Top Ten

March 19, 2008

Chris Avenir "disappointed," but won't face expulsion

Chris Avenir, the first-year engineering student at Ryerson University who has made international headlines for his role in moderating a Facebook study group, received official word last night that he will get zero for the assignment in question and a disciplinary note on his file, but will not be expelled. Ryerson quite rightly notes that the word "Facebook" created immense buzz around the case, and reiterated the University's commitment to online technologies and distance learning. Globe & Mail  |  CTV news

18-year-old launches anonymous homework collaboration website

Evgeny Kalashnikov, an 18-year-old high school graduate, has established a province-wide study website for students at 18 Ontario universities to swap homework tips anonymously, to avoid school supervision.  The case of Chris Avenir inspired Kalashnikov to get his site,, online as soon as possible. As of last night, the site had almost 5,000 registered users. The Toronto Star

Steacie fellowships announced for Canada's academic elite

Six Canadian researchers have been awarded prestigious NSERC Steacie Fellowships worth up to $180,000 each.  Academics at the University of Ottawa, Queen's University, the University of Alberta, Université de Montréal, University of Toronto and the University of Guelph each received a Steacie fellowship.  NSERC | uOttawa News Release | Queen's U News Release | uToronto News Release | uAlberta News Release | UoGuelph News Release

Concordia University creates new research chair with $3 million gift

Concordia University has created the Johnson Chair in Canadian Irish Studies, funded by a $3 million gift.  The Quebec government contributed $2 million, and the Concordia University Foundation contributed $1 million.  Concordia's Irish Studies program offers 18 courses a year in Irish and Irish-Canadian subjects.  Concordia News Release

UPEI announces new EMBA, and unveils new homepage

UPEI's School of Business has announced a new executive-style MBA program to start in Fall 2008.  The program targets working professionals and others who want to work in either management or leadership.  You may also want to check out UPEI's completely-refreshed homepage, which includes video and more.  (Back in January, we noticed that UPEI was sporting a new Drupal makeover on its website.  You can now check out the completely renovated UPEI homepage, which sets the standard for the rest of the site, which will roll over to the new design section by section over the next few months.) UPEI News Release | UPEI Homepage 

Conestoga College receives federal funds to support new Canadians

Conestoga College will be launching a new English-language training services program to support new Canadians in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.  $3.2 million from the federal government will allow the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada program to provide more than 250 student spots across 20 classrooms in the region.  Canada News Release

Nova Scotia runs PSE decision program for parents

The province of Nova Scotia has implemented a new program that recognizes the influence that parents have in their children's PSE decision process. The three-week program, offered at a third of NS high schools, provides parents with the skills needed to "counsel" their children, identify their strengths and interests, avoid pushing a particular agenda, and cope with an unprecedented variety of educational pathways.  OUSA Blog | The Globe & Mail

Admissions asks parents to dish on their own kids

To complete their assessments of potential students, some US college admissions officials are asking parents of applicants to submit their own written assignments -- assessments of their offspring. The vast majority of parents keep the reports overwhelmingly positive, as you would expect, but many also take the time and thought to provide "insights into children's character and interests."  The Chronicle of Higher Education 

McMaster challenges applicants to explore "sense of self"

"Scott's Decision Time" is the blog of a sixteen-year-old Ontario high school student, who is chronicling his university application experience live on Maclean's On Campus.  His posts are well-written, witty, and informative.  McMaster's Health Science program is his program of choice, and he says, "If McMaster wanted me to do a headstand, I would." His latest blog discusses the challenging process of figuring out just how to answer application questions such as "What's one extra-curricular activity that's important to your sense of self and why?" or "What is one question that shouldn't be asked and why?"  Maclean's On Campus

Sault College students vote on grading system

The Students Administrative Council at Sault College, in Sault Ste Marie Ontario, is holding a referendum this week on whether the College should change from a system of letter grades to numerical percentages.  Most Ontario colleges currently use the letter grade system; students believe that percentages would be more transferable to universities.  The board of governors at the College is apparently divided on the issue. The referendum, the first in a decade, will take place tomorrow, and will result in a recommendation from SAC to the College administration.  Soo News | The Sault Star