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This fall, Trinity Western University will launch a program designed to walk international students through their first year of university studies. Under the University Transition First Year program, courses are paired with "Integration and Engagement" courses, where students focus on developing language skills, cultural literacy, critical thinking, and academic skills. Other supports include one-on-one learning coaches and first language discussion groups. TWU News Release | University Transition First Year

TWU unveils university transition program for international students Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 16:01 05/01/2012 - 16:01

Adult learners in Alberta's Rocky Mountain House area now have a one-stop solution to their learning needs following a new partnership between Campus Alberta Central (CAC) and Rocky Community Learning Council (RCLC). Under the agreement, learners can now access information and support services for CAC's post-secondary program offerings under the RCLC umbrella. Campus Alberta Central is a joint venture between Olds and Red Deer Colleges and collaborates with other PSE schools. These partnerships allow access to accredited higher-education courses and programs in 30 central Alberta communities. Olds College News Release

New partnership boosts PSE access for adult learners in Rocky Mountain House Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 15:59 05/01/2012 - 15:59

Wilfrid Laurier University's senate has approved the creation of a Centre for Women in Science at the institution. The centre aims to foster a strong community for women in science and in the mathematical social sciences through action, communication, and research. The centre will award grants to female scientists and to scholars studying the role of women in the sciences. It will also facilitate networking and mentoring opportunities for female scientists, and support community outreach to female youth pondering careers in science. WLU News Release

WLU senate approves Centre for Women in Science Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 15:54 05/01/2012 - 15:54

Yesterday the Nova Scotia government fleshed out details on the $5.5-million investment in student aid the province announced in its 2012 budget. The government has used the funding to increase the weekly assistance allowance to $170 per week and increase the non-repayable grant portion of a student loan to 35%. The funding builds on last year's investment of $42.5 million that included the province's first debt cap, increases to the book allowance, more exemptions for in-study earnings, and keeping tuition for NS students at or below the Canadian average. NS News Release

NS releases details on student-loan investment Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 15:52 05/01/2012 - 15:52

St. Thomas More College, federated with uSask, announced Monday its $6-million "Creating More" campaign to expand its existing facility and raise funds for an endowed chair in Catholic Studies. "We are bursting at the seams, and have been for quite some time," says STM president Terrence Downey. "This campaign will not only enable us to create the space needed to teach more STM classes within the walls of our building, but also deliver the environment and personal interaction our students and alumni expect from St. Thomas More College." The building expansion will be completed in fall 2013, while the chair will be established this fall and funded by the campaign in its first 2 years. STM News Release | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | Creating More

STM launches $6-million campaign to support expansion, endowed chair Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 15:50 05/01/2012 - 15:50

Despite enrolment growth, Fanshawe College is bracing for a few tough years due to the Ontario government's belt-tightening. Fanshawe's board of governors has adopted a strategic plan for a $197-million operating budget for 2012-13 that includes a $1-million shortfall, which will be covered by dipping into an operating reserve fund. The college's VP of administration says annual shortfalls are expected to increase to $3 million in the next 2 years. As Ontario tries to curb spending, the VP expects provincial grants to colleges will fall short of inflation and salary settlements. Fanshawe has prepared for the funding shortfall by steadily bumping up an $11-million reserve fund, she says. The college's strategic plan includes $55 million in capital spending, the largest component being the renovation of a downtown building for an arts campus. Measures to support strategic growth in current and new student markets include the launch of a virtual School of Graduate and Professional Studies this summer, and a new 3-year marketing plan. London Free Press | Fanshawe Strategic Plan 2012-13

Fanshawe braces for lean times Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 15:47 05/01/2012 - 15:47

A proposal to split the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine into separate teaching and research arms is being met with opposition from a group of faculty members in family medicine. The proposed restructuring would see full-time faculty spending most of their time on research, while doctors from outside uSask would do most of the teaching. The group of 23 family medicine professors says the proposal is unworkable and is being pushed through too hastily. The group also says that teaching will be sacrificed to boost research. uSask's provost disagrees, linking the proposal to work the institution is doing to maintain its medical education accreditation. The plan is on the agenda for approval by the University Council at its May 17 meeting. The family medicine faculty members say they are drafting an alternative proposal. CBC | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uSask family medicine profs criticize restructuring plan Top Ten 05/01/2012 - 15:41 05/01/2012 - 15:41

The University of Guelph has initiated campus-wide and community consultations about the design of a School for Civil Society. Through a dedicated website, small group meetings, interviews, and other sessions, a "catalyst team" will collect feedback and exchange information with faculty members, students, staff, and stakeholder groups. The team will gain ideas to prepare a school design proposal to be discussed this fall. UoGuelph Campus Bulletin | Designing the School for Civil Society

UoGuelph begins consultations on School for Civil Society Top Ten 10/04/2012 - 11:49 04/30/2012 - 16:18

In a 3-day conference that concludes today, Mount Allison University and the New Brunswick government have brought together experts and educators to examine issues related to student mental health. Mount Allison president Robert Campbell, who is also the chair of the AUCC Committee on Mental Health, says estimates show that approximately 15% of students have some sort of anxiety or mental-health condition that may need the help of others. He says students are more willing to talk about mental health and attitudes are changing. "In the past we've been more likely to say to people 'buck up or take a couple days off' or give them a kick in the seat of the pants," says Campbell. "But we really know that there are some technical medical issues here that are challenging." NB News Release | Mount Allison News Release | CBC

Mount Allison hosts conference on student mental health Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 16:16 04/30/2012 - 16:16

The University of Calgary has unveiled a new academic plan, the foundational piece and essential component for reaching the institution's goal of becoming one of Canada's top 5 research universities by 2016. The academic plan outlines 7 high-level academic priorities and makes recommendations for action within each of the following priority areas: talent attraction, development, and retention; teaching and research integration; interdisciplinarity; leadership; internationalization; connection with community; and sustainability. UToday | Academic Plan

uCalgary releases new academic plan Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 16:13 04/30/2012 - 16:13

Canadian universities and their Brazilian counterparts have announced 75 new partnerships and scholarship programs worth nearly $6.74 million in university and government funding during the presidents' mission to Brazil. New announcements made in Sao Paulo Friday build on the 46 agreements and 13 new scholarship and student mobility programs unveiled Thursday in Rio de Janeiro. The total of 75 agreements, MOUs, and scholarship programs also includes announcements made Saturday in Campinas, and those to be made in Brasilia tomorrow. Thursday's announcement included an additional $10.25-million investment in undergraduate internships and graduate fellowships through Mitacs. AUCC News Release | Backgrounder

Millions invested in Canada-Brazil university partnerships, scholarships Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 16:11 04/30/2012 - 16:11

Should the Simon Fraser Student Society's (SFSS) budget pass, the proposed men's centre will receive $30,000 next year, the same amount dedicated to SFU's women's centre. Many students have questioned whether male students need the funding. SFSS' treasurer says men could benefit from a similar "safe space," noting that men deal with more suicides, alcoholism, and drug abuse, and suffer negative stereotypes just as women do. The outgoing opinions editor of SFU's student newspaper does not think the men's centre would be capable of providing the counselling support the SFSS treasurer proposes, pointing out that the women's centre refers women in crisis to mental-health professionals on campus. Maclean's OnCampus

Men's centre proposed at SFU Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 16:08 04/30/2012 - 16:08

Amid uncertain Indian politics, legislation to permit foreign PSE entities to operate stand-alone campuses in India may not be in place when York University's Schulich School of Business opens its campus in Hyderabad next year. That's why Schulich's dean has a Plan B -- a twinning arrangement with a Hyderabad school, as required under current Indian regulations. The longer India takes to pass the legislation, the slower the pace at which Schulich's campus reaches capacity. In the meantime, the business school needs to work with a local partner. The dean is heading to India this month to choose one of 4 possible partners. Globe and Mail

York U business school has Plan B for India campus Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 16:06 04/30/2012 - 16:06

Cambrian College president Sylvia Barnard says she supports French colleges, but wants the Ontario government to take a closer look at how it distributes funding for colleges. Cambrian is cutting programs and staff, while Collège Boréal, which receives twice as much per-student funding as Cambrian, will distribute iPads to all first-year students this fall. Boréal president Denis Hubert-Dutrisac notes that the $500,000 for the iPads comes not from operating grants but from fundraising. He says there are several reasons Boréal receives more provincial funding, one of which is that enrolment figures have been increasing. Translating textbooks and having small campuses across Ontario means francophone education is more expensive, Hubert-Dutrisac says. Even though Boréal gets more funding, Hubert-Dutrisac says the institution thinks like a business with regard to maximizing revenue from parking and book sales, and expanding to new cities.  He says Boréal laid off some 50 employees a few years ago, and plans to cut back photocopying and staff travel this year. CBC

College funding in need of review, says Cambrian president Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 16:03 04/30/2012 - 16:03

On Friday, the Canadian Association of University Teachers passed a motion stating that it will impose censure on the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University at its next council meeting unless the universities amend the governance structure for the Balsillie School of International Affairs to ensure academic integrity. WLU and uWaterloo state that the "allegations that prompted this recommendation have no basis in fact," and that they "are firmly committed to protecting academic freedom and integrity." A uWaterloo professor who led the process drafting the Balsillie School's governance document says it provides "absolutely iron-clad protection of academic freedom...so it doesn't have to be amended." In March, CAUT issued a warning of censure against WLU, uWaterloo, and York University for their partnerships with the Centre for International Governance Innovation. York U has since withdrawn plans to partner with CIGI on a graduate program in international law. uWaterloo/WLU News Release | Toronto Star

uWaterloo, WLU respond to CAUT motion regarding Balsillie School Top Ten 11/26/2012 - 12:49 04/30/2012 - 16:00

At a meeting over the weekend, the student group CLASSE voted against the Quebec government's offer to spread out the tuition fee increase over 7 years instead of 5. "The offer doesn't really respond to our demands," says a CLASSE spokeswoman. "The tuition hike is still there. We are questioning the legitimacy of the increase, and there hasn't been any compromise on that." Leaders with Quebec's CÉGEP and university student federations say they could make a counter offer to the province, and that they are open to possible mediation. CLASSE, however, says it is not interested in mediation at this point because it "won't change anything," the spokeswoman says. CBC | Montreal Gazette

CLASSE rejects Quebec's new tuition increase proposal Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 15:55 04/30/2012 - 15:55

At least 16 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at Bayero University, located in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. 6 others were in serious condition following the attack on the campus where Christian worshippers were holding a service. CNN reports that the attack occurred while Bayero U is on a break, so most of the students were not on campus. Associated Press | BBC | CNN

16 killed in attack at Nigerian university Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 15:52 04/30/2012 - 15:52

Exasperated by increasing subscription fees charged by academic publishers, Harvard University is encouraging faculty to make their research freely available through open-access journals and to resign from periodicals that keep articles behind paywalls. In a memo to teaching and research staff, Harvard Library says it can no longer afford the price increases imposed by many large journal publishers, as the annual cost now approaches $3.75 million. In consultation with the Harvard Library leadership, the Faculty Advisory Council to the Library concludes that "major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained." To continue with the subscriptions "would seriously erode collection efforts in many other areas, already compromised." Memo | The Guardian

Major journal subscriptions cannot be sustained, says Harvard Library Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:17 04/27/2012 - 15:17

Education officials from Australia, the UK, New Zealand, and Ireland have issued a joint statement of principles for ethical international student recruitment. The statement stresses the need for professionalism and ethical responsibility on the part of commission-based agents who assist many schools, colleges, and universities in international recruitment. As per the statement, agents and consultants should practice responsible business ethics; provide current, accurate, and honest information in an ethical manner; develop transparent business relationships with students and providers through the use of written agreements; protect the interests of minors; provide current and up-to-date information that allows international students to make informed choices when selecting which agent and consultant to employ; act professionally; and work with destination countries and providers to raise ethical standards and best practices. British Council News Release

Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and UK issue code of principles for education agents Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:15 04/27/2012 - 15:14

The University of Regina announced last Monday an agreement with Beijing-based North China Electric Power University to establish the China-Canada Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability Research, which will have a physical presence in Beijing and Regina. Under this agreement, the 2 PSE institutions will work together to establish joint research programs and faculty and student exchanges in the fields of energy, environment, climate change and social adaption, and pollution reduction for power industries. uRegina News Release

uRegina, North China Electric Power University sign agreement Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:12 04/27/2012 - 15:12

Georgian College has received the highest ranking of participating students from 16 nations in the International Student Barometer survey -- the world's largest survey on international student satisfaction. International students at Georgian reported an overall average satisfaction rate of 90.3% in areas such as academics, learning, living, arrival, and support services. The International Student Barometer survey included over 209,000 students from more than 200 institutions. Georgian College News Release

Georgian College ranks first in International Student Barometer survey Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:11 04/27/2012 - 15:11

A dozen Aboriginal secondary students from Kamloops and area have just finished getting a head-start on their university education through a pilot project between Thompson Rivers University and a local school district. The Aboriginal TRU Start Program saw students take university-level courses in English, biology, and statistics at TRU in order to experience university life. The students were provided with mentors to help with the transition to a university learning environment. TRU worked with the school district to create course content that respects and integrates Aboriginal knowledge. The program began in February and ended Friday with a celebration lunch. TRU News

TRU celebrates completion of Aboriginal TRU Start Program pilot Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:09 04/27/2012 - 15:09

Last week, a York University recruiter drove to an admitted applicant's high school to deliver the student's $24,000 scholarship in person -- it's one of the ways York U has upped its game in the competition for the best and brightest students. University of Waterloo faculty send handwritten letters to top applicants to their faculty, and the personal touch pays off, says uWaterloo's director of undergraduate recruitment. Ryerson and Western Universities are among institutions that court top students with the promise of an exclusive inner circle "where membership has its privileges -- mentoring, advising, invitations to networking events with the president," says a Ryerson spokeswoman. Other examples of PSE schools wooing applicants include Brock University stuffing confetti into its offer packages and Collège Boréal sending offers in the form of a packing box that says, in French: "Get packing; you're going to college!" ParentCentral.ca

How Ontario institutions are wooing top applicants Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:07 04/27/2012 - 15:07

Mohawk College broke ground Friday on a new recreation centre for students. The 2-storey, 64,000-square-foot centre will feature 3 gymnasia, an indoor running track, a fitness centre, multi-purpose studios, and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts. The $35-million facility is expected to open in fall 2013. Mohawk Matters

Mohawk College breaks ground for new rec centre Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:05 04/27/2012 - 15:05

A new group composed of SIAST faculty members is seeking to oust the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) as the labour organization representing faculty at the institution. Frustration "came to a head" after recent lengthy collective bargaining and strike action, leading to the creation of the SIAST Faculty Association (SFA), says a spokesman for the group. SGEU's president acknowledges that the strike and lengthy negotiation process resulted in "some frustration in the membership," although he describes SFA as "a small group inside of SIAST that is trying to capitalize on that." To replace SGEU, SFA must show the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board that it has sufficient support from the existing academic bargaining unit by providing support cards from at least 45% of current members by May 30. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Group of SIAST faculty push for self-governance Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 15:02 04/27/2012 - 15:02

27 Grande Prairie Regional College staff members were laid off last week as part of efforts by the college to balance its 2012-13 budget. The board approved the budget Thursday, announcing the cuts and corporate restructuring, which will include the creation of 14 new positions. GPRC president Don Gnatiuk says base funding from the Alberta government has not kept up with salaries, benefits, supplies, and services, and as a result, the institution must change its business practices. In addition to the layoffs, GPRC will no longer offer ESL services, which have not received provincial funding for more than 5 years. The decision to move these services to a local provider is part of the college's plan to focus resources on its core business: credit students and programs. Demand for ESL programming at GPRC was limited and the number of students moving from ESL to credit programming was low. GPRC News (Budget) | GPRC News (ESL) | Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune

GPRC cuts 27 positions, ends ESL programming Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 14:59 04/27/2012 - 14:59

Quebec Premier Jean Charest announced Friday that he is willing to phase in the $1,625 increase in tuition fees over 7 years instead of 5. On the whole, those changes would mean that, rather than annual hikes of $325 for 5 years, fees would rise by $254 for 7 consecutive years. Following the 7-year phase-in, future tuition fees increases would be indexed to the rate of inflation. The government would also add $39 million in bursaries and improve the student loans program. The province's proposal also includes the establishment of a council to ensure better management of universities and periodic evaluations on the impact of the higher tuition fees on university access. Quebec News Release (in French) | Canadian Press | CBC | Montreal Gazette

Quebec proposes new plan on tuition fee increases Top Ten 04/27/2012 - 14:56 04/27/2012 - 14:56

A new Council of Graduate Schools study suggests that US universities can do more to help graduate students find jobs outside the academy. Current graduate students do not have the necessary skills for industry jobs, such as the ability to work as a team member and work within strict timelines, and are largely unaware of the options outside academia. The study argues that PSE institutions should work with private companies to develop partnerships, and that companies can increase tuition reimbursement programs, in order to attract skilled workers. The study also found that only one-third of students had “adequate information” about career paths before enrolment, yet about half of all new PhD students found non-academic employment after graduation. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

US study highlights need for skills training for graduate students Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 16:14 04/26/2012 - 16:14

The Texas State Technical College System is working on a proposal to link 45% of the technical colleges' operating budget to graduates' employment rates and salaries. The system is working with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the formula. The basic idea is to use job data gathered by the Texas government to compare alumni's salaries to an earnings baseline for high school diploma holders in the state, says the system's chancellor. Also factored in will be overall employment rates for graduates, and other measures of their value to Texas' economy. The institutions would see cuts if employment outcomes decline, and no new funding will be tied to the plan. The chancellor says discounts would be included, such as through percentage reductions to account for the small number of graduates who leave the state for work. Inside Higher Ed

Texas technical colleges seek to connect state funding with employment outcomes Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 15:52 04/26/2012 - 15:52

As part of its strategic vision to establish itself as Canada's most community-engaged research university, Simon Fraser University is building an interactive map that charts student and faculty engagement in communities worldwide. Visitors to the map can click on a location to bring up one or more stories submitted by students and professors. Examples of engagement include tackling environmental problems, teaching farmers, and teaching Greek in China. Engagement Map

SFU mapping global engagement Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 15:46 04/26/2012 - 15:46

Yesterday Canadian university presidents signed 35 new agreements and MOUs with 18 Brazilian institutions, as well as announced 13 new scholarship and student mobility programs for Brazilian and Canadian students. The presidents of 12 Canadian universities signed the agreements and the MOUs with their Brazilian peers at the University Presidents' Roundtable in Rio de Janeiro, part of the presidents' mission to Brazil. The agreements involve investments of $1.72 million from Canadian universities and $1.45 million from the federal government. New scholarships and student mobility programs are valued at nearly $1.71 million. AUCC News Release | Backgrounder

Canadian universities announce new agreements and programs in Rio de Janeiro Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 16:10 04/26/2012 - 15:43

Job prospects for Calgary area graduates look better than they have for a while. About 7,300 ads have been posted on the University of Calgary's internal job board this year, up 18% from the year before, and up 76% from 2008. uCalgary's annual Career and Job Expo in February was booked to capacity, and some employers interested in participating were wait-listed. At Mount Royal University, 15 to 20 fresh job postings appear daily. The Class of 2012 is well-positioned to capitalize on Alberta's rebounding economy, says the chief economist for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. He says business confidence in Calgary is at the highest point since 2007, according to a poll conducted for the chamber. Calgary Herald

Job prospects brighten for graduating university students in Calgary Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 16:10 04/26/2012 - 15:40

After surveying hundreds of occupations tracked by Statistics Canada, Canadian Business has identified the 50 best-paying, highest-demand career choices today. The top 10 jobs ranked by the magazine are: petroleum engineer; nursing supervisor; electrical contractor; data analyst; chemistry specialist; health policy consultant; construction manager; lawyer; transportation manager; and economist. Times are tough if you're working one of the following jobs: machine operator; plastic products assembler; nursery and greenhouse worker; jeweller; harvest labourer; fish processor; actor; photo and film processor; general office clerk; and knitter and weaver. Canadian Business notes that none of the jobs in its top 10 list rank first in either median wage or 5-year wage growth. The best-paying job category on its list belongs to pharmacists, who have a median income of $93,600. Canada's Best Jobs 2012

What are Canada's best and worst jobs? Top Ten 04/30/2012 - 08:30 04/26/2012 - 15:38

Students attending Yukon, Aurora, and Nunavut Arctic Colleges will soon have more opportunities to further their studies at southern universities. On Wednesday, the 3 colleges signed a 5-year agreement with CALDO member institutions (Dal, uAlberta, uLaval, and uOttawa) that will lead to increased opportunity for student and faculty exchanges. The MOU will help to develop a framework for the 7 PSE schools to increase the number and range of courses at the 3 northern colleges that are transferable to CALDO universities, as well as to expand opportunities for degree completion at the colleges. Yukon College News Release

CALDO institutions sign MOU with northern colleges Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 15:35 04/26/2012 - 15:35

The University of Lethbridge will move its Edmonton campus to Concordia University College of Alberta, effective July 1. The relocation keeps uLethbridge close to downtown Edmonton and its student population, while providing more of a campus experience. The agreement with Concordia UC will see the uLethbridge Edmonton team relocate from a downtown office to its own leased administrative space at Concordia UC, while providings classroom and other services for uLethbridge students. The agreement is similar to that of uLethbridge's Calgary campus, which has a lease partnership with Bow Valley College. uLethbridge News Release

uLethbridge moving Edmonton campus to Concordia UC Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 16:08 04/26/2012 - 15:33

The Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) plans to challenge the institution's board of governors in court over a recent bylaw revision LUSU's president says muzzles the 3 student representatives on the board. He says the board now considers it a conflict of interest for students to vote on student matters such as tuition fees. "It means that if any issue pertaining to students as a whole comes up...these three members must leave the room, (and) cannot discuss the issue and cannot vote for or against the issue," LUSU's president says. A spokeswoman for the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario chapter says Lakehead's attempt to make it a conflict of interest for students to vote on student issues is going to upset a lot of people, including student unions, across Canada. "If Lakehead University doesn't back down, or if the government doesn't step in to say, 'look, students deserve equal representation in terms of their capacity to perform as a board member,' I think we're going to see a pretty massive fight," she says. CBC

Postcript: May 1, 2012

On Friday, Lakehead University's board of governors unanimously passed a motion to allow students to remain at the table for a discussion and vote on tuition fees. The motion followed notice from Lakehead's student union that it would challenge the board in court over a conflict-of-interest bylaw that barred student representatives on the board from voting on student matters such as tuition fees. The board suspended the bylaw so student governors could both debate and vote on tuition fees at Friday's meeting. Lakehead News | Orillia Packet & Times

Postscript: Feb 5, 2013

Students sitting on Lakehead University’s board of governors will once again be allowed to vote on tuition matters. A Lakehead spokesperson says the board agreed to amend its bylaws at a meeting Friday. The move reverses a bylaw change made last year. In April 2012, the board chair at the time said it would be a conflict of interest for student members to vote on tuition rates. Lakehead’s student union said at the time that it would challenge the decision in court. CBC

Lakehead student union challenges board on bylaw change Top Ten 02/04/2013 - 14:33 04/26/2012 - 15:29

85 people were arrested in Montreal Wednesday night and at least 6 individuals were injured in a demonstration marked by clashes between police and student demonstrators protesting the dissolved talks on planned tuition fee increases. Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp expelled the student group CLASSE from the discussion table after she blamed it for a violent protest Tuesday in Montreal that resulted in 3 arrests. The other 2 major groups representing university and CÉGEP students say they will not return to negotiations without CLASSE. CLASSE says it had nothing to do with the recent violence, which it argues was used by the province as an excuse to sabotage the discussions and exclude it from talks. The students were backed by Quebec's teachers federation and the unions representing university and CÉGEP professors. They reject the province's claim that some students were using violence and intimidation measures to promote their cause. Montreal Gazette | Globe and Mail

85 arrested following student protest in Montreal Top Ten 04/26/2012 - 16:06 04/26/2012 - 15:27

US institutions are excited enough about the potential of Pinterest -- an image-based social network that is one of the fastest-growing sites ever -- to keep their brand on the minds of potential students and alumni that many have scrambled to set up a "presence" there, even as Pinterest's value as a marketing tool remains hazy. The site's essential focus on visual storytelling might give it a trump card over the largely text-focused Facebook and Twitter, says a digital media specialist at Iowa-based Drake University, which has a Pinterest page. The site's asset as a marketing tool -- the opportunity to casually stimulate an audience with visual ideas without connecting it to an explicit message -- may also be its greatest liability. From an ROI perspective, the need to be "human" (Pinterest has no user category for organizations or companies, just "people") can be stifling. The Drake marketer notes that metrics such as "likes" and "re-pins" are "kind of foggy" in terms of providing insight into whether a college's Pinterest page is worth the time and labour that goes into curating it. Inside Higher Ed | Pinterest

US colleges weigh value of Pinterest as marketing tool Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:57 04/25/2012 - 15:57

Northern College has modified its vision and mission statements to reflect a broader sense of community. The revised vision statement is: "Success for all through learning and partnerships," and the expanded mission statement is: "To ensure quality, accessible education through innovative programs, services and partnerships for the benefit of our northern communities." While the revised statements vary slightly from the previous ones, Northern College says "the subtle modifications integrate the changing world of education, including bilateral partnerships with overseas colleges and international recruitment opportunities." Northern College News Release

Northern College updates vision, mission statements Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:51 04/25/2012 - 15:51

An associate professor in the University of Ottawa's Department of Family Medicine has conceptualized a Web-based tool that will help Canadian medical students, residents, and practitioners enhance their understanding of medical care for refugees and new Canadians. The Refugees and Global Health e-Learning Program is the first online tool of its kind in the country to follow new medical education guidelines under the Canadian Medical Education Directives. The program uses 7 online modules, featuring real case scenarios, video footage and practical questions designed to guide learners through training that gives them the knowledge and skills they need to excel in global health. uOttawa News Release

uOttawa prof launches first-ever refugees and global health e-learning program Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:49 04/25/2012 - 15:49

The University of Guelph's Alumni Stadium is now undergoing a complete overhaul. The $4.9-million project involves replacing the grass field with turf, resurfacing and widening the existing 400-metre track, installing new stadium lighting, planting, and landscaping. "It’ll be one of the premier collegiate fields in the country," says the VP of Davan Site Contractors. Currently, there are only 5 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) class 2 tracks in Canada, he says. UoGuelph's new track will become the sixth. "IAAF certified tracks mean you can host premier track events," the VP says. "It’ll be a world class facility." Guelph Mercury

Overhaul underway for UoGuelph Alumni Stadium Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:47 04/25/2012 - 15:47

On Tuesday, Saint Mary's University celebrated the official opening of its Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness. The new facility features a light-filled lobby, the Centre for the Study of Sport and Health, and well-appointed community-use studios and fitness areas. New offerings include fitness and recreation programs and the chance to work with cutting-edge athletics equipment, such as the centre's new Pilates reformer machines. The opening of the centre included the official release of SMU's new health and wellness strategy. SMU News Release

SMU opens Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:45 04/25/2012 - 15:45

Amnesty International's French Canadian branch has asked the Quebec government to call for a toning down of police measures that, it argued, are unduly aggressive and might possibly suppress students' right to free expression. The organization also urges the government to find a peaceful solution to the 11 weeks of sometimes rowdy protests. "Amnesty reaffirms its concern regarding the tuition increases, which would undermine the progression to access to university for all," says the organization. Meanwhile, the leaders of Quebec's university and CÉGEP student federations have called off talks with the government after it refused to include CLASSE in discussions. Education Minister Line Beauchamp expelled CLASSE from the discussion table after she blamed the group for a violent protest Tuesday night in Montreal that resulted in 3 arrests. Canadian Press | Amnesty International News Release (in French) | CBC

Amnesty International denounces Quebec police's handling of student protests Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:44 04/25/2012 - 15:44

Phased retirements and a hiring freeze are some of the solutions that Thompson Rivers University officials are considering as a way to trim 2% from the institution's 2012-13 budget. "We’re looking at across-the-board savings plans," says a TRU spokesman. "We’re going to look at innovative solutions." These solutions include a rethinking of how the institution handles staff workloads and overtime -- all in an effort to boost revenue during the next 2 years. TRU's senate kicked around several ideas at a meeting Monday, the spokesman says. The institution wants to trim where it can without cutting positions or affecting students and programs. "We're going to give our best effort to mitigate service impact on students," he says. Kamloops Daily News

TRU considers hiring freeze as way to trim budget Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:40 04/25/2012 - 15:40

Addressing a $2.26-million shortfall in Okanagan College's budget for the coming year will result in staff cuts, modest student fee increases, and belt-tightening across the $92.5-million operation. On Tuesday, the college's board of governors passed the 2012-13 budget, which will see up to 16 positions being cut. Of the positions identified for reduction, at least 9 will be through attrition or retirements, while the others will be through layoffs, president Jim Hamilton says. Okanagan College News Release

Okanagan College to cut 16 positions Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:38 04/25/2012 - 15:38

Newfoundland and Labrador's 2012 budget provides approximately $66 million to reduce student debt through a continued tuition freeze at Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic ($44 million), up-front needs-based grants and interest-free student loans ($19 million), and debt reduction grants ($3 million). The budget includes more than $2 million to increase base funding at MUN's Marine Institute, and $1.7 million for the expansion of the university's engineering faculty. The province is allocating a total of $66.7 million in infrastructure investments for MUN, as well as $2.5 million to accelerate shop modernization at CNA. The budget also provides $4.1 million in new funding to support initiatives to advance apprenticeship opportunities and support underrepresented groups in skilled trades. NL News Release

NL budget commits $66 million to reduce student debt Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:37 04/25/2012 - 15:37

Niagara Regional Police have charged an 18-year-old Brock University student with arson in connection with a small fire that broke out in the institution's Lowenberger Residence Monday night. Nobody was injured and damage, mostly caused by smoke, was contained to a fourth-floor unit after some paper, allegedly set on fire in a bathroom, ignited surrounding materials and set off the fire alarm. The St. Catharines Fire Department responded and the fire was quickly extinguished. Fewer than 30 students from the residence were relocated to other dorm rooms following the incident. Brock says the students affected by the fire will not be disrupted in writing their final exams. Niagara Regional Police News Release | Brock News | St. Catharines Standard

Brock student charged with arson in residence fire Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 15:35 04/25/2012 - 15:34

"All of us are very concerned about the burden being put on students of up to £9,000 a year and we want to show that there are alternative ways of running higher education," says a member of the Social Science Centre, a group of 40 English academics who will open a "free" university this September in Lincoln. All students will be part-time, and will be taught in evenings and weekends in venues such as community centres. While official degrees will not be awarded, all courses will be taught and assessed at the same level as similar classes at mainstream institutions. To cover costs, students who are employed will be asked to pay a voluntary monthly subscription fee, which will be equivalent to how much they make in an hour. BBC

English academics concerned about high tuition fees establish "free" university Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 15:04 04/24/2012 - 15:04

A pair of US senators has introduced a bill that would prohibit PSE institutions of all kinds from using money from federal student assistance programs to pay for advertising and recruiting. The bill would extend a current rule that bars federal money from being used for lobbying. While the bill would apply to all types of colleges, it would mostly affect for-profit institutions. A recent Senate report on 15 large, publicly traded for-profit education firms observes that they got 86% of their revenue from taxpayers and have spent a combined $3.7 billion annually on marketing and recruiting. Associated Press

US bill would prevent colleges from using public funding to pay for marketing and recruitment Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 15:02 04/24/2012 - 15:02

The University of Alberta has developed a website that showcases the university's influence in the province. Using a Google Map, "Advancing Alberta" serves as a virtual pincushion atlas of uAlberta's many research projects, partnerships, initiatives, programs, and facts about enrolment and alumni from the 4 corners of the province. In the longer term, uAlberta's VP of university affairs hopes the site will be expanded to include the university's impact nationally and globally. uAlberta News | Advancing Alberta

uAlberta site shows how institution touches communities across province Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 15:00 04/24/2012 - 15:00

Polytechnics Canada will join Governor General David Johnston on his working visit to Barbados and State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from April 29 to May 2. "We are committed to international education co-operation," says Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson, who will travel with the Governor General. "For this reason, we appreciate this opportunity to participate in a mission to further strengthen ties with these nations and demonstrate the leadership of our colleges and institutes in applied education, training and industrial innovation." Johnston's itinerary includes keynote addresses at Barbados Community College and at the University of the West Indies. The Governor General is currently in Brazil and will be joined by a delegation of Canadian university presidents on a PSE mission to that country. Polytechnics Canada News Release

Postscript: Apr 26, 2012

The Canadian Bureau for International Education is accompanying Governor General David Johnston on his visit to Brazil, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. Johnston invited CBIE president Karen McBride to join the delegation of education, innovation, and trade sector representatives. Along with the Governor General, Association of Canadian Community Colleges president James Knight has met with participants in the Mulheres Mil (1,000 Women) Project, which promotes the social and economic inclusion of disadvantaged women in the northeastern and northern regions of Brazil. The Mulheres Mil project was launched in 2005 through co-operative efforts among ACCC, the Canadian International Development Agency, and Brazilian partners. CBIE News Release | ACCC News Release

Polytechnics Canada joins Governor General on mission to Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago Top Ten 04/25/2012 - 16:01 04/24/2012 - 14:59

Animation Career Review has ranked Sheridan College number one in the world for animation training. In its ranking of the top 100 schools, the Review cited Sheridan as having the most sought-after graduates by prominent studios such as Disney and Pixar. The Review conducted its analysis based on school reviews, industry-reviewed lists, and a survey of animation industry professionals and recruiters. Sheridan News Release | Animation Career Review rankings

Sheridan places first in ranking of top 100 animation schools Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 14:57 04/24/2012 - 14:57

Simon Fraser University's First Nations Studies program has been given department status and will be placed within the arts and social sciences faculty. "I am thrilled...it definitely shows the university's commitment to ongoing Aboriginal initiatives and will assist in making the new department the best of its kind in British Columbia," says the director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples. "There is a tremendous focus on Aboriginal issues and initiatives at SFU as we speak. Having the above occur will only add to Simon Fraser's stature in this area." The department offers sequential, comprehensive courses rooted in traditional and contemporary Aboriginal logic, methodology, practice, and theory. SFU News Release

SFU First Nations Studies granted department status Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 20:51 04/24/2012 - 14:55

UBC's Sauder School of Business announced Monday a revamped MBA program for fall 2012, with an emphasis on hands-on learning, global immersion, and integration of business disciplines for a "360-degree" management perspective. Students will travel to one of Sauder's partner institutions -- Copenhagen School of Business, the India Institute of Management Bangalore, or Shanghai Jiao Tong University -- to work with MBA counterparts on experiential projects for multinational companies. At UBC, students will collaborate with classmates across all business disciplines on projects for organizations in Vancouver and beyond that emphasize applied problem solving and real-world connections. The new MBA has been streamlined from 8 specializations and 10 sub-specializations into 4 career tracks: Business Innovation; Consulting and Strategic Management; Product/Service Management; and Finance. UBC News Release

UBC revises MBA program Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 14:53 04/24/2012 - 14:53

In his budget address last Wednesday, PEI's finance minister announced that in partnership with PSE institutions, the province will strike a task force to ensure that PEI residents are gaining the skills and knowledge to strengthen the Island's labour force and improve its competitiveness. The task force will also explore ways to attract and retain students from across Canada and internationally, so that the province's institutions can remain sustainable and build PEI into a PSE destination. The PEI government had notified the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College well in advance of the budget that their funding would be cut by 3%. PEI Budget Address

PEI to establish task force on PSE Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 14:51 04/24/2012 - 14:51

Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp said Monday that she has agreed to meet with student groups, as long as they agreed to a 48-hour truce to the social unrest that has recently spurred violent clashes with police. "I am also asking for it (the truce) in the name of the people who are growing weary with the acts of disruption and who want us to give a chance for discussions," the minister said. "I can’t stop the students from raising the question of tuition fees...the idea here is not to close the door, the idea is to keep it open." Beauchamp also extended the invitation to the Coalition large de l'Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE), which had refused to condemn violent confrontations as demanded by the minister. CLASSE has agreed to condemn certain violent acts, but it still supports civil disobedience. Talks began yesterday afternoon, and students said they were willing to take whatever time was needed to come to an agreement, even if it meant extending the truce. Quebec News Release (in French) | Globe and Mail | Montreal Gazette

Quebec education minister calls for truce with striking students over demonstrations Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 14:49 04/24/2012 - 14:49

The University of Toronto is participating in a consortium of universities partnering to establish an applied sciences research institute in Brooklyn, led by New York University and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday an agreement to create the Centre for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which will conduct research on challenges facing global cities, such as energy efficiency, infrastructure, public health, and transportation congestion. uToronto will send master's and doctoral students to study at CUSP, which is expected to accommodate over 500 students in all, and is planning to develop "a new and cutting-edge professional Master's program focused on cities engineering and management." The new Brooklyn campus is part of the larger Applied Sciences NYC project, a municipality-driven initiative pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into top-tiered applied sciences and engineering facilities in a bid to spark New York City's future economic growth. NYC News Release | uToronto News | Globe and Mail

uToronto among partnering PSE institutions to establish new Brooklyn research institute Top Ten 04/24/2012 - 14:47 04/24/2012 - 14:47

As academic leaders worldwide rush to expand their global agendas, they must also be aware of "potentially adverse unintended consequences," according to a statement from the International Association of Universities. These issues include: language centralization; a "single model" of university; brain drain; poor recruitment of international students; questions about the viability of branch campuses; obsession over rankings; and unequal relationships. The statement calls on PSE institutions to embrace several values and principles when it comes to designing and implementing internationalization strategies. These include demonstrating a "commitment to promote academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and social responsibility," and pursuing "socially responsible practices locally and internationally, such as equity in access and success, and non-discrimination." Inside Higher Ed | Statement

Academic leaders urged to focus on academic values in internationalization of PSE Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:57 04/23/2012 - 14:57

The University of Lethbridge's Facilities department has created a website for the proposed science complex project. The site features background information and other details that will allow the community to follow the project's progress. The science complex project incorporates 3 elements: a new building geared toward supporting science research and teaching; the redevelopment of University Hall; and a new physical plant facility. Armed with $2.7 million in planning funds from the Alberta government, the Facilities department is developing a project charter that will define the project's objectives and operational structure. uLethbridge News Release | Science Complex Project Website

uLethbridge sets up website for proposed science complex project Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:55 04/23/2012 - 14:55

In an opinion released last week, the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse said it "believes that it is time for (Quebec private and public general and vocational colleges) to change their practices in order to meet their duty to accommodate the persons with disabilities, including students who have 'emerging' disabilities." Disabilities that are described as "emerging" include learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, and mental-health problems. The Commission calls on the Quebec government to amend the General and Vocational Colleges Act and the Act Respecting Private Education to include specific provisions that would clearly outline the responsibilities of these PSE institutions regarding the organization of the services for students with disabilities, as well as the required implementation regulation. CDPDJ News Release | Opinion (in French)

Quebec colleges urged to revise practices to meet needs of students with "emerging" disabilities Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:53 04/23/2012 - 14:53

In a study assessing the academic performance of more than 4,500 students in a first-year physics class at UBC between 2002 and 2006, researchers found that students who had graduated from public schools in the Metro Vancouver area outperformed their peers arriving from private schools and school districts in more remote areas of BC. The Globe and Mail reports that the results contradict some commonly held beliefs, including that private schools give students an academic head start while students in low-income urban schools fall behind. "There’s a popular opinion (in Vancouver) that the west side is better than the east side and the independent schools are better than both," says one of the study's authors. "Popular opinion is probably wrong." Globe and Mail

Study finds public-school graduates outperform private students in undergraduate education Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:51 04/23/2012 - 14:51

Last Thursday, Carleton University officially opened its Confucius Institute, which will provide a platform to explore the growing relationship between Canada and China. The Institute will offer courses and programs on language, Chinese culture, business practices, and China-Canada relations. Carleton has also signed an MOU with Central-China Normal University and Wuhan Digital Media Company to develop a digital media product called Canada-China Digital Media Bridge, designed to promote language, digital culture, and tourism in each country. Carleton News Release

Carleton launches Confucius Institute Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:49 04/23/2012 - 14:49

UBC's Alma Mater Society has conditionally approved 2 playground-style slides for the new $105-million Student Union Building (SUB), which is slated to open in time for the 2014-15 academic year. One slide would take students from the fourth floor to the third, while the other would take them from the third to the second. Not all students are happy with a portion of their fees supporting the slides, which cost $50,000 altogether. "You can do it if you're Google and you've got a bunch of money to throw around. But honestly, I'd rather see the money I'm putting into this school go to my education and not a playground for oversized children," says one first-year student. The student union's VP of administration hopes the slide will offer students an amusing diversion from the rigours of university. "Students have said they wanted something playful, something in the SUB where they could take a break from their studies," she says. Vancouver Province | CBC

Indoor slides proposed for UBC's new Student Union Building Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:48 04/23/2012 - 14:48

Some foreign-trained midwifery students say Saskatchewan is not letting them get the practical experience they need in order to graduate. Currently, the Saskatchewan College of Midwives' transitional council does not recognize any non-Canadian programs. Students doing placements in the province must be licensed, according to the college. "If I can't graduate, I can't go through the process of being licensed and working as a midwife here," says a Midwives College of Utah student who lives in Regina, adding that will make it harder for women to find a midwife. "There are far more requests for midwifery care than the midwives are able to take." She and another student took their concerns to the Saskatchewan legislature last week, asking Health Minister Don Morris to intervene. He says it's up to the college to determine the standards and credentials needed to practic e in the province. Regina Leader-Post | CBC

Foreign-trained midwifery students seek recognition in Saskatchewan Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:45 04/23/2012 - 14:45

A group of computer systems technology students at BCIT's Burnaby campus has initiated a petition to get the campus to drop their compulsory gym class, stating that "students are mature adults who are in the best position to decide what is beneficial to our health and lives." As the only group of students who are required to take the class, the computing students say "the prerequisite unfairly implied they are exercise-phobic geeks," reports Maclean's. While the students have been singled out for the one-hour class, it's for their own good, says a BCIT associate dean. "We find, especially in computing, people tend to sit for hours and hours in front of the computer. Programming is very time-consuming, very tiring. Our intentions were good," he says, noting that the class format offers plenty of choice. Because the petition has indicated broad-based opposition, a curriculum committee will soon decide whether or not to drop the class. Maclean's OnCampus

BCIT computing students challenge mandatory gym time Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:41 04/23/2012 - 14:41

Douglas College announced last week that it will adopt all the recommendations in an independent review of its 2 partnership programs with Chinese institutions. The 2012 review followed up on a 2010 internal report by Douglas faculty regarding exam and grading practices at the college's partner institutions in Shanghai and Harbin. The latest report notes that the college has already addressed a number of issues identified in its review. The report also found "no evidence of systemic or widespread irregularities related to the examination or grading practices of either partner institution." In addition to changes already in place, the report outlines a series of recommendations to align the business processes of the partnerships with best practices. The report is available on request through Douglas. Douglas College News

Douglas College to accept recommendations from review of Chinese partnerships Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:38 04/23/2012 - 14:38

Starting tomorrow, approximately 30 Canadian university presidents will embark on a PSE mission to Brazil, led by Governor General David Johnston. The presidents will visit Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Campinas, and Brasilia to promote Canada as a partner of choice for research, innovation, and PSE. "This is the largest international mission of university presidents in Canadian history, which speaks to the importance of building connections with this emerging economic powerhouse," says AUCC chair and UBC president Stephen Toope. "Our focus is on establishing and strengthening partnerships in research and innovation. We will also enhance opportunities for student mobility between our countries, providing experiences that will better prepare students in both countries for the new knowledge-driven economy." AUCC News Release | 2012 Brazil Mission

Canadian university presidents heading to Brazil on PSE mission Top Ten 04/23/2012 - 14:35 04/23/2012 - 14:35

A year after launching Canada's first brewmaster program, Niagara College is expanding its course offering to Western Canada through a new partnership with Alberta-based Olds College. Niagara has committed to sharing its expertise and knowledge with Olds to deliver the brewmaster program at the latter's campus. Both colleges will deliver common curriculum and courses and use identical infrastructure and brewing equipment to educate students under terms of the new agreement. Olds' teaching brewery will be housed in the Pomeroy Inn and Suites, an on-campus hotel and conference centre that is currently under construction. Olds is expected to welcome its first class of brewmaster students in September 2013. Olds College News Release | Niagara College News Release | CBC

Niagara, Olds Colleges partner on Canada's only brewmaster program Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:39 04/20/2012 - 14:36

Last Wednesday marked the official opening of the renovated and expanded Ignat Kaneff Building at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School. The $57-million project saw 23,000 square feet of space added to the existing facility, which features a soaring atrium, a reconfigured law library, and new student lounges and social spaces. York U president Mamdouh Shoukri says the new facility will allow the institution "to accommodate the growing demand for legal education and training in the Greater Toronto Area." Y-File

York U law school opens renovated building Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:37 04/20/2012 - 14:33

Last Wednesday, University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman revealed the preliminary renderings of the institution's downtown campus. The Windsor Armouries will be transformed to house the newly merged Schools of Music and Visual Arts. Changes in store for this property include ample skylights and a vertical addition on the south end. Across the street, the former Greyhound bus depot's original art-deco façade will be restored, and a one-storey addition will be built to house uWindsor's film production program. The School of Social Work and the Centre for Professional and Executive Education will move into the Windsor Star building, whose historic façades will remain intact. Wildeman says the campus "will create an important cultural hub for our community, providing access to services and new ideas that speak to the quality of life, when it opens in the fall of 2014." uWindsor Daily News | Windsor Star

uWindsor unveils preliminary renderings for downtown campus Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:37 04/20/2012 - 14:31

Wilfrid Laurier University's board of governors has approved a new Sustainability Action Plan, which outlines a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over a 5-year period. The plan was developed to establish initiatives and related milestones for sustainability progress in multiple areas of the institution, including education, operations, and community partnerships. Examples include: integrating sustainability programming into academics, training, and awareness initiatives; engaging faculty, staff, students, and the wider community in sustainability initiatives on and off campus; and encouraging and facilitating alternative transportation for students, faculty, and staff. WLU News Release | WLU Sustainability Action Plan

WLU approves sustainability action plan Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:47 04/20/2012 - 14:28

The Alberta government is promising to investigate possible grade inflation at private schools after a Calgary Herald analysis found large discrepancies between the marks given by teachers and student scores on standardized provincial tests. The analysis of results in 3 Grade 12 subjects found private schools where student performance on the standardized tests declined by more than 4 times the Alberta average. "If there are discrepancies, I would want to know about them and have them looked into," says Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. "At the end of the day, I want to make sure all children earn that high school diploma." Alberta is one of only a few provinces in which students must write standardized tests in Grade 12, with diploma exams counting for 50% of a student's final grade. While the minister says he is committed to initiating a review into grade inflation, the public also has a responsibility to be on the lookout for problems. "In a private school setting, it’s expected that parents would play an active role in monitoring as well." Calgary Herald

Alberta to probe grade inflation at private schools Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:31 04/20/2012 - 14:26

North Island College and the University of Manitoba announced Thursday a student mobility agreement providing Canadian Forces members academic credit for their military rank, courses, and training and guaranteed course transfer to uManitoba. The agreement offers access to university transferrable courses from both PSE schools to military members and their spouses based at 19 Wing Comox. NIC has been working closely with 19 Wing to improve PSE access for CF members for several years. In a survey of 457 Wing members and their families on their PSE needs, NIC found that members want degree completion opportunities with the flexibility to accommodate their busy military life. NIC News Release

NIC, uManitoba deal sees military training applied to PSE credits Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:44 04/20/2012 - 14:23

Concordia University's presidential search committee has made a unanimous recommendation to present Dr. Alan Shepard to the university community as the candidate for president and vice-chancellor. The introduction of Shepard is the final step in the search process and will take place tomorrow during a joint meeting of the board of governors and senate, which will be open to the Concordia community. The university will welcome feedback about the candidate until noon on May 1 for consideration by the search committee. Once the formal recommendation is finalized, it will be brought to the board for consideration. Shepard has been the provost and VP academic of Ryerson University since 2007. Concordia News

Ryerson provost recommended as candidate for Concordia president Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:49 04/20/2012 - 14:20

Carleton University and Dominican College announced Friday an affiliation agreement, under which Dominican students will be registered at Carleton and attend classes at their home institution. These students will receive diplomas that are authorized by both institutions and bear both names. Funding for Dominican students will flow from Carleton, which will be responsible for assuring quality and reporting. Present in Ottawa since the late 19th century, Dominican is a bilingual institution that offers purely academic degree programs in philosophy and theology, as well as vocational degrees. The Ontario Council of Graduate Studies recently reviewed and approved the college's graduate programs in philosophy. Dominican has 82 undergraduate and 53 graduate students from 10 nations. Carleton News Release

Carleton, Dominican College form affiliation Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:27 04/20/2012 - 14:18

A group of about 40 demonstrators occupied the office of Western University's president for half an hour Thursday to protest the banning of a pair of London activists from campus. The ban stems from the activists' participation in a protest on February 1 that interrupted an event organized by Israel On Campus. There were no injuries sustained or arrests made at Thursday's event and president Amit Chakma was engaged in off-campus meetings at the time. Though the men banned say Western U is trying to silence them, the university stands behind its decision to bar them from campus. "This has never been about free speech. This is about conduct and safety," says the VP of resources and operations. In a letter to Chakma, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association called on the university to overturn the ban. Western U says it has already begun a review into the circumstances surrounding the trespass notices issued at the time of the February incident. London Free Press | Western U Statement

Western U president's office occupied in protest over campus ban of London activists Top Ten 04/22/2012 - 09:49 04/20/2012 - 14:15

Police used pepper spray on student demonstrators and arrested 151 individuals at the Université du Québec en Outaouais Thursday during a third day of confrontation in Quebec's ongoing student protests over planned tuition fee increases. The protesters were released but the majority will face serious charges, including acts of criminal mischief and illegal occupation. The arrests came one day after 161 protesters were arrested for blocking the road near UQO. Wednesday's incident was the subject of a statement issued by the Canadian Federation of Students in which it denounced the breach of freedom of assembly at UQO. Ottawa Citizen | Canadian Press | CFS News Release

151 arrested in student protest in Gatineau Top Ten 04/20/2012 - 14:11 04/20/2012 - 14:11

Memorial University will introduce this fall a 2-year pilot program for first-year students who feel they would benefit from a little extra reassurance about the transition to PSE, without missing any academic credit hours. Targeted at students with entrance averages between 70% and 75%, the First-Year Success Program will be housed in the arts faculty and is intended for first-year students who fall within this average and who are not accepted into direct-entry programs. The pilot program emerges from a MUN study that found that students whose entrance averages fall between 70% and 75% are particularly vulnerable to academic distress that could impact their entire PSE experience. MUN News

MUN to launch First-Year Success Program Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 17:31 04/19/2012 - 16:24

The BC government announced Wednesday one-time funding of $10 million that is being provided to 16 public PSE institutions in the province to prepare workers for jobs in their regions. Made available through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement, the funding will be allocated to short-term training determined on an institution-to-institution basis to ensure it meets local training needs. BC News Release

BC pledges $10 million to help students obtain skills for today's jobs Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 17:30 04/19/2012 - 16:22

Yesterday the University of Waterloo launched its new School of Public Health and Health Systems. In the school, faculty, students, and researchers from multiple disciplines will collaborate on exploring the interrelationships between the many factors that affect our health and our health systems. The school features a professional practice centre with capacity to provide cutting-edge research for public, private, and non-profit organizations on issues as they arise. This will allow the school to be responsive to current health concerns, while also providing students with a learning environment focused on societal needs. uWaterloo News Release

uWaterloo establishes new public health school Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 16:20 04/19/2012 - 16:20

The budget for New Brunswick's Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for 2012-13 totals more than $588.3 million, up nearly 2% from the previous fiscal year. New measures targeted to PSE include an extra $4 million to support public universities and the addition of 10 seats at the New Brunswick Dalhousie medical school. The department is adding $1 million to the low-income family bursary, as well as increasing to $100 per week the amount a student may earn at work without affecting their student loan. The department will invest $5 million over 5 years to create integrated, highly collaborative, student-centred learning environments at New Brunswick Community College's Miramichi campus. A $1-million investment will fund 231 additional seats at NBCC, the Collège communautaire du Noveau-Brunswick, and the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. NB News Release

