harvard University and Stanford University). HR Reporter | Newswire | CWUR Rankings

4 Canadian universities make CWUR top 100 list Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:23 07/02/2013 - 22:23

A recent article in University World News, based on an article in OCUFA's Academic Matters, examines the state of Canada’s scientific research community, and perceptions that the federal government is muzzling scientists. According to the author, the federal government has strategically cut funding to scientific research programs that do not support its industrial or economic agenda. As well, scientists and researchers must now obtain permission from various government ministries in order to publish or discuss findings with the media. The author suggests that such scientific muzzling has a direct connection to the strength of a nation’s democratic process. If the voting public is no longer receiving information and evidence-based facts on which to base opinions and decisions, the integrity of democracy is threatened, she says. In the author’s opinion, a “sustained effort by scientists, citizens, and policymakers” is needed in order for Canada to recover from the “dismantling” of scientific institutions and practices. University World News

Scientific research, democracy and government “muzzling” Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:22 07/02/2013 - 22:22

BC’s Emily Carr University of Art + Design has shortlisted 3 architectural teams to design and build its new $134-million Great Northern Way campus. Construction is scheduled to begin in Fall 2014, and to be completed in 2016.  From the 8 teams that submitted RFQs, 3 Canadian teams were chosen to submit proposals this fall: Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects, Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. (working with Vancouver’s Chernoff Thompson Architects), and Toronto-based Zeidler Partnership Architects (working with B+H Architects Inc., which has an office in Vancouver). The BC government announced early this year that it will invest $113 million in the new campus. The remaining $21 million will be funded by private donors, with local philanthropist and art collector Michael Audain having already pledged $5 million. BC News Release | Globe and Mail

ECUAD shortlists architects for new campus Top Ten 04/10/2015 - 13:03 07/02/2013 - 22:21

Liberal MP Scott Brison is shining a spotlight on the realities of unpaid internships in Canada, calling for provincial and federal legislation to protect a “vulnerable generation.” Current estimates put the number of unpaid interns at 100,000; some lobbyists and student groups say there are up to 300,000 Canadians working without pay. Brison notes that a positive and legal internship will “train a young person in transferable skills that can help them in their early career.” Many youth cannot afford to work without pay, preventing them from gaining valuable work experience. Many other interns are used to replace paid workers. Brison is supporting initiatives that measure the scope of the unpaid workforce, and to identify the parameters of acceptable unpaid work placements. BC and Ontario have both recently implemented guidelines regarding what constitutes a legal unpaid internship. CBC

Internship legislation needed, says Liberal MP Top Ten 07/02/2013 - 22:18 07/02/2013 - 22:18

Financial Times article discusses the growing concern among MBA professors and leaders about weakened writing skills among North American business students. David Abulafia, a Cambridge history professor, said in a talk this year, “people do not know how to write. Command of grammar, punctuation and spelling is atrocious.” The article’s author wonders whether students’ writing is really getting worse, or if “professors [are] imagining a golden age of literacy that never existed.” He suggests that perhaps the reason that MBA students don’t feel the need to brush up on their writing skills is because there actually isn’t much of a demand and because superior writing skills holds no premium in the job market. Financial Times

Professors concerned with lack of writing skills in MBA students Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:42 07/01/2013 - 11:42

The demographics of students seeking online degrees are beginning to look more like traditional average PSE demographics, according to a new study sponsored by 2 US online education consulting companies. The survey, which is now in its second year, continues to show that the typical student taking online courses is a married, middle-aged white woman. However, the overall population of online students is beginning to include more students who are of traditional PSE age, although not studying on a university or college campus. The survey respondents included 1,500 respondents who were recently enrolled, are currently enrolled, or planned to enrol in a fully online undergraduate or graduate degree, certificate, or licensure program.  Inside Higher Ed

More traditional PSE-aged students taking online courses, study Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:41 07/01/2013 - 11:41

An INSEAD business school case study has revealed that the stereotypical MBA grad – “a [person] in a tailored suit losing sleep on spreadsheets and racing through airports…while rising through the ranks of a consulting firm” – paints a false picture of the varied lives and careers of actual MBA graduates. An INSEAD professor and her husband studied 19 grads from the business school to reveal a more truthful portrait. “The amazing thing about the stories is their diversity. The stories come from people who live on every continent, who work in corporations, not-for-profits, who have started their own entrepreneurial ventures,” says Jennifer Petriglieri, one of the study’s authors. The case study also found that many MBA grads are concerned with finding balance between work and family, hobbies and other pursuits. “These narratives shatter stereotypes of MBAs single-mindedly pursuing status and wealth simply for their own gain,” says Petriglieri. The study helped Petriglieri show her students that they don’t have to strive to be a certain type of person, or have a certain type of career, which eases some of the stress of an MBA program. Globe and Mail

MBA grads not the stereotype we imagine, study Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:37 07/01/2013 - 11:37

Pearson has expanded on their free learning management system, OpenClass, with the OpenClass Exchange, which will allow educators to access over 680,000 Open Educational Resources (OER), such as eTextbooks, articles, and video clips. The OpenClass Exchange will contain a collection of courses sourced from the Open Course Library, and will  provide “educators with the 21st century resources, assets and best practices they need to keep students engaged.” OpenClass Exchange will be updated regularly, and should see significant growth in the amount and type of OER available. Pearson also added social networking features to OpenClass, enabling students and educators to connect and “follow” each other. OpenClass is a “dynamic learning environment” that brings social learning and interaction to the classroom.University Business | OpenClass Blog

Pearson expands on OpenClass with exchange features Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:36 07/01/2013 - 11:36

Statistics Canada has released the second round of data from its National Household Survey, and although Aboriginal Canadians continue to fall significantly behind non-Aboriginal Canadians when it comes to PSE attainment, the numbers indicate a cautious increase in PSE success for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The data reports that almost half (48.4%) of the Aboriginal population aged 25-64 surveyed had a PSE qualification. The data also suggests that younger Aboriginal men and women (age 35-44) were more likely to have higher levels of education than the generation before them (age 55-64), and Aboriginal women were more likely to have higher education than the men of their age groups. Statistics Canada Website | Postmedia News

Education gap persists for Aboriginal peoples Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:34 07/01/2013 - 11:34

BC’s North Island College has received a $1-million research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada for the establishment of an Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture. The grant will help enhance existing applied research, and develop new research projects focused on facilitating solutions to industry challenges and increasing sustainability and efficiency in the aquaculture industry. Dr. Stephen Cross has been named Chair at NIC, and will strengthen the relationship between the working aquaculture industry and the academic research community. The funding will be administered over 5 years, and the Chair will be located at NIC’s Centre for Applied Research, Technology and Innovation (CARTI) in Campbell River. NIC News Release

NIC establishes research chair in sustainable aquaculture Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:32 07/01/2013 - 11:32

The University of Winnipeg has achieved a balanced budget for 2013-14, largely due to $3.5 million in savings from vacant job positions left unfilled. The $116-million operating budget also carries a third salary freeze for senior executive employees, savings due to executive restructuring, a 1.6% tuition increase for domestic students, and a 5% increase for international students. As well, uWinnipeg introduced a $5-per-credit-hour IT ancillary fee designed to improve wireless access on campus, increase online course offerings, and create back-up systems. uWinnipeg is also planning an energy retrofit in order to achieve $180,000 in utilities savings. The Manitoba government cut back on a planned 5% annual budget increase, instead only providing a 2.5% increase.uWinnipeg News | Winnipeg Free Press

uWinnipeg maintains vacant positions, creates new fee, to balance budget Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:30 07/01/2013 - 11:30

The Manitoba Government and the General Employees Union say University College of the North will be shutting down its disability services office as part of budget cutsannounced in June, according to the Winnipeg Free Press. The union has launched a petition among staff “demanding that president Konrad Jonasson convene a series of regional meetings to discuss UCN’s vision.” UCN’s earlier announcement about budget cuts included the intake suspension for 10 programs and the cutting of 16 jobs, but did not mention the accessibility services office. Winnipeg Free Press

UCN allegedly shutting down accessibility services office Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:28 07/01/2013 - 11:28

Brock University president Jack Lightstone has created a Presidential Task Force to conduct a review of all administrative and academic programs, units and services at the university. Lightstone said “the exercise is intended to put Brock on the road to long-term sustainability by ensuring that its programs and services align with its stated mission and strategic priorities, while at the same time addressing Brock’s financial condition.” He also stated that because Brock’s projected operating budget for 2013-14 has a deficit of more than $7 million, there is a sense of urgency for the review. The taskforce, which is made up of administration and faculty, will later this year submit its findings to Lightstone and senior administration, who will present them to Brock’s senate and Board of Trustees in early 2014. Brock News

Brock president announces program review Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:26 07/01/2013 - 11:26

A report written by a former Université du Québec à Montréal rector proposes the creation of a public, independent committee made up of 13 members appointed by the government to “keep tabs” on Quebec’s 18 universities. The report is the second of a series of reports to come out of the higher education summit held in Montreal in February. According to the Montreal Gazette, a similar committee, Conseil national des universités (CNU), was abolished in 1993, but nearly all of the academic stakeholders at the February summit, including students, called for its re-institution. Pierre Duchesne, Quebec’s minister in charge of PSE, has not said how the government plans to move forward to implement the recommendation. However, a press release from the government says that more details will come this fall. Montreal Gazette

Independent committee should oversee Quebec’s universities, report Top Ten 07/01/2013 - 11:23 07/01/2013 - 11:23

Many students who studied overseas would say that the experience changed their lives. In fact, studying abroad also changes a student's brain, according to research by a doctoral student at the University of North Dakota. Yuliya Kartoshkina, who is writing her dissertation on the subject, says that this happens because of how memory works. Our individual experiences stimulate one of the 100 billion neurons in our brains. Repeated experiences stimulate multiple neurons, and over time, these neurons fire together to establish patterns. This in turn creates memories and expectations, shaping how we perceive the world. "Our brain is wired to recognize patterns, including certain elements of culture," Kartoshkina said. "By growing up in one culture, our brain is wired in a certain way." When a student spends time in a different culture -- with a different set of experiences -- these patterns of expectations are interrupted. Kartoshkina has pointed out that this research could benefit study-abroad advisers at PSE institutions, helping them better understand how the brain works, and then preparing students accordingly for what they might experience while studying in a different country. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Studying overseas "rewires the brain" Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:26 06/27/2013 - 16:26

A recent US survey has found that there is low awareness of massive open online courses (MOOCs), and that students who are familiar with MOOCs are the least likely to say they are a good idea. Only 23% of all survey respondents are familiar with MOOCs, with employers and students being the most likely to be familiar with the concept at 33% and 30% respectively. The study, conducted by US communications firm Brodeur Partners, surveyed 1,042 Americans and used an over-sampling of PSE students and their parents. The study also showed that whether or not a university offers MOOCs does not often influence a student’s decision to attend a particular institution -- 23% said it would make them more likely to want to attend a university, 26% less likely. Brodeur Partners News Release | Chronicle of Higher Education

US survey finds limited public awareness of MOOCs Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:25 06/27/2013 - 16:25

India's University Grants Commission (UGC) is addressing the perceived gaps in the country's higher education system by establishing several initiatives designed to increase accessibility. The UGC hopes that by increasing the number of fellowships, reserved spaces, and financial assistance, the number of women enrolled in some disciplines will increase. The UGC is revisiting its existing programs, which were implemented to ensure greater equity among social groups, genders and minorities. There is also a lack of enrolment in teacher education in India, and officials are keen to increase these numbers to strengthen primary and secondary school education, which will further access to higher education. Economic Times

India increasing grants, fellowships to improve PSE equity Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:24 06/27/2013 - 16:24

Morgane Richer La Flèche, the Canadian delegate at the 2013 G(irls)20 Summit in Moscow, discusses ways in which to get more women into technology fields, in an op-ed in the Globe and Mail. Richer La Flèche points out that the tech sector offers fast job growth and high wages, and that “getting women in tech is one small way of closing the income gap.” She suggests that in order to solve the gender inequality issue in the technology sector, we must find out why it exists in the first place. A fellow summit speaker says that “while gender stereotypes, external pressures, and lack of exposure deter girls from tech, the absence of female role models and mentors [is] also a serious issue.” Ann Mei Chang, senior advisor for Women and Technology at the US Department of State, points to the structure of computer science education, saying it “favors a male way of thinking and calls for gender-specific approaches adapted to the interests of girls.” Richer La Flèche adds that in order to get more women into technology fields, government needs to have a greater awareness of the issue, integrate computer coding into elementary-school education across Canada, and make technology a central component of the curriculum. Globe and Mail

How to get more women in technology Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:23 06/27/2013 - 16:23

This week, 14 institutions from across Canada were given “eduStyle Higher Ed Web Awards” for excellence in web development. Awards in 15 categories were handed out, adjudicated by both judges and online public voting. uAlberta was voted "best overall website," by the judges, and Tyndale University College by people's choice. Both Tyndale and YorkU’s Lassonde School of Engineering, took home 3 awards overall, and both Brescia University College and Memorial University received 2 awards each. Other award-winners included Carleton, McGill, Queen’s, Royal Roads, Ryerson, Trinity Western, uSask, uToronto’s Rotman business school, and WesternU. eduStyle Website

14 PSE institutions win website awards Top Ten 06/28/2013 - 09:56 06/27/2013 - 16:22

The University of Windsor has added the ability to register for courses to their mobile app, myUWindsor. Originally developed in 2012, the app offers a range of services including maps, schedules, finance tracking, menus, and events. Now students will be able to register for courses from their mobile device as well, and uWindsor says they are one of the first Canadian universities to add this feature to mobile offerings. uWindsor’s acting registrar stated that “this on-the-go technology is another way of meeting [students’] needs.” Windsor Star | uWindsor News

uWindsor adds course registration to mobile app Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:21 06/27/2013 - 16:21

Manitoba’s Brandon University and Assiniboine Community College have partnered with the province’s 4 Child and Family Services Authorities to offer a tuition waiver program for youth exiting the child welfare system. The partners all expressed excitement about the initiative, which seeks to remove barriers to PSE access for youth-in-care, and BrandonU’s president Deborah Poff stated, “education is not only good in itself but it is also a mechanism for social and economic mobility.” This new partnership joins one that is already in place at uWinnipeg, as well as Ontario’s newly announced tuition grant program for Crown wards and youth leaving care. BrandonU News

BrandonU and ACC partner to offer youth-in-care tuition waiver Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:20 06/27/2013 - 16:20

A large student census conducted across the Toronto District School Board determined that high school students are experiencing increased amounts of stress and worry about the future. Now, analysts have determined that certain ethnic groups are feeling significantly more stress than others, and academic success is linked to these results in an unexpected way. According to the survey, which polled almost 103,000 students in grades 7-12 in the TDSB, East Asian teens are experiencing the highest levels of emotional distress, while enjoying the highest graduation rates (85%). Other students, who have self-identified as black, Middle Eastern, or Latin American, display much more emotional confidence but have lower graduation rates. The results indicate that academic success does not guarantee confidence about oneself or one’s future. Officials intend to use the survey findings to “fill the gaps in student support programs and develop a new mental health strategy” for the TDSB. Globe and Mail

TDSB survey finds high levels of stress in East Asian teens Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:19 06/27/2013 - 16:19

Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s minister of health, this week announced that Canada, in partnership with the Quebec, BC, Australia and New Zealand governments, will give $2.4 million in funding to 12 research teams focused on improving community-based primary health care in Canada and other countries. The funding, which will be used to tackle pressing challenges such as chronic disease prevention and management, as well as access issues for vulnerable populations, is part of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) investment agency. The research teams come from Memorial University, uToronto, WesternU, uMontréal, uManitoba, McGill, the Bruyère Research Institute, McMaster and UBC. CIHR News Release

Canada commits $2.4 million to primary health care research Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:18 06/27/2013 - 16:18

As southern Alberta continues to clean up and assess damage after last week’s devastating floods, several campuses have re-opened facilities and resumed operations. The University of Calgary was spared flood damage, and all 4 campuses are open as of Wednesday. Mount Royal University is also resuming operations at all locations. SAIT’s main campus is now open, but the downtown Culinary Campus remains closed. Bow Valley College’s Calgary campuses are closed, and officials say they will remain closed until at least July 2. Several BVC campuses outside of Calgary have resumed operations, although online courses are mostly unavailable due to lack of power at the main campus. Both SAIT and uCalgary have provided residence space to evacuees and emergency personnel during the flood and resulting clean-up. SAIT is offering commuters parking spaces at its downtown lot, and will provide campus space for Stampede staff training this week. Both Lethbridge and Medicine Hat experienced flooding and evacuations, but their PSE institutions have not reported any closures or cancellations. Calgary Herald | BVC Update | BVC Campus Closure Map | SAIT News | uCalgary Emergency Plan

Alberta’s campuses begin to re-open after flood Top Ten 06/27/2013 - 16:17 06/27/2013 - 16:17

The rise of massive open online courses (MOOCs) boosts the credit of universities that offer them, but diminishes the credit of a majority of lesser-known universities that lack a prominent brand name, according to a report published this week by Moody’s Investors Services. The report, available only to Moody’s subscribers, says that MOOCs offer PSE institutions increased global brand recognition, new revenue opportunities, and a chance to improve instruction methods. However, Moody’s also warns that smaller liberal-arts institutions could be left behind, because they lack the resources to compete with better-known universities. Chronicle of Higher Education

MOOCs could raise a university’s credit rating, says Moody’s Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 15:46 06/26/2013 - 15:46

In 2011, the Association of American Universities (AAU) announced an initiative to improve undergraduate teaching in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields at its member institutions. The 5-year initiative is designed to “influence the culture of STEM departments at AAU universities so that they will use sustainable, student-centered, evidence-based, active learning pedagogy in their classes, particularly at the first-year and sophomore levels.” The framework for the initiative is focused on identifying key levels, agents, and mechanisms of change and determining models to sustain best teaching practices. 8 universities have been chosen to implement major undergraduate STEM education projects: Brown University, Michigan State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Universities of Arizona, California at Davis, Colorado at Boulder, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Pennsylvania. Chronicle of Higher Education | AAU Initiative website

8 US universities chosen as project sites for STEM teaching improvements Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 15:46 06/26/2013 - 15:46

American students are seeking Canadian PSE degrees at an increasing rate, according to an article in USA Today. Since 2000, there has been a 50% increase in enrolments at Canadian colleges and universities, and that number is expected to grow, as US PSE institutions continue to increase tuition and with federal student loan interest rates scheduled to double on July 1. The cultural transition for US students is relatively easy, and the cost of international Canadian tuition fees is much cheaper than at many US institutions, sometimes up to one-half or one-third of the cost of some US private and public institutions. US graduates from Canadian colleges enjoy less debt and comparable employment opportunities, making Canadian PSE an attractive option for today’s US students. USA Today

Americans seek savings from Canadian PSE institutions Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 16:04 06/26/2013 - 15:45

A recent Globe and Mail article takes a unique look at the start-up incubator development, and examines the “crucial period” in which companies must transition from the support-filled incubator to the “real world,” once they’ve decided to leave the incubator. Valerie Fox, executive director of Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), says that the difference between companies that do well and companies that fail once they leave the DMZ is sales. Fox suggests paying close attention to sales seminars, and partnering with potential customers to get feedback at all stages of product development. Jesse Rodgers, manager of the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto, advises young companies to make sure they keep in contact with the network provided by business incubators. Globe and Mail

What happens when a start-up leaves the incubator? Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 16:04 06/26/2013 - 15:44

Although the official word from McGill University is that its medical library will remain open, staff members disagree, saying that with the removal of the majority of the library’s collection, the library will essentially be defunct. McGill insists that the process is a “reorganization” designed to better meet the needs of today’s students, who require more digital resource access and study space than print materials. Early controversy regarding the library resulted in a “consultation” with interested groups, and the results have led to the decision to “reorganize.” The library will continue to house “reserve materials — a small collection of textbooks and required reading for medical students,” and will provide consultation and circulation services. Critics worry about the fragmentation of the library’s collection and the availability of library staff in order to assist students. Montreal Gazette

Perceived closure of McGill’s medical library sparks controversy Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 15:43 06/26/2013 - 15:43

Wilfrid Laurier University has received accreditation from the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) for several of its co-operative education programs.  The organization, which has accredited 27 other Canadian PSE institutions, granted accreditation for co-op programs in WLU’s School of Business & Economics, including the BBA and Honours BA in Economics, Master's in Business Aadministration and MA in Business Economics, and Master of Finance co-op programs. WLU also received accreditation for the Faculty of Science’s Professional Experience Program, and a double-degree co-op program offered jointly through the Faculty of Science and the School of Business & Economics. WLU News Release

Laurier co-op programs receive national accreditation Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 16:03 06/26/2013 - 15:42

As Canada’s PSE institutions vie for provincial funding and research dollars, it is the polytechnics that should be at the forefront of the discussion about PSE education and employable skills, according to Ken Coates, Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan. In a Globe and Mail article, Coates examines some of the distinctions between universities, colleges, and polytechnic institutes, suggesting the need for more collaboration and partnerships to fully address the existing and projected skills gaps. Implying a change is needed, Coates notes that many politicians, as well as average Canadians, tend to focus on universities over other PSE providers when it comes to planning and financial allocation. Coates discusses the unique nature of polytechnics, and their close ties to employment markets, stating that “it is vital that they maintain their distinct identity and mission, even as the number of institutions and students continues to grow. More bluntly, the country needs strong polytechnics more than it needs additional universities.” Globe and Mail

Canada’s polytechnic PSE institutions leading the pack, op-ed Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 15:40 06/26/2013 - 15:40

Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Brad Duguid, this week announced a partnership between the province and its universities and some colleges to give former Crown wards aged 21 to 24 who are enrolled in OSAP-eligible PSE programs free tuition for up to 4 years. Ontario will provide 50% of the tuition costs for 850 eligible students, and all participating institutions will cover the remaining cost of tuition. Both the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) and the Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario (CFS-O) applauded the move, saying it will help ensure greater accessibility to PSE. Ontario News Release | COU News Release | OUSA News Release | CFS-O News Release

Ontario Crown wards to get free PSE tuition for 4 years Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 15:39 06/26/2013 - 15:39

64.1% of Canadian adults aged 25 to 64 had PSE qualifications in 2011, up from 60.7% in 2006, according to new data from the National Household Survey released yesterday by Statistics Canada. The data also shows that women accounted for 59.1% of young adults aged 25 to 34 with a university degree, and 47.3% among older university degree holders aged 55 to 64. StatsCan reports that although men still held the majority of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees overall, women held a higher share of university STEM degrees among younger graduates than among older ones. More women are moving into engineering, medicine and science now than in the previous generation. StatsCan Website | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

Number of educated Canadians, especially women, on the rise: StatsCan Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 16:03 06/26/2013 - 15:37

New Brunswick’s PSE, Training and Labour Minister Danny Soucy this week announced a $20-million investment over 5 years to support research and innovation in the province. $14 million will be allocated to the Research Innovation Fund, which supports projects that expand the innovation capacity of the province and that demonstrate potential for commercialization. The remaining $6 million will go to the Research Technicians Initiative and the Research Assistantships Initiative, which could represent up to 450 student research assistantships and 20 new research technicians over the next 5 years. New Brunswick News Release

New Brunswick makes $20-million investment in research and innovation Top Ten 06/26/2013 - 16:02 06/26/2013 - 15:35

A group of 14 advertising majors from Red River College’s Creative Communications program took home all but one of the awards at the “Imagine Students (Verb) Charities” gala this week. The competition challenged students from across Canada to produce a public awareness campaign in any form that tells the story of how charities ensure, improve and reflect the quality of life in Canada. Third prize was awarded to Laura Stobbe from uVictoria, but the other five prizes went to RRC students. Emily Doer, Courtney Brecht and Corinne Rikkelmann of RRC won first prize and $50,000 for their ad campaign, I am a Charity CaseRRC News Release | Winning Entries

RRC advertising students dominate national competition Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:44 06/25/2013 - 21:44

Spring/summer course registrations at Toronto’s Tyndale Seminary are up 12% over 2012, which the institution believes is due to enhanced online, intensive, and traditional course offerings. “Many of our students are part-time, and have asked for more flexible course delivery options. Students want to stay continuously enrolled -- even in the summer. For many, summer is now a third semester,” says Arnold Neufeldt-Fast, associate academic dean. Combined, total spring/summer course registrations in the seminary and university college have risen by 46% since 2008. Tyndale News Release

Spring/summer enrolment up at Tyndale Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:48 06/25/2013 - 21:43

Okanagan College and the British Columbia Institute of Technology this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding that formalizes each institution’s commitment to exploring and pursuing joint opportunities to provide students with programming, complementary disciplines and applied research. Areas in which the institutions think they could benefit from collaboration include building sciences, sustainability education, fuel alternatives, water management, energy management, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and simulation for health programming. Okanagan News Release

Okanagan and BCIT expand partnership with MOU Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:41 06/25/2013 - 21:41

Canada remains at the top of the list of the most educated countries in the world, but finds itself farther down the list when it comes to PSE funding, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). “Education at a Glance 2013,” ranks Canadians as the most educated of 34 OECD countries, with 51% of the population having completed university-, college- or polytechnic-level education. However, the average OECD country contributes 68% of the cost for PSE. Canada’s provinces, on average, only take on 57% of the cost. The report also supports the oft-touted fact that those with a PSE degree are less likely to be unemployed (5% for those with a BA or higher and 6.6% for those with college diploma, compared to 12.9-15.5% for those with only high school or less). PostMedia News | Full Report | CMEC Highlights for Canada

Canada remains on top for PSE attainment, lower on funding: OECD Top Ten 09/09/2014 - 14:07 06/25/2013 - 21:40

Research at Ontario universities is being impacted by a lack of sufficient space, or space that is inadequate to meet the needs of students and faculty, according to a report released by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). Between 1998-9 and 2010-11, there has been a 20% decline in classroom space per student and an 18% decline in research space per FTE (full-time equivalent) researcher. Furthermore, the gap between space generated and space needed has widened since 1998-9. The report underlines the importance of ensuring there is sufficient space for students and faculty at a time when the Ontario government has announced an expansion of graduate students as well as retrofits under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which aims to make the province more accessible to people with disabilities. Full Report

A lack of space at Ontario universities impacts research, COU report Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:38 06/25/2013 - 21:38

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities, an organization representing 15 of Canada’s most research-intensive universities, has launched a new website this week, The site is a platform for commentary by research thought leaders on contemporary issues facing the academic and scientific community. The site also includes information about the U15’s governance and members, links to current news on the research sector, statistics about the impact of Canadian research, and links to university research news stories. The U15 organization was formalized in 2012 with the development of a secretariat and addition of executive director Suzanne Corbeil. U15 Website

U15 launches new website Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:36 06/25/2013 - 21:36

The Heart and Stroke Foundation announced this week that it will make a $300 million, multi-year commitment to research at 19 of Canada’s research institutions. With the “Foundation Research Leadership Circle,” Heart and Stroke will work with universities and research hospitals in the country over the next 10 years to accelerate the progress towards its goal to reduce Canadians' rate of death from heart disease and stroke by 25% by 2020. Heart and Stroke has been funding research for some time, but under the new funding model, the dollars committed to research at the participating institutions will be guaranteed. Heart and Stroke Media Release | Globe and Mail

Heart and Stroke Foundation commits $300 million to research Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:34 06/25/2013 - 21:34

The Conseil supérieur de l'éducation (CSE) has released a report to the Quebec Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology on the indexation of tuition and compulsory fees, and the increased cost for Canadian and international students. The report states that the way students obtain their education has changed, and makes recommendations to accommodate these changes. CSE recommends reassessing the nature of the Quebec student and creating policies that reflect it, creating greater cohesiveness among various stakeholders in the development of goals and activities to advance PSE, ensuring equity amongst students and removing any barriers to accessing PSE, and engaging stakeholders in a fair division of responsibilities in carrying out the above recommendations. CSE News Release (in French) | Report Summary

Quebec CSE recommends changes to PSE policy Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:33 06/25/2013 - 21:33

Toronto company Bitmaker Labs Inc., which offers a 9-week web development course, has voluntarily suspended its operations after being told it was being investigated for running an unregistered career college. Officials from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities told the firm that it was being investigated because it offered a vocational program that cost more than $1,000 and provided more than 40 hours of training, which is the cut-off for registering as a career college. The ministry issued a statement saying that “no determination has been made regarding the program, no enforcement action has been taken against Bitmaker Labs, and the ministry has not requested that Bitmaker Labs cease offering its program." Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

Web development boot camp program gets investigated by MTCU Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:31 06/25/2013 - 21:31

Sault College has launched a new School of Business with the goal of enrolling 600 new students within the next 5 years. The dean of business, Colin Kirkwood, says the School will build on a very high level of student satisfaction with the business programs already offered at Sault. In the past year, 100 Sault students have taken business studies at the diploma, post-graduate and continuing education levels. “A recent student survey shows 91% of Sault College business students were either satisfied or very satisfied with their programs or courses,” says Kirkwood. Sault College News Release | The Sault Star

Sault College opens School of Business Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 21:28 06/25/2013 - 21:28

The US Supreme Court has decided to send the closely-watched affirmative action case, Fisher vs. University of Texas at Austin, back to the lower courts because it does not think enough scrutiny was given to the university’s policies. Abigail Fisher, a white woman rejected for admission by the university, said that her rights were violated by uTexas-Austin's consideration of race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. According to Inside Higher Ed, some had speculated that the Supreme Court might reverse past decisions that allowed PSE institutions to consider race when making admissions decisions. However, the Court did not offer a definitive opinion on the matter. Inside Higher Ed | Chronicle of Higher Education

No opinion on affirmative action in PSE admissions from US Supreme Court Top Ten 06/30/2015 - 13:18 06/24/2013 - 21:47

A York University professor tells the sobering truth to students who believe the myth that simply obtaining a university degree is a sure ticket to a good job, in recent commentary in the Toronto Star. Thomas Klassen points out that employers are looking for students who have demonstrated a passion for a subject or activity, and contributions outside of the classroom, and that it’s unrealistic for young graduates to expect to land a full-time, permanent and high-paying job straight out of university. Klassen also discusses ways in which to prepare students for the “stressful, complex and uncertain transition from PSE to work”: ensure they have realistic expectations, help them understand that their academic performance, and not just the degree in hand, is what employers look for so that they can adjust their programs and schedules accordingly, and prepare them to be more flexible in their job search, which may mean applying in other countries or to temporary and part-time positions.The Toronto Star

Grads need better preparation for the realities of the workplace, commentary Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:42 06/24/2013 - 21:42

A new survey conducted by Trojan and the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) has determined that Canadian university students are happy with their sex lives. The majority of respondents reported that their last sexual encounter was with a committed partner (60% of men and 70% of women); the next most popular category was “friends with benefits,” indicating that university students are engaging in sexual activity with acquaintances as opposed to strangers. The survey also looked at contraceptive use and found that the majority of students report using condoms or oral contraceptives. These Canadian findings are somewhat at odds with reports from US universities, where one researcher found that students were largely “ambivalent” or “unhappy” about their sex lives. The full results of the Trojan/SIECCAN study will be published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. CBC

Canadian students happy with sex lives, study finds Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:40 06/24/2013 - 21:40

David Turpin has served as president of the University of Victoria for 13 years, and when he leaves his post this month, he will leave behind numerous reminders of his successes as president. Supporters state that Turpin’s efforts helped launch uVic from the position of a “regional university” to a “leading research institution” of “national and international prominence.” Although critics suggest he has also altered the university into something resembling a “private company,” Turpin led uVic through many successful funding campaigns, the construction of 17 new buildings, including a First Peoples House and a number of student residences, and a doubling of financial assistance funds. Victoria Times Colonist

uVic’s president leaves a strong legacy Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:39 06/24/2013 - 21:39

Simon Fraser University, the University of Guelph, the University of Victoria and the University of Calgary have been recognized by Times Higher Education as being among the world’s top 100 universities under 50 years old. A “100 Under 50” ranking means that the institution shows great potential for the future. THE uses the same 13 indicators as those it uses for its World University Rankings (published in March), but re-calibrates them to reflect the special characteristics of younger universities, “giving less weight to subjective indicators of academic reputation.” uVic took the 20th spot this year, uCalgary was awarded number 23, SFU sits at number 26, and UoGuelph is ranked number 55. Times Higher Education

4 Canadian universities make THE Top 100 under 50 ranking Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:38 06/24/2013 - 21:38

The Canada Council for the Advancement of Education earlier this month announced the winners of its 2013 Prix D'Excellence awards, which are given out each year for excellence in university advancement. This year, McMaster led the group with 9 awards, followed closely by McGill, which picked up 8 awards. Memorial received 7 awards, UoGuelph and uManitoba won 6, uToronto won 5, and uSask won 4. Queen’s, uMontréal, uQuébec a Montréal and uAlberta each received 3 awards, and NSCAD and WLU got 2 awards each. Other award winners included Algonquin College, The Banff Centre, Branksome Hall, Concordia, Dalhousie, Durham College, Laurentian, Mount Allison, NorQuest, OCAD, Ryerson, SAIT, Laval, UBC, uCalgary, uLethbridge, uWaterloo, UCC, uWestern, and York U. CCAE Website

