Top Ten

November 11, 2008

3 arrested following bomb hoax near York

2 men and one woman were arrested last Saturday following an apparent bomb hoax on a bus parked outside York University. Thousands of people were evacuated from the university after a paper bag with the words "I am a bomb" written on it was found on the bus. The bag was determined to be a hoax. During the evacuation, a woman approached police and admitted to the hoax. The 3 suspects are charged with leaving a false message, common nuisance, and mischief interfering with property. Toronto Star | CTV

UBC student found guilty in fatal stabbing

A University of British Columbia law student has been found guilty of manslaughter in the stabbing death of his friend and classmate. Sasan Ansari had been charged with second-degree murder after Joshua Goos was found dead at a West Vancouver country club in May 2006. At the trial, Ansari admitted to stabbing Goos but had no recollection of the killing. The defence argued that Ansari was in a dissociative mental state at the time of the stabbing. Ansari will be sentenced on November 21. Vancouver Sun

Reaction to Maclean's University Rankings

After finishing last in rankings of institutions of its kind in Maclean's latest University Rankings, Cape Breton University's president says the results may not change unless the ranking criteria is altered. Last year, the magazine dropped 9 categories from its rankings, including areas in which CBU excelled. Meanwhile, Carleton University's president says she's paying attention to the data and is looking to get statistics about some of the factors used in the rankings. Concordia University released a statement about how concerns over the methodology used in the rankings remain unaddressed. Ottawa Citizen | Cape Breton Post | News@Concordia

Lakehead, Brock faring well during market downturn

Lakehead and Brock Universities are weathering the financial storms that have wreaked havoc on other Canadian institutions. Because Lakehead does not have a large endowment, it has not experienced the kind of losses some universities have. Although Lakehead is not as vulnerable, it does have reason to be wary, as it recently launched a capital campaign for its Orillia campus. Meanwhile, the impact has been "relatively modest" at Brock, which plays it safe in investing endowment funds. Current research chairs at Brock have no ties to the funds, so no salaries or programs are affected. Orillia Packet & Times | St. Catharines Standard

Aboriginal enrolment low at McGill

In an interview with the McGill Daily, a student newspaper, McGill University professor Michael Doxtater attributes the low enrolment of Aboriginal students at the university to the absence of First Nations Studies programs at McGill. Doxtater has been working for several years to expand First Nations studies at McGill without success. Doxtater worries chancellor Dick Pound's comment that Canada was inhabited by "savages" 400 years ago will hurt Aboriginal student enrolment. McGill has been trying to improve natives' access to university through its Aboriginal Affairs Work Group. McGill Daily (student newspaper)

Enrolment boom at Tyndale

Tyndale University College and Seminary, a Christian-based institution located in Toronto, is experiencing an enrolment growth spurt. Overall enrolment is up 11% from last year. It is the second highest enrolment in the school's history, falling just behind results in 2003, when Tyndale received university status and Ontario high schools graduated their double cohort. The school has seen a 64% increase in new students this year. The enrolment growth is being attributed to Tyndale's new and expanded programs, such as its Bachelor of Education. Tyndale News Release

Quebec student leaders push tuition debate in provincial election

Student leaders in Quebec believe a provincial election called during economic uncertainty is an excellent time to reconsider a decision to unfreeze tuition fees. The presidents of the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec and the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec raise concerns over the Liberal government's decision to remove a freeze on tuition hikes and phase in a $500 annual tuition increase over 5 years. The students say such a move will further shrink Quebec's pool of skilled labour. Montreal Gazette

China a big market for elite US college recruitment

To maintain international dominance, elite American colleges are scouring China to recruit top high school students who believe such schools are unaffordable and out of reach. At a math competition in Beijing last month, representatives from Harvard, Brown, and Stanford touted liberal arts education, research opportunities, American dorm life, and the promise of full scholarships. A Harvard official believes the school will see more applicants from China if the Chinese government allows mainland students to take the SAT without having to travel to Taiwan or Hong Kong. Boston Globe

Study finds students expect grades for attendance, effort

According to a new study from the University of California - Irvine, over 66% of university students believe their professors should reconsider their grades just for "trying hard." Over 40% of students surveyed said they deserve a B in a course if they complete most of the class reading, while 34% said they deserved at least a B for attending most of the classes. These attitudes are described as "academic entitlement." The study found students who are academically entitled are more likely to cheat, avoid hard work, exploit others, and display "narcissistic orientation." CanWest News Service

Trend in cloud computing technology in higher education

Cloud computing programs, such as Google Docs and Microsoft's Office Live, run over the Internet rather than on an individual's computer, and such technology will likely bring changes to how students study, how scholars do research, and how college IT departments operate. The promise of cloud computing is the virtual collaboration between students, scholars, and schools. One downside is privacy, as information may be subject to data mining by companies or disclosure at the request of government agencies. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)