Funding increased for higher education in NB Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 16:18 04/19/2012 - 16:18

Federal departments grappling with this year's austerity budget are reducing the number of students they hire, leaving some students scrambling to find summer work and co-op placements they need to graduate from university. The Federal Student Work Experience Program received 600 fewer requests from department managers last month than it did the year before, according to Public Service Commission data. "Student recruitment and hiring continue, but at a slower pace," says a PSC spokeswoman, noting that the recent budget "may mean conducting student recruitment in a way that is more focused." At the University of Ottawa, where 60% of placements are with the public sector, the co-op program's director says the situation is the worst he has seen in 12 years at the department. "(We) might have been too dependent on the federal government, they were a very good supplier of good experience for students," he says. "Now they’re pulling out and we’ll have to see how we can find other quality work experience for our students." Globe and Mail

Federal cutbacks lead to scarce job opportunities for students Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 17:30 04/19/2012 - 16:14

OPSEU officials are upset after Cambrian College announced Wednesday plans to eliminate 13 support staff jobs. The job losses are even harder to take given what the union calls big pay hikes to some college management, officials say. An OPSEU staff representative says that in some cases, senior administrators' salaries have increased up to 74% over 3 years. "How can you justify laying us off -- telling 13 people that they're getting their surplus notice -- when you have done this and given yourself these raises over three years?" he asks. The news follows last month's vote by Cambrian's board of governors to cut 9 programs, a decision that resulted in 15 academic positions being cut. Sudbury Star | Northern Life

Cambrian cuts 13 support staff positions Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 17:29 04/19/2012 - 16:12

A former University of Winnipeg recruitment agent has been charging 4 Chinese students up to $3,000 a month for a small room and a meagre food allowance in his home, students claim. The students were recruited to attend the University of Winnipeg Collegiate, a high school that is part of uWinnipeg, beginning in 2008. The students lived in the home of Ronald Chong, who was a paid recruiter of international students at the time. uWinnipeg cancelled Chong's recruitment contract earlier this year after it became aware of the students' living conditions and accommodations cost, and moved the students to a university residence. Chong should not have been putting students in his home, uWinnipeg officials say. "In this instance, it seems that there may have been some misrepresentation there," says uWinnipeg's senior executive officer. Since one of the students was a minor when he arrived in Canada, his mother signed over guardianship to Chong. The others listed him as a relative, making the situation difficult to monitor. "Their parents entered into a relationship that was outside of the purview, and a contract outside of the institution's awareness and purview -- and in that sense, legal responsibility," says the senior executive office. CBC

Former uWinnipeg recruiter overcharges Chinese high school students for homestay Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 16:06 04/19/2012 - 16:06

Claims of threats amongst students have prompted Thompson Rivers University to close its visual arts department and postpone a year-end exhibit until summer. That affords TRU time to conduct a threat assessment by interviewing faculty members and students, says a university spokesman. He did not speculate on what might be behind the alleged threats, but told the CBC that the decision to close the department was made with students' safety in mind. A third-year arts student says 2 others in the program have been harassing and intimidating others. He says he does not believe the incident is connected to a previous case involving a student's photography project, but the tension amongst some fourth-year students has been escalating over the past few weeks, artwork has been vandalized, and some students have had to seek counselling. Kamloops Daily News | CBC

Threats force closure of TRU visual arts department Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 17:29 04/19/2012 - 16:03

Tensions are high at many Quebec PSE institutions, with students resisting tactics to try to force them to return to school. The Université de Montréal had to retreat from providing classes Wednesday after students found increasingly violent and disruptive means to ensure university activities could not resume. Meanwhile, 161 protesters were arrested Wednesday for blocking the road near the Université du Québec en Outaouais' Gatineau campus. Adults were fined over $400 for violating the Highway Safety Code and have since been released, and one student was arrested for obstructing police. The demonstration came a day after UQO administrators announced that students and instructors must respect a court decision to allow classes to continue. Police in Montreal and Gatineau clashed with student protesters and arrested some demonstrators yesterday while the Quebec government hinted it could meet with some student representatives today. The student groups FEUQ and FECQ have said they will not sit down with the province if CLASSE is excluded. CLASSE says it will reconsider its position on acts of violence and vandalism by some protesters at a convention in Montreal this weekend. Montreal Gazette | Ottawa Citizen | Postmedia News | CBC | CTV

Tensions high on Quebec campuses as striking students reject orders to return to class Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 16:01 04/19/2012 - 16:01

A recent decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal outlines the circumstance in which a student may sue a university for damages. The decision relates to lawsuits involving the University of Ottawa (over claims of inadequate thesis supervision) and York University (over allegations of failure to accommodate a student with a disability). At the root of both cases is implied contract, says an expert on university case law. Students may have a claim for damages if it can be shown that the institution did not deliver on its promises and if the claims refer to behaviour that exceeds universities' jurisdiction over their academic programs. The plaintiffs in both cases have been invited to amend their statement of claim to provide specific evidence of what the contracts and breaches were. As the courts shift toward a more commercial view of the university-student relationship, institutions should ensure they have clear documentation, says York U's general counsel. "We have always relied on the calendar and university policies as the closest thing to a contract that we have. It has not been seen as a business arrangement. But students, parents and courts are more consumer-oriented today," she says. "If people are struggling to get the money for tuition, they expect to get something for it -- their degrees." University Affairs

Ontario court rules that students may sue universities in some instances Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 15:56 04/19/2012 - 15:56

Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor are joining a growing group of top-tier institutions that are embracing massively open online courses (MOOCs) as the logical extension of elite PSE in an increasingly online, international landscape. The 3 universities will join Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley as partners of Coursera, a company founded earlier this year by a pair of Stanford engineering professors, and buoyed by $16 million in venture capital. Using Coursera's platform, the institutions will develop free online versions of their courses that anyone can take. The Coursera courses will be interactive, with potentially hundreds of students completing exams and assigned work that will be marked, either by intelligent software or by their peers. The institutions will own their courses. None of the universities will offer formal credit through Coursera courses; however, some might give students the chance to earn certificates bearing the names of both the institutions and the company. While there is no formal credentialing structure currently in place, some university officials indicate that a tangible recognition of the achievements of non-enrolled learners is a goal. Inside Higher Ed | Coursera

More top-tier US universities join ventured-back MOOC initiative Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 16:03 04/18/2012 - 16:03

9 Dalhousie University student teams representing 3 faculties competed late last month for $1,500 in prizes at the inaugural Dal App Challenge. A computer science student picked up the first-place prize of $750 for his application to help students find books and articles at campus libraries. A pair of computer science students earned the second-place prize of $500 for their app to enhance current Dal Online class scheduling using automated features and GPS capabilities. 4 students were selected as the People's Choice winner for an app designed to capture "all things Dalplex," from news to scheduling to registration, location, and space availability for classes. A computer science student earned an honourable mention prize of $250 for "Dalpha," designed to support a social network for note sharing and chatting amongst peers in the same faculty or class. Dal News

Dal announces winners in mobile app design challenge Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 16:00 04/18/2012 - 16:00

On Tuesday, officials with Mount Royal University and the Calgary Catholic School District signed an agreement that could see Grade 12 students at Bishop Carroll High School, located across the street from the university, taking introductory arts, sciences, or business courses before they graduate from high school. The hope is that students who qualify, or complete Grade 12 courses early, can better transition into university life and get an idea of what their strengths and interests are at the PSE level. Mount Royal's provost says the agreement will also address some of the PSE accessibility issues that students face. "We get four applications for every one seat we can offer," the provost says. "We are facing limited government funding, budget challenges, limited enrolment. Our demand is greater than the available number of seats. But this is a way of offering what you can to students in perhaps other locations. It’s a win-win, especially for the students." Mount Royal News Release | Calgary Herald

Mount Royal to offer students at nearby high school university-level classes Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 15:56 04/18/2012 - 15:56

According to Key Performance Indicators (KPI) released yesterday for Ontario colleges, 83% of graduates entering the labour force in 2011 found jobs within 6 months. The KPI data also found that nearly 93% of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of the graduates they hired. More than 87% of graduates reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their program in terms of it giving them the knowledge and skills that will be useful in their future career. Nearly 81% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of the learning experiences in their program. Colleges Ontario News Release | KPI Results

83% of Ontario college graduates find work within 6 months Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 15:52 04/18/2012 - 15:52

After 2 years of studying how to make stressed-out students worry less about marks and actually enjoy their studies, the University of Toronto's law school is considering a proposal to scrap its letter-grade system in favour of 5 broader categories of marks: High Honours, Honours, Pass, Low Pass, and Fail. The school may also start telling faculty members roughly how many students should fall in each category in order to avoid wild variation in grades from class to class. "We’re trying to shift the culture and give students permission to really follow their interests and not just focus on what marks they get in a course," says the law school's assistant dean of students. It’s part of a larger effort to address mental-health issues across Canadian universities, she says, "and quite frankly, it’s good advice for your career as well." Stress-busting initiatives include yoga, foot massages, and "Doggie Day," where law students can play with and walk pooches on hand. One student says she appreciates faculty efforts to reduce the stress "that can sometimes run amok because of the competitive group of students law schools attract." Toronto Star

uToronto law school considers scrapping letter grades to help ease student stress Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 15:50 04/18/2012 - 15:50

On Monday, Simon Fraser University's Burnaby campus officially re-opened the updated chemistry wing of the Shrum Science Centre, a project that received a joint $49.4-million investment from the BC and federal governments through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Renewal of the 102,000-square-foot wing will enable SFU to advance its research and development in key areas of health and life sciences (nuclear medicine and medicinal chemistry), radiochemistry, and environment. BC News Release

SFU Burnaby re-opens upgraded chemistry wing Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 00:59 04/18/2012 - 15:47

Whistler city council received a preliminary proposal Tuesday for Whistler University, whose project director is promising to construct a $300-million private institution for 1,500 students on a site known as Alpha Lands. With possible programs in tourism, sustainability, and business administration, Whistler U has already drummed up support from UNBC and BCIT. The proposed institution's relationship with UNBC and BCIT would allow Whistler U to grant diplomas and degrees, and it will also apply for degree-granting status on its own, the project director says. If the proposal were to get the go-ahead from council, classes could be up and running in temporary locations as early as fall 2013, he says. "For students, I think the appeal will be the location because it’s a sexy destination,” says the head of BCIT's tourism marketing program. "To have an international destination as a draw, that’s good, and that’s the primary focus for students." UNBC's VP of external relations says that while it's too early to detail program offerings, Whistler U will give UNBC an opportunity to expand the reach of its programs in business, sustainability, and tourism. Vancouver Sun

Whistler U proponent presents preliminary plan to city council Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 15:44 04/18/2012 - 15:44

University of Manitoba president David Barnard welcomes the provincial government's multi-year commitment to sustained university funding in its 2012 budget, tabled Tuesday. In last year's budget, the Manitoba government committed to a 5% increase in university operating grants for 3 years, while capping tuition fee increases at the rate of inflation. "Strong and predictable funding to our universities will ensure academic excellence, affordability for students, more timely completion rates and better recognition of educational experience between institutions," said Manitoba's finance minister in his budget speech. The province is providing additional funds for colleges and remains committed to supporting future college expansion. The government is also planning to boost the number of apprenticeships and provide more rural and northern training opportunities closer to home. The Canadian Federation of Students is critical of the budget, arguing that higher fees and fewer grants and scholarships will further erode PSE access in Manitoba. Budget Speech | uManitoba News Release | CFS News Release

Manitoba maintains commitment of multi-year university funding Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 15:41 04/18/2012 - 15:41

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is urging institutions to refuse to enter the AUCC-Access Copyright model license agreement, arguing that it "fails to reflect current law and undermines efforts to create better ways of accessing, using and sharing educational and research material." Disappointed with the agreement, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance notes that while the licence model falls short of the $45 per-student fee originally proposed by Access Copyright, the new $26 fee represents a significant hike in costs compared to the previous tariff. OUSA says Ontario institutions will likely pass these new costs directly to students, and that it's unclear how the fee will be charged to students. For universities that sign the model licence, the new deal is simply more of the same, says Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa. "AUCC and its institutions pass along copyright costs to students, Access Copyright gets millions in revenues despite ongoing questions about its repertoire (with thousands used to lobby against education copyright reforms and most of the money going to foreign collectives and publishers, not authors), and the potential for digitally-oriented changes within Canadian higher education heading back to the back burner." CAUT News | OUSA News | Michael Geist blog

AUCC-Access Copyright agreement draws criticism Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 15:38 04/18/2012 - 15:37

Capilano University president Kris Bulcroft says if the BC government moves forward with planned cuts to PSE, she will have to consider eliminating whole programs as soon as next year. Bulcroft was among 25 university and college presidents who expressed their concerns about PSE funding cuts in a February 28 letter to Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto. Bulcroft says what worries her and her counterparts most is a staged $70-million BC-wide cut to the ministry's operational grant program over the next 3 years. There has been no word from the government about what the cuts will look like at the institutional level. "If these cuts come to be, within the next year or so we'll have to start looking at closing whole programs," Bulcroft says. "It doesn't make good sense in my opinion to do across-the-board cuts. What happens is that the overall quality of the institution begins to decline." Yamamoto disputes the presidents' reading of the budget plan, stating that there is a slight increase in the grants this year to cover deferred maintenance, and that the staged cuts that follow add up to $50 million, not $70 million. North Shore News

Capilano U president warns of program cuts Top Ten 04/19/2012 - 00:59 04/18/2012 - 15:34

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kevin Carey of the Washington-based think-tank Education Sector contemplates the effect the open-credentials movement will have on PSE. The digital badge system, through which students can certify their abilities and skills, is a way to structure the education process itself, Carey writes. "Students will be able to customize learning goals within the larger curricular framework, integrate continuing peer and faculty feedback about their progress toward achieving those goals, and tailor the way badges and the metadata within them are displayed to the outside world." The time when employers embrace the use of badges and gain confidence in those who bear them "will create hardship for traditional institutions that now use the revenue generated from their undergraduate-credential franchise to subsidize the cost of graduate education, administration, scholarship, and other activities," Carey states. Society as a whole will benefit from digital badges, he says. "The store of human capital will be more broadly and accurately represented by credentials that are useful in a mobile, interconnected world." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

The value of digital badges in PSE Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 15:50 04/17/2012 - 15:50

On Monday, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Access Copyright announced that they have negotiated a model licence that will enable universities to reproduce copyright-protected materials in both print and digital formats. The model licence will see universities pay Access Copyright a royalty of $26 per full-time-equivalent student per year. The royalty includes what used to be a separate 10¢ per page royalty for coursepack copying, so there will no longer be a separate royalty for this type of copying. The agreement will be in effect until December 31, 2015 and will renew automatically for one-year terms during which any party can terminate or request to renegotiate the agreement. AUCC News Release

AUCC, Access Copyright reach agreement Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 21:10 04/17/2012 - 15:47

Saskatchewan's advanced education ministry has signed an MOU with the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute that formalizes an academic relationship between the province and India. The ministry will work with PSE partners in Saskatchewan to deliver on the objectives of the MOU that include: promoting Saskatchewan-India education co-operation and collaboration; raising the province's education profile in India; facilitating academic partnerships between PSE institutions in Canada and India; and sharing information on international education best practices in India. Saskatchewan News Release

Saskatchewan signs MOU to strengthen academic ties with India Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 15:45 04/17/2012 - 15:45

Already recognized as Canada's "food university," the University of Guelph has created a new institute to address the world's most important food issues through action, commercialization, innovation, and research. The new institute is believed to be the first such organization covering global issues in all aspects of food -- production, safety, security, and the impact of food on culture, economies, and the environment. Guelph experts will collaborate with other research institutes worldwide, and include faculty and researchers from all 7 UoGuelph colleges as well as graduate and undergraduate students. UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph launches Food Institute Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 21:10 04/17/2012 - 15:44

Commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, a new study explores the effect of the Summer Transition Program (STP) -- a provincial government program for students with learning disabilities -- and enhanced services for such students that promote engagement and academic performance. Researchers found that STP improved the quality of students' transition to higher education through an early introduction to institutional disability services and staff members, and smoothed pathways to required pre-PSE assessments. The study also observes that STP improves students' orientation and awareness of student services, disability awareness, and willingness to self-advocate. At the completion of data collection, over 87% of students in the sample were still attending PSE or had graduated. STP participants were more likely to access other student services and were more likely to be successful in their studies. Of those, the majority stated that they would not have been as successful had they not used disability services and other on-campus supports. Research Summary | Full Report

Study finds Ontario students with learning disabilities benefit from Summer Transition Program Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 15:51 04/17/2012 - 15:40

The Council of Ontario Universities released Monday a report on innovative and effective teaching and learning at the province's universities. The report features examples of different teaching and learning strategies under the categories of applied and practical learning, assessment of learning, first-year program, professional development for faculty members and teaching assistants, and student learning support. The report also invites Ontario's university faculty and teaching staff to submit their own stories of the innovative ways they engage students in learning. These stories will become an ongoing resource for the university sector and will be posted on COU's website. COU News Release | Report

COU unveils report on innovative teaching practices Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 21:10 04/17/2012 - 15:37

The prospect of a fast-tracked career and a sky-high starting salary has students flocking to mining schools. Admissions to the top mining schools in Canada have nearly tripled in 3 years, helped by wages that can be even higher for graduates who move overseas. "Ten years ago we were lucky to have one or two students applying," says a mining engineering professor at McGill University. "In some years it was that bad. But this year alone 250 people have applied to mining." The growing number of students does bring its own problems, as larger classes result in more competition for the limited supply of summer jobs in the field. Experts say that students with industry experience prior to graduation get more job offers and command a higher entry salary than their peers, and also have a head start on completing their professional designation. For their part, firms that offer summer internships can attain a loyal workforce years ahead of competitors who only look to recruit graduates. Reuters

Prospect of fast-tracked career, hefty entry wages drawing students to mining schools Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 15:34 04/17/2012 - 15:34

The Graduate Management Admission Council announced yesterday the presentation of more than US$7.1 million in grants to a dozen organizations worldwide as part of its Ideas to Innovation Challenge, which solicited ideas to improve graduate management education. The University of Waterloo has earned a US$1.6-million grant for its proposed Virtual Incubation Program -- a global online network of students, community groups, local entrepreneurs, and international university partners that is designed to support the development and launch of new businesses. uWaterloo's Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre will administer the program. GMAC News Release | uWaterloo News Release | Grant Winners

uWaterloo among grant recipients of GMAC's Ideas to Innovation Challenge Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 15:32 04/17/2012 - 15:32

The Niagara College Foundation announced yesterday that it has successfully completed its "Building Futures" campaign, surpassing the initial $16.5-million goal by more than $1 million. Launched in 2008, the campaign has raised $17.7 million for new facilities, equipment and learning resources, and scholarships and bursaries. With matching funds from the Ontario government's former Ontario Trust for Student Support program, the campaign's total impact on student learning and success is $21 million. Niagara College News Release

Niagara College completes fundraising campaign with more than $17 million raised Top Ten 04/18/2012 - 08:40 04/17/2012 - 15:29

Nova Scotia Community College is addressing the balance of a $5.37-million shortfall with the elimination of 24 positions through a mix of attrition, layoffs, and contracts that will not be renewed. The move affects 11 non-unionized and 13 unionized positions. These changes include the NSCC-wide elimination of the CollegePrep Coordinator position, moving to a shared principal model for the Annapolis Valley and Kingstec campuses as well as for the IT and Akerley campuses, and a shared dean model for the Schools of Business and Applied Arts and New Media. NSCC News Release | Canadian Press

NSCC to cut 24 positions to help address shortfall Top Ten 04/17/2012 - 15:27 04/17/2012 - 15:27

The US Education Department has announced it will evaluate new criteria to measure PSE graduation rates. The measurements, which are reported into the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System, may consider transfer students, part-time learners, and those who are not attending PSE for the first time. Community colleges have long argued that failing to account for these students lowers their completion rates, and does not recognize that many students attend community colleges with the goal of transferring, rather than graduating. While community colleges are happy with these changes, they note that the department will be "taking steps" and "examining the feasibility" of broadening the criteria, and it could be months before any changes are implemented. Inside Higher Ed

US government considers new criteria to evaluate PSE completion rates Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:42 04/16/2012 - 15:42

Northern College is running a "Show and Tell to Win!" contest in conjunction with the launch of its official Facebook page. Open to current students, alumni, and future students who have applied for a program starting this year, the contest encourages individuals to visit the Facebook page to submit an original photograph along with 50 to 100 words explaining "Why I chose Northern College." Contestants then recruit friends to like the college on Facebook and vote for their submission. The winners, to be announced May 11, will be selected from the entries with the most votes. Prizes include an iPad 2, a 32 GB iPod Touch, and a Canon PowerShot digital camera. Northern College News Release | Northern College Facebook page

Northern College launches official Facebook page with photo contest Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:41 04/16/2012 - 15:41

In an ongoing effort to support its strategic plan, the University of Windsor has committed close to $2.5 million from its Strategic Priority Fund to support new initiatives and programs to improve the student experience, pursue strengths in research and graduate education, recruit and retain the best faculty and staff, and engage in and foster community and international partnerships. One of the projects approved for the 2012-13 budget year is 4Winds, which aims to facilitate Aboriginal participation in post-secondary STEM fields. Participating students in Grades 6 to 8 will take part in science and technology experiences that are extensions of Aboriginal cultural practices in interacting with nature for energy, food, health, and shelter. uWindsor Daily News

uWindsor pledges nearly $2.5 million to support strategic projects Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:38 04/16/2012 - 15:38

Fanshawe College has begun its move to downtown London with the gutting of a 6-storey, 50,000-square-foot building it purchased to house a $16-million downtown arts campus. The 12-week demolition of the facility will see much of its interior demolished, the building reconstructed into a school of applied and performing arts for approximately 400 students. The first floor will feature a theatre, lounge and lobby area, and a mezzanine is being constructed between the second and third floors to serve as a student area. The property is the first step in a 10-year, multi-phase initiative by Fanshawe to move approximately 1,000 students and invest about $40 million in the downtown core. London Free Press

Fanshawe begins demolition work in new downtown building Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:36 04/16/2012 - 15:36

Seneca College has selected Peterborough Airport as the preferred location for its Bachelor of Aviation Technology program. The college has been searching for a new home for the program due to the upcoming closure of the Buttonville Airport in Markham. The agreement is still not completely final, but is in the final stages, says the City of Peterborough's planning director. Seneca president David Agnew cites the recent $28 million in improvements to the Peterborough Airport and community support as reasons the institution is pursuing this opportunity further. Seneca will look to partner with Fleming College for facilities and supports for its Peterborough-based students. Seneca News | Peterborough Examiner

Seneca identifies Peterborough as preferred location for flight school Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:34 04/16/2012 - 15:34

At a dinner on Saturday, 17 students and faculty in the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business officially kicked off the inaugural class of the Haskayne Global Energy Executive MBA program. Over 18 months, the program's students will meet 5 times and in 5 different locations around the world (Oxford, Houston, Calgary, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia). The program is the first of its kind in North America and the result of the vision set by Haskayne's dean, who recognized the need for the business school to set itself apart on an international level. Because Calgary is one of the leading energy centres in the world, the dean says it only made sense to offer this kind of a program through uCalgary. "The idea for the program came from the fact the largest industry in the world -- the energy industry -- has a unique set of problems that are not addressed through the traditional MBA curriculum. Anyone who wants to be a senior leader in the industry has to understand all the complexities of the business." Calgary Herald

uCalgary kicks off North America's first global energy EMBA program Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:30 04/16/2012 - 15:30

A Thompson Rivers University student's photography project was reinstalled after its controversial removal from campus hallways earlier this month. The fine art student's photo of woman wearing full Islamic dress holding a bra in her hands while folding laundry was included as part of TRU's annual diploma show. The CBC reports that the picture was originally displayed with other student photos in mid-March, until some students complained and a staff member later removed it. TRU's VP of advancement told the CBC that the picture was taken down by a staff member who was acting on their own, and not in any official capacity. Once TRU learned of the action, it immediately returned the photo and made a commitment to cover any costs for its repair or replacement. "We have heard the concerns of all our stakeholders," the VP says. "We will maintain the right for freedom of expression on our campus. There was nothing condoning hatred or disrespect in this work and we stand behind it." TRU News | CBC

Bra photo creates controversy at TRU Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:28 04/16/2012 - 15:28

BC's Northern Lights College has overcome financial pressures of approximately $1.9 million in reaching a balanced budget for 2012-13. To meet the budget challenges, the college has undertaken several steps, such as accepting applications for early retirement or voluntary departures from 12 employees; cancelling the Geomatics Engineering Technology program due to low enrolment; and making decisions that will result in the elimination of some current positions, and the layoff of some employees. NLC states that including early retirements and voluntary departures, 14.32 full-time equivalent positions -- at all levels of the institution -- are impacted. This includes non-unionized staff, and unionized faculty and support staff represented by BCGEU. Discussions are underway with BCGEU to provide affected unionized staff members with their options. NLC News Release

Positions impacted as NLC addresses budget challenges Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:26 04/16/2012 - 15:26

A Saudi doctor who is suing the University of Ottawa for over $55 million has lost his bid to overturn his dismissal from the university's neurosurgery residency program. A panel of Ontario Division Court judges rejected the doctor's claim that uOttawa's senate appeals committee violated procedural fairness and acted unreasonably when it upheld the doctor's dismissal from the program in January 2011. Last November, the doctor and 2 other Saudi physicians filed a civil lawsuit against uOttawa, collectively seeking over $150 million in damages for, among other things, alleged discrimination, defamation, and "malfeasance in public office." In 3 decisions dated March 29, the Human Rights Tribunal dismissed the 3 doctors' complaints, stating that it was prohibited from proceeding because the doctors had initiated civil suits based on the same facts and allegations and were seeking similar remedies. Ottawa Citizen

Judges dismiss Saudi doctor's bid to overturn removal from uOttawa residency program Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:24 04/16/2012 - 15:24

The Quebec government announced Sunday that it would be willing to discuss the matter of improved governance of provincial universities with certain student groups. The announcement by Education Minister Line Beauchamp was in response to the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec's (FEUQ) resolution adopted at their annual general assembly that calls for an independent commission to improve university management. Tuition fee increases are still not up for discussion, the minister said. Beauchamp has offered to speak to FEUQ and the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ), but not with the Coalition large de l'Association pour un solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE), an umbrella group of students organizations arranging much of the strike movement and considered relatively radical. After Beauchamp's office was vandalized Friday morning by 15 protesters, FEUQ and FECQ stated it was not in favour of vandalism or violence, but CLASSE has not condemned the vandals' actions. Montreal Gazette

Quebec ready to talk to students about improved university governance Top Ten 04/16/2012 - 15:22 04/16/2012 - 15:22

Recent US research observes that 20-something consumers ("digital natives") switch media venues approximately 27 times per non-working hour. The study's 30 subjects were split evenly between natives and "digital immigrants" (consumers who grew up with old-school technologies and adapted to newer ones). Researchers found that immigrants switched media venues just 17 times per non-working hour. The findings mean "the (creative) bar is set higher" for advertisers, says the CEO of the research firm that conducted the study. "I'd be most alarmed about the challenging act of capturing the attention and emotional response of my target audience, because it's almost like going from shooting fish in a barrel to little minnows," he says. "The target has become faster, and the window of opportunity for capturing them has become smaller." Advertising Age

"Digital natives" switch media 27 times per hour, study finds Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:30 04/13/2012 - 15:29

Writing for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Hilary Pennington of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation argues that US PSE institutions need to stop debating ways to improve graduation rates and instead make the changes that are possible right now. She argues that institutions must focus on the issues they can change, rather than on those they can't, like poor preparation. Pennington writes that students need highly structured programs with limited choice in order to help them earn degrees more quickly, and that universities should not view employable skills and a liberal-arts education as being mutually exclusive. In order to achieve these goals, she recommends that PSE institutions ease credit transfers, recognize the value of community colleges, increase personalization, and collect and publish data on student success rates. Pennington argues that Americans should rethink the PSE cost structure and embrace the different types of PSE institutions, including community colleges and for-profit universities. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

US institutions urged to make possible changes now to improve student success Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:28 04/13/2012 - 15:28

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced last week plans to make it easier for skilled tradespeople to immigrate to Canada. Under the modernized Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) to be revealed later this year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada intends to establish a separate and streamlined program for skilled tradespeople, allowing these applicants to be assessed on criteria geared toward their reality, with more focus on practical training and work experience than on formal education. If approved, further details about the Skilled Trades program and the revised FSWP are expected to be announced later this year. CIC News Release

Ottawa plans to create new immigration program for skilled tradespeople Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:26 04/13/2012 - 15:26

A new patent-pending platform created by a pair of University of Toronto computer engineering students pledges to take students' social networking and learning skills and turn them into possible job leads. CoursePeer is a social academic network and talent management platform through which students can connect, share knowledge, get help and assist others, and get career opportunities delivered to them based on their activities. Professors can use CoursePeer to manage classes, interact with students to answer their questions, recommend their contributions, and monitor the statistics of their courses. The program is already active for students and professors, with the component for employers to launch this fall. CoursePeer will allow employers to post job openings and receive smart suggestions for suitable candidates. uToronto News

uToronto students develop platform to help student job seekers Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:18 04/13/2012 - 15:18

Touting its "quality, professional programs in an international setting," the University of Windsor is running a campaign to attract students from the neighbouring state of Michigan. A TV spot airing on Detroit's NBC affiliate introduces uWindsor in advance of the Michigan School Expo, which will run on the final weekend in April. "We are defining ourselves as part of the local market for Michigan, but we can offer something other universities can’t -- international experience," says a uWindsor official. The TV ad mentions the institution's location "just across the Detroit River," while highlighting the opportunity to study alongside students from 80 nations. uWindsor Daily News

uWindsor TV spot targets prospective students in Michigan Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:23 04/13/2012 - 15:16

Last Wednesday, Durham College announced its commitment to revitalizing higher education in the Township of Uxbridge, Ontario through the launch of a new and improved Uxbridge Learning Site this September. The college plans to further its involvement in the township and surrounding communities with the introduction of 3 full-time, one-year college certifications at the site. The new programs will complement the existing academic upgrading and continuing education programming at the site, in addition to employment services. Located in the heart of the township, the Uxbridge Learning Site will also offer modern classrooms and a fully equipped computer lab. Durham College News

Durham College commits to revitalizing PSE in Uxbridge Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:14 04/13/2012 - 15:14

A private high school is now part of the plans moving forward to Whistler city council this week by the proponents of the Whistler University project. The university proposal now includes a design concept for a 200-student private high school for both boarding students and day students. Whistler U's project director says it would be an international school to attract overseas students, likely offering an International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement accreditation. Earlier this month, the project director submitted rezoning plans for Whistler U that include residences for approximately 1,400 students. Pique Newsmagazine

Private secondary school part of Whistler U proposal Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:21 04/13/2012 - 15:11

University of Ottawa president Allan Rock has vowed to go to court to defend academic freedom if Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) chooses to release law professor Amir Attaran's expense reports. That position has done little to mollify the professor, whose dispute with administration centres on how uOttawa should defend him against the IPC's demand for his research-related expense reports. Attaran wants the board of governors to demand an explanation. Rock told the board that, based on their legal advice, administrators concluded that the chances of successfully challenging the IPC's demand were "next to nil." The president says the reports were turned over for the limited purposed of allowing the IPC to evaluate whether uOttawa was right to deny them to the individual who requested them. "Professor Attaran's position has not been prejudiced by any action taken by the university," Rock states. "To the contrary, the university has acted throughout to uphold, defend and maintain his interests." Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa president responds to prof's FOI dispute Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:09 04/13/2012 - 15:09

To address a $1.5-million shortfall, Holland College is cutting 8 positions and suspending 2 programs. The PEI government cut the college's funding by 3% this year. This fall, the college will not offer interactive multi-media, whose enrolment was not high enough. The institution's retail business management program will be absorbed by other business programs. A Holland College VP says every department has been asked to find savings. CBC

Job cuts, program suspensions at Holland College Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 15:06 04/13/2012 - 15:06

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is closely monitoring a plan at Royal Military College to lay off 22 academics over the next 3 years. CAUT executive director James Turk says there is "concern over what [effect] the loss of that many positions will have." Due to federal budget cutbacks, RMC has to cut $4.5 million from its budget, resulting in layoff notices for 22 academic staff and 20 academic support staff. Turk says CAUT can work to determine 2 things: whether there are any violations to the collective agreement, and if there will be any adverse effects on students. With no overseeing body in Canada that reviews or repeals university accreditation, "the only two avenues we have are legal ones," says Turk, "through the collective agreement and public pressure." Kingston Whig-Standard

CAUT to monitor effects of layoffs at RMC Top Ten 04/15/2012 - 13:21 04/13/2012 - 15:04

Last month, Ted Baillieu, the premier of the Australian state of Victoria, opened an account on the popular social network Weibo to connect with Chinese-speaking voters and international students in his state. Within hours of registering, he was inundated with complaints, most focused on the lack of public-transport concessions for foreign students. (Victoria is one of 2 states that do not extend public-transit subsidies to international students). Baillieu told his Chinese audience that his government had no plan to offer subsidized fares and touted Victoria's "world-class higher education system" as attractions. Some Weibo user comments published in The Age criticize soaring tuition fees and the quality of education in Australia. The Age

Australian premier inundated with complaints from Chinese students on social network Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 00:24 04/12/2012 - 17:12

Struggling to cope with a large projected deficit, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) decided Wednesday to cut 430 of 493 education assistant positions, but will offer individuals doing those jobs the chance to stay on as they train to become early childhood educations for full-day kindergarten. Those laid-off education assistants interested in the retraining will have special permission from the Ontario government to work in full-day kindergarten classes while they pursue early childhood education diplomas from Humber College over the next 2 years. The college will offer the necessary courses in the evenings and during school holidays. The one-time deal was hammered out in recent weeks between the TDSB, Ontario's education ministry, CUPE, and Humber as a way to soften the blow of layoffs for education assistants, whose positions do not require formal training. Toronto Star | Globe and Mail

TDSB to allow laid-off education assistants to retrain as early childhood educators Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 00:23 04/12/2012 - 17:09

Western University and the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) have partnered on a new program that will give 25 TVDSB students the opportunity to complete their final secondary school courses needed for graduation, as well as earn a university credit at no cost. The first program of its kind in Ontario, "School Within a University" will allow students to complete up to 6 senior high school credits while earning a university credit -- all on Western U's campus. Eligible students will be selected by school staff and must meet criteria set by the school board and the university's Admissions Office to demonstrate that they are academically capable. The students will be supported by mentors to facilitate their success. The new program builds on the success of the TVDSB's "School Within a College" program created in partnership with Fanshawe College. TVDSB News Release

Western U, school board partner on "School Within a University" program Top Ten 04/12/2012 - 17:06 04/12/2012 - 17:06

Lakehead University and the Lakehead District School Board signed an MOU Wednesday with the purpose of opening doors for students throughout northwestern Ontario who face major obstacles to a university education. The partners aim to raise $10 million in 10 years to support the initiative. The Achievement Program is "about changing attitudes and expectations," says Lakehead president Brian Stevenson. "It’s about giving young people, especially Aboriginal youth, the opportunity to realize their dreams." Under the program, students in Grades 4 through 12 will be able to earn money to go toward tuition fees at Lakehead by participating in yearly activities that are geared to give children the skills to become community leaders. The program will also include financial support for mature students. Lakehead News

Lakehead, school board sign MOU to encourage PSE participation Top Ten 04/12/2012 - 17:04 04/12/2012 - 17:04

On Wednesday, Mount Allison University revealed designs for its $30-million Centre for the Arts, whose tentative opening date is scheduled for fall 2014. The 50,000-square-foot facility will feature a large atrium with double-height ceilings linking 3 distinct spaces: the School of Fine Arts, a studio hall, and a 100-seat black box theatre. The centre will house Fine Arts and Drama programs, which are currently spread throughout buildings on campus. The university is contributing $10 million toward the cost of the centre and running a fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $20 million from private donors. Mount Allison has been criticized by some students, alumni, and community members for its decision to tear down its historic Memorial Library to make way for the new centre. The institution plans to save elements of the library to be used around the centre. Mount Allison News Release | Centre for the Arts

Mount Allison releases designs for arts centre Top Ten 04/12/2012 - 17:02 04/12/2012 - 17:02

On Wednesday, the University of Guelph officially opened the first phase of its new Engineering Complex. The new 50,000-square-foot space features design studios, machine shops, and a sustainable energy lab. It houses new programs in biomedical, computer, and mechanical engineering, offered along with existing programs in engineering systems and computing, environmental and biological engineering, and water resources. UoGuelph's School of Engineering aims to double enrolment and faculty numbers over the next few years, particularly in sustainability and innovation. The university also announced Wednesday a $1-million gift from alumnus and Skyjack Inc. founder Wolf Haessler that will enhance the institution's engineering facilities and fund 20 new scholarships. UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph celebrates first phase of new Engineering Complex Top Ten 04/12/2012 - 16:59 04/12/2012 - 16:59

Canadian Studies departments at some US universities face cutbacks this year with the rollback of a grant program administered by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, which is facing a $72-million budget cut. Although funding is usually modest -- $11,000 to $15,000 spread out to a dozen projects -- the results they produce are "off the charts," says the associate director of Canadian Studies at the Seattle-based University of Washington. Without the grants, some Canadian Studies departments will have to reconsider program content, cancel special projects, or even admit fewer students. Foreign Affairs is still accepting applications for grant funding, with submissions assessed on a case-by-case basis, says a department spokesperson. With regard to the potential impact on the grant program, the spokesperson says that "details about the measures unveiled in the Budget will be announced over the coming weeks and months." Vancouver Observer

Foreign Affairs scales back grants for Canadian Studies at US institutions Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 00:23 04/12/2012 - 16:57

Camosun College students have taken over Village 900 CKMO, the campus radio station, to protest the institution's decision to suspend its 2-year applied communication program as part of cost-cutting efforts to balance its budget. Camosun's VP of Education says the institution targeted areas that require updating and would affect the fewest students. He says the program had approximately 40 students and needed renewal. The suspension gives college officials a year to contemplate options such as introducing a digital media program. Camosun is also cutting its learning skills program, reducing English language development, and suspending network electronics. Victoria Times-Colonist

Camosun students occupy campus radio station to protest program suspension Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 00:22 04/12/2012 - 16:55

The University of British Columbia is warning students who are now writing final exams about the possibility of strike action at the Vancouver campus by one or more of its unions upset with the government's net-zero mandate for public-sector contracts. A mediator has been appointed to assist with bargaining in the dispute involving 2,300 teaching assistants, language instructors, and tutors represented by CUPE. Job action is not permitted while the mediator does his work, says a UBC spokeswoman. Another CUPE local, whose members include nearly 2,000 custodial and maintenance staff, also has a strike mandate but has not issued a strike notice. The spokeswoman says all has been quiet recently at that table. Vancouver Sun

UBC faces potential strike action by unions Top Ten 04/12/2012 - 16:53 04/12/2012 - 16:53

Quebec students hit the streets in a series of rolling protests Wednesday in their latest challenge against the province's planned tuition fee increases. Hundreds of chanting demonstrators marched throughout the day during hourly protests in Montreal, crisscrossing the downtown area and paralyzing traffic. Some protests led to clashes with police, including a confrontation in which officers used chemical irritants to disperse demonstrators after several students blocked access to a National Bank of Canada building. Student protests yesterday resulted in Collège de Valleyfield dropping plans to resume classes, and in delays in final exams scheduled at Concordia University. Student leaders have also proposed a series of cost-saving measures they say will allow the government to "cut into the fat" from university budgets. A document released by the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec identifies possible budget savings of $300 million over 5 years. Having reviewed the document, the Conference of Principals and Rectors of Quebec Universities points to a methodological error it says distorts the conclusions reached by FEUQ. CREPUQ argues that the federation's proposals would have a harmful effect on teaching and research. Canadian Press | CBC | Montreal Gazette | CREPUQ News Release (in French)

Quebec students stage rolling protests Top Ten 04/13/2012 - 00:22 04/12/2012 - 16:51

Regent College has unveiled a new-look website, whose redesign involved focusing the message on the core audience -- the future graduate school student. The VP of external relations at the UBC-affiliated Christian graduate school says user testing and strategic enrolment management became critical factors in the redesign project, and, given the rise of mobile usage, Regent chose to develop a responsive website rather than create a separate mobile platform. The homepage features 4 videos that provide an introduction to the institution. Separated under the themes of "cultivate," "intelligent," "joyful," and "vigorous," the videos feature students discussing their experience at Regent and how it has shaped their identities, their relationships with each other and with professors, and life in Vancouver. Although the site is primarily geared toward prospective students, Regent also engaged current students in the research process to develop a tool that functionally meets all their needs. Regent College News | Regent College website

Regent College launches new website Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:21 04/11/2012 - 16:21

A new lab in the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering invites members of the university community to explore the new possibilities that smart applications for smartphones and tablets can offer. The Mobile Applications Lab is open to all faculty, staff, and students at uToronto, irrespective of their academic discipline. One of the faculty members leading the lab says the intention is to harness the multidisciplinary power of uToronto to identify new needs and approaches for intelligent mobile applications. The lab is the first of its kind in Canada and uToronto joins just a small number of PSE institutions, including MIT and Stanford University, in providing such a facility. uToronto News

uToronto mobile app lab a first in Canada Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:19 04/11/2012 - 16:19

Starting this fall, the University of Regina will have a new policy for students living in on-campus residences. First-year students will get top priority for residence spots, while returning students will have to enter their names in a lottery to try to secure accommodations. uRegina's VP of external relations says the revised policy is meant to help first-year students transition to campus life. It's important for students' well-being and for retention, she says. The VP says she understands why many students would be upset about being displaced from their on-campus housing, but says that if it's any consolation, in a couple of years uRegina will add 700 more beds, bringing the total number of residence spaces to nearly 2,000. CBC

New uRegina residence policy prioritizes first-year students Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:17 04/11/2012 - 16:17

New figures from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre show the number of undergraduate applications received sits at 520,968, up from 503,803 recorded in April 2011. The number of applications submitted by secondary students totals 401,085, an increase of 2.4% over last year. Non-secondary students have submitted 119,883 applications, up 7% over last year and the highest figure recorded in the last decade. This month's total application numbers are the highest recorded since 2003. OUAC Undergraduate Application Statistics -- April 2012

Ontario universities receive nearly 521,000 undergraduate applications Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:15 04/11/2012 - 16:15

The University of British Columbia is the first large Canadian university to implement a personalized service model, which will see each incoming first-year student at the Vancouver campus assigned a student service specialist to guide and assist them through their entire UBC career. Trained to assist students with admissions, fee assessment, registration, student financial support, and student records, the specialists -- known as Enrolment Service Professionals (ESP) -- can customize their advice for each student and situation. UBC states that the potential for students to get to know their ESP over the course of their education will allow Enrolment Services to be more proactive, both in making suggestions that will enhance the student experience and in solving any problems that may surface. UBC News Release

UBC launches personalized service for incoming students Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:14 04/11/2012 - 16:14

BC's advanced education ministry is soliciting ideas on enhancing quality assurance at the province's public and private PSE institutions. The ministry is encouraging students, parents, employers, and others with interest and/or experience in the PSE system to visit the BC Jobs Plan website and join the conversation by answering the following question: "What does a high quality post-secondary education mean to you and how will you know you received one?" The ministry states that individuals' experiences and comments, along with input from PSE schools and stakeholders, will be used to inform and improve the existing system. BC News Release | BC Jobs Plan Forum

BC seeks suggestions to improve quality assurance at PSE institutions Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:11 04/11/2012 - 16:11

As it works on an accreditation standard action plan, the University of Saskatchewan's College of Medicine has not yet appointed a new dean. The CBC reports that before any hiring decisions were made for the replacement of the current dean, who will retire in a few months, 2 of the 3 shortlisted candidates accepted positions in Alberta. uSask's provost says he does not think the 10 shortcomings identified by the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools deterred the applicants for dean. "To the best of my knowledge from talking to the candidates, it did not play a role," he says. "Other medical doctor universities across the country compete for the same people. We know we're in that kind of race. We're happy to compete. We don't like it when we don't win." The college invited faculty, staff, and students to a meeting yesterday to outline a new clinical-academic structure. The provost says that if a new model is not in place by the summer, the new dean will not be able to lead and the medical school's accreditation will be pulled. CBC | uSask News Release

uSask medical college still searching for new dean Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:09 04/11/2012 - 16:09

The University of Manitoba is facing a potential strike by thousands of support workers, even though the institution says its offer is better than the union's proposal. uManitoba is offering the support staff's union $215,000 in cash plus the same overall wage hikes the union seeks. The key in the dispute is the union has rejected uManitoba's proposal to begin a 4-year deal with a 2-year wage freeze. The university is offering zero, zero, 2.9, and 2.9, plus $215,000 for adjustments in some job levels. The union is seeking zero, 2.9, zero, and 2.9 over 4 years. The union has a strike mandate, though it received only 55% support with its 2,626 members. "I realize that" is a low support rate, says the union's president, but the union has called another membership meeting for next Thursday, at which it will ask "for a resounding vote of support for strike action." Winnipeg Free Press | AESES-UM Bargaining Update

uManitoba support staff at odds with administration over salary freeze Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:07 04/11/2012 - 16:07

Collège de Valleyfield director Guy Laperrière has ordered striking students to return to class, despite a vote to extend a campaign to force the Quebec government to withdraw plans to hike university tuition fees. "The situation is critical. We don't have a choice," says Laperrière, who notes that his CÉGEP is the first to order students to return to school. Leaders of the coalition representing striking students condemn the order and are calling on students from across Quebec to march on Valleyfield today. Feeling the heat from students concerned they will lose their term, Laperrière says he had a duty to act. The college recently announced it would annul its summer courses in order to meet the required class hours for its current semester. Meanwhile, Concordia University president Frederick Lowy said at a town hall meeting Tuesday that while students have a right to protest, "it doesn't mean it will be without consequences." While Concordia does not have the power to grant academic amnesty, which is something that has to be worked out on a course-by-course basis, Lowy said the institution is considering waiving a $20-per-course fee for incomplete grades. Montreal Gazette

Collège de Valleyfield orders students to return to class Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:04 04/11/2012 - 16:04

IBM Canada Ltd. and a consortium of 7 Ontario universities will collaborate on a multimillion-dollar initiative to create new research capacity using supercomputing and cloud computing. IBM will invest up to $175 million by 2014 in the partnership, complemented by a $20-million federal investment and a $15-million contribution from the Ontario government. The university consortium will use new state-of-the art high performance and cloud computing systems to process data in research areas with significant commercialization opportunities, such as infrastructure, neuroscience, and resource management. IBM will recruit 145 employees for its R&D centre, and negotiate research projects with private partners and the 7 institutions: the University of Toronto (which will house a new supercomputer), Western University (which will host major new cloud-computing infrastructure), plus McMaster, Queen's, UOIT, uOttawa, and uWaterloo. Each university will have access to a large data centre being constructed in Barrie. FedDev Ontario News Release | Globe and Mail | Western U News Release | uToronto News

IBM, 7 Ontario universities, and government partner on $210-million R&D network Top Ten 04/11/2012 - 16:00 04/11/2012 - 16:00

To produce greater numbers of qualified job-seekers to feed a growing economy, some Indian universities may have to double their student intake in the next 5 years, with students per acre of university campus serving as a measure of efficiency. The University Grants Commission (UGC), which regulates PSE in India, says the majority of 556 universities do not enrol enough students despite their large campuses. In a document that seeks to chart the course of university education in India, UGC says a 100% intake increase is feasible in 30 central universities. Any plan that looks at just boosting numbers is "ridiculous," says a former vice-chancellor of the University of Delhi. "Authorities should not equate number with quality, though we understand that a service economy needs to get enough human capital to sustain the growth rate," he says; however, he is in favour of compact universiti es, stating that "there should be a maximum utilization of resources." Mint

India may ask universities to double enrolment by 2017 Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 23:27 04/10/2012 - 15:47

New US research suggests that as undergraduate students progress through PSE, they become less interested, on average, of promoting racial understanding. For the study, students were asked "how important to you personally is helping to promote racial understanding?" upon arriving at college, at the end of their first year, and at the end of their senior year. Researchers ranked the importance of promoting racial understanding on a 4-point scale, and found that all 4 groups -- African American, Hispanics, Asians, and whites -- ended up at a lower point than where they started. The study's authors say the results challenge the conventional wisdom about college and race: the data suggest that for students, PSE has no impact on a desire to promote racial understanding, and that those who change do so in the direction of being less committed to intergroup understanding. Inside Higher Ed

Students grow less interested in promoting racial understanding over course of college education, study finds Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:46 04/10/2012 - 15:46

Most elite PSE institutions in the US describe their admissions policies as "holistic," suggesting they evaluate the totality of an applicant, but a new survey of admissions officials at the 75 most competitive institutions observes that there are distinct patterns that differentiate some holistic institutions from others. Most schools focus solely on academic qualifications first, and then consider other factors. The research found that 21% of elite colleges begin with measures of "institutional fit." These schools do the initial cut based on student essays, recommendations, and specific questions of whether particular students will thrive at and contribute to the institution in various ways. This approach results in a focus on applicants' non-academic qualities, and tends to favour applicants who are members of minority groups underrepresented on campus, as well as those who can afford to pay all costs of attending. Inside Higher Ed

Survey finds differentiation in "holistic" admissions policies at US elite institutions Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:44 04/10/2012 - 15:44

The 7 institutions of the City Colleges of Chicago system join a small but increasing number of US public colleges in tying at least some faculty pay to performance. As per a new contract with the union representing the system's part-time adult-education instructors, the instructors will no longer get automatic 3% pay increases for remaining in the system, but they can get bonuses of up to 8% linked to the performance of their students. Contracts tying faculty pay to performance are now also in place at the University of Akron and Kent State University. Texas A&M University has launched a controversial program that awards faculty members cash bonuses based on student evaluations. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Chicago community colleges to link some profs' salary to performance Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:42 04/10/2012 - 15:42

Adjusted for inflation, state support for each full-time public PSE student fell by 26.1% from 1990 to 2010, forcing students and their families to bear more of the cost of PSE at a time when family incomes were largely stagnant, observes a new US report. Over the same 20-year period, the report states, the published tuition-and-fee price of a 4-year public-college education rose by 116%. The report recommends that states revise their tax systems to make more funding available for PSE, direct funding to need-based aid rather than to merit aid, and make college completion a goal of their spending. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Report

US state support of public PSE drops by more than 25% over 20 years Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:39 04/10/2012 - 15:39

The CALDO consortium (uAlberta, uLaval, Dal, and uOttawa) have established a one-stop program-matching service to link prospective Brazilian students participating in the Science without Borders scholarship program to the CALDO university that best fits their research interests. Graduate students interested in full doctoral degree programs, in short-term visiting graduate research placements, or in postdoctoral fellowships can make inquiries at the central CALDO office, be matched, and then formally apply to the best-suited university at the same time they apply for the scholarship. Undergraduates can take classes at a CALDO institution for a year and follow up with a research internship. Undergrads apply for the scholarship first, and recipients are then matched with the best-suited CALDO institution. CALDO News

CALDO institutions launch one-stop service for Brazilian scholarship recipients Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 23:23 04/10/2012 - 15:37

With a provincial election approaching, Alberta's PC party announced yesterday that if re-elected, it would enhance PSE facilities across the province through a new 3-year, $650-million capital project funding commitment. The funding would support capital projects at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, the University of Calgary, NorQuest College, Lethbridge College, and Mount Royal University. The PC party is pledging $200 million for a Centre for Applied Technologies at NAIT, $142 million for an expanded engineering school at uCalgary, $170 million for NorQuest's downtown campus development, $55.6 million for a trades & technology renewal and innovation project at Lethbridge College, and $85.5 million for a Library and Learning Centre at Mount Royal. PC Alberta News Release

Alberta PCs pledge $650-million investment in PSE capital projects Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 23:27 04/10/2012 - 15:33

At a special meeting on March 30, Algoma University's senate voted against adopting the Block Plan as the standard delivery for university courses. Algoma U president Richard Myers had proposed the adoption of the one-course-at-a-time delivery format as a way of promoting better retention, more experiential learning, and more study-abroad. "The block plan has a lot of advantages, but I think people here felt that it would be problematic for some of our part-time students and faculty," Myers says. While a strong majority of senators voted against making the Block Plan the institution's standard platform, 55% supported a motion encouraging proposals for the development of block-based programming as an alternative stream in disciplines where faculty think it works well. Algoma U will use the block plan at its new extension operation in St. Thomas, Ontario. Algoma U News Release