CCAE recognizes outstanding university advancement with annual awards Top Ten 06/25/2013 - 16:42 06/24/2013 - 21:36

Memorial University in Newfoundland has received $1 million from Chevron Canada Limited and the Research & Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador to create the Chevron Chair in Reservoir Characterization. Dr. Alison Malcolm, who will become the chair in summer 2014, will “work to help reduce reservoir uncertainty in support of improving the predicted oil in place, static and dynamic reservoir models, production performance and ultimate recovery.” MUN News Release

MUN receives $1 million to establish new research chair Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:34 06/24/2013 - 21:34

The University of Saskatchewan and the International Minerals Innovation Institute (IMII) announced this week a $1.67-million funding agreement to develop and deliver 5 additional mining courses and to create 3 new undergraduate mining options in geological, mechanical, and chemical engineering. uSask will also be able to recruit 3 new faculty members who specialize in mining engineering, to invest in mining engineering technology and to develop the new courses. uSask is looking to offer the new programming in September 2014. uSask News Release | Star Phoenix

uSask receives $1.67 million for mining courses Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:33 06/24/2013 - 21:33

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has chosen the University of Manitoba as the site in which to establish a National Research Centre on Residential Schools. The centre will house the statements, documents and other materials about residential schools that the TRC has been collecting for the past 5 years. The agreement was signed at uManitoba last Friday, National Aboriginal Day, and marks uManitoba’s commitment to continuing the spirit and work of TRC beyond the expiry of its mandate next June. uManitoba has long supported reconciliation in Canada, and in 2011 president Barnard was the first Canadian university president to offer a formal apology for residential schools. The chair of the TRC noted that uManitoba’s “current and pending partnerships for this project ensure that the records of TRC will be accessible across Canada.” The exact campus location of the Centre has not yet been determined. uManitoba News

uManitoba to host research centre on residential schools Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:31 06/24/2013 - 21:31

The imminent closing of the Social Justice Centre at the University of Windsor is one of many disciplines, faculties and programs falling under the budget axe, observes the National Post.  Other recent casualties have included uAlberta's Medical Acupuncture program, UoGuelph's Women's Studies, and uRegina's Francophone Studies and Latin American Studies.  John Fraser, the Master of uToronto's Massey College, observes that the closures are generally concentrated in the humanities, and that many interdisciplinary programs were trendy in the 90s: "courses based on fads eventually go the way of fads."  Other waning trends include Marxist theory, postmodern literary critical theory, and women's studies. The struggle for many PSE institutions is the balance between offering new and “niche” programs and classes, while still maintaining the strength of core disciplines, especially in the humanities.National Post

Growing list of program closures because of budget constraints Top Ten 06/24/2013 - 21:27 06/24/2013 - 21:27

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article examines the research on, and push for, better methods for teaching university sciences by former White House adviser and Nobel Prize-winner Carl E. Wieman. The author explains that Wieman “made a second career” of studying and promoting a hands-on approach to teaching science -- where discussions are more important than lectures and practical applications are better than rubrics. His work at the White House culminated in his proposed annual survey of teaching practices as a way of encouraging improvements, but it was met with resistance from many universities and is now off the table. Last summer, Wieman resigned because he was “frustrated by university lobbying and distracted by a diagnosis of multiple myeloma.” However, as the Chronicle points out, Wieman’s efforts have led to progress in research into updated science teaching methods. One of these advances is the Association of American Universities’ 5-year project to raise the quality of undergraduate teaching and learning in science and math fields. Chronicle of Higher Education

Carl Wieman finds PSE slow to change Top Ten 06/22/2013 - 18:41 06/21/2013 - 16:42

Women are poorly represented within the ranks of PSE institution leaders, and we need a change in attitude about equality in leadership, according to a panel of PSE stakeholders at the Worldviews Conference on Media and Higher Education in Toronto last week. A panelist pointed out that between 1997 and 2013 in the US, women made up only 16 to 22% of university presidents, 13-14% of CEOs and 25-43% of provosts and deans. Another panelist said that women are underrepresented in commentary and opinion in the media as well (in Canada, only 20% of faculty commentaries in newspapers and 24% of appearances on radio or TV were by women). According to the panel, “a change in attitude toward women in leadership roles can be achieved if there is a better relationship between the media and universities, so that diverse and positive stories about women are shared with the public.” Maclean’s

Panelists discuss gender equity in PSE leadership Top Ten 06/22/2013 - 18:39 06/21/2013 - 16:41

There has been much attention in the news lately about the budget cuts at PSE institutions, and their repercussions. An op-ed in Friday’s Globe and Mail draws attention to the current practice among many universities to have non-tenured professors teach courses, at a much-reduced wage compared to tenure-track professors. These “adjuncts” or “sessionals” teach a variety of courses across all faculties and at all levels of study, and have little job security when compared to tenured professors. The author notes the lack of office space and access to campus technology that some instructors experience, which directly affects the quality of instruction they can provide. According to the author, at some institutions “more than 50% of the undergraduate courses are taught by contract instructors.” Globe and Mail

Rising use of sessional profs to cut costs Top Ten 06/22/2013 - 18:38 06/21/2013 - 16:40

A new study released by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) examines factors that affect time-to-completion for students with disabilities. The researchers looked at credential type, program area, type of disability, and GPA to determine what influences the amount of time needed to complete a PSE program. The study found that students in health and business programs, as well as those working on advanced degrees, took more time to complete program requirements than the control group. The study also determined that psychiatric disabilities had an impact on time-to-completion, with many students requiring extra terms to finish courses. The authors make a number of recommendations for how PSE institutions can better assist students with disabilities in completing their programs. They also suggest that further studies be done in other provinces to generate national data. HEQCO News Release | Full Report

Study examines effects of disabilities on PSE time-to-completion Top Ten 06/21/2013 - 16:44 06/21/2013 - 16:39

The University of Guelph has received a $1-million gift from the RBC Blue Water Project to support teaching and research in water and ecosystem monitoring and water treatment and conservation on First Nations reserves. The donation was part of the “BetterPlanet Project”, UoGuelph’s $200-million fundraising campaign for teaching and research in food, environment, health and communities. UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph gets $1 million to improve water in First Nations communities Top Ten 06/21/2013 - 16:44 06/21/2013 - 16:38

The University of Calgary – Qatar has redesigned its website with a new design and updated interactive features to “provide a better user experience for students, faculty and the community.” The new website offers enhanced navigational features, a mobile-friendly layout, and Arabic translations of key information for the uCalgary -- Qatar students and community. The site went live June 20. uCalgary News Release | UQC Website

UCQ launches new website Top Ten 06/21/2013 - 16:44 06/21/2013 - 16:37

Southern Alberta was hit with extreme rain and severe flooding late last week, resulting in widespread evacuations, campus closures, and states of local emergency, particularly in Calgary. Early Friday afternoon, uCalgary, SAIT, Mount Royal U, and Bow Valley College all announced their campuses would be closed and locked down for the weekend, classes and exams were cancelled.  SAIT announced almost immediately that it would stay closed today and Tuesday, to reopen Wednesday. BVC took their Blackboard and email servers offline to prevent data loss, since their campus was without power.  Lethbridge College cancelled classes Friday afternoon only, while uLethbridge remained open and reported “negligible” effects on campus.  As of Saturday evening, other communities across Alberta were still bracing themselves for potential flooding: although RDC’s campus remained open, sandbagging was under way in Red Deer; MHC remained open, but Medicine Hat was preparing for flood protocols; and Alberta Environment had issued a flood watch for Edmonton, among other regions.  No details or estimates of campus flood damage have been released yet.  uCalgary emergency advisory  |  SAIT flood update  |  MRU advisory  |  BVC advisory

Calgary, Southern Alberta flooding closes multiple campuses Top Ten 06/22/2013 - 18:34 06/21/2013 - 16:36

The new $31-million dormitory at Brescia University College in London, ON, is set to open this fall, and will house 320 students in a much different way than traditional dorm rooms do. The all-women’s college will offer single-occupancy rooms with queen-sized beds, personal sinks and vanities, large closets and small fridges. There will be one bathroom for every 2 rooms, and lounges on each floor will offer TVs, kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows. The main floor will feature an open-concept dining hall that will incorporate techniques from Brescia’s food and nutrition program. The rooms will cost $7,200 for one school year, with a $3,750 mandatory meal plan to accompany the room cost. In the off-season, the building will be used as a conference centre, and it is expected the new single-occupancy rooms will be a primary attraction. London Free Press

Brescia to open luxurious new dorms Top Ten 06/21/2013 - 16:46 06/21/2013 - 16:34

As part of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program, over $18 million will be invested in new research partnerships. Minister of State Gary Goodyear made the announcement, stating the CCI program “supports the deployment of the talent and knowledge developed in our PSE institutions while providing invaluable industry experience for students.” The partnerships between PSE institutions and businesses are meant to foster support and innovation in the fields of science and technology. NSERC News Release

NSERC announces over $18 million in funding Top Ten 06/21/2013 - 16:45 06/21/2013 - 16:33

The Ontario Association of Career Colleges (OACC) has submitted a set of recommendations to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in preparation for the review of the current Private Career Colleges (PCC) Act (2005) set to take place this fall. The OACC recommendations include taking measures to ensure the quality standards of career colleges are maintained by requiring mandatory training for new operators, putting students first by increasing flexibility in program delivery, and creating an accredited career college category. The OACC recommendations will help create a PCC Act that “provides a strategic framework for the future and that enables innovative, creative growth to propel this province’s postsecondary education (PSE) system, and that of Canada, towards global competitiveness.” OACC News Release | OACC Report

OACC recommends revisions to Private Career Colleges Act Top Ten 06/21/2013 - 16:45 06/21/2013 - 16:32

A group of university provosts, known as the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), is consulting on topics surrounding massive open online courses (MOOCs), which include whether there is a need to outsource to platform providers such as Coursera and 2U, and whether outsourcing could have negative effects on academic control and faculty intellectual property rights. One provost said that the talks are informed by a “desire to improve education using technology.” The CIC executive director stated that “the provosts’ goal is to create a coherent posture and strategy,” and that “private sector” values should not drive decisions at universities. The CIC will discuss expanding their CourseShare program, which is used by member universities to share language courses. The CIC is made up of provosts from the Big 10 universities and the University of Chicago. Inside Higher Ed

Provosts meet to discuss online learning Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 16:25 06/20/2013 - 16:25

Unpaid internships don’t necessary lead to better job prospects, according to US data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). It asked more than 9,200 US seniors from February through the end of April whether they've received a job offer, and if they've ever had either a paid or unpaid internship. It found that 63.1% of students who had done a paid internship received at least one job offer. However, only 37% of former unpaid interns said they had received a job offer, which is only 1.8% more than those who had never interned. And data shows that it gets even worse when it comes to salary. Among students who found jobs, former unpaid interns were actually offered less money than those with no internship experience. (This US data comes at a time when PSE pundits and stakeholders here in Canada are also questioning the fairness of unpaid internships.) The Atlantic

Unpaid internships don’t lead to jobs, US study Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 20:54 06/20/2013 - 16:24

In a recent commentary, University of Saskatchewan Provost and VP Academic Brett Fairbairn examines the current surge of announcements by PSE institutions that describe budget deficits and cuts, and suggests that some of the one-year budget plans may not be as effective in the long term as a multi-year approach. Fairbairn acknowledges the need to address provincial budget cuts, but notes “short-term solutions can have the effect of distorting academic priorities” and leave universities overly dependent on tuition revenues. He suggests that multi-year prioritizations will become the norm as PSE adjusts to governmental budget fluctuations, and states, “instead of management of programs, we increasingly need leadership of change.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix

PSE needs leadership of change, long-term priorities Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 16:23 06/20/2013 - 16:23

The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and Brazil’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development have signed a memorandum of understanding that recognizes the importance of supporting applied scientific and technological cooperation between Brazil and Canada. Initiatives to come out of the agreement include developing projects that support a capacity building program for Brazilian students or professionals in ACCC member institutions, exchanges of researchers to promote or consult on applied research, and capacity building and training within applied R&D for joint projects. The agreement comes as a delegation of 20 Canadian Institutes of Technology are visiting 20 communities across Brazil, part of a campaign aimed at doubling the number of foreign students enrolled at Canadian colleges. ACCC News Release

ACCC agrees to strengthen tech training, applied research ties with Brazil Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 16:22 06/20/2013 - 16:22

The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University has been granted the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) accreditation for a 5-year period by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). According to the EFMD website, institutions accredited by EQUIS must demonstrate not only high general quality in all dimensions of their activities, but also a high degree of internationalization. This announcement comes after University Affairs reported that more Canadian universities are seeking accreditation from US organizations as well, in an effort to compete globally. 9 other Canadian management schools are EQUIS accredited. McGill Reporter

McGill management school receives European accreditation Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 16:21 06/20/2013 - 16:21

Emily Carr University of Art + Design has launched a new fundraising campaign on “Indiegogo,” the world’s largest crowdsourcing platform. Indiegogo rewards donors with “perks” that have been identified and provided by the fundraiser, such as the alumni membership packages that Emily Carr is offering to their donors. The “Match it Up” campaign asks the Indiegogo audience to donate towards a $50,000 goal that will be matched by a member of Emily Carr’s board of governors. Emily Carr News Release | Indiegogo Page

Emily Carr uses crowdsourcing in fundraising campaign Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 16:20 06/20/2013 - 16:20

Technical and trades-focused Alberta PSE institutions have received a smaller cut than some of their PSE counterparts in recent provincial budget-tightening, according toMetro News. Data provided to the paper shows that although the province made a 7.3% reduction to the Campus Alberta grants, it also made funding alterations to infrastructure and apprenticeship technical training grants, allowing technical institutions like Calgary’s SAIT Polytechnic and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to take a smaller cut overall. According to Metro, these technical institutions will only see a 5.6% reduction to their funding year-over-year, which is much lower than the next lowest reduction -- 7.8% at the University of Alberta. Metro News

Alberta PSE tech schools get smallest cut, new data reveals Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 20:54 06/20/2013 - 16:19

According to a complaint filed by a leading Canadian criminologist, the University of Ottawa failed to help 2 of its researchers protect the confidentiality of their records. The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) states that “institutions shall support their researchers in maintaining promises of confidentiality.” The complaint accuses uOttawa of breaching its obligations, and, therefore, calls into question the entire basis of the TCPS 2, and whether it has “any regulatory teeth.” The confidentiality breach in question is related to the murder trial of Luka Magnotta, who may have been interviewed years earlier by a uOttawa research team. CAUT Bulletin

CAUT concerned about confidentiality of faculty records Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 20:51 06/20/2013 - 16:18

Ontario is losing out on as much as $24.3 billion in economic activity and $3.7 billion in provincial tax revenues annually because employers cannot find people with the skills they need to innovate and grow in today’s economy, according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada. To provide more data on the skills shortage that has been discussed lately, and to quantify its cost to Ontario, the Conference Board conducted the “Ontario Employer Skills Survey,” in which more than 1,500 Ontario employers representing over 760,000 employees participated. The survey shows that the most widespread needs are for employees with 2- or 3-year college diplomas (57%); 4-year degrees (44%); and trades (41%). The Conference Board argues that various stakeholders have a role to play in the solution to the skills-gap problem: employers should increase their training and development investments and provide more work-integrated learning opportunities, educators should align programming with the needs of the economy, government should allocate additional resources to work-integrated learning experiences, and collect and share better labour market information, and students should match their own education with the realities of the marketplace. Full Report

Skills shortages cost Ontario economy billions annually, says report Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 20:49 06/20/2013 - 16:17

The results are in from the provincial audit conducted at the request of University of Regina president Vianne Timmons, with 26 recommendations to strengthen uRegina’s research program. The report categorized the recommendations into several specific areas: “oversight, updating policies and procedures, evaluating risks and benefits of research initiatives and monitoring compliance.” The report did not examine how research funding was administered, but rather assessed the effectiveness of processes surrounding research. uRegina VP Research Dave Malloy is looking forward to implementing these recommendations, and stated that it was a “teachable moment,” with some “cultural changes” to be made. Malloy hopes to implement changes and address recommendations within 18 months. uRegina News Release | Regina Leader-Post | CBC | CTV | Auditor’s Report (see ch. 15)

Provincial auditor provides report to uRegina Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 16:16 06/20/2013 - 16:16

The Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences has released a new report, "The Heart of the Matter," to much acclaim in the US, which seeks to establish the importance of a well-rounded education and knowledge of the humanities and social sciences. The report argues that studies in the humanities and social sciences play a “vital role” in producing educated, critical-thinking, well-rounded members of society. The report points to the gap between K-12 and PSE when it comes to the humanities, and offers recommendations to address the issue. The impetus behind the report is not to downplay the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields, but to emphasize the benefits of combining STEM studies with humanities courses. According to one reader, the report makes the point that “the humanities aren’t at odds with career-oriented education, but rather underpin them.” Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education

New report highlights values of humanities, social sciences Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:38 06/19/2013 - 16:38

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that it will offer economics courses to government, and eventually the public, via EdX, the massive open online course (MOOC) platform. The IMF will begin offering pilot MOOCs to small groups of “government officials” in financial programming and policies, and debt sustainability analysis, and plans to open courses to the public in 2014. The IMF already has eight training centres around the world and in 2012 delivered courses to around 7,800 officials. Times Higher Education

IMF to offer EdX MOOCs Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:36 06/19/2013 - 16:36

Journalism schools should shape curricula based on what journalism will be in the future, rather than only equipping students for journalism jobs of today, says Jeffrey Dvorkin, journalist and director of the University of Toronto Scarborough’s journalism program, in the Globe and Mail. Dvorkin argues that journalism programs should involve a mix of traditional skills, such as writing, editing, newspaper layout, and photojournalism, and also innovation in media to reflect the 21st century media landscape. For the later, Dvorkin gives an example of a course he taught at Ryerson University, in which students invented new ways to report on breaking foreign news. Globe and Mail

Journalism schools must adapt for future media needs Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 09:18 06/19/2013 - 16:35

The University of Guelph’s dean of the College of Management and Economics, Julia Christensen Hughes, discusses the state of our universities today, focusing on student enrolment growth and the ways in which institutions can prepare for the years to come, in the Globe and Mail. Hughes notes that the ratio of students to professors on campuses has dramatically increased, “from an average of 12 to one in the late 1970s ... to over 22 to one today (25 to one in Ontario).” This, combined with the challenges graduates face to secure employment, and current declines in funding, will continue to confront PSE institutions, unless they find innovative ways of teaching and assessing student learning, and form partnerships with community and business organizations. Hughes also notes that there is a need for “skilled administrators and leaders,” developed from faculty ranks, who can lead institutions through troubled times. Globe and Mail

University enrolment growth and the future of PSE Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 09:18 06/19/2013 - 16:33

There are many benefits to a national strategy that would deal with education and training to fill labour gaps and direct youth and students towards education pathways, and lead to meaningful, economically-relevant employment for more people, according to the Financial Post’s Dan Ovsey. The topic of a national education and training strategy has been prevalent in the news, especially since the announcement of the Canada Job Grant program, which has many provinces threatening to refuse participation. Ovsey recognizes that currently, the “focus is on how the province benefits, not the nation. Yet, with economic competitiveness becoming increasingly international in nature, Canada must compete at a national level, not a regional one.” Financial Post

Canada needs national education and training policy, Financial Post Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 09:18 06/19/2013 - 16:32

Carleton University and Fleming College signed an agreement this week that will make it easier for college students to transfer into Carleton BA programs with advanced standing. Under the terms of the agreement, Fleming students who complete a one-year general arts and science university transfer program (Sutherland Campus), and who obtain an overall average of at least 70%, may apply for admission to a BA degree at Carleton with advanced standing. 5 full credits will be granted for certain courses that have been pre-approved by Carleton. Fleming News Release

Carleton, Fleming sign new transfer agreement Top Ten 06/20/2013 - 09:16 06/19/2013 - 16:31

The Canadian government this week launched its Open Data Portal,, which provides easier access to government data and information. A key feature of the site is the new Open Government Licence, which offers unrestricted re-use of government data and information, and will be adopted by Ontario, Alberta and BC so that information on those provinces can be combined with national data. "Data is a key strategic tool companies are now using to get ahead and succeed. The launch of this site opens the doors for innovative and creative thinkers to come up with all kinds of user-friendly applications," says entrepreneur Robert Herjavec. Canada News Release

Canada launches Open Data Portal Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:30 06/19/2013 - 16:30

The University of Windsor’s board of governors has approved a master plan for the next 50 years to make the university more competitive. The plan, which marks uWindsor’s 50th anniversary, includes an $8-million welcome centre for students and a proposal for a landscaped pedestrian bridge across railway tracks that run through the campus. uWindsor hired +VG Architects, the Ventin Group Ltd., to conduct consultations with the administration, faculty members, students, and the board of governors to develop the new plan. Other proposals that came out of these consultations include new pedestrian pathways, enhanced lighting, cultural displays and gathering places with more seating. CBC

uWindsor unveils new master plan Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:30 06/19/2013 - 16:30

Canadian universities are increasingly seeking US accreditation to bolster their reputations at home and abroad. Capilano University was accredited this year by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) in Washington State, one of 6 major regional agencies in the US that evaluates PSE educational quality. Thompson Rivers University recently announced that it too would seek accreditation from the NWCCU, and plans to submit its application in September. Simon Fraser University applied for accreditation from the NWCCU in 2009 as a condition for joining the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Athabasca University was approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in 2006. University Affairs

More Canadian universities seeking US accreditation Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:29 06/19/2013 - 16:29

Medicine Hat College has managed to balance its budget for the 2013-14 school year, but not without some cuts. Reductions to the provincial budget led to the need to cut or reduce several programs, including the cancellation of the Canadian Acculturation program, reduced intake to the nursing program, and the cancellation of Fall Homecoming events. MHC had a 25% increase in trades enrolment, leading to increased grant funding and the hiring of new teachers in that area. Overall, the college is reducing 6.36 full-time positions, and will look for alternative ways to increase revenue in the next few years. MHC president Ralph Weeks said they will have to determine if these cuts are “sustainable” for the future, as the “challenges will intensify obviously for the institution in year 2 and year 3.” Medicine Hat News

MHC makes cuts to balance budget Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:27 06/19/2013 - 16:27

Many teacher education programs in the US are not sufficiently preparing future teachers to run their own classrooms, according to a report from the National Council on Teacher Quality. The council’s “Teacher Prep Review” showed that only 4 out of 1,200 education programs that give training for elementary and secondary levels received 4 out of 4 stars, while 163 programs, or one in 7, received less than one star and were given a “warning” symbol, telling potential candidates not to bother applying, because they are “unlikely to obtain much return on their investment.” Inside Higher Ed | Full Report

US teacher education receives failing grade Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:20 06/18/2013 - 16:20

FutureLearn, the UK-based massive open online course (MOOC) platform created this year, has announced that it will be bringing 2 non-UK universities onboard. Monash University in Australia, and Irish Trinity College Dublin will both offer courses on the FutureLearn platform. The University of Edinburgh, which is already partnered with Coursera, has also announced it will be joining FutureLearn. Inside Higher Ed

British MOOC provider brings in non-UK institutions Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:26 06/18/2013 - 16:19

Recent surveys suggest that what employers want from graduates doesn’t necessarily align with what educators think employers want, muses Robert J. Sternberg, provost and senior VP at Oklahoma State University, in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article. One trend in academia that Sternberg points out is that educators think employers are looking for students who have degrees that provide them with readily transferable job knowledge and skills. However, in a survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), 93% of employers said that "a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate's] undergraduate major." Sternberg also says educators think employers want students who have had access to top-quality knowledge transfer, and that online courses will get them top-quality lecturers from home. However, the AACU survey found that more than 9 in 10 employers said it was important that job candidates "demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning” – skills that cannot be learned in a passive learning environment. Finally, Sternberg debunks the idea that employers want to see evidence of high achievements – in the form of grades for example. He cites a Chronicle survey that shows that employers tend to place more emphasis on practical work and internships than on academic work. "Across many areas tested, employers strongly endorse educational practices that involve students in active, effortful work -- practices including collaborative problem-solving, internships, senior projects, and community engagements," says Sternberg. Chronicle of Higher Education | AACU Survey | Chronicle Survey

Do educators really know what employers want? Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:18 06/18/2013 - 16:18

An article in the Globe and Mail offers some advice to students waiting to receive admissions letters from PSE institutions of their choice: choose a school/program with a co-op program. The author examines the many benefits of a co-op program, ranging from the development of a determined skill set and the accumulation of “meaningful” experience to the ability to determine that a particular job or career path is not, in fact, the path one wants to embark on. Another benefit is the interruption of a possibly mundane classroom experience, especially as students begin to exhibit shorter attention spans on average. The author suggests that the knowledge provided by a co-op program can not only aid in gaining employment upon graduation, but also that it can provide students with more satisfaction with their education. Globe and Mail

Co-op programs add to knowledge, university experience Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:52 06/18/2013 - 16:17

Researchers at the University of Guelph have unveiled a program that takes a family-based approach to childhood obesity. The program, Parents and Tots Together, focuses on “developing healthy behaviours instead of weight loss.” The program will begin with 60 families in the Hamilton-Cambridge area, and over a 9-week period will examine a variety of factors including sweetened-beverage intake, physical activity, TV watching, and body mass index. The program will be made available on a wider scale once the initial pilot program is concluded, and researchers will work on making the program available to the general public through other organizations. Guelph Mercury

UoGuelph program addresses childhood obesity Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:16 06/18/2013 - 16:16

Wilfrid Laurier University this week has launched the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS), which will provide opportunities for research in sustainable community food initiatives. “The new centre is very timely and has the potential to contribute greatly to addressing the research and policy challenge of urban and rural food insecurity in Africa and elsewhere,” said Jonathan Crush, leader of the Hungry Cities Initiative, founder of the African Food Security Urban Network, and the incoming associate director of the new centre. WLU News Release

WLU launches new research centre for sustainable food systems Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:55 06/18/2013 - 16:15

A $4.4-million investment from Cenovus Energy, and the Canada and Alberta governments, has allowed the University of Alberta to establish a Chair in Energy and Environmental Systems Engineering. The research program will seek to strengthen the ability of industry and government to make evidence-based decisions about energy pathways and resources, while finding ways to conserve water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cenovus first established a $3-million endowment to support the Cenovus Energy Endowed Chair in Environmental Engineering, but wanted to seek further investment partnerships to expand the program. NSERC and Alberta Innovates offered funding of $925,000 and $500,000, respectively, to the program. uAlberta News Release

$4.4-million investment in energy and environmental engineering research at uAlberta Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:55 06/18/2013 - 16:14

The most precise microscope in the world, which will be housed in a specially-designed room at the University of Victoria, is ready for use. uVic announced that they would be acquiring the 7-tonne, 4.5-metre tall Scanning Transmission Electron Holography Microscope (STEHM) in 2009, and it arrived in parts last year. The resolution of the microscope -- 35 picometres – is much better than the previous best image, according to uVic, with 49-picometre resolution taken at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory in California, and is about 20 million times human sight. It will be used by researchers in a variety of science and engineering disciplines for projects requiring knowledge of small atomic scale structures (nanoscience) and nanotechnology. uVic News Release

World’s most powerful microscope ready for research at uVic Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:55 06/18/2013 - 16:13

McGill University this week announced that it has raised over $1 billion over 9 years during “Campaign McGill: History in the Making.” The funding is designated for use for activities above and beyond McGill’s operating budget – 60% was pegged for increased scholarships and student aid as well as enhanced programs and new teaching and learning spaces. The remaining amount has gone to support special faculty opportunities and research. Half of the gifts that came from individuals ($320 million) came from donors in the rest of Canada and 114 other countries around the world. McGill News Release

McGill raises over $1 billion to support students and research Top Ten 06/18/2013 - 16:54 06/18/2013 - 16:12

Brock University implemented changes to their first-year student registration process this year with the goal of improving access and experience, and not all worked out for the better. Brock moved the registration date ahead to avoid high school exam week, and opened registration at 6 a.m. (instead of midnight) to allow for more staff to be available to answer questions. Shortly after the 6 a.m. start time, the system was overwhelmed by over 5,000 registration “sessions,” 3 times the amount of first-year students who logged on last year. Brock acknowledged the “glitch” and quickly got to work fixing the problem; by that afternoon, 2,745 students had registered in 28,000 courses. St. Catharines Standard | Brock News

Brock registration causes issues for students, staff Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 11:20 06/18/2013 - 16:11

A private academy in China is certified to award British Columbia high school diplomas, and the focus is not only academics, but also culture and language. The mandate of Grand Canadian Academy is “to prepare its students for that Western style of learning,” with classes taught in English in science, math, and other subjects. One teacher noted that one of the biggest obstacles to teaching Canadian culture and current events is the Chinese ban of YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The majority of students at the Academy hope to attend university in Canada, but plan to return to China when those studies are completed. Globe and Mail

Chinese students learn BC curriculum to prepare for Canadian PSE Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:29 06/17/2013 - 16:29

Northwest Community College has launched a redesigned website powered by Drupal, a reliable open-source content management platform. New features and improved functionality include easy access to important information about NWCC’s programs and courses, services, news and events; icons that give users direct access to NWCC’s social media pages; and a consistent design with horizontal drop down menus, side bar menus, and a quick search tool to make navigation more intuitive. The website steering committee sought out input from students, employees, partners and members of NWCC’s various communities. NWCC News Release | NWCC Website

NWCC launches redesigned website Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:35 06/17/2013 - 16:28

The École des sciences de la gestion (School of Management Sciences) at the Université du Québec à Montréal has announced that its MBA in management consulting has become the first French MBA program to certify students to become Certified Management Consultants (CMC). Students already enrolled in the program as well as current graduates will benefit from the agreement beginning the fall of 2013. "This agreement addresses a critical need to better equip management consultants and therefore, to raise standards in the management consulting industry,” says Chantal Dalpe, president of l'Ordre des administrateurs agréés du Québec (OAAQ). UQAM News Release (in French)

UQAM first French MBA to certify management consultants in Canada Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:27 06/17/2013 - 16:27

Students at PSE institutions across Canada are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed, according to a new report. The study, considered the first-ever nationwide health survey of PSE students in Canada, was presented at a conference of the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services. The findings will help create greater awareness of the need for more robust mental health supports for students. The survey also found that a surprising number of students were not engaging in the stereotypical PSE party scene, although their opinions of fellow students are skewed in that direction. Some of the reasons given for the increase in mental health issues are tuition increases, job anxiety, and a lack of support systems when students leave home to attend PSE institutions. The study’s authors would like to reach out and connect with other researchers so that more work can be done to determine the factors responsible for students’ health issues and examine what can be done to help them. Toronto Star

Postscript: June 20, 2013

The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) has issued a response to a recent report on the health of Canadian students, underlining the fact that mental health issues on campuses can no longer be ignored. Recognizing that student stress comes from a variety of sources, including finances, CASA chairperson Amanda Nielsen states the need for government involvement, by “helping them make ends meet, and better funding mental health supports on campuses.” CASA Media Release

Study finds students stressed, exhausted, not partying Top Ten 06/19/2013 - 16:42 06/17/2013 - 16:26

A new report by StudentsNS suggests that more should be done to encourage and support international students and their eventual transition into employment in Nova Scotia. The report outlines NS’s declining youth demographic, and argues both PSE institutions and the provincial economy would benefit by easing access for international students. The report suggests that institutions should cap international tuition rates, and provide more transparency concerning provincial funding for international students, by establishing a Language Education Grant and an International Student Services Grant. The report also makes suggestions for strengthening employment programs for international students who want to immigrate to NS. Other organizations in Atlantic Canada have suggested the potential for a future workforce of international students. StudentsNS News Release

Better international student supports needed in NS, says report Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:25 06/17/2013 - 16:25

Western University student-athletes will benefit from a $4-million gift from alumni Jack and Sharon Cowin for 2 new initiatives. $1 million will go towards the Jack Cowin/Lone Star Coaching Excellence Fund designed to support WesternU’s efforts to retain and recruit top-level head or assistant coaches for its varsity teams. A $3-million gift through Bond University in Australia will create the Jack and Sharon Cowin Scholars Award, a partnership between Bond U and WesternU that will encourage student mobility and academic exchange opportunities between the 2 universities beginning this fall. Jack Cowin is the founder and chairman of Competitive Foods Australia Ltd, an Australian franchisor whose units include Hungry Jack’s and Domino’s Pizza. WesternU News Release

$4 million to support WesternU coaching, academic exchanges Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:33 06/17/2013 - 16:24

