Top Ten

May 13, 2010

Mount Allison honorary degree for Indigo CEO faces opposition

At least 2 Mount Allison University professors are calling an honorary degree for Indigo Books & Music Inc. CEO Heather Reisman into question due to Reisman's ties to the HESEG Foundation for Lone Soldiers. Founded by Reisman and her husband, the foundation provides full academic scholarships and living expenses to former "Lone Soldiers," individuals from outside Israel with no family in the country who join the Israeli military. The foundation has faced criticism from other organizations in the past due to its ties to the Israeli military, and one Mount Allison professor says awarding Reisman an honorary degree calls into question the values of the institution. The professor says he is aware of more than 100 e-mail complaints sent in protest on the matter. He says he was told Mount Allison has no intention of reconsidering its decision to honour Reisman. Times & Transcript

Fire strikes UCN The Pas campus

A fire broke out at University College of the North's campus in The Pas, Manitoba late Wednesday afternoon. Students and staff were evacuated, and firefighters quickly brought the fire under control and extinguished it. Police believe the fire started in the roof area. The cause of the blaze is under investigation, but is not considered suspicious. It's believed the fire caused less than $100,000 in damage. Winnipeg Sun

NVIT gets high marks in student outcomes survey

The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology received the highest scores in 3 indicators in the 2009 BC Diploma, Associate Degree, and Certificate Student Outcomes Survey. NVIT got the top marks in the categories of "program helped develop skills to use computers," "program helped develop skills to use other tools and equipment," and "usefulness of training in getting new job (applied programs)." Northern Lights College received the highest scores among the "program helped develop skills to read and comprehend materials" and "usefulness of skills/knowledge in performing job (applied programs)" indicators. Capilano University got the top mark in the "satisfaction with aspects of the program: quality of instruction" category, Thompson Rivers University's Open Learning division received the top score in the "program helped develop skills to learn on your own" indicator, and the Justice Institute of British Columbia got the highest score in the "usefulness of skills/knowledge in performing job (arts and science programs)" category. Maclean's OnCampus

Ontario university applications up over last year

According to May undergraduate application statistics released Wednesday by the Ontario Universities' Application Centre, there are 494,417 applications this month, up from 484,981 in May 2009. Applications from high school students have gone up 2.6%, while applications from non-secondary students are down 0.4% from this time last year. OUAC News and Stats May 2010

More med school graduates seeking family medicine residencies

A third of Canadian medical school graduates have chosen family medicine for their residences. Of the 2,438 medical students who participated in the 2010 residency match, 1,388 applied for family medicine in the first iteration. These numbers are more encouraging than the match results of 2003, when just 24% of Canadian medical students made family medicine their first residency choice. The increase in popularity of family medicine in recent years has been attributed to several factors, including an increase in pay for family physicians, increase provincial investment in the creation of primary care teams, and efforts by medical schools to increase interest in family medicine. CMAJ News

Aboriginal youth hit hard by labour market downturn

Aboriginal individuals aged 15 and over living off reserve saw sharper declines in employment rates during the recent labour market downturn than non-Aboriginal people, according to a Statistics Canada report drawing on new data from the Labour Force Survey. The labour market downturn had a particularly harsh impact on Aboriginal youth. From 2008 to 2009, the employment rate for off-reserve Aboriginal people between the ages of 15 and 24 fell by 6.8 percentage points, compared to a decline of 4.2 percentage points among non-Aboriginal youth. In 2009, the employment rate for Aboriginal youth was 45.1%, while it was 55.6% for their non-Aboriginal peers. Statistics Canada

NSCC builds "living wall" for Centre for the Built Environment

On Wednesday, Nova Scotia Community College's president helped students complete the first permanent, exterior "living wall" east of Vancouver, part of the college's Centre for the Built Environment at the Waterfront campus in Dartmouth. In 2007, the centre's architects commissioned a study on the feasibility of an exterior living wall that would thrive in a cold climate. Horticulture students and faculty at NSCC's Kingstec campus helped to plan, design, and build the living wall. The 7,000 plants that make up the wall offer a variety of colours, textures, flowers, and berries, providing a living piece of art that will change with the seasons. NSCC News Release

Male students more likely to leave college when put on academic probation

New research from the US finds that male college students, especially those who had done well in high school, are much more likely than females to drop out when placed on academic probation after their first year in school. Based on data collected from a 3-campus Canadian university from 1996 to 2005, the study observed that for men, academic probation doubles the likelihood they will drop out -- from a 3% probability to a 6% probability. Male students who had done above average work in secondary school but whose work led to academic probation after their first year of college saw their probability of graduation drop by 14.5 percentage points. Researchers found no statistically significant effects on women or on male students who had experienced lower-than-average grades in high school. University of Oregon News Release

Millennials have lofty career expectations, study finds

According to a University of Guelph study of Canadian undergraduate students on their career expectations, the Millennial generation anticipate their starting salaries to hover around $43,000, and expect their salaries to rise to nearly $70,000 within the first 5 years. 70% of respondents expect to be promoted within the first 18 months of working, and 35% anticipate moving up in less than a year. These high expectations are not based on grade performance, the study shows; those with lower grades had the same assumptions about salary increases and promotions as students with higher grades. The UoGuelph researcher says this finding corroborates the stereotype of Millennials feeling entitled. UoGuelph News Release

International applications to Australian institutions drop 40%

Applications by international students to Australian post-secondary schools dropped 40% in April. Education experts attribute the decline to more rigorous requirements for student visas and the delay in the Australian government's announcement of which jobs are "priority skills" and could lead to permanent residency for non-Australians. One expert estimates that the decline in applications could cost the country at least $600 million in lost export revenue. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)