Top Ten

February 19, 2009

New CCL report points out shortcomings in Canadian PSE

In order for Canada to maintain its enviable international position in terms of participation in and attainment of higher education, there needs to be solid evidence and information to ensure the country can respond to the ever-evolving global economy, according to a new report from the Canadian Council on Learning. The report claims there is little knowledge on why students choose a particular PSE program, decisions that directly impact the skill sets available in the workforce. The report also concludes that Canada's PSE sector is weak in terms of capacity, innovation, and quality. CCL News Release | Read the full report

McGill, UBC, uToronto among Canada's Best Diversity Employers

McGill University, and the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia were among 35 workplaces chosen as Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 2009. One reason McGill was selected is that it recently introduced a hiring project to recruit members of designated groups, in particular Aboriginals and individuals with disabilities. uToronto was chosen in part for a LGBT human resources committee to train other HR staff about issues regarding sexual minorities. An equipment accommodation fund for employees with disabilities is one reason UBC was selected. McGill News Release | Canada's Best Diversity Employers 2009

Carleton pro-Palestinian student group risks expulsion

The Carleton University chapter of Students Against Israeli Apartheid will go ahead with a controversial lecture series, despite warnings from the university about expulsion and other sanctions after posters showing an Israeli warplane firing a rocket at a Palestinian child were posted around campus, and promptly torn down. The student group has the support of Faculty 4 Palestine, who in an open letter accuses Carleton, among other universities, of stifling free speech and singling out pro-Palestinian groups. Ottawa Sun

Part-time Ontario college teachers' unionizing vote count delayed

Just as the ballots were ready to be counted in the union organizing drive for part-time instructors at Ontario colleges, the colleges themselves are challenging who was eligible to participate in the vote, meaning the ballot boxes won't be opened until the Ontario Labour Relations Board hears the dispute March 31. The leader of the drive says "these delays risk poisoning relations between both sides." A spokeswoman with Colleges Ontario says the schools want to make sure the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union collected signature cards from the 35% of all part-time teachers required to justify a vote. The Part-Time Times | Toronto Star

VIU loses lawsuit launched by international student

Vancouver Island University has lost its appeal of a small claims court decision that favoured a foreign student from India who had sued the university in order to recover a $10,000 tuition payment. Avanish Kumar was refused the refund when a delay in his student visa caused him to be denied entry into a prerequisite course for VIU's MBA program. The university argued they could refund Kumar's tuition only in exceptional circumstances, and that he missed the withdrawal deadline. VIU has been ordered to pay Kumar $7,500, plus $700 for his court costs. Nanaimo Daily News

Athabasca U to open virtual learning centre

Athabasca University is launching a specialized centre using cutting-edge video game technology to promote learning. Moving beyond virtual classrooms and online tours of existing attractions, the centre would allow students to interact with lifelike computer representations of objects and characters. Athabasca U plans to develop its own programs. Canadian Press

Acadia offers tuition break to family of alumni

Starting this fall, Acadia University will deduct $500 from first-year tuition fees for all children or grandchildren of alumni. The offer is one of several initiatives at Acadia to reverse declining enrolment. About 12% of the incoming class has connections to alumni, but the university suspects the number is actually a bit higher. Acadia Office of Advancement | Halifax Chronicle-Herald

$4 million for Conestoga apprenticeships

Last Friday, the Ontario government announced a $3.6-million investment in facility upgrades and new state-of-the-art equipment at Conestoga College to train more apprentices in the industrial, motive power, and construction trades. Part of the funds will go towards the school's cook-culinary management program, as well as pre-apprenticeship training for unemployed youth in the truck-trailer and brick and stonemasonry trades. Ontario News Release | Kitchener-Waterloo Record

MUN launches research-oriented search engine

Earlier this month, Memorial University unveiled a new online resource called "Yaffle" (meaning an armful of fish or wood) designed to provide greater access to the school's expertise and research. Users of Yaffle can look up experts, query information through a search engine, browse research projects and opportunities under a number of categories, and submit research ideas. MUN News | Maclean's OnCampus | Yaffle

GlobeCampus launches weekly public forum on PSE issues

The Globe and Mail's education website, GlobeCampus, is experimenting with a new public forum covering issues in higher education. The first Friday Forum, starting today at 2 pm EST, will focus on the recent suspension of University of Ottawa professor Denis Rancourt. Those wishing to participate in the discussion must log into the GlobeCampus Facebook page. GlobeCampus