Top Ten

April 20, 2008

Donated uCalgary research funds directed to anti-Kyoto election ads

An internal audit at the University of Calgary has found that $508,000 donated to two research accounts was used to pay for what some have called "illegal" election advertising in Ontario's 2006 election campaign. The ads were for the "Friends of Science," a Calgary-based anti-Kyoto-Protocol group with ties to the federal Conservative Party, and the funds were supervised by uCalgary political science prof Barry Cooper, who is on record mocking "the global warming panic." uCalgary has since taken measures to tighten controls over research dollars.  Globe & Mail 

CPRN says Canada has most over-qualified young workers

A new report from the Canadian Policy Research Networks suggests nearly one-quarter of Canadians under age 25 are working low-paying jobs for which they are over-qualified -- which is the highest level among 16 nations belonging to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report’s authors found that, despite economic growth and a more educated workforce, the number of low-paid workers has increased since 2000. The report recommends further co-op program development, encouraging students to consider skilled trades, and more study of the gap between employees’ perception of their qualifications and the educational requirements for their jobs. Maclean’s   

CCL says Aboriginal, rural Canadians under-represented in med school

A report from the Canadian Council on Learning underscores the under-representation of Aboriginal and rural Canadians in national medical schools. Aboriginal and rural communities are also facing critical doctor and health services shortages and poor health outcomes. The report recommends promoting medical careers to elementary school children, modifying medical school admissions for Aboriginal and rural students, and reserving seats for targeted minorities. The report also notes several institutions that offer support services and satellite campuses to accommodate Aboriginal and rural students. The Canadian Council on Learning        

Brock, European Business School launch dual degree

Earlier this month, Brock University’s Faculty of Business announced a dual-degree program offering with the European Business School, International University Schloss Reichartshausen (EBS), ranked as one of the top business schools in Germany. The program allows students to study at and receive degrees from both schools. Students will graduate with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Brock and a Bachelor of Science from EBS. The joint program is the first of its kind for Brock, and is the first North American venture at the undergraduate level for EBS. Business @ Brock      

Schulich biz students create winning career video

Students from York University’s Schulich School of Business won first place in Ernst &Young’s international "Reel Influence" video contest, designed to promote careers in professional services. The winning 3-minute video, Meet Larry, is a minimalist tongue-in-cheek overview of the benefits of a career in professional services, from a good salary to super powers. The York team will attend a business trip with Ernst & Young’s CEO, and receive a cheque for $10,000 to go towards the school’s academic enrichment initiatives, along with prizes such as an iPhone. York News Release | Reel Influence video contest winners   

Canadian universities need to do more to embrace sustainability

In a survey of 20 institutions, researchers from Busby Perkins+Will have found that while many Canadian universities are interested in tackling climate change, they still have a long way to go. Half of survey respondents indicated they turn off buildings when they are not in use, and very few schools are able to measure their emissions. The researchers advise renovating existing buildings and adopting alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power. OCUFA Academic Matters (pdf) | Maclean’s   

Students want social responsibility on campus

A new survey from the Association of American Colleges and Universities suggest PSE institutions could do more to educate students in personal and social responsibility. Only 30% of survey respondents “strongly agreed” their school encouraged students to become social- and civic-minded individuals. The survey also found that as students progress through their education, they become more critical of their school’s orientation toward personal and social responsibility. The report authors suggest colleges and universities should integrate moral, ethical and civic initiatives into their educational goals. The Chronicle of Higher Learning (subscription required) | AACU   

uSaskatchewan launches new research magazine

The University of Saskatchewan recently released the inaugural issue of its research magazine, Explore: A Journal of Discovery, Creativity and Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan. The publication covers the latest research results, societal impacts, and the people involved in the school’s $130-million-a-year research enterprise. The magazine is published twice a year in both print and online formats. The online version offers exclusive content, such as videos, and includes a digital version where readers can “turn” pages. U of S Research Communications      

PEI first-year bursaries good at all public PSE institutions

10 days ago, we mentioned new $2,000 bursaries for incoming first-year UPEI students. The George Coles Bursary will be given to every PEI student who begins first-year studies this fall at UPEI, and varying amounts will be given to eligible students entering Holland College or la Société éducative, depending on the rate of tuition. The intent of the bursary is to encourage Island students to pursue PSE in PEI. PEI Government News Release       

Princeton students launch campaign against JuicyCampus

Princeton "Own what you think" campaign poster

Earlier this month, Princeton University joined the bandwagon of American institutions protesting the controversial JuicyCampus, a website where students at selected institutions can make anonymous but potentially libelous and hateful comments. Princeton students, with the support of the administration, also launched an innovative “Own What You Think” campaign, which started as an online protest against JuicyCampus and denounces anonymity as cowardice. The petition asks students to rise above character assassination and gossip culture. There are over 1,000 signatures on the petition, and the campaign has spread to the campus with multimedia displays, posters and t-shirts. Other schools have expressed interest in developing similar campaigns on their campuses. Inside Higher Ed