Algoma U senate turns down Block Plan Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:31 04/10/2012 - 15:29

Some PSE schools in Manitoba do not expect that provincial funding and tuition will be enough to cover their costs without cutting positions, programs, and services. The University of Winnipeg faces up to $4 million in cuts, three-quarters of it due to ongoing pension issues. If the government does not provide a loan or agree to some other arrangement to come up with the money, uWinnipeg will have to look at the entire budget again, says the VP of Finance. Facing an $11-million shortfall, Red River College is seeking tuition parity with Assiniboine Community College and University College of the North. The University of Manitoba will have to reallocate some funding on campus, says president David Barnard, but "I don't think it's going to be dire. We're definitely not making across-the-board cuts." Brandon University will have to cut 4% to balance its budget, largely through leaving jobs vacant, and it expects a 5% enrolment drop next year as a result of the faculty strike this past fall. Winnipeg Free Press

Finances tight at Manitoba PSE institutions Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 23:26 04/10/2012 - 15:26

A report recommending fewer faculty members and higher fees at NSCAD University is generating backlash from the institution's faculty and student unions, who argue that such measures would harm the classroom. Released last Thursday, the sustainability framework recommends reducing NSCAD's workforce by 26 employees this fiscal year through early retirement, incentives, and severance packages. The report states that of those 26 positions, the majority should not be replaced, and those that are should be paid at a lower rate. "I think people are going to be very angry when they read it and they're going to feel betrayed," says the faculty union's president. "We were told over and over and over again in public meetings and in private conversations with representatives from the board that there would be...no layoffs of employees." The report also recommends increasing tuition fees and introducing some student fees, resulting in a $900 increase in the current full-time undergraduate tuition rate. "I don't feel like I can afford to pay that much more of tuition and still be able to live," says the student union's president. Canadian Press

NSCAD faculty, student unions slam sustainability framework Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:23 04/10/2012 - 15:23

According to a new report, American universities are better at using social media than their UK counterparts. The report assessed universities' social media use across 5 attributes known as PRINT: Popularity, including website traffic, followers, and fans; Receptiveness, such as linking and referencing; Interaction; Network reach; and Trust, including positive endorsements and ratings. The average PRINT score for institutions was set at 100. As a group, UK universities scored 72, while US institutions averaged 127. Just 2 UK institutions -- the Universities of Oxford and Sheffield -- make the top 10 for their social media performance, ranking seventh and eighth, respectively. Harvard placed first, followed by the University of Pennsylvania and MIT. The report attributes US universities' dominance in the top 10 in part to much larger student populations and increased funding compared to UK institutions -- factors that skewed their PRINT measurements of popularity and network reach. Times Higher Education | Report

Study finds US outperforms UK on universities' social media performance Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:17 04/09/2012 - 16:17

The number of foreign students at Japanese PSE institutions is rebounding following last year's disaster, but enrolment declines in preparatory and nondegree programs point to future problems. With Japan's academic year beginning this month, most of the country's big universities report less of a drop in international students than expected, despite concerns that many would stay away due to radiation fears. The Japan Student Services Organization reports that the disaster halted several years of growth in foreign study in the country, with overall numbers of international students down by 2.6% last year. The number of nondegree foreign students fell by nearly a quarter in 2011, with the US, South Korea, and some European nations sending about half as many students to Japan as in 2010. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

International-student numbers begin recovery in Japan one year after disaster Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:15 04/09/2012 - 16:15

Statistics Canada reports that employment rose by 39,000 among 15- to 24-year-olds in March, pushing their unemployment rate down 0.8 percentage points to 13.9%. Despite the increase last month, the number of young people employed has changed little since July 2009 -- the lowest point of the previous labour market downturn. 15- to 24-year olds in Quebec made the most gains last month with a 1.5 percentage point increase in their employment rate, while Alberta recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 64.6%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey

Employment increases among Canadian youth Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:13 04/09/2012 - 16:13

The UBC Chinese Character Tool is the first ever university East Asian language mobile application, combining Chinese character instruction resources for Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. The app features thousands of words and characters, along with meanings, pronunciations, contextual phrases and sentences, and stroke animations. To help users practice and develop their skills, the app comes with built-in support for over 30 different UBC language courses and their textbooks. UBC Reports

UBC develops East Asian language mobile app Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:11 04/09/2012 - 16:11

The BC government announced last Thursday that Canadian citizens can now take ESL courses for free at 17 public PSE institutions throughout the province. As stipulated by the Canada-BC Immigration Agreement, ESL courses are being provided tuition-free to new immigrants through the 17 PSE schools and WelcomeBC's English Language Services for Adults program. The provincial government is extending this tuition-free policy to Canadian citizens at public PSE schools to ensure they have access to the same opportunities as recent immigrants. BC News Release

BC extends tuition-free ESL to Canadian citizens at public PSE schools Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:10 04/09/2012 - 16:10

Red River College's School of Business and Applied Arts has created a new model of learn-work experience that goes beyond traditional forms of co-op education and internships. Under "The Project," the school mobilizes teams of 3 or 4 students from the business information technology program to work on real-life business problems identified by local firms and non-profit organizations. As part of the course, the school offers "Project" students dedicated on-campus space to meet with clients and full access to software and other technology needed to solve the problem. "Project" students receive a tuition fee discount if they get passing marks. Globe and Mail

RRC work experience "Project" involves student consulting Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:08 04/09/2012 - 16:08

A proponent of the Occupy London movement is calling on Western University to overturn a one-year ban imposed on him for participating in a campus demonstration. Mike Roy was one of about 2 dozen individuals who gathered at the university to protest an event organized by Israel On Campus. Roy says campus police unfairly targeted him, stating that no other protester received a ban notice. Israel on Campus had permission to hold their event, but the demonstrators were not cleared to stage a protest, says Western U's campus police director. He dismisses Roy's claim that he was unfairly targeted, stating that one other person was also banned for participating in the event. Roy has initiated a petition with more than 100 signatures from students, faculty, and community members. London Free Press

Protester seeks reversal of one-year ban by Western U over campus demonstration Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:06 04/09/2012 - 16:06

McGill University's preliminary review of the work of a retired professor has found no evidence of research misconduct, but the institution says it will continue to study the matter, with further guidance from the Research Integrity Officer. A Radio-Canada documentary suggested the professor was improperly influenced by his connections to the asbestos industry, and that some McGill researchers have colluded with the industry to downplay asbestos' health impacts. McGill received a formal complaint by dozens of academics, physicians, and researchers accusing some researchers at the institution of being controlled by the asbestos industry. In a memo to the McGill community last week, the dean of medicine said he was not making a request for an official investigation; however, he acknowledged that "it is my conclusion that the faculty does not currently have all required records and data in hand to assess definitely in regard to research integrity." Montreal Gazette

McGill review says asbestos claims require more vetting Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:05 04/09/2012 - 16:05

In light of class boycotts in Quebec, the Fédération des cégeps sees the next 2 weeks as a turning point "if we want to finish the school year in a reasonable period," says a spokeswoman. She says it seems unavoidable that the term will have to be extended at the CÉGEPs with student strikes, especially at the schools where boycotts have lasted at least 5 weeks. The logistical challenges in doing so are mainly linked to 2 obligations: CÉGEPs must provide at least 82 days of courses and evaluation per semester, and the 2-month holiday period for instructors must fall between June 15 and September 1. It's up to the colleges to reorganize their semester and academic calendar, says a spokeswoman for Quebec's education minister. "There is no cancellation of the semester," she says, adding that students need to understand there will be night classes and additional weeks of study. Montreal Gazette

CÉGEPs face 2-week window to save term Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:02 04/09/2012 - 16:02

Federal budget cuts targeting military colleges will eliminate up to a third of jobs now held by professors, says their professional association. The president of the Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association says he has been given a list of 68 professors the Department of National Defence is looking to lay off to reduce costs. That figure represents more than one-third of the approximately 185 faculty teaching at the Royal Military College in Kingston, the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, and the RMC campus in Saint-Jean, Quebec. All those affected are tenured professors who are locked into long-term union contracts with the colleges, says the faculty association president. He states that strict union work rules mean that faculty will not take on extra teaching burdens on any sustained basis, so fewer professors mean fewer classes. The chair of the Defence Management Studies Program at Queen's University says the cuts could affect the viability of the Saint-Jean campus, which was shut down in 1995 only to be re-opened in 2007. Postmedia News

One-third of faculty at military colleges to be laid off Top Ten 04/09/2012 - 16:00 04/09/2012 - 16:00

Wi-Fi access at Concordia University has come a long way since it was first introduced, but the biggest increase in use since Wi-Fi has been available happened in 2011, following a major network expansion. More than 98,000 users accessed Concordia's wireless network last year. It's a new record for total users, with a surge of nearly 62% in the past 12 months. Last fall, campus Wi-Fi reached a peak of over 7,000 simultaneous users, whereas just the year before simultaneous connections never surpassed 5,000. The focus now is on increasing capacity and improving performance, says Concordia's director of infrastructure and operations. For the 2012-13 fiscal year, the university plans to add another 50 to 60 access points, says Concordia's CIO. Concordia News

Wi-Fi use at Concordia hits record Top Ten 04/05/2012 - 15:38 04/05/2012 - 15:38

Sault College officials, including president Ron Common, have been travelling to several Asian and African countries as the institution prepares to welcome its first international students this fall. In recent months, officials have travelled to China, South Korea, India, Nigeria, and Ghana, participating in international education fairs, attending school events, and speaking with prospective students. A follow-up trip to India and a visit to Bangladesh are scheduled for late May. Sault College's registrar hopes 10 to 20 international students will begin their studies at the institution in September. Sault Star

Welcoming first foreign students this fall, Sault College officials go on international tour Top Ten 04/05/2012 - 15:37 04/05/2012 - 15:37

Given skyrocketing housing prices in Vancouver, UBC has released potential housing options designed to help develop more affordable housing on its Vancouver campus. The options include the possibility of discounted property purchases and rentals to encourage faculty, staff, and students to reside on campus. A proposed partnership with BC Housing would make UBC the first North American university to offer non-profit rental housing to eligible employees or faculty with an annual income below $64,000. The effort will inform a housing action plan that seeks to improve UBC's ability to compete with top universities and employers for the best and brightest minds, both internationally and locally, while helping to create a more sustainable, vibrant residential community. UBC Reports

UBC Vancouver campus proposes housing action plan Top Ten 04/05/2012 - 15:34 04/05/2012 - 15:34

Fleming College has decided to discontinue both the Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Personal Support Worker (PSW) programs at the Frost campus in Lindsay, Ontario. Financial constraints and low student numbers led college officials to review the program's viability, and it was decided that both programs would solely be offered at the Sutherland campus in Peterborough. Officials hope to grandfather current ECE students in Lindsay as the programs move to Peterborough. The current cohort of students in the 2-semester PSW program will graduate this year, so the program will continue in Peterborough only starting this fall. MyKawartha

Fleming redirecting ECE and PSW programs from Lindsay to Peterborough Top Ten 04/08/2012 - 12:59 04/05/2012 - 15:32

Lakehead University is in the initial stages of developing a centre focusing on mineral exploration and sustainable mining development. President Brian Stevenson says the centre would bring faculty together to research mining and its implications from various sources. The institution hopes to address mining issues specific to northwestern Ontario. Stevenson hopes to have a formal proposal for the mining centre ready by this fall. CBC

Lakehead looking to develop mining centre of excellence Top Ten 04/05/2012 - 15:30 04/05/2012 - 15:30

With a provincial election approaching, Alberta Premier Alison Redford announced in Lethbridge last week that a Progressive Conservative government would expand access to locally available medical training. The party states that more student spaces and pilot projects -- such as courses at the University of Lethbridge, in partnership with the University of Calgary -- would support the education of more doctors and rural physicians. One project component would see 14 students at a time taking courses at uLethbridge. Advanced Education Minister Greg Weadick says arrangements are being made to offer a full medical program in Lethbridge, through distance learning and in-person lectures. By 2015, Weadick says, there should be no need for medical students to leave southern Alberta. PC Alberta News Release | Lethbridge Herald

Alberta Tories pledge more medical training opportunities at uLethbridge Top Ten 04/08/2012 - 12:59 04/05/2012 - 15:29

A new Senate committee report examining both financial and non-financial factors of PSE observes that it is not the cost that prevents students from attending PSE, but the challenges of simply completing secondary school. Family life, social conditions, and quality of K-12 education are all major factors in PSE participation, according to the report. While tuition fees do play a role in decisions to pursue higher education, the report finds that there is funding in place to support those in need -- but all too often those financial aids go unclaimed. While education is a provincial responsibility, the report outlines more than 20 recommendations for the federal government to encourage Canadians to attend PSE. These include working with provincial education ministers on efforts to reduce the drop-out rate in high school, conducting an immediate review of the effectiveness of all education tax credits in increasing PSE accessibility, and implementing a national PSE strategy, which would include the creation of an independent Canada Education and Training Transfer to ensure there is dedicated funding for PSE and training. Report | Postmedia News

Failure to complete high school major barrier to PSE access, Senate report finds Top Ten 04/05/2012 - 15:27 04/05/2012 - 15:27

The Quebec government proposed a new student aid policy Thursday to meet students' objections to a planned tuition fee increase. The new policy calls for the repayment of student loans proportionate to graduates' income. Even with the new measures to appease students concerned about paying for their university education, the province insists it will not budge from its position on the tuition fee increase. Several students told the CBC that the new policy does nothing to change their position, and that nothing short of a tuition fee freeze will suffice. Quebec News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette | CBC

Quebec unveils new financial aid measures to assure PSE accessibility Top Ten 04/08/2012 - 12:58 04/05/2012 - 15:24

University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran has filed a grievance against Diane Davidson, the university's VP of governance, after she agreed to release documents related to his research under Ontario's freedom of information law. "The defence of confidential information, within the limits prescribed by law, is a cornerstone of the academic freedom to conduct research," Attaran states in his grievance notice. "It is disappointing that Ms. Davidson has chosen not to protect that freedom to the utmost." The professor was the subject of a series of sweeping information requests filed in January, requests he says were politically motivated. Stating that uOttawa administrators had in the past protected him from requests for performance evaluations and expense reports, Attaran argues that the university has failed to take advantage of 2 provisions in the provincial access to information law. He says the law includes an "exclusion" that places all documents associated with a university professor's research outside the reach of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. He says the law also gives administrators the right to demand any examination of documents by the commissioner be done at the university. Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa prof files grievance over release of documents Top Ten 04/05/2012 - 15:22 04/05/2012 - 15:22

Athabasca University unions are demanding that president Frits Pannekoek resign over precarious finances and expensed attendance at political events for Alberta's Progressive Conservative party. Documents obtained by the CBC show members of 2 of Athabasca U's 3 unions representing faculty and support staff overwhelmingly passed a vote of non-confidence in the president. The unions are upset because their members are facing pay cuts and potential layoffs due to budget restraints. The unions blame Athabasca U's current fiscal challenges on what they say was a failed strategy to obtain more operating funding from the provincial government. The university's board chair says the board is fully behind Pannekoek, and that the institution is in "a very sound financial position." CBC

Athabasca U unions call for president's resignation Top Ten 05/09/2013 - 12:25 04/05/2012 - 15:19

Backed by a $25-million investment from Benchmark Capital and a star-studded list of advisers (including former Harvard University president Larry Summers), the man behind the Minerva Project aims to create "the first elite American university to be launched in a century." Ben Nelson, the CEO of the photo-sharing site Snapfish, says Minerva plans to define "elite" differently from Ivy League and other highly selective institutions, at a lower price. Students will be admitted through a rigorous 2-step process based on academic credentials and an interview to test an applicant's drive, analytical skills, and goals. Factors that may help a student get admitted to a highly selective institution -- such as money -- will not be considered at Minerva, Nelson says. Geography will also not be an admissions factor, so he expects the vast majority of students will come from outside the US. Minerva aims to hire top professors to develop their own online lectures and course materials, and students will also sift through that material in 25-student interactive seminars led by instructors. A residential option will allow students to reside in dormitories in major cities worldwide, where they can experience the same kind of peer encounters that enhance the education at liberal arts and other residential institutions. Inside Higher Ed | Minerva Project

$25-million investment supports initiative to create elite US university Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 15:58 04/04/2012 - 15:58

The University of Ottawa will vote next month on a proposal that would give faculty members the power to prohibit laptops and other electronic devices in the classroom. "(Students) are distracted and we are competing with that for their attention," says a professor who voted in favour of the policy. "You see one student who is really not listening, would be watching the video and then it's kind of contagious." Many students say they learn better with a laptop, and the student federation's VP says it's an important tool. The professor supporting the proposal says he wants to conduct an experiment with his students, not ban the devices outright. He wants to challenge students to leave their devices outside the lecture hall and take a quiz, and is confident he would see higher test scores. The professor says the cost of "distracted learning" is hefty when considering some students are losing out on a pricey education. CTV

uOttawa profs seek ban on electronic devices in classroom Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 16:40 04/04/2012 - 15:55

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada released last week a report that contains 10 recommendations for transforming postgraduate medical education -- the second phase of Canadian medical education where learners with an MD degree train to become clinicians. Each recommendation is backed by a key transformation action and other strategies that will need a collective will to implement. The recommendations are: ensuring the right mix, distribution, and number of physicians to meet societal needs; cultivating social accountability through experience in diverse learning and work environments; creating positive and supportive learning and work environments; integrating competency-based curricula in postgraduate programs; ensuring effective integration and transitions along the educational continuum; implementing effective assessment systems; developing, supporting, and recognizing clinical teachers; fostering leadership development; establishing effective collaborative governance in postgraduate medical education; and aligning accreditation standards. AFMC News Release | Report

AFMC outlines recommendations to transform postgraduate medical education Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 15:52 04/04/2012 - 15:52

Through his family foundation, arts philanthropist Michael Audain has made a $5-million gift that will establish a major new visual arts centre at the University of British Columbia. The donation will create the Audain Art Centre, an important new facility for the institution's Department of Art History, Visual Art Theory. Tying with the largest donation UBC's arts faculty has ever received, the gift brings Audain's total donations to UBC to more than $10 million. UBC News Release

$5-million gift creates new arts centre at UBC Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 15:50 04/04/2012 - 15:50

The Vancouver Sun reports that a former BC Liberal MLA now working as Simon Fraser University's director of government relations has used his SFU expense account to attend  Liberal events. Documents obtained by the paper show that in just over one month earlier this year, Hurd expensed $2,045 to attend 7 party fundraisers. An SFU spokesman says the university had no official policy but has allowed the practice for years. He says the institution will no longer allow such donations. "For many years we have attended events of both parties, NDP and Liberal, to further the university's interests," the spokesman says, adding that questions from the Sun have sparked an abrupt revision of policy. The BC Liberal Party's executive director says the party will return all funds to the SFU employee in 2012. BC's Elections Act does not specifically prohibit donations from public-sector organizations; however, the province says it clearly bars such activities. Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto calls the matter "serious" and says she will be talking to all provincial PSE institutions to ensure they have proper policies in place. A CBC investigation revealed last month that some Alberta PSE institutions also expensed attendance at political events for the province's Progressive Conservatives. Vancouver Sun

SFU official expensed over $2,000 to attend BC Liberal fundraisers Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 16:33 04/04/2012 - 15:48

Collège de Valleyfield and Collège Montmorency announced late last week they are annulling their summer courses in light of the ongoing student strike against tuition fee increases in Quebec. In announcing its suspension, Montmorency urged the provincial government to negotiate with students. Meanwhile, a Université Laval student was granted a temporary injunction Tuesday to give him access to his anthropology class. The injunction is valid until 6 pm on April 12. La Presse (in French) | uLaval News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette

2 CÉGEPs cancel summer courses due to students' walkout Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 15:44 04/04/2012 - 15:44

The University of Saskatchewan announced Tuesday that it will need to reduce its expenses over the next 4 years in light of budget pressures. At a public town hall meeting, uSask's provost and VP of finance and resources outlined how the 2.1% increase in the university's operating grant for 2012-13 affects financial projections for the future. uSask had requested a 5.8% increase in its grant. Before knowing what its grant would be, the institution projected a $10-million shortfall over the next planning cycle, which is 2012-16, says the provost. Now that uSask knows what the grant is, he says the projected gap is more likely $12 million to $15 million in 2012-13, and $20 million to $40 million per year until 2016. uSask News Release

uSask to decrease expenses to address projected multimillion-dollar shortfall Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 15:42 04/04/2012 - 15:41

The University of Windsor will close Café Chez Vanier this September to save about $300,000 in direct costs and balance Food Services' budget. Students were consulted on the decision, which allows Food Services to reserve funding for capital projects designed to improve the student experience. The decision will see the elimination of 40 part-time positions, while all full-time positions from the restaurant will be absorbed into other food outlets. The move is part of a larger realignment exercise the whole campus is undertaking to find $4.2 million in savings from uWindsor's operating budget. uWindsor Daily News | Windsor Star

uWindsor café closure to result in part-time job cuts Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 15:39 04/04/2012 - 15:39

Camosun College officials say the institution will have to cut more than 40 jobs this year in order to balance its budget. Camosun expects to eliminate most of the jobs through attrition and early retirements, but 15 to 20 employees could get layoff notices. The college plans to eliminate 6.6 administrative positions, 22.5 support staff, and 17 faculty members. The job cuts will be offset in part by the addition of 12.6 positions in new areas, such as a medical radiography program that received $3.4 million in start-up funding from the BC government. Camosun president Kathryn Laurin says the institution was facing a $2.5-million shortfall largely because the province provided no additional funding to address rising costs over the past 3 years. Camosun tried to offset the shortfall by raising money in other areas, but that revenue also dipped, Laurin says. "We're at a juncture now where we can no longer preserve and protect all of our program offerings and services." Victoria Times-Colonist

Camosun to cut over 40 positions to help balance budget Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 16:39 04/04/2012 - 15:36

Through its 2012 budget, the Nova Scotia government will invest a further $5.5 million in student aid. Awaiting details on this investment, the Canadian Federation of Students hopes the new funding will go toward increasing up-front needs-based grants. The budget outlines a decreased investment in the Graduate Retention Rebate, from approximately $25 million to $11.2 million. Calling the rebate program "wasteful," the CFS points to data showing that less than half of eligible graduates filed for the rebate in 2009, and less than a third did so in 2010. Nova Scotia Community College has received a 1.13% increase in its operating grant as a result of a $2.75-million provincial investment to help NSCC prepare for shipbuilding-related training. Job-related investments outlined in the budget include $3 million to increase the number of trade apprenticeships, $1.8 million to boost the number of work placement opportunities for PSE students, and $1 million to set up career kiosks in high schools to help students think about jobs after graduation. NS Budget Speech | Budget 2012 (jobsHere) | Budget 2012 (For Students) | NSCC News Release | CFS-NS News Release

NS budget invests in student aid, job growth Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 16:39 04/04/2012 - 15:32

The Australian government has unveiled a new website its tertiary education minister says will "help drive universities to lift performance and quality." Through MyUniversity, users can compare Australia's 39 public universities on a variety of data, such as institutional fees, student satisfaction rates, student/staff ratios, and graduate employment outcomes. Students will also be able to look beyond the public institutions to private PSE providers to see what courses are available, including a fee schedule. A postgraduate study section will feature student numbers in master's and PhD fields, as well as scholarships and Commonwealth support. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that some universities have cautioned students not to make their choice of institution solely on information provided by the site. Sydney Morning Herald | MyUniversity

Website comparing Australian universities focuses on quality Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 16:07 04/03/2012 - 16:07

New data from the Council of Graduate Schools show that for the seventh consecutive year, Chinese applications to American graduate programs experienced double-digit growth, increasing by 18% this year. 47% of all international applications for fall 2012 graduate spaces are from China. This country is not the only one from which there is a surge in interest. Applications from Mexico rose by 17%, those from Brazil grew by 14%, and Canadian applications climbed by 9%. Overall, international graduate student applications for fall 2012 increased by 9%. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Chinese students represent nearly half of all foreign applicants to US grad programs Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 16:04 04/03/2012 - 16:04

University of Toronto students have joined their counterparts at other Canadian campuses by producing a lip dub, which made its debut last Thursday. Featuring more than 1,500 students and volunteers, the 7-and-a-half-minute video was shot over 3 days last September, with a re-shoot in February because footage from the Mississauga campus did not meet organizers' standards. There are a number of cuts in the video; while that is not typical of lip dubs, it allowed producers to include all 3 of uToronto's campuses. President David Naylor makes a cameo appearance in the video, donning white sunglasses and dancing the robot alongside a group of cheerleaders. Featuring a variety of electronic dance music, the video has so far garnered nearly 60,000 views on YouTube. Toronto Star | U of T Lip Dub

uToronto releases student lip dub Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 16:03 04/03/2012 - 16:03

Last month, the University of Ottawa unveiled uoCal -- an events calendar that will help the institution achieve one of the main goals in its strategic plan: to private a rich, inspiring student experience. The idea of uoCal was first suggested by the student federation, which approached administration to work together on creating one single events calendar for the whole campus community. Compared to previous online calendars, uoCal is a more visually attractive and user-friendly tool that includes social media functions such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google Maps. 2 students who helped with the uoCal project believe the new service will increase the number of students participating in uOttawa-related events. The tool is easier to access as it is integrated into the uoZone student portal, and is also "much faster than the previous tool and looks better too, something that will attract more people," says one student. uOttawa Gazette

uOttawa launches new online events calendar to help enrich student experience Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 16:00 04/03/2012 - 16:00

A new report from the Human Resources Professionals Association and Deloitte examines key trends shaping the Canadian workplace and outlines 3 potential scenarios of what the Canadian economy and society could look like in 2025. The "Lost Decade" scenario is one in which Canada fails to make strategic decisions about education, employment, and immigration. The "Unsustainable Prosperity" scenario shows that the "education system fails to evolve to meet new labour market conditions, producing 'smart people' with unsellable skills." As the most desirable scenario, "The Northern Tiger" sees that "new globally competitive sectors, like green technology and ICT, are spawned by the strength of an integrated, technology-savvy, diverse and highly-engaged workforce." Stating that in recent decades Canada's education system has failed to meet the needs of our society, the report says tracking employment trends and aligning education programs to match demand is essential. HRPA News Release | Report

Report outlines 3 scenarios for Canadian workplace in 2025 Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 15:58 04/03/2012 - 15:58

New research from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario finds that most PSE institutions are not identifying, or responding to, the specific needs of recent immigrant adult students in Canada. Based on surveys of students at 5 Ontario PSE schools and a series of focus groups, the report found that many barriers these students face -- such as limited language proficient and insufficient knowledge of Canada's higher education system -- were not being addressed by institutions, and the few support programs that did exist were not being fully utilized. The most effective means of connecting with these students is in the classroom, the report states. Faculty members are encouraged to collaborate with student services to ensure students are aware of specialized services offered. Research Summary | Full Report

PSE schools not meeting needs of recent immigrant adult students, study finds Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 15:55 04/03/2012 - 15:55

Several factors are driving a desire at Canadian universities to revise class scheduling: increasing enrolment; limited budgets; changing pedagogical methods; and new technologies. "The days of large lecture deliveries have changed," says a University of Manitoba official, whose institution now needs a greater number of smaller spaces and classrooms with technological capabilities. With new scheduling software and policy, as well as considerable focus on faculty buy-in, Carleton University boosted its classroom occupancy rate last fall to 91%, up from 46% before the double cohort of secondary school graduates hit Ontario's PSE system in 2003. A one-size-fits-all solution for scheduling does not exist, since an institution's individual situation affects its needs. Because Concordia University is an urban institution with a high proportion of working students who live off-campus, late afternoon and evening courses are in fairly high demand, and demand is low on Mondays and Fridays. "Wednesday early evening is when we find our facilities are really stretched," says Concordia's provost. On the plus side, as a downtown institution, it has the option of renting additional space rather than building it. University Affairs

Increased enrolment, pedagogical changes pushing universities to maximize classroom space Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 15:53 04/03/2012 - 15:53

Business schools at Canadian universities are light-years ahead of the rest of their campuses in boosting their international profile. "Innovation (on campuses) seems to be driven by the business schools," says Academica Group's Ken Steele. "Watching what they are up to, and what they are grappling with, tells us what is coming for the rest of us." Like their international competitors, Canadian business schools are revising curricula, introducing specialty programs, and bolstering study-aboard opportunities, largely in response to employer demand for graduates prepared for a borderless world. At HÉC Montreal, where one-third of the student body comes from outside Canada, programs delivered in French, English, and Spanish have become one way to stand out in a crowded field. Delivering a global experience is central to branding efforts by McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management, whose newly self-funded MBA program has a strong international focus. "(Canadian business schools) were way ahead of everyone in recognizing the importance of a global market and the importance of internationalization," says York University president Mamdouh Shoukri. York U's Schulich School of Business is collaborating with a partner institution in India to build a new campus in Hyderabad, adding to the school's international profile. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Canadian business schools at frontier of internationalization Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 15:47 04/03/2012 - 15:47

York University announced Monday that it would no longer pursue a partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) to establish a graduate program in international law. While York U believes the agreement held tremendous opportunity and promise for the institution, and that it had developed a framework that would have guaranteed academic freedom, it knows it needed broad support from the school, including the Osgoode Hall Law School, for the initiative to be successful. On Monday, the Osgoode Faculty Council voted 34 to 7 against a revised version of the agreement, with 8 abstentions, resulting in York U abandoning the partnership. Despite the institution's decision to withdraw from the deal, CIGI says it will continue to pursue a program of research into international law. Concerns about the influence the Waterloo-based think-tank might have over hiring and research had prompted a warning of censure from the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Y-File | Globe and Mail | National Post | Toronto Star | Waterloo Region Record

York U drops out of international law agreement with CIGI Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 15:44 04/03/2012 - 15:44

Police say a former nursing student at Oikos University -- a small Christian institution in Oakland, California -- had gone to the campus Monday morning to find a female administrator when he started shooting, killing 7 people and wounding 3 others. Oakland's police chief says the suspect, 43-year-old One L. Goh, began shooting people after learning the administrator was not at the campus. "We've learned that the suspect was upset with the administration at the school. He was also upset that students in the past, when he attended the school, mistreated him, disrespected him, and things of that nature," the police chief says. "He was having, we believe, some behavioral problems at the school and was asked to leave several months ago." The police chief says there were about 35 individuals on or near the campus when gunfire broke out. Of the 7 fatalities, 5 died at the scene and the other 2 at the hospital. Police say the deceased are 6 women and one man ranging in age from their 20s to 40s. The wound victims are in stable condition in hospital, and at least one individual has been released. Officers believe the suspect acted alone. Oakland Tribune | Associated Press

Former student fatally shoots 7 at California Christian institution Top Ten 04/03/2012 - 15:39 04/03/2012 - 15:39

According to a new survey from the US-based Forum on Education Abroad, money is not the chief concern of study-abroad leaders. Respondents, who work in campus study-abroad offices or for program providers, cited students' ability to integrate into another culture as their top concern, followed by student preparation and helping students maximize their experience overseas. Program costs and the need for further financial support, which had ranked highest on previous surveys, were the fourth- and fifth-greatest issues. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Finances not top concern for study-abroad leaders, survey finds Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 16:04 04/02/2012 - 16:04

Starting this year, every Brescia University College graduate will participate in a ring ceremony, where graduates will receive their unique Brescia ring. The event will be added to Brescia's Baccalaureate and Magisterial Ceremony, which celebrates the academic accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students. A formal ring ceremony will be introduced at Homecoming every year to allow for alumnae to participate in this latest Brescia tradition. Displaying the Brescia symbol, the ring is available in silver and yellow or white gold. Earlier this year, the University of Lethbridge introduced its official graduation ring. Brescia Ring

Brescia unveils grad ring Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 16:02 04/02/2012 - 16:02

Currently competing in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, Algoma University has made a formal application to join Ontario University Athletics starting in 2013-14. Given that Algoma U has been an independent university since 2008, "it's time to adjust our varsity programming to reflect that fact," says president Richard Myers. "If we want people to think of us as a university, we should probably associate ourselves with our sister universities. The OCAA is an excellent organization, but playing in a league composed primarily of colleges sometimes leads to confusion about who we are and what we do, especially in Southern Ontario." A 5-person committee overseeing Algoma U's application will head to Sault Ste. Marie later this month for a site visit. Sault Star

Algoma U seeks Ontario University Athletics membership Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 16:00 04/02/2012 - 16:00

A $1.3-million donation to Langara College will establish two $10,000 annual scholarships for journalism students. The endowment was bequeathed to the Vancouver-based college by the estate of Michael Mercer to honour the memory of his wife Jeani Read, who began her journalism career at the Vancouver Province. The scholarships will be awarded to successful applicants upon graduation, to provide support for approximately 3 months while they produce a major work of journalism. Complementing the scholarship is an endowed honorarium that will provide funds to compensate mentors of scholarship winners. Langara News | Vancouver Province

Langara receives $1.3-million bequest Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 15:56 04/02/2012 - 15:56

In the fall of 2016, George Brown College will open its first student residence in downtown Toronto. An 8-storey building in the Pan Am Games Village will be constructed to the college's specifications as a modern 500-bed, accessible facility that will meet LEED Gold environmental standards. There will be 2-bedroom units with kitchenettes, washrooms, common rooms, and study spaces, with state-of-the-art telecommunications built in. The residence will also feature a security system with card access, social spaces, laundry facilities, and extensive bicycle storage. George Brown College News

George Brown College planning first residence Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 15:54 04/02/2012 - 15:54

The University of Saskatchewan's College of Education is delaying the complete launch of a revamped BEd program after some professors were critical of the planned changes. This September, one set of entering students will be the first to take a completely different set of courses, known as the 2012 program, while the remaining new students, along with current students, will carry on with the existing program from 1998. A critique of the revised program points to an overemphasis on Aboriginal readings in some courses to the exclusion of other marginalized groups, and suggests the program is lacking lessons on how teachers should teach a specific subject area. Due to the criticism, the college decided to try the program as just a pilot project in the fall. Meanwhile, the college has struck 2 subcommittees to address the contentious parts of the curriculum. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Faculty criticism results in delay of complete launch of uSask's revised BEd Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 15:52 04/02/2012 - 15:52

Like the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, several other post-secondary organizations praise increased government investment in research and innovation as outlined in the latest federal budget. The Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Polytechnics Canada welcome the funding allocated to the Canada Foundation for Innovation's College-Industry Innovation Fund. ACCC says new investments to support First Nations on-reserve elementary and secondary education will ultimately increase participation rates in higher education. The Canadian Bureau for International Education welcomes Ottawa's continued commitment to international education as signaled in the new budget. The Canadian Federation of Students criticizes the budget for not containing any student aid measures to offset students' rising debt loads. "Funding aimed at bridging academic research and the private sector would have been more effectively spent with improved financial assistance for students," says the president of Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. ACCC News Release | Polytechnics Canada News Release | COU News Release | CREPUQ News Release (in French) | CFHSS News Release | CBIE News Release | CFS News Release | CASA News Release

More reaction from PSE community on federal budget Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 15:50 04/02/2012 - 15:50

On Friday, a Quebec Superior Court judge ordered a temporary injunction to end the student walkout at Collège d'Alma, a CÉGEP in the province's Saguenay region. The order meant that picketing in opposition to tuition fee increases had to end and students had to return to school on Monday. Students at the CÉGEP had voted to walk out in early March. The president of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec says students will fight the injunction. Meanwhile, a Université de Montréal law student lost his bid Friday for a similar court injunction. The court ruled that there was no need for an emergency injunction becauses classes had resumed in the student's particular faculty. Collège d'Alma blog (in French) | CBC | Canadian Press

Collège d'Alma students ordered to end class boycott Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 17:27 04/02/2012 - 15:46

NSCAD University has presented its "Framework for Sustainability" to Nova Scotia's advanced education department, detailing how it plans to balance its budget. Cost-saving measures include: tightening the timetable; administrative restructuring; an expense freeze; an increased rental footprint at the Granville campus; the introduction of some student fees; and job cuts through attrition and fewer part-time positions. NSCAD says it has made significant progress in terms of collaboration, which was a major theme of the Windsor report. Proposed collaborations include jointly offered core courses, electives, online classes, and full programs between NSCAD and PSE institutions including Dalhousie University, Saint Mary's University, University of King's College, and Nova Scotia Community College. Early indications are that NSCAD's enrolments for this fall are healthy, and the sustainability framework includes investments to boost recruitment efforts. The university aims to increase enrolment by 10% over the next 5 years. NSCAD News Release | Report | CBC

NSCAD delivers financial sustainability framework to province Top Ten 04/10/2012 - 15:11 04/02/2012 - 15:43

The University of Toronto's Faculty of Arts and Science recently kicked off its $250-million campaign. Unprecedented for an arts and science faculty in Canada, the fundraising initiative is a major component of uToronto's $2-billion "Boundless" campaign, which has already raised more than $1 billion. "We will seek philanthropic support to expand our innovative undergraduate programs that promote interdisciplinary thinking, first-year learning communities, international learning experiences and research opportunities. We will also seek to bolster our scholarship endowment to ensure access and opportunity to our undergraduates, and attract the best domestic and international graduate students," says the faculty's dean. The faculty has already raised $142 million, which is 57% of its goal. uToronto News

uToronto arts and science faculty launches $250-million fundraising campaign Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 15:40 04/02/2012 - 15:40

E-learning giant Blackboard has acquired Moodlerooms and NetSpot, a pair of companies that provide support for Moodle, the leading open-source alternative to Blackboard's proprietary online learning management software (LMS) platform. Blackboard says it will not replace any of the leadership personnel at the 2 companies, nor will it try to assimilate or rebrand them, as the firm as done in prior acquisitions. Blackboard has also unveiled an "Open Service Support Group" aimed at selling support services to PSE institutions that use free, open-source LMS systems.  Presswire News Release  |  Inside Higher Ed

Blackboard launches Moodle consulting division Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:06 03/31/2012 - 19:06

A new video, “McGill State of Mind,” highlights the benefits of attending McGill, including the strong community and extracurricular activities, in order to counter negative portrayals of McGill over the last year. The video, which includes original lyrics to the Jay-Z song “New York State of Mind,” includes 300 students, staff and faculty, and 40 student groups. The goal of the video was to “portray this ‘community’ feeling that could be shared among active McGill members, alumni who wanted to relive fond memories, and prospective students interest[ed] in attending one of the best extracurricular universities in the world.” The YouTube video has been viewed more than 32,000 times.  McGill State of Mind Website  |  YouTube 

“McGill State of Mind” music video celebrates community Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:06 03/31/2012 - 19:06

A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research raises alarm over women’s declining representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees from US community colleges. Women earned 33.8% of STEM degrees in 1997, but only 27.5% in 2007. Women in STEM fields earn one-third more than women in non-STEM fields, and jobs in STEM fields are expected to increase by 17% by 2018. The report urges colleges to encourage women, especially low-income women with children, to participate in STEM fields by providing scholarships, childcare, peer mentoring, and targeted marketing. The report concludes that doing so “can provide an important pathway to economic security for student parents and their families, while contributing to the future competitiveness of the US economy.”  IWPR News Release  |  The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Declining numbers of female STEM grads from US colleges Top Ten 04/02/2012 - 08:55 03/31/2012 - 19:05

BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released a report on the January 2012 theft of a USB key containing the banking information of 12,000 University of Victoria employees. The report argues that the university “failed to implement reasonable safeguards” to protect the stolen data, but that it satisfied its legal obligations once the breach was discovered. The recommendations include updating privacy and security policies every 3 years, increasing the physical security of buildings that store personal information, stronger security measures for laptops and USB keys, and an external review of uVic’s privacy policies. uVic has accepted the findings, and has already implemented many of the suggestions, including alarming the Financial Services wing, and requiring all new laptops to be encrypted.  uVic News Release  |  BC Information and Privacy Commissioner News Release (PDF)

Postscript June 5, 2012 : UVic external review argues that the privacy breach was avoidable: A review commissioned by the University of Victoria suggests methods to increase security after a USB key containing payroll information was stolen in January. It suggests improved training and education, a wider use of encryption for sensitive data, enforcing existing policies, and developing campus-wide security standards. UVic has accepted this report and has already implemented many of its recommendations. UVic News Release

 

uVic accepts Privacy Commissioner’s Report Top Ten 06/04/2012 - 16:56 03/31/2012 - 19:04

The Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC (CUFA-BC) is criticizing the provincial government’s proposed Bill 18, which allows university and college boards of governors to request the removal of board members over conflicts of interest. Robert Clift of CUFA-BC says “Bill 18 is squarely aimed at bullying and intimidating the professors, students and staff members who serve on university and college boards.” Bill 18 would allow “any elected board member who dissents from [the] party line [to] be given the boot without being given a fair hearing and with no right of appeal.” The government has argued these provisions are necessary to prevent conflicts of interest on university and college boards. CUFA-BC has vowed to continue its opposition to the legislation.  CUFA-BC News Release

CUFA-BC opposes bill regarding board members Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:03 03/31/2012 - 19:03

Last Friday, Trent University’s Board of Governors approved a new academic plan for 2012-15 entitled “Radical Recovery.” The action-oriented plan showcases 4 signature programs (Sustainability/Environment, Canadian/Indigenous Studies, Life/Health Sciences, and Critical Cultural Inquiry), and is built around 5 principles and 10 overarching goals. The plan’s goals are to maintain Trent’s tradition of a liberal arts and science university, while building on existing research capabilities. Strategies include continuing teaching excellence with small classes, developing research at the undergraduate and graduate level, creating new undergraduate programs in Health Sciences and the Environment, reducing unsustainable programs, and emphasizing interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity. Trent will also encourage student-centred interactive pedagogy, and introduce more online course delivery.  Trent News Release 

Trent releases new academic plan for “radical recovery” Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:02 03/31/2012 - 19:02

Last Wednesday, Humber College celebrated the grand opening of its new Design Centre for the School of Applied Technology, which will accommodate students in Architectural Technology, Design Foundation, Industrial Design, Interior Decorating and Interior Design.  Located on Humber’s North Campus, the Centre’s layout is similar to many design and architectural firms, with 7 large open studios, a computer lab and a resource room with the latest in design technology. The School’s Dean says their “collaborative learning approach creates synergies among our programs, faculties and students, creating an educational environment that is reflective of the way professional design firms operate.” The Centre is part of a campus expansion that will add 2,200 students to the North Campus by 2017.  Humber News Release

Humber opens new Applied Technology Design Centre Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:01 03/31/2012 - 19:01

Last Friday, Saint Mary’s University announced a new 3-storey, 26,000 square-foot building on their Halifax campus, to house state-of-the-art facilities for SMU’s programs in Applied and Experiential Learning, Leadership Development, ESL and Business Development. Construction on the “School of Global Learning” building will commence in May 2012, with completion scheduled before September 2013.  SMU News Release

SMU announces $15 million “School of Global Learning” Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:00 03/31/2012 - 19:00

Line Beauchamp, the Quebec Minister for Education, offered to meet with students to discuss potential changes to loan and bursary programs – but not until students accept that tuition will increase by $325 per year for five years. Beauchamp argued that the leaders of the opposition parties support some sort of fee increase, and that the students’ position “does not reflect the position of the majority of the National Assembly, elected by the population.” The students rejected the offer, and argued that executive pay should be addressed in order to lower university costs.  Montreal Gazette

Quebec education minister unwilling to meet with students until they accept tuition increases Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 18:59 03/31/2012 - 18:59

The 2012 federal budget, tabled last week, increased funding for research and innovation, and encouraged closer ties between universities and private companies. AUCC welcomed continued funding of SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR, an additional $500 million over 5 years for CFI, and $275 million for on-reserve First Nations education: “the government showed leadership by continuing its investments in research, innovation, research infrastructure and university-private sector collaborations.” On the other hand, CAUT cautioned that an emphasis on commercial research, rather than pure scientific inquiry, “will stifle rather than promote growth and scientific advancement,” and expressed concern about $9.6 million cut from Library and Archives Canada. However, both the CAUT and the AUCC were pleased that the federal government did not reduce education transfer payments to the provinces.  Budget 2012  |  AUCC News Release  |  CAUT News Release | Globe and Mail

Federal budget boosts funding for innovation Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 18:58 03/31/2012 - 18:58

The first year of the British government's new fees and funding regime is expected to cost some post-1992 universities nearly 13% of their undergraduate student intake and up to 46% of their direct grant. According to new figures from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the total recurrent grant allocation for PSE falls 18.6% to £4.9 billion. This reflects the fact that 2012-13 is the first year universities will derive income from "new regime" undergraduate students, who will be charged up to £9,000 in tuition fees. Teaching grants will end for these students in all but high-cost subjects. The University of East London is hit by the biggest projected fall in full-time undergraduate numbers, with its 2012-13 intake down 12.6% (or 622 places) on 2011-12. Manchester Metropolitan University is projected to lose 11.1% of its intake (900 places), the biggest decline in terms of overall numbers. Times Higher Education

British universities face enrolment declines under new funding regime Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:12 03/29/2012 - 14:12

A lawsuit pending against New York-based Cornell University argues that the institution did not do enough to restrict access to a particular means of suicide. A father claims that Cornell U was negligent for not having set up barriers on the campus bridge where his son jumped to his death in February 2010. Limiting access to particular methods of suicide, a strategy known as means restriction, has been gaining traction among mental-health researchers, but it has not taken hold on most campuses, where counselling and education tend to be the focal point of suicide-prevention efforts. Only a few schools, mainly where students' suicides have made headlines in recent years, have officials acted to significantly alter physical aspects of the campus for the sake of prevention. "Vigorously" fighting the suit, Cornell U already put up fences on its bridges, in March 2010, and plans to install nets underneath them. University officials argue that even though they are now introducing means restriction, they were under no legal obligation to do so. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Cornell U sued over failing to restrict access to means of suicide Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:11 03/29/2012 - 14:11

The federal government is proposing a major change to how foreign skilled workers' education credentials are assessed. Under the proposed new requirement, designated organizations would assess and verify the foreign education credentials of applicants wanting to immigrate as Federal Skilled Workers, before immigrants would arrive in Canada. A pre-arrival assessment would let applicants know how their education credentials compare to Canadian ones and it would give immigrants an idea of how Canadian employers are likely to value their education. The government says this would screen out individuals without proper education levels -- an important step in helping to address the issue of immigrants arriving and not being able to work in their field. CIC News Release

Ottawa to revise assessment of foreign education credentials Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:10 03/29/2012 - 14:10

McGill University and its Institute of Islamic Studies have received a $1.25-million donation from the State of Qatar. Announced Monday during a visit to McGill by the first Ambassador from Qatar to Canada, the gift coincides with the institution's 60th anniversary and will be used to support a series of conferences to be held over the next year. McGill News Release

Qatar donates $1.25 million to McGill's Institute of Islamic Studies Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:08 03/29/2012 - 14:08

Mount Allison University has revisited the strategic statement it released in 2007, and identified priorities for the second half of the 10-year plan. The updated strategic statement is divided into 2 parts: the first identifies the 6 broad categories of the statement, and the second outlines an updated statement and "action plan" for each of the categories. Proposed actions include improving the strategic recruitment strategy to recruit 780 first-year students annually; developing a formal retention paradigm with appropriate metrics and targets; maintaining the appearance, safety, and functionality of the campus; aligning all budgeting and fundraising practices and policies with the strategic statement; and pursuing and implementing any and all possible governance accountability processes that will improve Mount Allison's performance in maintaining the quality of its programming and increasing its capacity for sustainability. Mount Allison News Release | Strategic Statement Update

Mount Allison updates strategic statement Top Ten 05/11/2015 - 11:47 03/29/2012 - 14:07

Concordia University's senate and board of governors have approved a change allowing Loyola International College to become the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability. The newly renamed college "will continue to foster the unique educational experience students have come to recognize as the hallmark of Concordia's colleges," says president Frederick Lowy. Based at the Loyola campus, the college opened in 2002 with the aim of providing an environment in which societal issues could be explored from multiple perspectives in a small group setting. Concordia News Release

New name for college at Concordia's Loyola campus Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:05 03/29/2012 - 14:05

Trent University president Steven Franklin says the 1.9% university funding increase, as outlined in Ontario's latest budget, does not match the rising costs at his institution. If Trent is not able to grow at a rate of 2% a year, it will have to cut expenditures in other ways. Franklin says an enrolment growth of 2% is the institution's goal, but it has not met that target in the last couple of years. "Growth is the primary goal," he says. "And we intend to do that in Peterborough and Oshawa." Franklin says there is growth potential at both campuses, with new programs at the Peterborough campus and the population growth in the Oshawa region, where Trent opened a new campus in 2010. Peterborough Examiner

Trent sets enrolment increase target to make up for funding increase cap Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:04 03/29/2012 - 14:04

The University of Victoria's board of governors has approved a balanced budget framework for the 2012-13 fiscal year that preserves funding in key areas such as student aid and library acquisitions, while implementing an across-the-board 1.5% reduction in other areas. With no increase in the government operating grant for the 2012-13 fiscal year, rising costs require UVic to make a budget cut. In its latest budget, the BC government announced that university operating grants will be cut by 1% in 2013-14 and by another 1.5% in 2014-15. UVic's budget framework includes $500,000 in one-time funding allocated to student aid at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to maintain UVic's standing in the top 20% of Canadian universities. The institution is also allocating resources to student recruitment and retention. UVic News Release

Rising costs at UVic require a budget cut Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:02 03/29/2012 - 14:02

For the first time in more than a decade, New Brunswick's budget speech did not mention universities and their students, which the New Brunswick Student Alliance says is concerning as students are starting to look for summer work and plan their finances for the year ahead. The NBSA requests that the government and the PSE ministry present the detailed department budget and all related information before the end of the academic term. The student group also wants to know more about potential student aid programs changes. In early January, department officials told student representatives that a program review was running behind schedule and that the information would be available shortly. The NBSA says the government has released no information to date. NBSA News Release

No mention of universities in NB budget speech has students concerned Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 14:01 03/29/2012 - 14:01

A coalition of students, staff, and faculty are asking the Nova Scotia government to clarify parts of a report on the financial difficulties at NSCAD University that was submitted to the province in April 2010, but was only recently made public after the group filed a freedom of information request. "We would like the government to clarify why they felt it necessary to bury this very helpful report and commission an entirely new one this past fall," says the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers' president. "The Hogg report is very detailed and offers a much more reasonable plan for creating a sustainable and independent NSCAD than is contained within the Windsor report, which is the report the government chose to make public." Written by William Hogg, a former deputy finance minister, the 2010 report contains some recommendations that appear to be at odds with the province's actions and Windsor report recommendations. The Hogg report states that the next review of NSCAD's finances need not be conducted until the end of 2012-13 fiscal year, and urges the government to continue the past practice of funding the university's facilities and space-related costs. CFS-NS News Release

NS PSE group seeks clarification on 2010 government report on NSCAD Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 13:58 03/29/2012 - 13:58

The College Board, the company behind the SAT and advanced placement exams, has introduced a website that centres on the qualitative elements of the college-search process. "Big Future" features a college-search function, information about majors and scholarships, and an "action plan" that guides users through the various phases of the admissions process. Visitors to the site can watch more than 100 short videos in which PSE students and admissions experts share their thoughts on a variety of topics, such as financial aid, campus visits, and student mobility. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Big Future

College Board launches new admissions site Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:28 03/28/2012 - 12:28

New US research observes that college students whose parents were significantly involved in their lives did not hinder their progress. Although nearly 88% of parents surveyed reported being either somewhat or very involved throughout their child's college years, the researchers say the term "helicopter parents" is a misnomer. The study found that students in the sample (those whose parents were involved in their business) scored better on a scale measuring 4 areas key to personal development -- academic autonomy, healthy lifestyle, life purpose, and mature interpersonal relationships -- than did their non-sample peers. Researchers found that parents rarely intervened or solved problems for their students by contacting the PSE institution, but when they did, it was often for issues involving financial aid or bill pay. Parents intervened for one of 5 reasons: to seek or provide information, to seek understanding, to provide assistance or advocacy, and to register an opinion. Inside Higher Ed

Parents' involvement in college students' lives not a hindrance, survey finds Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:26 03/28/2012 - 12:26

