Top Ten

May 6, 2010

UPEI mandatory retirement policy continues during appeal

The University of Prince Edward Island is continuing with its mandatory retirement policy despite losing its case at the provincial Human Rights Commission in February. The president of UPEI's faculty association says faculty were shocked to hear the policy is still in effect. The association has requested the commission issue a cease and desist order on the policy. UPEI officials say nothing has changed. The policy still stands and will remain in place unless the PEI Supreme Court confirms the human rights commission's decision. CBC

Funding formula for UNBSJ unfair, group argues

The funding formula for the University of New Brunswick's Saint John campus has to change, according to study comissioned by Shared Vision Group, an organization aimed at improving higher education in the region. The study shows that UNBSJ receives 22% less funding than the provincial average. Rather than slicing the pie differently, says one group member, there needs to be more investment in PSE in New Brunswick. UNBSJ's assistant vice-president of finance and administration says an internal funding change has narrowed the funding shortfall. Telegraph-Journal

Private citizens back up McGill MBA tuition increase

A number of influential private citizens in Quebec have signed an open letter in support of McGill University's plan to raise tuition fees for its MBA program. The 40 signatories state that the program is one of the best in the world, and it deserves to raise more money by increasing its tuition to nearly $30,000 a year. The letter comes amid a dispute between McGill and Quebec's education minister; the latter has vowed to punish the university if it goes ahead with its plan. One of the signatories is former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard, who also signed a pact calling for competitive funding for Quebec universities. CBC

MUN breaks ground for medical education expansion

Memorial University broke ground this week for a new building to expand the institution's faculty of medicine. The project includes a 6-story building adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre with 3 floors devoted to the expansion of genetics and genomics research. The first 2 floors will be dedicated to expanding the medical education program. Some of the key features of the new facility include an advanced patient simulation centre, standardized patient exam rooms, a 120-seat lecture theatre, and educational support units. Construction is slated to be complete in September 2012. MUN News

UBC receives $4-million donation for childhood education and health projects

The Djavad Mowafaghian Foundation has made a $4-million contribution towards biodiversity outreach and early childhood development research at the University of British Columbia. The foundation is pledging $3 million to the new Djavad Mowafaghian Atrium, a 2-storey glass gallery that will showcase the new Beaty Biodiversity Museum's flagship exhibit, the skeleton of a blue whale -- the largest known living animal. Another $1-million contribution will establish a new 4-year program to hire young scholars for UBC's Human Early Learning Partnership to carry out research into children's health and education across the university's faculties. UBC News Release

$1 million for uManitoba business school expansion

The Great-West Life Assurance Company has invested $500,000 into the new downtown campus of the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business, and the amount is being matched by Great-West Life's parent company, Power Corporation of Canada. Currently under renovation, the new downtown campus will expand the business school's reach into Winnipeg and the province, increase its profile, and increase its competitiveness with other leading business schools in Canada. The new space will house "smart" classrooms for local and distance professional development, an area for student and corporate and community leaders to meet, and a library and reading room available to the business community. uManitoba News Release

97% of RRC Class of 2008 employed, survey finds

According to a satisfaction and employment survey of 2007-08 graduates of Red River College, of all full-time program graduates who were in the workforce seeking employment, 97% found jobs. Nearly 90% of those were in fields directly related to their area of study. 94% of respondents reported being very satisfied or satisfied with their education at RRC, and 92% said they would recommend their program to others. RRC News | Read the survey

Finding an employer a challenge for apprentices, survey finds

According to the 2007 National Apprenticeship Survey, approximately 17% of respondents reported challenges finding an employer-sponsor. The trades where respondents have the most difficulty finding an employer-sponsor include automotive service technicians, millwrights, industrial mechanics, machinists, and heavy equipment technicians/truck and coach technicians. The 3 top challenges identified by respondents were no employers hiring apprentices, no work in the trade at the time, and lack of work experience or knowledge. Canadian Apprenticeship Forum News Release | CanWest News Service | Read the survey

PBS documentary examines business of for-profit education

On Tuesday, PBS's public affairs program Frontline aired a documentary titled "College, Inc." that investigates the promise and explosive growth of the for-profit PSE industry. While the industry says it's helping an underserved student population obtain quality education, critics say for-profit schools are pumping out worthless degrees that leave students with massive debt. The documentary touches on high-pressure enrolment tactics, student loan defaults, and proposed industry reforms by the US government. One woman interviewed by Frontline enrolled in a for-profit doctorate program in psychology and later found out the school never received proper accreditation -- she is now sinking in more than $200,000 in student debt. A former for-profit enrolment counsellor told producers she was under pressure to sign up a certain number of studen ts every month. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Watch the programĀ 

New Jersey for-profit college halts recruitment in homeless shelters

Drake College of Business, a New Jersey-based for-profit higher education company, has suspended its recruiting of students from homeless shelters while accreditors scrutinize the practice. Nearly 5% of the student body at the college's Newark branch is homeless. In 2008, Drake started offering a $350 biweekly stipend to students who showed up for 80% of classes and received "Cs" for their work. Shelter workers say they feared Drake was preying on the homeless to get access to financial aid money, leaving them to default on student loans. The college's president says Drake is suspending the practice "for the time being" because of "adverse publicity" and a regulatory inquiry. Bloomberg Businessweek