The University of Winnipeg announced in September 2012 that it was launching a campaign to examine changing the name of its sports teams from the “Wesmen” to something more gender-inclusive. However, the campaign appears to have fizzled out with no changes planned. A spokesperson from uWinnipeg stated that “an idea was floated to look at refreshing the name of all our sports teams. We discovered there is a deep loyalty to the Wesmen brand, which is great, and we respect that tradition. As a result, we never moved to a more formal consultation process." Winnipeg Free Press

uWinnipeg sports teams to remain “Wesmen” Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:23 06/17/2013 - 16:23

Colleges Ontario has launched an interactive webpage about the skills mismatch that many have identified as an issue both in Ontario, and internationally. The new page, which features a graphic of a large gear and the tagline “closing the skills gap,” includes 4 different links to “quick facts” about the skills mismatch, a graph that shows the projected gap between unskilled workers and unfilled jobs, a stream of the latest news on the issue, and the Twitter hash tag, “#skillsmismatch.” Colleges Ontario also recently praised the Ontario government’s Youth Jobs Strategy, which includes funding for measures aimed at preparing students with skills necessary for the jobs of the future. Colleges Ontario News Release

Colleges Ontario launches “skills mismatch” webpage Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:22 06/17/2013 - 16:22

Ottawa’s proposed Canada Jobs Grant is deeply flawed public policy and should be abandoned, says a joint report by the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation and the Caledon Institute for Social Policy. The new program would provide cash grants of up to $15,000 for training sponsored by employers. However, the report, “The Training Wheels Are Off ,” points out that this would be financed by cutting $300 million annually out of federal funding to provinces and territories for the Labour Market Agreements, which provide employment training funding for those not eligible for unemployment insurance – often the most vulnerable workers.  “The program will likely deliver inferior results at higher costs compared to the programs under the current Labour Market Agreements,” said Michael Mendelson, co-author of the report. The Toronto Star | Full Report

Canada Jobs Grant deeply flawed, report says Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:20 06/17/2013 - 16:20

According to Maclean’s, McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies has been receiving funds from the Alavi Foundation, an organization that US authorities say is a front for the Iranian government, several years after, in 2009, the US government took it to court to seize the group’s assets and alleging it was channeling money to an Iranian state-owned bank. The New York-based foundation has given Canadian universities more than $300,000 since 2004. Both the University of Alberta and Carleton University received gifts from the organization, but claim they have not received any money since 2007 and 2008, respectively. Maclean’s reports that “the claim, which is not resolved, alleges that, following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s new government took control of the property and the foundation, which it renamed, running them through Iran’s ambassadors to the United Nations. “As far as I’m concerned, when we receive money from the Alavi Foundation, we’re not receiving money from Iran,” says McGill’s arts and science dean, Christopher Manfredi. “We’re simply receiving money from a philanthropic foundation that has an interest in supporting cultural activities around Persian language, literature and culture.” However, a professor of international law at McGill says, “The acceptance of funds from an organization suspected of acting as a front for a regime with an appalling human rights record raises serious ethical questions.” Maclean's On Campus

Universities receive funds from alleged Iran government front Top Ten 06/17/2013 - 16:19 06/17/2013 - 16:19

Vine, the mobile application owned by Twitter that allows users to upload and share 6-second videos, is the newest social media platform being used by universities to engage their students. Universities across the US are using Vine to promote everything from convocation to sporting events, from campus construction to student clubs. According to a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Vine’s engagement growth in May was faster than that of messaging service WhatsApp, LinkedIn, and the Chrome web browser. Ed Tech Magazine  |

Social media app “Vine” latest way to engage PSE students Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:20 06/14/2013 - 16:02

Public investment in PSE is paid back to government in full, and helps reduce the financial burden to students, says a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study backs up the often-touted fact that public funding for PSE is paid back many times over when graduates pay higher income tax on their higher earnings. According to the 2006 Census, 25-34 year-olds with a BA/BSc working full-time made $50,857 compared to $37,475 for high school grads. “The length of time it takes governments to recoup their investment in PSE in the form of income taxes ranges from a low of 10.3 years in Ontario to 17.5 years in Saskatchewan,” says the study’s author. “While completely eliminating tuition would increase the payback period, those increases are minimal -- ranging from 0.6 years in Quebec to 2.6 years in PEI and BC.” The study also debunks the claim that subsidized tuition leads to an unfair, regressive income transfer from lower-income families to middle- and upper-income families. It argues that “when the source of revenue required to fund PSE is taken into account, subsidies for PSE redistribute resources away from higher-income households and towards lower-income households, not the other way around.” CCPA News Release

Government investment in PSE pays off, CCPA study says Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:19 06/14/2013 - 16:01

PSE institutions and communities together have the unique potential to bring about social change through partnerships and co-operation, Canada’s Governor General David Johnston told a crowd at a Community-University Expo in Corner Brook, NL last week. “Communities know what our needs are, and PSE institutions know the methods and possess the experience and expertise to help determine how to go about meeting those needs,” he said. He also said that a key to bringing about social change is to include youth in the discussion. “Young people make up the body of PSE institutions, and they are eager to make their mark in communities,” Johnston said. The Western Star

Governor General encourages community-university partnerships Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:19 06/14/2013 - 16:01

The federal government has indicated that it is open to ideas for how to structure its recently-announced Jobs Grants, which will redirect some federal funds from existing skills programs to a new system in which employers would apply for money to train people for specific jobs, according to the Globe and Mail. Ontario training, colleges and universities minister Brad Duguid has threatened to pull out of the program if his demands for changes are not met, saying that “the federal government should not find the money for the grant by pulling funding from existing programs that serve youth, First Nations, people with disabilities and other groups that need extra help getting work,” the Globe reports. According to the paper, Ontario is not the first province to voice concerns over the grants – Quebec claimed it was a federal intrusion, other finance ministers are wondering where to find the money to match Ottawa’s funds, which is part of the deal, and BC shares concerns similar to Ontario’s about the redirection from other funds. Globe and Mail

Ontario threatens to opt out of Jobs Grants unless changes made Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:19 06/14/2013 - 16:00

The College of the North Atlantic is asking how to prepare students for the careers of the future, after a tough few months of budget cuts and an ongoing need to restrain further, the college’s president, Ann Marie Vaughan, told the Rotary Club last week. “We still have $4 million of reductions to make, and that will be related to the staffing side of the operation,” Vaughan told reporters. “We are trying to figure out how we do that right.” The president also took the opportunity to talk about the impact that CNA’s project in Qatar makes. “When you think about what’s going on in the world, when you think about that part of the world, that’s fundamentally transformative to a region, and it’s an amazing opportunity to be a part of that,” says Vaughan. CNA-Qatar has recently signed off on a contract to keep the campus open for another 3 years. The Telegram

CNA president talks about college’s challenges Top Ten 06/14/2013 - 16:03 06/14/2013 - 16:00

Saskatchewan students hoping to attend the University of Regina won’t be negatively impacted by a rise in Alberta students applying to the university, an official says. VP academic Thomas Chase says cuts to Alberta’s PSE sector seem to have caused the applications from Alberta to double this year, but assures hopeful applicants that “no Saskatchewan student would be excluded from admission because we are taking students from other jurisdictions including Alberta." Meanwhile, the University of Saskatchewan is expecting 500 Alberta students this year, a 10% increase from last year, CBC reports. CBC

Spike in uRegina applications from Alberta won’t affect Saskatchewan students, VP says Top Ten 06/14/2013 - 16:04 06/14/2013 - 15:59

The Vancouver Island University Foundation board has announced that it was able to grow its annual revenues from $2.1 million to $3.2 million in the last fiscal year. The 22-member volunteer board works with donors and VIU’s advancement and alumni relations office to raise money to fund scholarships, awards, bursaries and improved learning environments for students. VIU News Release

VIU Foundation revenues grow by 50% Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:18 06/14/2013 - 15:59

Northern College’s board of governors last week supported the renaming of the Porcupine Campus to Timmins Campus. Northern says the change aims to facilitate a greater understanding of its campus locations and the lifestyle their communities offer. The college has experienced growth in enrolment by students from outside the traditional college catchment area, which includes over 65 communities throughout northeastern Ontario and along the James Bay Coast. The name change will also allow Northern to capitalize on the City of Timmins’ recent branding efforts – they hope that as the city reaches top-of-mind presence in the country and internationally, the college will gain that recognition as well. Northern News Release

Northern College changes Porcupine Campus’ name to Timmins Campus Top Ten 06/14/2013 - 16:04 06/14/2013 - 15:58

After a successful pilot program this past school year, the University of Saskatchewan’s college of education will be launching a revamped curriculum to next year’s incoming education students. The most significant change appears to be the 2 day per week in-school training from the start of the school year. There will be more interdisciplinary courses offered, and the new curriculum includes a “notable focus on ‘anti-colonialist’ education and First Nations content.” As well, there will be “teaching methods” courses for multiple subjects, in response to early criticism of the new curriculum. The college conducted surveys and focus groups to gauge reaction to, and effectiveness of, the pilot program, and early results seem to indicate that the students especially enjoyed being in the classroom early in their studies. Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Curriculum changes to uSask’s education program Top Ten 06/14/2013 - 16:04 06/14/2013 - 15:58

The Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) of BC has initiated a review of all co-op work programs at over 2 dozen institutions in the province, following reports of students doing co-op placements in areas unrelated to their area of study, such as fast-food enterprises. Incomplete placement data, combined with other instances of non-compliance, have already led to the closing of 2 institutions, and prompted the review of all co-op programs. The institutions cater largely to international students, and offer diploma programs in a variety of fields. A PCTIA spokesperson stated that the reviews are meant to ensure that the guidelines “are clear and the bylaws are being interpreted correctly.” The Province

Co-op work programs under review in BC Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:18 06/14/2013 - 15:57

A prominent child psychologist told parents in Guelph that children need more creative, “self-reflective” time without set goals in order to overcome childhood anxiety. Dr. Brenda Kenyon, director of the University of Guelph's Center for Psychological Services, gave a lecture to parents on Tuesday that addressed the stresses parents face to be “perfect,” and the effects that strict regimens and anxiety in parents can have on anxiety-prone children. Studies currently indicate 6-10% Canadian schoolchildren suffer from some form of anxiety, and the numbers are growing rapidly. Kenyon noted that it can take up to 2 years for a child to be “medically diagnosed with anxiety” and that medicating children is “not often the answer.” She suggests cognitive behavioural therapy, with a 70% success rate, and that “parents need to realize and embrace the fact that they're human.” Guelph Mercury

Strict, regimented parenting could lead to anxious children, UoGuelph expert says Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:39 06/13/2013 - 16:24

A recent ruling in the US that said Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on a production may cause other companies to rethink their unpaid internships, the Associated Press reports. For many recent graduates, an unpaid internship is a good way to get experience in their fields, beefing up their resume. However, this latest ruling may cause employers to rethink whether it’s worth the legal risks to hire unpaid interns. The Toronto Star (Associated Press)

Unpaid internships violated minimum wage laws, US court rules Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:22 06/13/2013 - 15:41

Harvard University’s Arts and Humanities Division has released a report that outlines their recommendations for how humanities academics can “invigorate student engagement with humanistic studies today,” and deal with the decline of interest in the humanities. A Stanford professor blogging for The Chronicle of Higher Education points out that in the US, only 7% of the undergraduate degrees awarded in 2010 were for humanities; down from 14% in 1966. Recommendations that Mapping the Future makes include getting rid of excess specialization, which makes the humanities “too restrictive;” reasserting the importance of teaching, which should be ingrained in graduate training, hiring and promotion; embracing the fact that skills learned through a study of the humanities are transferable to a wide-range of careers; and restructuring pedagogy to move from being text-centred to student-centred, where faculty research projects have only a subordinate role in teaching. The report also discusses how to revisit the canon of studied works so that it takes into account both the great works, but also works that engage students. Harvard Humanities Project | The Chronicle of Higher Education

“Mapping the Future” of Humanities at Harvard Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:38 06/13/2013 - 15:40

The University of Edinburgh began offering 6 Coursera-backed MOOCs in January 2013, and in order to address a dearth of data on the effectiveness of MOOCs, they conducted entrance and exit surveys, compiling the most “comprehensive data to date in the sector.” 77% of course-completers said that the MOOC either met, or exceeded, their expectations. The survey examined study choices, motivations, and nationalities of course participants. The study found that although close to 200 countries were represented, the majority came from the US, UK, Spain and Brazil, with some prominent countries with zero activity (China). A lack of data on MOOC success has recently prompted the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the MOOC Research Initiative (MRI), offering research funding to approved proposals to study the effectiveness of the MOOC form. The Pie News | uEdinburgh Report | MRI site

First official MOOC data released by the uEdinburgh Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:40 06/13/2013 - 15:38

A Globe and Mail feature asks how much value an MBA admissions consultant adds to an MBA hopeful's application process, and finds that although limited audits find good results, an MBA candidate should consider carefully before putting in the extra money. Costing 3 to 5% of the overall cost of an MBA program, these consultants will help the candidate navigate the variety of interviews, essays, tests and presentations that can often make up the application process. MBA Exchange, one of the few consultancies that publish audited results, claims an 87% success rate for clients applying to 4 schools under its applications package. However, the Globe points out that candidates must be wary of the fact that MBA schools do not want students who are carbon copies of each other, a possible worry for candidates who use the same consultants and apply to the same schools. Anna Farrus, head of admissions at Said Business School, University of Oxford, told the Globe that she’s wary of consultants. “I’ve always questioned the value of admissions consultants. I think they may provide some help when candidates are trying to decide which schools they should apply to, but when it comes to the actual admissions process, I have my doubts.” Globe and Mail

Questioning the value of MBA admissions consultants Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:37 06/13/2013 - 15:37

Alberta's Olds College has selected 10 entries in its search for names for the 4 standard-bearing beers to be produced by its new Brewmaster. The 10 contenders are Four Winds, Prairie Sunset Cerveza, Hay City Pilsner, Old School, Aggie Ale, Plowmans Ale, Alberta Clipper, Hops N Crops, Black Gold, and Prairie Gold. The public has until June 17 to rank their favourite names on Olds' website, and the top 4 names will be selected from the list for the Brewmaster to match with the types of beer to be brewed. Those whose entries are selected will get a framed limited edition beer label for each of the 4 beers, a private VIP tour of the teaching brewery, the chance to be a “Brewer for a Day,” and an invitation to the VIP reception of the brewery's grand opening. Olds' Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program is set to start this fall. Olds College News Release

Olds College names finalists in beer name search Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 15:36 06/13/2013 - 15:36

Niagara College has received $1.5 million from the federal government’s "Career Focus" program to work with local businesses and identify 3- to 12-month paid internship opportunities for recent graduates in high-demand industry sectors. These businesses will receive up to 50% of a graduate’s salary, up to $20,000 per graduate. “For many graduates, it’s a lack of relevant experience that stands between them and career success,” said Kristine Dawson, Niagara’s manager of Co-op and Graduate Employment Services. “This program helps connect businesses and organizations that can offer career-related work opportunities with graduates who need the experience.” Niagara News Release

Niagara College receives $1.5 million for co-op partnerships Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 15:35 06/13/2013 - 15:35

A rally was held Wednesday night to protest recent program cuts at Mount Royal University, led by artists and musicians who worry about the “cultural desert” that could be caused by cuts to arts programs in the city. MRU recently announced job and program cuts, and suspended intake of 8 non-degree-granting programs, including jazz studies. Grade 12 musicians, the “Rejected Combo”, performed at the rally, showcasing the talents that will no longer be “nurtured” at MRU. The students had been accepted to the jazz studies program, but received notice that program intake had been suspended. Arts advocates challenged the audience to “find a way to create a sustainable arts community.” Calgary Herald

Artists, musicians protest cuts at MRU Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 15:34 06/13/2013 - 15:34

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has entered into a “secretly brokered” deal with a private high-tech consortium that would hand over exclusive rights to publicly-owned books and artifacts for 10 years, reports the Ottawa Citizen. It is unclear when the deal will be officially announced, but the Ottawa Citizen reports that the deal would mean LAC would give millions of publicly-owned books and documents to, which in exchange will get a 10-year exclusive license to sell them in sophisticated digital formats. Many critics are speaking out against the deal, saying that the tech company will be selling back to Canadians what they already own. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) says it strongly opposes “this privatization of public records and the limitations it places on access to [Canadians’] collective heritage.” According to The Ottawa Citizen, LAC says the so-called Heritage Project, to be launched with an initial $2 million from Canadian university libraries, is misunderstood.
Ottawa Citizen | CAUT News Release

Library and Archives Canada deal sparks controversy Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:37 06/13/2013 - 15:33

The Sprott School of Business at Carleton University has received accreditation from AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the “longest-serving global accrediting body” for business schools, marking Sprott’s dedication to providing top-quality education in the business realm. Less than 5% of the world’s business schools have received AACSB accreditation. The road to accreditation is intensive and can take several years; once a school is accredited it must maintain and improve upon standards to meet criteria for reapplication every 5 years. 19 other Canadian universities are also accredited from AACSB. Carleton News

Sprott receives international accreditation Top Ten 06/13/2013 - 16:36 06/13/2013 - 15:32

Two professors from Virginia’s George Mason University have started their own online university, and they don’t ever intend to make any money from it. Marginal Revolution University co-founder Tyler Cowen states, “We think learning on the Internet, like blogs, is not something you can charge for.” They are aiming at a “less-affluent global market” for their courses, targeting people who cannot afford traditional PSE, as well as professors who would offer “flipped” classrooms: students would review the Marginal Revolution University lectures, then attend classes for discussion and application of lessons. Cowen intends much of his lecture material to be used as a “video textbook” for his own flipped lessons at George Mason. Inside Higher Ed

Star professors create online not-for-profit university Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:45 06/12/2013 - 16:45

The Welsh government has said it will look at “radical” innovations in higher education, including the idea of a 2-year undergraduate degree, in order to “plan for an unpredictable future.” The Welsh Labour administration yesterday released a draft policy statement that took into account an earlier report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, which predicted an “avalanche of change in higher education under the pressures of technology and new providers.” Another possibility includes “having a smaller number of research-intensive institutions in Wales with others focusing on provision of world-class teaching and learning experiences.” These proposals come at a time when the Ontario government is proposing its own transformation of PSE policy. The former McGuinty government proposed a controversial idea of a 3-year degree, which the current premier has agreed to look into, and several PSE experts have called for greater differentiation between research- and teaching-intensive universities in the province. Times Higher Education

2-year degree among ideas for radical innovations to Welsh higher education Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:44 06/12/2013 - 16:44

A new book published by 2 University of Manitoba graduates gives students advice on how to avoid accumulating huge amounts of debt while pursuing PSE. More Money for Beer and Textbooks offers tips on various ways to keep student loan debts down, while still enjoying the university experience. Top advice includes living at home to save money on living expenses, applying for scholarships and bursaries regardless of grades, finding gainful summer employment, and buying cheap beer. The authors both graduated without debt, and now offer “a viable guide to having fun in school without breaking the bank.” Toronto Star

New book schools students on graduating with less debt Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:43 06/12/2013 - 16:43

The Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal has announced a new database that will collect medical, psychosocial and human biological material data for mental health research. The Université de Montréal-affiliated institute received a $1-million donation from Bell’s "Let’s Talk" initiative for the new database. “Already, researchers around the world have demonstrated a strong interest in this data,” says Denise Fortin, director general of the Institute. "In all, more than 80 researchers, clinicians and staff helped build this project and 24 psychiatrists are committed to providing the required medical data.” uMontréal News Release (in French)

New uMontréal affiliate’s mental health databank kicks off with $1-million donation Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:43 06/12/2013 - 16:43

High school students in Edmonton left class en masse and gathered at the Alberta legislature to protest recent provincial cuts to education budgets. The event, called "Taking Back our Education," argues that although high school students cannot vote, they should still have a voice when it comes to decisions about their education and their futures. The event was supported by organizations such as the Alberta Federation of Labour, the Alberta Liberal party, and the NDP education critic. The Alberta minister of education was out of town and did not attend. Student participants say that cuts are affecting administration, programs, and athletics. Edmonton Journal

Edmonton high school students rally for change Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:42 06/12/2013 - 16:42

A new study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics suggests that second-year medical students may have been subjected to biased information regarding pain medication, specifically oxycodone. The author, Dr. Navindra Persaud, suggests that there was “influence by a pharmaceutical company” on the lecture material and reference book issued to students in a mandatory course. The original lecturer has defended both the lecture and the printed resources, stating that he “had total control over what the content was... [and] it was based on the best knowledge that we had available at the time.” uToronto has since taken measures to remove the resource and alter lectures, in addition to implementing guidelines to “safeguard against similar issues in the future.” Toronto Star | Global News

Study suggests uToronto medical lecture biased Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:41 06/12/2013 - 16:41

A $5.5-million gift from the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation has allowed the University of Calgary to purchase 3 next-generation genome sequencers. This technology will allow researchers at uCalgary and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) to identify new genes that contribute to the development of diseases, and to move genomic testing into mainstream clinical care. “We have hundreds of unique cases in Alberta where patients are suffering from genetic diseases that we don’t know much about; we can’t name it, we don’t know how to treat it, and we don’t know how it’s inherited,” says Dr. Francois Bernier, head of the Department of Medical Genetics at uCalgary. uCalgary News Release

$5.5-million gift expands uCalgary’s genetic research capabilities Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:40 06/12/2013 - 16:40

Humber College has decided not to construct a campus in Orangeville, according to the Caledon Enterprise. At a town council meeting Monday night, Humber president Chris Whitaker announced that the college would no longer pursue building on the 28 acres of land that Orangeville had donated to the school in 2005. The new building would have served 2,000 students, but the current satellite campus at a local recreation centre has so far only attracted 200 students. Humber will return the donated land, and will explore ways to increase student numbers at the current site, which can hold a maximum of 450 students. If the addition of new programs leads to enrolment over 450, Humber could build onto the recreation centre to accommodate more students. Caledon Enterprise

Humber cancels Orangeville building plans Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:39 06/12/2013 - 16:39

The Ivey Business School at Western University has raised $206 million during its “Campaign for Leadership,” exceeding a $200-million goal set in 2006 and marking the largest fundraising effort in the school’s 90-year history.The campaign has impacted every area of the school – enabling growth, enhancing students’ experience and ensuring excellence in everything the school does,” says Ivey’s dean Carol Stephenson. It also allowed Ivey to construct a building to reunite HBA, MBA, MSc and PhD students under one roof. WesternU News Release

Ivey raises $206 million Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:38 06/12/2013 - 16:38

The board of governors at BC’s Capilano University voted last night to cut programs in art, technology, and science at campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish, and the Sunshine Coast. The cuts are meant to address an existing budget deficit of $1.3 million. Students and faculty have been protesting the proposed cuts for a number of weeks, and the board had earlier voted to postpone the budget decisions in order to look at alternatives. According to Capilano U, “rather than do across-the-board cuts, which affect quality for every student, we are suspending intakes in some programs and reducing classes in some areas.” Students already enrolled in affected programs will be able to complete necessary courses to finish the program. North Shore Outlook | Capilano U Budget Update 

Program cuts official at Capilano U Top Ten 06/12/2013 - 16:36 06/12/2013 - 16:36

Online learning tools, particularly those that focus on interaction with course material and other students, have a positive impact on students’ grades, according to a new study on first-year Carleton University chemistry students by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). The study looked at the attendance, performance and resource usage of 919 first-year Carleton students. It found that the most significant impact on grades came from a homework management system, which allowed students to interact directly with course content by answering questions and solving problems while receiving immediate feedback, and an interactive learning management system that offered PowerPoint slides from lectures, videos of lab experiments, previous exams, and a discussion board to communicate with other students. HEQCO Publications Webpage | Full Report

Online learning tools most effective when focused on interaction, study finds Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 16:02 06/11/2013 - 16:02

Education officials in China are looking at expanding their universities overseas in new education markets, and a Chinese institution has already established a classroom in Laos, reports the Globe and Mail. The move marks a reversal in the trend that has seen Western institutions setting up campuses in China. In addition to the Soochow University campus in Vientiane, Laos, there are also plans for an overseas Chinese Xiamen University branch campus in Malaysia and an agreement by Zhejiang University to explore a joint campus with Imperial College London. Philip G. Altbach, an expert on international higher education at Boston College, warns that Chinese universities might be venturing out too soon. “I think that China’s top universities have sufficient work to do at home that they do not need to expand into the risky and often expensive world of branch campuses outside of China,” said Altbach. Globe and Mail

China moving to expand universities abroad Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 16:01 06/11/2013 - 16:01

Federal student loan debt in Canada is in excess of $15 billion, with another $5 to $8 billion in credit card, line-of-credit, and provincial loan debt, the highest levels in Canadian history, CBC reports. Students who struggle to pay off their debts have few options when it comes to federal loans, as the interest continues to grow, and federal loans cannot be restructured for 7 years. One bankruptcy trustee interviewed by CBC recommended that students form a 5 to 10-year plan to repay their debt, similar to establishing a career plan. CBC

Canadian student debt levels reach record high Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 16:00 06/11/2013 - 16:00

Crowdmark, a new Canadian technology start-up, claims it will “save cash-strapped departments of education millions by making massive-scale testing more efficient” with its web application that “streamlines document assessment on a massive scale, helping teachers grade better.” Crowdmark has completed 2 successful pilot projects that both resulted in more efficient marking by participants, and hopes to launch publicly in time for the 2013-14 academic year. Crowdmark News Release

New web application to save teacher marking time and government dollars Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 15:59 06/11/2013 - 15:59

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design will have a new home in the historic building at One Spadina Crescent, the University of Toronto announced yesterday. As part of its "Boundless" campaign, uToronto will need to raise $50 million for the renovations and expansion of the current building, as well as the establishment of several student awards. The Daniels family is donating $10 million to the architecture faculty, building on the $14 million they donated in 2008 for initial planning. The Daniels donations are the “largest gifts designated to architecture programs in Canadian history.” The new building will maintain aspects of the original 1875 structure and will be “an exemplar of sustainable building and creative urban design practices,” including rainwater harvesting, provision of natural lighting, and an expanded site for the Faculty’s celebrated Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (also known as the GRIT Lab). uToronto News Release | Globe and Mail

Iconic Toronto building to get facelift and new tenants Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 15:58 06/11/2013 - 15:58

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced on Monday plans to expand their goIT program to Canadian high school students, in a partnership with Canada's Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). TCS is a leading IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization, and the goIT initiative aims to cultivate interest in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields of higher education, in order to help fill the long-term projected skills gap. The program will be offered to 10 schools in the Greater Toronto Area in 201314, targeting students in grades 7-10 with workshops on the latest technology trends. TCS News Release

New program to encourage PSE in STEM fields Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 15:57 06/11/2013 - 15:57

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has unveiled its first strategic plan since becoming a polytechnic institution. The plan places quality, reputation and relevance at the core of every decision it makes for the next 5 years. “A hallmark of the Kwantlen programs going forward will be the opportunity for all students to blend theory and practice in the community through workplace and service learning, laboratory experiences on campus, or working on applied research projects with faculty,” according to Kwantlen. Kwantlen News Release

Kwantlen releases first strategic plan as polytechnic university Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 15:56 06/11/2013 - 15:56

The recent cuts to Alberta’s PSE funding have affected admissions and programs, but they have also had an impact on infrastructure at several institutions, including the MacKimmie Tower at the University of Calgary, and proposed maintenance plans at several other institutions. Metro News reports that the University of Alberta and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) have both had cuts in provincial infrastructure funding. One uAlberta spokesperson told Metro News that some maintenance and renewal projects will be put on hold, although no decisions have yet been made about which projects will be delayed. A NAIT spokesperson stated that the priority projects will still get done; it is the projects at the bottom of the list that will be delayed. Metro News

Alberta budget cuts affect more than just programs Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 15:55 06/11/2013 - 15:55

The Collège Boréal Foundation announced last week that it has raised $8 million during its “Leading us to Prosperity" campaign, exceeding a $5-million goal set in November 2010. The money raised is slated to go towards a scholarship fund for students and new facilities in Sudbury and Toronto. The college told The Sudbury Star that the extra money will go back into student services. Sudbury Star | Boréal News Release

Boréal fundraising campaign raises $8 million, exceeding goal Top Ten 06/11/2013 - 15:55 06/11/2013 - 15:55

Recent position cuts at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia have local unions upset. Last Friday, a protest was held by 3 StFX unions and their supporters to speak out against proposed cuts to support staff. There will be approximately 25 layoffs across the 3 unions, in addition to numerous early-retirement and buyout packages, which were offered to staff in April to offset a multi-million dollar deficit projected for next year’s budget. Union representatives have criticized performance bonuses for senior administration, and have asked for the resignation of StFX president Sean Riley. StFX has also announced the termination of women’s varsity volleyball, effective immediately, to meet budget reduction targets. The university will honour its Athletic Financial Award commitments to affected students who decide to remain at StFX. The Antigonish Casket | The Chronicle of Higher Education | The Chronicle Herald | StFX Athletics News Release

Postscript: June 17, 2013

St. Francis Xavier University president Sean Riley last week announced that a succession process would be initiated for his position. The chair of the StFX board of governors said they will launch a search for a new president in the near future, and that Riley will serve until someone is selected. Following several cuts to staff and complaints about administrative performance bonuses, union representatives were calling for Riley’s resignation.  He recovered from a stroke last year. (StFX News Release via email)  |  Chronicle Herald

Union members protest cuts at StFX Top Ten 06/16/2013 - 15:17 06/11/2013 - 15:54

Having children does make an impact on academic careers, according to a new book written by 3 researchers from US PSE institutions. The book, Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower, is getting much attention from academics on social media, and, according to Inside Higher Ed, may be the most comprehensive study of gender, family and academe ever published. Building on existing data and using new studies, the book looks at the effects of childbearing and rearing on men’s and women’s careers in higher education, from graduate school to retirement. The authors make the case for more family-friendly institutional policies, as its findings include “baby penalties,” men in academe being favoured, and a gender imbalance in fields that allow less scheduling flexibility or long hours in the lab. “In the individual work we’ve done on the topic, we’ve looked at bits and pieces of the story. Now we have the whole story, soup to nuts,” said one of the authors. Inside Higher Ed

New book suggests having children has impact on academics Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:49 06/10/2013 - 16:18

A recent enrolment boom in preparation tutoring for Alberta’s diploma exams -- an important admissions factor for universities and colleges -- has been raising issues of inequality in education. Private institutions and freelancing high school teachers are increasingly offering extra exam tutoring, often for a hefty fee, due to the growing importance of exam marks for getting into PSE institutions. The increase is causing some to raise concerns that the tutoring is unfair to those who cannot afford the extra help, widening an inequality gap. The Calgary Herald points out that there is a lack of research or data about the issue. The Calgary Herald

Boom in Alberta diploma exam tutoring raises questions Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:17 06/10/2013 - 16:17

The University of Ottawa plans to add a new staff member to the department that deals with freedom of information requests as it deals with the highest number of requests of all Ontario PSE institutions. In 2012, uOttawa received 90 requests under access-to-information legislation, which puts it well ahead of all other institutions in the province. The extra employee will bring the number of people dealing with requests to 3. To explain the large number of requests, a university spokesperson told the Ottawa Citizen that “the university is one of the largest PSE institutions in the country, and that it’s in a city of residents who are quite familiar with how governments and freedom-of-information laws work.” Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa again topped list of formal requests for information last year Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:15 06/10/2013 - 16:15

McGill University is expanding its Preferred First Name Procedure. Students' preferred name will now appear instead of their first name on class lists, campus ID cards, exam rosters, and student advising transcripts. McGill's registrar says "the expansion of the Preferred First Name Procedure will be of special benefit to trans and gender non-conforming students whose legal first name does not align with their gender identity or presentation. It will also benefit many other students, such as those who prefer to be addressed by a nickname or middle name rather than their legal first name." Last fall, Concordia University began allowing transgender students to use their chosen names in class and on their student ID. Montreal Gazette | McGill Student Records

McGill broadens preferred first name procedure Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:14 06/10/2013 - 16:14

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is urging the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) to drop a discriminatory practice that limits the participation of international student athletes in varsity sports. The CCLA reports that for the last 20 years the regulatory body has enforced a policy limiting the number of international students per team in basketball, volleyball, and soccer. The policy is being reviewed at a conference this week and members will be asked to vote on a motion to extend the restrictions to a number of other varsity sports, including badminton, golf and curling. According to CCLA, Holland College in PEI has been pushing to have this policy reversed for several years, arguing that “it is contrary to the values of inclusion and participation that are a core element of [their] brand and that it hurts its ability to recruit internationally.” The association has also urged all college presidents to vote to eliminate the policy. CCLA News Release

Let more international students play varsity sports, says Civil Liberties Association Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:49 06/10/2013 - 16:13