Simon Fraser University and The Prince's Foundation for Building Community have signed an MOU to develop a global knowledge network that advances sustainable urban development. The collaboration will see both parties develop an integrated curriculum by adapting and expanding existing learning resources for sustainable urbanism, urban design, and urban economic development. The parties will also explore ways to expand the university's development of online education resources, such as integrated distance education, in sustainable urbanism. The Prince of Wales created the foundation in 1987 with the goal of a future where everyone participates in making their communities more sustainable. SFU News Release

SFU signs MOU to foster student engagement in sustainable urbanism Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:24 03/28/2012 - 12:24

The University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Shanghai Normal University (SHNU) have signed a memorandum of agreement that will provide significant benefits to both institutions. "Internationalizing the B.Ed. program will increase opportunities for international students, educational leaders and for OISE students," says OISE's registrar. "Down the road this relationship will help OISE expand internship opportunities in China for our own students." Both institutions expect increased collaborations at the graduate level and further opportunities for teachers-in-training and school leaders in both Canada and China. A key university in Shanghai city, SHNU is recognized for teaching training and liberal arts, concentrating on undergraduate education. OISE News

OISE, Shanghai Normal University sign agreement on teacher education Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:22 03/28/2012 - 12:22

Loyalist College is running a new marketing campaign in support of its School of Media Studies, which is expanding to 13 full-time programs as of September 2012. The multi-media "Plan on It" campaign revolves around a microsite where prospective students can learn about Media Studies programs and the careers toward which they are geared. When an individual shares the microsite with friends on Facebook or Twitter, he or she has a chance to win an iPad 3. For people who visit the site and respond to the prompts, there are additional prizes, including an iPad 3, a MacBook Pro, and a number of tuition rebates. To help build interest, Loyalist is also rolling out traditional radio and print advertisements. Loyalist News Release | Plan on It

Loyalist marketing campaign promotes expanded School of Media Studies Top Ten 03/29/2012 - 09:46 03/28/2012 - 12:21

Despite a drop in the number of Maritimers in the region's universities, the total number of students has risen in recent years. Data from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission show that enrolment growth in regional universities has been fuelled by an increase in the number of students from outside the Maritimes, as well as an increase in the number of graduate programs. More than 30% of students are from outside the region, compared to about 20% a decade ago, and graduate student enrolment has risen by 46% in the last 10 years. International students represent one of the fastest growing groups of students enrolled at Maritime universities, rising nearly 14% in 2010-11 over the previous year, and 150% over 10 years. At the undergraduate level, the number of Maritimers enrolled in regional universities has decreased by 7% since 2000-01. Much of the decline in undergraduate home province enrolment has happened over the past 5 years, and largely concentrated in New Brunswick (a 12% decrease) and in Nova Scotia (an 11% decrease), while remaining fairly stable in PEI (up 3%). MPHEC News Release | Report

Maritime university enrolment up despite decrease in local student numbers Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:19 03/28/2012 - 12:19

In an interview with Maclean's, University of California, Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau discusses what he has borrowed from his time as president of the University of Toronto to address Berkeley's budget crisis, such as aggressive investment to generate additional income. Berkeley decided to significantly increase its number of out-of-state and international undergraduate students, who, under California law, must pay the real cost of education. Supporting the California approach, Birgeneau says such a model "can represent a major source of income" for flagship Canadian universities. With appropriate government investment, Birgeneau says, Canada's flagship institutions can compete head on with not just the top universities in the US, but also Cambridge and Oxford. He says there has been a progressive evolution in North American society to view PSE more as a private than a public good. The fact that Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum accused US President Barack Obama of being elitist for thinking that people should get a college education "shows how far we've evolved in a negative direction." Maclean's

UC Berkeley chancellor on tuition policy and PSE disinvestment Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:16 03/28/2012 - 12:16

Some Concordia University and McGill University students and professors are accusing the institutions of using scare tactics and intimidation in response to peaceful protests on their campuses. The criticism follows smaller but more militant groups of students opposing tuition fee increases targeting business and educational institutions. At McGill, 3 students have been barred from campus for 5 days for their strike-related activities. McGill's associate vice-principal sent a memo to students and staff stating that disruptions of university operations -- such as preventing classes from continuing -- are a violation of the student code of conduct and subject to discipline. At Concordia, a McGill student was reportedly hit in the face by a security guard when she tried to film him. A YouTube video of the incident led to an impromptu protest at the university. Students also criticized a new Concordia policy that threatens disciplinary action against students who block access to campus premises. Students and some staff call the reactions excessive, while the institutions say they are trying to protect the rights of students who want to go to class. Montreal Gazette

Concordia, McGill criticized over response to students' on-campus protests Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:14 03/28/2012 - 12:14

According to its budget, tabled Tuesday, the New Brunswick government will invest approximately $105 million in 2012-13 to implement legislative and government commitments. Among them is a $1.2-million investment in 231 new seats at New Brunswick Community College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick. Other education-related investments include $2.5 million for inclusive education and $2.5 million for elementary literacy. NB News Release

NB invests more than $1 million in new community college seats Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:12 03/28/2012 - 12:12

The Ontario government's 2012 budget outlines a plan to eliminate the provincial deficit by 2017-18, and among the actions is to extend the pay freeze for executives at hospitals, universities, colleges, school boards, and agencies for another 2 years. The government remains committed to its tuition grant, and plans to introduce measures to boost apprenticeship completion rates. Understanding the tough choices the province has had to make in its budget, the Council of Ontario Universities welcomes the government's continued commitment to support projected enrolment growth. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations is disappointed with the budget, stating that it effectively cuts university resources while signaling more government intervention in labour relations. Student groups also criticize the budget, in particular cuts to financial aid and capital funding. Ontario News Release | 2012 Ontario Budget: PSE and Training | COU News Release | OCUFA News Release | CFS News Release | CSA News Release | OUSA News Release | Globe and Mail | Toronto Star

Ontario PSE stakeholders react to provincial budget Top Ten 03/28/2012 - 12:10 03/28/2012 - 12:10

As more students go to college equipped with smartphones and tablets, residential computing networks are trying to keep up with data demand. A new US survey suggests this trend can strain network resources, forcing some PSE institutions to upgrade their equipment. 68% of 255 campus technology professionals surveyed said they allowed students unlimited access to their residential networks, while just 19% said they limited the bandwidth available to mobile and network devices. Half of the respondents said they paid to supply bandwidth, but did not recover their investment. Respondents said their top concerns were the rising popularity of mobile devices, the growing thirst for bandwidth, and the demand for better wireless coverage. According to the report, several technology administrators surveyed suggested that students' activities on their devices -- such as watching steaming video -- matter more than the specific gadget they use. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Students' data demand a strain on residential networks, US survey suggests Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:44 03/27/2012 - 14:44

For about a year, Miami Dade College has offered pre-dawn classes, which one campus official calls "the early bird special." Florida International University also has courses starting at 6 am, while Broward College runs early classes beginning at 6:30 am. At least a dozen US institutions, most of them community colleges, also operate at 6 am. The pattern has been generally the same at these institutions: student demand surged during the market downturn, straining the capacity of already-taxed campus facilities. Operating at unconventional hours was one of the only ways to fit in additional classes. With non-traditional adult students now making up the majority at US PSE institutions, making it easier for these historically underrepresented students to get to class is a good thing. "People go to the gym at 6 am all the time," says an official with the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. "There's no reason why you wouldn't go to an intellectual gymnasium at that same hour." Miami Herald

Florida institutions offer "early bird special" classes Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:42 03/27/2012 - 14:42

Starting this May, Ryerson University expects to offer a new optional Digital Specialization Program, the first of its kind in Canada. The program provides the opportunity to acquire digital skills and receive academic credit for pursuit of students' entrepreneurial ideas in the fields of business and social innovation. One component of the program is the 12-week Digital Specialization Course, offered in the fall/winter semester. The second component -- the 12-week Digital Specialization Semester offered in spring/summer -- begins with a one-week XTREME Boot Camp where students work together as members of high-performance teams, moderated by expert mentors. Ryerson News Release | Digital Specialization @ Ryerson

Ryerson launches Canada's first Digital Specialization Program Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:39 03/27/2012 - 14:39

Yesterday the University of Calgary and Enbridge Inc. launched the Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability at the university's Haskayne School of Business. The centre will advance the science and practice of achieving the triple bottom line in business and in policy. The triple bottom line refers to decisions aimed at balancing economic, environmental, and social considerations. Enbridge has committed $2.25 million over 10 years to the centre, which will enable graduate student and faculty research, fund post-doctoral fellows, and support the Enbridge Research in Action Seminars. Enbridge Inc. News Release

uCalgary business school launches Enbridge Centre for Corporate Sustainability Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:37 03/27/2012 - 14:37

Last Thursday, the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the SIAST Wascana Parkway Centre in Regina to unveil renovations that enabled the institution to house recent expansions to nursing programs. Supported by a joint $5-million investment from the federal and provincial governments, the 25,800-square-foot project converted offices and meeting rooms into an anatomy and physiology lab, an open multipurpose area, and classrooms. SIAST News Release

SIAST renovations accommodate expanded nursing programs Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:36 03/27/2012 - 14:36

Under the banner "Yes You Canada," 7 regulars on the global MBA-fair circuit (HEC Montréal and the business schools at McGill, Queen's, UBC, uToronto, Western U, and York U) now appear together on panels to promote Canada. As panel members, these schools deliver a consistent message about Canada's advantages as a safe, economically-strong, and immigrant-friendly nation that allows some international students to stay and work for up to 3 years following graduation, in contrast to the more restrictive policies elsewhere. Following their joint pitch about Canada, recruiters market the particular advantages of their respective schools to prospective students. In the future, the group hopes to involve the federal government, as one of the big challenges Canadian schools face is funding for international students, with a lack of international loan programs readily accessible. Knowing how students get their information, the schools plan to expand their reach this year via Facebook and Twitter. Western News (page 16 of PDF) | Globe and Mail

7 business schools join forces to promote Canada Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:34 03/27/2012 - 14:34

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission has granted special status to Memorial University's Aboriginal Designated Seats Program, meaning that existing designated seats and the program itself are protected from any challenges. MUN's program is now the most comprehensive of its kind in Canada. While many universities have designated seats for Aboriginal students in a handful of programs, MUN reserves seats for such students in many programs institution-wide. As a proportion of its total population, NL has the largest Aboriginal population of any province east of Manitoba. MUN News

Human rights commission protects MUN's Aboriginal Designated Seats Program Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:31 03/27/2012 - 14:31

Approximately 100 Quebec students against tuition fee hikes demonstrated outside a locked-down Montreal city hall Monday, where the provincial government announced that it has allowed the Université de Montréal to proceed with preparing a business plan for the creation of a science pavilion on the former CP rail yards in Outremont. "This is (government) thumbing its nose at students," says a member of uMontréal's Fédération des associations étudiantes. "There are 200,000 students on strike, last week we had a demonstration of historic proportions, and what gets announced today? The creation of a new pavilion. Is it a good investment? The pavilion will cost $350 million; the tuition increases will bring in $600 million. Is this pavilion really necessary?" Quebec's finance minister -- the MNA for Outremont -- says the timing of the announcement reflects a planning and consultation process that has been going on for 2 years. "If anything, this is a gesture that shows the importance of universities," he says. "If we want quality universities, we also need quality equipment for our future science students." Montreal Gazette | Quebec News Release (in French) | uMontréal News Release (in French)

Quebec students opposing tuition fee increases critical of uMontréal expansion Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:29 03/27/2012 - 14:29

The 38 members of the newly formed CUPE unit representing Brock University's ESL instructors began strike action Monday morning. The CUPE unit says it is on strike because Brock refuses to ratify the tentative collective agreement it signed in February. Brock states that as it prepared to ratify the agreement, it came across an error in the text, which included "no contracting out" language as proposed by the union. Brock says at no time was it prepared to accept this language. Both parties met with a mediator on Sunday to address the error and finalize a collective agreement, but the talks were unsuccessful and the union opted to strike. The union says it is in the process of filing a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board arguing that Brock has bargained in bad faith. Brock Statement | CUPE News Release | Niagara This Week

Postscript: Apr 5, 2012

Brock University reached a tentative agreement Tuesday night with the union representing ESL instructors who have been on strike since March 26. The union will remain on strike and maintain picket lines until the tentative agreement is ratified. Both parties have agreed to expedite the ratification process. Brock News

Brock ESL instructors go on strike Top Ten 04/04/2012 - 16:00 03/27/2012 - 14:25

A former Wilfrid Laurier University football player has been sent to prison for 33 months for forcing his way into a University of Waterloo student residence with a fake pistol and traumatizing 2 men in March 2010. The 25-year-old says he fell into temptation at university; he began to drink and then used cocaine and marijuana. His grades began to slide and he was not keeping up his responsibilities with WLU's football team. The former student says he has changed since he voluntarily went into custody last January after he pleaded guilty to robbery and using an imitation firearm during a robbery. The second charge carries an automatic one-year minimum sentence. "He was part of the team for a short period. I think he had some academic issues," says the football team's offensive coordinator. "From what I remember about the guy, he was a very nice individual. I’m actually shocked he is on his way to jail." Waterloo Region Record

Former WLU football player sentenced for uWaterloo residence invasion Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 14:23 03/27/2012 - 14:23

According to a new study, higher tuition fees for UK master's courses are deterring students from continuing their studies, particularly those from poorer backgrounds. Conducted by a PhD student at the London School of Economics, a fee analysis finds that the average cost of taught postgraduate study increased from approximately £3,200 in 2003-04 to £4,300 in 2009-10. The study observes that a 10% increase in postgraduate tuition fees is associated with a drop of between 1.7% and 4.5% in the probability of a student continuing their studies. The research states that undergraduates from poorer backgrounds are less likely to pursue postgraduate study than wealthier students, even after controlling for their prior academic performance. According to the study, students from the poorest socio-economic groups are between 1.8% and 2.4% less likely to continue their studies than their wealthier peers. Times Higher Education

Higher fees for master's courses a deterrent, UK study finds Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:21 03/26/2012 - 15:21

Last Thursday, Carleton University celebrated the opening of its RIM Teaching and Collaborative Research Centre, whose goal is to keep engineering and industrial design students at the forefront of smartphone technology and design. With support from Research in Motion, the centre will be used for research, teaching, outreach activities, technology demonstrations, and short courses for students and researchers working on mobile technology and wireless communication. RIM is equipping the centre with software, BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets on which students can experiment and develop applications. Carleton News Release

Carleton opens RIM Teaching and Collaborative Research Centre Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:19 03/26/2012 - 15:19

A $2-million endowed donation from alumnus William Seath will now allow McGill University's engineering faculty to place greater emphasis on the "development" aspect of research and development. The new William and Rhea Seath Awards in Engineering Innovation will support and recognize annually 2 individuals in the faculty -- either undergrads, graduate students, or professors -- who are conducting groundbreaking research with the potential for entrepreneurship. Another portion of the donation will support a full-time Industrial Research Development and Engagement Officer in the faculty. McGill News Release

$2-million donation supports McGill-industry collaboration and entrepreneurship Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:17 03/26/2012 - 15:17

McMaster University and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board have solved the challenge of finding swing space for the board's headquarters, allowing McMaster's downtown health campus project to proceed at the board's current location. The school board will temporarily relocate its offices to 3 nearby locations in the downtown core. The downtown health campus will see 54,000 patient visits annually, provide physicians to 15,000 residents currently without a family doctor, serve 4,000 students, and be home to 450 McMaster employees. McMaster Daily News

McMaster downtown health campus project moves forward Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:16 03/26/2012 - 15:16

In advance of Ontario's 2012 budget, which will be tabled today, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations has released its plan for accessible, affordable, and high quality university education. In its brief, OCUFA argues that the provincial government must reject the "austerity agenda" that followed the release of the Drummond report and commit to creating a successful economy and vibrant society. The brief recommends a $1.3-billion increase in operating grants by 2020 to bring per-student net operating revenue in line with the rest of the country. The funding boost would go toward funding a tuition freeze and hiring 6,000 new full-time professors, resulting in improved affordability and quality. Also advocating for a restoration of research funding and new investments to renew aging campus infrastructure, the brief calls for an overall new investment of $1.54 billion in Ontario universities. OCUFA News | Budget Brief

OCUFA budget brief calls for more than $1.5 billion in new investment for universities Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:13 03/26/2012 - 15:13

Saskatchewan's NDP opposition argues that the governing Saskatchewan Party is shifting its financial problems to the University of Saskatchewan with its new capital plan. The province's latest budget includes a plan for capital spending at uSask that increases the amount of money the institution can borrow, with the province providing funding for principal and interest payments instead of upfront grants. Officials interviewed by the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix gave few details about the plan as it is still in development. "It creates an inaccurate picture of the province's finances," the NDP's PSE critic says. "The catch is that as debt levels increase on campus, there's a greater pressure to increase tuition or cut services." Still studying the budget, the NDP plans to press the government for more details about the capital funding plan. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Saskatchewan NDP criticizes province's PSE spending Top Ten 03/27/2012 - 08:12 03/26/2012 - 15:10

With regard to Canada's youth employment rate, which is double the overall jobless rate, Youth Employment Services' president says the "situation is bad, because we need our young people in the workforce, we need their energy and new ideas and we need them to pay taxes." Organizations such as YES are pushing the government and the private sector to take more action by introducing more accessible co-op and professional job placements. Today's youth are in a uniquely difficult situation, says a TD economist. In a recent report, he found that increased competition leads PSE graduates to take jobs further away from the subjects of their degrees, or pulls them out of the job market altogether. While Canadian youth still fare better than many of their international peers, YES' president contends that the situation here is not being adequately addressed. There are more unemployed youth than the recorded figure, as a lot of young people aren't collecting Employment Insurance or welfare, she says. Only youth who collected are recorded in Canada's unemployment figures. CBC | TD report

Canadian youth need more help in job market Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:07 03/26/2012 - 15:07

Charges have been laid against 29 individuals alleged to have participated in an overnight occupation last month of Cégep du Vieux Montréal, as part of a protest that ended with 37 people, including 8 minors, being arrested. The individuals arrested were eventually released. The occupation-type demonstration followed a general-strike vote by students at the CÉGEP. As a group, the individuals charged are accused of participating in an unlawful assembly and 2 counts of mischief, which allege they prevented other people from having access to the campus, and that they caused more than $5,000 in damage. Meanwhile, Concordia University administration will now begin to lay charges under its Code of Rights and Responsibilities and Security Policy against those who block access to the institution's premises. Montreal Gazette | Concordia Notice

Charges laid against CÉGEP occupiers Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:05 03/26/2012 - 15:05

4 former University College of the North midwifery students are suing the institution, alleging that UCN failed to hire sufficient instructors and provide adequate supervision, and neglected to ensure students attended the required number of births to complete their courses. The plaintiffs also claim they were not allowed to continue their studies after UCN relocated the midwifery degree program to Winnipeg in 2010. UCN states that "it was a term of the contracts" between the students and the institution that "the courses scheduled to be delivered in each term of the program were subject to change" without notice. The statement of defence also notes that UCN provided financial aid to the students to accommodate changes in the location of certain portions of the program. Although the program will have operated for 6 years by the fall, it has yet to see a student graduate, which is unlikely to occur until 2013. The program's director says UCN may not be in a position to admit new midwifery students until as late as 2014, in large part due to a shortage of midwives able to help students with practicums. Winnipeg Free Press

UCN students sue institution over midwifery program Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:02 03/26/2012 - 15:02

The Nova Scotia government and Dalhousie University announced Friday an agreement in principle to merge Nova Scotia Agricultural College with Dal in Truro-Bible Hill. NSAC will become the Faculty of Agriculture within Dal. The province's Department of Agriculture, Dal, and NSAC will collaborate on the transition until July 1, the effective date of the merger. NS News Release | Dal News

Dal, NSAC to merge this summer Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 15:00 03/26/2012 - 15:00

To help meet the demand for skilled nurses, the Vancouver Island Health Authority announced last week it is offering employment to all graduates of Vancouver Island registered nursing programs in 2012-13. Graduating registered nurses from North Island College, the University of Victoria, Vancouver Island University, and registered psychiatric nurses from Stenberg College will be offered temporary full-time positions in a wide range of locations and practice settings that need additional support. The health authority says the graduates' help will reinforce the work of its dedicated nursing staff and ensure experienced nurses are in place to move into the roles of retiring nurses. VIHA News Release

Health authority ensures employment for Vancouver Island nursing graduates Top Ten 03/23/2012 - 16:03 03/23/2012 - 16:03

The University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management has designed an online simulation tool to help give prospective and current students a snapshot of their personal Telfer BCom Experience. The 3 components of the simulation show users how different courses and activities can contribute to their overall academic experience; the various programs offered at Telfer that are designed to help them excel at a professional level; and the different clubs, associations, and activities that will enhance their personal development at the school. At the end of the simulation, users can share their individual maps on Facebook and Twitter. Telfer News | My Telfer BCom Experience

New Telfer tool gives students snapshot of BCom experience Top Ten 03/23/2012 - 16:01 03/23/2012 - 16:01

London Ontario Mayor Joe Fontana emphasized last week a key goal of his "education city" vision, to attract more international students to London, potentially as permanent residents. The education boost would be accompanied by an economic one, says Fontana, noting that each student would bring upwards of $50,000 in "economic value" to London. Fanshawe College's VP of student services sees plenty of potential to generate revenue for the city, and, more importantly, to provide students with opportunities to stay and work after graduation. Fanshawe currently has about 1,300 international students, accounting for approximately 8% of the college's enrolment. Fontana's "Education City" vision includes transforming City Hall and adjacent concert hall Centennial Hall into a new downtown Western U campus. University officials are close to submitting a downtown campus proposal. London Free Press (March 21) | London Free Press (March 22)

International students a focus of London as "Education City" Top Ten 03/25/2012 - 12:02 03/23/2012 - 15:59

Students and administrators at Okanagan College's Penticton campus met last week to discuss how to handle a classroom with an enrolment of 28 students that some argue should be smaller. A student says her peers in a statistics course designed for social work majors have been struggling due the cramped conditions in the class. She says students have heard indications from the instructor that the course content is designed for 15 to 20 students maximum. She says some course components have been dropped to accommodate the extra students, and that students who will transfer to other PSE schools may be left without exposure to the full curriculum -- a situation that she believes "deliberately handicaps students." An Okanagan College official says administrators met with students earlier this month on the issue, presented some solutions, and would continue to meet with students. Administrators had decided to extend hours at the Student Success Centre to offer more tutoring and assistance. Penticton Western News

Okanagan College students raise concerns about class size at Penticton campus Top Ten 03/25/2012 - 12:06 03/23/2012 - 15:56

On Thursday, Wilfrid Laurier University closed a $58.9-million acquisition of a dozen student-housing apartment buildings adjacent to its Waterloo campus. 9 of the buildings are recently constructed 4- and 5-floor properties and 3 are renovated multi-tenant houses. Together, they have a combined capacity to accommodate approximately 785 students. The purchase will provide WLU with strategic property assets in the rapidly developing neighbourhoods next to the campus, and a stream of rental income. The institution has engaged a private property manager to administer the properties as off-campus housing. WLU News Release

WLU purchases apartment buildings next to Waterloo campus Top Ten 03/23/2012 - 15:54 03/23/2012 - 15:54

In her annual state of the university address Thursday, University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera told attendees that in a time of budgetary restraints, and with growing worldwide concern over increasing tuition fees, uAlberta has '"significant resources" to draw on. However, moving forward, the university community has to work hard to find new methods of doing business. uAlberta is inviting suggestions "that will push this university firmly into the 21st century," and will create a dedicated website to receive ideas for evaluation and implementation. "Tough financial realities" have resulted in budget struggles within every department and unit, said Samarasekera; however, uAlberta is in a better place than many other top Canadian universities to deal with lower per-student operating funding. She also pointed to the institution's efforts to recruit high-level teaching and support-staff talent and a successful track record in attracting external research funding and donations. Samarasekera said she will continue to advocate to government that investment at uAlberta is good for the province. uAlberta News

uAlberta seeks new ways of doing business Top Ten 03/25/2012 - 12:05 03/23/2012 - 15:51

Yukon College announced Thursday it will not accept new students for the Yukon Native Teacher Education Program for the 2012-13 school year. The institution launched a review of the 24-year-old program in December, and a report is due in June. Yukon College receives 20 to 25 applications for the program annually, with about 10 applicants meeting admissions qualifications. To date, no qualified applicants have applied for the 2012-13 school year. Current students will be able to complete the degree program as it is currently structured. There will be no layoffs or staff reassignments, and program funding will continue. The decision to suspend intake was made after consulting with stakeholders, including the territorial and First Nations governments, as well as the University of Regina, which grants the degree from the program. Yukon College News

Yukon College suspends intake for Native Teacher Education Program Top Ten 03/23/2012 - 15:48 03/23/2012 - 15:48

On Thursday, Cambrian College's board of governors gave the axe to 9 of the 11 programs up for suspension, sparing a pair of public relations programs. The VP academic says the suspension recommendations come from Cambrian's "strategic decision" to eliminate the Culinary Arts and Media Studies schools -- a move that will allow the institution to focus on  programs more in line with the strategic plan. The VP says it was not an easy recommendation to make, but it was "unanimous from the deans." Financial pressures "forced (Cambrian) to say 'where can we get the best return on investment?'" With Media Studies being eliminated, the public relations programs will move to the business school, says president Sylvia Barnard. Sudbury Star

Cambrian program cuts part of move to eliminate Media Studies, Culinary Arts Top Ten 03/25/2012 - 12:05 03/23/2012 - 15:46

In response to apparent misinformation about the accreditation status of its medical school, the University of Saskatchewan states that last July, it received a letter from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and the Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools indicating 11 instances of noncompliance with 10 of the 130 accreditation standards under which medical schools operate. The College of Medicine was given 6 months to submit an action plan, which it did in December. Last month, both committees informed the college that it had one year to put the plan in action. Throughout this period, the medical school has communicated fully with students as well as with faculty, staff, and administrators who are responsible for making the changes. The accreditation standards on which the school is working relate primarily to academic administration matters , such as how teaching duties are assigned, how marks are recorded in common databases, and whether students at different sites have access to similar study space. uSask Statement | Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uSask med school working on accreditation standard action plan Top Ten 03/23/2012 - 15:43 03/23/2012 - 15:43

Tens of thousands of Quebec students descended on downtown Montreal Thursday for the latest -- and so far the largest -- in a series of protests against planned tuition fee increases. The total number of participants could not be determined, but one student representative claimed that 200,000 were in attendance (the number of students supporting the unlimited strike is approximately 300,000). Police said there were no arrests during the demonstration and credited the peaceful march for keeping to the planned route. Quebec Premier Jean Charest remained unmoved by the turnout, which came two days after the provincial budget was tabled. He said the tuition fee increases were thought out for years, and reflect the Liberal government's will to give the province a "world-class" PSE system. Even after the hikes, students will end up paying 17% of the cost of their education, he said. Students argue that the hikes will limit access to education in Quebec and have vowed to continue demonstrating until the increases are abandoned. Throwing her support being the striking students, Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois has pledged that a PQ government would annul the hikes. A provincial election has to be held by the end of 2013. Globe and Mail | Montreal Gazette | CBC | CTV

Quebec students mobilize in largest demonstration to date Top Ten 03/23/2012 - 15:40 03/23/2012 - 15:40

In a survey of 1,367 Ontario secondary students, nearly two-thirds of respondents picked health care when asked to choose which major government sector should remain a priority before any other, while nearly 23% chose education and 2.48% selected PSE and training. The majority of students surveyed rejected some Drummond report recommendations related to education. More than 62% rejected class size increases, nearly 60% opposed the cancellation of the province's tuition grant, and over 59% rejected removing a fifth year of high school for graduates. CIVIX News Release | Survey Results

Ontario high school students surveyed reject some Drummond recommendations on education Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:43 03/22/2012 - 15:43

The BC government is providing $150,000 to BCIT's Post-Secondary Communication Access Services (PCAS) for the delivery of the TypeWell Transcript Project. With the help of a transcriber in the classroom, the TypeWell transcribing system gives hard-of-hearing students an accurate, real-time text transcript of a lecture or seminar. This type of service is increasingly in demand among students with hearing loss, and there is a need to recruit, train, and deploy transcribers to meet the demand. PCAS will use the investment to support the expansion of transcribing services at BC PSE institutions by recruiting, training, and mentoring transcribers, and by coordinating equipment, software licenses, and technical support. A remote TypeWell service delivery will respond to student needs in regions and situations where having a transcriber in the classroom is not possible. BC News Release

BCIT to deliver transcribing project to better support hard-of-hearing PSE students Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 21:01 03/22/2012 - 15:41

The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education has accredited the University of Prince Edward Island's co-op programs in Business Administration and Computer Science. The 6-month accreditation process entailed an in-depth review of UPEI Co-operative Education policies and procedures by an external review team, which consists of practitioners from UBC, Dal, uWaterloo, UNB, and NIC. UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz says the accreditation is "an endorsement of UPEI’s commitment to high standards in academic programming and is great news for both our students and our partners in the employer community." UPEI News Release

UPEI co-op programs earn national accreditation Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:39 03/22/2012 - 15:39

The Canadian Bureau for International Education announced Tuesday the launch of Brazil's Science without Borders Program for Canada-bound undergraduate students. Science without Borders will offer 101,000 scholarships to Brazilians to study, intern, and conduct research in selected nations over a 4-year period. The Canadian program will initially focus on undergraduates who will study or intern for up to 12 months in Canada, with a possible 2 additional months of language study. Students will return to Brazil to finish their degree programs. Working in collaboration with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Languages Canada, CBIE has an agreement with Brazil's 2 major granting agencies to support the implementation of the Canadian component of this initiative. CBIE News Release | AUCC News Release

Brazil launches Science without Borders-Canada Scholarships Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:37 03/22/2012 - 15:37

A report tracking trends in tuition fees in the "G-40" nations that account for more than 90% of the world's PSE enrolment and research finds that, on average, university tuition fees increased around the world by 2.58% last year. However, because of significant inflation in many part of the world, the global tuition fee index actually dropped by 1.76%. Also examining student aid trends, the report observes that student aid rose significantly in Chile, Colombia, Singapore, South Africa, Indonesia, and Nigeria in 2011. Taking tuition fees and financial aid trends into account, the report concludes that overall PSE affordability increased last year in Colombia, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden. Decreased affordability was observed in the Philippines, Spain, and the US. The report states that affordability declined somewhat in Canada, as large tuition fee increases were only partially offset by boosts to financial aid. News Release | Full Report

Tuition fees worldwide rose by 2.58% in 2011, report finds Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 21:02 03/22/2012 - 15:34

A new analysis of faculty salaries at public universities around the world observes that Canada offers the best faculty pay among 28 nations evaluated, ranking first for entry, average, and top salaries. Instead of comparing pure salaries, researchers used the "purchasing power parity index," in which salaries reflect what it takes to buy similar goods and services in different countries. This allows nations with relatively low salaries (in pure finances) but also with low costs of living to be competitive with others where there is a much higher base pay. That's why it's possible for nations like South Africa and India (which rank third and fourth, respectively) to appear above the US (which places fifth). Because the US figures are based on full-time positions and exclude most adjuncts, the US comparative position may be lower than is listed. Inside Higher Ed

Study of global faculty salaries finds Canada offers the best pay Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:32 03/22/2012 - 15:32

Last Friday, Kwantlen Polytechnic University celebrated the completed expansion of the Richmond campus library. Improvements to the facility provide more space for reading and research materials -- allowing them to be housed on campus -- and improve the learning environment for students. Kwantlen received a combined $1.2-million investment from the federal and BC governments to support the project. BC News Release | Kwantlen News Release

Kwantlen Richmond campus opens expanded library Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:29 03/22/2012 - 15:29

Simon Fraser University's registrar says a computer glitch resulted in an unknown number of applicants getting an e-mail late Tuesday mistakenly suggesting they had been admitted. "It actually was encouraging them to apply for residence, and had indicated, by being congratulatory...that they had been admitted, and unfortunately it went to some people that it should not have gone to," the registrar says. The e-mail went out due to an error involving the use of e-mail listservs, she says. SFU learned of the issue Tuesday night and sent another message within the hour indicating that the students had received the first message by mistake. A third e-mail sent Wednesday went to the affected applicants indicating the appropriate information for each individual. Vancouver Sun

SFU e-mail mistakenly suggests applicants have been admitted Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:27 03/22/2012 - 15:27

More than 200 York University professors have signed a letter petitioning the institution to suspend progress on an agreement with the Centre for International Governance Innovation to fund chairs in international law, which they argue gives CIGI "unprecedented influence over the University's academic affairs," until York U's senate can modify it to better protect academic autonomy. The university's provost calls the arrangement with the Waterloo-based think-tank "a model approach" as it "brings significant resources to the university and yet preserves university autonomy." He was expected to make the same argument when York U's faculty group presented its motion at yesterday's senate meeting. Globe and Mail | Toronto Star | National Post

York U faculty urge institution to halt agreement with CIGI Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:25 03/22/2012 - 15:25

The CBC reports that Athabasca University made more than $10,000 in illegal donations to Alberta's Progressive Conservative party between 2006 and 2008. The university's board chair says the institution made the donations because it was "trying to develop a relationship with the government at the time, trying to further our needs as far as funding and the like." The board chair says Athabasca U officials who made the donations did not know it was wrong. "I believe that people made an honest mistake," he says. "They did it in good faith. The moment we found out it was illegal, we stopped the practice." Calling the matter "pork-barrel politics," an Athabasca U political scientist says if officials did not know it was illegal, they should have recognized it was wrong to use public funding for private political purposes. Athabasca U ended its practice of donating to the PC party in October 2008, adopting a policy banning them. The board chair says the Athabasca-Redwater PC Association has reimbursed the university (whose secretariat is also president of the local PC riding association), but he does not know if the party has refunded the thousands of dollars it received. The CBC investigation found that Portage College and Grande Prairie Regional College variously used public funding to attend numerous PC fundraisers between 2004 and 2011. These institutions say all the public money used for political donations has been repaid either by the individuals who attended the events or by the PC party. CBC (Athabasca U) | CBC (College Donations)

CBC investigation finds some Alberta PSE institutions made illegal donations to PC party Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:22 03/22/2012 - 15:22

In recent years, venture capitalists have invested millions in education-technology firms, trying to cash in on a market they view as ripe for a digital makeover. Data from the US-based National Venture Capital Association show that investments in ed-tech start-ups nationwide rose from $146 million in 2002 to $429 million last year. The boom really took off in 2009, when venture capitalists poured $150 million more into ed-tech companies than they did in the previous year, despite the market downturn. Michael Staton, founder of Inigral (with whom Academica Group has a strategic research partnership), says "something in the zeitgeist" is providing education entrepreneurs with access to funding, advice, and talent once reserved for other sectors. It's not just coming from for-profit organizations; last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Inigral $2 million from a $4-million investment. Staton believes that an increasing acceptance of online learning, rather than any particular new technology, has allowed start-ups to earn support for new products. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Investments in ed-tech start-ups booming Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 18:17 03/21/2012 - 18:17

Times Higher Education's recent World Reputation Rankings show Britain losing ground to universities in the Far East due to increased investment in PSE in that region. The magazine's rankings editor says British institutions are increasingly "perceived as a fading power" following recent funding cuts, rising tuition fees, and a clampdown on international students. "The messages we are sending to the world about our commitment to funding our universities, fuelled by the images of students protesting in Westminster, on top of our clampdown on overseas students, are not playing well globally," the editor says. "There is a clear risk that our universities, other than the elite 'super-brands' of Oxford and Cambridge, will be relegated from the premier league of institutions in the eyes of the world, with tangible and sustained damage." The Telegraph

Student riots, funding cuts causing "sustained damage" to British universities' reputation Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 18:14 03/21/2012 - 18:14

The Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) has enhanced its Electronic Transcript Management System (eTMS) to make it easier for students to receive the transcripts they need when applying to college. First introduced in 2005, the eTMS allows former students to request a transcript from a secondary school they attended when completing their online application to college. With the new "Auto eTMS" solution, OCAS is able to automate the obtainment of transcript records directly from the source. The application service has already started developing a new "Total eTMS" solution that will allow it to manage transcript requests in real-time for current secondary school students, in addition those who have already graduated. OCAS News Release

OCAS facilitates online transcript requests Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 18:09 03/21/2012 - 18:09

UBC announced yesterday 2 new major entrance scholarships designed to attract outstanding Canadian Aboriginal secondary school students to the university. The $5,000 Aboriginal Major Entrance Scholarships -- each renewable for up to 3 additional years for a total of $20,000 -- will be awarded annually to Aboriginal students according to broad-based criteria, such as academic excellence, leadership qualities, and outstanding contributions to the community. The new scholarships will be available to Aboriginal students who have applied for Major Entrance Scholarships in 2012, and all Aboriginal students starting in 2013. The new scholarships are part of UBC's Aboriginal Strategic Plan, which was adopted in 2009. UBC News Release

UBC unveils $20,000 entrance scholarships for Aboriginal students Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 00:28 03/21/2012 - 18:05

One of 3 student representatives on UNB's 43-member board of governors, the student union president argues that with a disproportionate number of students on the board, it is more difficult to get student-oriented issues heard. While there hasn't been notable conflict this year, he notes that the adoption of the $150 "Currie Fee" last year was a point of contention between student representatives and the rest of the board. "More student voice around the table might have changed the dialogue a bit," he says. UNB president Eddy Campbell says the number of students on the board is in line with that at other universities' boards. "It's not about the numbers -- it's about the respect and the manner in which they represent the student body and the way in which they conduct themselves," Campbell says. "The folks that we have are used to making the student point of view very clear." The strict legislation applied to the board would make it difficult to add more student members, let alone any other positions. The Brunswickan (student newspaper)

UNBSU president critical of small student representation on university board Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 18:03 03/21/2012 - 18:03

The Gosling Foundation, a non-profit organization for ecological preservation and environmental education, has donated $1.5 million to the University of Guelph, which is using the gift to support a new institute. Based at UoGuelph's Ontario Agricultural College, the Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation aims to develop innovative measures to protect and conserve the world's endangered plants. The donation was made through UoGuelph's BetterPlanet Project, a $200-million fundraising campaign for teaching and research in communities, environment, food, and health. UoGuelph News Release

UoGuelph launches new plant preservation institute with $1.5-million donation Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 18:00 03/21/2012 - 18:00

The BC government is providing $1.7 million to help Emily Carr University of Art + Design develop a comprehensive business case for a new campus on Great Northern Way in Vancouver. The business plan will include an analysis of labour market demand for Emily Carr graduates; development of an indicative design for the project; detailed cost estimates; an examination of increased accessibility for students to support the growth of the design, media, and visual industry; and description of funding sources. The campus redevelopment project envisions a state-of-the-art facility with capacity for 1,800 students. BC News Release | Vancouver Sun

BC funds business plan for new Emily Carr campus Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 17:58 03/21/2012 - 17:58

Cambrian College's board of governors will vote today on whether to suspend 11 programs, and a group of students have already initiated a Facebook campaign to keep the arts programs facing suspension from being cut. The vote comes as part of a regular review of programs at Cambrian, says president Sylvia Barnard. Students currently enrolled in programs that may be suspended will not be affected, as the suspensions do not take effect until September. The president of Cambrian's OPSEU local says if all 11 programs were to be suspended, a total of 15 permanent, full-time faculty would be affected. Sudbury Star

11 Cambrian programs face suspension Top Ten 03/21/2012 - 17:55 03/21/2012 - 17:55

With just days until Ontario tables its budget, it's not an easy time to appear cap in hand before government -- but not impossible if you do it right, suggests Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario president Harvey Weingarten. When you meet with government officials, pitch your answer as a solution to a political problem, he says. Use politicians' language and write things in ways they understand. Be patient with government, as it can take several years for politicians to get something done, and that's not always a bad thing. "We should be fearful if government makes policy quickly; it’s either when there is insufficient consultation, or in the middle of election frenzy," Weingarten says. "Put some skin in the game," he states; what can set you apart from others "is that you have shown a sufficient commitment to something to have already allocated resources." Margin Notes (University Affairs blog) |  Toronto Star

HEQCO president offers institutions guide on how to ask for government funding Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 09:57 03/21/2012 - 17:52

As per Saskatchewan's 2012-13 budget, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration will receive $890.6 million, an increase of 4.1% over last year. The budget provides a $12 million increase, on average 2%, to support operating costs at PSE schools. The province has signed agreements with the presidents of the Universities of Regina and Saskatchewan to help ensure student accessibility. The government expects tuition fee increases to be held at 4% for key direct entry programs. The budget provides more than $107 million in support for students through financial aid, scholarships, bursaries, training allowances, and the Graduate Retention Program. Other initiatives include $109 million for skills training and labour force development; $47 million to continue supporting PSE and skills training for First Nations and Métis people; and $13.5 million to fulfill a commitment to train 300 additional nurses and 100 additional doctors a year, and to start on a commitment to boost the number of nurse practitioner seats by 20, with an initial 5 seats. Saskatchewan News Release

Saskatchewan budget provides 2% increase in operating cost support for PSE institutions Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 00:28 03/21/2012 - 17:49

Quebec's finance minister said Tuesday he is determined to introduce previously announced tuition fee increases of 75% over the next 5 years. "Some students are opposed to it and it's their right, but we've taken our decision and it's irrevocable," the minister said. "We've believe students need to pay their fair share," he said, adding that they are going to account for 17% of the cost of a higher education. The new budget provides for an extra $976 million for Quebec universities over the next 5 years. The province will add $493 million under that plan, with $141 million from other sources and $54 million in corporate funding. The tuition increase will account for $279 million of the total. The president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec says striking students are not returning to class and have plans for additional demonstrations and a campaign targeting Liberal MNAs. An hour-long student demonstration yesterday morning blocked an access ramp to the Champlain Bridge into Montreal. CTV reports that 94 students were fined for blocking the bridge. A large-scale demonstration is set to take place in Montreal tomorrow. Quebec Budget Plan | Montreal Gazette | CBC | CTV

Quebec budget reaffirms tuition fee increases Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 19:00 03/20/2012 - 18:57

According a Pearson Foundation survey, tablet ownership has tripled among college students (25% vs. 7% in 2011) and quadrupled among high school seniors (17 vs. 4% last year). 36% of college students and 26% of high school seniors surveyed said they intend to purchase a tablet within the next 6 months. This includes nearly half of tablet-owning college students who plan to purchase another device, and one in 5 who are first-time buyers. 94% of college student tablet owners believe these devices are valuable for educational purposes. Three-quarters of college student tablet owners use their devices daily for school-related activities, and 3 in 5 say they use them for school purposes multiple times a day. 63% of college students and 69% of high school seniors surveyed believe that tablets will effectively replace textbooks within the next 5 years. Pearson Foundation News Release

Students' tablet ownership on the rise, US survey finds Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 15:03 03/20/2012 - 15:03

While uprisings have toppled governments in some Arab nations and led to crackdowns in others, the Lebanese capital of Beirut has remained relatively calm, and is drawing more US students seeking a safer semester abroad. Approximately 700 US citizens and 2,000 Westerners now attend American University in Beirut (AUB), which has experienced a 50% increase in its Western population every year since 2007. Some 15 students in Egypt transferred to Lebanon last spring when violence erupted, says an AUB official. While the institution does not have an official position on the US travel warning in effect for Lebanon, the AUB official says she believes the benefits of studying in Lebanon outweigh the risks. Some students interviewed by Inside Higher Ed say they've had positive experiences studying in Lebanon, where they have felt safe. Inside Higher Ed

More US students turn to Lebanon for semester abroad following Arab uprisings elsewhere Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 15:01 03/20/2012 - 15:01

Long and dearly held in Canada and the US, the notion that PSE should involve personal growth is gaining traction on other continents. To meet the challenges of serving a broader -- and needier -- population, universities in many countries are establishing services to support students. To prepare creative, independent alumni, Abu Dhabi's Zayed University is fostering students' leadership and citizenship through clubs, celebrity meetings, an honour code, teambuilding exercises, and a student council. Such efforts have encountered resistance and criticism. Many educators and students do not believe personal development is a PSE institution's responsibility. Yet greater forces at work -- such as increasing tuition fees and competitive pressure to recruit the best students -- may drive the trend of offering more than just academics. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Institutions worldwide adopt Western model of student support services Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:59 03/20/2012 - 14:59

The number of Law School Admissions Tests administered this year has fallen by more than 16%, the largest drop in over a decade. In all, the number of LSAT takers has dropped by nearly 25% in the past 2 years. The decline reflects a spreading view that the US legal market is in terrible shape and will have a difficult time absorbing the approximately 45,000 law students who are expected to graduate in each of the next 3 years. Class-action lawsuits have been filed against more than a dozen law schools in recent months over allegedly deceptive job-placement rates, and more suits are expected. For some law schools, the dwindling number of LSAT takers represents a serious long-term issue. "What I’d anticipate is that you’ll see the biggest falloff in applications in the bottom end of the law school food chain," says one law professor. "Those schools are going to have significant difficulty because they are dependent on tuition to fund themselves and they’ll either have to cut class size to maintain standards, or accept students with lower credentials." New York Times

LSAT test-taking down 16% Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:55 03/20/2012 - 14:55

Site preparation will begin this week for King's University College's $14.7-million Darryl J. King Student Life Centre. The 40,000-square-foot facility at the Western University affiliate will feature a 490-seat performance theatre, a learning commons, and a student leadership suite. The institution is raising $9 million through philanthropic support for the centre's construction. The student community has already pledged $2.4 million. King's News

King's set to begin construction of Student Life Centre Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:53 03/20/2012 - 14:53

St. Thomas More College, federated with the University of Saskatchewan, is preparing to construct a 3-storey facility that will serve to improve the STM student experience and also help uSask address classroom shortages. The building, which will include classrooms, study space, offices, and research space, is largely oriented to students, says the college's CFO. STM students can take only about 40% to 50% of their classes at the college, while the rest are spread out across campus. STM aims to increase to about 75% the number of classes available in the new building. Another focus is to provide social and study space for students, which are lacking in the current facility. Construction of the estimated $8-million expansion is expected to start this June, with a completion date slated for August 2013. uSask On Campus News (page 5 of PDF)

STM expansion focuses on students Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:51 03/20/2012 - 14:51

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) states it has found no evidence to support allegations of animal cruelty against a UBC research team in relation to the deaths of 4 macaque monkeys. Stop UBC Animal Research's allegations stemmed from an experiment involving the injection of a drug to induce Parkinson's-like symptoms in order to test treatments against the disease. A letter to the activist group concludes by saying that "CCAC certification indicates that the animal care and use program at the institution is in compliance with CCAC policies, guidelines, and other relevant standards." The activist group says it still has concerns about a lack of transparency regarding operations of the council and the treatment of monkeys used in research. The SPCA says it has no information to suggest an offence has been committed. UBC News Release | Vancouver Sun

Council clears UBC of animal cruelty in deaths of research monkeys Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:49 03/20/2012 - 14:49

2 University of Winnipeg department chairwomen are worried austerity measures will eliminate courses and threaten the integrity of the institution. The sociology department chair says 12 full courses will be cut for next year, which means there won't be enough courses left for students to pick from in order to graduate. The modern languages and literature department chair says the German-language program is in danger of closing in 2 years. She has initiated an e-mail campaign to get students and other professors to pressure president Lloyd Axworthy to free up funding. In an open letter to the media, Axworthy says uWinnipeg faces an annual funding hurdle, different from other Manitoba PSE institutions. While uManitoba and Brandon U receive $12,000 per student from the province, uWinnipeg receives just below $6,500 per student, which Axworthy calls "a historical imbalance that goes back decades and now exists for no reason." He concludes his letter stating that "it is my sincere hope that the broader community joins me in this request" for an equal funding formula, "so that collectively we can continue to nurture our leaders of tomorrow." Winnipeg Free Press | President's Letter

uWinnipeg department chairs raise concerns over austerity measures Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:47 03/20/2012 - 14:47

In a letter to BC's advanced education minister, the presidents of the province's 25 public PSE institutions argue that it is "unrealistic to assume that the (funding) reductions contemplated by Budget 2012 can be achieved without implications for service levels." The letter also expresses concerns about PSE being the only sector that received an overall funding reduction. The presidents also say in the letter that the province's mandates regarding collective bargaining are going to add more pressure to institutional finances. The presidents did, however, praise the province for providing more funding for capital maintenance and that overall funding would stay stable for the next year. Kamloops Daily News | The Ubyssey (student newspaper)

BC budget may mean service cuts, say PSE leaders Top Ten 03/20/2012 - 14:44 03/20/2012 - 14:44

New US research observes that Millennials may not be the caring, socially conscious environmentalists some have characterized them to be. Comparing the traits of young people in high school and entering PSE today with those of baby boomers and Generation X'ers at the same age from 1966 to 2009, the study shows a rising trend of valuing money, image, and fame more than inherent principles like affiliation, community, and self-acceptance. The study's lead author says Millennials have been raised in a culture that places "more focus on the self and less focus on the group, society, and community." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Millennial generation more "me" than "we," study finds Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:54 03/19/2012 - 14:54

Several US colleges invite parents to submit letters on behalf of their children, either as part of the application itself or in a follow-up invitation after the application is received. "You might think (parents) do nothing but brag," says the admissions director at Smith College, a Massachusetts-based women's college. "But parents really nail their kids. They really get to the essence of what their daughter is about in a way we can't anywhere else." By inviting such letters, colleges signal to applicants that they're the kind of institutions that care about students in all their dimensions. A National Association for College Admission Counseling official cites several reasons very few colleges solicit parental letters: the sheer logistical burden; the main concern with evaluating applicants academically; and the worry of "advantaging the advantaged." The Smith College official states that it's often lower-income families who make the most meaningful efforts to participate in the admissions process. Associated Press

Some US institutions assess parental letters in admissions process Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:52 03/19/2012 - 14:52

In late May, a team of law firms intends to file class-action lawsuits against another 20 American law schools over allegedly deceptive job-placement rates. The team filed a dozen suits in February and has vowed to sue 20 to 25 law schools every few months. 3 additional suits were filed last August. The lawyers say several law schools have revised their employment figures since the initial lawsuits were filed. The new figures show much lower percentages of students securing full-time jobs and indicate that salary statistics are based on small percentages of students who reported their salaries, the lawyers say. "While being careful about what's being put out to applicants is important, I'd hate to see a law school have to put out a five-page disclaimer and require applicants to take a blood oath that you won't sue if you don't get a job," says a lawyer who has been offering advice to law schools. Given the wide range of reasons people attend law school and the types of careers they pursue, he predicts the plaintiffs will have a tough time proving their case. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

20 more US law schools face suits over job-placement rates Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:49 03/19/2012 - 14:49

A University of Toronto Scarborough psychology professor and a PhD student have developed an Internet-based educational software package designed to enhance critical thinking through peer-assessment and peer-feedback. Through peerScholar, students give feedback on several assignments by anonymous peers and use the comments and advice they've received to improve their work before submitting a final written product to a TA or instructor. The richness of students' comments on their peers' work, how they've received feedback, and the overall quality of the final work factor into the peer-assessment assignment grade. peerScholar aims to address the logistical issues of administering peer-assessment assignments by offering an easy-to-use system that provides both anonymous and instant feedback on written work. More importantly, the software combines peer-assessment with self-assessment. The professor who co-developed the software says the ability to not only reflect on comments made by fellow students but also to revise and resubmit is a crucial aspect of the process. UTSC News

peerScholar aims to enhance critical thinking through peer-assessment Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:46 03/19/2012 - 14:45

University of Regina president Vianne Timmons has signed a co-operation agreement with a network of Indigenous universities in Mexico. The deal will promote the mobility of Aboriginal students at uRegina and Indigenous students from Mexico to exchange their culture and traditions. The agreement was signed during a recent trip to Mexico to discuss Indigenous PSE with the presidents of several Canadian and Mexican universities. The student exchange program will begin this summer. uRegina News Release

uRegina signs student exchange agreement with Mexican Indigenous institutions Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 21:48 03/19/2012 - 14:43

Western University's International office has begun developing a picture of what internationalization would look like for the institution. Western U is aiming for 10% international undergraduate students. With an original target of 250, the university surpassed its 2011 goal of international undergraduate recruitment with 340 new registrants. Given positive current trends, Western U has a revised target of 500 new international students for 2014. The institution intends to maintain the current proportion of international graduate students, which is approximately 21%. Western U will continue to recruit international faculty and increase international-learning opportunities for domestic students. Western News

Western U sets internationalization targets Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 21:46 03/19/2012 - 14:41

The union representing approximately 800 of Dalhousie University's support staff has filed a walkout notice with Nova Scotia's Labour and Advanced Education Department. The support staff will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 am Thursday. The union's president says a vote will take place Wednesday on whatever deal the union ends up with at conciliation. Dal's faculty association recently reached a tentative agreement with administration. The ratification vote on that agreement was set to continue yesterday. Chronicle Herald

Postscript: Mar 23, 2012

On Wednesday, Dalhousie University support staff voted 92% in favour of a 3-year collective agreement that was reached with administration Tuesday. If the deal had been rejected, the support staff would have been in a legal strike position yesterday.

