Top Ten

June 11, 2010

Protest outside uAlberta convocation targets honorary degree recipient

Last Thursday, about a dozen protesters gathered in front of Edmonton's Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, where a University of Alberta graduation ceremony was taking place, in objection to the presence of Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel, who was receiving an honorary doctorate from uAlberta. Members of BC-based Friends of Wild Salmon were protesting Enbridge's plan to build the $5.5-billion Northern Gateway Pipeline between Edmonton and Kitimat, BC. The protesters wore paper face masks to resemble Daniel, held up banners, and handed out pamphlets. CBC

G20 summit affects George Brown College, WLU

George Brown College has changed venues for convocation after Toronto's Ricoh Coliseum, where the college held its ceremonies last year, informed it in March that G20 summit preparation would take up part of the coliseum. As a result, George Brown has relocated graduation ceremonies to a smaller venue, leaving graduates with fewer tickets for family and other guests to attend convocation. Wilfrid Laurier University is also affected by the summit. The university will close its Toronto office the week of June 21 due to security measures required for G20. WLU is also relocating its Toronto-based MBA classes to its Waterloo campus during that time. The University of Toronto is shutting down its downtown campus during the summit after organizers designated Queen's Park as the official protest site. Globe and Mail | WLU Notice

ACC, RRC staff approve strike mandate

The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union reports that an "overwhelming" majority of its members at Assiniboine Community College and Red River College voted in favour of strike action last week. For several months, the union states, members at the colleges have been upset by the lack of progress at the bargaining table, particularly with respect to wages and health benefits. The union says there is still hope that an agreement can be reached with 4 days of bargaining scheduled throughout June. If an agreement cannot be reached, the union's bargaining committee will have the option of setting a strike date. MGEU News | Winnipeg Free Press

Schulich donation kicks off uCalgary engineering school fundraising campaign

Philanthropist Seymour Schulich, whose $25-million gift to the University of Calgary 5 years ago resulted in the naming of the Schulich School of Engineering, made an additional $5-million donation to the school last week to launch the Engineering Leaders campaign, a major fundraising initiative to support upgrades and expansion of the engineering school. The campaign has already reached the halfway mark on the path towards the $60-million goal. UToday

NWRC breaks ground for student residence

Earlier this month, Saskatchewan-based North West Regional College held a sold-turning ceremony for a new student residence, a project to which the Saskatchewan and federal governments contributed a joint investment of $8.4 million. The residence will comprise 6 one-bedroom units, 16 two-bedroom units, 16 three-bedroom units, and 2 four-bedroom units. Also under construction at NWRC is a new welding shop, and the college hopes to have both projects completed within the year. Meadow Lake Progress

Enrolment boom at Waterloo Region institutions

Officials at post-secondary schools in the Waterloo Region are predicting a 5% to 7% increase in the number of first-year students. At Wilfrid Laurier University, the number of students who confirmed for first year has increased 6% over last year. The university's science faculty is expecting a 21% increase over last year's intake of first-year students. The University of Waterloo is looking at an overall 5.4% growth in its first-year population this fall. Engineering is a popular faculty with a 15% increase in first-year students, followed by applied health sciences with 12% growth and science with 9%. First-year enrolment at Conestoga College is 7.6% higher than last year, and the number could still rise. Waterloo Region Record

AFN launches call to action on First Nations education

Last Wednesday, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo launched a broad call to action on First Nations education, highlighting the importance of reconciliation and effective partnerships in ensuring equitable education opportunities for First Nations. The call to action has 5 key components: reconciliation and implementation of First Nation rights within all federal and provincial education legal and policy regimes; an education guarantee that creates a secure fiscal framework; sustainability to ensure funding arrangements based on real costs, indexation, and appropriate treatment for northern and remote communities; building First Nations education systems including professional, accountable institutions to support teachers and language and cultural curriculum; and supporting a culture of learning in First Nations communities and linking with organizations and the public and private sectors to invest in First Nations schools and students. AFN News Release | AFN Call to Action on First Nations Education

uLethbridge fine arts microsite wins provincial media award

The University of Lethbridge's fine arts faculty recently earned first-place honours at Digital Alberta's mediaFresh Awards, winning in the non-commercial website category for its new video portal, Experience Fine Arts. Developed with prospective art, music, drama, and new media students in mind, the microsite includes videos featuring excerpts from classes, students talking about their experiences, special projects, general information about degree options, and a list of fine arts events. The mediaFresh Awards recognize Alberta digital media professionals and post-secondary students who have created outstanding projects and programs between September 2008 and November 2009. uLethbridge Facutly of Fine Arts News | Experience Fine Arts

The challenges facing India's foreign university policy

In an article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Philip G. Altbach, the director of Boston College's Centre for International Higher Education, writes that India's proposed law to allow foreign colleges and universities to set up campuses in the country will very likely fall short of its goals. Altbach observes there are some challenges an open-door policy would face: access to education, academic innovation, and financial investment. He writes that most branch campuses are small and limited in scope and field, they usually specialize in fields that have a ready clientele, and they are seldom significantly funded by their home institution. India's proposed policy comes with various conditions and limitations, such as a restriction on making any profit on an Indian branch, that may well deter foreign institutions from getting involved, Altbach writes. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

70% of adult Internet users in US watch, download video online

According to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 7 out of 10 adult Internet users in the US have used the Internet to watch or download video. Viewership of educational videos among adult Internet users has risen from 22% in 2007 to 38%. 14% of users have uploaded video to the Internet, nearly double the 8% who were uploading video in 2007. Uploaders are just as likely to share video on social networks such as Facebook (52% do this) as they are on more specialized video-sharing sites such as YouTube (49% do this). While 31% of uploaders report that they "always" place restrictions on who can access their videos, half say they "never" restrict access. Pew Research Centre News Release | Read the report