Top Ten

May 23, 2008

Atlantic Baptist U moves toward AUCC membership

New Brunswick introduced legislation on Wednesday to overcome a regulatory hurdle faced by Atlantic Baptist University, in Moncton, to clear the way for the school to join the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. In particular, ABU needs changes to its senate structure. One MLA in support of the legislation hopes that if ABU is accepted into the association, first-year students will benefit from the government's $2,000 grant, which currently does not apply to private schools. Times & Transcript

CMEC simplifies student loan process

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada announced on Wednesday a federal-provincial/territorial partnership to provide students with simple, easy-to-manage access to financial assistance. Each government will implement a new Service Delivery Vision that will modernize and simplify the loans process, making it easier for families and students to navigate the many loan programs presently available. Over the next 4 years, the plan will include the expansion of electronic services for students to self-manage their loans online. CMEC News Release

Canada makes gains in CCL lifelong learning index

The latest results from the Canadian Council on Learning's Composite Learning Index shows improvement, especially in Quebec and the Maritimes. For 2008, the national average is 77, up one point from 2007 and 4 points from the national benchmark set in 2006. Victoria and Ottawa were the top performing cities with a score of 93. The majority of most-improved cities are located east of Ontario, with St. John's leading the pack. The CLI measures youth literacy, PSE participation, high-school dropout rates, job-related training and Internet access. CCL New Release | CanWest News Service | Globe and Mail | Read the full report

Over 300 experts confer to address Ontario skills shortage

More than 300 representatives from business, education, labour and government met in Toronto on Wednesday to prioritize recommendations to help governments develop comprehensive strategies to address the workforce shortage crisis. Participants at the session considered issues such as employment challenges for under-represented groups, modernizing the education system, and strengthening public awareness of different career opportunities (remember CO's "Obay" campaign). There is an expected shortage of over 360,000 skilled employees in Ontario by 2025, which could escalate to a shortage of more than 560,000 by 2030. Colleges Ontario News Release

McMaster plans Family Health Education Centre downtown

McMaster University, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, and the City of Hamilton plan to build a new Family Health and Education Centre in downtown Hamilton, on the site of the HWDSB's current headquarters. On Wednesday evening, HWDSB trustees approved the concept. The Centre will combine a large primary care and learning centre with complementary research groups and related commercial activities. With over 75,000 patient visits a year, it would be one of the largest facilities for primary care in the country. McMaster Daily News

Capilano's student union compromises on abortion debate

Rather than face a human rights tribunal, the Capilano College Student Union has agreed that a pro-life student group can operate on campus. The compromise comes after the student union twice denied official club status to the school's Heartbeat Club on the grounds that its activities would threaten a woman's right to choose abortion. The case is not unique: at Lakehead University, a human rights complaint is being drafted over a student politician's written order that a pro-life group may not hand out leaflets, use the school's name, or engage in any "unsolicited conversations." Carleton, UBC and York have also seen abortion and free-speech debates pop up on campus. National Post

Study finds internationalization downplayed at many US campuses

A new report from the American Council on Education concludes internationalization is not a high priority on many campuses, despite a growing public consensus that it is important to educate students about different nations and cultures. The study found that at 27% of PSE institutions, no students graduating in 2005 studied abroad. Between 2001 and 2006, the percentage of colleges requiring a course with an international or global focus as part of the general education curriculum dropped from 41% to 37%, and less than 20% had a foreign-language requirement for all undergraduates. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Internet users seem to be more skeptical of online info

 New research from the USC Annenberg School Centre for the Digital Future finds that Internet users trust information posted online less than they did 8 years ago. In the past 5 years, US Internet users have become more trusting of sites managed by professional news organizations, but almost no-one takes all information posted by individuals at face value. On the other hand, another recent study found Internet users trusted online media as a news source over newspapers, television and radio. Yet another study found overall trust and satisfaction in the Internet was generally stable between the last quarters of 2006 and 2007, but trust rated far less than satisfaction. eMarketer

Google Trends provides graphs of search and news volume

Google Trends, a tool from Google Labs, charts how often a particular search term (say, your institution's name?) is entered relative to the total search volume across various countries, regions and in various languages. The function will allow you to compare searches of multiple terms in selected countries, regions and timeframes. Google Trends also shows news hits related to the search term over time. (Thanks to Terry Flannery at American University for the tip!) See Ken's example

Teen girls who consider themselves attractive at risk for bullying

A new study from the University of Alberta finds that young females who consider themselves attractive have a 35% greater chance of being bullied. The study's author assessed what types of high school students are being indirectly victimized through rumours, threats of physical violence, hurtful anonymous votes, and social exclusion. "[Indirect victimization] tends to be a more sophisticated type of aggression, and it's a better way to take someone down who might be more popular." The study's author says her findings could be used to raise awareness amongst parents, teachers and counsellors, and could help schools working on a variety of anti-bullying programs to include all students. uAlberta Express News