Dal support staff may strike Thursday Top Ten 03/22/2012 - 15:46 03/19/2012 - 14:39

Fed up with a student strike against tuition fee increases, a Université de Sherbrooke law student is preparing to take legal action against his student association. The head of a new coalition against the student strike, the uSherbrooke student says he missed a critical Chinese class last week because students swarmed the classroom and told everyone to go home. The student sent a demand letter yesterday to uSherbrooke's Association générale étudiante de la faculté des lettres et sciences humaines, stating he expects to be compensated 1/12th of the roughly $300 he spent on the course within 20 days or he will begin legal proceedings. The student hopes to inspire others who have been prevented from attending classes to follow his lead. Montreal Gazette

uSherbrooke student may sue student association over missed classes Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:37 03/19/2012 - 14:37

The PEI government will cut funding to the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College by 3%. The province notified both institutions of the cut well in advance of the upcoming budget. UPEI and Holland College officials say they are working on their budgets now, incorporating the funding cut. There is no word yet on whether the reduced provincial funding will impact tuition fees, programs, or services. CBC

PEI cutting UPEI, Holland College funding by 3% Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:35 03/19/2012 - 14:35

8 Fanshawe College students have been suspended and could face expulsion for their involvement in a St. Patrick's Day riot on Fleming Drive, an off-campus housing area. The incident resulted in extensive damage, including a burned CTV news truck, and a number of minor injuries. Among the 13 individuals arrested so far, 7 have been identified as Fanshawe students. Fanshawe president Howard Rundle says administration is taking the off-campus violence seriously and will be conducting its own investigation alongside police efforts. Authorities are combing through all the evidence, including a lot of social media and video offered by students who were "embarrassed" by what happened, says London Mayor Joe Fontana. Fanshawe has created a secure e-mail account where people can send information in connection to the riot. Rundle agrees with Fontana's proposal to use zoning and curfew rules to prevent similar riots. The long-term solution will be to break up the student enclave on Fleming Drive, he says. London Free Press | CBC | Toronto Star | Globe and Mail

Fanshawe suspends 8 students following weekend riot Top Ten 03/19/2012 - 14:31 03/19/2012 - 14:31

The University of Toronto Scarborough's new AppStar contest gives UTSC students an opportunity to turn good ideas into great mobile applications, with a chance to win cash prizes. The app must be developed for iOS and/or Android, and it has to demonstrably benefit students. Additional resources will be available during the contest, such as workshops on project planning, developing, and testing for iOS and Android. The deadline for proposal submissions is April 30. UTSC News | AppStar Competition

UTSC runs mobile app development competition for students Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 16:02 03/16/2012 - 16:02

Saint Mary's University has launched a new Internet application with which people can see the institution's consumption of electricity, heat, and water in real time. "It's part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability," says an SMU official. "The energy dashboard has a level of transparency that is offered by a few organizations." The Sustainability Dashboard's main page features a campus map that identifies individual facilities and details total energy intensity. Users can click on any building on the campus map to produce a real-time display of the amount of water, heat, and electricity being consumed. The dashboard also provides historical data for any given facility or combination of buildings. This range of information makes the dashboard a useful research tool for both students and administrators. SMU News Release | Sustainability Dashboard

SMU develops online sustainability dashboard Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 16:00 03/16/2012 - 16:00

The University of Ottawa's Counselling and Coaching Service and Health Promotion offices are collaborating on an animal therapy pilot program for students. The program allows students who may be experiencing stress and anxiety to spend time with Tundra, a certified therapy dog with her own Twitter handle: @TundraDawg. The initiative was spearheaded by a School of Human Kinetics professor with a strong interest in animal therapy. Meanwhile, uOttawa's Student Academic Success Service office has launched the Peer Counselling Program to address students' increased demand for personal counselling. The pilot program provides students in need with a much less formal approach, chiefly peer counselling led by other students who themselves have overcome psychological issues. uOttawa News Release

uOttawa runs animal therapy pilot to help reduce student stress Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 15:58 03/16/2012 - 15:58

Toronto-area undergraduate students have a new option to fast-track completion of their degrees as part of York University's "This Summer, Choose York" initiative. The summer program is available to current York U undergrads, undergrads from other Ontario universities (who have a letter of permission from their home institution), and college and university students who want to transfer to York U. An awareness campaign on the summer program includes print and online ads placed in publications predominantly in the GTA. The campaign also includes inserts placed in 13 college and university newspapers in key catchment areas and Web banner ads rolled out on Facebook and other sites popular with students. The ad campaign builds on an earlier "Choose York" campaign that targeted mature and part-time students. Y-File | This Summer, Choose York

York U campaign promotes summer course option Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 15:56 03/16/2012 - 15:56

The New Brunswick Student Alliance has produced a video in which students and professionals state why it is important for the provincial government to invest in higher education. The video's cast, which includes a pair of former provincial cabinet ministers and UNB president Eddy Campbell, points to a skilled labour shortage, crumbling campus infrastructure, and the importance of students' contribution to research and innovation. Investing in PSE, says one student, would improve New Brunswick's image and attract knowledge from outside provincial borders. Campbell speaks to the benefits one reaps from PSE, such as better employability, higher wages, and higher job satisfaction. Pointing to New Brunswick's below-average PSE attainment rate and high tuition fees, the video ends with NBSA's president stating that an investment in PSE is what's best for the province. NBSA News Release | Video

NBSA video features professionals, students highlighting importance of PSE investment Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 15:54 03/16/2012 - 15:54

In its 2012 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives states that in cooperation with the provinces, the government should implement a federal PSE act. Modelled after the principles of the Canada Health Act, the PSE act would be accompanied by a dedicated cash transfer with funding earmarked to immediately restore per-capita funding to 1992 levels; over 3 years, reduce tuition fees to 1992 levels; and over 5 years, eliminate deferred maintenance at colleges and universities. The AFB also outlines several actions in relation to financial aid, First Nations students, and university research. CCPA News Release | Alternative Federal Budget 2012

Alternative Federal Budget calls for PSE act Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 15:50 03/16/2012 - 15:50

The University of Lethbridge's Faculty of Health Sciences is the recipient of a $2-million endowment enabled by a $1-million donation from Spitz Sunflower Seeds founder Tom Droog, who received an honorary degree from uLethbridge in 2006. His gift will allow the institution to establish the Emmy Droog Chair in Complementary and Alternative Health Care -- the health sciences faculty's first endowed professorship. uLethbridge president Mike Mahon says the donation will be a unique complement to existing health sciences programs and will help the university to better serve its students and the community. uLethbridge News Release

$1-million gift to uLethbridge helps establish health sciences professorship Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 16:05 03/16/2012 - 15:48

Facing censure by CAUT, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University are defending their academic integrity with regard to their partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) on the Balsillie School of International Affairs. The universities point out that their senates recently passed a governance document, 2 years in the making, that directly addresses CAUT's concerns. The universities' respective provosts say the institutions have complete control over hiring faculty who may be eligible for CIGI-funded research chairs and extend the same protection and rights to those academics as all faculty members. WLU's provost says the threat of censure was "completely unwarranted" given the effort put into drafting a governing plan that ensures academic freedom. A CIGI VP says the think-tank has no veto over hiring and no motive to hamper academic freedom. Waterloo Region Record

 

Postscript (April 2, 2012): Former Dean joins voices defending CIGI deal:  Ken Coates, the former dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo, argues in a National Post op-ed that CAUT is misguided in its concerns about the agreements between the Jim Balsillie-funded think tank and YorkU, WLU and uWaterloo. Coates maintains that neither Balsillie nor CIGI staff members attempted to infringe on academic freedom, and that while “CAUT provides many valuable services to the Canadian academic community… the pursuit of the Centre for International Governance Innovation is not such a contribution.”  National Post

uWaterloo, WLU defend partnership with CIGI Top Ten 03/31/2012 - 19:07 03/16/2012 - 15:46

Harry Bloy has resigned from his position as BC's minister of state for multiculturalism after leaking an e-mail to Eminata Group, the subject of a Vancouver Province news investigation. Bloy had come into possession of an e-mail the Province sent to the Ministry of Advanced Education seeking comment on Eminata founder Peter Chung. Bloy forwarded that message to Eminata, a provider of for-profit PSE in BC. Confirming Bloy's resignation during question period Thursday, Premier Christy Clark said that what he did was "not illegal, but wrong." NDP Leader Adrian Dix pressed the Liberal government in question period on Bloy's motivation to inform Eminata about the investigation, but the government was not forthcoming. NDP MLA John Horgan called on Advanced Education Minister Naomi Yamamoto to resign as well. Postmedia News reports that Chung is a frequent donor to the BC Liberals. Postmedia News

BC minister resigns from cabinet over leaked e-mail regarding news investigation into Eminata Group Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 15:43 03/16/2012 - 15:43

Montreal's city executive-committee chairperson said Thursday that the city is bearing the financial brunt of student protests, and the situation cannot be permitted to go on. "I understand that people have the right to demonstrate, but we're talking about the...economic engine that is the city of Montreal," he said. "If these demonstrations continue, it's going to hurt industry, commerce, and people are going to be upset." The comments were made a few hours before the start of the annual march against police brutality. A joint protest by students against fee hikes and people against police brutality began at about rush hour Thursday. Police say more than 200 individuals were arrested and 10 officers were injured that night. The police response to student demonstrations have come under scrutiny following the March 7 protest where a CÉGEP student suffered a serious eye injury after apparently being struck by a police flash grenade. As class boycotts continue, many university and CÉGEP teachers are lending their support to strikers. Profs contre la hausse is a new teacher-oriented group dedicated to lending support to striking students and the cause of lower tuition fees. The group's action committee coordinator says he believe many instructors will participate in the major student rally planned for March 22. Montreal Gazette (City Councillor) | Canadian Press | Montreal Gazette (Anti-Police Brutality March) | Montreal Gazette (Teacher Support)

Student demonstrations affecting Montreal, says city councillor Top Ten 03/16/2012 - 15:40 03/16/2012 - 15:40

McGill University has redesigned and reorganized its homepage to help visitors to its website find what they are looking for more easily. The homepage is now organized into 3 distinct sections by user type, defaulting to an external page meant for the general public. Users can then choose to remain on that version of the page, or click on the "Students" or "Staff/Faculty" button and be directed to a homepage similar to the main external edition, but with content that matters most to them. In response to survey respondents' indication that they had a hard time finding certain tools on the website, the revised homepage now includes "Popular Pages" and "Popular Tools" tabs. The redesign was a joint effort between McGill's Communication Services and the Content and Collaboration Solutions unit. The latter unit's job was to refine the design so it looked attractive and functioned properly across platforms, browsers, and various mobile devices. McGill homepage | McGill Reporter

McGill unveils new homepage Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 16:09 03/15/2012 - 16:09

Yesterday Times Higher Education released the 2012 edition of its World Reputation Rankings, and the Canadian universites to make the top 100 list this year are the University of Toronto (16), UBC and McGill University (tied at 25). Published for the first time last year, the reputation rakings are based on an international poll of more than 17,500 academics. Times Higher Education | Top Universities by Reputation 2012

uToronto, UBC, and McGill make World Reputation Rankings list Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 16:06 03/15/2012 - 16:06

Saint Paul University, federated with the University of Ottawa, is under fire from its students after it asked the student association to remove a bowl of condoms from the main office. A letter from administration to the student group states that "it is evident that the distribution of condoms must cease and the use of the name 'university' needs to be completely abandoned from your sign, especially when it contravenes with the Statutes." SPU has a Catholic mandate, but students of all religions and ethnicities now study at the institution. The administration told the CBC that students are expected to abide by and uphold Catholic values. The student association believes administrators are putting ideology before practicality. Students also say SPU has complained about a pride centre they opened on campus. The student group and administration began what are expected to be several days of discussions Wednesday to find a solution to the issue. CBC

SPU students criticize institution over opposition to free condoms Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 16:02 03/15/2012 - 16:02

New research published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario observes that overall leave rates are lower and graduation rates are higher when examined from a system-wide perspective that acknolwedges a diversity of pathways for students once enrolled in PSE. The report says student-retention programs and initiatives should explore the issue from this viewpoint, and not solely consider institutional "drop-out" rates as these can be misleading. The study found that among both college and university students in Ontario, switching and leaving rates are higher in first year and drop substantially over the course of the program. However, the overall leaving rates are quite different compared to the rest of the country. 23% of college students who begin a program in Ontario leave without graduating or directly switching to another program within in the first 3 years, which is slightly higher than the national average. Just 7.4% of Ontario university students leave PSE entirely by their fourth year, compared to 18.4% nationally. Research Summary | Full Report

PSE student attrition rates in Ontario lower than previously thought, report finds Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 16:00 03/15/2012 - 16:00

Yesterday the New Brunswick government launched the New Brunswick Credit Transfer Portal, an online tool to help students transfer their academic credits between provincial colleges and universities. The portal was created through the New Brunswick Council on Articulations and Transfer, an advisory group made up of government officials and academic institutions working to facilitate the transition from one institution to another. Interprovincial credit transfers will be gradually added to the portal. NB News Release | Credit Transfer Portal

NB launches online portal for credit transfers Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 15:56 03/15/2012 - 15:56

Yesterday the University of Winnipeg launched its Youth In Care Tuition Waiver program, which ensures that youth who have grown up in foster care in Manitoba can plan for their academic future at the university, regardless of socio-economic background. uWinnipeg expects to support 10 students annually through the program in the initial pilot stage, which starts this September. The Province of Manitoba Authorities will cover all additional living expenses for youth on extensions of care -- including housing, textbooks, and meal plans -- up until age 21 and while they are attending uWinnipeg. The program is the first of its kind in Manitoba and believed to be unique for a Canadian university. uWinnipeg News Release

uWinnipeg unveils Youth In Care Tuition Waiver program Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 15:53 03/15/2012 - 15:53

Given the possibility that some BC students might not have traditional spring report cards in light of the province's teachers' strike, UBC's Vancouver campus senate approved Wednesday a proposal to allow the institution to consider final confirmed grades to date, including final Grade 11 and completed Grade 12 courses. Adopting this measure will allow UBC to make admissions offers to BC students by mid-April -- the same timeframe as in previous years. Grade 12 marks will be available from the education ministry in May, and, as has been the case in prior years, additional offers will be made at that time. The Okanagan campus senate approved this measure on February 29. UBC News Release

UBC senate approves early admissions process in wake of teachers' strike Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 15:51 03/15/2012 - 15:51

In an update on its sustainability planning, NSCAD University says there is no truth to rumours that up to half of the classes currently offered will be cut. However, the practice to proceed with classes that are under-enrolled has proven to be financially unsustainable. Starting with the 2012-13 academic calendar, NSCAD intends to combine historically under-enrolled multi-section offerings to guarantee full enrolment. Moreover, core courses that are under-enrolled will be offered less frequently, from once a semester to once a year. NSCAD says it has made adequate provisions to ensure students are able to complete their degrees. The university also dispels a rumour about the Granville block now being sold. Because of federal and provincial investments in Granville campus upgrades, NSCAD is obligated to retain the campus for at least another 5 years. The university says fundraising and recruitment investments are key components of going forward. It has already seen fundraising improvements through its annual fund campaign. Donor participation in annual giving has risen by 20% in 2011-12. NSCAD News

NSCAD dispels rumours of program cuts Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 15:49 03/15/2012 - 15:49

In response to public attention on York University's agreement with Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Patrick Monahan, York U's provost, issued a message Wednesday to provide background information and address some concerns about the agreement. Monahan points out that a new protocol signed March 9 makes explicit how the university's academic and administrative freedom will be fully protected. He states that final decisions regarding such matters as research chair appointments rest with York U. Monahan also addresses the attention focused on a provision that contemplates a review of the faculty shortlist with a committee whose members include some CIGI representatives. The provost states that in cases where there is any difference of opinion on the shortlist, the matter will be referred to an independent committee of scholars who are at arm's-length from CIGI, and whose views will be binding on the think-tank. York U, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University face censure from the Canadian Association of University Teachers over their agreements with CIGI. Y-File

York U provides details of agreement with CIGI Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 15:45 03/15/2012 - 15:45

On Wednesday, a jury found Virginia Tech negligent for not sending timelier warnings of an active threat and awarded large sums to 2 families whose daughters were killed in the April 16, 2007 campus shootings. In their lawsuit, the families alleged that if Virginia Tech officials had warned the campus more promptly after the earlier shootings that day, their daughters would have taken precautions, altering their schedules. "Higher education is under the microscope now," says one observer. "The accountability level has definitely changed." Virginia Tech officials express disappointment with the verdict, calling the shootings "an unprecedented act of violence that no one could have foreseen." If the university appeals the verdict, it is unlikely to succeed, says a University of Richmond law professor who has followed the case. VT President's Letter | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Virginia Tech found negligent in 2007 shooting Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 15:43 03/15/2012 - 15:43

A new British Council report states that by 2020, India will have replaced China as the country sending the most people to study in the US. The report estimates that 118,000 Indians will be enrolled in US institutions then, compared to 101,000 Chinese students. Although Chinese students represented one-third of the growth in students travelling abroad to study from 2002 to 2009, the reports states that pace will slow considerably. The report predicts the US will remain the top destination for international students, but Australia will encounter the fastest growth in the number of foreign students. However, given the rise of Asian destinations, the council cautions that predictions are far from certain. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

India to be top nation sending students to US by 2020, report predicts Top Ten 03/14/2012 - 15:16 03/14/2012 - 15:16

In a survey of Portage College's Class of 2010-11, 87% of respondents said the Alberta-based institution provided them with the knowledge and skills required to pursue a career, with 85% of graduates now in the workforce. 100% of business diploma graduates surveyed said they are now working in business-related careers. 94% of health program graduates and 92% of career program graduates reported being employed. Graduates of Portage's newest program -- Natural Resources Technology -- reported a 100% satisfaction rate and 100% employment rate, with some earning very close to 6-figure incomes. 91% of university studies program graduates surveyed are continuing on in their studies at the university of their choice. Portage College News Release

Portage College grads surveyed report great experience Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 01:39 03/14/2012 - 15:14

The format of traditional lectures in large auditoriums for the 1,800 Queen's University students enrolled in Psychology 100 has been replaced with a blended learning model. Students attend one lecture per week in which professors explore a provocative question or discuss their own research. Students then apply the concepts they have learned online in small learning labs facilitated by fourth-year and master's students. "Rather than supplementing the traditional lecture format, we are transforming the way courses are designed and delivered based on what we know about student learning and engagement," says the Faculty of Arts and Science's associate dean (studies). The move to blended learning is a faculty-wide initiative that will eventually be adopted by other arts and science courses. Queen's News Centre

Queen's moves to blended learning for arts and science courses Top Ten 03/14/2012 - 15:12 03/14/2012 - 15:12

New figures from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre show that the number of applications secondary school students have submitted to Ontario universities sits at 399,773, up 2.4% from March 2011. The number of applicants totals 91,363, up from 89,650 recorded last March. This month's application and applicant figures are the highest recorded since 2003. OUAC Undergraduate Application Statistics -- March 2012

High school students' applications to Ontario universities approaching 400,000 Top Ten 03/14/2012 - 15:10 03/14/2012 - 15:10

According to preliminary data from Statistics Canada, employment fell by 4,000 in universities and colleges during the fourth quarter of 2011, continuing a downward trend. Since its peak in the fourth quarter of 2010, employment in the PSE sector had dropped by 11,000. In its data check, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations notes that since 2010, the average number of people employed in the higher education sector fell by 14,000. Nearly all that decline took place in Ontario, where 12,000 jobs were lost -- a 7.5% reduction in the PSE workforce. Statistics Canada | OCUFA Data Check

Employment at PSE institutions continues to decline Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 01:38 03/14/2012 - 15:08

Tight budgets and sustained low enrolment at BC-based Selkirk College means administrative and teaching staff layoffs will occur in the coming months. "We are looking through some reductions in some of our services and programs and we’re just working through right now to determine the extent to which we’ll have to adjust the workforce," says president Angus Graeme. He says the institution faces a structural deficit each year from static provincial budgets, and some implications from the most recent budget "make the challenge a little bit more significant." With his institution currently facing a shortfall of more than $1 million, Graeme says the most significant impact will be a reduction in the number of university-level second-year science courses at the Castlegar campus, as well as a few revisions to Kootenay School of the Arts' studio programs. Selkirk College News | Nelson Star

Layoffs pending as Selkirk College faces shortfall Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 01:37 03/14/2012 - 15:07

The division among Quebec students on unlimited strikes is growing as those against class boycotts have been trying -- and not always with success -- to secure their right to an education. With her department striking since February, a UQAM law student who has been e-mailing the premier and education minister says "the Liberals aren't backing down (from tuition hikes) but they're not doing much to help students who don't support the strike and whose rights are being infringed upon." The education ministry has said that universities have an obligation to provide classes, but students say that obligation is not being respected. The Montreal Gazette reports that there appears to be little consensus among university administrations about what can and should be done about the matter. Students opposed to the strike are also turning to social media; students can follow @strikethestrike on Twitter, and there is a Facebook page devoted to Concordia Students Against a Strike. Meanwhile, Quebec's 2 largest labour unions announced Tuesday that they are throwing their support behind striking students. Montreal Gazette (anti-strike students) | Montreal Gazette (union support)

Quebec students against class boycott petition government, gather on social media Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 01:35 03/14/2012 - 15:04

Vancouver Island Health Authority's chairman is looking into whether the organization's CEO abused his position by lobbying to get his son into UBC's medical school. The CEO had Liberal cabinet minister Ida Chong write a letter to the medical school dean in 2010, when his son was trying to gain admission. The son, who was attending university in Ontario, did not meet BC residency requirements and was not admitted into the school. Chong has publicly defended writing to UBC on behalf of a constituent, yet property records show the CEO does not live in her riding. Admitting that she was the science and universities minister when she wrote to UBC, Chong wrote the letter on MLA letterhead. An NDP critic says the fact Chong was in charge of universities at the time makes her involvement "absolutely inappropriate." Victoria Times-Colonist

Health authority investigates whether CEO abused position in lobbying son's UBC application Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 01:36 03/14/2012 - 14:58

Amid health complaints and concerns about air quality at the University of Calgary's Craigie Hall, campus health and safety officials have conducted a series of tests to see if the 50-year-old building meets occupational health standards. Asbestos concerns were first raised in 2003 when the facility was renovated and several floors were under construction, exposed to falling ceiling tiles and dust. In 2004 uCalgary tested air quality and found everything to meet health and safety standards; however, complaints from faculty and staff have continued on and off. Third-party experts conducted comprehensive air quality and other environmental testing last week to ensure the facility meets occupation health standards. The CBC reports that an employee in the Spanish centre at Craigie Hall died in November of pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring of the lungs. Her husband says doctors did not determine what caused the disease, but he suspects it was her work environment. A uCalgary official says the institution has a comprehensive asbestos management program that clearly outlines procedures for managing activities that may include handling or distributing asbestos-containing materials. uCalgary Statement | Calgary Herald | CBC

Following employee concerns, uCalgary tests Craigie Hall for health risks Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 01:38 03/14/2012 - 14:54

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has served notice that it intends to censure the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and York University over their joint collaborations with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a private think-tank founded and chaired by BlackBerry co-founder Jim Balsillie. CAUT's academic freedom and tenure committee has informed the universities' faculty associations of its unanimous decision to put forward a censure motion for CAUT's executive committee to consider at its general meeting on April 26. CAUT executive director James Turk told the National Post that CAUT's "overriding concern is that any collaborative agreements signed between universities and third-party donors maintain, protect and ensure the academic integrity of the university and that it not compromise its academic integrity in order to get the money." The association hopes its professional rebuke will motivate the institutions to renegotiate or amend sections of their agreements with CIGI before CAUT's next general meeting in 6 months. uWaterloo and York U officials told the Post that they are prepared to discuss their respective deals but see no reason to modify them. National Post

uWaterloo, WLU and York U face CAUT censure over ties to CIGI Top Ten 03/15/2012 - 10:10 03/14/2012 - 14:51

For the 2013 edition of its Best Colleges rankings, US News & World Report will collect and publish data in 3 new areas: differential graduation rates on income and race; information on the affordability of colleges; and information about each institution's Internet connectivity. The publication will not use the additional information in the methodology for total scores. US News blog | Inside Higher Ed

US News to gather more data for next year's college rankings Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:27 03/13/2012 - 16:27

The Ontario government states that 82% of provincial high school students earned their diploma last year, up from 81% in 2009-10 and 68% in 2003-04. The increased rate means that 93,000 more secondary students have graduated than would have had the rate stayed at the 2003-04 level. The government is aiming for a graduation rate of 85%. Ontario News Release

Ontario high school graduation rate rises to 82% Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:25 03/13/2012 - 16:25

Red Deer College unveiled Monday RDCmatch.com, where prospective students can complete a quiz that provides them with careers suited to their personalities (and program matches at the college) and enters them into a contest to win one of five $1,000 RDC tuition vouchers. Each of the 62 questions in the 3-part quiz gives participants 2 options -- a word, phrase, or statement -- and asks them to select the one that better describes them or they find more appealing. Personality results appear afterwords along with a set of career matches. The site includes links to RDC's Twitter feed and Facebook page, as well as to its main website. RDC News Release | RDCmatch.com

RDC online quiz matches careers suited to prospective students' personalities Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:23 03/13/2012 - 16:22

Speaking at the University of Ottawa yesterday, Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear announced a $124.5-million federal investment allocated to 132 newly awarded or renewed Canada Research Chairs to conduct new, cutting-edge research at 36 Canadian PSE institutions. The investment also includes an additional $6.3 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation for research infrastructure associated with the new Chair awards. CRC News Release

Ottawa distributes more than $124 million for Canada Research Chairs Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:20 03/13/2012 - 16:20

Alberta's auditor general states in a new report that the Alberta College of Art + Design, Grant MacEwan University, Northern Lakes College, NorQuest College, and Olds College each provided 2011 financial statements that had inaccuracies or were not timely. Some of the institutions continue to record a lack of financial controls that put them at risk of mismanaged funds, poor budgeting, and even fraud. The report's 15 recommendations range from enhancing "risk management systems" and "financial business processes" to properly securing computer servers and better managing donations and contracts. The auditor general says he feel confident the 5 institutions will fix their accounting issues within the year. Officials with these schools say they have made changes according to past concerns and have accepted the new recommendations. The report also cites NAIT, SAIT Polytechnic, and the Universities of Alberta and Lethbridge as having effective control environments. Grande Prairie Regional College has made significant improvements to its processes and internal controls over the past 2 years. Both Lethbridge College and Mount Royal University showed no significant problems. Auditor General of Alberta News Release | Calgary Herald | Edmonton Journal | Recommendations Summary | Full Report

Report finds 5 Alberta PSE institutions lack basic financial controls Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:18 03/13/2012 - 16:18

As it initiates an external review of its severance policy for senior administrators, Concordia University plans to publicly disclose information related to severance packages totalling approximately $2.4 million made to 5 senior managers over the past few years. President Frederick Lowy's statement on the matter did not extend to disclosures about the departure of former president Claude Lajeunesse, who left in 2007 with a $1.4-million severance 2 years into his contract. Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp has fined Concordia $2 million to signal her displeasure with the institution, where she has said "there is a problem of governance." One Concordia professor says the situation at the institution is "scandalous" and calls on the minister to dismiss Concordia's board of governors. Montreal Gazette

Concordia to disclose details of some severance packages Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:10 03/13/2012 - 16:10

Due to the BC teacher's strike and contract dispute, teachers have not been issuing normal report cards, but have been giving marks to Grade 12 students directly so they can apply to PSE institutions. Without official report cards, UBC plans to wait until May when it can confirm grades for BC students with the education ministry. University officials say the marks are essentially self-reported by students on their applications, which could lead to irregularities on the 12,000 applications UBC expects this year. Students relying on grades from their final year of high school would still be considered on the Grade 12 spring marks once UBC receives those from the ministry in early May. UBC's senate will decide today whether to accept official grades from Grade 11 in applications this year. The BC Teachers' Federation's president says teachers have followed through on a commitment to issue students grades for university applications, and UBC should be accepting them. CBC

UBC rejects Grade 12 marks for BC applicants during teacher strike Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:07 03/13/2012 - 16:07

The University of Victoria administration recently e-mailed student teachers to inform them that they are not allowed to participate in protest events in relation to the BC teachers' job action. The e-mail, sent by the associate dean for teacher education, said: "Students are to maintain a 'neutral' stance; regardless of their personal feelings or alignments, as University of Victoria student teachers they are not to participate in protest events related to these negotiations during practicum time." The Canadian Federation of Students-BC's chairperson says "it reflects very poorly on the University of Victoria when the institution's administration attempts to intimidate students into not exercising free speech off campus in events that will directly impact their careers." He says the dean "has gravely overstepped her authority and should retract her bogus demand." CFS-BC News Release

CFS criticizes UVic over barring education students from attending striking teachers' protest events Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:05 03/13/2012 - 16:05

As it investigates the source of a donor information leak, McGill University has written to the student-run Daily Publications Society (DPS), telling it to remove any link to McGillLeaks and to stop referencing the documents and data that were leaked. The letter said McGill would use "any available legal recourse to protect its rights and the rights of the third parties." The McGill Daily quickly removed the link, but it says it will continue coverage of McGillLeaks, while criticizing what it calls the university's "oppressive tactics." The DPS chairperson says the society "didn't steal the documents and we believe we were within our rights because the documents were already in the public domain." McGill's VP of external relations says having a live link to McGillLeaks "is not a matter of the exercise of freedom of expression, but it would help to disseminate information that invades the privacy of a great number of individuals -- without their consent -- and that contains information of strategic advantage to the university in matters of fundraising." Montreal Gazette

Student-run publisher claims "intimidation tactics" by McGill administration over McGillLeaks coverage Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 16:02 03/13/2012 - 16:02

University of Windsor president Alan Wildeman has ordered a safety review following a series of stabbings early last Friday at Thirsty Scholar, a campus pub. The institution and its students' alliance will decide whether to reopen the pub after the review. A 21-year-old Windsor man appeared in court Monday to face charges of aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and breaching probation after turning himself in to police Sunday. The accused is not a student at uWindsor and was known to police. Wildeman says the campus safety policy review will be wide-ranging and done in conjunction with campus police, who were first on the scene after bystanders activated an emergency call button. Their response showed the effectiveness of uWindsor's emergency response system, says Wildeman. President's Memo | Windsor Star

uWindsor pub under safety review following stabbings Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 15:59 03/13/2012 - 15:59

Anonymously produced for 2 years, "100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School" has become a popular blog with graduate students looking to vent. With a focus on the humanities and the social sciences, the blog features many posts that speak to the social and psychological difficulties of graduate school. A recent entry on "the culture of fear" -- which asked: "Why are academics -- of all people -- afraid of writing (and speaking) honestly about their profession? Why do so many of those who do express themselves feel compelled to do so anonymously?" -- garnered many responses (many of them anonymous) about the power gaps in academia. There are widespread complaints about graduate school and the academic job market. While some critics of the blog find many of the reasons to be "negatively slanted and biased," the blog is getting praised in comments on many discussions regarding the academic job market. If one decides to enrol in graduate school anyway, the blog includes 3 pieces of advice: "stay out of debt," "go to a prestigious school," and "finish as quickly as possible." Inside Higher Ed | 100 Reasons NOT to Go to Graduate School

Students vent on blog listing reasons not to attend graduate school Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:15 03/12/2012 - 16:15

In a poll of 1,000 British parents with children aged 11 to 17, 60% of respondents felt children should attend university because it improved their job prospects, while a quarter of respondents felt PSE was primarily valuable for its own sake. Nearly one-third of those polled believed PSE would result in their children getting a better job, while 28% said it would lead them to having a successful career. Two-thirds of parents believed that universities prepared students for the workplace, with 31% feeling they do this well and 35% saying it was satisfactory. Nearly a quarter of respondents said universities do not prepare students well. Just over half of parents believed having a degree remained a good investment for their children, while 21% said it was not. The poll was commissioned by the New College of the Humanities, a private institution due to open in September. Times Higher Education

British parents surveyed say university is about job prospects Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:12 03/12/2012 - 16:12

The University of Northern British Columbia is running a Facebook contest in which participants can suggest a new green initiative for the institution as part of its fifth annual Green Day celebration on March 20. "Empowering the UNBC population is appropriate as Canada's Green University," says president George Iwama. "(The contest) provides the opportunity to get involved in purposeful environmental change, and links our current and former student community with UNBC's mandate to 'walk the walk.'" Suggestions so far range from making all washing machines in residence cold-water only to incorporating tiles that convert kinetic energy from individuals' footsteps. After 2 weeks of online voting, the top 5 candidates will be announced on Green Day. Prizes include $1,000 from Integris Credit Union and green gift bundles from the UNBC Bookstore. The winners' suggestions have potential to be the university's next green project, as selected by the Green Day Committee. UNBC News Release | Facebook Contest

Facebook contest seeks suggestions on new green initiative for UNBC Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:10 03/12/2012 - 16:10

Saint Mary's University professor David Wilson has introduced a mobile application to his online English class in hopes of giving his students a better understanding of the Shakespeare comedy Twelfth Night. Wilson wrote the content for Twelfth Night Tester, an Apple device app that features a timed quiz with 20 questions about the play, followed by a page of profiles of the major characters. A colleague of Wilson's at SMU designed and developed software for the app, which was tested in one of the professor's summer courses and launched this term in his English class. The app is available only to students in that course as free supplementary study material. Students are required to ready Twelfth Night first and then use the app to test their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. This is the first time this form of technology has been used for academic purposes at SMU. SMU News Release | CBC

SMU prof uses app to teach Shakespeare Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:07 03/12/2012 - 16:07

At the women's hockey summit over the weekend, some 50 coaches and sport administrators addressed why the majority of Canada's best players still attend US institutions. Although the CIS women's hockey system has made huge strides since 1997, much more is needed if Canadian universities want to retain the best homegrown talent here, says former national women's team head coach Melody Davidson. Not every CIS school has a full-time head coach, which, along with the lack of paid assistant coaches, is a concern. Visibility is key, stresses Davidson, whether that means logo identification, information about a university hockey program, or, crucially, facts about funding options of which many athletes and parents remain unaware. A University of Alberta coach says limited resources at Canadian institutions mean coaches have to be creative with strategies with respect to academic schedules and course loads. One mechanism is already in place, notes Davidson; the 5-year eligibility rule at CIS institutions enables athletes to manage their course load differently from their US counterparts, for whom the eligibility limit is 4 years. Edmonton Journal

CIS universities need to do more to retain top female hockey players in Canada Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:06 03/12/2012 - 16:06

Mohawk College and its students' association will break ground in April on a much-needed recreation centre. The $35-million, 65,000-square-foot Mohawk Recreation Centre (MRC) will include a triple gymnasium, an indoor running track, and a fitness, health, and wellness centre. The MRC will replace fitness and recreation facilities at the Fennell campus, which is undergoing renewal. Mohawk College News

Mohawk College set to break ground for new recreation centre Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:03 03/12/2012 - 16:03

In a speech Friday, Ontario Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Glen Murray called on the private sector to fund a larger share of higher-education costs. Other than a fleeting pledge to not fund the future "on the backs of students" (through tuition fee increases alone) and a quick call to use campuses more efficiently than "just 66 per cent of the year" (through a proposal to have courses run through the summer), Murray cast his eyes over the corporate world. Ontario taxpayers already pay "a lot of the freight" for PSE, said Murray, so new growth needs to come from the type of public-private partnerships common at US Ivy League institutions. Murray also noted that today's entrepreneurial students find corporate sponsors and investors prior to graduation, "so the wall is being erased between the classroom and the workplace. Some students are graduating with their diploma in one hand and their incorporation certificate in the other." The chair of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario says she finds such emphasis on private funding "concerning," and also warns that it is not easy to run classes all summer, as some students need that period to either make money or conduct research. Toronto Star

Ontario TCU minister calls on private sector to boost investment in PSE Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:01 03/12/2012 - 16:01

Matco Investments Ltd. president and CEO Ronald P. Mathison has made a $10-million donation to the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute to found a centre dedicated to discovering innovative treatments and providing early intervention for mental illness. Based at uCalgary's Foothills campus, The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education offers support and new hope to families in Calgary, throughout Alberta, and worldwide. uCalgary News

uCalgary brain institute receives $10-million gift for mental health initiatives Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 15:58 03/12/2012 - 15:58

More desperate to secure larger sums of funding, Canadian universities are increasingly entering much more complicated donor relationships, resulting in the challenge of building proper governance structures that allow universities to accept funding from outside sources while also protecting their autonomy and integrity. The Canadian Association of University Teachers has spoken out against York University's new agreement with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) on an international law program, as well as the University of Toronto's partnership with gold-mining magnate Peter Munk on the Munk School of Global Affairs. "A third party, a donor, an interest group, has no business involved in discussions about academic affairs within the university," says CAUT executive director James Turk. "There is no place for that if a university is to have integrity." A CIGI VP says "academic freedom is as important a value to a think-tank as it is to a university. In order to ensure that everyone feels good about the collaboration, there have to be firewalls built in." Still, how each party qualifies these protections is at the centre of the growing debate. As universities become more responsive to market forces, "this has forced too many to accept donations without due diligence and, sometimes, even bend to donor directives," observes Ramesh Thakur, who says he lost his job as the inaugural director of the Balsillie School of International Affairs (whose partners are CIGI, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University) for that very reason. In an investigation into Thakur's firing, CAUT released a scathing report about the lack of governance structure at the Balsillie School. The 3 partners dismissed CAUT's findings. Still, they have since developed a "squeaky clean" governance structure that was unanimously approved by the board of governors of all the partners and the universities' senates. Financial Post

Universities' move toward significant corporate collaborations raises issues of autonomy, integrity Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 15:56 03/12/2012 - 15:56

There are over 200 online posts critical of 3 for-profit institutions under the Eminata Group name (University of Canada West, Vancouver Career College, CDI College), alleging business practices that are leaving students frustrated and searching for answers. Eminata has dismissed these posts as a smear campaign initiated by a few dissatisfied former students and staff, including a former director whom the company accuses of attempted extortion. A Vancouver police spokesperson says Eminata's complaint on the extortion matter was closed with no charges pressed. The Vancouver Province says its investigation suggests there might be more to the online posts than just disgruntled students. A current CDI College instructor, who spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity, said she knew some of the allegations to be valid, including the use of unqualified teachers, misleading enrolment information, commissioned sales representatives, and inconsistent exam standards. The Province spoke to some former students who make such claims, and mentions there are a significant number of civil court documents bearing the names of the 3 institutions. The reviews aren't all negative, though. While some students interviewed by the Province said there was room for improvement, their basic response was that they got out what they put into it. Not named in the online allegations is Eminata founder Dr. Peter M. Chung, whose interview with the Province is featured in the second part of the paper's investigation. The paper reports that UCAN president Dr. Verna Magee-Shepherd resigned Friday. Eminata News Release | Vancouver Province (March 11) | Vancouver Province (March 12)

Online complaints against Eminata Group institutions a "smear campaign" Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 15:51 03/12/2012 - 15:51

Employment among 15- to 24-year-olds fell for the fifth month in a row, down 27,000 last month, and their unemployment rate was 14.7%, reports Statistics Canada. Compared to February 2011, youth employment was down by 69,000 (-2.8%). With fewer young people participating in the labour market, their participation rate last month was 63.3%, down from the most recent peak of 68.1% recorded in September 2008. 15- to 24-year-olds in Newfoundland and Labrador made the most gains in February with a 2.0 percentage point increase in their employment rate, while Saskatchewan recorded the highest youth employment rate, which sits at 64.3%. Statistics Canada | Labour Force Survey

Youth employment continues to decline Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:44 03/09/2012 - 14:44

The continued expansion of the Alberta oilsands and other energy- and infrastructure-related projects across the country is spurring heightened demand for water scientists and engineers, says a VP at CH2M Hill Canada, one of the largest global employers of these specialized professionals. Increased regulation and ever-changing technologies have boosted demand for individuals with a diverse range of water science and engineering skills, the VP says. Water engineers are in high demand worldwide as developing nations such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia rapidly expand their populations and industrial bases. CH2M Hill Canada's president says PSE institutions need to do their part in educating students about the need to work across multiple science and engineering disciplines, regardless of what type of sub-specialization students may end up working in after graduating. Calgary Herald

Strong demand for water scientists Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:43 03/09/2012 - 14:43

Funded through the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement and overseen by the Industry Training Authority, the Women in Trades Training (WITT) initiative is running a media campaign this month to mark the milestone of 1,500 women participating in trades training programs across BC. Launched last week on International Women's Day, the campaign is designed to raise awareness around the benefits of the WITT initiative's programs and to help encourage employers to consider sponsoring a woman apprentice. The campaign highlights the story of a first-year plumber apprentice and mother of 5. Her story will be told through various print and video materials. A series of print ads featuring women apprentices will be published in community papers across BC. ITA News Release | Meet a Tradeswoman | Print Ad

BC's Women in Trades Training initiative launches new ad campaign Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:41 03/09/2012 - 14:41

The graduate finance degree at Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business is now known as the Master of Science in Finance. The new designation reflects the evolution of the popular program, which attracts students worldwide. 2 years ago, professors and industry members redesigned what was then the Master of Financial Risk Management program, expanding the offering of core quantitative courses. The MSc designation also better reflects the 2 fields of specialization: risk management and investment management. The program's academic chair says the new designation will help graduates competing in the global arena for careers in finance, especially in Asia, where an MSc degree tends to be better recognized. The increased focus on quantitative skills will also allow more students in the program to participate in SFU's Student Investment Advisory Service. The $10-million portfolio is Canada's largest student-managed investment fund. SFU News Release

SFU graduate finance degree gets MSc designation Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:39 03/09/2012 - 14:39

In addition to extending for one year a 5% cap on overall tuition fee increases at colleges and universities, the Ontario government announced Thursday it will place a moratorium on raising or introducing flat and deferral fees for 2012-13. The government says this move will allow it to work with the PSE sector on a system-wide approach for institutional flat and deferral fees. The province says it will consult with institutions, organizations, and students on a new multi-year tuition policy over the next year to be set for fall 2013-14. While the Council of Ontario Universities welcomes the extended tuition framework, which it says will enable universities to protect the gains made through the provincial government's major investments in PSE, student groups express disappointment in the extension, arguing that it is a step back in making higher education accessible and affordable. Ontario News Release | COU News Release | CFS-O News Release | OUSA News Release | CSA News Release

Ontario to freeze new fees at PSE institutions Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:35 03/09/2012 - 14:35

The Coalition étudiante pour l'association libre is a new student group in Quebec aimed at helping those students who may not support an unlimited strike in protest of planned tuition fee increases. In addition to being worried that their term is at risk, some students opposed to the class boycott feel their democratic rights are not being respected. Some UQAM students interviewed by the Montreal Gazette say they are being forced out of classrooms by striking students, despite the government's pronouncement that classes should go on for students who want them. Others against the boycott say they've been heckled at student assemblies on strike mandates. The coalition wants to depoliticize student unions and is asking MLAs to support a plan to create 2 types of student unions: one to represent all students for campus services, and one that would focus more on activism. The group's founders started the coalition because they believe most students do not support the strike but are being forced to participate, even though a legal right to strike does not apply to student unions. Montreal Gazette (March 8) | Montreal Gazette (March 9) | Coalition website (in French)

New Quebec student coalition supports those opposed to unlimited strike Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:32 03/09/2012 - 14:32

The competition for seats at UBC's medical school is so overheated that, according to an internal memo, even prominent individuals are not above asking for special consideration for their children. In the memo, sent nearly a year ago, the admissions director at the time told the executive associate dean of education that he found it "troubling on many fronts" that "allowing submission of late documents has become a recurring theme this cycle." The partially redacted memo mentions a case in which a Victoria-based surgeon affiliated with UBC contacted the school to get it to accept late documents from his daughter. The medical school dean confirms the case of Vancouver Island Health Authority's CEO and his family calling UBC and asking a BC cabinet minister to advocate on the family's behalf in order to get the CEO's son, who was a student at an Ontario university, to apply as a BC resident (BC applicants have better odds of being considered and accepted by the school). In both cases, the students submitted applications but were not accepted. The former admissions director says his resignation last summer was partly due to alleged preferential treatment given to some applicants whose well-connected parents intervened on their behalf during the application process. The dean denies there was any advantage because of parental involvement, noting that applicants have an appeals process to use and they did. He says parental pressure is not totally unusual these days as parents are more "empowered" than ever as their children's advocates on university matters. Vancouver Sun

Well-connected parents pressure UBC med school to get children admitted Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:29 03/09/2012 - 14:29

The Nova Scotia government confirmed Thursday that solvency tests will no longer apply to the 5 provincial universities with defined benefit pension plans, though they are still subject to other benchmarks. The move sees Dalhousie University being released from looming $50-million yearly payments to close a $270-million solvency gap, which the institution warned would necessitate deep budget cuts and massive layoffs. A government official says Dal and its faculty are still contributing over $43 million annually to the pension plan, so "they still have quite a serious obligation to fulfill every year," but notes that most other provinces have already granted similar exemptions. The Globe and Mail reported Thursday that the exemption brightens Dal's budget outlook and makes it less likely that the university's faculty members will go on strike today. Globe and Mail | Dal News

NS universities with defined benefit pension plans exempted from solvency tests Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:26 03/09/2012 - 14:26

Quebec's education ministry is penalizing Concordia over excessive spending on severance packages for top administrators. In a letter to Concordia's board of governors chairman, Education Minister Line Beauchamp says she is fining Concordia $2 million. The letter says the university was warned and the straw that broke the camel's back was the hiring of former president Judith Woodsworth as a French instructor after she was dismissed. Concordia announced last week it would launch an external review into the departures of 5 top administrators, who received a combined $2.4-million in severance. CJAD 800 | Globe and Mail

Concordia fined $2 million over severance package spending Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:24 03/09/2012 - 14:24

Police say 4 young men suffered stab wounds in 2 separate altercations at the University of Windsor early Friday morning. A 23-year-old was taken to hospital suffering from a serious stab wound to the thigh. While at the hospital, police officers learned that 2 other victims, ages 18 and 19, had been admitted with stab wounds to the elbow and the back. All 3 men are strangers to each other and had been drinking at uWindsor's pub. Police are searching for another victim who was cut in the parking lot near the pub. The CBC reported Friday morning that police identified a male suspect who remained at large. CBC

4 men stabbed at uWindsor Top Ten 03/09/2012 - 14:21 03/09/2012 - 14:21

Fuelled by interest among young females in one-year specialized master's degrees, graduate business schools that have struggled for years to attract women are observing a slow but steady increase in their numbers, reports the Graduate Management Admission Council. After 6 years of modest increases, women last year accounted for 41% of those taking the GMAT, up from 34% in 1983. Women represented nearly two-thirds of test takers in China, and 39% of the total in the US. Many female applicants are in their early 20s and drawn to one-year MBAs in areas such as accounting, finance, and management, whose attractions include a faster start on a professional education and the allowance for an easier work-life balance for women who are planning families. The fact that women in China far outnumber men in seeking graduate business degrees could be partly "a legacy of communism," says the council's director of research communications. "There isn't as much a perception of a glass ceiling that women in other countries may grapple with." The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Women and Graduate Management Education (slides) | Women and Graduate Management Education (data sheet)

One-year specialized MBAs driving surge in women applying to business school Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 15:05 03/08/2012 - 15:05

Like NSCAD University, McMaster University turns 125 this year and has created a website to mark the occasion. The site is the digital home for all things quasquicentennial, such as photo and video archives, trivia, and an events calendar. The site also features the People of Impact contest, which asks the McMaster community to help decide who has left the greatest mark on the institution. McMaster also has dedicated social media platforms on which university community members can interact and celebrate the 125th anniversary. For example, Twitter users are encouraged to use the hashtags #McMaster125 and #gomacgo to share memories and musings about the institution and its history. McMaster Daily News | McMaster125.ca

McMaster unveils 125th anniversary website Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 15:03 03/08/2012 - 15:03

The presidents of Lakehead University and the University of Regina are co-leading a group of Canadian PSE institutions (including FNUC, Nipissing, uManitoba, uLethbridge, VIU, and NVIT) on a trip to Mexico City to discuss Indigenous higher education. Canadian and Mexican representatives will spend March 11 and 12 establishing partnerships and gaining a better understanding of the complexities regarding the issue. Accessibility being one of his top priorities, Lakehead president Brian Stevenson says his institution has been "successful in removing barriers to education, including economic, geographic and cultural. Our proven and successful model is based on active recruitment and strong transition support. We hope to share our successes and challenges on this trip." Enhancing the university experience of Aboriginal students is a key component of uRegina's strategic plan. Students of Aboriginal descent now represent nearly 10% of uRegina's undergraduate population. uRegina News Release | Lakehead News Release

Canadian university delegation heads to Mexico to discuss Indigenous PSE Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 15:00 03/08/2012 - 15:00

St. Clair College has assumed ownership of the Capitol Theatre in Chatham, Ontario, and plans to house its school of dance there. Financial problems forced the theatre into bankruptcy last year and the institution is paying nothing for the property, simply assuming its assets. The theatre "will allow experiential learning for our students to learn new skills in their new home as they fill work positions to produce a quality performance," says St. Clair president John Strasser. He says the institution will be able to efficiently attract top-notch talent to perform both in Chatham and Windsor, where St. Clair operates the Chrysler Theatre. "We're convinced we can run the theatre profitably on the commercial side,'' Strasser says. "And we plan to get started immediately.'' Chatham Daily News | Windsor Star

St. Clair takes over Chatham's Capitol Theatre Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 23:26 03/08/2012 - 14:57

Starting this fall, all first-year students enrolled in a full-time PSE program at Collège Boreal will receive an iPad, part of the Ontario-based college's efforts to maintain state-of-the-art technology infrastructure. "We firmly believe that by providing (students) with this new tool, our institution will contribute to enriching their learning experience," says Boréal president Denis Hubert-Dutrisac. "This is another way for Collège Boréal to prepare its students for the job market." Boréal is a new member of the iTunes U network, and is working with a pair of CÉGEPs on a project that would allow the sharing of expertise regarding the iPad's educational applications and foster the development of institutional projects using the tablet. In September 2010, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine was the first Canadian medical school to give its incoming class iPads. Boréal News Release

Boréal to give first-year students iPads Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 23:26 03/08/2012 - 14:55

Cambrian College announced Wednesday that it will offer eligible students who confirm their acceptance by May 1 the opportunity to receive a 15% tuition rebate upon graduation. "It's a bonus designed to reward those who complete their studies on time and on budget," and will put between $1,200 and $3,500 back in the pockets of eligible graduates, says Cambrian president Sylvia Barnard. Students must apply to one of the college's diploma or degree programs and confirm their acceptance by the aforementioned deadline in order to qualify for the Graduation Tuition Rebate program. Cambrian News Release

Cambrian unveils 15% graduation tuition rebate program Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 14:53 03/08/2012 - 14:53

In a statement issued yesterday, Ontario Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Glen Murray said no changes are being considered that would require all provincial universities to set standard tuition fees for arts and sciences programs. The Toronto Star reported Thursday that the province was contemplating a set fee, which had some university presidents worrying about campus autonomy and loss of revenue by cutting fees to meet the set tuition, while others said they would welcome the increased revenue from raising fees to match the standard and the predictability of tuition. Murray said his government is extending for one year a 5% cap on overall tuition fee increases at PSE institutions, and will continue to provide its tuition grant. Minister's Statement | Toronto Star | Globe and Mail

Ontario not considering standard arts and science tuition fees, says TCU minister Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 23:25 03/08/2012 - 14:50

