Top Ten

July 27, 2007

Ontario PSE think tank announces its priorities

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario was created in January, with a 3-year mandate to evaluate the province's colleges and universities in comparison to the best the world has to offer. Yesterday, HEQCO released its review and research plan -- including student motivations, best practices in teaching and services, and successful college-university partnerships. HEQCO president James Downey promises, "Not everything we publish will be pleasant for the government... Not everything we publish will be pleasant for the institutions or the students." Canoe | Globe & Mail | HEQCO report (pdf)

Labour lock-out at Bishop's U:

280 professors, instructors, librarians and support staff were locked out of Bishop's University, in Lennoxville Quebec, yesterday morning. 4 days of intense negotiation with a conciliator failed to yield an agreement. A major issue for the faculty union is reportedly the pension plan.  The university is determined to have an agreement in place by September.  Summer courses and ESL classes have been suspended. Maclean’s | CBC | Canada East | The Sherbrooke Record | Bishop's media release

Saskatchewan union attacks "corporatization":

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour president Larry Hubich has attacked the "corporatization of post-secondary education" evident in the recent renaming of the University of Saskatchewan's N Murray Edwards School of Business, and claims that uSask is deliberately allowing its labour studies program to die. uSask officials are “shocked” at the proposed connection with a "truly philanthropic gift." The two parties seem to disagree over whether management representatives should be allowed to enroll in the program. The Star Phoenix

SFU apologizes to academic over award

York University professor Dr. David Noble is internationally recognized for his work regarding the impact of technology on society. In 2001, Noble had the backing of the faculty in the department of humanities for appointment to the JS Woodsworth chair, but due to acknowledged "mistakes" by the university, he was not selected. Now, 6 years after the fact, SFU has issued an statement of "sincere regret" and arrived at an out-of-court settlement with Noble. The Globe & Mail | The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Invalid first-aid certificates issued by BC college

 Northern Lights College, in Fort St. John BC, reports that more than 800 individuals received occupational first aid certificates between 2005 and 2007, without taking a written exam. The college faces consequences if any of the affected individuals are involved in workplace incidents.  All students involved are required to tell their employers, and the course will be made available for a re-take at no cost. Canada East

Memorial U signs historic agreement with partner in UK

Memorial University has signed a  Memorandum of Understanding with Bournemouth University in the UK, committing both parties to collaborative projects and recognizing the 400-year history between Newfoundland and the south coast of England.  The schools hope to collaborate on research, including joint applications for funding, and staff exchanges.  Memorial News Release

Carleton starts charging for student orientation

Summer Orientation at Carleton University now costs students $20 per student and $15 per family member.  The program includes a tour, parking, lunch and an information package.  Students are able to attend sessions “to help them feel prepared socially, financially and academically for the transition to Carleton.”  Staff at the school report that most Canadian universities charge a fee for similar programs, and attendance this year shows little difference from last year’s numbers.  The program runs from 9am to 3:30. The Charlatan (Student Newspaper)

Company offers $185 custom campus tours

2 US college students started up a unique company offering professional and impartial campus tours, based on a need they felt during their own college selection process.  University Passport offers in-depth, day-long campus tours, including new gyms, eating with students in a dining hall, and off-campus sights. Tours cost $185 per student, and $110 per additional guest.  The Mercury News

Web population will be more representative by 2011

1.5 billion people, or 22% of the world’s population, will be online by 2011, according to a new study.  The current online population is estimated at 1.1 billion people.  Canada, the US, Western Europe and Japan currently enjoy broader web use among their populations, but should expect to see other countries increase their participation rates shortly thanks to increased spending power and infrastructure development. Biz Report

More than half of US adults online watching videos

57% of online American adults watch or download video from the web, and 19% do so daily.  More than half of online video fans share links of videos with others, and 75% report receiving links to video from friends.  A minority of users, typically young adults, are active participants, ranking videos, posting comments, or even uploading their own videos.  “Young adults are among the most contagious carriers when it comes to understanding how viral videos propagate online. They are more likely than older users to watch, upload, rate, comment upon and share the video they find.” Pew Internet & American Life News Release