Top Ten

August 31, 2009

Misunderstood school project forces evacuation of Collège Ahuntsic

Collège Ahuntsic, a Montreal CÉGEP, was evacuated last Friday afternoon when a student inside the school received a threatening note that made reference to a gun. The message was traced back to a 21-year-old man, who was arrested and questioned by police. The message turned out to be part of a class assignment, and the person who reported the threat took the note out of context. The man was released without charges. Montreal Gazette | CTV

BCMA criticizes Langara's "medically useless" energy-healing courses

The British Columbia Medical Association is taking Langara College to task for training the public in energy-healing therapies the association deems "medically useless" and potentially harmful. Langara's continuing-studies dean says the holistic-health offerings are approved by the college's board of governors and its education council. The dean disagrees with the medical community about scientific evidence against such therapies. A professor who teaches ethics at Langara and UBC's medical school echoed BCMA's views, stating that "there is not a single peer-reviewed controlled study backing up any of the treatments taught in that program, and it is an embarrassment to Langara." Globe and Mail

CÉGEPs fight proposed legislation on college governance

Quebec CÉGEPs are calling on the province to either revise or completely withdraw a proposed law that would restructure how the colleges are governed. Under Bill 44, which was tabled in June along with similar legislation for universities, the province's education department would appoint 8 of the 11 CÉGEP board members who come from outside the college community. The legislation would also remove academic deans from their position on boards, which the head of the federation representing Quebec's 48 public CÉGEPs calls "absolutely unthinkable." Dawson College News Release | Montreal Gazette

York task force makes recommendations on improving student environment

Yesterday York University released a report by the Task Force on Student Life, Learning & Community, which was established in March to review concerns about the student environment on campus. Recommendations include creating a Standing Committee on Campus Dialogue to foster open discussion and debate on timely issues of global significance, and expanding the existing student code of conduct to include certain fundamental student rights. York president Mamdouh Shoukri has asked senior staff to assess the feasibility of the recommendations, and Shoukri is expected to respond to the report within 30 days. York News Release | Toronto Star | Read the full report

Atlantic universities step up international recruitment to boost enrolment

As the number of high school graduates in Atlantic Canada declines, universities in the region are ramping up their international recruitment efforts to offset dwindling demographics. University of New Brunswick officials are currently on a 12-day tour of India. St. Thomas University has been focusing on Latin America, with representatives having completed 6 tours of the region. Such efforts are paying off for Atlantic institutions. For example, the Université de Moncton, which has strengthened its ties with the francophone world, has experienced greater percentage growth in foreign students in the last 3 years than any other institution in the Atlantic. Telegraph-Journal

St. Clair College anticipates record enrolment

 Kudos to long-time Academica Group client St. Clair College on their remarkable enrolment success. The number of full-time students attending the college this year is expected to exceed 8,000, a record figure beyond last year's total of 7,000, which was up 14% from the year before. Demand is up in fields such as health sciences and laws and security, and there is "incredible" interest in the college's new border services program. The rise in enrolment is being attributed in part to Ontario's Second Career Program. Windsor Star

Ignatieff supports McMaster isotope solution

After touring McMaster University's nuclear reactor over the weekend, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff promised that, if he were to become the next prime minister, he would make sure the university would get all the funding it requires to solve the country's medical isotope crisis. In June, McMaster pitched to the federal government a plan to produce medical isotopes. The institution needs $44.3 million over 5 years to hire and train staff. Hamilton Spectator

Lambton College unveils new website

We've recently noticed that Lambton College has launched a new-look website. The boldly-designed, easy-to-navigate homepage emphasizes the college's social media presence with links to the school's Facebook page and Twitter account. The homepage also links to a new YouTube video that offers viewers an overview of Lambton's facilities and programs, as well as life in Sarnia. Lambton College website

US faculty open to online teaching, dissatisfied with support services

According to a new US report, although there is solid engagement among faculty in online learning, there is dissatisfaction with the support services provided by public universities. Professors responding to the survey ranked 7 of 8 support dimensions as "below average," including support for online course development, recognition in tenure promotion, and incentives for developing and delivering online courses. Still, over a third of respondents have taught an online class, while more than half have recommended an online course to students. Nearly 64% stated that it takes "somewhat more" or "a lot more" effort to teach online than in a traditional classroom. A larger majority of respondents cited students' needs as their primary motivation for teaching online. APLU News Release | Inside Higher Ed

Social networks fuel narcissism among college students, poll finds

According to a recent poll conducted by Ypulse, 57% of US college students surveyed said their peers used social networking sites for self-promotion, narcissism, and attention-seeking. 92% reported using Facebook and MySpace regularly. Two-thirds of respondents said their generation is more narcissistic than previous ones. Self-promotion need not be perceived as a negative, say some social-media researchers and college officials, who note social networks like Facebook are a "structure to receive emotional support" and a "celebration of individuality." USA Today