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has added Manitoba-based Providence University College to its list of PSE institutions that have a faith or ideological test as a condition of employment. The action follows a report completed by an ad-hoc investigatory committee struck last year. While Providence does have a statement on academic freedom, the committee describes it as "significantly inconsistent" with that of CAUT and the majority of universities worldwide, and "assurances that free enquiry is still possible within its constraints are unconvincing." CAUT executive James Turk says "this is not about a university having a religious mission," but "about requiring that academic staff conform to a particular religious belief if they want to be hired or retain their jobs." A group of academics circulated a petition last year that called CAUT's investigations of religious institutions "unwarranted and invasive." CAUT later announced that it would revise how it conducts investigations of these schools. CAUT News

CAUT adds Providence to faith test list Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 23:25 03/08/2012 - 14:47

The University of British Columbia is reviewing its security procedures following the theft of a laptop containing personal information on thousands of students and professors. The RCMP retrieved the laptop in February, 10 days after it was stolen from a car in Burnaby. The computer contained names, e-mail addresses, and student numbers for 50,000 individuals who attended UBC between 2007 and 2012. During the time the computer was missing, someone changed the username and accessed the Internet 15 times; however, the encrypted data was never touched or in danger. The RCMP has traced the stolen laptop to a Richmond man, but no charges have been pressed. The incident follows the theft of computer devices containing information on thousands of University of Victoria employees and the use of stolen Simon Fraser University student data to gain U-Passes. Meanwhile, McGill University is investigating the source of the leak of confidential donor information that was posted online. CBC

Stolen UBC computer containing student, faculty information retrieved Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 15:12 03/08/2012 - 14:44

5 people were arrested and several parts of Montreal's downtown core were subjected to traffic chaos Wednesday as hundreds of students protested increasing tuition fees. The protest began around lunchtime, when approximately 1,000 students marched to the Loto-Québec building and blocked its entrance, leading to a clash with the Montreal police riot squad. Police used tear gas and flash bombs to disperse the crowd, and several officers and protesters were injured in the confrontation. A Cégep de Saint-Jérôme student says his right eye was badly injured by the blast of a police stun grenade during the protest. Having undergone surgery for a detached retina, the student says he doesn't know if he'll regain vision in his eye. Approximately 200 students rallied in downtown Montreal Wednesday evening to protest what they called unnecessary violence on the part of the police. The Quebec government says its planned tuition fee increases will still leave the province with some of the lowest rates in Canada, and the new fees will help ensure the quality and sustainability of Quebec's universities. Protesting students call it a question of values; they say the fee increase would discourage some from attending university, and also believe funding to pay for better schools is available from other provincial sources. Montreal Gazette | CTV | CBC

Arrests, injuries follow clash between student protesters and police in Montreal Top Ten 03/08/2012 - 14:40 03/08/2012 - 14:40

In a bid to increase its 4-year graduation rate, the University at Buffalo has created a pledge guaranteeing that students will complete their degree in no more than 4 years, joining several other US institutions that offer such pledges. Despite this trend, few students are taking advantage of guarantee programs. Winona State University dropped its program 2 years ago, but not because of low participation. "It's rare to find a student who wants to make a commitment to graduate in four years," says the Minnesota-based institution's admissions director. "They are working, looking for diversity of internships, travel-study programs, and sometimes, it has to do with the job climate. They think three or four more classes will give (them) a double major or enhance this extra skill." Meanwhile, Virginia Wesleyan College is seeing a significant increase in participation. Last fall, 350 out of 439 freshmen signed the grad pledge -- the most since the program began about a decade ago. "I think the economy has a lot to do with why students and parents want to make sure it doesn't take longer than it needs to," says the college's admissions dean. The University of Calgary offers a 4-year graduation guarantee. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US students show little interest in 4-year graduation guarantees Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 16:01 03/07/2012 - 16:01

According to a new study by the Fédération autonome de l'enseignment, which represents 32,000 teachers in Quebec, girls' decision to quit school can have distinct, long-lasting consequences, even on the girls' eventual children. The study of 26 Quebec women ages 19 to 54 who were dropouts found that female dropouts are more at risk than their male counterparts of being unemployed, of having precarious job situations, and of ending up on welfare or being financially dependent on a spouse. The lead researcher says the study was not meant as an exhaustive examination of the issue but rather an initial analysis of the lifelong effect on women of quitting school. The study concludes that schools should do more to keep girls in secondary school and that more kindergarten and daycare programs should be available to help low-income mothers. FAE News Release (in French) | Montreal Gazette

Dropping out results in lasting consequences for girls, study finds Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:58 03/07/2012 - 15:58

On Tuesday, the University of Saskatchewan's board of governors approved a new integrated plan that will guide the institution's decision making over the next 4 years, a period the provost labels as "possibility and constraint." Titled "Promise and Potential," the plan aims to improve uSask's research performance, increase engagement with Aboriginal people, strengthen relationships with communities, and follow a more coordinated approach to the inclusion of Aboriginal cultures, language, and symbols on campus. Students will see expanding involvement in experiential learning, study-abroad opportunities, and research. uSask News Release | Promise and Potential

uSask adopts new strategic plan Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:55 03/07/2012 - 15:55

Having a law school in a smaller centre has its advantages, says the founding dean of Thompson Rivers University's new law school. Many local bar members volunteer as mentors and students have close contact with faculty. The law student society president muses on the quality of life in Kamloops, pointing to the area's incomparable natural beauty and the many recreational pursuits available. One primary goal in locating the law school in Kamloops was to draw new lawyers to the area and entice them to settle there or in nearby communities. The curriculum reflects the needs and issues lawyers in the BC interior would likely encounter. Like TRU, Lakehead University plans to focus on issues of importance to regional and local communities when it opens its law school next year. Lakehead president Brian Stevenson says the school will actively recruit Northern students, and hopes the institution's high percentage of Aboriginal students will be reflected in the composition of the law school's student population. University Affairs

The advantages of law education in a small city Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 22:49 03/07/2012 - 15:54

Holland College recently held a grand opening ceremony for its new Centre for Community Engagement, marking a significant milestone in the redevelopment of the Prince of Wales campus. The centre features a 9,400-square-foot gymnasium, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a walking track, a fitness studio, meeting rooms, and classrooms. On top of providing a site for student engagement through varsity and recreational athletic and fitness activities, the centre also offers a range of services for Charlottetown residents to enable and encourage them to learn about what contributes to their health and well-being to help them make informed choices. Holland College

Holland College opens Centre for Community Engagement Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:51 03/07/2012 - 15:51

Western University officials will meet with London city council this month to present a proposal for its planned downtown campus, which includes relocating the education faculty to the civic complex site. Having that faculty downtown could tie to opportunities with continuing studies, as well as foster links with local school boards for the provision of ESL services in high schools and the possibility of an international school, says Western U's provost. The institution is also considering a multidisciplinary health clinic in partnership with the education and health sciences faculties and the medical and dentistry school. Everything is contingent on the municipality's plans, says Western U's AVP of planning and budgeting. The proposal is just a conceptual vision, and the best-case scenario would play out in approximately 4 years' time. Western News (page 1 of PDF) | London Free Press

Western U considers moving education faculty downtown Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:49 03/07/2012 - 15:49

The Students' Association of Mount Royal University (SAMRU) is reviewing its election processes following robbery charges against its former president, who had recently resigned her position with SAMRU after the organization found "financial anomalies." SAMRU's VP external says student executives must be studying at Mount Royal and be in good standing with the registrar; however, there are no background checks for executives, who oversee a $7-million operating budget. "Our processes are working and they're very stringent," the VP says; for example, each outgoing cheque must be signed by 3 different SAMRU members. That's not the tack preferred by SAIT Polytechnic and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, whose student unions run criminal background checks on successful candidates. The former SAMRU president was not the only elected student official who has faced charges recently. A member of the University of Alberta's Business Students' Association was accused in January of embezzling more than $27,000. Calgary Herald

Mount Royal student association ponders election reforms following former president's arrest Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:46 03/07/2012 - 15:46

The Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism has published a report questioning the legitimacy of a class a climate change skeptic taught at Carleton University for 3 years. Carleton does not currently offer the course. The report has fuelled debate about academic freedom and the obligations for instructors to base teachings on an "honest search for the truth," as per Carleton's collective agreement. "Academic excellence is a priority at Carleton and we have a process in place for reviewing courses that balances content with academic freedom and the rights of our instructors as outlined in their collective agreement," says the science dean. The report's lead author says he was not challenging academic freedom, but wanted to ensure that science was being accurately presented in the classroom. Criticizing the findings, the instructor says it is "disgraceful" that the lead author, himself a Carleton researcher, would publicly attack a course at the institution and its instructors without checking anything with the teacher. Ottawa Citizen | CBC

Scientist group questions climate change skeptic's course at Carleton Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:43 03/07/2012 - 15:43

The BC SPCA is investigating the University of British Columbia over allegations that 14 macaque monkeys used in a brain research project are being subjected to cruel experiments. The SPCA is also probing claims that the monkeys are not under the scrutiny of the UBC Animal Care Committee and that 4 monkeys have been killed because they were severely disabled following experiments related to Parkinson's disease research. An SPCA official says the society will investigate concerns raised by Stop UBC Animal Research and a constable with expertise in animal research will visit the facility. In a step toward greater public transparency, UBC has a dedicated website where it discloses information on animal research. Vancouver Sun

Treatment of monkeys at UBC investigated Top Ten 03/07/2012 - 15:41 03/07/2012 - 15:41

McGill University has succeeded -- for now -- in shutting down a website that published confidential and personal information about the institution's donors. In a WikiLeaks-type operation, an unidentified individual or group created McGillLeaks on the weekend and exposed confidential Development and Alumni Relations data. The site said its purpose was to provide a clear account of McGill's inner workings, supply accurate information on the institution's relationship with the private sector, and create transparency. Having contacted the police, McGill has initiated a forensic analysis "to determine the source of the violation of our confidential files" and it "will take immediate legal action against those who are responsible." The information leak "was done maliciously and is an assault on the student body," says the Post Graduate Student Society's president. "This exposes people and could make them reluctant to support the university." McGill Statement | Montreal Gazette

McGill shuts down website that exposed donor information Top Ten 03/13/2012 - 10:59 03/07/2012 - 15:33

New figures from UK National Statistics show that more than one-third of recent British graduates are working in lower-skilled jobs compared to approximately one-quarter a decade ago. Over the same period, the number of graduates in the workforce and no longer in education rose from 1,063,000 to 1,501,000. The data show the average hourly wage for graduates is £15.18, 70% higher than that of non-graduates. Arts graduates earn the least per hour on average (£12.06) while medical and dental school graduates earn the most (£21.29). The unemployment rate for those who graduated from university in the last 2 years is 18.9%, compared to 6.7% for graduates who left 2 to 4 years ago and 4.4% for those who graduated 4 to 6 years ago. The Association of Graduate Recruiters' chief executive advises graduates "to gain experience in the workplace and see it as a valuable stepping stone towards their longer term career goals." A recent government-commissioned report recommends internships for all British undergraduates to improve their employability. Times Higher Education

Proportion of British graduates in low-skilled work increases Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 16:04 03/06/2012 - 16:04

Cape Breton University's Business Network for Aboriginal Youth is a new 2-year pilot program designed to enrich the lives of Aboriginal high school students by helping to facilitate the transition from secondary school to university business education. Using BlackBerry technology, the program will link 30 Aboriginal students in Grades 9 through 12 from across Nova Scotia via social media. Believed to be the first program of its kind in Canada, the program has representation from 12 of Nova Scotia's 13 Aboriginal communities, as well as Métis and Inuit participants. The program began with the inaugural Nova Scotia Aboriginal Youth Business Mentorship Conference held earlier this week. CBU News

CBU launches Business Network for Aboriginal Youth Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 16:02 03/06/2012 - 16:02

Medicine Hat College unveiled Friday a new program for the Brooks campus called "My First Year." Participating students will be enrolled in a wide range of arts and science courses that are transferable to Alberta universities. A partnership between MHC and local school boards, the program is meant to encourage a supportive learning environment for peers, and develop an experiential learning model that incorporates theory, field research, and community-based service learning, providing a nucleus for offering 10 first-year university transfer courses at the Brooks campus. Students in My First Year will receive a $500 bursary from the college, and are also eligible for other scholarships and bursaries available to all students. The program will start running this fall. MHC News | Medicine Hat News

MHC launches "My First Year" program at Brooks campus Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 16:00 03/06/2012 - 16:00

The University of Calgary is seeking a vice-provost of teaching and learning who would be responsible for improvements in these areas across campus, including encouraging more professional development and helping faculty get a handle on new technology. This "champion" of teaching will also oversee the development of metrics designed to gauge teaching quality. Students have long griped about lacklustre instruction, says the student union president, who presented to the board of governors last week Globe and Mail data showing uCalgary trailing comparable institutions in student satisfaction and teaching quality. uCalgary's provost says more thorough metrics indicate the university has made major strides in terms of retention rates, increased student services, and enhanced facilities. The faculty association president says uCalgary would need to commit more resources if it is serious about improving teaching quality. On the subject of performance measures, he says "we know that not everything that counts can be measured, and not everything that can be measured counts." Calgary Herald

uCalgary introducing new vice-provost position to improve institution's teaching quality Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 23:01 03/06/2012 - 15:58

"The demand for engineering graduates is far outstripping our ability to graduate them," says the University of Ontario Institute of Technology's provost, at a time when 20% to 30% of Ontario's engineers are on the brink of retirement. Training new electrical power engineers should be a top priority, says the provost, who is spearheading an Electrical Power Engineering Education Consortium to try to address a skilled labour shortage. "We want (engineering students) to be known for being entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience," says York University's science and engineering dean. York U's new Lassonde School of Engineering will be interdisciplinary, drawing on the institution's strengths in law, business, and the humanities. Institutions are also working hard to bridge the gender gap in engineering school enrolment. York U is developing an ambitious gender-parity program, which the dean says will be achieved by showing women the diverse opportunities existing within the profession. Toronto Star

Engineering schools struggling to replace retiring personnel in profession Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 15:56 03/06/2012 - 15:56

Following a year-long consultation process with its communities, Thompson Rivers University has devised a new academic plan ready for implementation. Seeking to establish the Kamloops, BC-based institution's reputation for having flexible and adaptable graduates, the plan "continues to build on that strength (of flexibility) through programs and courses that generate interdisciplinary connections between academic themes," says the university's provost. "TRU will be known for being profoundly interdisciplinary." The plan's key academic themes are science, technology, and applied skills in society (students may explore science inside and outside the lab, through applied, theoretical, and vocational science programs); power, politics, and social justice (students are encouraged to explore links between local, global, and Aboriginal issues); health, well-being, and leisure (TRU aims to link a healthy campus to health policy and practices in the communities it serves, and to remain a leader in leisure and tourism programs); and sustainability -- environmental, economic, social, and cultural. TRU News | Academic Plan website

TRU set to adopt new academic plan Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 15:54 03/06/2012 - 15:54

A new assessment of Conestoga College's impact on the local community and economy observes that the southwestern Ontario institution "is indispensable to local prosperity and the health and competitiveness of the labour force." Nearly half of the local adult population has enrolled in education or training programs at Conestoga, the report finds. The total number of graduates has risen by 52% since 2002, and 65% of alumni remain in the local community. Continuing education courses are a "powerful" contributor to Conestoga; between 1990 and 2010, there were 706,722 continuing education registrations by nearly 200,000 students. The report notes that Conestoga graduates pump more than $1 billion into the local economy annually. With a growth rate of 42% between 2005-06 and 2010-11, Conestoga is Ontario's fastest growing college, but further expansion is needed for the institution to meet the local economy's needs, the report states. Conestoga News Release | Waterloo Region Record | Report

Conestoga "indispensable to local prosperity," report finds Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 15:52 03/06/2012 - 15:52

Yesterday Brock University and the City of St. Catharines signed a document that clears the way for a fine and performing arts complex to be built in the city's downtown. St. Catharines will construct a $60.8-million civic Performance Arts Centre adjacent to the site where Brock will spend $39.6-million to renovate and expand an empty textile mill to house its Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Construction on the 2 projects will start this year, with completion slated for 2014. The "umbrella agreement" contains the legal framework that includes the terms by which the municipality will transfer to Brock the former Canada Hair Cloth building, as well as annual financial support and logistical commitments. Brock News

Brock, St. Catharines finalize agreement for downtown arts complex Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 15:50 03/06/2012 - 15:50

Some Algonquin College faculty members are speaking out against their union's leaders who are in a war of words with college administration over the state of labour relations at the institution. "Our union can be very aggressive," says one member who spoke glowingly to the Ottawa Citizen about working at Algonquin. "It sounds like it's the faculty versus the management. It's not -- it's the union versus the management." Another professor says she has been "well taken care of" by Algonquin and feels that money spent settling grievances could -- and should -- be allocated elsewhere given the budget crunch at the institution. These professors asked for their names not to be published out of fears of retribution by the union, whose VP calls the worries a "red herring." He says the union cannot sanction or punish members who oppose its action. Ottawa Citizen

Some Algonquin College profs speak out against union over state of labour relations Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 15:48 03/06/2012 - 15:48

Newfoundland and Labrador's 2012 throne speech states the government will focus this year on 3 principal objectives, one of which is to give residents the added support they may need to seize career opportunities. The province states that over the course of the 4-year term ahead, it will hold the line on university and college tuition fee increases and shift the balance from student loans to grants. In this year's budget, the government will introduce and expand programs to help apprentices progress through to journeyperson status. It will also increase training for under-represented groups, particularly for women in skilled trades and business. NL Speech from the Throne | Premier's Response to Throne Speech | St. John's Telegram | CBC

Accessing skilled careers subject of NL throne speech Top Ten 03/06/2012 - 15:45 03/06/2012 - 15:45

BC-based Douglas College has redesigned its website, which reflects the institution's new brand identity. The homepage features a rotating graphic banner linking to stories from the college community blog, including one about the use of Twitter in the classroom, as well as a link to feature stories. The homepage include links to current information sessions, applications services and other top resources, academic programming, notifications, news, and events. The site also features links to Douglas' various social media platforms. Douglas College website

Douglas College unveils new website Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:33 03/05/2012 - 16:33

In a vote last month, 2,729 Carleton University students -- approximately 70% of those who voted -- cast their ballots in favour of increasing the athletics fee by $12.50 per term in support of a new 11,000-square-foot fitness centre. Too small to support Carleton's student population of nearly 27,000, the current 5,700-square-foot fitness centre will be converted into 2 sections: a high-performance athlete heavy weight room and a general student activity space for fitness and dance. Construction of the $2-million fitness centre is slated for completion in spring 2013. Carleton News

Carleton students approve fee increase to fund new fitness centre Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:31 03/05/2012 - 16:31

A full-day conference at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business on Friday showed how international students who typically return home soon after attaining their degree could help curb a growing labour shortage in Alberta. The conference's organizer says if given a job, most foreign students would stay in Canada, but many are unaware of changes to immigration laws and rules; for example, they can now obtain 3-year open working visas that can lead to permanent residency. "(Foreign students) are welcome in Canada," the organizer says. "And we have employers who are hungry to give them jobs." Alberta's advanced education minister told international students at the conference that retaining foreign students is critically important to the province, noting that opportunities there "are abundant...We're looking for talent across all disciplines." The president of uCalgary's Graduate Students' Association says the conference helped reassure international students that degrees earned at Canadian universities are valued. Haskayne News | Calgary Herald

uCalgary conference encourages international students to remain in Alberta Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:29 03/05/2012 - 16:29

According to preliminary data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, in 2011 the total entries of temporary foreign students in Canada reached 98,378, up from 95,236 in 2010 and 73,777 in 2007. This figure refers to the number of individuals entering Canada as initial entries or re-entries, not the number of documents issued. The number of temporary foreign students present on December 1 last year totalled 239,131, compared to 218,112 in 2010 and 175,690 in 2007. The 3 provinces with the highest proportion of these students are Ontario (96,808), BC (66,556), and Quebec (33,697). CIC News Release | Preliminary Tables -- Permanent and Temporary Residents, 2011

Canada welcoming more temporary foreign students Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:26 03/05/2012 - 16:26

Lakehead University's board of governors agreed Friday to reduce their numbers from 30 to 17, and to trim the number of committees from 11 to 6 through strategic consolidation. The move follows a year-long internal review of the board's structure. Lakehead says the changes will result in more engaged board members, more effective management of university affairs, improvement in board operating efficiencies, more meaningful and rewarding committee membership, and clearer role descriptions and expectations. Implementation of the changes will start this September. Lakehead News Release | Backgrounder

Lakehead revises board size to improve efficacy Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:23 03/05/2012 - 16:23

The second phase of a 3-part study conducted by Academica Group and commissioned by HEQCO finds that most PSE faculty in Ontario are supportive of the current level of work-integrated learning (co-ops, internships, work placements, and apprenticeships) at their institution. College faculty surveyed were slightly more likely than university faculty respondents to say that WIL opportunities should be increased, and a one-quarter in each group said it should be kept the same. Faculty with WIL experience as an instructor or a student, who had more years of work experience outside of academia, and who taught in business faculties were more likely to report that WIL should be increased. The study states that increasing faculty awareness of the purposes and benefits of WIL is necessary if institutions wish to expand or improve WIL opportunities. Institutions must also make sure that there is dedicated monetary and administrative support available; that faculty are acknowledged for their WIL-related work; that better ties to employers and community partners are forged; and that assistance is provided to recruit and foster relationships with host sites to alleviate workload issues. Research Summary | Full Report

Faculty involved in work-integrated learning more likely to endorse its expansion Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:20 03/05/2012 - 16:20

The University of Alberta has withdrawn financial support for its women's field hockey program, which the athletics director says costs the institution about $120,000 a year and does not have the broader community support in Edmonton to bring in extra funds through ticket sales, sponsorships, or sports camps. The decision to cut field hockey is primarily financial, the director says, but is underpinned by uAlberta's vision and philosophy of putting money into high-performance sports with community support. The 16-member team will be removed from competition in Canadian Interuniversity Sport and Canada West University Athletics Association. With just 4 women's field hockey teams in the western conference, the uAlberta team's coach says the decision will devastate the sport at the university level. "This is way bigger than just another school cutting a sports program," she says. "This is pretty much saying 'we are cutting field hockey out of the university system for females.'" uAlberta does not have a men's field hockey program. Edmonton Journal

uAlberta discontinues funding for field hockey program Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:15 03/05/2012 - 16:15

Concordia University will hire external auditors to review the departures of 5 top administrators who left between September 2009 and December 2010 and were paid out a combined $2.4-million in severance. That amount does not include the combined $1.7-million severance paid to former presidents Judith Woodsworth and Claude Lajeunesse, who left midway and 2 years, respectively, through their own contract. Interim president Frederick Lowy says Concordia has made great strides in reforming governance in the wake of an external review last year. That review did not address the string of departures by former university employees who received severance packages, which is why Lowy has now decided to bring in an external team to assess Concordia's practices for terminating top executives. The new review will help the institution avoid any mistakes that might have been made in the past, a Concordia official says. "It’s looking at the lessons learned in the departures of these individuals and how the university handled the process of ending its relationship with them, the costs involved, etc." Concordia expects to announce the appointment of a new president this spring. Montreal Gazette

Concordia initiates external review of departures of senior executives Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:12 03/05/2012 - 16:12

A male University of Saskatchewan student has been charged with sexual assault after a woman said she was raped repeatedly on campus on New Year's Day. The 27-year-old student's arrest, made last Thursday at a university residence building, comes after the 20-year-old victim, who is not a university student, publicly criticized Saskatoon police for not working fast enough to press charges in her case. A police spokeswoman says police needed time to contact witnesses and they finally located one of them last Tuesday. The young woman says she was at a night club New Year's Eve where through a friend she met a group of people, of which one man brought her a drink that she since realized was spiked with some sort of drug. The group eventually wound up at one of the campus dormitories, and the woman says she was "violently sexually assaulted for hours." The arrested student was living in residence, but has been "removed from campus residences and his access to the campus has been restricted," says uSask's AVP of student affairs. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uSask student charged in on-campus sexual assault Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:09 03/05/2012 - 16:09

A Nunavut MLA is questioning the safety of Nunavut Arctic College students and their families following 2 recent life-threating incidents. A fire at an off-campus housing complex left 80 people homeless and 2 dead, while one man has been arrested after firing a high-powered rifle at an on-campus residence, leading to a standoff with police. The MLA says students and their relatives should be assured of a certain level of security. The minister responsible for the college says tenants do go through an orientation, and drugs and alcohol are prohibited. There is also communal firearm storage available in at least one of the properties in Iqaluit. Still, a lot of the onus falls upon the individual, the minister says. "Most of these people are adults," he says. "It's up to them to be responsible for living in Arctic College's residences, too." The institution is committed to reviewing its security procedures, the minister says. CBC

Nunavut Arctic College safety questioned following fire, on-campus standoff Top Ten 03/05/2012 - 16:07 03/05/2012 - 16:07

Dalhousie University's Faculty of Computer Science is organizing a Dal App Challenge, with $1,500 in prizes available to students in all faculties interested in designing and pitching -- either individually or in groups -- a mobile application that meets a perceived need on campus. The competition will be judged, Dragon's Den style, by Dal's provost and VP of finance and administration. The first- and second-place winners will be announced at an event on March 28, and the People's Choice Award will be determined by vote at the ceremony. Dal News | The Dal App Challenge

Dal contest invites students to design mobile app for university Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 16:08 03/02/2012 - 16:08

Trent University's board of governors has approved plans to sell property the institution owns in Woodland Acres to facilitate more capital developments on the East Bank of the Peterborough campus and to develop lands at Armour and Nassau Mills Roads as first envisioned as part of the initial planning for Trent. Stressing that the lands have no long-term, strategic value for the institution and are better suited for alternate residential and commercial purposes, Trent president Steven E. Franklin says the decision to sell the surplus parcels of lands was a strategic one to maximize the value of the endowment lands "in order to generate new revenues that will enhance infrastructure on the East Bank of our campus and bring the services our students and members of the broader community desire." Franklin says Trent will consult broadly as it begins an integrated planning and consultation process to engage the community in this planning. Trent News Release

Trent to sell surplus endowment lands Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 16:06 03/02/2012 - 16:06

SAIT Polytechnic is building a satellite campus in downtown Calgary that will serve as a living classroom for students in the Baking and Pastry Arts and Professional Cooking programs. Scheduled to open this fall, the 10,000-square-foot campus will allow SAIT to enrol more students in these 2 wait-listed programs, 100% of whose graduates find work in their fields, SAIT data show. Students will get the chance to work directly with a customer base vital to the industry -- downtown clientele -- as they will be able to sell their products in a small market attached to the campus' kitchens. The downtown culinary campus will also offer continuing education classes and corporate team building exercises. SAIT News Release

SAIT to open culinary campus downtown Top Ten 09/17/2012 - 12:42 03/02/2012 - 16:03

On Thursday, the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business unveiled its new home at the Vancouver campus. The $70-million revitalization and expansion will allow Sauder to become a global hub for business education, adding 55,000 square feet to the original 216,000-square-foot facility. The redevelopment of the Sauder complex includes a new facility for the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, a dedicated undergraduate centre, a spacious rooftop conference centre, and 3 new lecture theatres. Other enhancements include revitalized classrooms, state-of-the-art learning and videoconferencing technology and new environments for student collaboration and study. UBC News Release

UBC business school celebrates $70-million expansion Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:59 03/02/2012 - 15:59

New Brunswick Community College is shedding 31 positions as the college network begins to centralize its administration. NBCC and its francophone counterpart have been operating independently of the provincial government for nearly 2 years and the anglophone network is in the middle of implementing a 5-year plan. NBCC president Marilyn Luscombe says the aim is to move toward one central college office rather than spread the administration over the 6 campuses. HR and registrar positions, IT, finance, and student services are all being centralized. Although 31 positions have been cut, no one has been laid off. The realignment will not change the level of education students receive in the classroom, Luscombe says. CBC

NBCC cuts 31 positions in restructuring Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:57 03/02/2012 - 15:57

A senior committee at York University has approved an initiative to launch a $60-million public-private partnership with Waterloo-based Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) for a joint program in international law. The plan includes new provisions addressing concerns raised by some law professors about York U's ability to keep research and hiring decisions free from potential interference by CIGI, whose founder and chair is BlackBerry co-founder Jim Balsillie. While the professors and the Canadian Association of University Teachers have expressed concerns that a York U-CIGI advisory committee would have a say in hiring and areas of research, the chair of York U's senate says the guarantee of academic freedom signed by the university and CIGI appeared to put to rest any such worries among committee members. The initiative to hire 10 research chairs and enrol 20 graduate students is to be funded by $30 million from the Ontario government and a further $30 million from CIGI when that runs out, plus up to $3 million fundraised by the university. Toronto Star

York U guarantees academic freedom in approval of joint international law program with CIGI Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:55 03/02/2012 - 15:55

North Island College practical nursing students are struggling to come up with more money following an increase of approximately $5,400 in tuition fees for their program. The addition of new courses in the program, combined with a higher fee per credit, means that students who started the program in January and those set to begin this September are facing tuition fees of nearly $9,300, up from just under $3,900 a year earlier, as well as an additional year of study. The students learned of the fee increase in late November, meaning some had just over a month to adjust their plans. The NIC student union chairperson says the tuition increase is in direct contravention of the BC government's 2% fee increase cap for existing courses and it is presenting a hardship for students. Due to recent changes in the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC's training requirements, NIC has replaced its one-year practical nursing certificate with a 2-year diploma. The college has essentially declared the program "new," the student leader says, and so it qualifies for an institutional bylaw amended last year to allow for a 25% fee increase on all new upper-level courses introduced after August 15, 2011. The program is not new, but rather improved, argues the student leader, who says a fee increase to reflect the additional courses required would be acceptable, but points out that NIC is also charging 65% more per credit, even on classes that were part of the original one-year program. The board has acknowledged the financial burden the increased fees place on students. In response to students' concerns, board members said NIC had hoped to provide students considerable advance notice about the fee for the diploma program, but the advanced education ministry did not rule on whether it would qualify as a new program until mid-November, and the board moved quickly to set the tuition for the new program and inform applicants about the fee. The ministry is ultimately responsible for the situation as it holds the purse strings and has not allocated more funding for the program, which it allowed to be classified as "new," says the student union chairperson. Comox Valley Echo

NIC practical nursing students struggling to pay $5,400 increase in program tuition Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:52 03/02/2012 - 15:52

More than a dozen demonstrators clapped and chanted as Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe stood Thursday in the Timms Centre to receive an honorary degree from the University of Alberta. In a brief protest, critics of the award rose from their seats as Brabeck-Letmathe was being introduced and called out as he started to speak about the honour. uAlberta's chancellor told protesters to "please respect university traditions and respect the people on stage." Protesters then were told to leave the centre, filing out without incident as the chancellor apologized for the disruption, an event "which is not what the university is about." uAlberta president Indira Samarasekera says the protest was "unfortunate" but did not mar the "excellent" speeches by the honorary degree recipients, who spoke about water being a human right and water waste. "The university should be a place of tolerance, of difference of opinion and of respect," Samarasekera says. "I think when things like this happen, it reflects poorly on the demonstrators -- I hope they were not our students; I would be disappointed if they were." More than 100 people gathered outside the centre earlier to protest the award for Brabeck-Letmathe, whose company has come under fire for years for dubious marketing practices for its infant formula in the Third World and child labour issues. A political science professor told the crowd the award could be seen as a sign of increasing corporate influence at uAlberta. Edmonton Journal

Protesters disrupt uAlberta ceremony honouring Nestlé executive Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:48 03/02/2012 - 15:48

The Mount Royal University community is left stunned after Meghan Darcy Melnyk, a former students' association president, was accused of robbing a credit union branch last week. "It's obviously taken all of us by surprise," says Mount Royal president David Docherty. "It's clear that she's got larger issues she has to deal with and I really hope she does get the kind of help she needs." The robbery charges are the latest in the 27-year-old's criminal history, and come amid her sudden resignation as president in January. Police say Melnyk had outstanding warrants for fraud, uttering forged documents, and breach of probation when she was arrested. The fraud case entails a stolen purse and a fraudulent cheque. The students' association issued a news release on January 31 stating that Melnyk had left a week earlier following the first of 2 regular periodic reviews. The review "identified several potential anomalies and policy compliance issues for which Council was unable to receive a satisfactory explanation within a reasonable time frame." The association's VP external says a background check was not done before Melnyk was elected, and the association was not aware of her outstanding warrants. "I can't remember a situation like this ever happening in a Canadian university," says a Mount Royal professor who has met Melnyk. "I think the shock waves reverberate through the entire university and the student body. I'm sure (the students' association) is just scratching their heads." Calgary Herald

Former Mount Royal student president faces robbery charges Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:45 03/02/2012 - 15:45

A John Abbott College student was scheduled to have reconstructive surgery on her hand Friday after an attack at the Montreal CÉGEP last Tuesday also left her with a serious head injury. The 21-year-old was heading to her vehicle in a campus parking lot when her attacker struck her head with a blunt object, says the victim's sister, adding that her sibling broke her finger while fighting off the attacker and that he calmly walked away as she lay on the ground. Another sibling says the parking lot is not monitored by a security camera, and the path where the attack happened is poorly lit -- something John Abbott disputes. A college official says a notice was sent Thursday to all students and staff advising them of the attack, which she says marks the first time the CÉGEP has been the scene of such a violent crime. "We feel the security we have is adequate," the official says, adding that the path where the student was targeted is well-lit, in an open area, and with an emergency phone nearby. Police are searching for a male suspect in his mid-20s, approximately 5'10'', who was wearing a short black jacket and black tuque and had a partial beard. Montreal Gazette

John Abbott student seriously injured in on-campus attack Top Ten 03/02/2012 - 15:43 03/02/2012 - 15:43

In a Pew Research Center survey about the future of the Internet, technology experts and stakeholders were fairly evenly split as to whether the impact of networked living on Millennials will turn out to be positive or negative by 2020. Approximately 55% of respondents agreed that in 8 years, Millennials will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who will do well in key respects, while about 42% agreed that today's youth will have a thirst for instant gratification, settle for quick choices, and lack patience. While 55% agreed with the positive statement, many who chose that perspective noted that it is more their hope than their best guess, and a number of respondents said the true outcome will be a combination of both scenarios. Since the survey asked for the selection of either the positive or the negative, with no middle-ground choice, the report states that the result is probably more like a 50-50 outcome than the 55-42 split. Overview | Full Report

US survey finds nearly even split prediction on behaviour change outcomes among Millennials Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:35 03/01/2012 - 16:35

With the help of his classmates, children of students, and one of his professors, a third-year University of Calgary law student has written and produced a satirical video warning about the dangers of law school. Parodying the "Dear 16-year-old Me" video produced by the David Cornfield Melanoma Fund to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention, the video shows students telling their younger selves that law school is "where insecure over-achievers go to do something with their bachelor of arts." A student's law school experience will begin with so much hope, they say, "then you'll realize you're destined to make rich companies richer by facilitating the purchase of other rich companies." The professor in the video states that he "will assign you an enormous amount of reading, then proceed to humiliate you during lectures." Uploaded on YouTube on February 26, the video has garnered more than 172,000 hits as of yesterday afternoon (an updated version released Wednesday has had nearly 20,000 views). The video was made for uCalgary's annual Law Show, taking place on March 23. Huffington Post | Dear Me, Don't Go to Law School

uCalgary students poke fun at law school in YouTube video Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:33 03/01/2012 - 16:33

This year marks the 125th anniversary of NSCAD University, which has created a website where visitors are encouraged to discover the stories behind the Halifax-based arts institution. The homepage emerges as a block of squares of various, vibrant colours, with the number "125" shaped in white. Inside the block are some pictures of members of the NSCAD community, which link to these individuals' profiles. The website includes even more stories from university community members, categorized under the themes of "global relevance," "breakthrough art," "business success," "engaged in community," and "a rich history." The site also features a letter from Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter on the impact of NSCAD. Celebrations kick off this month, which NSCAD is calling the "March of Anna," in honour of the institution's founder, Anna Leonowens, who is the "I" in The King and I. The first event will be a sing-along film screening of The King and I today at NSCAD's Bell Auditorium. NSCAD 125

NSCAD launches 125th anniversary website Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:31 03/01/2012 - 16:31

Simon Fraser University is running a multimedia advertising campaign showcasing its new strategic vision, which seeks to establish SFU as Canada's most community-engaged research university. Including transit, radio, social media, and online elements, the campaign features print ads running in the Vancouver Sun, Business in Vancouver, SFU's The Peak student newspaper, and various Vancouver-area community papers that have different takes on the theme of engaging students, the community, and research -- all on a bold red background. One ad titled "Engaging Communities: SFU campuses redefine the heart of the community" shows the iconic Woodward's site in Vancouver's downtown eastside where the opening of SFU's contemporary arts centre has led to a revitalization of the area. Marketing Magazine

SFU ad campaign promotes new strategic vision Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:30 03/01/2012 - 16:30

The Ron Joyce Foundation announced Tuesday a $1.5-million gift in support of financial need bursaries for Mohawk College students -- the largest bursary donation in the college's history. Capped off with an additional $500,000 from a provincial matching program, the funding will allow Mohawk to provide nearly 20 full-tuition bursaries annually. The Ron Joyce Access Bursary is a key element of the college's Access Project, an initiative launched in collaboration with regional public, private and non-profit sector partners that aims to increase secondary school graduation and PSE participation rates among young people who currently do not see university, college, or apprenticeship in their future. Mohawk College News Release | Hamilton Spectator

$1.5-million donation to Mohawk College supports bursaries Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:27 03/01/2012 - 16:27

The University of Winnipeg's board of regents has approved construction of a new $40-million Multi-Purpose Field House, Health and Wellness Complex with sod-turning expected to begin this spring, paving the way for one of the most significant athletic and wellness facilities ever constructed in Winnipeg's inner city. uWinnipeg will create a Sport for All Fund to ensure that inner-city youth and new Canadians have access to the complex. The fund will help cover the costs of quality recreational and cultural programs, cooperatives and mentorships with uWinnipeg students, and athletic and academic bursaries. uWinnipeg News Release

uWinnipeg board approves construction of athletics and wellness complex Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:25 03/01/2012 - 16:25

In response to an Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities discussion paper, which has been posted on Scribd, Stephen Henighan, a professor of Hispanic studies at UoGuelph, observes in a Globe and Mail column that even without 3-year degree programs, of which the report suggests there should be more, "Ontario already has serious problems with the shrinking content of a university degree," arguing that university students today "graduate into the knowledge economy with less knowledge than their parents had." Comparing Ontario's education system to those in Europe, Quebec, and the rest of North America, Henighan states that 3-year degrees "would make Ontarians stand out as intellectually malnourished." The report fails to acknowledge that students are people who mature at their own rate, the professor writes. Trying courses and programs in different areas and the discovery of new passions and aptitudes spin out many students' degrees to 4.5 or 5 years, and such experimentation is "an indispensable step in becoming a mature adult who's not only productive but also human. That's something few people can achieve in three years." Globe and Mail | Scribd

MTCU "3 cubed" report proposals impractical, says UoGuelph prof Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 22:25 03/01/2012 - 16:23

This month, Ontario's College University Consortium Council will wind down and be replaced with the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), which will have a much broader mandate to develop new transfer opportunities for PSE students in the province. While its predecessor mainly facilitated the transfer of students from colleges to universities, ONCAT will also try to smooth the path for students moving from universities to colleges, from one college program to another, and from one university program to another. The Ontario government announced last year a $73.7-million investment over 5 years to support the development of a new credit-transfer system, with some of the funding awarded directly to institutions to provide orientation programs for transfer students, to appoint on-campus transfer advisers, and to introduce new credit-transfer policies. Some institutions have started taking steps to improve the situation, which has been described as "a bitter game of snakes and ladders." Algoma University recently adopted a new policy designed to simplify its credit-assessment process for college students, and the University of Guelph is exploring measures to boost its enrolment of college-transfer students. University Affairs

Ontario's credit-transfer system undergoes revision Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:21 03/01/2012 - 16:21

A First Nations University of Canada student petitioning for the introduction of a mandatory indigenous studies course for all degree, diploma, and certificate programs at the University of Regina, of which FNUC is an affiliate, has reported instances of some of her petitions being defaced with profanity and swastikas. One petition came back with a threatening message that prompted the student to contact campus security out of concern not only for her safety but also for that of vocal supporters of her initiative, whose goal is to end racism. "We take this kind of thing extremely seriously and we report it to the Regina Police (Service) as well for it to be investigated," says uRegina's VP of administration. "This is one of the things that we find extremely sensitive around campus. Our goal is to eliminate it and make this as safe a campus as we can possibly have." The FNUC student will meet with the Dean council at uRegina next week to discuss her petition, and hopes to meet with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada in Ottawa to get its support. Regina Leader-Post

FNUC student's petitions for mandatory indigenous studies at uRegina defaced Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 22:25 03/01/2012 - 16:19

Students are accusing Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp of giving a "directive" for classes to continue even when a large majority of students have voted to boycott classes in protest of planned tuition fee increases. An aide to the minister confirms a letter went out but says it was not intended as a directive. "It's up to each institution to judge how to handle it," she says. The letter, from the assistant deputy minister, says that unlike an employee strike, the student strike is more about freedom of speech and pressure tactics, and each student is free to attend classes if they are being offered. Still, the letter was like "putting oil on the fire," says the president of the Fédération nationale des enseignantes and des enseignants du Québec, adding that "it may not have been a directive but it was a political gesture." The president of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec says the letter is causing many campus administrations to "become more aggressive" by not recognizing strike votes, noting that it doesn't help that the Université de Montréal -- Quebec's biggest university -- "has said the strike is not being recognized." uMontréal has sent a notice to students stating that all courses and evaluations will continue as usual and instructors have been asked to be in class. A uMontréal official says students who boycott classes can express their views, but "those who wish to pursue their studies also have a right to do so." Dawson College's student union argues that administration attempted to influence the outcome of yesterday's student strike vote, citing e-mails forwarded to the student union's attention showing the administration offering advice and council to representatives from the committee opposing the strike. Montreal Gazette | Dawson Student Union News Release

Quebec students denounce education minister's "directive" to continue classes during boycott Top Ten 03/01/2012 - 16:17 03/01/2012 - 16:17

Huron University College announced yesterday its new presence on iTunes U, a specialized area of Apple's iTunes store that allows educational institutions to produce audio and visual content available for free download. Currently used primarily for public lectures and weekly Chapel services, Huron's iTunes U account allows the Western University affiliate to maintain its intimate environment with rigorous academics, while also showing a willingness to adopt original approaches to pedagogy. "Through iTunes U, Huron is able to broaden its reach in an inherently progressive way," says principal Stephen McClatchie. "Collections available on our iTunes U site will allow us to reach out to the broader community by providing access to the exciting research and teaching taking place at Huron." Huron News

Huron unveils iTunes U site Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 16:14 02/29/2012 - 16:14

On Tuesday, York University president Mamdouh Shoukri traded places with biochemistry major Rabia Sajun, who won the institution's "President for a Day" essay contest with her pitch for smaller class sizes, additional space in the science library, and better safety awareness across campus. While Sajun met with her choice of officials in Shoukri's airy 10th-floor corner office, the president made his way through the 20-year-old student's timetable, which included a 90-minute meeting of the chemistry society of which Sajun is co-president. "They're going to kill me with her schedule -- and I haven't taken biology since high school," admitted Shoukri, a mechanical engineer, as he got ready for his final class before going home by GO Bus. Shourki's candid discussions with a small clutch of students was the type of conversation one student said he never thought he would have "with the top honcho of York," having believed that "the administration was 'untouchable' at a university." Sajun and Shoukri met yesterday morning for a debriefing session over breakfast to compare notes. Tuesday's events were documented on Twitter by Sajun and the account @yupres4aday. Y-File | Toronto Star

York U president, student swap roles for a day Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 23:56 02/29/2012 - 16:12

OCAD University and the University of Winnipeg join a growing list of Canadian universities introducing business incubators with students in mind. OCAD U unveiled Tuesday its new Imagination Catalyst, a student and alumni-centred entrepreneurship and innovation incubator/accelerator designed to aggregate the institution's existing innovation, research, and commercialization activities. The Imagination Catalyst gears up the university's student innovation through 2 streams: by placing students and alumni and their inventions in receptor industries and by supporting the efforts of graduating students, recent graduates, and faculty members in developing new companies. Yesterday uWinnipeg announced the creation of UWIN Inc., a commercialization incubator that will allow for a more entrepreneurial approach to using campus resources. uWinnipeg president Lloyd Axworthy says UWIN Inc. will "spur new innovations and allow our faculty and students to engage in relevant, cutting edge research that has direct application in the real world. We know that increasingly students want to tackle the big issues of our time such as climate change, or cancer treatment, in a way that gets results." OCAD U News Release | uWinnipeg News Release

OCAD U, uWinnipeg launch new business incubators Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 16:09 02/29/2012 - 16:09

Businesswoman and McGill University graduate Margaret A. Gilliam has donated $1.5 million to her alma mater, which will use the gift to build on its recent initiatives to address the global food and nutrition crisis and seek long-term answers for sustainable agricultural production. The gift will fund an initiative to attract or retain a scholar who pursues research in the area of global food security, a fellowship program to recognize and support McGill graduate students studying global food security issues, and an endowment that will fund, in perpetuity, teaching, research, and outreach initiatives related to food security. McGill News Release

McGill alumna donates $1.5 million to support global food security efforts at university Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 16:07 02/29/2012 - 16:07

The University of Windsor announced this week a $3-million donation from the Odette family toward the expansion of the Odette School of Business, bringing the family's contribution to uWindsor to more than $10 million. The gift will fund the renovation of the 15,600 square feet in the Odette building currently occupied by the University Bookstore, whose new location is being explored. The renovations will provide space for classrooms, individual study areas, small meeting rooms, and several new centres for entrepreneurship and innovation. uWindsor Daily News

uWindsor business school receives $3-million gift Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 16:00 02/29/2012 - 16:00

The Conseil supérieur de l’éducation recently released a report containing 5 recommendations to revise the current quality assurance system for Quebec universities. The report suggests creating common benchmarks across the province for all degree levels and encourages universities to improve their own internal evaluations by tailoring the criteria to each program and by sharing with each other improvements made after the evaluations. The council also recommends that external evaluations be consolidated into an autonomous body that is directed by the education ministry and the universities. The report says programs that do not produce a grade or are outsourced should also be included in external reviews. The council argues that all universities should have a quality assurance policy that applies to teaching, research, and community engagement. The Conference of Rectors and Principals of Quebec Universities welcomes the suggestions, but would rather see them incorporated into the existing system of internal and external reviews of university programs instead of the creation of a new body. CSE News Release (in French) | Full Report (in French) | CREPUQ News Release (in French)

Quebec report on quality assurance recommends new body to oversee university evaluations Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 15:57 02/29/2012 - 15:57

In an interview with Surrey Now, Joanne Curry, the executive director of Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus, says "it was a bit rocky in the beginning" when the Surrey campus was preparing to open its doors a decade ago. "We had to rely a lot on Simon Fraser University's name brand in the community to give comfort because there were some skeptics." Holding an open house today to celebrate its tenth anniversary, SFU Surrey has exceeded expectations in terms of growth, says Curry, who believes that developing technology-based programs that help to train a workforce for the future in the rapidly growing region has contributed to the campus' success. The university has plans for expansion, but those plans will depend on the availability of funding. "There's no question that we're going to at least double or triple in size and really innovate the programs but the question is when we can get started." Surrey Now | SFU Surrey 10th Year Anniversary Open House website

Celebrating tenth anniversary, SFU Surrey reflects on growing pains and triumphs Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 15:54 02/29/2012 - 15:54

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada has cancelled its Service Canada Centres for Youth, stating that it can offer the same services online. The centres' elimination will save the federal government, which is grappling with a multi-billion-dollar deficit, approximately $6.5 million annually. The government says the centres have seen their attendance shrink in recent years as an increasing number of youth turn to the Internet to find employment between April and September. Young Canadians will still be able to get assistance in person, all year round, through existing Service Canada locations, HRSDC says. The move is troubling, says the Canadian Federation of Students' national chairperson, who notes that the youth unemployment rate of 14.5% is nearly twice that of the general population, at a time when students are facing high tuition fees and in some instances large debt loads. The NDP's human resources critic says the reality is that not all young Canadians have ready access to high-speed Internet, and the centres help youth learn to sell themselves to employers. "The closure of these offices will hurt students and business operators, especially in seasonal industries," says the Liberal Party's HR critic. Globe and Mail

HRSDC cancels student employment centres Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 15:52 02/29/2012 - 15:50

On Tuesday, Mohawk and Sheridan Colleges formalized an MOU -- the first of its kind in Ontario -- that will see the 2 institutions explore opportunities to co-locate programs at each other's campuses in their respective areas of academic strength. "Our partnership is a clear example of how differentiation can work within the Ontario college system," says Mohawk president Rob MacIsaac. "By concentrating in our areas of academic strength, we can offer students a wider selection of high quality, industry-connected programs closer to home." Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky says the historic agreement "will expand the postsecondary options currently available to students in these regions, while also helping to ensure that a full suite of diploma, certificate and degree programs will continue to be accessible as Sheridan moves towards its vision of becoming an undergraduate teaching university." The first co-located program will be a 2-year Insurance Diploma offered by Mohawk at Sheridan's Hazel McCallion campus in Mississauga. Sheridan News Release | Hamilton Spectator | Mississauga News

Mohawk and Sheridan Colleges to co-locate programs at each other's campuses Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 15:44 02/29/2012 - 15:44

Enrolment at the University of Calgary is expected to be reduced by as many as 500 students, the institution announced Tuesday as it posted a balanced budget and a nominal tuition fee increase. After facing a shortfall of nearly $50 million over the past few years, uCalgary is now in the black due to a 2% increase in its operating grant. The institution has also opted to raise tuition by 1.45%, the maximum under provincial law, as tuition increases in Alberta are capped to inflation. To help keep the books in order, uCalgary will be cutting enrolment by between 300 and 500 students. The institution's VP of finance says despite the grant increase from the province, the university still faced a shortfall of over $14 million for the coming fiscal year -- about 1% of the overall budget -- a gap that was met by making small savings, such as installing a cogeneration power plant and changing how the institution photocopies documents. Although it is increasing tuition fees, uCalgary has put off fully phasing in a $450 mandatory non-academic fee until the 2013-14 academic year. uCalgary News | Calgary Herald

uCalgary to cut back on enrolment to help balance budget Top Ten 02/29/2012 - 15:40 02/29/2012 - 15:40

According to a government-commissioned review of links between university and business, all British undergraduate students should be offered 10- to 12-week internships to improve their employability, and PhD and postdoctoral research students should be offered work experience placements of 8 to 12 weeks. The report recommends that universities should disclose the job destinations of recent full-time taught postgraduates, broken down by department, "as soon as possible." The review states that the creation of "distinctive" Key Information Sets (KIS) for postgraduates "should be a priority development" for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce). KIS data for undergraduate students are being introduced in the fall and cover areas such as student satisfaction, employment and salary figures, accommodation costs, and fees. The report also calls for more sandwich courses, stating that the "evidence that a placement year improves employability opportunities is strong." The review recommends a maximum fee of £1,000 for the sandwich year, a suspension on student-loan interest during the period, and that Hefce encourage an increase in the number of sandwich programs "through changes to the student numbers controls that it operates." Times Higher Education

Report urges internships for all British undergraduates Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 16:26 02/28/2012 - 16:26

A co-operative industry association of education and training providers in Nova Scotia, EduNova has produced 8 videos to help promote Nova Scotia to international students who are considering studying in the province. 7 students from Brazil, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, St. Lucia, Turkey, and the US are featured in the videos, with the eighth film providing an overview of the students' videos. The videos highlight the 7 students' lifestyles in Nova Scotia. For example, Hamood, an ESL student from Saudi Arabia, says what he likes most about his experience is that he feels Canadian, that he is at his home, and calls the Canadian family he lives with not his homestay, but his family. EduNova's videos complement a new marketing brochure and website updates. Nova Notes (page 3 of PDF) | EduNova's YouTube Channel

EduNova produces new international marketing videos Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 16:23 02/28/2012 - 16:23

