Top Ten

May 11, 2010

Laurentian faculty criticize classroom rental to train replacement Vale Inco workers

In a letter to Laurentian University's president, the school's faculty association criticizes the university for renting classroom space to Vale Inco to train replacement workers. Over 3,000 Sudbury Steelworkers have been on strike against Vale Inco since last July. The faculty association president writes that "it is an insult to all unionized employees to come to work and be confronted with these scabs on a daily basis." The letter states Laurentian is jeopardizing a large recruitment pool because Unite Steelworkers members send their children to the university. When Laurentian learned of Vale Inco's intended use of the classroom space, replacement workers were moved to a less-used part of campus in an attempt to "not aggravate the situation." The university's vice-president academic says Laurentian would not have rented classroom space to Vale Inco if the company had been forthcoming about its intended use. Sudbury Star | Northern Life

CFS-O report calls for measures to improve student engagement

A new report from the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students identifies high tuition fees and high student debt as factors that have caused the erosion of the quality of education offered at Ontario post-secondary schools, and as a result, student engagement has suffered and quality has declined. Among the recommendations in the report to enhance student engagement are creating more paid co-op placements, dedicating more funding to the Work Study Program, and legally protecting student unions. CFS News Release | Read the report

eCampusAlberta surpasses 10,000 registrations

eCampusAlberta, an online education consortium of 15 Alberta post-secondary institutions, has exceeded 10,000 course registrations for the 2009-10 fiscal year and is on track to reach more than 12,000 by year end on June 30. As of May 5, there are 10,273 registrations, up from 7,543 last year. The consortium is anticipating a year-over-year increase in registrations of more than 30%. To date, 13 members have seen an increase in their course registrations, with growth being generated by large and smaller institutions alike. eCampusAlberta News Release

Mount Royal president to retire

Mount Royal University president Dave Marshall announced Monday he will leave the institution on June 30, 2011. He will have completed 8 years as the head of the institution, which officially became a university last September. Marshall became Mount Royal's eighth president in September 2003, coming to Alberta from Nipissing University, where he guided the Ontario institution's transition into a university. Mount Royal's board of governors will establish a presidential search committee in the coming weeks to lead the international search for a new president. Mount Royal News Release

$1-million gift supports RDC campaign

Red Deer College announced yesterday it has received 2 donations from Cenovus Energy Inc. and Encana Corporation totaling $1 million in support of the college's $35-million "Building Communities Through Learning" campaign. The funds are directed towards 2 major objectives: RDC's Flexible Learning Common and the Innovative Delivery/Flexible Learning initiative. RDC News Release

McMaster librarians newest members of CAUT

At its council meeting last month, the Canadian Association of University Teachers endorsed the membership application of the McMaster University Academic Librarians' Association (MUALA). Earlier this year, the 26-member group unionized and its membership voted unanimously to join CAUT. With MUALA's membership, CAUT now has 73 local association members along with the 3 federated member associations, representing 65,000 academic staff at 122 Canadian colleges and universities. CAUT Bulletin

Canadians value higher education, poll finds

According to a new poll, nearly 8 in 10 Canadians think a post-secondary education is more important than ever. The poll also shows that most people think tuition fees should be frozen or lowered, while over 50% of respondents said governments should spend more on higher education even if it means paying more income taxes. 72% of respondents said they trust university and college instructors, and respect their views on PSE policy more than college and university executives or governments. CAUT Bulletin | Read the poll

Brescia develops budget calculator for students:

Brescia University College, an affiliate of the University of Western Ontario, has developed an online financial calculator to help prospective students determine their individual costs of attending Brescia for one year. After answering a number of questions about their program of study, expenses, sources of income, and country of origin, students will be given an estimate of the cost of one year of school at Brescia. Brescia News Release | Brescia Financial Calculator

Internet use among Canadians on the rise

In 2009, 80% of Canadians aged 16 and older used the Internet for personal reasons, up from 73% in 2007, according to new figures from Statistics Canada. Among those living in communities with a population of 10,000 or more, 83% used the Internet, compared to 73% of Canadians from communities with lesser populations. 89% of individuals with at least some PSE used the Internet in 2009, compared to 66% among those with no PSE. 98% of individuals aged 16 to 24 went online in 2009, up from 96% in 2007. Of those 45 or older, 66% went online during 2009, up from 56% 2 years earlier. Statistics Canada

New York U students developing privacy-focused social network

4 New York University students plan to develop an alternative to current social media that lets users better control their privacy. Diaspora is a planned personal Web server that stores information to be shared with friends in a secure manner. Unlike centralized social media such as Facebook, the server is meant to provide a more secure, decentralized network. According to the developers' website, a basic prototype of Diaspora has been created, and the students hope to have the project widely available by September. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)