The push for greater transparency in the Canadian Federation of Students’ (CFS) funding met with mixed results at last week’s AGM, according to Maclean's. The magazine reports that an independent blogger published CFS' proposed  2014 budget and 2012 audited financial statements, but that other requests by the CFS budget committee were met with refusals. Details regarding how much individual staff members make, as well as the amount being spent on lawsuits with local student unions have not been made public, despite motions to the contrary. CFS operates on a $3.4-million budget, collected largely from fees attached to tuition at campuses that have voted to join the national lobby group. According to Maclean's, one ex-CFS commissioner stated that requests for transparency are requested at every AGM, and are usually rejected. Maclean’s on Campus

Partially-published CFS budget gets mixed reaction, says Maclean's Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:48 06/10/2013 - 16:07

The Child and Youth Worker Program at Cambrian College has received national accreditation by the Child and Youth Care Educational Accreditation Board. This is a first in Canada, according to the Sudbury Star, and will prepare graduates for potential legislation that will require all child and youth workers in the country to be accredited by the national board. There is “strong support for professional accreditation to ensure adherence to professional standards and to demonstrate competencies” in the child and youth care field, and the program will help Cambrian graduates prepare for the future. Cambrian News Release | Sudbury Star

Cambrian College program receives accreditation Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:06 06/10/2013 - 16:06

Ontario universities are shrinking their environmental footprint by reducing waste and increasing recycling, according to the fourth annual Going Greener report released today by the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). The report lists various ways that universities have made progress towards greater environmental sustainability, despite the challenge of budgetary restraints. Measures include an increase in staff dedicated to sustainability, measuring emissions and energy consumption, free or discounted transit passes, infrastructure retrofits like low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucets, and a push to serve local foods. Also, 15 of 22 campuses across the province have introduced new courses related to the environment in the past year. COU News Release | Full Report

Ontario universities continue to go “greener,” says report Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:47 06/10/2013 - 16:05

Officials at the University of Regina are hoping to capitalize on the recent PSE budget cuts announced in Alberta, and are investing in advertising initiatives to help. Presenting uRegina as a viable alternative to Alberta universities, they are running a $25,000 ad campaign in Calgary, and so far, it seems to be working. Applications to uRegina from the Calgary area are up, with more than twice the number of last years’ applications currently being processed. uRegina officials are “guardedly and cautiously optimistic” about the official enrolment count for fall. In Alberta, university officials are less concerned about where the students go to school than they are about the general lack of space for new undergraduate students in that province, reports the Regina Leader-Post. Regina Leader-Post

uRegina hoping to attract more students from Alberta Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:47 06/10/2013 - 16:03

Today, students at the University of Waterloo are planning to protest tuition fee increases implemented for the current spring semester, for which they’ve already paid, The Record reports. According to uWaterloo, they had to make the retroactive fee change because of the timing of the new tuition framework from the provincial government on March 28. "It was mainly a timing issue from the government," said Geoff McBoyle, uWaterloo's VP academic and provost. "We have to have our fees associated with the fiscal year, so we have to charge the students who come in May the same as we charge the students in September." The Record reports that uWaterloo informed students that they would extend the fees from the previous year, but notified students through a series of emails that adjustments would be made later in the spring term, pending the government framework. "Students were aware that there was potential for an increase, but there was no explicit communication that their tuition would increase by whichever amount," said Adam Garcia, VP education for the Federation of Students. The Record

uWaterloo students angry about retroactive fee increases Top Ten 06/10/2013 - 16:02 06/10/2013 - 16:02

The debate over the university presidential search process is being revived in many US states. 2 lawsuits have challenged the way Louisiana State University (LSU) conducted its most recent search, arguing that LSU violated state public-record laws by withholding the names of presidential candidates. Due to an increased reluctance among candidates to be publicly named, search committees and boards are trying to make the process more attractive, says a search consultant, which often means finding methods to ensure some confidentiality. One argument for confidentiality is that open searches dissuade top candidates as they are most likely to be concerned about how exposure could spark backlash at their current institutions. Openness might be an even bigger concern for the general public, suggests a senior faculty member at Florida's Poynter Institute. The public needs to see at some point what the search process looked like so they can have faith in the committees making the decisions, she says. Some confidentiality, such as limiting the names made public to a handful of finalists, is a reasonable way to reach balance among the needs of the public, institution, and candidates. However, some public universities go too far, she says, including those that create finalist pools of one, as in LSU's case. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US public institutions increasingly conducting confidential presidential searches Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 17:00 06/07/2013 - 17:00

Statistics Canada reports in its latest Labour Force Survey that in May, employment was up 54,000 among 15- to 24-year-olds, with gains in Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. This growth pushed the youth unemployment rate down 0.9 percentage points to 13.6%. With the employment increase last month, year-over-year gains for youth totalled 48,000 (+2.0%). Statistics Canada also reports that the rate of summer employment of returning students ages 20 to 24 was 59.9% in May, similar to that of 12 months prior. Their unemployment rate was 15.5% last month, little changed from a year earlier. Statistics Canada

Employment rises among Canadian youth Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 16:58 06/07/2013 - 16:58

The ‘techniques pharmaceutiques’ program at Ottawa's La Cité collégiale has received full accreditation from the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) for a period of 5 years, ending December 2017. Graduates of the program will be eligible for the licensing examinations from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada to become registered pharmacy technicians. La Cité News Release (In French)

La Cité gets full accreditation for pharmacy program Top Ten 06/09/2013 - 22:06 06/07/2013 - 16:56

Dalhousie University has announced a new bachelor’s degree in Ocean Sciences, the first in Canada according to Dal News. Although Dal currently offers advanced degrees in Oceanography at both the master’s and PhD levels, this is the first bachelor’s degree that will offer full interdisciplinary study options, including a summer field course. “The program is designed to educate a cohort of scientists to participate actively in the field of ocean sciences,” and will take advantage of the establishment of the new Ocean Sciences Building. As well as covering topics like biology, chemistry, and physics, students will study specific oceanographic tools and instruments, and ocean history. The 4-year program will accept its first students in September 2013. Dal News

Dal to offer bachelor degree in Ocean Sciences Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 17:07 06/07/2013 - 16:54

A non-profit group connected to NorQuest College is hoping to raise $1 million for a daycare centre on campus that will provide much-needed daycare spaces, lower-cost services for college students, and enhanced training for students registered in NorQuest’s day home provider program. The fundraising goal marks the second phase of a campaign by 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities, a group that began 4 years ago when several women got together to create an endowment fund to support the emergency financial needs of NorQuest College students. “A lot of [NorQuest] students, they’re living in apartments. They’re barely getting by,” said 1000 Women advisory committee chair Patty Taverner, referring to the students enrolled at NorQuest who are also parents. Taverner said the new centre will give NorQuest students access to quality child care that is also convenient and affordable. NorQuest News Release | Edmonton Journal

$1-million fundraising drive for NorQuest daycare centre Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 16:52 06/07/2013 - 16:52

Senator David Braley announced Friday a $3-million gift to Mohawk College's Fennell Campus renewal project, which launched in summer 2009. In recognition of the donation, the Hamilton-based college is officially naming the newest addition to the campus in Braley's honour. Slated to open in September, the 64,000-square-foot David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre will feature 3 gyms for varsity and intramural sports, an indoor running track, a fitness centre, and multi-purpose exercise studios. Mohawk College News Release

$3-million donation supports Mohawk College campus renewal Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 16:53 06/07/2013 - 16:51

Thompson Rivers University has launched a new marketing campaign that aims to promote the university to parts of the Lower Mainland of BC and parts of Alberta, around the theme “Not far. Just far from ordinary.” The campaign, which is running from May 11 to June 11, focuses on the idea that TRU provides students with open access to exceptional academic programs, which is also reflected in the university’s Academic Plan. Messaging focuses on 3 distinctive “pillars” of TRU – its extensive variety of on-campus programs from the certificate to graduate degree levels; 57 programs and almost 600 distance learning courses offered through TRU Open Learning; and the fact that it is a Canadian leader in international and intercultural education. The campaign uses a mix of traditional and social media including: newspaper, interior and exterior transit, public facility (malls, airports) signage, social media and targeted e-mails. It also includes a web landing page, ‘,’ which gives visitors further information about applying to TRU. TRU Campaign Page

TRU runs “Not far. Just far from ordinary.” marketing campaign Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 16:54 06/07/2013 - 16:50

The top half of the University of Calgary's MacKimmie Tower will soon be inaccessible, as the university lacks funding to bring the 13-storey tower up to code, reports Metro News. Municipal regulations for MacKimmie, which previously served as the campus library, have changed and estimates to fully restore it are pegged at $100 million, with $1.5 million needed to address "immediate issues" alone. The university has reached a deal with the City of Calgary in which access to the top 7 floors will be closed no later than January. The closure will mean uCalgary has 12,000-square-feet less space on campus, at least for the time being. Projections released last week found uCalgary to be operating at 9.4% above its existing physical-space capacity. The issues at MacKimmie come as uCalgary deals with a near-40% cut to provincial infrastructure maintenance funding. Metro News

uCalgary shutting upper floors of MacKimmie Tower over building code issues Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 16:54 06/07/2013 - 16:49

The University of Saskatchewan’s board of governors approved construction plans on the former Animal Resource Centre, which will house the cyclotron. The cyclotron will produce isotopes for medical testing, specifically for the new PET-CT scanner at Saskatoon’s Royal University Hospital. Isotopes can also be used for veterinary and agricultural research and testing. The Saskatchewan government and Western Economic Diversification Canada has provided a total of $25.5 million for the project. The facility, which will be managed and operated by uSask subsidiary Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, should be operational for research purposes by 2015, and in full operation by 2016. In addition to providing much needed isotopes for medical research, the facility will attract “innovative, world-class researchers.” uSask News Release | Saskatoon StarPhoenix | CBC

Postscript: April 24, 2014

The University of Saskatchewan accepted delivery of a 25-tonne cyclotron on Tuesday. Cyclotrons produce radio isotopes used in PET scans to detect tumours. uSask had been importing isotopes produced in Hamilton, but logistical issues and the short half-life of the material limited their value. Importation of the material was further limited by the weather. The machine will be operated by the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation. John Root, interim Executive Director of the Fedoruk Centre, said, “This facility, the first in the province, will advance medical research, diagnosing diseases such as cancer, and providing radioisotopes for other areas of scientific research.” It is hoped that the presence of a cyclotron in Saskatoon will encourage SK to invest in an additional PET scanner in Regina, reducing travel time for cancer patients. uSask News Release | StarPhoenix

Cyclotron construction to begin this summer at uSask Top Ten 04/23/2014 - 16:12 06/07/2013 - 16:48

The Université de Montréal has filed a lawsuit with the Quebec Superior Court against 6 students allegedly involved in acts of vandalism on the university campus during last spring's tuition protests. Security guards were overwhelmed when peaceful demonstrations turned violent, with students smashing windows, scrawling graffiti, and splashing paint from the balcony of the newly renovated Ernest-Cormier amphitheatre. One guard was injured, and required stitches and time off work to recover. uMontréal is claiming a total of $100,383 in material and moral damages, including interest. The university says they used security camera footage and fingerprints to identify the alleged vandals, one of whom is the daughter of a Quebec politician. Montreal Gazette

uMontréal sues alleged Maple Spring vandals Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 16:54 06/07/2013 - 16:46

Postdoctoral fellows at the University of Toronto have voted to be represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3902. According to CUPE 3902, the postdocs have been organizing since January to form their own union in order to improve their working conditions. 72% of the postdocs voted to join the union. Their next step is to elect a bargaining team, who will negotiate the first collective agreement between the fellows and the university. CUPE 3902 Announcement

uToronto postdocs vote to unionize Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:39 06/06/2013 - 16:39

This week at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, BC’s representative for children and youth, challenged attendees to do more to engage troubled and disadvantaged youth. Turpel-Lafond suggested that universities offer “tuition waivers for all foster kids, group-home residents and all those who are the legal responsibility of the government.” She acknowledged that this idea wouldn’t solve everything, but that it would be a definitive way to “reach out and get behind” children who are most in need in society. Victoria Times Colonist

Advocate challenges universities to do more for disadvantaged youth Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:38 06/06/2013 - 16:38

Data released by Statistics Canada earlier this spring shows that the number of K-12 Saskatchewan students studying a second language dropped by 50% between 1997 and 2010. The Star Phoenix points out that although some students have chosen to go into immersion programs instead, their numbers do not reflect the 44,000 drop in students who take a second language course. Eric Bolay, acting president of Canadian Parents for French in Saskatchewan, says the drop could be due to a growing urban-rural divide in access to second-language courses. “As enrolment drops at smaller rural schools, it's not always possible to hang onto language teachers, who are in high demand,” says Bolay. A consultant with the Ministry of Education points out that the decrease could also be due to changing university entrance requirements. The Star Phoenix

Fewer Saskatchewan students studying a second language Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:36 06/06/2013 - 16:36

11 Canadian universities and colleges have picked up 19 awards for various categories in university advancement. Winners of the Circle of Excellence awards were announced Tuesday by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The University of Toronto picked up a total of 6 awards in several different categories. Upper Canada College and Queen’s University each won 2 awards for their advancement efforts and initiatives. Simon Fraser University also won 2 awards – one of them a gold award in the Recruitment Videos category. The University of Alberta, Memorial University, and the University of Manitoba also won a gold award in a variety of categories. Bow Valley College, the University of British Columbia, McMaster University and the University of Waterloo each took home one Circle of Excellence award this year. CASE News Release

11 Canadian PSE institutions win CASE Circle of Excellence awards Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:35 06/06/2013 - 16:35

Ontario’s Health System Research Fund has announced that $13.2 million will go to 4 research projects being conducted at McMaster University. One community-based project involves working on improving the lives of those in specific neighbourhoods, who have been identified as having lower life spans and health outcomes. Another project to be funded is a follow-up to the Ontario Child Health Study, which 30 years ago found that one in 5 children experience a mental disorder. Other projects include a study on optimal aging at home, and an analysis of health system performance. The Hamilton Spectator

Ontario gives McMaster $13.2 million for health research Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:34 06/06/2013 - 16:34

The facilities of the Royal Victoria Hospital complex in Montreal are slated to be moved to the new McGill University Health Centre sometime in 2015, and McGill University is considering a takeover of the Royal Victoria site, which is directly adjacent to McGill’s campus, in order to address significant space deficits currently affecting the “landlocked” campus. Descendants of the railway barons who originally bequeathed the land are not opposed to the idea of McGill taking over, as long as the space is used specifically for health sciences vocations, whether teaching and/or research, as the original deed stipulates. No concrete funding estimates are yet given, but the site would need extensive renovations to be converted from a hospital to a teaching and research facility. Montreal Gazette

McGill looking to expand onto Royal Victoria site Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:34 06/06/2013 - 16:34

Faculty and student members of UPEI’s Island Studies Institute and its programs are concerned about a recent series of moves by the university, including the termination of the Institute’s director Irene Novaczek. Last week, students in the Master's of Island Studies program issued a letter to university officials asking for a statement of support for the future of Island Studies. They fear that without the mentorship of the Institute’s director, their studies will suffer. The university has announced an independent review to be conducted this summer of the Island Studies program, which has faculty concerned. CUPE has announced plans to meet with government to discuss ways to help the 39 workers affected by UPEI cuts. The Guardian | CBC (student letter) | CBC (review) | CBC (CUPE)

Faculty and students concerned about future of Island Studies at UPEI Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:33 06/06/2013 - 16:33

The changes to teacher education in Ontario announced this week by the Ontario government will diminish quality for students, says the Council of Ontario Universities. Minister of Education Liz Sandals announced that teacher’s college admissions will be reduced by 50% and that it will now take 2 years to graduate instead of one. Industry professionals are reacting strongly to the first half of the announcement, as it means universities will see per-student funding to education programs cut. Although universities recognize the changes in the labour market that have led to the change, they warn that “further cuts to government funding will compromise the quality of teacher education in the province.” Bonnie Patterson, COU President and CEO said, “When you get a drop in per-student funding, and at the same time are being asked to fundamentally restructure the curriculum, make it longer, which would allow you to do more … that is going to have a quality impact.” COU News Release | Globe and Mail

Ontario universities warn against cut to teacher’s college admissions Top Ten 12/17/2014 - 09:58 06/06/2013 - 16:32

The University of Regina and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology will offer a collaborative master’s of nursing degree for nurse practitioners starting in 2014. The program, approved at a uRegina senate meeting last week, will “prepare primary care nurse practitioners at the graduate level, enabling them to contribute and support improved access to quality primary health care in Saskatchewan.” uRegina and SIAST already offer the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which currently has 700 students enrolled. The program will be offered online to accommodate nurses working in rural and remote areas. "[Online access] allows them to stay in their home community for the theoretical studies and, in some cases, the practical element can be there too," said the dean of the nursing division at SIAST. SIAST News Release | Leader Post

uRegina and SIAST announce new joint nursing master’s program Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:30 06/06/2013 - 16:30

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) has recently announced changes to the funding application and allotment process of the provincial Indian Studies Support Program (ISSP) in BC. Up to this point, the BC-ISSP reviewed applications from its 40 First Nations institutes, determining which programs would receive funding from the $2.1million budget. On March 18, the ISSP committee received word that the provincial committee would be disbanded, and a national committee would take over the allocating of funds. This has members of BC’s First Nations PSE institutes concerned about the future of the programs, some of which were expecting funds by April 1 of this year. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has issued a statement in support of BC-ISSP, pointing out that the federal government has made these changes without consulting with Indigenous groups. The Tyee | UBCIC News Release | UBCIC Statement of Resolution

Changes in funding process have BC Indigenous schools "in dire straits” Top Ten 06/06/2013 - 16:37 06/06/2013 - 16:29

The University of Salford in Manchester, England, announced that it will be cutting “virtually all” courses in modern languages, linguistics, politics, and contemporary history, meaning the “School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences would eventually be disestablished.” University officials point to low enrolment and a desire to redirect resources to “key areas of strength such as media, technology, science, engineering and health.” Students currently enrolled in the cut programs, as well as those accepted for the fall 2013 term, are assured that they will be able to complete their programs. The university is projecting a surplus budget this year, but “these changes are about ensuring that we can use our resources to benefit students in areas that are in demand with employers.” Times Higher Education

Extreme cuts at UK university Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:34 06/05/2013 - 16:34

Kathy Sanford, an education professor at the University of Victoria, presented her research on teens and video games to Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences this week, and the findings may be surprising: playing video games can help prepare youth to be engaged, critically thinking members of society. One example Sanford provides is the fact that teens do not always choose their teammates when playing video games, and must learn how to use individual character strengths and weaknesses to their collective advantage. Also, when a player chooses to make “evil” or unethical decisions, the repercussions must be dealt with in the gaming world, which can translate to decisions in the real world. Sanford also notes that the education system must evolve to find more ways to engage youth: “we have to look at what we can learn from how they learn.” Globe and Mail

Video games may prepare youth to be engaged citizens, study finds Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:52 06/05/2013 - 16:33

The Varsity reports that the University of Toronto’s University Affairs Board has approved the operating agreement for the proposed Student Commons building, set to take over the vacated Faculty of Architecture building at 230 College St. The Student Commons would house a number of programs and facilities, including study areas, multi-faith spaces, eateries, student services and the uToronto Students’ Union (UTSU). A 2007 referendum determined student levies will pay for construction and operating costs. The commons proposal must now be approved by the Board of Governing Council, but the UTSU is hopeful that doors will open in the fall of 2015. The Varsity (student newspaper)

uToronto University Affairs Board approves Student Commons Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:32 06/05/2013 - 16:32

Canadian universities are falling behind US PSE institutions in generating technology transfer between academic research and companies, and improved policies are needed to improve the situation, according to a report by the C.D. Howe Institute. In the report, “From Curiosity to Wealth Creation: How University Research can Boost Economic Growth,” author Peter Howitt recommends ways that government can improve incentives for universities and their researchers to pursue the types of research that eventually can be commercialized. “Research grants shouldn’t be tied directly to commercialization,” Howitt said. “The evidence shows that the best approach is to create first-rate universities where first-rate scientists can pursue research that appeals to their curiosity, and encourage business to invest in commercializing their discoveries.” C.D. Howe News Release | Full Report

Improved policies needed to encourage research commercialization, says report Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:29 06/05/2013 - 16:29

Yesterday, Dalhousie University celebrated World Oceans Week with the opening of the new $41.4-million Dalhousie Ocean Sciences Building, a 76,000 square foot building that will house the Halifax Marine Research Institute (HMRI), the global consortium Ocean Tracking Network (OTN), and the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response NCE Network (MEOPAR), as well as Dalhousie’s Canada Excellence Research Chair in Oceans Science. The world-class facility will enable collaboration and creative thinking among various industry and government organizations. Dal Media Centre

Dal opens new Ocean Sciences Building Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:28 06/05/2013 - 16:28

Technology-enhanced learning studios increase student satisfaction, according to a study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). HEQCO examined 11 Lambton College courses taught at least in part in a learning studio, which offer enhanced teaching and learning technologies, flexible furnishings and an open layout. The study showed that these learning environments lead to satisfaction from both students and faculty, largely due to expanded use of active learning strategies such as group work, discussions, analysis and problem-solving. However, a majority of students said that the facilities are not used to their full potential. Faculty reported that their training in the use of these technologies was inadequate. HEQCO Report

Study on Lambton College teaching studios shows increased satisfaction Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:27 06/05/2013 - 16:27

Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear has announced that this year’s Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Leaders Opportunity Fund will give a total of $47.7 million to 234 research projects across the country in the areas of health, agriculture and education. “Canadians are seeing the benefits of these investments through growing clusters of industrial activity, innovative spinoff companies and high-quality jobs in the growing knowledge sector,” said Minister Goodyear. CFI News Release

$47.7 million in funding for research across Canada Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:26 06/05/2013 - 16:26

The University of Windsor has launched a new logo on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. The logo depicts the shield from uWindsor’s coat of arms and “incorporates a sense of pride in [uWindsor’s] rich history with modern elements representing the excitement the campus has for the next 50 years,” according to the university. The logo also features a fleur-de-lis, symbolic of the French-Canadian heritage of Windsor-Essex; a lily, representing religious tradition; and a maple leaf, “embodying Canadian pride.” uWindsor’s communications and public affairs department conducted 21 focus groups with people representing various demographics, including current and future students, alumni, faculty and staff, community members, and marketing professionals. When the previous logo was unveiled in September 2007, some stakeholders expressed concerns that it might be short-lived. uWindsor News Release | CBC

uWindsor unveils new logo Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:51 06/05/2013 - 16:25

The Ontario government has announced that it will reduce teacher’s college admissions by 50% and double the time it currently takes students to graduate, starting in September 2015. Both measures aim to deal with the influx of recent teacher’s college graduates who are struggling to find work in their field. The announcement, made Wednesday by Education Minister Liz Sandals, also included the news that the curriculum will be updated to help new teachers tailor their teaching methods to diverse student needs and work with students with mental health and addictions issues. The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), which was a key partner in the Ministry of Education discussions around the framework of the program, welcomed the government’s announcement. Ontario News ReleaseGlobe and Mail | National Post | OCT News Release

Ontario to cut supply of new teachers Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:24 06/05/2013 - 16:23

The federal government will take more direct control over appointing the next principal of the Royal Military College of Canada, the Globe reports. Searches for past RMC principals have typically been led by members of the board of governors and select professors. This time, the Privy Council Office has disbanded the committee mandated to choose candidates and replaced it with a smaller group containing government and military members, but no professors. According to the Globe, faculty members are frustrated about being shut out of the decision-making process, and worry that the move may deter good candidates from submitting their names. The change comes after a previous report from a commission established by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, claiming that RMC governance needs restructuring, and that civil service is running the institution like a government department, rather than a university. Globe and Mail

Government takes greater control of principal appointment at RMC Top Ten 06/05/2013 - 16:21 06/05/2013 - 16:21

Queen’s University fine arts student David Woodward was invited to showcase his artwork at a university donor appreciation event this week, but says he was asked to leave when organizers found out the artwork consisted of embroidered underwear. Woodward tried to display his final BFA thesis project, “All I Am is What I’ve Felt,” consisting of 10 pairs of men’s underwear embroidered with images, text or both, that are tacked onto a wall. He says the work is “an examination of gender, sexuality and intimacy.” Woodward told The Toronto Star that shortly after setting up his art at the event, organizers said “the art was supposed to serve as a nice background -- that his work was inappropriate and would make attendees uncomfortable.” Queen’s VP Advancement, Tom Harris, has since offered Woodward an apology. Toronto Star

Queen’s student’s underwear art deemed "inappropriate" for donor event Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:20 06/04/2013 - 17:20

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that although European PSE institutions are continuing to offer more courses in English in an attempt to prepare students for the global workforce and attract more foreign students, some university members are struggling with the idea. The Polytechnic University of Milan is focusing on offering English instruction to faculty to ensure they are equipped with the proficiency to teach in English, sparking a petition from 234 professors at the university who oppose the move because “it limits access to education and introduces an element of linguistic discrimination against university employees.” Some opponents of the move argue that teaching certain subjects in English will mean that rich cultural traditions will be “literally lost in translation,” according to The Chronicle. Meanwhile, many students have responded positively to the move towards more English. A master's student in computer engineering says he “supports the change, likening English to Latin in the Roman era. He says he just wishes the professors could speak it better.” Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Elite Italian university struggles with shift to English Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:20 06/04/2013 - 17:20

Applications for Lambton College’s alternative energy engineering technology program this year have dropped by 67% compared to 2012, prompting the college to suspend enrolment into the highly-touted program, which was introduced in 2005. Students in the midst of the 3-year program will be able to finish, but starting in September Lambton won’t accept any new students. Lambton has cited industry changes as a possible cause of the decline in interest. A college spokesperson said industry leaders are seeing a shift in the alternative energy sector from engineering to applied work. Sarnia Observer

Lambton College suspends alternative energy enrolment Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:19 06/04/2013 - 17:19

Canada’s political scientists aren’t playing as large of a role in political debate as they once were, according to Globe and Mail columnist Lawrence Martin. He blames this phenomenon on the fact that “academics have become less and less interested in our politics and our institutions, leaving journalists to hold governments to account.” This view is echoed by a Victoria political scientist who did a research project cataloguing scholarly work on issues of parliamentary governance, and found little. Martin suggests that this is particularly concerning at a time when the integrity of the parliamentary system is being abused in many ways, including “contempt for the rights of Parliament, information control taken to unheard-of extremes, the weakening of the committee system, moves toward politicizing the public service, the muzzling of perceived opponents, research and data suppression,” among others. He points out that the university sector should be particularly concerned about an “anti-intellectual bent” by the federal government. Globe and Mail

Canada’s political scholars disengaged from parliamentary debate Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:18 06/04/2013 - 17:18

A group of international graduate students at Memorial University have issued a petition to voice concerns over fees that are charged to international students in 4 programs offered by MUN’s engineering department. According to university officials, the fees cover resources including additional faculty, infrastructure, and language training, as well as recruiter commissions. Other concerns raised include scheduling conflicts, being pushed to do advanced courses before taking prerequisites, and a lack of work terms. The Graduate Students’ Union at MUN is now involved, and is “calling for the special fees to be abolished.” CBC

Students protest MUN’s “special fees” for international graduate Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:18 06/04/2013 - 17:18

A vote by the University of Alberta board of governors has determined that the term “flagship” will remain in the mission statement of the 2013 comprehensive institutional plan. However, some members of the uAlberta community worry that Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk may not agree with the decision, as there “is a lot of resistance to the use of this word in government.” Board members believe that “flagship” is still appropriate, as it speaks to the history of the university, and re-affirms uAlberta’s vision of pursuing excellence as one of the top 5 universities in Canada. Edmonton Journal

uAlberta board sticks to “flagship” definition Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:16 06/04/2013 - 17:16

When McMaster University’s board of governors meets tomorrow, they will discuss a motion proposing to suspend the collection of student fees on behalf of the McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS), reports the Hamilton Spectator. MAPS has been the centre of a spending scandal for the last few months, and according to university provost David Wilkinson there has been “little progress” towards changes in governance and financial transparency. New MAPS board president Andrew Smith says that the suspension of funds will threaten the future of the organization, and that the organization has asked for more time to deal with “inherited” problems. Hamilton Spectator

Postscript: Jun 10, 2013

McMaster University’s board of governors has passed a motion to stop collecting student fees on behalf of the McMaster Association of Part-Time Students (MAPS), the Hamilton Spectator reports. McMaster provost David Wilkinson recommended the move to the board, characterizing it as temporary until MAPS provides the university with a list of changes in governance and financial transparency. New MAPS board president Andrew Smith made pleas against the measure, but agreed to meet board members to decide their next move. Hamilton Spectator

McMaster may suspend MAPS student fee collection Top Ten 06/07/2013 - 17:03 06/04/2013 - 17:15

Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and Vice-Chancellor of Carleton University, explored the use of technology on PSE campuses in a recent Globe and Mail article, with the message that through the increased use of technology, PSE institutions will be able to offer an enriched learning experience to more students at a reduced cost. Runte spoke to the possibility of a return to the “Oxford style” of instructor-student relationships that offered a mentor-like experience and allowed for more discussion and evaluation of learning. She also discussed the possibility of students acquiring degrees in less time, and faculty having more time to conduct their own research. Globe and Mail

Technology can equal savings for PSE, says Carleton president Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:14 06/04/2013 - 17:14

Maclean's magazine reports that PhD graduates are more likely to be unemployed than master’s degree holders, while those with jobs enjoyed a median income only 8% higher than their MA counterparts, at $65,000 per year. One in 3 doctorate holders have jobs that don’t require a PhD, while a 2007 survey of PhDs working at Canadian universities found that only 12% of those under the age of 35 held tenure or tenure-track positions, compared to 35% in 1981. Maclean’s points out that while provinces across the country have asked universities to tighten their budgets, which includes a decrease of faculty positions, Canadian universities continue to graduate PhDs – slightly less than 5,000 last year alone. However, not everyone agrees that PhDs are in trouble – the director of research and policy analysis for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada says, “It’s always been extremely competitive to get a tenured position in academe. If it’s harder than it was before, it’s only a wee bit harder.” Maclean's

Having a doctorate isn't what it used to be Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:12 06/04/2013 - 17:12

The University of Waterloo received a commitment of $1.75 million from the RBC Foundation to support the development of a new graduate study program in Integrated Water Management. The RBC Water Scholars program aims to equip graduates of water-related degrees with broader perspectives and the ability to work with other experts in their field. “RBC’s generous gift allows us to establish a program that gives graduates a foundation in water science, engineering, technology and management above and beyond the specialist training they receive as part of their graduate degree studies,” said Robert Gillham, executive director of uWaterloo’s Water Institute. uWaterloo News Release

uWaterloo announces $1.75-million donation for water management program Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:10 06/04/2013 - 17:10

In the wake of increased global movement among PSE institutions, and the growing popularity of MOOCs, critics are calling for a better system of assessing required skills and competencies across higher education, with an emphasis on grading system transparencies. A recent article states that mutual recognition of qualifications across national, regional, and global scales is necessary for the development of fully transferrable credits and degrees. According to the author, “the ongoing globalisation and regionalisation of higher education requires fully understanding what higher education certificates, diplomas and degrees actually mean in terms of learning outcomes and their relevance and value to individual students and society.” The article points out several existing barriers to mutual recognition of higher education qualifications, including among European countries in spite of increased efforts there to harmonise PSE standards. University World News

Need for global standards of grades and learning outcomes Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:50 06/03/2013 - 16:50

With the rising popularity of MOOCs, some colleges are taking advantage of the availability of lecture material by professors at elite universities and using them in their own classes. And while this trend is still in its infancy, some professors are raising concerns about academic freedom going forward. At Massachusetts Bay Community College and San Jose State University, professors used lecture materials and exams in order to supplement their own teachings, and both reported successes and a high degree of control over the course. But at the same time, some professors are worried that in the future, colleges will demand that specific courses use specific MOOC materials, limiting the academic freedom of the professor teaching the course. As one professor pointed out, "The MIT certificate [that you get for completing a MOOC] has a lot more value in the marketplace than three course credits at MassBay—absolutely.” Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Professors worry about academic freedom and outsourced lectures Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:50 06/03/2013 - 16:49

The Canadian College Environmental Network (CCEN) and the Canadian University Environmental Science Network (CUESN) have merged, in response to an increasing national trend towards more partnerships between colleges and universities. The new Canadian College and University Environmental Network (CCUEN) was created at a recent conference co-hosted by Trent University and Fleming College. “Students are choosing to take a combination of both college and university environmental programs and they are seeking more pathways between institutions nationally. This new post-secondary network will encourage more partnerships between colleges and universities and will increase our opportunities to network and share more information across the two sectors,” says Linda Skilton, dean of Fleming College’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences. “It may even lead to an official branding of Canadian environmental post-secondary education, which could attract more international students to our programs.” Fleming News Release

New environmental network emerges from national conference Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:48 06/03/2013 - 16:48