Evaluating a pilot program at Queen's University that pairs upper-year undergraduates who have completed a particular course with students currently enrolled, new research published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario found that students who were female, of full-time status, Canadian-born, and in their first year of study were the most frequent participants of the Supported Learning Groups (SLG) sessions, believing that attending a session would help improve their grades and understanding of the course content, or keep up with course material. However, those students who could most benefit from the SLG sessions did not participate very often, or at all. The research found little evidence in many cases to suggest the sessions improved students' grades as the difference between participants' and non-participants' final marks were not statistically significant. Many students said the sessions did not have the desired effects on their academic performance. Still, the sessions showed positive effects on student engagement. On average, participants were more likely than non-participants to ask questions in class, draw on a range of concepts and ideas, discuss course concepts outside of the classroom, and include diverse perspectives in assignments and discussions. The researchers suggest that SLGs play an important supplementary role to traditional lectures, labs, and seminars, yet they cannot serve as stand-alone approaches to instruction. Research Summary | Full Report

Evaluation of Queen's academic support pilot finds more positive effect on engagement than on grades Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 16:19 02/28/2012 - 16:19

Yukon College has been accepted into the Alberta Transfer System of the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer (ACAT), making it easier for students at the college wanting to transfer to an Alberta PSE institution. "This is a huge development in the life of the College," says Yukon College president Karen Barnes. "Admission into the ACAT system is a real feather in our cap." In the coming months, the college's registrar will work with ACAT officials to fully integrate Yukon College programs into the Alberta system. Students still have to work with college staff to determine individual program transferability. Yukon College has also been a member of the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer since 1993. Yukon College News

Yukon College becomes member of Alberta Transfer System Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 16:16 02/28/2012 - 16:16

"The St. John's campus is at capacity, in terms of space and infrastructure for academic and administrative, service delivery and research activities -- we have to own this problem," says Memorial University president Gary Kachanoski. While MUN continues to work with the Newfoundland and Labrador government to identify infrastructure priorities, Kachanoski says the St. John's campus space crunch must also be addressed directly by campus staff. The Vice-Presidents' Council will form a Capital Planning Committee to oversee development of space, infrastructure priorities, and a plan. Advisory committees will be struck to address issues such as optimization of current space, the use of available and affordable off-campus space where appropriate and effective, the development of a plan/vision for anchor facilities, and the development of Aboriginal space. MUN News

MUN president to initiate space planning initiatives Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 16:14 02/28/2012 - 16:14

Ryerson University announced Monday a new student residence project in downtown Toronto that will add more than 500 spaces to its residence spots -- the first wave of a plan to have 2,000 additional residence spaces by 2020. The residence is the focus of a public private partnership; the private developer will cover all the construction and development costs while Ryerson will provide the student tenants for the building as well as a range of residence student life services. Preliminary plans for the residence feature a 2-storey podium providing retail and other services, and a 20+ storey building offering a mix of one, 2, 3, and 4 bedroom units. Slated to open in September 2016, the residence's amenities will include laundry, shared kitchens, modern open concept living spaces, open terraces, and glassed-in lounges. Ryerson News Release

Ryerson unveils plans for new private student residence Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 16:10 02/28/2012 - 16:10

On Monday, a group of Concordia University students began a 5-day sleep-in in the atrium of a campus library in a bid to raise awareness of the tuition fee increase issue and a vote on March 7 to boycott classes for a week. If students support the boycott, another vote would take place after a week to extend it. Approximately 30 students were expected Monday night, and more as the week progresses. "This is not an angry form of protest," says the Concordia Student Union's president, who praises the institution for working with students rather than against them. "We have been co-operative and will help them set up in a secure fashion," says a Concordia official. Approximately 48,000 students in Quebec are on an unlimited strike to protest the fee increases, but so far Anglophone institutions have not joined the boycott. Meanwhile, Cégep de Saint-Laurent students, who were locked out last Friday, have voted overwhelmingly to continue their boycott of classes for at least another week. Though the campus is open, classes have been suspended, says the CÉGEP's director general. Montreal Gazette

Concordia students organize sleep-in to protest tuition fee increases Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 23:38 02/28/2012 - 16:00

OPSEU members held a protest Monday in response to Algonquin College's decision to suspend a financial aid officer for 30 days for writing a letter to the Ottawa Citizen criticizing the college administration for wasting money. In reaction to media reports describing a "spectacular level" of grievances at Algonquin, the employee called labour relations at the institution "toxic." Algonquin's VP of human resources says the letter drew a suspension because "when you start to say things that are unfounded and untruthful and that damage the reputation of the college, we feel we have to answer that because that's not freedom of speech," adding that "when someone crosses the line we have to take action, based on the legal advice we obtained." "There are substantial labour relations issues at this college, and management will not solve them by disciplining and gagging those who speak out about it," says OPSEU's president. "We will vigorously defend our members, and not allow Algonquin management to sweep their dirty secrets under the rug." The Algonquin VP says labour relations are not that bad at the institution, and they are improving. "We're very fortunate that, irrespective of what was happening (Monday), I think we maintain an excellent working relationship with our support staff union." OPSEU News Release | Ottawa Citizen | Metro Ottawa

Algonquin College union protests employee's suspension over criticism of labour relations Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 23:37 02/28/2012 - 15:56

On Monday, the House of Commons voted unanimously in favour of an NDP motion calling for funding that would put First Nations schools on par with provincial schools. The motion was named for Shannen Koostachin, who through an active community-based campaign brought much attention to the plight of schoolchildren in Attawapiskat, the reserve home to Koostachin, who died in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 15. Her best friend, 16-year-old Chelsea Edwards, is now working with opposition MPs and Aboriginal advocates to carry on Koostachin's work. Although the motion passed with the government's support, it is not binding. NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding includes Attawapiskat, hopes the Conservatives will make a concrete commitment to fund First Nations education in the forthcoming federal budget. The Assembly of First Nations estimates it would cost an extra $500 million annually to bring reserve schools up to provincial standards. Canadian Press | Canoe | CTV

MPs support motion to end First Nations education funding gap Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 15:52 02/28/2012 - 15:52

2 young adults are missing and presumed dead and dozens of people are homeless following a fire Sunday evening that broke through an Iqaluit townhouse complex, nearly all of whose units were leased to Nunavut Arctic College as student housing. The missing individuals -- aged 20 and 22 -- were children of an Arctic College student. A college official says the institution cannot confirm if all students have been accounted for following the fire. Arctic College president Michael Shouldice says the institution is working to meet all the affected residents' immediate needs, adding that the institution will arrange permanent housing as soon as possible. The RCMP is treating the fire as suspicious until the cause is determined. Nunatsiaq News | Globe and Mail | CBC

2 people believed dead after fire strikes Nunavut Arctic College student housing Top Ten 02/28/2012 - 15:48 02/28/2012 - 15:48

According to the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, the Chinese capital plans to attract over 180,000 exchange students in 2020, an increase of 112% over the current figure. A plan recently issued by the commission aims to examine a new way to administer exchange students and provide better services for students wishing to study in Beijing in the coming years. As per the plan, the city will boost international enrolment in the next 9 years, promote co-operation between schools in Beijing and abroad, and offer more summer and winter educational programs for international students. Official data indicate that 81 universities in Beijing hosted exchange students from 184 nations last year. Xinhuanet

Beijing aims to attract 180,000 international students in 2020 Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 16:01 02/27/2012 - 16:01

University graduates can find jobs twice as fast as individuals with no degrees, observes a new report that analyzes education data from 37 systems in Europe. The report highlights trends across the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary sector, such as the growing autonomy of education systems throughout the continent from direct government oversight. Although more Europeans now have university degrees, the report states that one in 5 graduates appear to be overqualified for their jobs. The report notes that a rising number of nations have implemented tuition fees for students, but says that simultaneous introduction of student aid and other support programs has softened the effects of the new charges. As a result, grants and loans for students "are a major strand of public expenditure on education and account for more than 16.7%," the report says. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the report

1/5 university grads in Europe overqualified for their jobs, report finds Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:59 02/27/2012 - 15:59

The Justice Institute of British Columbia is now eligible to administer funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Researchers at the institution can now apply for funding from the more than $300 million in grants and scholarships SSHRC awards annually. The SSHRC eligibility follows last year's approval for JIBC to apply for and receive funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. JIBC News Release

JIBC eligible for SSHRC funding Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:57 02/27/2012 - 15:57

Out of a desire to tell the story of its Corporate Residency MBA differently than had been done when the program launched in 2009, Dalhousie University has released a 90-second animated video showcasing the MBA's uniqueness. A 15-second teaser ad airing on TV leads viewers to the program's homepage where the full video outlines the features of the MBA, such as the 8-month residency with a high-profile employer. The video notes that 80% of students are offered jobs upon graduation and 90% are employed within 6 months of graduating. The 90-second version received more than 2,700 views on YouTube in the first 48 hours. Dal News

Dal promotes Corporate Residency MBA in new animated video Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:55 02/27/2012 - 15:55

Mount Royal University recently announced that Nexen Inc. has pledged $1 million, over 5 years, to the newly named Nexen Scholars Program at the institution. The first of its kind in Canada -- and a signature program of Mount Royal's Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning -- the Nexen Scholars Program attracts faculty from across North America who are dedicated to building and sharing pedagogical knowledge, advancing PSE teaching, and enhancing student learning beyond the classroom. Nexen's donation supports the faculty's course-based research that leads to the development of new best practices for teaching and learning. Mount Royal News Release

$1-million donation supports Mount Royal's Scholars Program Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:52 02/27/2012 - 15:52

Located on-site at Niagara College's Applied Health Institute at the Welland campus, the new South Niagara Health and Wellness centre is home to a stroke clinic, day services for physically frail seniors, and a medical foot clinic for diabetics or at-risk seniors. The centre will later house a geriatric assessment clinic. The clinics offer vocational opportunities for students in Niagara College's Health and Community Services programs. Students have the chance to work with and learn from professionals for clinical placements, workshops, or information sessions with clients. Niagara College News Release

Niagara College launches South Niagara Health and Wellness Centre Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:51 02/27/2012 - 15:51

Université Laval announced Friday a $1-million donation from businessman and philanthropist Pierre H. Lessard in support of the university's Faculty of Administrative Sciences. In recogntion of the alumnus' donation, uLaval will name the atrium in the Palasis-Prince building the Atrium Pierre-H.-Lessard. The gift will support the construction of the Centre FSA-Banque Nationale, which will integrate in one location services for management training and leadership, career management, collaborative research, and business development. uLaval News Release (in French)

uLaval administrative sciences faculty receives $1-million gift Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:49 02/27/2012 - 15:41

On Friday, Canadore College celebrated the opening of its Integrated Media Centre, one of the most advanced digital production studios in Ontario. The 2,000-square-foot media hub provides an advanced digital platform for existing programs -- such as advertising, broadcasting, graphic design, and mobile application development -- as well as a technology base for new program development to meet industry needs. "The idea behind the Media Centre is to provide a space where students across programs can work and learn from each other," says Canadore's dean of media, design and dramatic arts. "By creating this type of collaborative learning environment, students will learn different disciplines that will prepare them for digital careers across the globe." Canadore News Release

Canadore opens Integrated Media Centre Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:39 02/27/2012 - 15:39

The University of Ottawa's new $55-million centre for advanced photonics and environmental assessment, for which ground-breaking is slated to begin next month, is expected to attract students and researchers from across the globe and be operational by the end of 2013, says uOttawa president Allan Rock. This initiative, along with a forthcoming brain and mind institute and a planned School of Government, are not expected to significantly increase the size of the student body, which has grown rapidly in recent years to the point that Rock says the institution must begin curtailing its growth. Approximately 8,000 students graduate from uOttawa each year, but over the last 5 years the institution has simultaneously admitted an average of 9,250 to 9,500 new students -- a number that will be limited to 8,500 in future years, says Rock. Ottawa Business Journal

uOttawa to build $55-million photonics facility Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:37 02/27/2012 - 15:37

The presidents of Conestoga College and Wilfrid Laurier University announced yesterday that the college will start offering business programming in downtown Brantford in September. The programs include a 2-year business diploma and a one-year post-graduate certificate in Human Resources Management, with plans to offer additional programs in the areas of business, community service, health, and media in the future. Conestoga joins WLU, Mohawk College, and Nipissing University in downtown Brantford, enhancing the developing "academic district" and further providing opportunities for higher education. "The presence of Conestoga College will not only enhance the post-secondary opportunities to our citizens and our ability to attract and retain businesses, but also contributes to showcasing Brantford as a Centre of Excellence," says Brantford's mayor. WLU/Conestoga News Release

Conestoga joins Brantford's "academic district" Top Ten 02/27/2012 - 15:34 02/27/2012 - 15:34

According to data from the UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency, 15,555 Americans were pursuing full degrees at British universities in 2010-11 -- up by 3.3% from the previous year. Postgraduate study by American students rose by 15.2% in the 2 years from 2008-09. The number of American students is slated to increase this year after applications from the US and Canada rose by nearly 10%, up to 5,259 applications for courses beginning in fall 2012. US students currently represent approximately 7% of the international student body in the UK. Times Higher Education

Record number of Americans enrolling in British universities Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:48 02/24/2012 - 15:48

In a new fact sheet, Statistics Canada reports that the employment rate for Canadians with PSE was the same in 1999 as in 2009, with no fluctuation by more than one percentage point. The paper states this stable employment rate in relation to large increases in the number of people with a university or college education indicates that Canada's labour market was successful in employing a rising number of highly educated individuals. In 2009, 82% of the Canadian population with a college or university credential was employed, compared to 55% of individuals with less than a secondary school education. Employment rates in Canada for people with a college or university credential were consistently within 3 percentage points of the OECD average between 1999 and 2009. However, in 2009, all but 3 of the dozen peer nations considered in the fact sheet (the US, Japan, and Italy) posted higher employment rates than Canada. In all 12 nations, the proportions of the population with PSE credentials were lower than the proportion for Canada. The paper notes that the economies of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan were successful in generating high levels of employment for both the most and the least educated, in this case individuals with university credentials and those with less than secondary school. Read the fact sheet

Employment rate for Canadians with PSE stable over 10-year period Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:46 02/24/2012 - 15:46

In its submission to the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance recommends that the employment earnings of full-time PSE students should be immediately exempt from the Ontario Works (OW) income calculations, without a 3-month waiting period. OUSA also calls for the elimination of the $100 boarder's fee for all PSE students who live with family members on OW or the Ontario Disabilities Support Program, irrespective of earnings. Another recommendation is to have eligibility for the student-loan Repayment Assistance Plan to be based on net income after social assistance deductions. OUSA also recommends that the province should broaden the definition of permanent disability used to assess eligibility for the Ontario Student Assistance Program and the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability to ensure it does not unjustly exclude people with mental illness. OUSA News | Submission

OUSA seeks revision of social assistance program criteria for PSE students Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:43 02/24/2012 - 15:43

Through Western Economic Diversification Canada, the federal government announced Thursday a $3.5-million investment to enable SAIT Polytechnic to establish a centre for innovation to support companies working to develop new products that use composite materials. The centre will offer a range of commercialization services that span from product design and testing to production and packaging. The facility will also create opportunities to train students preparing for careers in the composites industry. Western Economic Diversification Canada News Release | SAIT News Release

Ottawa invests in SAIT composite materials centre Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:38 02/24/2012 - 15:38

The Alberta government has approved the transfer of more than 600 acres of land in the Saline Creek area from Keyano College to a land trust for the institution. The land will be used for new residential and commercial development in Fort McMurray. Keyano estimates that the trust will generate between $80 million and $120 million in net revenue for the institution over an 8- to 10-year period. Alberta News Release | Keyano News Release

Alberta endorses land trust endowment for Keyano Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:36 02/24/2012 - 15:36

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Thursday a $27-million investment over 5 years to expand adult basic education in the territories. The Northern Adult Basic Education Program aims to improve access to basic skills upgrades, such as improved literacy and numeracy, so working-age adults are better positioned to participate in the labour market. Programming will be delivered through Aurora College, Nunavut Arctic College, and Yukon College. Nunavut Arctic College will receive $11 million of the funding. Yukon College will get $300,000 so far and can apply for more over the next 5 years. Aurora College will receive $620,000 with the potential for more in the future. Canada News Centre | Nunavut News Release | Yukon College News | Canadian Press

Ottawa invests $27 million for adult basic education for Northerners Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:33 02/24/2012 - 15:33

NSCAD University president David B. Smith has announced he will be stepping down from his post at the end of this school year, just as the art institution enters one of the more pivotal periods in its history. "I feel both privileged and honoured to have served my alma mater to the best of my abilities over the last six years, and I remain firmly committed to working with the Board to submit a solid sustainability plan to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education in the coming weeks that will ensure the autonomy and vitality of NSCAD for the next 125 years," Smith says. A university spokesperson says Smith's decision "was unanticipated," but NSCAD has made "good progress" on the sustainability report, and "we expect to make the deadline." NSCAD's board chair notes that Smith's leadership ensured $8.4 million in private donations, the most funds raised in the institution's history. The board will strike a committee to appoint an interim president and search for Smith's permanent replacement. Message from the Chair | Globe and Mail

NSCAD president to step down Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:30 02/24/2012 - 15:30

Quebec students protesting tuition fee increases shut down the Jacques Cartier Bridge for nearly an hour during Thursday's afternoon rush hour, as a demonstration organizers say drew 15,000 people proceeded through downtown Montreal. 2 groups of marchers were confronted by police as they made their way to the bridge, and the march eventually broke up at about 5:30 pm. Police say one individual was arrested. Meanwhile, student protesters were meeting with school officials in the student dorms near Cégep de Saint-Laurent in Montreal Friday morning following a standoff during which students blocked the college's entrance to both campus officials and police. Approximately 100 protesters blocked the CÉGEP's entrances starting about 4 am in a bid to force officials to allow some students access to campus for classes they said cannot afford to miss. The CÉGEP locked out the students, with its director general announcing that the one-day closure was caused by the students' boycott of classes. Montreal Gazette (bridge closure) | Montreal Gazette (CÉGEP closure)

Quebec student demonstrations shut down bridge, CÉGEP Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:28 02/24/2012 - 15:28

A University of Saskatchewan official says the institution lacks a formal policy about reporting violent incidents such as sexual assaults on campus, but a review of campus safety procedures will consider one. Some members of the university community have raised concerns about how uSask officials reported an alleged sexual assault of a 20-year-old woman at a student residence on New Year's Day. The institution informed students, staff, and faculty about the assault in an e-mail sent on February 17. Finding out about the incident at the same time as the rest of the campus, the student union says the assault should have been reported earlier. uSask considers the assault an isolated incident that posed no immediate threat to others. Details of the attack were sparse when it was reported to police, but new information and a request from the victim's family prompted uSask officials to issue the report, says the AVP of student affairs. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uSask campus safety to be reviewed following report of sexual assault Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:24 02/24/2012 - 15:24

Following charges laid against a York University law student who allegedly fired a 12-gauge shotgun through a residence room door on February 18, York U president Mamdouh Shoukri says the institution will continue to work closely with police as the investigation progresses to learn more about how the incident occurred and to determine what the university might still need to do to further enhance safety. Shoukri has asked the institution's VP Finance and Administration, as Chair of the Management Safety Committee, to provide a report within 90 days. "I want to assure everyone that the safety and well-being of all our community members -- students, faculty, and staff -- is paramount at York," says Shoukri. President's Statement | National Post

York U president requests report following on-campus gun incident Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 15:22 02/24/2012 - 15:22

The Association of American Medical Colleges has approved sweeping revisions to the Medical College Admission Test that will require would-be doctors to demonstrate that they understand the psychological and social underpinnings of medicine, and not just the hard science. The revamped MCAT will include 2 new sections: one on the psychological, social, and biological foundations of behaviour, and the other on critical analysis and reasoning skills. It will also have 2 natural-science sections covering material learned in introductory biology, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics courses. The new exam eliminates a writing section that was not widely considered. Critics have argued that such a broadening of the scope of the MCAT would burden pre-medical students with more requirements and discourage many from applying, but the association sees it "as giving them freedom" to study what they are really interested in, says the association's president. The changes come into effect in 2015.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

MCAT reforms for 2015 include psychological and social competency Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:56 02/23/2012 - 21:56

In a new report, the Toronto Region Research Alliance offers a supply/demand analysis of more than 60 occupations in business and commerce, engineering, health, information technology, and sciences. The demand was estimated in number of new jobs to be created this year, while the supply was estimated from the actual number of graduates from regional PSE institutions in 2010. The report finds that engineering and IT occupations will be in high demand and undersupplied. Despite a lower demand, occupations in design are projected to be undersupplied in 2012. The report observes a high demand for technical sales skills in the Toronto region. Preparation in sales is generally absent in PSE programs in sciences, engineering, IT, and health, and is elective in most business programs. The report states that local youth interest in occupations is lowest in IT and engineering, and highest in business and commerce.  Read the report (PDF)

Toronto labour market short engineering, IT, and technical sales graduates Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:55 02/23/2012 - 21:55

Polytechnics Canada calls for concerted action in the forthcoming federal budget to improve industry innovation, increase apprenticeship completion, and stimulate entrepreneurship. The organization notes that the College Community Innovation Program -- the only federal granting program that supports college applied research -- cannot meet the current demand from industry for such collaboration without the allocation of modest new funds.  Polytechnics Canada states that at no additional cost, Ottawa should end the university-only restriction on undergraduate industrial research awards, opening up eligibility to college undergraduates studying in over 140 bachelor's degrees in areas such as applied technology and applied science. The organization also calls on the government to end the requirement for apprenticeship students to declare any grants as taxable income, a move that in turn will improve the significant low completion rates for tradespeople.  Polytechnics Canada News Release 

Polytechnics Canada outlines priorities for upcoming federal budget Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:55 02/23/2012 - 21:55

Last month, Saint Mary's University in Halifax launched the "Living Learning" contest with a Facebook game app that served up information about learning opportunities, both in and out of class, and concluded with a mock newspaper featuring the player's profile picture and a headline about their future achievements. 3,700 contestants in the game were entered into a draw, and 8 finalists are now vying for $8,000 off 4 years' tuition at SMU by writing a 100-word description of a learning experience outside the classroom.  The contest reflects SMU's "living learning" brand and the integrated theoretical and experiential learning emphasized in SMU's latest academic plan. Marketing Magazine  |  Living Learning app on Facebook 

SMU "Living Learning" Facebook contest offers $8,000 prize Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:54 02/23/2012 - 21:54

On Wednesday, the federal government announced new funding for University of Waterloo programs that help science, technology and engineering graduates work for small companies or start their own. The UW graduate enterprise program, which helps Masters and PhD graduates find jobs with small or medium companies, received $1.4 million. The UW Commercialization Centre, which helps MA and PhD students create their own businesses, received $630,000. With additional sponsorship from the government of Ontario and uWaterloo, this will fund 20 Ontario Science and Engineers in Business Commercialization Fellowships, worth $60,000 each.  uWaterloo News Release  |  Waterloo Record

uWaterloo entrepreneurship programs receive $2.3 million in federal funding Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:53 02/23/2012 - 21:53

Under tough new rules to come into effect in April, international students in Britain will be allowed to stay in the country only if they have graduated from a university and have an offer for a job paying at least £20,000 from a reputable employer accredited by the UK Border Agency. "In the past, too many students have come to the UK to work rather than study, and this abuse must end," says Britain's immigration minister. The British government has also announced a new graduate entrepreneur program that will allow PSE institutions to sponsor candidates to remain in Britain for 12 additional months, which may then be extended for another year if the sponsor institution "is satisfied with the progress they have made."  Times Higher Education  |  The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

British government radically overhauls student visa rules Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:53 02/23/2012 - 21:53

New research shows that British university students had fewer choices when selecting courses in 2012 than they did in 2006. According to the Universities and Colleges Union, there were 70,052 undergraduate courses in 2006, but only 51,116 in 2012. The reduction was most severe in England, at 31%, where students have faced dramatic increases in tuition, compared to a decline of only 3% in Scotland, where local students do not pay tuition. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) course offerings declined by 14.6%, social sciences by 12.8% and arts and humanities by 14%.  BBC

UK undergraduate course offerings cut by 27% over 6 years Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:51 02/23/2012 - 21:51

A $60-million partnership between YorkU and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a Waterloo-based think tank funded by RIM founder Jim Balsillie, has come under criticism by the Canadian Association of University Teachers. CAUT notes that the agreement, which has been signed and is up for approval at a York senate meeting next week, requires a panel of 5, including 2 representatives from CIGI, to give unanimous approval of the hiring of the 10 research chairs in international law. "York has given away the store," says CAUT's James Turk. York VP Patrick Monahan argues that a protocol signed by both parties ensures "the promotion and protection of the academic freedom of individual researchers and teachers… including the freedom to pursue research that may criticize the parties or a financial contributor." CAUT has previously criticized CIGI's undue influence over the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Toronto Star  |  CAUT statement

CAUT raises academic freedom concerns about York's partnership with CIGI Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:50 02/23/2012 - 21:50

An Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities policy paper, not yet made public but obtained by Canadian Press, advances a "3x3" framework that will see colleges and universities realize 3% savings in each of 3 years by offering one-third of their courses online, adding a summer term in a trimester system, and launching more accelerated 3-year degrees. (Apparently institutions will need to find the 3% budget reductions, whether they participate in the strategies or not.) The recommendations echo previous plans for an Ontario Online Institute, and the recommendations of the recent Drummond Report to address the province's deficit. CFS and CAUT are surprised that such a major overhaul would be proposed without consulting faculty or students, and reiterate their concerns about the quality of online education. Canadian Press  | Toronto Star

MTCU "3 cubed" report urges PSE savings through online courses, accelerated degrees Top Ten 05/28/2012 - 10:45 02/23/2012 - 21:50

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology opened registration last week for its first online course through MITx, its new online initiative that allows the public to enroll in an online course at no charge, and pay only for a credential upon completion. Students taking the first course, "Circuits and Electronics", will watch a series of 5- to 10-minute video tutorials, read an e-textbook, and complete homework assignments, virtual labs, and 2 exams (which will be graded by computer). An e-learning innovation MIT developed for the course is a browser-based "virtual circuits laboratory" in which students drag and drop chips and resistors to construct a virtual circuit board. At the end of the course, stud ents will receive a cumulative grade and a certificate from MITx. Registration is free, and there is no enrolment cap.  Inside Higher Ed

MITx opens registration for first free open learning course Top Ten 02/23/2012 - 21:49 02/23/2012 - 21:49

Many college administrators are wondering if the annual viewbook is worth the printing cost, as some data from the US suggests that it has less impact on college choice than previously assumed. Loyola University Chicago replaced its viewbook with 4 smaller brochures, on topics like affordability or academics. Viewbooks aren't going anywhere yet, predict many consultants, although they are changing. uDayton introduced a sleek, edgy viewbook in 2007, and has halved the number it ships. Now the institution is working on a new iPad product to replace the viewbook. (Academica Group has helped Canadian colleges and universities migrate their print materials to the iPad, Android and other online platforms: see our website for more information.)  The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

The evolution of the viewbook? Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 20:08 02/22/2012 - 15:10

A massive shortage of educated workers has cast a cloud over expansion in Canada's oilsands sector, according to a memo sent to the clerk of the Privy Council Office, the administrative arm of the Prime Minister's Office. The memo notes the poor environment reputation of the oil-and-gas industry is alienating minority groups from joining a workforce that could need up to 100,000 new workers by 2020 to meet rising demand. "Compounding this challenge is the pace of technology and the length of time it takes for employees to develop expertise in their field," says the memo, which notes that "there is a demonstrated need for improved skills and knowledge among new recruits." The memo states that remote location of the oilsands, along with the seasonal work periods, discouraged recruitment efforts from being successful. Postmedia News

Shortage of educated workers threatens oilsands expansion Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 15:08 02/22/2012 - 15:08

HEC Montréal has received a $2-million gift from the estate of Montreal business lawyer Peter R. D. MacKell, which the business school will use to create a major PhD scholarship program. The bequest will allow HEC Montréal to create an endowment fund and award four $25,000 scholarships annually to full-time doctoral students. At the donor's request, the fund will be named the Daniel Brosseau and Peter Letko Scholarship Fund. HEC Montréal News

HEC Montréal receives $2-million bequest Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 15:06 02/22/2012 - 15:06

New research commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario examines global trends in undergraduate education and degree-granting programs in the non-university or (particularly in Canada) the college/polytechnic sectors. The report is based on an environmental scan, a survey of over 850 Ontario students in university bachelor's degree programs, and the views of key university and college stakeholders who participated in a seminar on the topic last March. 41% of students surveyed said they would enrol in a 3-year program that allowed them to graduate with honours, citing a faster start in the workforce as their top rationale, while 59% said they would not, citing the challenges of an increased course load. Seminar participants were generally resistant to any standardized degree lengths, partly because the advent of learning outcomes, which they welcomed, might make degree length irrelevant. Among surveyed students currently pursuing university degrees, few seem to believe that a degree in a different setting would be as valuable as obtaining one from a university, although they generally agree that colleges are better at short-term job preparation and in maintaining low class sizes. The report states that Ontario could be "at the cusp of a significant evolution around learning outcomes as leading to better ways of measuring degree outcomes and thus permitting shorter degrees if they could be shown to deliver substantially similar outcomes." Research Summary | Full Report

New report explores implications for Ontario regarding global trends in undergraduate education Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 15:02 02/22/2012 - 15:02

Stopping at Royal Roads University last week as part of a cross-country tour of Canadian universities, 165 students from China's Concord College of Sino-Canada listened to Royal Roads president Allan Cahoon highlight the benefits of the specialized institution with the iconic castle as part of an ongoing campaign to attract international students. Over the next 5 years, the university wants 1,400 students studying at the campus, including hundreds of international students. As part of a strategy to accommodate these students, Royal Roads issued a request for expressions of interest last fall around a plan to build a series of residence facilities on the upper campus. The key terms of any partnership would be for the outside organization to come up with enough capital to construct 4-storey, 100-unit student residences. The Capital City Centre development at Colwood Corners will eventually offer incoming students a place to live, but Cahoon expects many international students will want to live on campus. Goldstream News Gazette

Royal Roads moves forward with residence plans Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 15:00 02/22/2012 - 15:00

Last Friday marked the official opening of the Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film and Animation at Capilano University's North Vancouver campus. Home to the largest full-time 4-year production-oriented film degree program in Western Canada, the 6,662-square-metre centre will provide every tool necessary to develop a production from idea to final releasable production. The project was first announced in 2009 with a $30.2-million joint contribution from the federal and BC governments under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. BC News Release

Capilano U opens film and animation centre Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 14:57 02/22/2012 - 14:57

On Tuesday, Saskatchewan's innovation minister signed a multi-year agreement for Innovation Saskatchewan to provide funding for the new $30-million Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, a research centre based at the University of Saskatchewan to support nuclear research, development, and innovation. "Building on the university's renowned history in nuclear medicine and accelerator technology, the CCNI will help Saskatchewan build and maintain a community of expertise to engage the broader community in evidence-based conversations about nuclear issues and inform policies on nuclear technologies for the benefit of society and the economy," says uSask's VP Research. Saskatchewan News Release

Saskatchewan signs funding agreement for uSask's Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 14:55 02/22/2012 - 14:55

Prince Edward Island's proposal to make it mandatory for medical students from the Island to practise at least 3 years in the province is prompting outrage from student organizations and raising questions about freedom of mobility for graduates whose education is subsidized by taxpayers. Without its own medical school, PEI funds undergraduate spaces at outside institutions for its residents -- who still must pay regular tuition fees -- but says graduates from the Island usually end up working elsewhere. The proposed policy appears "crude and coercive," wrote 3 students in the Medical Society of PEI's newsletter. No other province has adopted such a policy, and it would ultimately backfire, says the VP of the Canadian Federation of Medical Students. The University of Saskatchewan's dean of medicine, who supports PEI's idea, says medical schools exist in part to allow qualified people to achieve their ambitions, but also to fulfil the public good of supplying doctors to a jurisdiction. "Sometimes you have to explain to medical students: 'You pay tuition but that tuition is only a fraction of what it costs to educate you. The taxpayers of Saskatchewan are paying 10 times what you’re paying in order for you to be trained'," the dean says. "The taxpayers have a certain expectation on their return in investment." National Post

PEI medical students oppose province's proposed "return of service" plan Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 14:52 02/22/2012 - 14:52

A judge has approved an order completely barring an apparently mentally-ill former University of Manitoba student from campus due to his long-term, "deliberately designed" harassment of staff members and students. Campus security officials believe the 47-year-old man poses an imminent safety threat and has demonstrated an "ongoing pattern of intimidating and frightening behaviour" that might escalate into violence. The man graduated from uManitoba's pharmacy faculty in 1997, but has not been an active student since. He most recently showed up on campus over 3 consecutive days and caused a ruckus. Winnipeg Sun

Man with history of harassing uManitoba staff, students barred from campus Top Ten 02/24/2012 - 12:37 02/22/2012 - 14:49

In his budget speech Tuesday, BC's finance minister stated that the province is challenging the advanced education sector to reduce its spending by approximately 1% by 2014-15. The government is encouraging PSE institutions to collaborate and target cuts in discretionary costs, such as administration, executive overhead, and travel. The minister stated that the government will work with PSE schools to help make sure front-line programs are not affected. Student and faculty groups are critical of the budget. "This budget will only intensify the pressure on our institutions to make further cuts in program offerings and student services. We need to see both of those strengthened, not undermined as this budget is doing," says the secretary treasurer of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC. "We think the Premier ought to be honest and tell British Columbians that they are receiving a lower quality of higher education today than before the last provincial election and that it will be worse still in three years," says the president of the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of BC. The Canadian Federation of Students' BC chapter says cuts will undermine the province's Jobs Plan. "Post-secondary institutions will play a critical role in preparing workers for new jobs, but the government is demanding that colleges and universities do more with less." Budget Speech | FPSE News | CUFA BC News | CFS News Release

BC challenges PSE sector to cut spending by 1% Top Ten 02/22/2012 - 14:48 02/22/2012 - 14:48

In the 2009-10 academic year, women accounted for close to two-thirds of 270,600 US students studying abroad, while the proportion of men going overseas has remained the same for over 2 decades. Some people attribute the trend to the predominance of women majoring in the fine arts, foreign languages, and other humanities heavily represented in study-abroad programs, while others note that more women than men are enrolled in PSE in the first place. Whatever the cause, the trend is a concern for many in the field, who believe that having an international experience is key to understanding and working with individuals from other cultures, a crucial skill set in an increasingly global and interconnected workplace. To ensure men are getting the message, a number of US institutions are expanding their study-abroad marketing with male students in mind. For example, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities advertises study-abroad programs in publications with a heavy male readership, such as the sports section of the college newspaper and the satirical tabloid The Onion. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Few men studying abroad Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:29 02/21/2012 - 15:29

The number of students around the world enrolled in PSE is forecast to more than double to 262 million by 2025, reports University World News. Nearly all of this growth will be in the developing world, with more than half in India and China alone. The number of students seeking study abroad could increase to 8 million -- almost 3 times more than today. In an essay published in the new book Making a Difference: Australian international education, a higher education consultant writes that the global increase is being driven by greater numbers of young people entering the peak education ages along with sharply rising participation rates, particularly in the non-compulsory education years. University World News

Student numbers worldwide projected to reach 262 million by 2025 Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:26 02/21/2012 - 15:26

A new Conference Board of Canada report observes that communities in northern Canada often lag behind the south with respect to educational outcomes, but they are leaders in developing innovative ways to improve educational programming and delivery. The report shows that initiatives such as a learner-centred approach incorporating technology to deliver curriculum, schools acting as community hubs, on the land programs, and partnerships between northern and southern institutions are having a positive impact on educational outcomes. The report recommends additional support for career preparation programs, adult learning centres, and educational bridging programs that would encourage northern youth to pursue higher education. Conference Board News Release

Conference Board report examines educational outcomes in the North Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:24 02/21/2012 - 15:24

At the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, education researchers proposed ways to improve the retention of engineering students. Led by incoming University of Saskatchewan president Ilene Busch-Vishniac, the Deconstructing Engineering Education Programs project aims to revise the mechanical engineering undergraduate curriculum to make the field more able to attract and retain a diverse community of students. The initiative seeks to reduce and reorder the prerequisite structure linking courses to offer a greater flexibility for students. A less-radical approach would be to enhance teaching techniques in existing courses, said another symposium delegate, who noted that research points to 3 practices that improve retention of engineering students: using everyday examples to which students can relate; working to improve students' spatial-visualization skills; and improving faculty-student interactions. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Researchers propose curriculum changes to retain engineering students Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:21 02/21/2012 - 15:21

After more than a year of broad consultation and discussion, Saint Mary's University has adopted a new 5-year academic plan, which renews the previous 3-year academic plan and is intended as a statement of institutional priorities and a reflection of SMU's academic vision and role in meeting the evolving needs of society. The plan focuses on 6 areas of emphasis for SMU: enhancing student learning through excellence in teaching; student success; linking theory to practice; continued emphasis on research, creative activities, and graduate studies; the development of thematic clusters of teaching and research; and enhancing the institution's international diversity. SMU News Release

SMU launches new academic plan Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:17 02/21/2012 - 15:17

Following a year-long, widespread community consultation process, Simon Fraser University launched Monday its new strategic vision, which seeks to establish the institution as Canada's most community-engaged research university. The new vision states that SFU will aim "to be the leading engaged university defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research, and far-reaching community engagement." The university commits to engaging students by equipping them with the knowledge, research skills, and experiences to prepare them for life in an ever-changing and challenging world; engaging research to become a world leader in knowledge mobilization; and engaging communities to every way possible to contribute to their social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being. SFU News Release | Backgrounder

SFU unveils new strategic vision Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:16 02/21/2012 - 15:16

Georgian College's Automotive Business School of Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Automotive Institute, unveiled its new brand at the Toronto Auto Show on Friday. "The rebrand is about better representing students," says a second-year automotive marketing student. "This new brand illustrates our passion, dedication and drive. We are represented as professional individuals working toward taking over the industry, and that is what we intend to do." It was suggested during the rebranding process to change the name to Automotive Business School of Canada and establishing it as a business school to avoid the confusion some prospective students may have about it being a technical school rather than a business school. Georgian College News Release | Automotive Business School of Canada website

New brand for Georgian College's automotive business school Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:13 02/21/2012 - 15:13

The City of Cambridge has not contributed one cent toward the construction of a new campus there, says Conestoga College, whose president is calling on the municipality to contribute $6 million, just as it did when it contributed millions to Cambridge Memorial Hospital's expansion and to build the University of Waterloo's architecture school. Cambridge Mayor Doug Craig says the municipality's goodwill has already benefited Conestoga to the tune of more than $5 million, referencing the city's 2003 purchase of 54 hectares of land that the college bought in 2008. The mayor says Cambridge had the land appraised at $5 million in 2003, and another appraisal in 2008 set the value at over $10 million -- so that's a $5-million donation to the college, the mayor says. "It's not true. It's never been true," says Conestoga president John Tibbits, who adds that the municipality and the college were bound by a contract, so the price of the land cannot change. The mayor says the city remains ready to work with Conestoga as the campus grows. Waterloo Region Record

Cambridge should invest in new campus, says Conestoga president Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:11 02/21/2012 - 15:11

Members of the Dalhousie Faculty Association (DFA) have voted 83% in favour of strike action. The DFA declared conciliation a failure after Dal's administration gave it a 34-page "legal document" outlining details of what it would like on pensions. One demand the institution made was the removal of all mention of pensions in the collective agreement. The DFA's president says the demand is unacceptable because "if we were to do that, we would lose any protection our members have for their pension plans." DFA News Release | Chronicle Herald

Postscript: Mar 13, 2012

Following a weekend of conciliation, Dalhousie University announced Sunday afternoon that it reached a tentative agreement with its faculty association, meaning that classes would continue as scheduled Monday. The next step is for the board of governors and the faculty association to ratify the tentative agreement. Dal News

Dal faculty approve strike mandate Top Ten 03/12/2012 - 16:17 02/21/2012 - 15:09

Despite a fast-growing student strike in Quebec that threatens to paralyze many PSE institutions in the coming weeks, "there is no plan to change the tuition increases. It's being done to assure the quality of teaching here," says an aide to Education Minister Line Beauchamp. However, protesting students hope that thousands more striking students expected with the next wave of student votes will convince the minister that the plan to raise tuition fees cannot proceed. The striking students have some support from university instructors, with the Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d'université adopting a resolution protesting police action against peaceful students. Montreal Gazette

Quebec tuition fee increases to go ahead, says government Top Ten 02/21/2012 - 15:07 02/21/2012 - 15:07

In a US survey of nearly 2,300 college-bound high school students on the use of mobile devices to search for colleges, 94% of respondents said they use a mobile device at least once a week. 52% said they have looked at a college website on a mobile device, mostly on those with smaller screens. Respondents cited academic program listings, cost/scholarship calculators, a calendar of important dates and deadlines, specific details about academic programs, an application process summary, and online application forms as the most valuable content for mobile experiences. 93% of students surveyed said they were able to find the information they needed while browsing on a mobile device. Nearly half said the mobile experience improved their opinion of the institution. Read the white paper

US report examines mobile browsing habits of college-bound students Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:16 02/17/2012 - 13:16

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that the number of GMAT exams taken worldwide in the 2011 testing year totalled 258,192 -- the third-highest level on record -- and included a 67% increase in tests written by Chinese and other East Asian citizens compared to 2007. The World Geographic Trend Report for GMAT Examinees shows the shares of women and people younger than 25 taking the GMAT are on the rise. The percentage of women who wrote the exam hit 41% in 2011, a new record. The percentage of exams taken by individuals under the age of 25 rose from 37% in 2007 to 44% in 2011. During the 5-year period covered by the report, the percentage of GMATs written by citizens from countries other than the US surpassed 50% for the first time in 2009 and reached 55% by 2011. GMAC News Release | Read the report

More women, younger people taking the GMAT Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:14 02/17/2012 - 13:14

According to a new report from Media Awareness Network, while Canadian teachers believe that digital technologies can enrich students' learning, there are still significant obstacles to overcome in making this happen, one of them being students' lack of digital literacy skills. The report observes that school filters and policies that prohibit or restrict networked devices in the classroom take away the very opportunities youth need to develop digital literacy skills such as responsible use and good judgment. Despite being positive about integrating technology into the classroom, teachers interviewed for the report raised concerns about how personal gadgets such as smartphones can complicate the learning experience and negatively impact the teacher-student relationship. Media Awareness Network News Release | Read the report

Report gauges teachers' perspective on technology in the classroom Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:11 02/17/2012 - 13:11

The University of Toronto's last 2 reseach monkeys were euthanized about 3 weeks ago after 7 years of experiments into movement and pain in the human mouth. The use of "non-human primates" for research has gradually declined at uToronto, down from about 7 a year in the 1990s, for logistical reasons and well as ethical sensitivities. While the university will not close the book on primate research entirely, it is clearly shifting away from using monkeys to advance science, a contentious issue that has at times been marred by threats and violence. The last 2 monkeys were macaques used to investigate the brain's mechanisms for sensory and motor functions in the face and mouth. Athough the monkeys had electrodes implanted in their brains to stimulate and record brain activity, the lead researcher insists they were not in pain. A group of uToronto graduate students in primatology recently wrote an appeal to the university that the monkeys be allowed to live out their lives in an animal sanctuary, hoping they might still be alive. That was not possible, says uToronto's AVP research, because the researchers needed to dissect the monkey's brains to verify the right parts had been stimulated. Globe and Mail

uToronto discontinues research on live monkeys Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:09 02/17/2012 - 13:09

A study co-led by Simon Fraser University tracking the retention rate of close to 3,000 US science and engineering male and female professors shows that both sexes were likely to leave their positions at the same high rate -- 50%. The research observes that men and women are retained and promoted at the same rate, although fewer women are entering these positions. Given current rates, it could take another century before a gender balance is attained. While no comparable research has been conducted involving Canadian universities, the SFU researcher says recent experience with gender discrepancy in the awarding of Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs "suggests that there is much work to do on th is side of the border as well." SFU News Release

Another century before faculty gender balance will be achieved? Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:06 02/17/2012 - 13:06

Red River College president Stephanie Forsyth says it will cost $176 million to construct a skilled trades and technology centre at the Notre Dame campus that would train 1,000 students a year to feed Manitoba's hungry economy. The provincial government has pledged $60 million for the project, and the college has to raise the rest through a capital campaign. Manitoba expects 6,000 skilled construction workers to retire by 2018, just about how long it would take to construct 3 phases of the proposed training centre in a best-case scenario, says Forsyth. Winnipeg Free Press

RRC would need $176 million to build skilled trades and technology centre, says president Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:04 02/17/2012 - 13:04

A sexual assault has been reported at Carleton University, which is said to have occurred in a residence room Thursday night. The institution confirms both campus safety and Ottawa police know the identity of the male suspect. A campus-wide alert was not sent to students because of that and it was determined there was no risk to other students or staff on campus. CBC | Ottawa Citizen

Police investigate sexual assault at Carleton Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 13:01 02/17/2012 - 13:01

Full-time faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University will be in a legal strike position on March 3 if they do not reach a contract settlement with the institution. 520 faculty association members approved a strike mandate with a 91% vote earlier this month. Their contract expired July 1. Outstanding issues include salaries and pensions. Mediation is scheduled for February 29 and March 1. Waterloo Region Record

WLU faculty approve strike mandate Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 19:19 02/17/2012 - 12:59

Colleges Ontario welcomes the Drummond report's recommendations with respect to student mobility, but is concerned with the recommendation that colleges should not be granted any new degree programs. The organization believes the provincial government needs to conduct a thorough assessment of higher education before it takes any action. "Students need a range of opportunities to get the higher education they need for their particular career goals and, in a lot of cases, what you really need is one of the degree programs at the colleges," says a Colleges Ontario spokesman. Colleges Ontario News Release | Ottawa Citizen

Colleges Ontario expresses concern over Drummond report's recommendation on college degrees Top Ten 02/17/2012 - 12:57 02/17/2012 - 12:57

A total of 37 protesters were arrested early Friday morning following a violent overnight clash with Montreal police when officers were called in to break up an occupation of Cégep du Vieux Montréal. The arrested protesters are expected to face a range of charges, such as conspiracy, assault with a weapon on police officers, and mischief. CÉGEP administrators had announced earlier that "all activities have been suspended" following a general-strike vote by students. Meanwhile, police have arrested 4 individuals out of the hundreds of demonstrators who assembled Thursday morning in a protest that included a wide range of grievances, including increased tuition fees. Students, unions, and women's groups held a joint protest in a downtown Montreal area around the local stock exchange, as access to a hotel was blocked off. Riot police were called in and the situation became tense as police officers dispersed pepper spray into the crowd. Montreal Gazette | CTV

37 protesters arrested following CÉGEP occupation Top Ten 03/26/2012 - 09:42 02/17/2012 - 12:54

Coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976, the term "meme" has come to refer to online memes -- ideas that spread through populations via the Web. Campus-themed memes have gone viral at Canadian and American institutions. Many students have replicated the popular "Sh*t Girls Say" meme in reference to their own institution. (Variations in Canada include those at the University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Ottawa). Others have posted variations on another meme in which a student or a professor juxtaposes the warped perceptions of his or her field from various perspectives, including his or her own, with the mundane reality. The CEO of note-sharing service NoteWagon has set up Facebook meme pages for a number of Canadian and American institutions. There is scant evidence of pushback from campus communications officials. The NoteWagon CEO, who is a former University of Waterloo student, says he was asked by SFU and University of Toronto officials to remove their logo from Facebook meme pages, which he did, but reports no stern notes from lawyers at any other institution. "The memes are funny and should be allowed their five minutes of viral fame," says the communications director at Santa Clara University, but one PSE marketing expert cautions institutional officials against trying to "get on the bandwagon and embrace memes, " as they "generally have a negative and snarky tone." Inside Higher Ed

Campus-themed Internet memes gaining traction Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:20 02/16/2012 - 15:20

Ohio State University has e-mailed more than 100,000 high school students with the following pitch: Why not get to know "the real Ohio State" by connecting with a current student who does not work for the institution's admissions office? In the experiment, prospective students can e-mail, instant-message, or call any of 68 Ohio State U students who work for a start-up company called CollegeSolved. The conversations are private, so the university knows only that a prospective student has demonstrated an interest. The institution also receives anonymous data on the type of queries from prospective students, such as scholarships and residences. For college admissions offices, a CollegeSolved founder pitches his service as a way to better gauge students' intentions at a time when they are applying to many more institutions, making it more difficult to predict where they will enrol. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | CollegeSolved

Ohio State U experiment puts recruiting message in hands of students Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:16 02/16/2012 - 15:16

Royal Roads University ranks first among Canadian public universities in the areas of "level of academic challenge" and "active and collaborative learning" in the 2011 National Survey of Student Engagement. 84% of respondents rated their experience at Royal Roads as either excellent or good -- an increase over the previous survey and twelfth overall in the pool of institutions. Royal Roads students also ranked the institution eleventh overall when asked if they would take their education again at the same university. Royal Roads News Release

Students give Royal Roads positive marks in NSSE Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:14 02/16/2012 - 15:14

Western University has scrapped 2 days of voting for the University Students' Council president following allegations of vote rigging. An unknown hacker struck Tuesday, changing the title of the voting website to "Justin Bieber 2012, and Selena Gomez is wonderful," later changed to "Welcome to the Justin Bieber Hairstyle vote 2012. Justin Bieber is the hero of UWO. And Selena Gomez is phenomenal," then to "USC erections." Campus police are searching for a culprit while university officials and student leaders will try for another vote later this month. Western News | London Free Press | Toronto Star

WesternU student council vote deemed invalid after election site hacked Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:13 02/16/2012 - 15:13

Holland College is leading a fight against a 20-year-old rule that limits the number of international students who can dress for varsity sports teams, arguing that it hampers international recruitment. The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association caps the number of foreign students who can play on these teams to one in 6 players in order to maintain parity and guarantee spots for Canadians. International students make up 4% of Holland College's population, but that proportion is growing fast. Positive word of mouth is key in maintaining interest, says a Holland College official, and every student who goes elsewhere or has a subpar experience dulls that buzz. The college appealed to Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore last month to use his influence over Sports Canada, a major funding source for collegiate athletics, to spur change. The institution has yet to receive a reply, but Minister of State for Sport Bal Gosal told the Globe and Mail that colleges must make their own decisions, and he hopes "they will balance the interest of Canadian athletes with the goal of increasing international students." Globe and Mail

Canadian colleges decry limit on international student-athletes Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:10 02/16/2012 - 15:10

Carleton University teaching assistants are protesting the administration's plan to cut their wages for the rest of the term after human resources noticed a payroll mistake dating back a year and a half. Carleton notified TAs that those hired on or after September 1, 2010 were overpaid because of a university error in the calculation of tuition rebates. As per their collective agreement, TAs who work at least 65 hours per semester have their tuition rates frozen at the time of hire. However, those hired since September 1, 2010 were mistakenly given a tuition rebate based on 2009 levels. A Carleton notice dated February 3 said affected TAs would have future paycheques reduced in total between $89 and $1,022 to recoup the overpayment. The union representing the TAs has initiated a petition in an effort to stop the move. Ottawa Citizen | Petition

Carleton TAs oppose clawback of overpayments by institution Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:08 02/16/2012 - 15:08

The Drummond Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services is long on cuts and short on insights, argues the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, which states that taken together, the commission's recommendations would continue the erosion of the quality of education at provincial PSE institutions. "By only fiddling around the margins, Drummond is proposing that higher education drive Ontario forward on a half-empty tank," says OCUFA president Constance Adamson. The Council of Ontario Universities appreciates the focus on PSE issues provided by the commission, welcoming particularly its support for sufficient tuition revenue so that universities can continue to maintain the quality of the student experience. The Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario chapter rejects many of the commission's recommendations, adding that it's "disappointed to see no recommendations that reflect the return to tax revenue that accompanies a higher-educated population." In anticipation of the Drummond report, the CFS-O released Wednesday a document outlining recommendations for the future of tuition fee policy in Ontario. One suggestion for the province is to allocate $1 billion over 4 years to develop a multi-year tuition fee framework that progressively reduces tuition by 30% over 4 years. OCUFA News Release | COU News Release | CFS-O News Release | CFS-O Report

Ontario PSE community reacts to Drummond report Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:06 02/16/2012 - 15:06

