Top Ten

January 13, 2009

Parents of York student protest strike on Facebook, blog

York University students are not the only ones turning to the Internet to vent their frustration over the ongoing strike by teaching assistants and contract faculty. The parents of a second-year York student recently set up a Facebook group called "YorkParents" and an accompanying blog to protest the strike and urge other parents to become vocal in supporting students. The group encourages high school seniors and their parents to reconsider choosing York for post-secondary studies. Toronto Star | Globe and Mail | YorkParents Facebook Group | YorkParents Anti-Strike Blog

York student union offers relief fund for undergraduate students

On Monday, the York Student Federation announced a special relief fund designed for undergraduate students facing financial hardship due to the strike. Under the fund, students are eligible to receive up to $100 in relief. As a result of the strike, students with on-campus jobs were laid off, and finding work elsewhere may prove difficult due to the uncertainty around the end of the strike. YFS News Release

New trades school in Saint John

Eastern Trades College, a division of CompuCollege, opened its doors on Monday in Saint John. The private trades school launched with over 70 students in electrical, plumbing, and pipefitting programs. The manager of CompuCollege's trades training division says it is the right time to open such a school because of growing demand for trades training and full capacity at New Brunswick Community College. With the new college, the manager questions the need for a $45-million expansion of NBCC. Saint John Telegraph-Journal

UNB warns of phishing scheme

The University of New Brunswick is asking students and staff to be wary of  a phishing scheme that has hit the institution. An e-mail circulating through the UNB community tells people their web accounts will expire unless they pass along their passwords, birth dates, and account names. A UNB systems analyst says the point of the scheme appears to be to hijack the school's website to deliver spam messages through UNB e-mail accounts. CBC

60% of Canadians want tuition eliminated, says CAUT/CFS poll

According to a recent poll conducted for the Canadian Association of University Teachers and the Canadian Federation of Students, nearly 60% of Canadians believe tuition fees should be eliminated over time. The sentiment is strongest in the Atlantic provinces, where over 70% of respondents said tuition fees should be abolished. More than 60% said conditions should be attached to federal transfers intended for colleges and universities. CAUT Bulletin

Canadian Healthy Oceans Network set up at MUN

On Monday, the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network was officially launched at Memorial University. The network, involving 65 researchers from 15 institutions across Canada, will focus on sustainable management of living marine resources. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is contributing $5 million to the network, while nearly $2 million will be provided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. MUN News | St. John's Telegram

uCalgary to open Clinical Simulation Learning Centre

On February 6, the University of Calgary will open the new Clinical Simulation Learning Centre, a facility providing leading-edge technology to help teach nursing students skills, as well as allowing instructors to research how simulation can improve teaching and learning. The centre will feature 3 simulation suites to mimic realistic clinical settings and 3 debriefing rooms where students and faculty can examine simulation. OnCampus

OUSA calls for better PSE access, increased university funding

In its budget submission to the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance recommends the province enhance PSE access by regulating tuition fee levels and offering up-front access grants. Providing universities with additional one-time funding to meet the cost of rising enrolment and boosting operating grant funding will allow Ontario to position itself as a leader in the knowledge economy. OUSA also seeks a 12-month grace period on student loan repayment and lower interest rates. Read OUSA's budget submission

Trend in Canadian faculty delaying retirement

A number of institutions across Canada are reporting more and more faculty postponing retirement. For example, in 2007 and 2008, just 6 University of Western Ontario professors retired out of an estimated annual cohort of 30 to 40 faculty members turning 65. The phenomenon, driven in part by the economic downturn, is creating challenges for administration working with tightened budgets while trying to bring about faculty renewal. For schools at which the professoriate is relatively young, delayed retirements are not so much of a concern. University Affairs

"A different school of thought" at Kaplan U

Kaplan University, an American-based for-profit online institution, recently launched a series of ads carrying the tagline "A different school of thought." The campaign suggests that education need not be bound by bricks and mortar and online learning can foster talent. One video ad depicting classroom chairs stationed at various locations -- a beach, for example -- asks "Where is it written that classes only take place in a classroom?" The campaign arrives at a time when interest in online education is booming. New York Times | Kaplan U Desks TV Spot | Kaplan U Professor TV Spot | Education Reform University (campaign website)