Top Ten

September 3, 2009

Mount Royal officially a university

The Alberta government announced yesterday that Mount Royal College will now be known as Mount Royal University. The university's mandate will remain the same, and it will continue to be a baccalaureate and applied studies institution under Campus Alberta's 6-sector post-secondary model. As such, Mount Royal University will continue to be a teaching-focused institution. Alberta News Release

$38 million for Edmundston campus infrastructure

On Wednesday, the federal and New Brunswick governments announced over $38 million from the Knowledge Infrastructure Program for projects at post-secondary institutions in Edmundston. The city's Université de Moncton campus will receive $3.4 million for library renovations, while the Collège Communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick is getting $35 million. NB News Release

TWU imposes "faith test" as employment condition, CAUT investigation finds

A 2-person ad hoc investigatory committee appointed by the Canadian Association of University Teachers recommends that Trinity Western University be placed on a list of institutions "found to have imposed a requirement of a commitment to a particular ideology or statement of faith as a condition of employment." The committee's report states that TWU's Statement of Faith, list of Responsibilities of Membership, and policy on academic freedom "allow for unwarranted and unacceptable constraints on academic freedom." The report points to TWU policy stating that the university is "committed to academic freedom in teaching and investigation from a stated perspective, i.e, within parameters consistent with the confessional basis of the constituency to which the University is responsible." Read the report

CAUT launches inquiry into York U conference

CAUT has set up an inquiry into issues arising from the Israel/Palestine conference held at York University this June. Co-sponsored by York U and Queen's University, the conference was at the centre of controversy when Science and Technology Minister Gary Goodyear requested a review of SSHRC funding for the event. The inquiry will examine whether academic freedom was violated, and make recommendations as to policies and procedures that will safeguard academic freedom. The report will be submitted to CAUT at the end of November. In July, York announced an independent review of the conference. CAUT News

Age of Canada's education infrastructure drops

According to Statistics Canada data released yesterday, the average age of the country's elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, was an estimated 20.1 years in 2008, dropping from the peak of 21.3 years recorded in 2000. New investments in university buildings, mainly in Ontario and Quebec, were largely responsible for the decrease. StatsCan reports that, on average, the service life of education facilities is estimated at about 40 years. In 2008, the gross stock of education buildings amounted to $115.5 billion, representing almost half of Canada's total institutional infrastructure. Universities accounted for nearly a quarter of last year's total education stock. Statistics Canada | CanWest News Service

McMaster students, staff to be consulted on rapid transit stop

This fall, McMaster University and the City of Hamilton will consult with the institution's students and faculty about where to locate a transit terminal for rapid transit coming to the campus. The city would like for the stop to be put in the heart of the university, but McMaster's current  master plan protects its core for pedestrians and pushes transit to the perimeter. Hamilton is still waiting to find out if Metrolinx will choose light rail or rapid buses for the city, and a decision is expected this fall. Hamilton Spectator

Montreal universities join program encouraging youth to stay in school

Youth Fusion, a non-profit organization that establishes partnerships between high schools and universities in a bid to counter high school dropout rates, announced Wednesday that Montreal's 4 universities and their 3 affiliates, as well as 3 school boards, will take part in its 2009-10 program. Later this month, 2 dozen university students will visit 6 Montreal high schools to set up or become involved in special projects in areas such as music, entrepreneurship, science, and politics. Youth Fusion News Release | Montreal Gazette

Boom in international campus set-ups

According to a new report from the UK-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, the number of international branch campuses has risen to 162, up by 43% in just 3 years. Of the campuses listed in the study, only 35 existed before 1999. With 40 branch campuses, the United Arab Emirates is the top host nation. (The University of Waterloo recently opened a campus in Dubai). Canada, by comparison, currently hosts 6 international campuses. Inside Higher Ed

US government issues guidance on commercial recruiting agents

The US State Department has put out a policy guidance that prohibits its EducationUSA advising centres, of which there are 450 worldwide, from forming partnerships with commercial recruitment agents who have contracts to represent specific US institutions, saying such recruiters lack objectivity and may limit international students' college options. The guidance reflects the attitude of many in American PSE, who view commercial recruiting as improper, even unethical. The president of the American International Recruitment Council is disappointed in the tone of the document, noting that the government should support the development of ethical standards and practices for commercial recruiting agents. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

More campus gossip websites emerge

New or expanded anonymous confession sites aimed at college students are cropping up, promising to be bigger and juicier than the controversial JuicyCampus, which shut down in February due a reported lack of advertising revenue. "College Gossip" not only features campus-specific message boards for hundreds of schools, but it also has a photo section where students can upload embarrassing pictures and videos of others. "CollegeACB" paid the defunct JuicyCampus $10,000 to redirect visitors from its URL to CollegeACB. The emergence of such sites will likely give college administrators grief this year, and some legal scholars argue that amending federal communication laws is the only effective way to stop such sites from materializing. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Campus Gossip | CollegeACB