The University of British Columbia is planning to construct a new residential college focused on sustainability on the UBC Farm, reports a student newspaper. The Sustainability College is proposed as a residential college similar to Green College and St. John's College, aimed at upper-level undergraduate students, graduate students, and visiting scholars. "The idea is that it would be a place where...(students) could really immerse themselves in a sustainability-themed academic experience," says the UBC Farm's acting director. The college would involve a dining society, scholarly events, and "finding a way to incorporate the residents in hands-on meaningful practical participation at the Farm," the director says. The Ubyssey (student newspaper)

UBC plans sustainability-themed residential college Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:02 02/16/2012 - 15:02

Concerned that its graduates may face risks in some "restricted-access" Asian countries, Bethany Bible College has renamed itself Kingswood University in order to sustain its tradition of "bold evangelism" without explicit, titular reference to the Gospels. Mark Gorveatte, president of the Sussex, New Brunswick-based institution, says the new name recalls a seminal 1739 event in Wesleyan Church history in Kingswood, England, but also honours the New Brunswick county (Kings) where the institution is located, as well as one of the province's most important resources (wood). Gorveatte describes "Central Asia" as the region where Christian college credentials can raise alarms with local officials. "We've had graduates serving in humanitarian roles who've been questioned extensively -- they've not been restricted yet -- and it's our understanding they've been placed on watch lists because of having 'Bible College' in their diploma," he says. Kingswood U becomes New Brunswick's second religious university in recent years to rename itself. In 2009, Moncton-based Atlantic Baptist University announced it would become Crandall University to widen its appeal among prospective students. Postmedia News

New name for NB Bible college Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 15:00 02/16/2012 - 15:00

The Canadian Association of University Teachers is investigating concerns by faculty and veterinarians at the University of Guelph's Ontario Veterinary College. 5 grievances have been brought forward to UoGuelph's faculty association in the past 2 years. The allegations include improper procedural practices into investigations of faculty members' behaviour; inappropriate practices in hiring decisions; intimidation of faculty and veterinarians by OVC administration; refusal to recognize teaching done by veterinarians; and the failure to hire any continuing appointments in the teaching hospital since the first collective agreement was signed in 2008. A 2-person committee will take about 4 months to investigate the concerns raised. If the committee finds the allegations to be valid, it will prepare a report with recommendations for OVC. Guelph Mercury

CAUT investigates UoGuelph vet college following faculty complaints Top Ten 02/16/2012 - 14:57 02/16/2012 - 14:57

Yesterday QS released its first-ever Best Student Cities ranking, in which Paris placed first among 50 international cities. Based on a dozen criteria, the ranking takes into account the quality and number of internationally ranked universities, alongside factors such as affordability, quality of living, and the reputation of local universities among employers. The Canadian cities to make the list are Montreal (10), Toronto (26), and Vancouver (31). Montreal has one of the highest scores for quality of living, alongside a favourable student mix and rankings score. QS News Release | QS Best Student Cities in the World 2012

QS ranks world's best student cities Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:29 02/15/2012 - 15:29

Thompson Rivers University's Open Learning division (TRU-OL) has released a paper-cut animation recruitment video that showcases the stories of 3 types of TRU-OL students: a course-taker looking to add to their credential at another institution; a professional looking to advance their career by using prior learning assessment and recognition toward a PSE credential; and a full-time worker looking to gain a credential that will allow them to upgrade to the career of their dreams. The video highlights the benefits and options available through TRU-OL. A TRU-OL official says the video "speaks to who we are at TRU-OL: innovative, open, flexible, accessible and ready to serve the needs of all learners at any time. Open Learning is unique in that it operates under an 'open' philosophy that means anyone, anywhere can access quality education on their own terms." Open Standard (page 16 of PDF) | Watch the video

TRU Open Learning produces recruitment video Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:27 02/15/2012 - 15:27

The University of Windsor's senate has approved a new strategic research plan that will extend over a 5-year period ending in December 2016. The document states that uWindsor "will act to develop its research culture and increase the level of its research intensity while further integrating research as part of the student's learning experience." The document outlines 5 main objectives: build on established research strengths and pursue new strategic opportunities; attract, develop, and retain highly qualified faculty, students, post-doctoral fellows, and supporting staff; foster excellence, collaboration, and the integration of research with education and with societal needs; identify, strengthen, and prioritize uWindsor's existing and emerging areas of research excellence on an evolving basis; and sustain and further develop an infrastructure that supports the institution's strategic research and creative activities. uWindsor Daily News | Strategic Research Plan

uWindsor launches 5-year strategic research plan Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:25 02/15/2012 - 15:25

The University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, Queen's University, Université Laval, and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine will represent North America as one of 4 global innovation collaboratives chosen to work with the US Institute of Medicine on a project to lead innovation in health education around the world. The Canadian Interprofessional Health Leadership Collaborative will develop curricula that foster collaborative leadership skills. The other collaboratives in India, South Africa, and Uganda will undertake related projects. UBC News Release | uToronto News | Queen's News Centre

5 Canadian universities chosen to lead health education reform Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:24 02/15/2012 - 15:24

Nova Scotia's energy ministry has approved an application by Cape Breton University's Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment to operate a wind farm. The project supports the centre's goal to find advanced and sustainable solutions for energy and environmental issues through research, innovation, and partnerships. To be located directly across from the university, the 5.4 MW CBU Wind Farm will provide the institution with increased resources to pursue its goal of obtaining electrical and heating self-sufficiency. CBU News | Cape Breton Post

CBU to house wind farm Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:21 02/15/2012 - 15:21

In its pre-budget submission, Colleges Ontario says the provincial government must send a strong signal in its 2012 budget about the next steps to be taken to more effectively advance the transfer of completed credits when a PSE student transfers to another institution. The organization says Ontario must ensure the new spaces provided by the proposed new undergraduate campuses are directly tied to a transformation of PSE that is more career-specific. To that end, the submission states, the province -- through its RFP process -- must ensure that any proposal considered involve a college and a university in a new kind of partnership that has at its core a culture of credit transfer and credential recognition. Colleges Ontario says the government can achieve savings through a realignment of the apprenticeship system by providing colleges with greater responsibility for the management and delivery of apprenticeship training. The submission states that colleges' funding needs for 2012-13 include $51 million for operating grants, $2 million for applied research, $61 million for deferred maintenance, and $20 million for instructional equipment. Pre-Budget Submission

Colleges Ontario outlines priorities for province's upcoming budget Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:19 02/15/2012 - 15:19

To meet the challenges of increasing demand for PSE in the midst of constrained funding, Ontario's higher education system will need to become even more efficient, states the report from the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services. The commission outlines 30 recommendations related to PSE, calling on the province to contain government funding and institutional expenses; use differentiation to improve PSE quality and achieve financial sustainability; encourage and reward quality; revise research funding structures; maintain the current overall cap on tuition fee increases, but simplify the framework; re-evaluate student financial assistance; and generate cost efficiencies through measures such as integrating administrative and back-office functions. With respect to financial assistance, the report recommends Ontario explore phasing out provincial tuition and education tax credits to invest in upfront grants. The commission urges government and PSE institutions to measure learning outcomes, as well as tie outcome quality indicators to funding as part of the mandate agreement with institutions. The report recommends ceasing funding for international marketing of Ontario universities and integrating it into existing trade mission activities. Read the report

Ontario's PSE system needs to become more efficient, says report Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:17 02/15/2012 - 15:17

Approximately 11,000 university students in Quebec launched an unlimited strike Tuesday to protest impending tuition fee increases. The number of striking students is expected to double by Monday, and could rise from there as many more student groups hold strike votes over the coming weeks. So far, the striking students are mainly from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and approximately 1,000 from Université Laval. Students from the Université de Montréal, CÉGEP de St. Laurent, and CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal are set to begin an unlimited strike next week. Concordia University students are to vote early next month, while McGill University students have not yet planned a strike vote. At a news conference Tuesday, striking students said they were willing to lose a semester if necessary to stop the planned tuition fee increases. To stop the strike, the students said, the Quebec government must give up its plan to raise tuition fees by $325 annually for 5 years. The last major student strike in Quebec was in 2005, when as many as 200,000 CÉGEP and university students boycotted classes for up to 5 weeks to protest cuts of $103 million to bursaries. The situation is different today, with universities reporting that they are underfunded by $620 million compared to other Canadian universities. Montreal Gazette | CBC

Quebec students initiate unlimited strike Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:15 02/15/2012 - 15:15

Ryerson University announced Wednesday the launch of "Make Your Mark," the institution's largest fundraising initiative to date. Funds raised in the $200-million campaign will support teaching, innovation, and research ($45 million); academic programs, library, and technology ($40 million); student awards, bursaries, and scholarships ($55 million); and capital projects, such as the Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre, the Ryerson Image Centre, the Student Learning Centre, and the upcoming Sciences building ($60 million). Ryerson has raised $117 million so far. Ryerson News | Make Your Mark

Ryerson launches $200-million fundraising campaign Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:12 02/15/2012 - 15:12

In a commentary published earlier this week, DBRS Inc., a Toronto-based credit rating agency, weighs in on the growing pension shortfalls at Canadian universities, 13 of which have borrowed debt capital in the public markets. Over the period 2008-09 to 2010-11, "total aggregate unfunded pension liabilities for DBRS-rated universities ballooned from approximately $680-million to $3.2-billion." DBRS broke down the unfunded liability by institution on a full-time equivalent student basis. The 3 largest are the University of Toronto ($20,906), Queen's University ($16,360), and the University of Guelph ($10,687). By contrast, Brock University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Ottawa have the lowest shortfalls. DBRS notes that some institutions have already taken measures to improve the situation. For example, McMaster University has increased employee contributions and retirement dates, as well as closed defined benefit plans to new entrants of certain employee groups. uToronto has made a $150-million lump sum payment and plans to make a second similar payment by June 2014 into its pension plan. Financial Post

Canadian universities' pension deficits rise to $3.2 billion Top Ten 02/15/2012 - 15:10 02/15/2012 - 15:10

The BC government announced last week the launch of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Award Program, a $2-million fund that will support Aboriginal students enrolled in a teacher education program at a public PSE institution in BC. Awards will be up to $5,000 annually for a maximum of 4 years. The bursary program is in addition to the $10-million endowment fund established in 2007 as part of BC's strategy to improve access to PSE for Aboriginal students. The fund is administered by the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society, which works with the Victoria Foundation to provide scholarships and awards to BC students throughout the province and around the world. BC News Release

New Aboriginal teacher education bursary program in BC Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:43 02/14/2012 - 15:43

Last Friday, the University of Winnipeg held the official grand opening for its AnX (formerly the Greyhound Bus Depot). The AnX is home to uWinnipeg's English Language Program and Bookstore. The AnX "enhances our efforts to transform our university into a meeting place for students and the wider community," says uWinnipeg president Lloyd Axworthy. uWinnipeg News Release

uWinnipeg opens AnX Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:41 02/14/2012 - 15:41

A Ryerson professor wants harsher punishment for a pair of Iranian academics who plagiarized his work. The professor was shocked to see a "carbon copy" of a research paper he wrote for a conference in 2004 republished 4 years later in the Journal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications. The professor reported the plagiarized work to the journal, whose editorial board told the Iranian professors they were banned from submitting work for 3 years, and that their paper had been "withdrawn." The punishment does not fit the crime, say a student and a colleague of the Ryerson professor. Toronto Star

Ryerson prof seeks tougher penalties for Iranian academics who plagiarized his work Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:40 02/14/2012 - 15:40

The federal government announced Monday Strategic Project Grants to support 70 specific teams at universities across Canada. Administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, these grants represent an investment of more than $32 million over 3 years. The goal of these grants is to increase research and training in areas that could strongly influence Canada's economy, society, or environment in the next decade. NSERC News Release

NSERC distributes $32 million in Strategic Project Grants Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:38 02/14/2012 - 15:38

A consortium of 9 Canadian universities and Indian partners, led by Carleton University, Ryerson University, and Simon Fraser University, is strengthening its position in India by opening 3 offices that provide space to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. The office at Anna University's Centre for Urban Energy in Chennai is home to Ryerson's sister institute. This centre builds on the strong relationships that exist among the Canadian and Indian universities. Bilateral research and opportunities for students are key to addressing longer-term national priorities in both countries. The other Canadian institutions in the consortium are the Universities of Guelph, Waterloo, Ottawa, Laval, New Brunswick, and Manitoba. Carleton News Release

Canadian university consortium opens offices in India Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:36 02/14/2012 - 15:36

As Canada's big southern universities show their age, their northern counterparts have arrived, reports Maclean's. "A lot of universities are crowded and suffering from huge deferred maintenance," says Academica Group's Ken Steele. "They have a lot of older infrastructure, and students are noticing." Nipissing University president Lesley Lovett-Doust says the institution's relative youth has allowed it to leapfrog over its counterparts. "The old schools are retrofitting old libraries, sending tonnes of books into storage to try to open up their libraries for collaboration,” she says. “We skipped that phase." Philanthropists now see these northern institutions as a good bet. Nipissing received a $15-million gift in 2010, and Laurentian recently attracted a $10-million donation for its engineering school. "There aren't a lot of $10-million-plus donations out there," Steele says. "Ten million dollars added to a smaller institution makes a bigger difference than at a larger institution." New facilities, in turn, attract new researchers. The University of Northern British Columbia ranked first in total research dollars among primarily undergraduate institutions in the 2011 Maclean's rankings. "The upstarts now have the advantage," Steele says. Maclean's OnCampus

The advantages of northern universities Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:34 02/14/2012 - 15:34

Barrie city council has approved a strategy to buy land for a university campus, even if the Ontario government has not decided it will go there. The strategy allows city officials to negotiate to buy 6 properties identified only in a confidential report, and to be able to sign conditional offers of purchase. Government sources told the Toronto Star in September that the Liberals' proposed undergraduate campuses would be satellites of existing institutions, with Barrie, Milton, and Brampton identified as sites to be picked, although Ontario has not confirmed these sites. Barrie has already committed $14 million to the downtown campus, which Laurentian University wants to open in September 2020. Barrie Examiner

Barrie approves land strategy for university campus Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:31 02/14/2012 - 15:31

The Alberta government announced Monday enhancements to its student-aid program to make it easier for PSE students to reach their goals. Changes include the introduction of a flat-rate contribution of $1,500 (reduced to zero for single parents); elimination of savings, RRSP, part-time earnings or parental contributions in determining loan eligibility; and new grants designed to encourage students to graduate and remain in Alberta. Replacing the previous remission program designed to ease a student's debt load on graduation, the new completion grants will provide students who have loans with grants of between $1,000 and $2,000 when they graduate. A new retention grant will provide graduates who work in the province for 3 years in essential occupations with an additional $1,000. Professions included in the program will be announced at a later time. All programs will come into effect on August 1. Alberta News Release

Alberta announces changes to student-aid program Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:29 02/14/2012 - 15:29

The federal government has announced plans to increase the legal limit for outstanding Canada student loans from $15 billion to $19 billion. The move follows an actuarial report on the loans program released in 2010 that predicted the limit would be reached by January 2013. Ottawa says the regulatory amendment is necessary to respond to projected increases in PSE enrolment rates, as well as to ensure students continue to have access to federal loans for another 10 years. Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director James Turk says "the government should look for ways to improve the level of non-repayable assistance available to students." CAUT recommends "that the levels of grants for students be increased sufficiently, so that the $15 billion loan cap need not be raised." CAUT Bulletin

Ottawa plans to raise student debt ceiling to $19 billion Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:26 02/14/2012 - 15:26

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has agreed to hear the case of a University of British Columbia education professor who alleges she was passed over for a research chair position because of her race. The professor, who is of Chinese descent, filed a complaint claiming UBC and 4 administrators discriminated against her with respect to the appointment of the chair in 2009. The professor argues that she was better qualified for the position than the successful applicant and notes that only one member of the selection committee was a visible minority. She also alleges systemic discrimination which she claims is evidenced by being "forgotten" in her tenure and promotion schedule and the fact that visible minorities are virtually absent from leadership positions. UBC denies that any such discrimination occurred and applied to have the complaint dismissed. A tribunal member declined to dismiss the professor's complaint against UBC in a decision dated January 24, but did dismiss individual complaints against the 4 administrators. The tribunal will decide at a later date whether the university breached the Human Rights Code in its treatment of the professor. Vancouver Sun

Human rights tribunal to hear UBC prof's racial discrimination complaint Top Ten 02/14/2012 - 15:24 02/14/2012 - 15:24

Nearly every European Union country has committed to reducing their expenditures on universities, reports Times Higher Education. Spain is cutting €485 million from education overall, and assistance to local authorities -- key supporters of universities -- will be reduced by just over €1 billion. Ireland's budget in December included a 2% reduction in core funding for PSE to secure savings of €23.6 million. In Italy, high-profiled budget cuts offer little hope for PSE investment in the country in 2012. With a 20% fall in PSE funding predicted by 2013 even before December's "Save Italy" budget cuts of €30 billion, most expect more pain to follow. Since the European Universities Association's most recent report in June, only Norway, Finland, and Germany have maintained their commitments to increase funding for PSE. France remains committed to plans to invest up to €30 billion to improve universities and research through its national loan system, but borrowing billions could be tricky in light of its own lingering debt problems. Times Higher Education

EU nations commit to cutting PSE expenditures Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:27 02/13/2012 - 15:27

A state audit has revealed that North Dakota-based Dickinson State University has awarded hundreds of degrees to Chinese students who did not complete required coursework and who in some instances may not have been able to do so. The report describes a campus that was so focused on attracting students that it cut corners to build its international enrolments. The university could face sanctions from the US Department of Homeland Security over visa issues, from the state over enrolment figures, and from accreditors over failure to assure educational quality. Briefings on campus about the report were interrupted by reports that a university official, with a weapon, was missing. The dean of the College of Education, Business and Applied Sciences was later found dead from a self-inflicted gun wound. The audit did not mention the dean by name, but officials say many of the students who received degrees inappropriately had been enrolled in the college he led. The chancellor of North Dakota's university system says no immediate discipline is planned for any Dickinson State U employees. The institution's VP for academic affairs has since stepped down. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Report finds Dickinson State U awarded bogus degrees Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:23 02/13/2012 - 15:23

The University of British Columbia's Alma Mater Society plans to open a brewery on campus in August 2014. The student-owned brewery will supply UBC's 2 bars with its own homebrew and will also tap into the campus' various keggers. The AMS still plans to offer the standard brands, but will sell its own craft beer slightly cheaper, somewhere around $2.50 for a sleeve of beer, which is 14 ounces. The operation will be run by a professional brewmaster. The planned brewery is believed to be the only student-owned brewery in Canada. Niagara College opened a teaching brewery in April 2011. Toronto Star

UBC student union plans to open brewery Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:19 02/13/2012 - 15:19

National Survey of Student Engagement results published by Maclean's show that Huron University College finished first out of 62 Canadian universities in both of the senior-year students' categories reported. Senior students rated Huron more highly than did first-year students in response to the question, "If you could start over, would you go to the institution you are now attending?" Huron students also rated the institution tops in their response to the question, "How would evaluate your entire educational experience at this institution?" with senior students scoring Huron first and first-year students sixth. "We are thrilled with these results since they represent our students’ opinion of their experience at Huron,” says principal Stephen McClatchie. "Even though our senior students have placed Huron at the top we are committed to further improvement as we embark on an ambitious action plan to enrich the Huron student experience." Huron News | Maclean's OnCampus

Huron receives strong marks in NSSE Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:17 02/13/2012 - 15:17

The federal government announced Friday a $2.3-million investment for Conestoga College to help meet the needs of food and beverage manufacturers in southern Ontario through its Institute of Food Processing Technology. With this investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario's Prosperity Initiative, Conestoga will equip its institute with modern food processing lines that simulate real work environments. The hands-on training provided by the institute, using modern manufacturing equipment, will enhance the education experience of its students. FedDev Ontario News Release

Ottawa invests in Conestoga's Institute of Food Processing Technology Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:15 02/13/2012 - 15:15

Airdrie's proximity to Calgary and its growing population makes the city a good candidate for a PSE institution in the future, states a feasibility study presented to Airdrie city council last week. One recommendation outlined in the report is for the city to position itself as the best location for a new university in Alberta. Another suggestion is for Airdrie to partner with educational providers to promote locally-based educational programming. Airdrie Echo

Study examines PSE feasibility for Airdrie Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:13 02/13/2012 - 15:13

Langley Township council is set to approve an expansion of Trinity Western University's campus and a housing development on land adjacent to the campus. The institution has plans for a "university district" including classroom space, student and faculty housing, and commercial and recreation uses on 23.4 acres of unused farm land directly across from the main campus entrance. An additional 48 acres north and west of the expansion site will be a mix of agriculture and environmental laboratory and parkland. TWU has been eyeing the properties for several years and has been in talks with the township for over 2 years about the potential expansion, says the university's associate provost. The campus is built on clay soil that cannot support highrise development, which has forced TWU to expand outward rather than upward, the official says. Vancouver Sun

Langley set to approve TWU expansion proposal Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:12 02/13/2012 - 15:12

The University of Alberta is drawing criticism over its decision to award an honorary degree to the CEO of controversial global food giant Nestlé Corporation, the world's largest producer of bottled water and promoter of water privatization. For years Nestlé has been under fire for the way it markets infant formula in Third World nations where mothers do not have access to clean water and literacy is low. Professors critical of the honorary degree warn that uAlberta's reputation in the global community could be harmed. uAlberta president Indira Samarasekera states in the institution's official blog that the honorary degree committee "gave great weight" to the fact that under Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe's leadership, the company was given the Stockholm Industry Water Award last year. He was chosen "in recognition of his emerging and growing role as a worldwide leader in resource management," the blog says. Edmonton Journal | uAlberta Blog

Opposition over uAlberta honorary degree for Nestlé CEO Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:10 02/13/2012 - 15:10

A group of anti-asbestos activists and scientists is criticizing McGill University over its plans for an internal review of a major asbestos study that has been called into question. In a letter to McGill's dean of medicine, the group calls on the university to carry out a "thorough, independent and transparent investigation" of the original study, which it alleges is "flawed, lacks transparency and contains manipulated data." McGill announced last week it would review the study's findings following a CBC documentary about the institution's past ties to the asbestos industry. Dozens of Canadian and international scientists and prominent medical researchers have signed a letter calling on McGill to sever its ties to the asbestos industry. CBC | Montreal Gazette

McGill's plans for internal review of asbestos research criticized Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:08 02/13/2012 - 15:08

A Carleton University student died inside a campus residence Saturday. No further details have been released, though the institution says "no foul play is suspected" in the student's death. Police say the death is not suspicious in nature. CBC

Carleton student found dead in residence Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:05 02/13/2012 - 15:05

The Rice University-based open-education platform Connexions announced last week a plan to provide free online publisher-quality textbooks for 5 of the most-attended college courses in the US. The OpenStax College textbook initiative will publish its first 2 books in physics and sociology next month, with 3 more titles in biology and in anatomy and physiology slated to go online this fall. "If we capture just 10 percent of the market with these first five textbooks, an estimated 1 million college students in the United States could save $90 million over the next five years," says Connexions' founder and director. The textbooks will be available for free online via computers, smartphones, and tablets. Connexions' print-on-demand feature will allow students to order low-cost print copies. Rice U News Release | Inside Higher Ed

Rice U to publish open-source textbooks Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 15:06 02/10/2012 - 15:06

The Manitoba government reports that the vast majority of students graduating from Canada's first-ever physician-assistant master's training program have chosen to stay in the province. The government invested $1.2 million to establish the physician-assistant education program at the University of Manitoba in September 2008. Of the 23 students who have graduated since the program began, 19 are currently working in the province. Another 24 students are currently enrolled in the program. Manitoba News Release

Manitoba-trained physician assistants staying in province Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 15:04 02/10/2012 - 15:04

York University's Schulich School of Business has placed 20th in the world and first in Canada in a global MBA survey by Expansión magazine, a Mexican-based business publication. This is the third consecutive year in which Schulich has made the top 20. Expansión uses a statistical-based methodology to rank business schools, with points awarded in areas such as international scope and orientation, average GMAT, post-MBA average salary percentage increase, and faculty research output. Schulich's dean says the Expansión ranking is important to the school because of Schulich's focus on the Latin American market and on Mexico in particular. Last November, Schulich opened a satellite centre in Mexico City that will help recruit students, provide career placement services to alumni, offer executive education programs, support the local alumni chapter, and manage local media relations. York U Schulich News Release

York U's Schulich remains in top 20 of Expansión MBA ranking Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 15:03 02/10/2012 - 15:03

Research by a University of British Columbia Okanagan graduate student observes that a majority of graduates and alumni are not staying in the Okanagan, but many of them would like to. In a survey, 51% of respondents who graduated in 2011 said they were going to leave the area, while the percentage of alumni who said they left the region came in at 67%. Common factors that drove graduates to move include a lack of career opportunities in their chosen field, the high price of housing, and the high cost of living. "Quite a few people said the attitude of Kelowna is part of the reason. They found it quite stifling," the researcher says, adding that respondents also used comments like "not forward thinking" and "conservative." Many of those leaving said they would like to stay in the Okanagan, and half said they hope they can move back to Kelowna when they get some work experience. One recommendation the researcher has is for the community and UBCO to work together to establish more programs so students can gain valuable work experience. UBCO News Release

Study finds majority of UBCO graduates leave region, but plan to return Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 15:00 02/10/2012 - 15:00

The federal government announced Thursday the renewal of an MOU related to the Canada-China Scholars' Exchange Program, whose eligibility criteria will be expanded to include opportunities for Canadian undergraduate students and mid-career professionals to gain academic and professional experience in China. The program is currently open to graduate students and faculty members. There are currently over 475 active partnership agreements between Canadian and Chinese universities, facilitating student and faculty mobility, research cooperation, and joint academic programming in a variety of fields. Canada News Centre | AUCC News Release

Eligibility criteria expanded from Canada-China Scholars' Exchange Program Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 14:59 02/10/2012 - 14:59

Mount Saint Vincent University announced Thursday a $2.25-million donation from Margaret McCain, whose gift -- the largest individual donation in MSVU's history -- will support the construction of the university's first new classroom facility in more than 40 years. In recognition of the gift, MSVU has named the new building the Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research, whose construction is set to begin upon the successful completion of MSVU's $12-million "Project TWENTY12" fundraising initiative. The current total stands at more than $7 million, and the institution aims to conclude fundraising by the end of the year. The centre will incorporate environmentally friendly design, learning labs, classrooms, interactive and collaborative technology, and a student learning commons. Some of MSVU's flagship programs and initiatives will make the centre their new home. MSVU News Release

MSVU receives $2.25-million donation Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 14:57 02/10/2012 - 14:57

According to a new report commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, relatively few secondary school students with special needs go on to PSE. Using 2006 data from the Toronto District School Board for its study of Grade 11 and 12 special needs students, the report observes that special needs students rated their academic programs much less favourably, spent less time on homework, and had less social engagement. A higher proportion of these students dropped out of secondary school or went directly into the workforce. The report found that just 18% confirmed university acceptance compared to 58% of non-special needs students. By contrast, more special needs students confirmed college acceptance (23.9%) than did students without special needs (14.2%). The study includes input from an expert panel of representatives from Ontario's education ministry, school boards, PSE institutions, and academic community, who identified transition planning as an important issue. Panellists cited a need to reconcile the different meanings of "special needs" at the K-12 and PSE level, noting that difference in definitional requirements can lead to gaps in support services for students transitioning from secondary school to PSE. Research Summary | Full Report

Few Ontario special needs students go on to PSE, study finds Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 14:55 02/10/2012 - 14:55

Based in Ancaster, Ontario, Redeemer University College has undertaken a feasibility study to investigate establishing a physical presence in downtown Hamilton. Expected to be completed this spring, the study has allowed Redeemer to scout potential program space and look into possible collaborations with downtown services and organizations. While there is no set timeline for a downtown expansion, Redeemer staff stay that having a greater presence in the city core would benefit both students and the community. Hamilton Spectator

Redeemer considers presence in downtown Hamilton Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 14:53 02/10/2012 - 14:52

Northwest Community College announced Thursday it will have to cut a total of 31.49 positions from staff, faculty, and management across the college region to balance its budget as mandated by BC's College and Institute Act. The college has a total of 673 employees who account for 276.28 full-time equivalents. Over the next 2 weeks, consultation committees composed of union leadership and administration will meet to consider alternatives to individual layoffs and examine possible options. NWCC News Release

Job cuts at NWCC Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 14:51 02/10/2012 - 14:50

Tabled Thursday, Alberta's 2012 budget establishes a new 3-year funding commitment for higher education. The province's public PSE institutions will receive 2% increases in operating grants in each of the next 3 years to ensure they can plan to effectively meet growing enrolment expectations and address priorities. The province is investing $200 million in student financial aid, providing for student debt management programs, scholarships, bursaries, and grants. Nearly $274 million in loan support is being provided to more than 53,000 students. Alberta News Release | Budget Highlights

Alberta establishes 3-year predictable funding for PSE institutions Top Ten 02/10/2012 - 14:47 02/10/2012 - 14:47

Released earlier this month, the ninth edition of the Horizon Report identifies 6 technologies that are expected to become mainstream in learning-focused organizations. Each of the 6 technologies is assigned to one of 3 adoption horizons: one year or less, 2 to 3 years, and 4 to 5 years. For 2012, electronic tablet computing and mobile applications are identified in the one-year horizon; learning analytics and game-based learning in the 2- to 3-year horizon; and gesture-based computing and the Internet of Things in the 4- to 5-year horizon. The report identifies the Internet of Things as shorthand for network-aware smart objects that connect the physical world to the information world. A smart object has 4 key attributes: it is small, has a unique identifier, has a small store of data or information, and has a way to communicate that information to an external device on demand. EDUCAUSE News Release | 2012 Horizon Report

US report outlines top tech trends to affect PSE Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:26 02/09/2012 - 15:26

Current and future Indigenous students at the University of Winnipeg now have access to a newly updated one-stop shop in the form of a website where they can find helpful information on housing, financial aid, scholarships, and support services. The site also highlights the university's Indigenous-focused academic programs. In December, uWinnipeg's board of regents approved the creation of an Indigenous Advisory Circle to ensure the inclusion of Indigenous peoples' perspectives in the university's governance. uWinnipeg is one of the top 4 universities in Canada for Indigenous population, with more than 10% of students self-identifying as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. Between September 2010 and September 2011, Aboriginal student applications to uWinnipeg rose by 24%. uWinnipeg News Release | indigenous.uwinnipeg.ca

uWinnipeg launches new Web resource for Indigenous students Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:24 02/09/2012 - 15:24

Sault College has been granted eligibility to administer funds offered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, giving the institution access to the increasing number of NSERC research funding programs, such as the College and Community Innovation program. Sault College president Ron Common says the NSERC eligibility will now enable the institution "to better promote research-based innovation, further develop partnerships and train our students to become the next generation of discoverers and innovators." Sault College News Release

Sault College eligible for NSERC funding Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:22 02/09/2012 - 15:22

In its pre-budget submission to the provincial government, the University of New Brunswick Student Union outlines modifications it has prioritized for the province's student financial aid program. UNBSU recommends that the government remove the parental and spousal contributions from provincial student loans, redirect funds from the tuition tax rebate to up-front grants for high-need students, increase the in-student living allowance from $50 a week to $150 a week, and automate the application process for the Timely Completion Benefit and extend the timeframe to allow for a one-year grace period. UNBSU News Release | Pre-Budget Submission

UNB student union suggests improvements to provincial student aid program Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:20 02/09/2012 - 15:20

Ryerson University has shut down one of its 2 campus bookstores to make way for more laboratory and classroom space needed in the psychology and urban planning departments. There is no permanent home yet for the displaced textbooks, and Ryerson president Sheldon Levy does not believe that anyone will want to construct another facility just for books in this digital age. "I sure wouldn't invest a lot of money into bricks and mortar for analog books," he told a student newspaper. Last term, a group of students studied how e-books were being used and how better they could be used. They observed student traffic flow through the 2 bookstores and the Bond Street location was not getting many customers mid-semester. Ryerson's director of business services disagrees with that assessment, stating that for the most part, the Bond Street location was "actually doing quite well." What the university needs, he says, is a new, larger campus store that would house the displaced books and other student necessities. The campus store does carry e-books, but they do not sell very well, he says. Toronto Star | The Eyeopener (student newspaper)

Ryerson closes a campus bookstore to make way for more academic space Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:17 02/09/2012 - 15:17

According to a sample of results of the Canadian University Survey Consortium, undergraduates at Christian institutions reported the highest levels of satisfaction in several categories. Redeemer University College, Concordia University College of Alberta, The King's University College (Edmonton), and Trinity Western University each placed among the top 5 institutions for students who are "very satisfied" with the average size of their classes; who "strongly agree" that most of their professors encourage students to participate in class discussions; who "strongly agree" that professors at their university treat students as individuals, not just numbers; who "strongly agree" that most of their professors are reasonably accessible outside of class to help students; and who are "very satisfied" with their learning experiences. 25 institutions participated in the CUSC survey in 2011, with more than 8,500 students completing the survey. Maclean's OnCampus

Christian university students rate high satisfaction in CUSC Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:15 02/09/2012 - 15:15

New figures from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre show that the number of applications high school students have submitted to Ontario universities sits at 395,962, up 2.4% from February 2011. The number of applicants totals 90,889, up from 89,181 recorded last February. This month's application and applicant figures are the highest recorded since the application boom in 2003, the year the Ontario Academic Credit year (Grade 13) was phased out. OUAC Undergraduate Application Statistics -- February 2012

Applications from secondary school students to Ontario universities up over last February Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:13 02/09/2012 - 15:13

On the question of increasing university tuition fees in Quebec, members of Concordia University's Simone de Beauvoir Institute suggest that increasing fees will mean that women will pay more for their education now and in the decades it takes to pay off their debt, given that women still do not earn the same salaries as men. The institute argues that a raise in tuition fees will result in less diversity in the classroom, which will in turn impoverish opportunities for learning among students and faculty. The institute contends that, collectively, Quebec does have the resources needed to ensure that all men and women have equitable access to higher education. Statement on Tuition Fees in Quebec and their Impact on Women (in French and English)

Concordia institute offers perspective on Quebec tuition fee increases Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:10 02/09/2012 - 15:10

A PEI Supreme Court judge has ordered the provincial human rights commission to re-consider parts of its ruling on mandatory retirement at the University of Prince Edward Island after it made several errors in its decision. In his decision on a judicial review of the commission's ruling that the university discriminated against 3 employees when it forced them to retire at age 65, the judge upheld most of the commission's ruling but agreed with UPEI that the employees had a duty to lessen their damages by looking for work. The judge upheld the commission's ruling on UPEI's other requests related to costs and did not award costs to either party because it was a divided ruling. Charlottetown Guardian

Judge orders review of human rights decision on UPEI mandatory retirement Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:08 02/09/2012 - 15:08

Frustrated by rising demand for Sheridan College's degree programs that Ontario graduate schools refuse to recognize, Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky says the college owes it to students to become an institution that gives its graduates the most options. Zabudsky revealed Sheridan's university ambition this week at a conference about the Ontario government's pledge to create 3 new undergraduate campuses. "To be honest, we had decided on our journey toward university status before the government announced the new campuses -- but now we’re saying to the government, 'You don’t have to build three new campuses; we’re there already and we already focus on teaching undergraduates'." To join the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Sheridan's degree programs would have to represent more than half of all programming, and 70% of staff would have to be full-time faculty, which would mean hiring over 200 full-time professors. The college has allocated $1.7 million to hiring in each of the next 3 years to achieve that goal. Some worry the move to a university could squeeze out the students for whom colleges were designed. "We have to be sure we preserve the legacy of the colleges," says a University of Toronto professor. "We wouldn't want to marginalize the programs that serve a different set of skills and trades." Toronto Star

Sheridan seeks university status Top Ten 02/09/2012 - 15:06 02/09/2012 - 15:06

In a recent survey of 340 Yukon College students in credit programs, 96% of respondents agreed with the statement that "this is a good learning environment." 95% said they "agree" or "strongly agree" that "Yukon College is a good place for people like me." 98% of students surveyed "agree" or "strongly agree" that what they are learning in their courses is current and up-to-date. Most respondents said they are going to college right now because they are interested in their field of study (72%), want to get a better job (62%), want to have a better life (61%), and want to make more money (56%). 62% plan to graduate from Yukon College, while 25% intend to graduate from another institution after transferring there. Respondents reported that Yukon College's supportive and welcoming atmosphere is one of the institution's best features. When students were asked what the college needs to start doing better, one of the most frequent responses was for the institution to offer a wider variety of courses and programs, including more degrees and advanced programs, more transferable courses, and expansion of the trades, along with other possible areas for growth. Yukon College News Release

Yukon College students report high satisfaction in survey Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 16:26 02/08/2012 - 16:26

Ryerson University has launched a new chair in social innovation and entrepreneurship with the help of a $1-million donation from John C. Eaton and his wife Sally Horsfall Eaton. Housed in the School of Child and Youth Care, the John C. Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship will create opportunities for students to apply social innovation and entrepreneurial skills to address social challenges facing today's youth, particularly marginalized youth. By collaborating with Ryerson's Ted Rogers School of Management, the chair will also have the foundational support to develop and expand an interdisciplinary program based on social innovation and entrepreneurship. Ryerson News Release

$1-million gift to Ryerson funds chair in social innovation and entrepreneurship Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 16:25 02/08/2012 - 16:25

Algoma University's senate has approved a motion to simplify the process by which students with a college diploma have their credentials assessed when applying to the Sault Ste. Marie-based institution. In the past, college students would receive transfer credits based on an evaluation of individual course by course comparisons. The new policy provides direct entry into a degree program, with students with a 3.0 GPA or higher earning either 45 credits (for a 2-year diploma) or 60 credits (for a 3-year diploma) toward their degree. Algoma U News Release

Algoma U adopts new transfer policy for college grads Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 16:21 02/08/2012 - 16:21

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Western University (formerly UWO) president Amit Chakma, who joins Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his trip to China in his role as chair of the expert advisory panel to Canada's international education strategy, says he plans to meet with education partners in China, learn about the nation's overall economic situation and its perception of Canada, visit schools and campuses where there are Canadian partnerships, and see what is and isn't working for other countries, such as the UK and Australia. Chakma says the panel has completed consultations with stakeholders in Canada and will make a trip later this month to China and India with the goal to meet with local embassies. One of the panel's challenges is trying to convince people that internationalization is important for students, says Chakma, adding that the strategy is not going to work if the focus is solely on bringing more international students to Canada. "It's not about bringing international students, but the internationalization of the education sector overall." Globe and Mail

Western U president aims to boost profile of Canadian education in trip to China Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 16:18 02/08/2012 - 15:51

61 presidents of colleges, institutes, and polytechnics descended on Parliament Hill this week to discuss Canada's advanced skills shortages with MPs and other government officials. Association of Canadian Community Colleges president James Knight says the dual pressures of the country's demographic deficit and increasing technological sophistication of the workplace means that in a decade, employers will be unable to fill the 1.5 million available jobs with qualified candidates. Immigration alone will not solve the skilled labour shortage, Knight cautions. "To meet these challenges, we'll have to engage our marginalized communities and find ways to partner with them...like improving the educational achievements of Aboriginals, disabled, poor immigrants." Knight would also like to see an increase in federal funds for applied research and development invested in higher education that goes toward colleges. Currently, just 1.25% of $2.9 billion in federal money reaches colleges, and Knight would like to see the figure rise to 5%. ACCC News Release | Globe and Mail

College leaders meet in Ottawa to discuss advanced skills shortage Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 16:30 02/08/2012 - 15:48

On Tuesday, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance submitted recommendations to the provincial government on how to enhance its regulatory framework for tuition fees. OUSA recommends the government limit tuition increases to no more than inflation while increasing per-student operating grants to cover reasonable inflationary costs. The alliance also urges the province to use a uniform tuition cap to flatten the escalating cost disparities that exist between programs, and ensure international tuition predictability beyond the first year. OUSA calls for the enforcement of fair tuition payment processes that would require universities to charge on a per-credit basis and at reasonable deadlines. The submission also outlines suggested improvements to the design and eligibility of the new tuition grant to have the maximum impact and better support high-need students. OUSA News Release | Read the submission

OUSA offers Ontario recommendations to strengthen regulatory framework for tuition fees Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 16:18 02/08/2012 - 15:46

At a conference Tuesday on the Ontario government's plan to build 3 new undergraduate campuses, Academic Reform co-author Ian Clark argued that undergraduate universities that focus solely on teaching would create cosier classes, reduce salary costs, and boost student satisfaction. Moreover, Clark says professors at these new institutions should be required to teach twice as many courses as usual -- a full 80% of their time with the remainder left for research and administration. Doing so would cut the operating cost of educating a student from $14,300 to $9,800 at a campus of 10,000. Clark noted. Not everyone agrees the province needs any new campus at all. A York University economics professor called it a "major mistake to expand Ontario's university system now...we already have the system we need in place." The professor concludes the province already pays for PSE for over 75% of the population -- beyond even the government's own target of 70%. He suggested Ontario should instead bolster graduate education and research -- the opposite of what the authors of Academic Reform recommend. "We can debate what the new universities might look like, but unless I'm reading different newspapers than everyone else, there's no money to do this or really anything," said Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario president Harvey Weingarten at the conference. Toronto Star

Conference explores Ontario's proposed new undergraduate campuses Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 15:43 02/08/2012 - 15:43

College of the North Atlantic has dismissed 2 employees in relation to irregularities first uncovered in an audit. The employees, who had worked at the Prince Philip Drive campus daycare in St. John's, had been suspended in November after irregularities were discovered through CNA's internal audit division during an audit of the operational and financial processes at the daycare centre. An external financial audit has since supported the initial results. College officials have now referred the matter to police. St. John's Telegram | CBC

CNA fires 2 employees following daycare audit Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 15:40 02/08/2012 - 15:40

A student occupation over funding for 2 campus organizations entered its second day yesterday at McGill University, with a tent set up, apparently overnight, outside the James Administration Building. The sit-in had started late Tuesday morning, when 2 dozen students sprang what they call a "surprise resignation party" on the sixth floor of the building. The protesters are seeking the ouster of McGill's deputy provost for student life and learning, as well as continued funding for the Quebec Public Interest Research Group and CKUT, the student-run radio station. Students want McGill to ratify a referendum held last fall regarding the place of the 2 groups on campus. The institution contends the wording of that referendum question was confusing, and it wants a second referendum to take place. In a statement Tuesday, McGill's provost said the students' "occupation of the premises may...be a violation of the law," and complaints about their actions will be filed against them and will be addressed in accordance with the code of student conduct. The Montreal Gazette reports that 22 protesters left the building's ground floor before noon Wednesday, while at least another 20 remained on the sixth floor. A Montreal police constable says there has been no request for municipal police to enter campus or otherwise become involved in the situation. "It's an internal problem" for the university, he says. McGill Statement (Tuesday) | McGill Statement (Wednesday) | Montreal Gazette | CBC

Postscript: Feb 14, 2012

A group of students who had occupied part of McGill University's administration building since last Tuesday ended their sit-in Sunday morning without incident. The 9 students left after McGill asked Montreal police to assist in the eviction just before 9 am. One protester says no meaningful negotiations took place while they were in the building, which was completely closed off to staff and other students for 3 days. McGill's VP of administration and finance says that "keeping the building open also posed the risk that the occupation would spread to the other offices." McGill Statement | Montreal Gazette

McGill students hold sit-in on campus Top Ten 02/13/2012 - 15:29 02/08/2012 - 15:38

Research in Motion founder Mike Lazaridis and his wife Ophelia have announced a $21-million gift to the University of Waterloo's science and math faculties. Half of the $20-million pledge to the science faculty will contribute to funding 2 senior research chairs in science in the areas of condensed matter and astrophysics. The remaining $10 million allocated to the faculty will help fund the construction of an expansion of the new science facility. The math faculty will receive $1 million toward scholarships covering full university expenses for 4 years of study. With this gift, donations to uWaterloo from Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis exceed $123 million. uWaterloo News Release

RIM founder donates $21 million to uWaterloo Top Ten 02/08/2012 - 15:34 02/08/2012 - 15:34

The 2011 3M National Teaching Fellows have launched a campaign to thank the teachers who inspired them in their careers. The advertising campaign began over the weekend with ads in the Globe and Mail, and the ads will also be published in University Affairs. "Our goal is to draw attention to the importance of undergraduate teaching and the impact that it can have on students, both individually and collectively," says the University of Guelph's provost, who has led the campaign. Other students and teachers can post their own messages to inspirational college and university teachers at thankyourteacher.ca. The campaign is supported by AUCC and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. AUCC News Release | UoGuelph News Release | thankyourteacher.ca

3M National Teaching Fellows thank teachers in new campaign Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 14:02 02/07/2012 - 14:02

On Monday, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges released its 2012 showcase of college applied research projects carried out primarily in partnership with small- and medium-sized enterprises. The showcase outlines 105 projects where business processes, products, or services improved due to innovations introduced by PSE students and faculty, and produced in partnership with local industries. The showcase highlights 7 specialized areas: environmental science and technology; health, medical, and life sciences; information and communications technology; manufacturing; natural resources; renewable energy; and social innovation. Over 4,400 companies were involved in applied research partnerships with Canadian colleges in 2010-11. ACCC News Release | Read the showcase

ACCC publishes showcase of college applied research projects Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 14:00 02/07/2012 - 14:00

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has decided to sell its 10-acre portion of Paterson Park in Ladner, BC. The university bought the land from the Delta Agricultural Society for $3.5 million in 1993 with the goal of building a campus, but the land has sat vacant ever since. Due to the declining number of graduating high school students in Delta, Kwantlen's board of governors and administration determined there was not sufficient demand to justify the development of a fifth campus. The decision was made to sell the land "so that it can be put to use by the new owner for the benefit of South Delta," says a Kwantlen spokesperson. South Delta Leader | Delta Optimist

Kwantlen to sell portion of Paterson Park Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:57 02/07/2012 - 13:57

Windsor city council has agreed to sell the St. Clair woodlot to St. Clair College. Disagreement over whether to lease or sell the woodlot, which is southwest of St. Clair's main campus, nearly derailed plans to construct a long-term care facility on college property. Under the sale agreement, a conservation easement would be held by either the municipality or the Essex Region Conservation Authority to ensure the institution properly manages the land. "The college is proposing to comply with all the environmental restrictions," says a St. Clair lawyer. No element of the habitat for endangered species will be disturbed, the lawyer says, adding that the woodlot would become a "living lab" for the institution's horticulture students. Windsor Star

Windsor approves sale of woodlot to St. Clair Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:55 02/07/2012 - 13:55

More than 950 students began their studies at Niagara College last month -- a 12% increase over last year's winter enrolment. Among the students starting studies this term are 200 international students who are enrolled in diploma or degree studies, and over 100 who are enrolled in ESL classes. This brings the college's international enrolment to more than 1,200 students from 80 different nations. Niagara College's total enrolment, which includes full-time PSE, apprenticeship, and ESL programs, exceeds 9,000 students. Niagara College News Release

Winter enrolment at Niagara College up 12% Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:53 02/07/2012 - 13:53

On Monday, Laurentian University unveiled its new 5-year strategic plan, one of whose goals is to put the institution among the top 25% of Canadian universities in student satisfaction and student engagement. Other aspirations outlined in the plan include raising total annual research dollars to $30 million, increasing full-time student enrolment from 7,200 to 8,300 while raising the average entry grade from 80.8% to 83%, modernizing the Sudbury campus, increasing the proportion of international students from 6.1% to 8%, opening a campus in downtown Barrie to serve 2,500 FTE students, and reintroducing men's and women's varsity hockey clubs. Laurentian News | Strategic Plan website

Laurentian launches 5-year strategic plan Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:51 02/07/2012 - 13:51

As outlined in its election platform, released Monday, Alberta's Liberal Party promises free higher education by 2025. The Liberals' first step would be to cap undergraduate tuition and provide PSE institutions with funding to decrease tuition by $250 annually. The party would create a Post-Secondary Education Fund, whose interest would further reduce tuition, ultimately bringing it to zero. The Liberals also pledge to forgive 5% or $1,000 of student debt each year a graduate works and files taxes in Alberta. Other promises include removing parental income from student loan criteria and expanding distance learning. Edmonton Journal | Alberta Liberal Party Election Platform

Alberta Liberals pledge to eliminate tuition fees Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:49 02/07/2012 - 13:49

Fewer Maritimers have been attending the region's universities in recent years, largely the result of flattening demand following the peak in 2004, according to a new report from the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission. Since 2002, the number of Nova Scotians studying in the province, relative to the size of the provincial population aged 18-24, has dropped 4 percentage points to 21% -- the largest decrease in demand among the 3 Maritime provinces. By comparison, the demand in PEI and New Brunswick peaked around 2005 and has since dropped about one percentage point in each province to 18% and 18.6%, respectively. The report projects nearly 7,000 fewer Maritimers enrolling in regional universities in 2025 if demand remains at the same level as today. The report notes that to date, the declining demand among Maritimers has not meant declining enrolments in regional universities. Enrolments have remained fairly stable in recent years through the recruitment of students from outside the Maritimes. In 2010-11, 17,527 students from outside the region were enrolled full-time in Maritime universities, representing 30% of total full-time enrolment. MPHEC News Release | Read the report

Fewer Maritime students enrolling in regional universities Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:46 02/07/2012 - 13:46

Nova Scotia Agricultural College's staff union says it needs to be involved in talks of a merger between the institution and Dalhousie University and that there should be guarantees for employees making the transition. The president of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union told members at a meeting Monday that the union remains committed to fighting for an arrangement that would preserve the benefits NSAC employees enjoy as civil servants even after they might become employees of Dal. The union wants to see all non-faculty members placed in a single bargaining unit instead of being disbursed in various units at Dal. A government spokeswoman says the merger agreement would be implemented through legislation, which "would provide for the transfer of unionized employees under the terms of their existing collective agreement and it will provide a right for the existing employees to continue to participate in the public service superannuation plan." Chronicle Herald | Truro Daily News

NSAC union wants input in Dal-NSAC merger talks Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:43 02/07/2012 - 13:43

A group of Canadian university presidents has formed a working group to examine the role universities can play in addressing and dealing with mental illness on campus. The decision to put together the group was made at a workshop on mental health at universities, held in early December by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Mount Allison University president Robert Campbell chairs the 7-member group that will try to develop a roadmap to help universities better respond to this issue. The group plans to submit recommendations to AUCC's board and membership in April. Meanwhile, Queen's University has announced it will host a new research chair dedicated to understanding and ending the stigma that lingers around mental illness. Believed to be the first of its kind in the world, the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair is funded by a $1-million gift from Bell Canada. University Affairs | Queen's News Centre | Globe and Mail

University presidents form working group on students' mental health Top Ten 02/07/2012 - 13:40 02/07/2012 - 13:40

In a brazen effort to raise money, Dixie State College of Utah offered naming rights to individual washroom stalls in a musical theatre company's planned building. The institution wanted to help the company, which had moved on campus after being evicted from its previous stage, raised funds for a new home elsewhere. Dixie State is not the first cash-hungry PSE institution to seek money for washrooms. Harvard Law School recently opened the Falik Men's Room, named after an alumnus who received the honour after donating $100,000 to create a public interest fellowship in his father's honour. A venture capitalist paid to name a bathroom after himself in a University of Colorado at Boulder science building after MIT rejected his offer to endow a washroom, which officials told him would be inappropriate. Inside Higher Ed

Cash-strapped US colleges selling naming rights to washrooms Top Ten 02/06/2012 - 15:26 02/06/2012 - 15:26

A pair of McGill University PhD students has developed a made-in-Quebec website they hope will be the go-to source for material from missed classes from Montreal's 4 universities. NoteSac.com has allowed students to buy or sell class notes online in English since September, but next month the site is set to offer student-submitted course notes in both English and French. The company hopes to make a profit by charging a 15% to 20% commission on notes that students sell through the website. In return, students can remain anonymous by posting under a pseudonym while making money off old or current notes. Concordia University's associate dean of student academic services says the institution has no rule against sharing notes or posting them online, but she says students must tread carefully to avoid copyright infringement. McGill University's academic integrity committee is telling students to make sure they are posting their own notes and not their professors'. Montreal Gazette | NoteSac

McGill students create note-sharing site Top Ten 02/06/2012 - 15:24 02/06/2012 - 15:24

Yesterday the University of Toronto Mississauga unveiled its redesigned website, whose homepage features a large, rotating graphic banner that links to Web pages about UTM's community involvement, alumni network, research, and recreational and educational fa