Top Ten

December 14, 2006

Colleges in BC and Alberta Join Forces

Yesterday, 31 community colleges and technical institutes in BC and Alberta signed a cross-border strategic agreement to develop joint strategies to address skills shortages, add capacity to the training system, improve Aboriginal PSE participation rates, develop a transfer protocol, and support allied research and innovation. The number of college-age students is growing faster in BC and Alberta than anywhere else in Canada, yet Alberta is projecting a shortfall of 86,000 skilled workers over the next decade. Media release

SFX Prof Returns from Iranian Holocaust Conference

Dr. Shiraz Dossa, a "soft-spoken" political science professor at Nova Scotia's St. Francis Xavier University, doesn't consider himself one of the "hacks and lunatics" who attended Iran's international conference questioning the holocaust. He presented a paper about how the Holocaust has been used to justify anti-Islamic policies in the US war on terror. The Canadian Jewish Congress says, whatever Dossa presented at the conference, "attending and giving credibility to such an event shocks the conscience of right-thinking Canadians." Iran's president wrapped up the conference saying Israel will soon be eradicated. CTV

Athabasca U Offers Online Architecture Training

Athabasca University and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada have signed a memorandum of understanding to provide the RAIC Syllabus Program via distance education, for students who are unable to attend a campus-based school of architecture. Grads will earn an RAIC professional diploma in architecture. The program is still in development, and has yet to be approved by the Campus Alberta Quality Council. In partnership with l’Université du Québec, AU will offer the program in both English and French. AU media release

CGA Program for Mexican Students in Vancouver

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada and Tecnolsgico de Monterrey, one of Latin America's leading universities, have partnered to offer Mexican students an opportunity to earn the globally respected CGA designation, and spend their fourth year studying at UBC in Vancouver. Tecnolsgico de Monterrey is a private, non-profit nationwide university system with 95,000 students and 33 campuses in 27 Mexican cities. Media release

PC Magazine Names "Most Wired Campuses"

Villanova University, MIT, and Indiana University Bloomington lead the top 20 wired campuses in the US, according to PC Magazine and the Princeton Review. About 240 colleges responded to the survey, which assessed availability of online learning, faculty computer training, music downloading policies, and hardware and software provided to students. At Villanova, first-year students are given laptops, nursing students get personal digital assistants, and engineers get tablet PCs. Over the Internet, students can register for classes, download lectures, take exams and get grades. Full details will be published next Tuesday. PC Magazine

Co-Ed Dorm Rooms the New Trend

There are now 20 colleges across the US that offer "gender-blind" living arrangements for students in their dormitories, allowing students of the opposite sex to share the same room. Students argue that a policy that bans opposite-sex roommates is a double-standard, "since same-sex couples are allowed to live together already." Administrators agree, and believe they should allow students "to live with someone with whom they will truly be compatible." WCVB TV Boston

Young Women Feel More Suicidal, Young Men Act

A recent study of Canadian teens by psychiatrists at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto found that young women tend to experience depression and thoughts of suicide more than men, but the men are more likely to act on those thoughts. The study found links between suicidality and age, income, and region. Male teens in BC had the highest level of suicide attempts, while those in Quebec reported the highest rate of depression. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among Canadian teens. Globe & Mail

Harvard Drops Religion Requirement

On Wednesday, Harvard University said it had dropped a controversial proposal first made in October, that would have included a "reason and faith" course requirement in the core undergraduate curriculum. Instead, proposed requirements include a course on "what it means to be a human being," which is expected to broadly cover a number of areas in the humanities. Reuters

Facebook Now "Essential to the College Experience"

Now in its fourth year, social-networking website Facebook's growth is slowing, but only because "almost every US student is already on it." With more than 12 million users, Facebook has become a "warehouse of school information, a big-time player in campus activism, and a mirror of university life - good and bad." Student organizations use Facebook instead of flyers to promote events. College officials are waking up to it, urging staff and faculty to open Facebook accounts as a "norming influence" to tone down student misbehaviour online. Christian Science Monitor

MIT Launches Campus Locator with Privacy

This week, new friend-spotting software, iFIND, debuted on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, allowing people to trace the location of their friends down to the room they're sitting in, based on the location of their laptops and Wi-Fi access points. Unlike cellphone "buddy finders" that use GPS technology and report a user's location to a central server, iFIND shares your location only on a peer-to-peer basis. Boston Globe