Dalhousie University has announced 14 new projects that focus on “new methods in course delivery, curriculum design and management, and other elements of the academic experience.” DalVision, the university’s Academic Innovation program of the VP Academic Office, offers funding to faculty and staff members for design, implementation and evaluation of new programs and initiatives that enhance the student learning experience. “Part of innovation is being willing to take a risk, to experiment, within appropriate limits,” says Fiona Black, director of academic planning. “Sometimes, it takes extra support to make that happen. This program helps ensure that the decisions we’re making about course content and course design are based on evidence we can trust, because our own colleagues have tried it and learned what works and what doesn’t. Through this program, we shall also be enhancing our existing capacities to conduct and disseminate research in the scholarship of learning and teaching.” Dal News

“DalVision” initiative funds 14 new teaching and learning projects Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:47 06/03/2013 - 16:47

In a survey of more than 2,500 SAIT Polytechnic 2012 graduates, 94% said they were able to secure employment after completing their program. Of the respondents in the labour force, 84% reported being employed in training-related positions. The survey shows graduates are working close to home -- 79% remained in Calgary and a total of 95% stayed in Alberta. The results also indicate that graduates are seeing a continual increase in salaries. The median annual wage is more than $49,000, up 19% since the 2008-09 survey results. SAIT News

94% of 2012 SAIT grads surveyed secure employment Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:46 06/03/2013 - 16:46

The University of British Columbia public affairs office launched a News webpage this week. The new webpage allows the user to view and subscribe to news by beat area, is more visually appealing, contains more expert profiles and commentary, and uses more multimedia. The page is also responsively designed for mobile devices. UBC News Release | UBC News Portal

UBC launches News portal Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:45 06/03/2013 - 16:45

A report by Metro News has highlighted the uneven per-student government subsidies that PSE institutions in Alberta receive, with many in rural areas getting significantly more than those in urban centres. With the top subsidy of $29,900 going to Fort McMurray’s Keyano College, and the lowest subsidy of $5,474 going to Athabasca University, PSE officials are wondering about the significant differences in subsidy amounts. Recognizing that some programs do require more funding than others, one VP at Mount Royal University is looking forward to a provincial investigation into funding models, a review which is slated to begin this fall. The report used data from the 2010-11 school year, the first year after a funding freeze was announced, and the last year that complete data is available for. Metro News

Alberta’s PSE institutions question per-student funding disparities Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:44 06/03/2013 - 16:44

Western University’s Faculty of Engineering and Ivey Business School were given a $3-million gift from John M. and Melinda Thompson this week, which will go towards strengthening the academic experience of WesternU’s engineering students. The university will match a $1.5 million portion of the gift, creating a $3-million endowment to establish the John M. Thompson Chair in Engineering Leadership and Innovation. The remaining $1.5 million will provide for the John M. Thompson Visiting Industry Fellowship in Engineering and Leadership, a total of 7 student awards, and the John M. Thompson Case Studies & Curriculum Development Fund. “I have personally experienced the benefits of combining a Western Engineering degree with the business education offered by Ivey Business School. Enabling Western’s engineering students to build their business knowledge as part of their engineering education will provide them with a significant advantage. Melinda and I are enormously pleased to be able to support this initiative,” says John M. Thompson, philanthropist and former President and CEO of IBM Canada. WesternU News Release

$3-million gift to prepare WesternU students for career in leadership and engineering Top Ten 12/17/2014 - 09:57 06/03/2013 - 16:43

In the last couple of years, pharmacists in Ontario have been given increased responsibilities to provide frontline healthcare services, such as managing and renewing prescriptions, administering medications like flu shots, and even prescribing some medications. In response, the Ontario government is providing $5.7 million in funding to the Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration, a joint project between the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy and McMaster’s Department of Family Medicine. The money will fund research projects that examine the expansion of pharmacists’ roles to see if the initiatives are working and how they can be improved on. The funding will come from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through the Health System Research Fund program. CBC

Ontario provides $5.7 million for pharmacy research Top Ten 12/17/2014 - 09:56 06/03/2013 - 16:42

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), was at the launch of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Victoria to announce a federal investment of $167 million to support researchers at Canada’s PSE institutions. In addition to the $167 million, $43.4 million has been committed in matching support from sources involved in the various research projects, including national and international researchers, and industry, public and not-for-profit partners. SSHRC News Release

$167 million to fund research initiatives in social sciences and humanities Top Ten 06/03/2013 - 16:38 06/03/2013 - 16:38

A feature article in last week's Globe and Mail points to efforts by some Canadian universities to enhance their recruitment of US students. The University of Windsor is creating a "US neighbour fee" that will charge American undergraduate students less than standard international fees. The US is one of the University of Calgary's 5 priority sources in its bid to double its international enrolment by 2016. uCalgary is opening 3 new alumni chapters in Houston, New York, and Silicon Valley to spread the word, and launching a new regional council with representatives from US businesses, consulates, and government. Data indicates the movement of students within North America has stayed flat, suggesting that both Canada's and the States' recruiting strategies have grown stale. Still considered one of the most prestigious and highly sought-after honours by North American students, the Fulbright Scholar program is largely funded by the US State Department to engage the 2 nations intellectually and raise the profile of their PSE institutions. Allan Goodman of the US-based Institute of International Education states that the relationship between Canada and the US must be renewed through a new scholarship, perhaps one that's privately funded. Globe and Mail

What Canadian universities are doing to attract US students Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 08:39 05/31/2013 - 16:43

Some faculty were surprised by the announcement of a series of business partnerships between Coursera, a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, and 10 US state PSE institutions. In some cases faculty members spoke with administrators about the deal before the announcement or were involved directly. However, in others, faculty leaders say they were caught off-guard by the news. “We are concerned that there is an experiment being done on students and we don’t know the outcome but it could jeopardize their higher education,” says Eileen Landy, the secretary of United University Professions, the bargaining union for faculty at 30 of the State University of New York’s 64 campuses. Inside Higher Ed

Some faculty caught off-guard by Coursera deals Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 09:04 05/31/2013 - 16:38

The University of Toronto Scarborough is welcoming a record number of top students from mainland China to Green Path, a 12-week academic and ESL program that prepares students for undergraduate studies at uToronto. This year 225 students from 23 Chinese provinces are participating, making it the largest number of entrants in Green Path since it launched in 2005. 613 Green Path students are currently enrolled at uToronto. UTSC News

Record number of Chinese students enter UTSC "Green Path" program Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 09:04 05/31/2013 - 16:35

A new UBC study to be presented this week at Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Victoria examines a trend among students with various learning disabilities who excel in UBC’s very demanding opera program. Lead researchers suggest that perhaps the multi-tasking skills required for opera serve to “re-train” the brain to think in different ways, as the program requires intense discipline and concentration. The goal of the study is to discover the “key elements of opera education that are helping learning-disabled students thrive” so that techniques can be applied to students with learning disabilities in other disciplines. UBC News Release

Students with learning disabilities excel at UBC opera program Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 09:03 05/31/2013 - 16:31

McGill University announced Thursday a $1.1-million donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, as part of McGill's $750million fundraising campaign. The donation will endow 2 Stavros Niarchos Foundation Fellowships for Excellence in Graduate Education. The fellowships will be awarded every year to talented applicants from Greece, who wish to pursue a master's or doctoral degree at McGill. Each recipient will get funding for up to 2 years of study. The first fellowships will be awarded in fall 2014. McGill News Release

$1.1-million donation to McGill supports fellowships for Greek grad students Top Ten 05/31/2013 - 16:31 05/31/2013 - 16:31

In the last fiscal year the University of Alberta raised $119.4 million – second only to the previous year’s record of $162.7 million – driven by record levels of gifts to the Faculties of Medicine & Dentistry and Arts. More than 20,000 individuals, foundations, and corporations donated in 2012-13, including 4,700 first-time benefactors. Planned giving, in which individuals leave donations to the institution in their will, contributed more than $29 million to the total. uAlberta News

uAlberta raises nearly $120 million in 2012-13 Top Ten 05/31/2013 - 16:30 05/31/2013 - 16:30

Concordia University in Montreal is closing its Centre for Academic Leadership after only 1.5 years; however, the programs offered through the centre will continue under the auspices of the Office of the Provost. The closure is due to budget concerns and is an effort to improve on efficiency, says interim provost and VP academic Lisa Ostiguy. The centre was created to offer academic leaders with workshops and presentations that explored labour relations, collective bargaining, and leadership skills. The centre also created a peer-mentorship program to help new department chairs transition to their new positions. Concordia News

Concordia closes Centre for Academic Leadership Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 08:31 05/31/2013 - 16:28

The University of Windsor is updating its grading system from the 13-point system it has been using to a numeric scale of 0 to 100. The previous system was unique to uWindsor, and was confusing for other institutions and employers to figure out. For some programs where grades are more subjective, professors have the option to state on the course outline that grades will be assigned in intervals of 5 percentage points (80, 85, 90). The changes will take effect as of September 2013, and all grades assigned prior to that date will remain on transcripts as letter grades (A, B, C, D). Windsor Star

uWindsor standardizes marking system Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 09:02 05/31/2013 - 16:27

Saskatchewan’s Teacher Education, Certification and Classification board (TECC) is on the fifth draft of a document recommending significant changes to the education requirements for teachers in the province. Currently, high school level teachers must have “major” and “minor” subject specialties; the recommended changes would require teachers to have classes in 3 teaching areas. At the elementary level, teachers who now are required to have classes in all the main areas of study will be required to choose a “major.” Other proposed changes include increasing the amount of time that teachers spend as student-teachers from 8 weeks to 10 weeks. Members of the province’s 4 PSE institutions who provide teacher training are concerned there has not been enough consultation with faculties. According to James McNinch, dean of education at the University of Regina, the TECC board is listening “to their constituents rather than to the educational stakeholders.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Changes in the works to Saskatchewan’s BEd requirements Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 09:01 05/31/2013 - 16:26

University College of the North announced Thursday measures to address a challenge in achieving a balanced budget as mandated by the Manitoba government. Effective September 2013, UCN will suspend intake in 5 one-year certificate programs and in the first year of 5 two-year diploma programs. Students currently enrolled in the affected diploma programs will be allowed to complete their education. These programs were identified through a review of enrolments and cost factors. UCN will not fill 10 positions that are currently vacant, and there will be job cuts equivalent to 6 FTEs in faculty, administration, and support. UCN is also instituting a vacancy management strategy, in which all vacated positions will need stringent scrutiny prior to measures being taken to fill the position. UCN

UCN suspends intake for 10 programs, announces 16 jobs to be cut Top Ten 06/02/2013 - 09:00 05/31/2013 - 16:24

In his final post before going on a summer hiatus, our guest blogger David Sovka muses on spring cleaning at home and deferred maintenance on campus. In lieu of actual funding to clean up your campus, David offers a few suggestions for physical resources personnel short on financial resources. When it comes to easy-clean furniture, select "fabric with textures and colours that go well with exam season despair and coffee stains." Another tip is to board up your windows, because "you don't have to clean what you can't see." Read David's blog

Tips for spring-cleaning your campus Top Ten 05/31/2013 - 09:13 05/31/2013 - 09:12

Red Deer College this week announced a new cooperative agreement with Henan Trade and Industry Vocational College in Zhengzhou, China, which will allow up to 50 Chinese accounting students to attend the Donald School of Business at RDC’s downtown campus. “This collaboration is a tremendous opportunity for us,” says Darcy Mykytyshyn, dean of the Donald School of Business. “The idea for this partnership is rooted in a strong relationship that our faculty have been nurturing with the Canada China Business Association through our collaboration with them in our Global Business course offered in our Bachelor of Business Administration degree.” RDC News Release

RDC signs agreement with Chinese institution Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 17:08 05/30/2013 - 17:08

The senate of Montreal’s Concordia University approved a new graduate certificate program in University Teaching. The program is the first of its kind to be offered in English in Canada, and will provide doctoral students with knowledge and skills in university teaching. The program includes an apprenticeship with a discipline-specific faculty mentor, as well as a teaching internship that involves the design, planning, and delivery of a 3-credit course. The program will allow students who desire more actual classroom experience the opportunity to receive instruction while completing their PhD degrees. Concordia News

Concordia approves new program in University Teaching Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 17:06 05/30/2013 - 17:06

The University of Windsor announced plans to close the Centre for Studies in Social Justice as of July 1, 2013. Some faculty and students are extremely unhappy with this news, and there is a protest planned for June 3 to register students' displeasure. One student remarked that the centre "does the critical work of bridging the distance between academia and activism," distancing the university from the label of "ivory tower" that can plague PSE institutions. The centre, created in 2002, provides a forum for research and discussion on a wide range of social justice issues. AVP academic Bruce Tucker pointed to necessary budget cutbacks of $4 million, stating that "some very deserving things have to go." Windsor Star

Budget restraints lead to centre closure at uWindsor Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 17:05 05/30/2013 - 17:00

A fake classification system in an internal admissions database that puts complaining parents in categories such as "%$^& You" and “Shove It" has been leaked to the public. A Northwestern University associate provost for enrolment created the filing system in jest. However, someone who saw the database didn't find it humorous and sent screenshots out to a number of people, one of them the parent of a rejected applicant, who sent copies to Inside Higher Ed, and posted a copy on a website popular with applicants. A spokesperson for the Evanston, Illinois-based university said via e-mail: "It was an ill-advised attempt at humor by a member of our staff. Northwestern strives to treat all our admission applicants respectfully and appropriately. This was an error in judgment and we apologize for it." Inside Higher Ed

Northwestern U's jest about angry parents goes public Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 16:54 05/30/2013 - 16:54

There is a marked decline in English communication skills among a number of Chinese students planning to study abroad in English-speaking countries, according to the company Zinch China. The company surveyed 25,000 prospective Chinese students, from a grade 8-equivalent age to senior high school students, in unscheduled phone interviews. The survey found that 62% had “poor” or “subfunctional” spoken English, a marked increase from the 38% that fell into this category in a similar survey conducted last year. The report gives several possible reasons for change in spoken English skills, including an increased emphasis on reading and writing abilities, as well as a considerable increase in the number of students interested in studying abroad. The study has implications for universities that recruit heavily in China, as many of these incoming students could need months or years of English language studies before being able to participate in a class discussion. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

English communication skills on decline among Chinese students Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 16:52 05/30/2013 - 16:52

Coursera, a massive open online course (MOOC) platform, has announced that it is working on new deals with 10 US state university systems and public university flagships. In many of these deals, institutions are not only making their course content available online, but they are also exploring how to use MOOC technology on their own campuses and online within their own courses. Coursera states that faculty will have the opportunity to develop online courses and adapt existing MOOC content, which they can then incorporate into their own classrooms. The collaborations also mean an opportunity for institutions to offer for-credit offerings to some students. "We think the coming decade will see a transformation in the way education is delivered, where teachers and online content come together to better serve students on campus and beyond," said Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera. Coursera News Release | Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed

Coursera in deals with 10 US state PSE institutions Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 16:48 05/30/2013 - 16:48

A group of student researchers at the University of Windsor has released their findings on the relationships between attitudes of academic entitlement and academic and workplace achievements. While the researchers did find that attitudes of academic entitlement are relatively uncommon, those who do exhibit such behaviour are more likely to engage in acts of academic dishonesty such as cheating, as well as being more likely to have lower grade point averages than students who have a low sense of entitlement. The research also found that high levels of academic entitlement were strong indicators of future workplace entitlement, including high expectations of job placement, raises, and bonuses. One researcher summed up the message their research has created: "you're not here to buy your degree...You're here to learn and work hard for it, so that you can eventually get a good job afterwards." uWindsor Daily News

Academic entitlement does not equal higher grades Top Ten 05/26/2014 - 12:53 05/30/2013 - 16:45

Colleges in Ontario are praising Premier Kathleen Wynne for agreeing to consider allowing 3-year degree programs in the province. When the premier met with the presidents of Ontario's 24 colleges earlier this week -- a meeting designed to discuss measures to strengthen PSE in the province -- she said she would investigate the idea further. The idea of a 3-year degree was originally recommended in a discussion paper by the former government under Dalton McGuinty on how to strengthen PSE in Ontario. Colleges Ontario urged the government to adopt the proposal and allow colleges to grant 3-year degrees, giving students more options for degree completion. Northern College News Release | St. Lawrence College News Release | Seaway News

Ontario colleges pleased premier will consider 3-year degrees Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 16:58 05/30/2013 - 16:43

Brock University reports that its spring term undergraduate course registrations have risen by nearly 30% over last year, and the growth is attributed to enhanced course offerings of traditional, online, and accelerated classes. So far Brock has experienced an increase of 2,300 course enrolments above last year's spring/summer term. Anecdotally, students also appear to be enrolled in more than one course this term, says Anna Lathrop, Brock's VP of teaching and learning. Looking ahead, Lathrop says the university will continue to build on its online course offerings. Brock News

Brock spring term registrations up 30% Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 16:50 05/30/2013 - 16:40

New data from Georgetown University confirms that those with a university education fare better in the job market than those without. However, it also reveals that graduates’ employment rates and earnings still depend greatly on what they studied. Median earnings among recent US university graduates range from $54,000 for engineering majors to $30,000 for arts, psychology and social work, as well as life and physical sciences. People who make technology are still better off than people who use technology; unemployment rates for recent graduates in information systems, concentrated in clerical functions, is high (14.7%) compared with mathematics (5.9%) and computer science (8.7%). Unemployment rates are relatively low for recent graduates in education (5.0%), engineering (7.0%) health and the sciences (4.8%) because they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations. Alternatively, unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (9.8%) or law and public policy (9.2%). Georgetown News Release | Full report | Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US university graduates’ employment outcomes vary by major Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:48 05/29/2013 - 17:48

Some perspective and thought is in order before jumping to conclusions about the current over-supply of PhDs, says Brent Herbert-Copley, VP Research Capacity, at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Although there is a current pessimism about how to make good use of “the stream of doctoral grads from Canadian universities” at a time when unemployment rates for grads remain in the single-digits, Herbert-Copley argues that the news isn’t all bad. First, he says, new PhDs are graduating into an increasingly complex, globalized labour market, which creates new opportunities for work beyond Canada’s borders as well as in emerging fields like business analytics, educational software, or the video games industry. Second, Herbert-Copley points out that not all PhDs need to go into academia. He notes that universities are grappling with how to link doctoral studies more effectively with a range of jobs beyond academia – whether that’s through increasing numbers of internship opportunities for students from across the campus, more creative use of digital technology, or more flexible approaches to the dissertation. Finally, he says, it’s worth remembering that, despite Canada’s recent increase in PhDs, the country still graduates fewer PhDs per capita than the US and other major competitor countries. This means that it is not clear that Canada produces too many PhD candidates. Globe and Mail

Few academic jobs, but Canada’s need for PhDs grows Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:45 05/29/2013 - 17:45

Skills, attitudes and behaviours of individuals are central to an organization's ability to innovate, according to Innovation Skills Profile 2.0 (ISP2.0), a resource launched Tuesday by the Conference Board of Canada. Designed for use by employees, employers, educators, students and governments so that they may become more innovative, ISP2.0 identifies the skills needed to generate ideas, take calculated risks and be entrepreneurial, and develop interpersonal relationships. "Skills consistently rank in the top three or four factors cited by business leaders as being necessary for successful innovation within their organizations. Skills are the enabling component of the innovation process and a lack of skills is a huge impediment to greater innovation in Canadian organizations," said the Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning Research at the Conference Board. Conference Board News Release | Innovation Skills Profile 2.0

New Conference Board resource identifies skills that support innovation Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:43 05/29/2013 - 17:43

A new partnership with Université de Saint-Boniface and an expanded partnership with Assiniboine Community College will give 70 more child-care professionals access to Manitoba's workplace-based early childhood education diploma program, the provincial government announced Tuesday. The new partnerships mean the program will start training a total of 135 ECEs this year. The province will invest more than $2 million over 2 years to support the expansion of the accelerated program that trains child-care professionals to become ECEs, says Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard, who adds the initiative provides more rural training and, for the first time, training in French. Manitoba News Release

Manitoba expands workplace-based early childhood education program Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:41 05/29/2013 - 17:41

The provincial government should not micro-manage how cuts are made at universities and colleges, say leaders from 4 of Edmonton’s PSE institutions, in reaction to the Minister of Advanced Education’s musings about creating common curriculum across campuses to save money. The 4 leaders agreed that each institution should maintain its own identity, making its unique decisions about how to deal with the cuts mandated recently by the government. “There is some perception that the system is broken and that’s just not right. It’s highly efficient and we’re competing with the best in the world,” said Doug Goss, chairman of uAlberta’s board of governors, in response to negative messages coming from government as of late. Edmonton Journal

Alberta educators to province: don’t meddle Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:38 05/29/2013 - 17:38

The Université du Québec’s École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) has announced plans to build a multi-faceted student residence and services building. The Student House will offer an under-one-roof approach, including housing, a medical clinic, pharmacy, and offices of Student Services and the Student Association. With a planned investment of $35 million, the building will occupy approximately 135,000 square feet over 5 floors. Construction is set to begin by the end of summer 2013, with completion slated for 2015. uQuébec News (in French)

New facilities for student housing, services at ÉTS Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:36 05/29/2013 - 17:36

Medicine Hat College’s Brooks campus will be cutting one program and rotating out another, according to the Brooks Bulletin. The Open Learning Centre (OLC), a service geared to students who learn at their own pace while upgrading high school subjects and completing college preparatory courses, will not run a spring 2014 program. The Alberta-based college will continue to run the OLC in the fall and winter semesters, but the spring enrolment numbers are too low to merit continuing the spring option. A second program, Office Tech, will be cut in the upcoming fall semester. College president Ralph Weeks told the Bulletin that the decision to cut Office Tech is not entirely budget driven, but, as it does not warrant annual scheduling, the college hopes that by trimming excess now, programs like Office Tech could be reinstated in the future. Brooks Bulletin

Minor cuts at MHC’s Brooks campus Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:37 05/29/2013 - 17:33

The University of Guelph is among the first institutions in Ontario to approve new "pathways" for students transferring from college to university. The new transfer pathways apply to 4 UoGuelph bachelor programs: bio-resource management, commerce, computing, and science. The pathways are designed to help college students Ontario-wide, including streamlining admission processes and clearly recognizing transfer equivalency. "Our goal is to look at how we can attract and sustain (transfer students) by improving services and transparency," says UoGuelph's provost. The pathways will be reviewed at least every 5 years. In January 2012, UoGuelph launched a working group tasked with exploring ways to recruit and retain college transfer students. UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph adopts "pathways" for transferring college students Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:32 05/29/2013 - 17:32

Tuesday marked the start of construction for the University of Victoria's $77-million Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA). The centre will house a 2,000-seat gym, an 18-metre-high climbing wall, a rowing centre, weight-training space, a sports injury clinic, field house, squash and raquetball courts, a rugby centre, and space for CanAssist to develop devices to help individuals with disabilities. UVic president David Turpin says CARSA is the biggest construction project since the institution opened -- and is a great legacy for UVic's 50th anniversary. Victoria-Times Colonist

UVic begins construction of athletics centre Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:29 05/29/2013 - 17:29

A new strategic partnership was announced yesterday between the University of Windsor and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE). It is the first agreement of its kind for either organization, and will allow for new student internships, and research and promotional opportunities. uWindsor’s business, human kinetics, computer science, statistics, and communications programs stand to gain the most; however, the university gains rights to host student and alumni events at the various games, as well as to send faculty to work with MLSE executives, which will benefit the campus as a whole. The university also gains the rights to use the logos of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors, FC, and Marlies clubs for promotion and recruitment, and the uWindsor logo will be displayed at the MLSE venues. uWindsor News | CBC

uWindsor and MLSE sign strategic partnership Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:26 05/29/2013 - 17:26

In a new policy paper, the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) wonders: "How can Atlantic Canada attract and retain skilled professionals inside what is a highly competitive market for their services?" We could start by looking at the international students already enrolled in Atlantic Canada's universities, says the paper. According to new research commissioned by the AAU, one-third of international students surveyed ranked a "desire to live in Canada after graduation" as the single most important reason for their decision to attend a Canadian university. More than three-quarters said they were interested in applying for permanent residency through the federal Canadian Experience Class (CEC) immigration stream. Many international students would like to thrive and prosper in the East Coast following graduation and to contribute to the region's development and prosperity, and "we should do everything that we can to make it so," says the paper. "Governments, our universities and the private sector should now partner in transforming the CEC program into an East Coast success story." AAU Policy Paper

International students in Atlantic Canada willing and able to fill skills gap Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:19 05/28/2013 - 17:19

At its latest executive committee meeting, Ontario's Collège Boréal ratified the decision to change the name of the New Liskeard campus to Témiskaming campus. This change highlights the growing place Boréal occupies in the Témiskaming region as reflected by its strategic participation in the regional initiative "Tisser des liens avec les communautés" (Building bridges with communities). In 2012-13, Boreal's Témiskaming campus served about 500 students through academic upgrading, learning services, PSE, and continuing education. Boreal News Release

Boréal New Liskeard campus renamed Témiskaming Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:18 05/28/2013 - 17:18

In the last 7 months, 4 students in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba have been investigated by a professional misconduct committee for their use of Facebook and Twitter to post “nasty messages” about professors. The teachers-in-training crossed the boundary between personal and professional with their posts, and must now face consequences ranging from writing letters of apology to expulsion from the department. Improper use of social media is a new issue at uManitoba; until this point there have been no incidents of students being disciplined for improper use of social media. University officials and the Education Student Council are now working together to develop guidelines around the appropriate use of social media. CBC

uManitoba education students punished for social media abuse Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:18 05/28/2013 - 17:18

Roughly 75 noisy students shut down a board of governors meeting this week when they protested a proposed tuition fee increase at the University of Ottawa. The board met to approve proposed one-year tuition increase of 3%, but was forced to adjourn shortly after the meeting began. That suggested increase was amended from an original proposal to increase fees by 3% annually for the next 4 years. CBC

uOttawa students shut down board meeting with tuition protest Top Ten 05/30/2013 - 15:34 05/28/2013 - 17:17

Several dozen arts and science professors at Harvard University have signed a letter asking their dean for formal oversight of massive open online courses offered by Harvard through edX, a MOOC provider co-founded by Harvard and MIT. While “some faculty are tremendously excited about HarvardX,” the professors wrote, referring to the university’s brand within the edX platform, “others are deeply concerned about the program’s cost and consequences.” They go on to ask their dean to appoint a committee of faculty members who would consider the ethical issues related to MOOCs and create a set of principles to govern their colleagues’ involvement in Harvard-branded MOOCs. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Harvard profs call for greater oversight of MOOCs Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:21 05/28/2013 - 17:17

Mount Royal University's board of governors has approved a budget proposal that gives the institution a balanced budget addressing the challenges caused by cuts to its provincial operating grant. Tasked with finding $14 million in savings, MRU suspended intake of 8 non-degree programs to save $3.3 million. It also cut 63 full-time equivalent positions (of which 29 were vacant), slashed $3 million from its campus maintenance budget, and reduced institutional costs -- including campus-wide compensation -- by $4.5 million. MRU will now look to negotiate another $1.6 million in voluntary furlough days. The proposal will next go to Alberta's Advanced Education department for ministerial approval. As Alberta PSE institutions reveal how they plan to cut millions of dollars from their budgets, Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says he will consider enrolment rates and whether similar programs are offered elsewhere before he approves any program closure. He says he will step in if department officials believe a closure is "inappropriate or not justified." Report from MRU Board Meeting | Calgary Herald | Edmonton Journal

Postscript: May 30, 2013

Following an approved budget proposal that includes the suspension of 8 non-degree programs and cuts to 63 full-time equivalent positions, some Mount Royal University faculty and student leaders say the cuts will impact aspects of the institution as well as the greater community. "Morale is low, people are very disheartened," says the faculty association's president, who suggests education quality will be diminished and there will be less support. MRU's board chair says the board carefully considered a number of criteria in its decision to suspend particular programs, including whether it would be part of a future degree program, and whether it would be too costly as a degree. Calgary Herald

Job cuts, program suspensions at MRU Top Ten 05/29/2013 - 17:55 05/28/2013 - 17:15

The University of Northern British Columbia has signed an MOU with Wuyi University in Jiangmen, China, as part of the city of Prince George’s sister-city project with Jiangmen. The agreement is meant to foster international cooperation in education and research through various partnerships and information sharing agreements. This year, UNBC has 462 international students, up from only 112 a decade ago. Bill Owen, dean of Student Success and Enrolment Management, stated that the students would be accepted at domestic tuition rates. UNBC News Release | HQ Prince George

UNBC signs agreement with Chinese university Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:14 05/28/2013 - 17:14

The University of New Brunswick has formed the Accessible Learning Committee (ALC), a joint committee between the university's Student Accessibility Centre and the Centre for Enhanced Teaching and Learning that is primarily composed of students and faculty who offer support to instructors on teaching-inclusive techniques. The ALC promotes the use of instructional methods that accommodate student diversity and special needs while benefitting everyone, according to Universal Design for Learning principles. The ALC's activities involve raising awareness of the issue, providing resource materials to instructors, conducting workshops, and providing consulting and coaching to instructors needing assistance. UNB News

UNB forms Accessible Learning Committee Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:12 05/28/2013 - 17:12

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario released a research report this week on the value and efficacy of college preparatory programs for non-traditional students who either lack admission requirements, or who have been out of school for an extended length of time. The study, which focused on programs at Conestoga College, found that, overall, the programs appeared to be successful, and program participants “experienced a great deal of intellectual and academic growth.” The study also found that, of the students interviewed, the most common reason given for taking the preparatory program was concern over academic abilities. In addition to educating individuals on possible education and career paths, the programs were deemed successful in creating meaningful relationships between instructors and students, with instructors willing to try different teaching/learning methods in order to best serve individual learning styles. Research Summary | Full Report

College preparatory program deemed a success Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:11 05/28/2013 - 17:11

On Monday, the University of Guelph Senate approved learning outcomes for graduate programs, following up on earlier institution-wide undergraduate learning outcomes. The 5 outcomes are: critical and creative thinking, literacy, global understanding, communication, and professional and ethical behaviour. While these mirror the undergraduate outcomes, at the graduate level there will be “intellectual independence” and “independence of thought” under critical and creative thinking, and professional and ethical behaviour. UoGuelph is a leader in learning outcomes, as the first Canadian university to implement institution-wide learning benchmarks in all degree programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Departments will now work on determining how to assess and measure the outcomes for each program. UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph improves on learning outcomes Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 17:10 05/28/2013 - 17:10

Writing for The Guardian, Andrew Derrington of the University of Liverpool reflected on his participation in a recent CASE fundraising study tour, which brought European participants to Canada. Derrington writes that the McMaster University's health science dean's "account of his work with donors made it clear that listening to donors and understanding what they are interested in, is as important as talking." Wilfrid Laurier University president Max Blouw spoke about how a successful campaign must be rooted in reality. University of Waterloo's alumni affairs director told tour participants about his research on using "elite" alumni to engage disconnected graduates and gradually get them on board. Derrington also mentions the University of Toronto's $2-billion "Boundless" campaign, which he says "is directly linked with academic mission, and shows that smaller universities can have no excuse for lack of coherence in their campaigns." Derrington wonders: "So could the UK emulate what the Canadians have achieved? The more I think about it, the more I think we could. And if we learn from their mistakes rather than repeating them, we could do it faster." The Guardian

What the UK can learn from university fundraising in Canada Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 16:31 05/27/2013 - 15:08

Personality traits outrank both credentials and education for many employers looking to hire new graduates, according to a new BMO Financial Group survey. The new report revealed that 30% of employers rank personality traits as the most important quality in a candidate. 26% rank a candidate’s skill set as most important, and only 15% say work experience is the most important factor. Recommendations/references and degree earned/school attended made the bottom of the list at only 8% and 3%, respectively. The report also looked at how these criteria ranked specifically in the manufacturing and service industries. Skill set ranks highest among employers in the manufacturing sector, although surprisingly, this sector places more importance on personality traits than does the service sector (31% and 28%, respectively). BMO Financial Group News Release

BMO poll reveals how businesses rank personality, skills and education when hiring students Top Ten 05/28/2013 - 09:04 05/27/2013 - 15:07

Starting this fall, Lambton College, in Sarnia, Ontario, is rolling out mobile learning to 10 of its full-time programs, including business, developmental service worker, and nursing. Students entering these programs will have to purchase either a laptop or a tablet computer. New students will tap into numerous electronic textbooks and mobile applications. A Lambton official says students will often find savings in using e-textbooks in the long run. Lambton officials have already committed to introducing mobile learning to a dozen more programs in fall 2014. As part of its strategic plan, Lambton commits to becoming a mobile learning college by 2016. Sarnia Observer

Lambton College to roll out mobile learning in 10 programs Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 15:35 05/27/2013 - 15:04

Manitoba Education Minister Nancy Allan says the provincial government has made a strong commitment to preparing students for a career in the trades, where jobs are abundant, but that she has no intention of making shops a core subject in any grade. In a province where shop classes of any kind are offered in barely one-third of junior high and middle schools, trades institutions are asking government what they are doing to better prepare youth for educational alternatives to university. "We're trying to improve the perception of technical/vocational for the public and for parents -- not all parents see technical/vocational as a first option. There's still the perception that the No. 1 choice is university and the second is the trades," says the director of the instruction, curriculum and assessment branch at the Ministry of Education. "We are working with industry to make sure the programs are relevant." Winnipeg Free Press

