Top Ten

March 30, 2010

Quebec to end tuition freeze in 2012

In his budget address yesterday, Quebec's finance minister announced that the province will raise university fees as of fall 2012 to ensure adequate funding of Quebec's universities. The province's education minister will meet with education partners next fall to flesh out the details of the increase, and to discuss the performance and funding of the university network. Talks will focus on the quality of teaching and research, and access to university studies. The budget speech states universities must implement plans to improve the quality of services provided to students and eliminate accumulated deficits. The finance minister also announced $75 million to bring vocational and technical programs up to date and improve training available in all regions. Quebec News Release | Quebec Budget Speech

Dismissed FNUC finance VP fights firing

The former vice-president of finance and administration of the First Nations University of Canada has filed a statement of claim against the institution for wrongful dismissal. According to the claim, Allan Ducharme, who was notified on March 19 that his employment was terminated with cause "related to gross negligence of duties and responsibilities," denies that FNUC had any valid basis to end his employment. Ducharme is seeking damages for unjust dismissal and for breach of contract and an unspecified amount in damages. Former FNUC president Charles Pratt, who was also dismissed, is requesting arbitration in regard to his termination. Regina Leader-Post

uCalgary submits plan to address grant accounting issues

University of Calgary officials say the institution is on track to put its research funding woes behind it after key federal funding agencies graded the institution with a second consecutive "unsatisfactory" mark regarding grant accounting. School administrators worked with tri-council members on its report to tackle the problems, and the granting agencies are expected to meet next month to go over the input. While uCalgary warned researchers tri-council funding could be in jeopardy over the management issues, members of the agencies said they had no plans to pull funding. Some researchers question the "new layer of bureaucracy" added to the work, with one worried the extra administrative duties will cause a distraction from research. Calgary Herald

Queen's AMS apologizes for planned Sumo suit event

On Monday, Queen's University's Alma Mater Society published a 2-page apology and cancelled a food-bank fundraiser that was to feature 2 Sumo suits, which the AMS describes as "racist and dehumanizing instruments of oppression." The letter takes the student society's own executive to task for "marginalizing members of the Queen's community" and failing to "critically consider the racist meaning behind [the fundraiser]." The AMS plans to discourage other campus groups from using the suits, which are owned by the university's athletic department. National Post

Provincial cuts leave future of Regina Adult Learning Centre uncertain

The Regina Adult Learning Centre is "disappointed" that it has lost one of its funding partners, as the Saskatchewan government's latest budget spelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding cuts for the centre. A non-profit organization, the centre offers a 43-week program of job preparation and work placement, with about 18 students in each program cycle and 2.5 cycles of programming each year. The centre's board of directors scheduled a meeting for Monday evening to discuss if and how it can continue. Saskatchewan's advanced education minister says the province cut the centre's funding due to low completion rates and low employment rates among those who finish the program. Regina Leader-Post

Ontario needs long-term strategy to increase PSE graduation rates

At a meeting in Toronto yesterday, the presidents of Ontario's 24 colleges discussed the provincial government's expected long term strategy for higher education, as Ontario's 5-year Reaching Higher plan ends today. Having made significant investments in new post-secondary spaces, the province now needs to develop a long-term strategy to help ensure more students can successfully complete their college and university educations, the presidents state. Colleges Ontario says it will be important for Ontario to move quickly on its plan to boost the PSE attainment rate from 62% to 70%, as the province will face a significant skills shortage following the end of the recession. Colleges Ontario News Release

Financial Post publishes section on women and MBAs

Yesterday's Financial Post included a special 8-page section on women and MBAs. One article explores women's motives for pursuing an MBA. In a recent survey of 400 Canadian business leaders, three-quarters agreed that there are still barriers preventing women from enrolling in MBA programs. When it comes to solutions, the consensus of respondents is that increasing MBA scheduling flexibility, more female role models, mentors and instructors, and financial assistance targeted at women would be effective changes. Some MBA professors and students discuss how women experience and influence classroom and team dynamics in MBA programs. For women leading a family business, an MBA will be particularly valuable if she tailors the program to the stage the business is in within the family business life cycle, says a University of Alberta professor who teaches the MBA course Managing Family Enterprise. The section includes an item on Women in Capital Market's Heather L. Main Memorial Scholarship, designed to encourage women at the MBA level to consider careers in the capital market. Female MBA students at Ryerson, York, Meritus U, and Athabasca U discuss their respective programs.

CCL meets with parliamentarians to submit lifelong-learning report

Yesterday the Canadian Council on Learning met with a group of MPs and senators to report on its major findings and conclusions from 6 years of research. The organization, whose funding agreement with the federal government expires today, also used this opportunity to release its 2009-10 report, State of Learning in Canada: A Year in Review. According to a CCL news release, the council's president planned to tell parliamentarians some "basic truths," including that Canada has as much going for it in learning as it has to be troubled with. CCL News Release | Taking Stock of Lifelong Learning in Canada: 2005-2010 | State of Learning in Canada: A Year in Review

Canada urged to foster diversity among med school students

In a meeting with over 100 MPs and senators at Parliament Hill Monday, representatives from the Canadian Federation of Medical Students called on the federal government to help boost the number of students from rural areas and low-income families pursuing studies in medicine, warning that the lack of diversity among medical school students is producing a pool of doctors that is unlikely to meet the health needs of all Canadians. The representatives are suggesting Ottawa create a task force to explore solutions such as those implemented in countries like Australia and the US, whose governments offer financial incentives to medical schools to increase enrolment of low-income and rural students, and subsidize some costs of entrance exam and application fees. CanWest News Service

uAlberta relocates historic barn

The University of Alberta's historic horse barn, located on the south campus since 1930, was moved across the street Monday to make room for the GO Community Centre, a recreational facility scheduled to open in the summer of 2011. The 120-tonne structure, which stood east of 118 St., was moved west of the street and will stay there until it is relocated later this year to another temporary spot near the composting facility, just south of the dairy barn. uAlberta officials are working on finding a permanent location for the barn to maintain its historical significance while contributing to the fabric of the south campus. uAlberta ExpressNews | Edmonton Journal | CTV