Top Ten

August 5, 2008

WTU withdraws degree-granting status application

In February, World Trade University withdrew its application to BC's Degree Quality Assessment Board, but professors recruited to teach at WTU didn't learn of the withdrawal until last week. The university was supposed to open in Chilliwack in September 2006, but on-going delays and excuses created suspicion about the credibility of WTU's founder, leading local and provincial politicians to acknowledge the proposed university's failure. Claims of international campuses and ties to the WTO and the UN have not been proven. National Post

Stratford campaigns for university funding

Following reports Stratford Ontario has yet to receive federal funding for a University of Waterloo campus, the local chamber of commerce is writing a letter to the government pushing for funding. Meanwhile, several residents have put up signs asking Ottawa to "Show Us the Money." In a statement issued last week, a local MP said PSE capital funding is a provincial matter, but as the Beacon-Herald points out, Ottawa invested $15 million in uAlberta's downtown campus earlier this year. Stratford Beacon-Herald | Editorial

Quebec Young Liberals propose tuition hike

At a convention over the weekend, the Quebec Liberal youth wing voted in favour of a resolution to double, even triple, provincial tuition fees to equal the Canadian average of $6,000 a year. Under the proposal, students wouldn't have to pay the extra tuition right away. Instead, they will repay after they graduate in the form of a 5% charge on top of their income taxes when they enter the workforce. The president of the Federation ├ętudiante universitaire du Qu├ębec says the resolution would make low-income students go deeper into debt. CanWest News Service

Better promotion, detail needed for RESPs

Last Friday, Human Resources and Social Development Canada released a review of RESP industry practices. The report found financial institutions are not actively marketing RESPs, and recommends the government encourage these institutions to be more pro-active in promoting RESPs through publicity, information material, and personnel training. The report also calls for better disclosure of specific features and potential outcomes of plans, as their performance is not effectively conveyed. The report recommends the federal government develop minimum standards regarding the governance structures of its partnering RESP providers. Canada News Release | Read the full report

E.coli outbreak at UoGuelph

There are 5 confirmed and at least 16 suspected cases of E.coli in connection with the University of Guelph's food services. The local health unit suspects an ill food handler contaminated some food before going home sick. The victims are believed to have been infected with the bacteria between July 21 and 25. According to a UoGuelph bulletin, the health unit says it's OK for the university to continue all its food service operations. UoGuelph Campus Bulletin | WDGHU News Release | Guelph Mercury

Mount Allison launches interactive virtual tour

Last month, Mount Allison University unveiled its new interactive virtual tour. The site features an aerial shot of the campus, and visitors can scroll over the highlighted buildings to learn about each facility's history and function, as well as peruse accompanying pictures. Icons on the bottom link to information about Sackville's culture and wildlife. The tape reel button in the top left-hand corner guides visitors to university- and student-produced videos showcasing academics, extracurricular activities, residence life and the local social scene. MTA Virtual Tour

NorQuest pharmacy technician program accredited

Edmonton-based NorQuest College has received accreditation for its Pharmacy Technician Diploma program. The 2-year program is the only of its kind in Alberta to obtain national recognition from the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs. The provisional accreditation for NorQuest's program runs until 2011. NorQuest News Release | Edmonton Journal

Alumni children less prepared for university

A new study from Duke University found legacy students -- admitted children of alumni -- are less well prepared for university than peers whose parents were educated elsewhere. Using data on Duke students, researchers found legacy students' average SAT score was 12 points lower than that of students with college-educated parents. Alumni children didn't fare as well in their freshman year, either. In their first term, legacy students on average performed one-tenth of a letter grade lower than their non-legacy peers, but closed this gap by sophomore year. Inside Higher Ed

What administrators really think about faculty

A new US survey found the majority of college administrators believe faculty members should be more involved in campus operation, yet also fault professors for lacking knowledge in governance. One common complaint is the ignorance on faculty's part in understanding the complexity of running a university. Another grievance is faculty are more concerned with matters relating to their own disciplines than with envisioning institutions as a whole. Administrators also cited the issue of faculty resistance to change. The report found both faculty and administration believe the other side holds the power. Insider Higher Ed

UK toughens rules on international students

In an effort to crack down on bogus colleges, the British government has introduced strict new criteria for international students and the schools recruiting them. Student-visa applicants must be fingerprinted, and those given visas require biometric identity cards. Students planning on staying in Britain for longer than a year must prove they can support themselves. Colleges and universities also have to sponsor foreign students. Schools risk losing their license if they fail to keep records or report unauthorized absences. UK Home Office | Reuters | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)