Manitoba has no intention of expanding shop courses, despite trades deficit Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 16:40 05/27/2013 - 15:03

In another cost-cutting measure, the University of Prince Edward Island has removed the position of Assistant Vice-President Graduate Studies. UPEI is also relocating the Office of Graduate Studies. Services offered to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows by this office will continue from its new location within the Research Services department in the Office of the Vice-President Research. As part of efforts to eliminate a $9-million shortfall, UPEI recently issued 35 layoff notices. UPEI News Release

UPEI cuts AVP Graduate Studies position, moves grad studies office Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 16:28 05/27/2013 - 15:01

Alberta Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk says he hasn’t signed off on any proposed cuts announced by the province's cash-strapped universities and colleges. Following the $147-million, 6.8%  decrease in operating grants announced in the 2013 budget, Lukaszuk asked institutions to “look through their budgets line by line with the view of a student as their No. 1 priority, and minimize the impact to students as much as possible." In recent weeks, PSE schools across the province have declared deep cuts to make up for the reduction to their operating budgets, and Lukaszuk vows to go through their formal plans “very, very thoroughly” as he receives them. Calgary Herald

PSE Minister yet to sign off on cuts announced by Alberta PSE schools Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 16:27 05/27/2013 - 15:01

Olds College has released a surplus budget for the 2013/14 year, following a 9.3% combined reduction in Alberta government funding announced in March. The college kept students as well as teaching and learning the focus of the budget, and plans to grow enrolment in the 2013/14 year. The 5 highlights of the budget are improved access to learning opportunities, sharpened focus on “Institutes” and “Centres of Excellence,” substantial increases in commitment to revenue through targeted fundraising and enterprise resource management, a staff reduction of 25 positions or 7% of current FTEs, and results-based reviews going forward. Olds College Media Release

Olds College delivers student access-focused budget for 2013/14 Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 16:26 05/27/2013 - 15:00

Brandon University has announced a budget cut of 3%, which does not include the elimination of jobs. Instead, measures to trim $1.23 million include leaving some positions vacant or filled by part-time employees for periods of up to a year. "No teaching positions were eliminated, no layoffs occurred at our university," the VP of finance and administration said Sunday. The university also reports that it has recovered about half the students lost because of Manitoba's longest-lasting faculty strike during the fall of 2011. Other changes to the budget include making tuition refunds available to students only for the first 3 weeks of classes, down from the current 4, and an increase of $3.5 million to the university’s operating budget. Winnipeg Free Press

Brandon U trims budget, but avoids job eliminations Top Ten 05/27/2013 - 15:11 05/27/2013 - 14:59

Nova Scotia teens were more likely to try alcohol than drugs last year, according to the 2012 Nova Scotia Student Drug Use Survey. Nearly half of 3,148 students in Grades 7, 9, 10, and 12 told researchers they used alcohol in 2012, while 34.7% used cannabis. More than one-quarter of respondents said they used alcohol, and 14.2% said they used cannabis, more than once a month. The survey also observed that cigarette smoking fell to 13.2% last year from 16.2% in 2007. The survey also asked for the first time about the consumption of energy drinks, finding that nearly two-thirds of respondents reported consuming caffeinated energy drinks. The survey revealed that nearly one-fifth of respondents seriously considered suicide last year. 11.6% made a plan suicide plan, and 8.4% attempted suicide one or more times. NS News Release | Canadian Press | CBC | Survey Report

NS youth more likely to try alcohol than drugs, survey finds Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 14:50 05/24/2013 - 13:37

For-profit academic coaching and advising company InsideTrack has overcome much of the controversy it faced in early years. Several prominent US universities and colleges have contracted InsideTrack to perform one-on-one academic coaching calls to applicants and enrolled students, and they are experiencing increases in enrolment, retention, and graduation rates, much of which is being attributed to InsideTrack’s system. The coaches act much like a parent would; however, they are trained specifically for academic coaching and advising, creating a specialty niche that some PSE institutions have trouble duplicating on campus. InsideTrack offers various pricing options, based on what services are needed by, and the projected goals, of the client school. InsideTrack officials say the services pay for themselves within 15 months, due to enrolment and retention gains. Inside Higher Ed

Outsourced academic coaching meets success Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 14:50 05/24/2013 - 13:36

As part of its 5-year strategic plan, New Brunswick Community College has announced the formation of the first official alumni association. With 84% of 70,000 graduates since 1973 remaining in the province, NBCC recognizes the valuable contributions that alumni have made to the local economy and culture. The new alumni association is meant to facilitate meaningful connections between alumni in order to contribute to the advancement of NBCC. Members will have access to professional development and mentorship programs, as well as job and volunteer opportunities and an alumni business network to promote the entrepreneurial successes of alumni. NBCC News

First official alumni association at NBCC Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:34 05/24/2013 - 13:34

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois announced last week that the province's history courses would be revamped and expanded at the elementary, high school, and CÉGEP levels. "We have (to) make sure that we teach our history to our children and our young people in high school and CEGEP so that they can understand different periods of our life together, from the Patriotes to the Quiet Revolution," Marois said. "We have watered down the teaching of history in Quebec and we have (to) start again on a new basis." A Université Laval historian says he sees nothing wrong with a new history course on Quebec at the CÉGEP level or more history in general, as long as it is an actual history course and not an attempt to use the past to rationalize the present. The federal government recently tried to cut through provincial jurisdiction in an apparent attempt to influence how history is taught in schools. After protests from federal opposition parties and Quebec, the Conservatives backed off, and instead promised to focus their inquiry mainly on questions of military history. Montreal Gazette

Quebec proposes revision, expansion of history courses at grade schools, CÉGEPs Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:33 05/24/2013 - 13:33

This year’s crop of PSE graduates are likely going to experience difficulty finding entry-level employment, according to several Canadian economists. Calling the graduates the “outsourced generation,” the economists discussed the tendency of large corporations to hire other companies to do many of the jobs that used to be in-house opportunities for new graduates. The recovery from the recent recession has combined with corporate restructuring to create a labour market that does not favour entry-level training positions. It is predicted that many recent graduates will spend much more time employed in part-time positions, temporary contracts, and self-employment while looking for their “dream job” or more permanent full-time positions. However, some economists say it is too early to tell how the labour market will treat new graduates, as many fields, such as those in nursing, medicine, and social work, are experiencing skilled-labour shortages. Globe and Mail

Tough labour market for job-seeking graduates Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:32 05/24/2013 - 13:32

Philosopher and academic Judith Butler is courting controversy at McGill University, where she is due to receive an honorary degree on Thursday, because of her perceived anti-Israel activism. The award has sparked opposition from Hillel McGill and McGill Students for Israel. In a letter to the university's chancellor, the 2 groups say Butler's "pro-terror, anti-Israel position" makes her a terrible role model for graduates. Hillel Montreal's executive director says that while he supports the students' position, "we do not believe that an honorary degree for her academic work condones in any way her anti-Israel activism." McGill's arts dean says Butler is receiving the honorary degree in recognition of her work and that the university is committed to freedom of expression even if "comments are controversial or considered objectionable by some." Montreal Gazette

Student groups oppose McGill honorary degree for Judith Butler Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:30 05/24/2013 - 13:30

Alberta's francophone community is recruiting students and offering scholarships to a French-language business administration course the University of Alberta suspended recently due to low enrolment. 14 French organizations launched the unauthorized campaign last week in a bid to revive the course following an announcement earlier this month that the program won't go ahead this fall as planned. The campaign aims to collect enough applications from eligible students in the next couple of weeks to prove to uAlberta there is enough interest to run the course, says the president of the Conseil de développement économique de l'Alberta. Organizers are also collecting donations to fund 15 scholarships to attract applicants by the June 7 deadline. uAlberta could reconsider its decision but would need to see enough applications from eligible students, not just interested students, in early June, says the university's acting provost. He says applications need to be processed and instructors need to be hired to run the course so there's not much time. Edmonton Journal

Francophone community recruits students for suspended uAlberta business course Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:29 05/24/2013 - 13:29

Amidst budget cuts and layoffs at the University of Prince Edward Island, the athletics and recreation department is looking to increase its sources of revenue. Several ideas have been suggested as to how to accomplish this, including hosting more athletic events, drawing more people to the events, increasing season ticket sales, and developing corporate partnerships. The director of athletics noted that this is a problem affecting all departments at UPEI, and at PSE institutions across the nation, not just them. He also noted that the department has been “overspending for years” and is determined to address the deficit while “increasing the experience” for its student-athletes. Charlottetown Guardian

UPEI athletics department looks to increase revenues Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:28 05/24/2013 - 13:28

In addition to job cuts, NorQuest College will shrink enrolment by 500 full-time students this fall. The Edmonton-based college will take in fewer students at all levels, but basic academic upgrading programs up to Grade 12 will be hit the hardest due to the loss of $800,000 in student grants allocated by Alberta Human Services to support adult education. NorQuest has approximately 8,500 students, many of whom are immigrants enrolled in part-time upgrading and language training. That translated into 4,000 full-time equivalent students of which 500 will be cut this fall -- about 12% to 15% of enrolment. Edmonton Journal

NorQuest trimming enrolment, adult education Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:27 05/24/2013 - 13:27

The College of Emmanuel & St. Chad will remain open with the help of other Saskatoon seminaries, reversing plans to cease operations for 3 years. A deal with the other members of the Saskatchewan Theological Union -- St. Andrew's College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary -- allows the college to reduce its budget and remain open for the 2013-14 academic year. An affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan, the 134-year-old Anglican college announced in September it would close for 3 years while it worked on restructuring as it faced declining enrolment and dwindling resources. The new arrangement has Emmanuel & St. Chad sharing office and classroom space and some administrative services with the other members of the theological union, and its library will move to the St. Andrew's library. College of Emmanuel & St. Chad website | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uSask-affiliated Anglican college to stay open Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 13:25 05/24/2013 - 13:25

The 2011 book Academically Adrift found that many students showed no meaningful gains on key measures of learning during their PSE years. 2 recent reports from the Council for Aid to Education (CAE) purport to challenge the book's conclusions. The studies show that students taking the Collegiate Learning Assessment made an average gain of 0.73 of a standard deviation in their critical thinking scores, significantly more than that found by the book's authors. But there were differences between CAE's studies and those of the book's authors that CAE says may explain the differences they measured in growth. One of Academically Adrift's authors agrees that much of the discrepancy could be attributable to differing methodologies. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed

Studies take aim at "Academically Adrift" findings Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:16 05/23/2013 - 16:16

A new survey of corporate recruiters by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) released this week found that of 935 respondents, 75% said they would hire MBA graduates this year, up from 71% in 2012. Also in demand by employers are those with a specialty master’s level degree, especially in fields such as energy and utilities, and health care and pharmaceuticals. In a companion survey of 5,300 business students worldwide, 60% of job seekers had a job offer prior to graduation, on par with 2012’s findings. In the US, employers expect to pay a median entrance salary of $95,000 annually. In Canada, only 46% of students said they had a job lined up before graduation, but that is a significant increase from last year’s 25%. For some, these increases signal a growing confidence in the global economy as it recovers from the financial instability of previous years. GMAC News Release | Globe and Mail

MBA grads in Canada, and globally, have better odds of landing jobs Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:14 05/23/2013 - 16:14

Last week Wilfrid Laurier University broke ground for its $103-million Global Innovation Exchange building. The facility will house WLU's business school and mathematics department, allowing the university to meet the growing demand for enrolment in these programs and expand WLU's ability to deliver integrated and engaged learning opportunities to students locally and globally. The design for the 215,000-square-foot building boasts 4 storeys, a 1,000-seat auditorium, a 4-storey atrium, lecture halls, and a Finance Research Lab with real-time trading facilities and Bloomberg terminals. WLU News Release

WLU breaks ground for Global Innovation Exchange building Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:13 05/23/2013 - 16:13

The Nova Scotia government has partnered with local businesses to create jobs for NS graduates with the Co-operative Graduate Placement Program. The program provides a 50% wage subsidy (max $7,500) for the first 3 months of permanent, full-time employment for a graduate of a co-operative education program at a Nova Scotia college or university. Many colleges and universities in NS offer co-operative education programs and any NS business is eligible to apply for the program, whether private sector, government-funded, or non-profit organizations. NS News Release

Province partners with businesses to keep graduates in NS Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:12 05/23/2013 - 16:12

David Naylor, president of the University of Toronto, gave a speech on May 7 to the Economic Club of Canada that called on the federal government to establish a fund to support Canadian research excellence. Naylor spoke in response to the federal budget’s commitment to hold consultations on reinforcing excellence in post-secondary research. Naylor argued that Canada is “losing ground in research excellence,” which is crucial to innovation and long-term economic and social prosperity. Currently, “Canada compares poorly to other countries particularly in federal support for the indirect costs of research,” and according to Naylor, rewards for research excellence could help to balance this discrepancy. uToronto News

uToronto president calls for new fund for research excellence Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:10 05/23/2013 - 16:10

The Alberta government's push for increasing commercialization of university-led research is prompting concerns about growing pressures to produce for profit and how to protect academic freedom. The government needs to keep its eyes wide open as it travels this path, says Tim Caufield, a health research ethics expert at the University of Alberta who has written about the impact of "creeping commercialization" on campuses. There are social costs and serious questions, like how to protect research from bias if there is commercial pressure for a certain outcome, Caufield says. He says safeguards must be built in to ensure the researcher, not the company, keeps control over the results so integrity is not compromised. The head of the University of Lethbridge's faculty association says many professors are "extremely enthusiastic about taking research to commercialization." He says "the faculty association has no problem in principle -- but they want to be consulted" on the rules regarding private sector partnerships, for example. Edmonton Journal

Alberta's push for more commercialized university research raising questions Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:09 05/23/2013 - 16:09

The Canadian Federation of Students – Nova Scotia has presented a report to the Ministry of Labour and Advanced Education with a number of recommendations to make NS universities competitive and affordable. Recommendations include moving away from funding based on Key Performance Indicators; supporting the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission (MPHEC) and its efforts to improve quality assurance monitoring programs; restoring PSE funding to 1990 levels; reducing tuition by 10%; and redirecting funding from the debt cap and the Graduate Retention program to provide students with grants instead of loans. The report concludes with a call to allow communities and students to determine which programs would best serve them, using MPHEC benchmarks. As CFS-NS states, “empowering students to create that satisfaction for themselves is the only way to build a flourishing university community in Nova Scotia.” CFS-NS Report

CFS-NS calls on NDP to reduce tuition, restore funding to 1990 levels Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:28 05/23/2013 - 16:07

A new name and director for the University of Regina's Institut français, lobbying the Saskatchewan government for extra funding, and greater consultation with the Fransaskois community are some of the recommendations of a task force that explored the future of the institute. Other recommendations include awarding credit status to the institute and increasing French-language program choices. uRegina president Vianne Timmons says she has accepted all recommendations "in principle" and hopes the institute, Fransaskois community, and the wider campus community will be able to come together to provide the "best pathway to the future" for the Institut français. The next step will be the formation of a working group to analyze the recommendations. Critical of the entire process, a spokesman for Friends of the Institut français says Timmons needs to outline the mandate of the committee to give the Fransaskois community confidence. uRegina News Release | Regina Leader-Post

New name among recommendations for uRegina's Institut français Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:05 05/23/2013 - 16:05

UBC’s Faculty of Medicine is one of 3 recipients sharing a $40-million bequest from the estate of Judith Jardine. In her will, Jardine left $6.4 million from her estate to the medical school. At her request, the estate gift to UBC will go toward medical research and medical student scholarship. A permanent endowment has been established and named the Willard Kitchen Memorial Fund in honour of Jardine’s maternal grandfather. Vancouver Foundation/UBC/United Church of Canada News Release

UBC medical school receives bequest of more than $6 million Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:26 05/23/2013 - 16:04

University of Manitoba president David Barnard says it's time the provincial government looked at the cost to universities of keeping tuition fees low. "This province has chosen to keep tuition fees among the lowest in the country. We do seem to be out of alignment with the rest of the country," said Barnard after uManitoba's board passed a budget including nearly $5 million in cuts. Barnard wonders why students in Manitoba pay so much less than students in most of the country. An aide to Manitoba's advanced education minister says it's not the first time the cap on tuition has been questioned. The aide says capping tuition at the rate of inflation will remain. Winnipeg Free Press

uManitoba president questions province's low tuition policy Top Ten 05/23/2013 - 16:02 05/23/2013 - 16:02

A recent US survey by PEW Research Center has found that today’s teens are sharing more personal information about themselves than they have in the past, but at the same time, they are more aware of their audience and are using privacy settings and network controls to determine who sees this information. 91% of teen Facebook users now post a photo of themselves (compared to 79% in 2006), and 20% of teen users post their cell phone number, up from 2% in 2006. The survey also found that teen users are becoming less enchanted with Facebook, largely due to the growing adult presence, the posting of inane details by friends, and the “drama” that is created and circulated on Facebook. The survey also found that more teens are moving to Twitter and other social media sites (Tumblr, Snapchat), with 24% now using Twitter compared to 11% in 2006. However, where a majority of teen Facebook users have their settings set to private, a majority of teen Twitter users have public tweets (64%). The survey also found that only a small number of respondents expressed concern with third-party access to personal information; 40% said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned with third-party access. PEW News Release | Associated Press | PEW Report

Teen social media use evolves Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 17:02 05/22/2013 - 16:28

The Ontario government recently announced new support to help more francophone students study in French in the field of their choice. Starting in 2013-14, francophone students in Ontario who travel at least 80 kilometres to attend full-time studies in French will qualify for the Ontario Distance Grant, regardless of where they live in the province. The grant will expand opportunities for about 1,000 more francophone students to study in French anywhere in the province. While the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario chapter is encouraged by the announcement, it says the grant will not offset past cuts to assistance for students wishing to study in French. Last year the government cut the Fellowships for Studying in French in order to offset the costs of the Ontario Tuition Grant. Ontario News Release | CFS-Ontario News Release

Ontario offers more support to francophone PSE students Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 16:26 05/22/2013 - 16:26

University of Calgary officials are planning to ramp up expansion of its Schulich School of Engineering "as soon as possible," despite receiving less than one-third of the needed funding for the project from the Alberta government. uCalgary is exploring "bridge funding" opportunities, according to documents presented to the board of governors. The project would see the school bring in 10% more undergraduate students, says the engineering dean. Metro Calgary

uCalgary hopes to start engineering school expansion soon Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 16:25 05/22/2013 - 16:25

Carleton University has launched a $1-million fund for students, faculty, and staff who want to pitch "green" projects to the institution, as part of a larger strategy to increase sustainable operations. Among the goals in the strategic plan on sustainability are increasing the diversion of waste to 60% by 2015 and developing a Climate Action Plan by 2014 with clear targets for reduction. The plan includes in-depth assessments by engineers and auditors of each of the campus's 44 buildings to identify opportunities and initiate conservation initiatives. Carleton News Release | Ottawa Citizen

Carleton launches environmental sustainability strategy Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 16:24 05/22/2013 - 16:24

Queen's University Council has voted 89-6 to adopt new bylaws and enact significant reform, resulting in Council reducing in size from nearly 200 members to fewer than 50 by 2017. The reform was undertaken as part of the overall governance evolution at Queen's, which includes a smaller, more focused board of trustees. Councillors had long been calling for a review of the body, with the goal of improving the Council's relevance to Queen's. Queen's News Centre

Queen's University Council votes in favour of reform Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 16:24 05/22/2013 - 16:24

On Tuesday, Ontario’s Northern College released the first business plan stemming from the 2013-16 strategic plan released on April 1. The plan has identified 4 key objectives in order to maintain the college’s success: Accessible Education, Signature Programs, the Northern Experience, and Aboriginal Perspectives. President Fred Gibbons spoke to the college’s continued commitment to provide high quality education and training opportunities that meet the needs of students, the labour market, and the community-at-large. A few key initiatives are to implement innovative program delivery methods, to obtain ministry approval for new programs, and to promote cultural competence and awareness across all campuses. Northern College News Release | Business Plan

Northern College releases new business plan for 2013-14 Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 17:01 05/22/2013 - 16:23

The federal government announced Tuesday more than 3,800 awards to support research in science, technology, engineering, and math. Totalling more than $413 million, the awards comprise the 2013 competition results for Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, Postgraduate Scholarships, and Postdoctoral Fellowships. NSERC News Release

NSERC distributes more than $413 million in grants and scholarships Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 16:22 05/22/2013 - 16:22

The Alberta government recently announced a new international strategy, whose actions include a renewed effort to attract international students to K-12 schools and PSE institutions. Another action is to encourage a more global perspective through the province's education system. This will involve implementing the Alberta Abroad program, which enables graduates to work directly in specific markets to gain experience and perspective. The program is a partnership between international employers/host organizations that offers competitive work placements to Albertans in global locations for a specific length of time. Alberta News Release | International Strategy

Alberta's new international strategy announced Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 17:01 05/22/2013 - 16:21

On May 21, Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) released their major report on the performance of the nation in areas of STI. Labelling Canada a mid-level performer, the report gives 5 key indicators for strategic areas of improvement, 2 of which weigh heavily on PSE in Canada: higher education expenditures on research and development (HERD) as a share of GDP, and science and engineering doctoral degrees granted per 100,000 population. The report does note that Canada has improved in regard to the science and engineering doctoral degrees category, but in order to move into the top 5 performing countries, improvements must continue to be made. In 2010, Canada sat at 15th position in this category; however, this was a 48.7% growth (science) and 38.6% growth (engineering) from 2006-2010. STIC News Release | STIC Report 

Canada "treads water" in areas of science, technology and innovation Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 17:01 05/22/2013 - 16:20

Layoff notices were issued yesterday to 35 University of Prince Edward Island employees as part of the institution's efforts to eliminate a $9-million shortfall. In a letter to the UPEI community, president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz said despite all efforts to mitigate consequences to faculty and staff, layoffs were needed. Many of the staff affected are represented by CUPE. The union has requested a meeting with PEI's premier and finance and advanced learning minister to discuss the situation at UPEI and to lobby for more financial support for the university. CBC | Charlottetown Guardian

Layoffs at UPEI Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 16:18 05/22/2013 - 16:18

An employment survey finds that high numbers of recent graduates of New Brunswick's community colleges are succeeding in finding jobs in the province. The employment rate for graduates in the 2012 reference week one year after graduation was 87% for both New Brunswick Community College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. The survey found that among those working, 90% of NBCC and 91% of CCNB graduates were working in the province. The level of related employment in the reference week was 78% for NBCC and 80% for CCNB graduates. NB News Release

Majority of recent NBCC/CCNB grads securing work in province, survey finds Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:34 05/21/2013 - 15:34

Last week Durham College released its new 3-year strategic plan. Goals outlined in the plan include establishing Ontario's first college-university laddering partnership with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, providing students with the ability to move seamlessly from apprenticeship to PhD; ensuring the college is competitive with the PSE system by launching 4-year degree programs in strategic areas of the economy; championing, along with other Ontario colleges, the conversion of targeted 3-year advanced diplomas to 3-year degrees; and renewing existing campus space in ways that better meet students' learning, study, and service needs. Durham College News | Strategic Plan

Durham College unveils new strategic plan Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:33 05/21/2013 - 15:33

Last week Niagara College unveiled its new Segal International Centre at the Welland campus. The 8,000-square-foot facility is designed to accommodate the college's growing international enrolment and activities. The centre will provide a one-stop service experience for the college's international students, of which there are more than 1,700. The centre features a reception and service area that will include international admissions, housing and financial aid services, along with offices and work space for staff and ESL programs and international development projects. Niagara College News Release

Niagara College opens Segal International Centre Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:32 05/21/2013 - 15:32

A new report from StudentsNS argues that Nova Scotia universities must be funded more fairly based on students' and the province's ability to pay. The report calls for a tuition freeze until the difference between the employment rates of 20- to 24-year-olds and the rest of the workforce returns to pre-recession levels. When youth employment recovers, tuition increases would be tied to inflation, recommends StudentsNS. The report also recommends that government funding for universities grow at the rate of provincial economic growth. StudentsNS News Release | Report

Report calls for revision of NS university funding, tuition fees Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:31 05/21/2013 - 15:31

In a time of a slow-growth economy, students are calling for ever more work experience to be built into their education. But despite some localized efforts, such as Mount Allison University's summer internships for music, fine arts and drama students, universities have been slow to catch up with demand. "I don't get the sense that there's a gigantic expansion [of experiential learning] under way," says Concordia University president Alan Shepard. "I think there's a growing recognition that this is extremely important and valued by students, by employers, by their families." Canadian universities are hoping to increase their experiential learning opportunities, says University of Ottawa president Allan Rock, whose institution has added 500 more co-op placements in the past 5 years. But doing so costs time and money, and means hunting for worthy partners. Globe and Mail

Students seek better job preparation from universities Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:29 05/21/2013 - 15:29

Moncton's Crandall University has apologized to the gay community for a hiring policy that excludes homosexuals. In an open letter, Crandall U president Bruce Fawcett apologized for any hurt feelings from the policy. Supporters for equal rights in the LGBT community welcome the move, but say there's still more work to be done. Last year gay rights activists demanded that public funding be withdrawn from the university due to the policy. Earlier this year Crandall U announced it would no longer seek financial support from the City of Moncton. CTV | News 919

Crandall U apologizes to gay community for hiring policy Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:28 05/21/2013 - 15:28

Dalhousie University has concluded its "Bold Ambitions" fundraising campaign, exceeding its original $250-million goal by raising $280 million. The campaign has provided students with more access to scholarships, raising $75 million -- more than double the original $35-million goal. The campaign also garnered $90 million for academic enrichment, $45 million for program expansion, and $70 million for capital projects. Dal News

Dal completes "Bold Ambitions" campaign with $280 million raised Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:27 05/21/2013 - 15:27

Yesterday the University of Manitoba's board of governors considered a draft budget calling for the institution to slash $4.98 million from its 2013-14 budget. More than $3.9 million will be cut from academic faculties, departments, schools, libraries, and colleges. The rest of the money will come from president David Barnard's office and the budget of other senior administrators. The cuts will be spread across the university, with arts and science suffering the highest cuts. Winnipeg Free Press

uManitoba braces for $5 million in cuts Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:26 05/21/2013 - 15:26

The board of governors at Edmonton's NorQuest College has approved a plan for a deficit budget of $1.43 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year, making way for a balanced budget the following fiscal year. Based on operational and financial necessity, NorQuest is eliminating about 50 permanent positions, of which 8 are vacant. The college also supported the early retirement of 10 employees on a voluntary basis. NorQuest News Release

Job cuts at NorQuest Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 15:25 05/21/2013 - 15:25

Some Edmonton nursing students are taking CDI College to court to get their tuition fees back. The students allege instructors in CDI's Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program often arrived with no lesson plans or textbooks, leaving students to watch movies and learn anatomy from colouring books. None of the claims has been proven in court. Last December, the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta suspended the permits of a number of CDI graduates. An investigation found the program did not meet education standards and the regulatory body withdrew approval for new enrolment in the program. Meanwhile, CDI's Winnipeg location is under investigation after several students in the LPN program complained to Manitoba's LPN regulatory body. A health ministry spokesperson says fall 2013 and winter 2014 enrolment has been halted. CBC (Edmonton) | CBC (Winnipeg)

Postscript: May 23, 2013

In response to media reports about complaints regarding its Licensed Practical Nursing program in Edmonton and Winnipeg, CDI College says it made the voluntary decision to suspend new enrolment in the Edmonton program, which is a partnership between CDI and Bow Valley College. It says the temporary suspension of work permits last fall was due to an administrative error regarding credentials, as graduates should have received BVC credentials. BVC has since granted these credentials and graduates have entered the field. CDI says the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba (CLPNM) recently monitored the retesting of students from Winnipeg during their clinical field placements. CDI says the CLPNM was satisfied with both the level of instruction and competency displayed by CDI students. CDI Response

Edmonton nursing students sue CDI College Top Ten 05/22/2013 - 17:02 05/21/2013 - 15:24

The federal government of Australia released their 2013 budget last week, and the country’s higher education institutions have been hit hard. Making up nearly 10% of the overall federal budget reductions, Australia’s universities have been informed of a A$3.8-billion funding decrease. Several programs have been cut across the board, such as the 10% deduction in tuition fees offered to students who paid their dues upfront; as well, the $2,000 entrance scholarships offered to some students will now be a loan, to be repaid upon graduation and entry into the workforce. Individual universities will be responsible for determining the rest of their savings, whether through program or enrolment cuts. The flip side to the PSE cuts is the infusion of funding into the nation’s public schools as part of a national education reform policy. Chemistry World | The Australian

Australian universities see A$3.8 billion in cuts Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:54 05/21/2013 - 10:54

The University of Virginia announced last week that they are partnering with crowdfunding company USEED to solicit alumni and other donors for funding for research projects at the university. Crowdfunding has become popular for individual entrepreneurs to raise funds, and USEED has several partnerships with other universities -- Arizona State University, Cornell University, and the University of Delaware -- for individual projects by researchers and students. uVa’s campaign will focus primarily on university-wide research initiatives and student-proposed entrepreneurial projects. The portal will operate as a 6-month pilot program, with 10 featured research projects, 2 of which have already begun. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | USEED

uVirginia uses “crowdfunding” to raise research dollars Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:54 05/21/2013 - 10:54

An annual enrolment report issued last Thursday by the Virginia-based National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports 18.8 million college and university students for the Spring 2013 term -- an overall 2.3% decline compared to one year ago. (This on the heels of a 1.8% decline in the Fall 2012 term.) Private non-profit universities saw enrolments grow by half a percent, but for-profit universities saw a sharp decline of 8.7% - after seeing 15% growth in 2010. Doug Lederman, writing for InsideHigherEd, observes that declining enrolments are to be expected (particularly among older students) because of an improving employment market, and that for-profit universities have also been deliberately tightening admissions to respond to government scrutiny. Chronicle of Higher Ed (free access) | Inside Higher Ed | NSCRC Report (PDF)

PSE enrolment declining across the US Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:53 05/21/2013 - 10:53

In a recent study by Western University’s CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity, researchers found that, on average, Canadian students faced more than $10,000 of Canada Student Loans Program debt upon graduation. They also discovered that nearly 15% of these graduates will be in default of their loan at some point within the first 3 years after graduation. The researchers found that post-education earnings of less than $10,000 per year contributed to half of the defaults, as did the inability to rely on family support during repayment. Other factors leading to debt default were overall student debt levels, degree attainment choices, institutional choices, and individual beliefs in the value of debt repayment. uWestern News Release

Western's CIBC Centre studies concerns over student debt, loan defaults Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:52 05/21/2013 - 10:52

On May 16, the University of Lethbridge celebrated the official grand opening of the Dr. Foster James Penny Building in downtown Lethbridge. Originally gifted in 2012 by the late Dr. Foster Penny’s parents, the building will house a gallery for fine arts students, the uLethbridge alumni relations, annual giving and call centre programs, and in the future, a gift store and ticket centre for university activities. “We see this space as an excellent opportunity to further our connection with Lethbridge and the southern Alberta community,” says uLethbridge president Dr. Mike Mahon. uLethbridge News Release

uLethbridge officially opens new Penny building Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:51 05/21/2013 - 10:51

Over the past decade, the University of Ottawa’s undergrad enrolment has grown by 10,000 -- but on-campus residence spaces have increased by just 900 beds. Landlords in nearby Sandy Hill have been converting houses into as many as 20 apartments, prompting a temporary municipal ban on the practice. “We’re definitely committed to opening new residence space,” says housing director Michel Guilbeault, who hopes to have an announcement in the very near future. New residence construction is just one of the options being considered. (In recent years, many Canadian universities have bought hotels or condos and converted them into residences, including uOttawa, McGill and uToronto. UoGuelph and Queen’s are among those that have signed long-term leases for hotel rooms to be used as residence space.) Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa committed to adding more residence spaces Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:50 05/21/2013 - 10:50

Newfoundland and Labrador’s College of the North Atlantic has announced that the contracts of 5 temporary Resource Facilitators at 3 campuses near St. John’s will not be extended, but emphasizes that all students with disabilities will continue to be supported by remaining Resource Facilitators and Disability Service Coordinators. The staff reduction is apparently based on anticipated declines in enrolment and workloads. The clarification was sparked by accusations from the NL NDP that core programs are being eliminated, which also prompted a clarification by NL Advanced Education and Skills minister Joan Shea last Thursday. Last week, minister Shea also issued a media release and published a letter to CNA faculty defending the decision to privatize Adult Basic Education (ABE) in the province, which she says will save $5,000 per student. CNA news release | Premier’s website | Minister’s media release (disabilities) | Minister’s media release (ABE) | Minister’s open letter to CNA faculty (ABE)

Controversy over staff cuts at CNA Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:49 05/21/2013 - 10:49

The University of Calgary announced on May 15 that they will be cutting 200 student positions in the Faculty of Arts by the start of next year, in addition to the 45 positions cut in nursing and medicine announced previously. University president Elizabeth Cannon stated that the original cuts in nursing and medicine were due to the end of fixed-term funding and not due to the provincial budget cuts. The university has also announced plans to cut 20 programs that have minimal enrolment, but details on which programs will be cut have not been released. Cannon reassured students that those currently enrolled in such programs would be “guaranteed to be able to finish.” University officials stated that although this year’s budget-balancing decisions were “difficult,” it is the budget for 2014/15 that will present the greater challenge. Global News | Metro News

uCalgary to see 200 fewer Arts students next year Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:47 05/21/2013 - 10:47

An unexpected $55-million reduction in provincial funding has forced the University of Alberta to withdraw its original 2013 Comprehensive Institutional Plan (CIP). The amended CIP, submitted to a committee of General Faculties Council last week, proposes cutting $28 million next year from faculty, administration, libraries and IT, but still running a $44.7-million deficit. The University would then cut an additional $26 million in 2014-15, and $30 million in 2015-16. The acting provost told the Edmonton Journal that “we are an entrepreneurial university,” and that uAlberta would also look at revenue-generation options such as course-based master’s degrees. The faculty association is concerned about the prospect of “major restructuring,” faculty job losses and heavier teaching loads. Official uAlberta blog | Edmonton Journal

uAlberta plans for $84 million in cuts over 3 years Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:46 05/21/2013 - 10:46

An investment of approximately $97 million dollars over 5 years will be used to create the Canadian Wheat Alliance (CWA) among the federal government’s National Research Council of Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. The CWA will coordinate research and development projects aimed at improving the profitability and global competitiveness of the Canadian wheat industry, with focus on increased yields and decreased loss due to disease and extreme weather stress. The federal government has committed $85 million in funding and in-kind donations, the Government of Saskatchewan $10 million, and uSask $1.4 million per year through in-kind donations. Yield improvements are estimated at 20-30% over the next 10-15 years. The CWA will work with all levels of government as well as public and private sector groups. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

uSask forms Canadian Wheat Alliance with federal, provincial governments Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:45 05/21/2013 - 10:45

On May 6, Niagara College launched 4 new student-created TV spots on CHCH TV (Hamilton). Like last year’s campaign, the spots were created by third-year Broadcasting students at NC. “Dreamfinder” features a camera that magically reveals students’ future selves. “Race Day” portrays a student’s experience at NC as a sprint through exams, lab work, and performance right up to his graduation ceremony. “Rise” presents a team of skilled trades students approaching construction and automotive tasks with an action-adventure soundtrack. “Culinary Dreams” tracks a student’s experience from acceptance letter through classes at the Canadian Food & Wine Institute. The spots will air through May 26, but will remain on YouTube. Niagara College News Release

Niagara College broadcasts another crop of student-created ads
 Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:42 05/21/2013 - 10:42

A new report from the California-based 20 Million Minds Foundation (2MMF) argues for “The Right to Educational Access” in a state where hundreds of thousands of residents have been turned away from public PSE institutions. 2MMF believes a tech disruption will improve access to higher education, particularly for high-demand first- and second-year courses. The California state senate is still considering a proposal to force public colleges and universities to accept MOOC transfer credits, but the report authors warn that MOOCs should serve merely as “a safety valve” when all else fails, and urge public institutions to do a better job at their own online offerings, inverted classrooms, and transferability of online credit. California faculty are concerned that the “Steinberg bill” would surrender too much power to the private sector, and urge increased funding for public institutions instead. Governor Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal, released this week, includes $37 million for new higher ed technology. Inside Higher Ed | 2MMF Report

New report urges greater PSE access in California Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:42 05/21/2013 - 10:42

The abuse of ADHD prescriptions as performance-enhancing drugs on campus has been in the news since at least 2007, and in early 2011 a study suggested 5.4% of McGill students had tried it at least once. A more recent study suggests that as many as 11% of students on Canadian campuses are using the drugs “off-label” for “cognitive enhancement,” and US studies find as many as 35% of students in highly-competitive institutions admit to it. Results of a UBC survey conducted this spring are not available, but a spokeswoman says she doesn't believe non-medicinal use of Adderall is prevalent at UBC. However, a UBC psychiatry professor suspects study-drug use at elite Canadian campuses is likely similar to US Ivy League institutions, and a Vancouver dealer says “It’s like steroids for the brain… the students go through that stuff like candy” (at $5 a pill). Adderall was briefly pulled from the market in 2005 because of potentially fatal side effects, and the abuse of study drugs may be linked to paranoia and hostility. No Canadian institutions have policies against study drug use, and indeed policies might be unenforceable: “You can’t take urine samples for every exam writer.” US physicians seem to believe cognitive enhancement is not unethical, and a UBC psychiatry professor believes the matter should be debated in Canada. He believes that academic doping involves not only students, but faculty as well. Vancouver Province

ADHD prescriptions abused for academic doping Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:42 05/21/2013 - 10:42

On Wednesday, Lethbridge College announced the launch of their biggest fundraising campaign ever. The “Possibilities are Endless” Campaign has a total goal of $103 million, including a private-sector goal of $25 million, of which $13.3 million has already been raised. The campaign will now begin the next stage of active, public fundraising. The College will use the funds for renewing the aged trades and technology facilities, supporting the environmentally-innovative Kodiak House residence, reimagining its library and learning space, and providing better access to student awards. Lethbridge News Release

Lethbridge College launches $103-million fundraising campaign Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:41 05/21/2013 - 10:41

The Financial Times released its ranking of the Top 50 executive education programs in the world this week, and 3 Canadian universities have made the cut: WesternU’s Ivey School of Business (the top Canadian school in 23rd spot), followed by uToronto’s Rotman School of Management (25), and York’s Schulich School of Business (36). The three made the list by offering both open enrolment courses and customized management training. In particular, Rotman was ranked first in the world for teaching quality, skills acquisition, and meeting participant expectations in open enrolment courses. Officials at Rotman believe that by the end of this year, half of all executive education offerings will be open enrolment programs. The Globe and Mail

Ivey, Rotman and Schulich make FT Top 50 Exec rankings Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:41 05/21/2013 - 10:41

The Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) announced Wednesday that they had reached an agreement with the ACAD Faculty Association and professor Gord Ferguson that would reinstate the professor to his position as professor and head of the sculpture department. Ferguson was fired over a student’s controversial art performance, but ACAD says his termination was never meant to be a reflection on academic or artistic freedom. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) had also lobbied for Ferguson’s reinstatement, and is “delighted” that an agreement has been reached. ACAD plans to hold a symposium next year to further explore the campus community’s reaction to the performance and the subsequent discussions around it. Calgary Herald | Newswire | ACAD News Release

ACAD reinstates professor fired over chicken slaughter Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:40 05/21/2013 - 10:40

Facing a projected $100-million deficit in the next 3-4 years, the Nova Scotia government and the province’s 10 universities are working to prevent the gap in funding before it’s too late, legislature heard Wednesday. Deputy Minister of Labour and Advanced Education Sandra McKenzie said the government and the schools are exploring a variety of options, including shared services, different models of delivery and differentiation. The province cut approximately $10 million in operating grant funding this year. The Chronicle Herald

NS universities hope to avoid projected $100 million deficit Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:40 05/21/2013 - 10:40

Halifax’s NSCAD University has unveiled its new 3-year strategic research plan. Objectives outlined in the plan include increasing the number of externally-funded research projects and applying regularly for federal, provincial, and private funds to fuel the research effort; communicating and promoting NSCAD's research strengths, expertise, and successes as a resource to government, community partners, funding organizations, and the general public; and developing and maintaining mechanisms for appointing research and post-doctoral fellows. Given NSCAD's status as an arts institution, the focus of research activities at NSCAD are more clearly identified than for an institution with a wider range of program offerings: identified strategic research foci include critical and historical research, cinematic and interactive media, digital materiality, design for health, creation and material practices, and research through design. NSCAD News | Strategic Research Plan

NSCAD launches new strategic research plan Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:39 05/21/2013 - 10:39

McGill University announced a $30-million donation from the Larry and Cookie Rossy Family Foundation (LCRFF) to create the Rossy Cancer Network (RCN) a partnership between McGill University, the McGill University Health Centre, the Jewish General Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Center. The partner foundations of McGill and the hospitals have committed to raising the $28-million balance. The aim of the RCN is to improve the quality of patient care and satisfaction, increase survival rates, and reduce the burden of cancer. The initiative will also establish a system of shared information, erasing the need for cancer patients to repeat their medical histories when they seek treatment at different hospitals. Currently, 30% of 11,000 patients diagnosed last year receive treatment at more than one hospital in the network. The RCN is part of the Quebec cancer network and supports Quebec’s recent action plan for cancer care. Montreal Gazette | McGill News Release

$58-million pledge creates cancer care alliance in Quebec Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:39 05/21/2013 - 10:39

The city of Mississauga has pledged $10 million over the next 10 years to the University of Toronto Mississauga campus to build the Institute of Management and Innovation complex. The institute will house a number of industry-specific programs that combine management studies with fields like bio-pharma, environmental sustainability, and engineering. Estimates by uToronto put annual direct infusions of over $22 million into the city’s economy. Mississauga councillors endorsed the deal, stating the need for competitive hospitals and universities in order to be a “great city.” The university already has $35 million in capital funding for the construction of the project, but will seek further funding from federal, provincial, and municipal sources. The groundbreaking ceremony will take place May 23, 2013, with the complex scheduled to open in September 2014. Toronto Star | UTM News Release

UTM innovation complex receives $10 million from Mississauga Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:39 05/21/2013 - 10:39

The Georgia Institute of Technology, AT&T, and Udacity have partnered to offer a Master’s in Computer Science degree through a massive open online course (MOOC)-like online learning program, at a mere 1/6 of the cost of the full on-campus master’s program. It is expected that students will take 3 years to finish the program, paying total tuition of about $7,000. AT&T has donated $2 million to the program to ensure financial stability in the first year, indicating their willingness to take online degrees seriously. While critics have described the new degree program as offering a “watered-down” degree, Georgia Tech officials say this is not the case, and that the program is designed to be just as challenging as in-class instruction. Different enrolment tracks will be offered, including students seeking degrees and those who will be able to take the classes for free or to receive certification for that class for a small fee. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed

Georgia Tech to offer MOOC-like graduate degree Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:37 05/21/2013 - 10:37

The Thiel Foundation recently announced the third cohort of young entrepreneurs to be awarded "20 Under 20" Thiel Fellowships. Co-created by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, the program awards recipients $100,000 over 2 years to skip higher education and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education. 2 Canadian teenagers are among this year's group of Thiel Fellows. 19-year-old Nelson Zhang of Toronto is working on a desktop fabricator for electronics, aimed at lowering iteration time and costs for hardware companies. Zhang hopes to make the design and production of physical things accessible to everyone. 18-year-old Nick Liow of Vancouver is challenging copyright by developing ways for creators to get paid for giving their work to the public domain. Thiel Foundation News Release | Toronto Star | Vancouver Sun

2 Canadian teens among 2013 class of "20 Under 20" Thiel Fellows Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:37 05/21/2013 - 10:37

Donations to Queen's University's "Initiative Campaign" exceeded the 2012-13 fiscal year goal, attracting a record number of donors while raising the institution's profile nationally and internationally. Donations totalling more than $67 million, well past the $60-million goal, came from more than 12,000 Queen's alumni and friends. The campaign's goal is to raise $500 million and inspire $100 million in future donation commitments, largely through estate plans. So far, more than $340 million has been donated. Queen's News Centre

Queen's "Initiative Campaign" surpasses annual goal Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:36 05/21/2013 - 10:36

The Pomeroy Inn and Suites at Alberta-based Olds College is on track to open this summer. With an opening date slated for July 5, construction on the northwest corner of the campus continues. The Pomeroy Inn and Suites will be a 4-star, 83-room hotel, with the majority of rooms being extended-stay suites. The facility will feature a conference centre with capacity for 400, a pool with a water slide, and, to open this fall, a restaurant and pub that will showcase Olds College and local cuisine on the menu as much as possible. A key part of the project, the Brewery, which will house the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Diploma program and also the commercial component for future Olds College beer, is approaching completion, set for early August. Olds College News Release

Olds College hotel to open in July Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:36 05/21/2013 - 10:36

Quebec Higher Education Minister Pierre Duchesne announced Tuesday that approximately 120,000 PSE students in the province will get an additional $160 a year, or $20 per month, for living expenses, following negotiations between student groups and the government. As well, part-time students who have to travel to their university or CÉGEP will have an extra $728 per school year for travel expenses. The additional cost to the province will be about $25 million, to be paid by reducing from 20% to 8% the income tax credit parents or students may claim on tuition paid. The government is also increasing from $28,000 to $36,000 the upper limit on parents' income for a student to qualify for a bursary, or study grant, rising to $40,000 in 2014-15 and $45,000 in 2015-16. Most of the 150,000 PSE students in Quebec receiving financial aid get a combination loan-bursary. Quebec News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette

Quebec announces $25-million boost in student aid Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:35 05/21/2013 - 10:35

As part of the 2013 federal budget, released in March, the proposed Canada Job Grant has come under some criticism by provincial officials. The program would provide $15,000 for skills training to employees, with 1/3 coming from federal coffers, and the other 2/3 provided by the worker’s provincial government and employer. All 4 Atlantic premiers have voiced their concerns in a statement that suggests small businesses in Atlantic Canada would not be able to afford the $5,000 per employee for re-training. They have also requested more clarity regarding the program’s design, and suggested the possibility of provincial opt-outs. Quebec, Ontario and BC voiced concerns earlier about various aspects of the unilateral program. Further criticism is focused on the airing of prime-time commercials before the program has been finalized; however, HRSDC defends the decision to air the ads, saying they want employees and businesses to be aware of the program’s potential when it is in place. CBC

Provincial reluctance over Canada Job Grant program Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:38 05/21/2013 - 10:35

Ryerson University is delaying the honorary doctorate set to be bestowed on president and CEO of Toronto Hydro Anthony Haines, at Haines’ request. The indefinite delay comes amid allegations that Haines’ CV falsely states he received a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Lethbridge. Toronto Hydro backs Haines, stating that they are fully aware that Haines did not graduate from the program in question, but that he completed a prerequisite program there, and that it is ambiguous wording in the CV that is creating the controversy. The hydro company also stated that while they don’t believe Haines is in the wrong, he preferred not to mar the “special day” for the graduates. A Ryerson spokesperson has said the matter will remain on hold until at least late June. National Post

Controversy over education credentials delays Ryerson honorary doctorate Top Ten 05/24/2013 - 14:53 05/21/2013 - 10:34

Prior to Tuesday's meeting of Capilano University's board of governors, an open letter to president Kris Bulcroft was circulating among faculty members who attended her employee forum last week, to be signed by those who agreed with its content. The letter expresses non-confidence in Bulcroft's leadership. (As of late Tuesday, the letter had more than 4 dozen signatures). The letter did not originate with the faculty association, but its president said the association has also expressed grave concerns about budget proposals, which mark "a shift in the values and directions of this institution," particularly the loss of some certificate and diploma courses as well as adult basic education (ABE) courses in Squamish. On Monday, the BC Supreme Court adjourned an application by the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators seeking an injunction to force Capilano U's board to postpone its vote on a budget that would eliminate some programs. FPSE says the injunction application was adjourned because Capilano has given a commitment to address the concerns of ABE students in Squamish. A Vancouver Sun reporter blogged that she received reports late Tuesday night that the board voted to postpone its decision for 3 weeks so that the senate could look for an alternative approach. Vancouver Sun | Letter | The Tyee

Capilano U faculty letter expresses non-confidence in president Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:34 05/21/2013 - 10:34

The British Columbia Institute of Technology is now looking at becoming an accredited university, reports The Link, a BCIT student newspaper. Barry Hogan, BCIT's senior director of program development, says the idea has not been proposed externally but there is talk of BCIT's need to make some changes when it comes to program recognition across Canada and worldwide -- or becoming a university. Paul Dangerfield, BCIT's VP of Education, says the talks of university status came up during discussion of the 2014-2019 strategic plan. He says the idea was brought up informally more than a decade ago. Dangerfield says BCIT's governance structure would likely change if it were to become a university. As for the name of the institution, it would not be mandatory for it to change to BC University of Technology, or something to represent that it has changed to a university. Hogan says a name change would not be appealing to the community due to the brand equity of the BCIT name. The research is still in the very early stages, but Hogan speculates if the institution does become a university, it would be about a 3-year process. The Link (student newspaper)

BCIT may consider university status Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:33 05/21/2013 - 10:33

On Tuesday, the Trottier Family Foundation announced a donation of $10 million to establish the Trottier Energy Institute at Polytechnique Montréal. The mission of the Institute is to “promote the search for solutions to help secure the future of energy in Québec, Canada and the world.” It will bring together professors and researchers from the 3 Campus Montréal institutes, as well as establish a close partnership with McGill University. This donation formalizes the alliance between the schools established by Trottier’s 2012 donation to McGill and the establishment of the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design. The institutes will be required to carry out joint research initiatives and hold joint annual public symposia. The Campus Montréal major fundraising campaign, the most ambitious ever by a Francophone university with a goal of $500 million, has now succeeded in raising over $200 million. uMontreal News Release

$10-million donation establishes Trottier Energy Institute in Montreal Top Ten 05/21/2013 - 10:33 05/21/2013 - 10:33

As US campuses construct and renovate residential space to accommodate rising enrolments, they have tried to adapt to students' current interests and preferences, including private space and the ability to cook for themselves. With a trend to individual sleeping quarters, community kitchens often become not just a place to cook, but also the main gathering space. In a survey last year, the Association of College and University Housing Officers--International found that more than 60% of institutions had done some kind of residential building and renovation between winter 2010 and fall 2011, and nearly three-quarters of those facilities contained kitchens. That figure was up approximately 11 percentage points over 2005. At Minnesota-based Carleton College, renovations completed in January included a spacious kitchen equipped with full-size appliances and plenty of counter space in one residence. While students tend to consider their rooms as personal space, they gather in the kitchen to cook and hang out, says the college's director of residential life. "The kitchen helps us serve that community feel," she says, "because they also want that interaction and connection." The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Trend in US campuses offering community kitchens Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:35 05/14/2013 - 15:35

According to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey, employment among 15- to 24-year-olds declined by 19,000 last month, and the unemployment rate was 14.5%. Compared to 12 months prior, youth employment was little changed. Youth in PEI made the most gains in their employment rate with a one percentage point increase compared to March, while Saskatchewan recorded the highest employment rate among 15- to 24-year-olds, sitting at 62.7% in April. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey

Youth employment falls in April Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:34 05/14/2013 - 15:34

5 projects aimed at strengthening undergraduate engagement and academic success at the University of Guelph have received close to $98,000 from the institution's Learning Enhancement Fund (LEF). Launched in 2006, the LEF supports initiatives arising from the integrated planning process and the curriculum renewal process. LEF grant proposals can come from faculty or staff in any college, department, or academic support unit that reports to the provost. Projects must strengthen undergraduate teaching and learning in demonstrable ways, says UoGuelph's AVP academic. They must also be interesting, novel, sustainable, have a potential impact on teaching, and support learning experiences that cross departmental and college bounds. One proposal receiving funding addresses the challenge of large lecture courses for instructors who strive for live engagement across learning styles and accessibility needs. The proposal is for the development of technology to address this concern through non-anonymous, moderated online live discussion; anonymous live polling of learning outcomes; archivable content; live file and image sharing; and live private messages to the instructor. At Guelph | Funded Projects

UoGuelph distributes grants to enhance undergraduate engagement Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:34 05/14/2013 - 15:34

St. Clair College has added a golf course to its ever-growing educational arsenal with the purchase of Woodland Hills. The 9-hole executive course joins a stable of assets that include Windsor's Chrysler Theatre and the Capitol Theatre in Chatham, and St. Clair president John Strasser hints the institution is not done yet. "St. Clair College will continue to look for opportunities in Essex and Kent Counties that provide new benefits to our students," Strasser says. "This new acquisition will provide new [experiential] learning for our students and a unique recreational opportunity for every student at all of our campuses." Some St. Clair students from the areas of hospitality, event management, culinary arts, horticulture, and landscaping will be employed at the golf course. Windsor Star

St. Clair acquires golf course Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 19:38 05/14/2013 - 15:33

York University has released its new strategic plan for addressing mental health concerns among students and faculty. With the aim of being proactive, York U is focusing on creating a healthy environment for students and staff, one that confronts pressures before a mental health crisis is reached. Policy development and extending the campus’s ability to handle mental health concerns are part of the strategy to meet long-term goals. The promotion of a new software program, Mental Health EDU, will help faculty and staff learn to assist students in distress through varied approaches, based on the individual student’s comfort level. York U News Release

New mental health strategy at York U Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:33 05/14/2013 - 15:33

A pilot project at the University of Saskatchewan is projected to save between $1 million and $2 million over the next year. Project Lean examines large purchase orders and on-campus stores and will make recommendations going forward after the pilot ends sometime this summer. Empowering staff is another benefit resulting from the project, as is making the culture at uSask more service-oriented. The savings themselves are overshadowed by the overall operating budget of $150 million, but the improving of complex processes is thought to enhance the experiences of staff and students. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

uSask Lean project expected to result in savings Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 19:38 05/14/2013 - 15:32

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) is concerned about plans expressed by 3 Ontario colleges -- Fanshawe, Seneca, and Mohawk -- to invest $2.5 million each over 5 years to a college in Saudi Arabia. Scott Porter, Fanshawe’s VP, states that in light of government cost-cutting, investing in a foreign campus may provide increased revenue for the college. OPSEU is concerned about the speed with which the deal appears to be going forward, and calls for further consideration and “due diligence” before any plans are finalized. Worries over the reputation of Ontario colleges, the value of a diploma from an Ontario institute, and the overall quality of the education system are also expressed by OPSEU. This would be the first Ontario college to operate in the Middle East, although some Fanshawe curriculum is offered in other countries through affiliated schools. OPSEU News Release | CTV

Ontario college programs to be offered in Saudi Arabia Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:32 05/14/2013 - 15:32

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Alberta College of Art and Design Faculty Association (ACADFA) have joined forces to lobby for the reinstatement of professor Gord Ferguson, fired after a student’s controversial art project. The project involved the public slaughter of a chicken in the school cafeteria, which prompted another student to call local police. CAUT has filed a grievance and threatened arbitration if Ferguson is not offered reinstatement and compensation for lost wages. CAUT’s position is that “universities and colleges should be places where free expression and creative exploration is encouraged.” Support for Ferguson, head of the sculpture department and professor at ACAD for over 30 years, is growing, with online petitions and planned protests. CAUT News Release | Calgary Herald 

CAUT files grievance after ACAD instructor fired following chicken slaughter Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:31 05/14/2013 - 15:31

On Monday, the Manitoba government introduced legislation that would regulate all education providers that intend to recruit and enrol foreign students. Under the proposed legislation, in order to enrol an international student, every education provider would now have to follow a code of practice and conduct that would be set up under the act. Among its provisions, the proposed act would allow the Manitoba government to inspect and investigate any education provider; suspend or cancel any provider's right to recruit and enrol students, if they were to violate the code or the act; fine any education provider between $25,000 and $100,000 if they commit an offence such as providing false or misleading data, or obstructing inspections and investigations; and collect new information in order to promote better understanding of the province's international student body. Manitoba News Release

New Manitoba legislation aims to protect international students Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:30 05/14/2013 - 15:30

As part of Bold Ambitions: the Campaign for Dalhousie, which concludes tomorrow, philanthropists Fred and Elizabeth Fountain have contributed $10 million, their largest donation ever, to the creation of a new school for performing arts, the only one east of Montreal. Building on Dal’s scholarly study of the arts, the new school will enhance the creative economy of the Maritimes and will serve the entire Atlantic community, the benefits of which were stressed by the Fountains. The Dalhousie Arts Centre is also to undergo renovations, funded by the university, in order to be ready to house the expanded programs and services that will be offered by the new school. Dal News Release

Dal receives $10-million gift for new performing arts school Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 15:29 05/14/2013 - 15:29

The latest version of a US bill to track graduate employment and salary data, called the Student Right to Know Before You Go Act, has created controversy over the federal unit record database ban, instated in 2008. Whereas previous versions of the bill called for the amalgamation of state longitudinal databases, which would avoid confronting the federal ban, this newest version would require the 2008 ban to be re-examined. Although support for unit records has grown over the last 6 years, lobbyists are skeptical that there will be legislative success for such a bill in the near future. A softer bill, called the Investigating Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act, is expected to be introduced this week. This bill would enable further investigation into what data is needed by prospective students and families making decisions about PSE. Inside Higher Ed

US bill revives effort to track graduate employment, salary Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:25 05/13/2013 - 16:25

Last Thursday Allan Rock delivered a speech to the Canadian Club of Ottawa that focused on the relevancy of a university education, specifically in the arts and humanities. Frustrated with media accounts that a university degree will not earn graduates positions in their field, Rock gave numerous examples of graduates who have turned their arts degrees into meaningful employment, whether in their field or in another. He also cited statistics from a recent employment survey that stated more than 93% of 2009 graduates surveyed reported they had a job 2 years after graduation; 82% of these were working full-time in their field. Rock was also supportive of the need for skilled trades workers, but rather than favour the usefulness of college education over university, he stressed the importance of the 2 collaborating, and the need for easier transfer of credits and programs. uOttawa News Release | Ottawa Citizen | Speech

uOttawa president addresses relevancy of university education Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:51 05/13/2013 - 16:25

The Canada West Universities Athletics Association has admitted MacEwan University as a probationary member, effective September 2013. "We've gone from being MacEwan College to MacEwan University, so everything we're doing is focused on making that transition complete -- and athletics is a big part of it," says MacEwan president David Atkinson. "The public relations advantage is enormous." The MacEwan Griffins currently compete in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference and will do so again in 2013. Under Canada West's 3-year probationary terms, teams do not compete in the first year. The Griffins will begin league play in September 2014 in men's and women's basketball, cross-country, soccer, and volleyball. To pass the probationary period, the teams have to be competitive and show signs of improvement. Canada West has also granted full member status to the UBC Okanagan Heat. MacEwan News | Edmonton Journal | UBC Okanagan News

MacEwan joins Canada West as probationary member Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:24 05/13/2013 - 16:24

Lukas Bosch, a Grade 12 student from Regina, will be the University of Northern British Columbia's Campus Correspondence for the 2013-14 academic year. The inaugural Northern Exposure Award recipient was named following the end of a social media campaign that saw 27 videos submitted to the contest, more than 13,000 votes cast, and 46,000 views from across Canada. In his video, Bosch talks about sustainability, the importance of immersing oneself in the natural environment, and his passion for arts and culture. As Campus Correspondent, Bosch will write a blog, produce videos, take photographs, and engage with the community through various social media platforms, all with an eye toward highlighting the UNBC experience by drawing on the activities of a student living it day-to-day. As part of the award, Bosch will receive tuition for the 2013-14 academic year, accommodation in the student residence, and a $2,000 credit with the campus bookstore and food services. UNBC News Release

UNBC announces inaugural recipient of Northern Exposure Award Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:23 05/13/2013 - 16:23

With overall enrolment up 7% over the last 10 years, Maritimes universities are admitting more students in master’s and PhD programs than ever, with one in 7 students now in a graduate program, according to new data released by the Maritimes Provinces Higher Education Commission. Concurrently, there are less undergraduate students enrolling, and less students from the Maritimes in general, with only 68% of students coming from the Maritimes. International student enrolment has increased significantly, with more than 120% growth in 10 years. Most of these international students are coming from China and Saudi Arabia. There has also been a shift to more students coming from other parts of Canada to study at Maritimes universities, most from Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Enrolment in Maritimes universities surpassed 70,000 students in 2011-12. MPHEC News Release | Report

Fewer undergrads, more grad students in Maritimes universities Top Ten 05/14/2013 - 13:36 05/13/2013 - 16:23

Last year, presidents and senior administrators from 36 Canadian PSE institutions convened to discuss campus mental health at an Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada workshop. The workshop galvanized its members, including University of Manitoba president David Barnard. The result is the creation of uManitoba's first cohesive campus mental health strategy. Launching in early 2014, the strategy will be based upon an assessment of uManitoba's current approach and practices used to support positive mental health, and an identification of areas in need of development and enhancement. Cross-campus consultations will take place and include student, staff, and faculty focus groups, as well as staff and faculty surveys about student mental health. The strategy will complement the Outstanding Workplace Initiative and its important work to date to help uManitoba be a thriving workplace. uManitoba News | Mental Health at uManitoba

uManitoba developing campus mental health strategy Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:22 05/13/2013 - 16:22

Facing an expected $10-million budget cut, the medical and dentistry school at the University of Alberta is touting the economic benefits it provides to the province. According to dean Douglas Miller, the faculty contributes approximately $2 billion annually to the local economy, by way of external research grants, patents, and job creation. Cutting back on the number of admitted students may be an answer in the future, but even with 50% of graduates remaining in Alberta, the province is still short of doctors. There will be no changes to the enrolment numbers for the upcoming fall though. Further details on funding cuts in different faculties are expected in the weeks ahead. Edmonton Journal

uAlberta medical and dentistry school reminds people of the benefits it provides Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:22 05/13/2013 - 16:22

Alberta’s budget cuts have caused Mount Royal University to cut a program with a near 100% employment rate. Graduating around 35 people a year, the Disability Studies program trains students to identify various disabilities and educates them on working with individuals with disabilities. The program cut is coming alongside millions of dollars in cuts to support funding and the closure of the Michener Centre, a major care centre for people with disabilities. MRU states the reason for the cut is the fact that the program will not become a degree program, as the University of Calgary already offers a comparable 4-year program. One recent MRU program graduate feels the cuts put “a lack of value on people with disabilities and the people that support them.” CBC

MRU eliminates disability program Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:21 05/13/2013 - 16:21

The University of Prince Edward Island's board of governors has approved a 4% tuition increase as part of its effort to address a $9-million shortfall. UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz says the tuition increase helped the institution post a balanced budget. There are spending cuts in the budget as well, but details are not yet available. Abd-El-Aziz says jobs cuts cannot be avoided given that three-quarters of UPEI's expenses are salaries and benefits. The president says administration will work hard over the coming weeks to keep job reductions to a minimum. UPEI News Release | Charlottetown Guardian | CBC

Job cuts to come at UPEI Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:20 05/13/2013 - 16:20

Turning 150 in December, Huron University College unveiled last week its new visual identity. The process for a new look began with community consultations led by Academica Group starting in fall 2011.The refreshed brand includes a new logo that emphasizes Huron's connection to Western University through the use of colour and font choice, as well as Huron's history and tradition through elements in the shield. The new logo features an updated colour palette, a slightly modified shield, and Huron's founding year (1863). Most notable is the incorporation of the Western U purple and a Pantone shift in red to a richer shade. To further highlight Huron's position as an affiliate of Western U, the Hellmuth font was used within the logo. A custom font created for Western U's refreshed visual identity in 2012, the Hellmuth typeface is named after Bishop Isaac Hellmuth and pays homage to these institutions' shared founder. Huron News | Purple Goes with Red (video)

Huron launches new brand Top Ten 05/13/2013 - 16:19 05/13/2013 - 16:19

Contact North has seen an increase of 18.4% in student registrations from winter 2012 to winter 2013. The record 14,871 registrations bring the total to more than 315,000 since the program’s establishment in 1986. Contact North provides local access to education and training opportunities by bringing learning technologies and support services to over 600 small, remote, rural, Aboriginal, and Francophone communities across Ontario, through partnerships with Ontario’s public colleges, universities, public literacy and basic skills and training providers, and the government of Ontario. Contact North News Release

Online learning reaches record numbers in Ontario Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 16:04 05/10/2013 - 16:04

Toronto can be a big winner in the international race for digital innovation but government and the private sector need to support young entrepreneurs and become start-up friendly, said Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy in an address last Wednesday to the Empire Club of Canada. More young people are launching their own businesses, many of them digital, signalling that Canada's youth -- with the right help -- can power a globally competitive digital economy for Canada, said Levy. 4 young Ryerson entrepreneurs who have launched businesses that are earning international acclaim also spoke at the Empire Club. Their companies have been part of Ryerson's Digital Media Zone (DMZ), where demand for admission is high. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has incubated 84 startups, initiated more than 134 projects, graduated 25 companies, created more than 650 jobs, and hosted nearly 700 tours for visitors from around the world. Levy believes zone-based education can help stop the leakage of Canada's intellectual property to other nations by creating a place for young innovators to connect with business and investors in Canada. Ryerson News Release | Speech

Ryerson president urges government, private sector to support youth innovation Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 16:43 05/10/2013 - 16:03

Portage College has received good news in the area of graduate and employer satisfaction. In the recent Graduate Survey, which had a record 329 respondents, 85% of Class of 2012 graduates reported satisfaction with their education and 87% of graduates are currently employed, with 75% of those working in their designated field. This is in addition to the Employer Survey, which reported high satisfaction among employers of Portage graduates. The Employer Survey also reported 94% of employers would hire Portage graduates again. Portage College News Release  

Portage College celebrates graduate satisfaction Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 16:02 05/10/2013 - 16:02

Camosun College's 5-year energy plan concluded with great success. The combination of increased consumer awareness with low-energy lighting and improved ventilation has resulted in Camosun exceeding its greenhouse gas targets by more than 400%, as well as avoiding costs of more than $1 million. After successfully demonstrating that energy conservation can enhance operating budgets, Camosun will now prepare for future conservation and sustainability efforts to continue this success, including solar technologies and business practices to instill an energy culture. Camosun News Release

Camosun 5-year energy management plan exceeds targets Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 16:42 05/10/2013 - 16:01

George Brown College has received further funding for its $60-million private-sector fundraising campaign "Success at Work." The $3-million donation from Tridel will be used for the renovation and repurposing of learning spaces in the college's Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies at its Casa Loma campus. The college's construction management school will be named the Angelo Del Zotto School of Construction Management after CEO and Chairman of the Tridel Group of Companies and Tridel Corporation, Angelo Del Zotto. Tridel has a long partnership with George Brown and the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies. George Brown College News Release

Tridel donates $3 million to support George Brown College "Success at Work" campaign Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 16:35 05/10/2013 - 16:00

The research tower at York University will be named the Kaneff Tower in honour of Ignat Kaneff, who recently donated $5 million to the Lassonde School of Engineering. This brings the donation total by the Kaneff family to almost $8 million. The new Lassonde building, set to open in 2015, will offer "a new type of engineering education," aimed at socially conscious entrepreneurial engineers. York U News Release

York U receives $5-million gift for Lassonde School of Engineering Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 15:59 05/10/2013 - 15:59

Athabasca University's board of governors said Friday it respectfully cannot and will not accept the "rescue plan" motions and accompanying proposals put forth by the university's faculty association last week. The faculty association called on the board to replace the current president with an interim president chosen from among senior staff. The board said that under Alberta's Post-Secondary Learning Act, it is directed with the duty to appoint the university's president and with ultimate governance responsibility for financial matters. The act outlines the responsibilities and powers of a public institution's faculty union, which are separate and distinct from those of the board. Athabasca U's board says it will not, and should not, delegate any of its legislatively conferred duties to any other body, no more than the board would expect the faculty association to delegate any of theirs. "In the immediate future, the Board will move forward with the governance of the institution, including the presidential recruitment process and strategic direction for the future of the University," the board said, adding that the faculty association will be engaged in these processes through their duly appointed board representatives. Athabasca U Board Response

Athabasca U board turns down faculty union's "rescue plan" Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 15:58 05/10/2013 - 15:58

The University of Alberta's Campus Saint-Jean is suspending a first-year, college-level course in business administration as a cost-saving measure, prompting a parents' group to raise concerns that French language education will be reduced further this spring. The executive director of Canadian Parents for French's Alberta branch says parents were shocked to read of the course cancellation on a blog by uAlberta acting provost Martin Ferguson-Pell. The uAlberta announcement says the business course was cancelled due to low enrolment in the past 3 years, including this year when the minimum number of students was not reached. The head of the parents' group says parents with French-speaking children will fight to get the course reinstated. Ferguson-Pell has sent letters to deans in each faculty, but so far just the arts faculty has outlined its cuts publicly. The cuts are not across the board, but uAlberta has not said which faculties will face bigger cuts. Some professors are pushing the provost to release the letters he sent to each dean, arguing those who work at uAlberta have a right to know how the budget cuts are affecting the institution. The revised budget will go to a May 22 meeting of the academic planning committee accompanied by a revised comprehensive institutional plan. Edmonton Journal

uAlberta French business course suspension upsets parents' group Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 15:57 05/10/2013 - 15:57

The University of Saskatchewan's board of governors has approved the institution's 2013-14 operating budget, which contains a projected deficit of $3.3 million. uSask's provost says he hopes the institution's ongoing cost-saving measures will eliminate that shortfall by the end of the 2013-14 year. A year ago, uSask announced it would need to cut $44.5 million from its operating expenses over the next 4 years to avoid a larger shortfall. A major factor is that funding from the Saskatchewan government is rising at a slower pace than in the past. Job cuts began just prior to Christmas, and an estimated 150 positions have been cut so far at uSask. The provost says there will be further job cuts within colleges before the end of June, though he has not provided a number. Job cuts alone are not enough to make up the expenses uSask must eliminate permanently, the provost cautions. TransformUS, the university's program prioritization process that is expected to be completed by November, will be one of those cost-saving measures, as will a lean pilot project that's steering uSask toward more bulk purchasing with other colleges and universities. uSask News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | CBC

uSask posts deficit of more than $3 million Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 15:56 05/10/2013 - 15:56

Red Deer College is preparing for staff layoffs and program suspensions in response to a deep funding cut announced in the Alberta budget. The 7.3% decrease in operating grants for RDC forced administration to scrape together $6 million to balance its budget as required by legislation. "Regretfully there will be job loss," says president Joel Ward. "Although we are still ensuring we meet all conditions of our employment agreements, it appears 32 people will lose their jobs." RDC is cutting its virtual assistant distance certificate from September 2013 intake, and the hospitality and tourism programs are being transferred to Olds College. The early learning and child care diploma will be suspended in September 2014. RDC will also deliver 3 other programs differently that will still be available for students through the college. About 180 full- and part-time students will be affected by the program suspensions. Affected students will be contacted by the registrar's office to advise them of the program changes and other options for continuing their learning. RDC News Release | Calgary Herald

Job cuts, program suspensions at RDC Top Ten 05/10/2013 - 16:30 05/10/2013 - 15:55

Since the Boston Marathon bombings last month, the US government has ordered increased scrutiny of foreign students coming into the country. The policy directive has some educators wondering if subjecting every international student to additional border screening is an overreaction, and, moreover, they worry the student-visa system could be scapegoated. Educators worry about how the stepped-up screening of foreign students may play abroad. Institutions are reporting that students arriving in the US are experiencing delays at border checkpoints since the implementation of new procedures. Problems have been particularly acute at universities near US borders, which students commute to from Canada and Mexico, respectively. At Buffalo-based D'Youville College, students commuting from Canada have been consistently required to undergo secondary inspection, and have faced delays generally ranging from 20 minutes to an hour on weekdays, while Detroit-based Wayne State University has advised border commuters to add 1.5 hours to their trip. An official at Washington's American University worries more that safety concerns related to the bombings could discourage students from studying in the US. She says the visa scrutiny could hamper overseas enrolment, which US colleges have stepped up in recent years. "It illustrates the schizophrenic nature of what's going on," she says. "We say we want you, and then we make it difficult for you to come here." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed

Further scrutiny of student visas worries US educators Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:37 05/09/2013 - 15:37

The City of Ottawa has declared today -- May 10 -- as uOttawa Alumni Day. Graduates of the University of Ottawa are encouraged to mark the day by wearing their garnet and grey colours to work and showing their pride on social media. The uOttawa Alumni Day is part of this year's Alumni Week, whose theme is A NEW ENERGY. uOttawa's VP of external relations, himself an alumnus of the institution, says the theme reflects what he hears from alumni who have visited campus recently and are blown away by just how much it has grown and changed. Twitter users can follow uOttawa Alumni Week through @uOttawaAlumni and the hashtag #uOenergy. uOttawa News Release

Today is uOttawa Alumni Day Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:35 05/09/2013 - 15:35

Western University announced Tuesday a $5-million donation of software from Schlumberger, the world's leading supplier of technology, integrate project management and information solutions for the oil and gas industry. The gift of advanced software licenses for Schlumberger's integrated suite of geoscience and reservoir simulation software will give graduate students and researchers in Western U's Petroleum Geoscience Laboratory the ability to analyze problems beyond the reach of most labs. Western U News Release

Western U petroleum geology program receives $5-million software donation Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:33 05/09/2013 - 15:33

A new report prepared by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario and Academica Group finds that University of Waterloo co-op graduates feel they benefit academically and professionally and are more satisfied than are co-op students at other examined institutions. The report uses findings from 3 surveys to gather perspectives from graduating students, faculty, and Ontario employers on work-integrated learning (WIL). The results presented in the report provide insights into the attitudes and opinions of students and faculty from uWaterloo and the Ontario employers most likely to hire uWaterloo graduates. The report finds that a significantly larger proportion of graduating students participated in co-op at uWaterloo than at other examined institutions, but other universities had a significantly larger proportion of other kinds of WIL programs. While uWaterloo co-op students reported benefiting both academically and professionally from their participation, as a whole the university's WIL students were more likely to report having boring work assignments and not being paid enough. The report also observes that uWaterloo co-op students expected to graduate with lower levels of median debt than those at other participating universities. Given uWaterloo's commitment to WIL programs, its faculty were more likely to have taught a program with a WIL component and, on average, reported fewer challenges when instituting these kinds of programs. uWaterloo faculty were more likely to agree that WIL helps students develop contacts and networks for future employment, better understand work realities and expectations, and make them more employable than other students. uWaterloo faculty were also less likely to support an increase in the overall amount of WIL in higher education. Research Summary | Full Report

uWaterloo students reap benefits from co-op programs, study finds Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:31 05/09/2013 - 15:31

Yesterday marked the official opening of the McMaster Automotive Research Centre (MARC), an 80,000-square-foot university laboratory where hundreds of researchers, students, and industry professionals will work to resolve major issues facing the automotive industry and design the future of human transportation. Inside the $26-million facility, which is one of a handful in the world located in an academic setting, teams will be able to develop, design, and test an electric or a hybrid car. Funding for MARC was provided in part through the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario's Prosperity Initiative. McMaster University received up to $11.5 million to create MARC, where business, manufacturers, parts suppliers, and researchers can collaborate. FedDev Ontario News Release | McMaster Daily News

McMaster Automotive Research Centre opens Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 22:34 05/09/2013 - 15:29

Today Bow Valley College is hosting the official grand opening of its new south campus in downtown Calgary. Following 4 years of construction, the $160.5-million campus is the final leg of a $259-million redevelopment and expansion project that started in 2006 with renovations at the north campus. The 7-storey, 278,000-square-foot south campus combines 50 new classrooms among 4 PSE institutions: BVC, Athabasca U, Olds College, and the University of Lethbridge. Thousands of students have already benefited from much of the building's modern infrastructure since January, including breathtaking views of the city centre, unique architecture, walls of art, and wide-open student spaces. Each floor is colour-coded to assist students with orientation, particularly those who are new Canadians and still learning a second language. Features of the south campus include a "wraparound" student services centre in the main floor atrium, a cafeteria and the Aboriginal Centre on the second floor, and a rooftop patio on the third floor. Calgary Herald

BVC celebrates opening of south campus Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:28 05/09/2013 - 15:28

The Quebec government has named a 3-person panel to investigate events related to last year's student movement in protest of tuition fee increases planned by the Liberal government at the time. The public safety minister says the panel will study the actions of students and police during demonstrations, noting he wants to ensure there is never a repeat of clashes. Protesters accused the police of numerous abuses and many had been demanding a full public inquiry into police actions. Some groups are disappointed with the announcement, arguing the new mechanism falls far short of their demands. The investigative body will have no power to subpoena witnesses, will conduct its work in private, and will be unable to point to offences by individual officers. The PQ government made it clear that any disciplinary measures against individual officers would continue to be handled by the regular provincial police ethics committee. The panel has been asked to analyze circumstances surrounding the demonstrations and identify factors that led to the deterioration of the social climate. The group will deliver a report to the province, including recommendations, by December 20. The public safety minister plans to make the report public within 6 weeks of its delivery. Canadian Press

Postscript: June 5, 2013

Both student groups and police unions have stated that they will not participate in the panel hearings of the government-appointed commission investigating the 2012 tuition protests in Quebec, which began Monday. The Opposition Liberals have also registered their intent to boycott what they call “a political masquerade.” Student groups had requested a formal inquiry into police brutality, and the commission mandate is to examine the “techniques used by police forces and how things got out of control and left police overwhelmed,” but the commission will not have the power of a public inquiry to compel witnesses to testify, and some hearings will be behind closed doors, which is a “sham” according to student groups. The Canadian Press

Quebec panel to examine student, police conduct during 2012 demonstrations Top Ten 06/04/2013 - 17:23 05/09/2013 - 15:27

The University of Regina's board has approved a balanced operating budget for 2013-14, and as a result the university is eliminating 20 full-time equivalent positions. Although the majority of those positions are vacant or soon will be due to retirements, uRegina's provost admits there may be some unease in the campus community. "We're trying to do as much as we are able and trying to avoid layoffs (by)...using attrition and natural movement of employees to other places outside of the university," the provost says. "But anytime you're in a mode where you're trimming expenses, it's natural to be concerned." Aside from those positions, uRegina will make other savings by trimming the library budget by $235,000, information services by $159,000, facilities management by $204,000, and university services general contingency by $216,000. A total of $3.5 million in cuts brings uRegina's operating budget to $187 million. uRegina News Release | Regina Leader-Post

uRegina reduces positions Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:24 05/09/2013 - 15:24

The Athabasca University Faculty Association (AUFA) is calling for the institution's president to be replaced by an interim president chosen from among senior staff. President Frits Pannekoek announced back in December he plans to retire, though a date for his departure has not yet been set. AUFA says its recommendation to the board to select an interim president from within the institution would save Athabasca U about $1 million in executive pay and the headhunter fees earmarked for a presidential search over the next 2 years. AUFA says replacing Pannekoek would improve morale and employee confidence in senior administration, which it says has been "sorely lacking" since April 2012, when AUFA and one of the university's staff unions held a vote of non-confidence in Pannekoek. The faculty association says its plan would assign Athabasca U staff and faculty increasing responsibility and accountability for the institution's governance and strategic direction. As part of the proposal, AUFA promises to negotiate with the 2 staff unions to come up with a way to ensure the interim president enjoys broad support among staff. AUFA News Release | Rabble

Athabasca U faculty propose "rescue plan" for interim internal leadership Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 22:35 05/09/2013 - 15:23

BC's Federation of Post-Secondary Educators is asking the BC Supreme Court to issue an injunction that would force Capilano University's board to reschedule its May 14 to a later date in June. The May meeting is set to approve a budget that would impose some program cuts. "We think the board of Capilano University is rushing this budget decision through," says FPSE's president, adding that the institution should wait until a new advanced education minister is appointed after the May 14 provincial election. The injunction application says the proposed cuts would cause irreparable harm to students and that Capilano U has the financial resources to consider other options. FPSE's president says her group is also seriously considering a class-action lawsuit against Capilano U should it proceed with the program cuts. FPSE News | Vancouver Sun

FPSE seeks court injunction to stop Capilano U board from approving cuts Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 15:21 05/09/2013 - 15:21

Grade 12 students in Alberta will soon be able to write their diploma exams on a computer. The provincial government announced Tuesday that an electronic exam pilot, with digital marking, will launch in fall 2014, with a full roll-out scheduled for 2017. The exams will be widely offered 5 times a year instead of the current 2. Education Minister Jeff Johnson says the initiative is intended to make diploma exams more accessible for students who are enrolled in dual-credit courses, distance learning, or flexible programs. The new format should also make the process faster so students receive their marks sooner, Johnson says. Students could apply for scholarships sooner and the faster results might "help them to decide if they want to go to another country that might start their post-secondary at different times throughout the year," says an Edmonton high school principal. Johnson says the government has experts working to ensure the digital exams are secure, and that students will still have the option to write the exams on paper. Approximately 190,000 students write Alberta diploma exams each year. The exams are worth 50% of a student's Grade 12 mark. Alberta News Release | CBC | Edmonton Journal

Alberta diploma exams to go digital by 2017 Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 14:00 05/08/2013 - 14:00

The Ontario government is broadening a program designed to attract new nurses to the province. The government is expanding the Nursing Graduate Guarantee program, which connects recent nursing graduates in the province to employers, to accept graduates from other provinces and territories. Also being developed under the program's umbrella is an initiative to help internationally trained nurses practice in Ontario. Nurses' groups welcome the news of the expansion, but say the program does not address a provincial trend of nurses transitioning out of hospitals and into community care, and job reductions over the past 2 years. Ontario's latest budget calls for freezing hospitals' base operating funding next year, which nurses' groups say will result in fewer registered nurses offering acute care in hospitals. Ontario News Release | Globe and Mail

Ontario expands Nursing Graduate Guarantee program to accept grads from other jurisdictions Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 14:00 05/08/2013 - 14:00

QS has released its 2013 World University Rankings by Subject. QS compared institutions across 30 subject areas, which are categorized under arts and humanities, engineering and technology, life sciences and medicine, natural sciences, and social sciences. The University of Toronto is the top Canadian university in 20 out of 30 disciplines, followed by UBC in 6 subjects, McGill University in 3 subjects, and the University of Waterloo in one subject. 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject

uToronto top Canadian university in 2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:59 05/08/2013 - 13:59

PopCap Games co-founder and University of Alberta alumnus Jason Kapalka has made a $1-million gift to his alma mater in support of its renowned writer-in-residence program. He had already donated $100,000 in 2011 to endow a writing prize in the English and film studies department, named after his father Stephen, but Kapalka wanted to do more to express his gratitude. In addition to his $1-million contribution to the writer-in-residence endowment, Kapalka has provided a $100,000 gift to endow an award named after his friend Darren Zenko that will allow 2 or 3 students annually to attend the "Write With Style" course at the Banff Centre, and $10,000 in bridge funding for Glass Buffalo, the uAlberta student literary magazine, until it becomes eligible for Canada Council grants. Kapalka has even thrown in an extra $5,000 toward new furniture in the creative writing room. uAlberta News

Alumnus donates $1 million to uAlberta writer-in-residence program Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:58 05/08/2013 - 13:58

A new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario argues that to be most effective, early intervention programs to help youth complete high school and transition into PSE need to be generated out of, and adapted to, the specific needs of the communities they serve. The report explores 6 diverse community-based early intervention programs in Ontario. Interviews were conducted with program founders and leaders to examine their program offerings and the impact on relevant populations. Previous HEQCO research has observed that Ontarians who come from low-income households, have parents with no PSE, reside in a rural area, identify as Aboriginal, and/or have a disability are less likely to pursue PSE. As these groups all have very different obstacles to access, the early intervention programs explored used a mix of services to cater their offerings to the unique needs of each youth. While some strategies were cleary focused on overcoming financial obstacles to PSE, they also addressed the aspirations and academic preparedness of their students. Most programs made an effort to incorporate peer support, which connected youth with others with similar backgrounds and/or challenges. While the report's authors found each program had a strong anecdotal case for success, they repeated heard from program directors of the challenges involved with systematic evaluations. However, the researchers found that a focus on measurable outcomes would offer students, community members, and researchers valuable insight into what works and how to best use limited resources. Research Summary | Full Report

PSE early intervention programs should reflect community needs, report says Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:58 05/08/2013 - 13:58

A new study from the University of Calgary suggests Canada's temporary foreign worker program (TFWP) "could be distorting" the natural supply and demand of the nation's labour market. The study's lead author says improving the balance in the labour marketplace does not require an increase in the labour supply. He suggests as part of the solution an improved immigration policy, one that could adjust intake levels with labour market needs and reduce the number of temporary foreign workers brought in. The report concedes there are labour shortages in specific industries and certain regions, but argues that Canadian youth need to be encouraged to pursue an education and careers in fields where jobs are available. The lead author says this could be done through government funding into educational institutions with programs that match labour market needs and tuition costs that charge more for study in a field in which there is already an excess of labour. uCalgary School of Public Policy News | Canadian Press | Report

Report suggests TFWP could be distorting labour market needs Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:57 05/08/2013 - 13:57

Carleton University's new Future Funder microgiving platform takes a page out of the books of crowdfunding success stories like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. The Future Funder platform allows people to browse through and pledge their support for one of many innovative student or faculty projects at the university. Until now, the crowdfunding model has yet to be employed extensively by Canada's education sector, but Carleton hopes that Future Funder can revolutionize the way people support PSE. The platform also maximized the potential of social media. With sites like Twitter and Facebook, each project can easily be shared with like-minded donors within personal and professional networks, building a larger group of supporters and expanding beyond the Carleton community. Carleton News Release

Carleton launches microgiving platform Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:57 05/08/2013 - 13:57

Niagara College announced Tuesday the launch of its strategic plan for 2013-16, which sets a course for student success, innovation, and supporting regional economic development. Over the next 3 years, the college will focus on 3 key strategic priorities: providing unparalleled student experiences and satisfaction; leading in innovation and applied research; and operational excellence. Highlights of the strategic plan include growing enrolment to more than 10,000 full-time students; the construction of new facilities, including a Centre for Industry Innovation and an expanded Niagara College Teaching Brewery, and the addition of new teaching and student life spaces; expanding the institution's unique "learning enterprise" concept for experiential learning; and growth in international student enrolment and the creation of new international learning opportunities for students and staff. Niagara College News Release | Strategic Plan

Niagara College reveals new strategic plan Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:56 05/08/2013 - 13:56

The first progress report in the implementation plan toward a new vision for the University of Saskatchewan's medical school was presented to University Council last month. Approved by Council in December, the vision document is meant to address long-standing challenges in the medical school, specifically surrounding accreditation of the undergraduate medical education program, poor research performance, and the provision of clinical service by uSask faculty. The acting dean of medicine reported on the continuing work of the Dean's Advisory Committee (DAC), which is guiding and overseeing the restructuring and renewal process. Multiple working groups have already prepared reports and the remaining documents will come together in the next month or so. The DAC will then be tasked with considering the recommendations put forward by each of the working groups and developing a comprehensive implementation plan. The plan will be made up of chapters of smaller plans, one of which will detail a faculty complement plan. Research will be another significant area addressed through restructuring. The college's interim vice-dean of research will put forward a detailed plan to faculty. After internal consultation, discussion, and fine-tuning, the plan will be finalized and shared with University Council. The Council will receive the next update on various chapters at its June meeting. uSask On Campus News

uSask med school provides restructuring update Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:55 05/08/2013 - 13:55

Youth unemployment worldwide is set to continue growing over the next 5 years, putting a generation at risk of lasting damage to job prospects and earnings potential throughout their lives, warns the International Labour Organization (ILO). In a new report, the ILO says it expects the global youth jobless rate to rise from 12.4% last year to 12.8% by 2018. The unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds has increased from 11.5% of the work force in that age group in 2007 as the recession took its toll. In the past, youth unemployment has in some nations risen quickly during economic downturns, but fallen quickly afterwards. This time, the length of the recession is causing particular problems. In the majority of nations in the OECD club of mostly rich countries, one-third or more of young job seekers has been unemployed for at least 6 months, up from one-quarter in 2008. The report suggests that in advanced economies, measures to curb the current trends should include education and training, work experience support, and recruitment incentives for employers. Strategies in developing nations might include training in literacy, occupational and entrepreneurial skills, and business support. ILO News Release | Financial Times | Report

Global youth unemployment expected to continue to rise, says report Top Ten 05/08/2013 - 13:55 05/08/2013 - 13:55

College students in the US may be reading more than is commonly thought, but more than 40% of the time they spend reading is on social media, according to a new study. Researchers at Texas-based Midwestern State University asked 1,265 students across disciplinary areas at a public liberal-arts university in the southwest to fill out surveys describing how much time they spent each week engaging in things like academic reading, extracurricular reading, browsing the Internet, working, sleeping, and socializing. The data revealed that students spent nearly 21 hours reading each week: 8.9 hours on the Internet, 7.7 hours on academic reading, and 4.2 hours on extracurricular reading, including the news, graphic novels, and non-academic books. Those numbers are lower than similar recent research has found, but far higher than data produced by the federal government in 2007. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Social media dominates 40% of US students' reading time, study finds Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 14:31 05/07/2013 - 14:31

According to a new report from Graduate Careers Australia, more than a third of Australian university graduates in the creative arts believe their qualification has little to do with their job. By contrast, more than 90% of health and education graduates thought their qualification was vital to the work they were doing 3 years out of university. The Beyond Graduation 2012 report tracked PSE graduates who finished in 2009 and followed up with their employment situation in 2012. According to the findings, a mismatch between degree and employment did not necessarily mean graduates were in “unrewarding jobs” at odd with their career goals. Drawing on 13,000 responses from graduates of 39 institutions, the report also showed improved employment results over time. In 2009, only 59% of creative arts graduates in the market for full-time jobs had managed to find one; this rose to 88% by 2012. For natural and physical sciences graduates, the full-time job success rate rose from 63% to 86% in 2012. Graduates in fields such as health, education, IT, engineering, and agriculture enjoyed full-time job rates in excess of 90% last year. The Australian (via Inside Higher Ed)

Australia PSE graduates saw improved job results over 3 years, study finds Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:14 05/07/2013 - 14:31

McMaster University students, faculty, and staff are now able to access safety and security information in the palm of their hand thanks to a new mobile application developed by the institution. The McMaster University Safety, Security and Transit app -- or MUSST for short -- gives users the ability to instantly call campus security, the Student Walk Home Attendant Team, the Emergency First Response Team, and 911. It also gives users one-touch dialing to local taxi companies, up-to-date schedules for public transit, and the ability to check on the time of the next city bus. The idea was borne out of discussions with Queen’s University, which uses a similar mobile application. The app includes direct links to resources on a number of topics, including mental health, accessibility and bullying, campus lockdown procedures, and the sign-up page for the university’s emergency SMS text messaging system. McMaster Daily News

McMaster launches new safety app Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 14:30 05/07/2013 - 14:30

At the official opening of the new veterinary wing of Collège Boréal’s Sudbury campus on Monday, the chief executive officer of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Ontario SPCA) and Boréal president Denis Hubert-Dutrisac announced an innovative 5-year partnership that facilitates the sharing of resources and knowledge between the 2 institutions. Thanks to this partnership, Boréal has become the first college in Canada to teach shelter medicine. Through their alliance, the Ontario SPCA and Boréal will also collaborate in creating a new Sudbury and District Ontario SPCA Shelter and Educational Centre, as well as jointly utilizing Boréal’s new veterinary wing. The 5,000-square-foot space is equipped with the latest innovations in animal medicine: digital radiography, a ventilation system adaptable to different species, a cutting-edge operating room, a complete animal dentistry section, and isolation units. Boréal News

Boréal partners with SPCA for a first-of-its-kind vet program in Canada Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:12 05/07/2013 - 14:30

Earlier this week, Langara College announced that it has been formally designated as a "receiving" institution by the British Columbia Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT). The college, which has historically been listed as a "sending" institution in BCCAT's BC Transfer Guide, will now be listed as "sending and receiving." The first institution officially listed as "sending" to Langara is Simon Fraser University, providing more complete information for students transferring credit from SFU to the college. More PSE schools will be listed as "sending" to Langara in the coming months. "Langara's designation as a receiving institution is a reflection of today's mobile student, who studies at several institutions throughout their career," said Langara's provost. According to a BCCAT report released earlier this year, student mobility between PSE institutions has become increasingly multi-directional, as opposed to the traditional model of students moving from colleges to research universities. Langara News

BCCAT officially names Langara as a "receiving" institution Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:09 05/07/2013 - 14:30

Monday marked the official launch of the construction work for Bishop's University’s new multi-purpose sports facility. The redevelopment of the John H. Price Sports Centre, originally built in 1975, will consist of refitting the existing sports centre, including construction of a multi-purpose room for fitness and aerobics and expansion of the training room; construction of an 800-seat arena, including dressing rooms, storage rooms, a garage for the ice resurfacing machine (Zamboni), and parking; construction of a double gymnasium; and the addition of a food court, washrooms, storage space, administrative offices, and exterior landscaping work. The federal and Quebec governments will each contribute up to $13.25 million, while the City of Sherbrooke will invest $3 million towards the project. Bishop's U News

Bishop's U breaks ground on new sports centre redevelopment Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:09 05/07/2013 - 14:29

The University of Alberta announced Monday that its administration and the student union executive have settled a dispute related to Lister Hall residence changes. Last July, among other changes, uAlberta announced there would be no alcohol outside private spaces as of fall 2012 at the residence, and that 3 of 4 residence towers would be primarily for first-year students starting this fall. The student union and the Lister Hall Students' Association were not pleased with the changes, claiming a lack of consultation and damage to the "Lister experience." The resolution doesn't change any rules; instead it is a framework agreement that enhances communication, consultation, and more going forward. The student union's president says there hasn't been a consensus from students on the changes, but the student union is "positively and absolutely" happy their voices will be more easily heard in the future and that there will be more thorough consultation. Major points in the agreement include students being in the majority on the Residence Advisory Committee; the student union providing feedback on the existing alcohol policy; a student representative serving as a member of the hiring committee for the position of assistant dean of students, residence life; and the university seeking staff, student, and community input as part of the review of residence operations related to the changes announced last summer. uAlberta News | Metro Edmonton

uAlberta, student union resolve Lister Hall dispute Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 14:28 05/07/2013 - 14:28

A broad coalition of electrical workers, employers, inspectors, and educators is calling on the BC government to kill an initiative to certify semiskilled electricians in the province, saying the move will jeopardize public safety. The BC Safety Authority, the agency that oversees safety-sensitive regulated work in the province, has approved a new certification called electrical work practitioner. It requires only 480 hours of training compared to the 7,200 hours of schooling and on-the-job training required by a certified electrician, as it will apply only to workers whose job requires limited electrical knowledge. The new certification would be geared toward people who work with low-voltage systems, including computer technicians, biomedical technologies, and security firm technicians who install cameras. However, industry insiders fear the new certification will result in a fragmented trade, and jeopardize public and worker safety. The Electrical Inspectors Association says on its website that there are more industry injuries from low-voltage systems than from high-voltage systems. Vancouver Sun

New BC electrical worker certification a "recipe for disaster," say critics Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:06 05/07/2013 - 14:28

As the academic year winds down, scores of anthropology students across Canada are preparing to conduct research in the field. For some, the opportunity can become an unhappy ordeal, filled with experiences that range from feelings of exclusion by colleagues to abuse, harassment, and even sexual assault. So says a team of US researchers behind an online survey on anthropology fieldwork experiences, to which several Canadians have responded. In a preliminary analysis of the first 124 responses, close to 60% said they had experienced inappropriate or sexual remarks while working at a field site, while 18% said they had encountered physical sexual harassment or unwanted sexual contact -- in some cases up to and including rape. The harassment was reported by both women and men, with younger female researchers the most frequent victims. By design, the survey could not address the question of how prevalent such incidents may be. Nevertheless, says one researcher, the survey suggests the anthropology profession needs to address this matter. Canadian anthropology departments vary in how much they prepare students and staff for potential issues in the field. Some have instituted safety protocols that specifically cover inappropriate behaviour, while others consider field sites to be an extension of the campus and governed by the same code of conduct. However, this may not equip young researchers to deal with issues they encounter at sites that are not operated by their home institutions. Globe and Mail

Anthropology students encounter abuse at field sites, survey finds Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:04 05/07/2013 - 14:28

The Alberta government announced Monday it will add more dual credit courses across the province. The government is investing more than $11 million over 3 years in the Provincial Dual Credit Strategy, which will allow more students to access dual credit opportunities. The new funding will support schools, PSE institutions, and businesses as they partner to deliver opportunities for students to earn both secondary school and PSE credits for the same course. Currently, students in Alberta can receive high school and PSE credits in classes related to automotive service, carpentry, culinary arts, hair styling, and welding. 5 other dual credits courses are proposed, but not yet approved, for the 2013-14 school year. According to the province, most school divisions have agreements in place with PSE institutions to recognize certain dual credit courses. At least 9 institutions recognize at least one dual credit course right now. Alberta News Release | Edmonton Journal

Alberta invests $11 million in dual credit strategy Top Ten 05/07/2013 - 16:03 05/07/2013 - 14:27

Last week the US Homeland Security Department ordered border agents to verify that every international student who arrives in the country has a valid student visa. The new procedure is the government’s first security change directly related to the Boston bombings. The order was circulated last Thursday, one day after the Obama administration acknowledged that a student from Kazakhstan accused of hiding evidence for one of the Boston bombing suspects was allowed to return to the US in January without a valid student visa. Under the new procedures, border agents will verify a student's visa status before the person arrives in the US using information provided in flight manifests. If that information is not available, border agents will check the visa status manually with the agency's national targeting data center. While it is still unclear what impact the new procedures will have on wait times at airports and borders, a spokesperson for the Canadian Federation of Students said they aren’t expected to impact Canadians studying in the US as those students can still enter the country by showing their passport. Associated Press | CTV News

International student visas now subject to stricter scrutiny by US Customs agents Top Ten 05/06/2013 - 15:22 05/06/2013 - 15:22