Top Ten

July 7, 2010

Bow Valley College locked down over firearm report

Calgary's Bow Valley College was under lockdown yesterday morning after campus security called police following a report that 2 people saw someone with a firearm inside the college. A Calgary radio station reports that police went from classroom to classroom in search of a suspect, but were not able to confirm there was a suspect carrying a gun. AM 770

Ottawa launches $45-million postdoctoral fellowship program

Appearing at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the establishment of the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, a program designed to attract and develop the world's best and brightest postdoctoral researchers in Canada. Supported by tri-council funding, the program will award 70 new fellowships annually valued at $70,000 a year for 2 years, totalling $45 million over 5 years. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada welcomes the new program, noting that it is "the latest in a series of sustained and complementary programs to attract more creative and innovative people." PM of Canada News Release | Backgrounder | AUCC News Release

Federal government invests $20 million in science education in Africa

The prime minister also announced Tuesday a $20-million contribution to the Next Einstein Initiative, which aims to create a Pan-African network of 15 centres of excellence in mathematics, technology, and science over the next decade. Canada's investment will support the creation of 5 African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) centres across the continent by 2015. AIMS attracts leading scholars to train young bright African graduates to apply mathematical thinking to address complex challenges in areas such as agriculture, health, and finance. Backgrounder | Globe and Mail

Conestoga opens trades training centre in Ingersoll

Yesterday Conestoga College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Conestoga Ingersoll Skills Centre, located in the southwestern Ontario town of Ingersoll. Made possible by a $3.3-million contribution from the federal government, the 12,000-square-foot facility will offer training for the electrical utilities industry, as well as training opportunities in advanced manufacturing technologies and skilled trades programming. The opening of the centre caps about 2 years' worth of effort on the part of the Town of Ingersoll to bring a community college to the town. Conestoga News Release | Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Providence College to offer interactive video classroom experience

This September, Manitoba-based Providence College and Seminary will launch "eProv," an interactive, live 2-way video classroom experience that allows anyone around the world with Internet access and certain equipment to take Providence classes. Students accessing a course online will be able to see into the classroom and hear what's going on, while everyone in the physical classroom can see and hear the online students. There are 9 tentative courses offerings through eProv in the fall semester, and 5 in the winter term. CJOB 68 | eProv

eCampus Alberta registrations surpass 12,900

When it announced in May that it had exceeded 10,000 course registrations, eCampusAlberta stated it was on track to reach well over 12,000 registrations by the end of 2009-10 school year on June 30. The online education consortium of 15 Alberta post-secondary schools achieved that milestone, recording 12,960 course registrations. Registrations are up 38% over the previous year's total of 9,414, making it the sixth consecutive year of annual growth of 29% or more. eCampusAlberta News Release

UPEI takes aim at high subscription prices for citation indexes

Last month, University of Prince Edward Island librarian Mark Leggott informed faculty the institution was cancelling its subscription to the Web of Science database, stating that a subscription increase of 120% for the citation index is "simply not acceptable." Leggott says it is "absolutely critical" that research institutions be franker about their dealings with publishers and their pricing models, no matter the size of the institution. He is proposing an alternative called Knowledge for All, a Wikipedia-type database aimed at indexing all of what can be identified as scholarly. Leggott is circulating his proposal to library consortia in Canada and abroad, hoping to get 10 to 20 institutions to sign on as founding members. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

CCL article examines academic dishonesty among students

In a new Lessons in Learning article, the Canadian Council on Learning summarizes research on academic dishonesty, observing that, spurred on by new technology, cheating in Canadian secondary and post-secondary schools is growing and evolving, to the point that students and teachers differ over what constitutes as cheating. The article cites a University of Waterloo report showing that instances of cheating and plagiarism at the university increased by 81% between 2003 and 2006, while reported cases of Internet-based plagiarism nearly tripled over the same period. A 2006 survey of 20,000 Canadian university freshmen found that students perceived many acts of academic dishonesty as "not cheating" or "trivial cheating," while faculty perceived the same acts as moderate or serious cheating. The CCL makes several recommendations on how to deal with the rise of academic dishonesty, including online anti-plagiarism programs and academic honour codes. CCL News Release | Read the article

Saskatchewan offers student loan repayment assistance for medical residents

As part of its physician recruitment and retention efforts, the Saskatchewan government announced yesterday approximately $450,000 in short-term funding to help medical residents with their student loans. The province's funding covers interest on student loans for medical residents over an 18 month period, while the government examines longer-term strategies to ensure medical residents are assisted while completing their residencies. Saskatchewan News Release

Queen visits Sheridan's Screen Industries Research and Training Centre

During her recent visit to Canada, Queen Elizabeth II visited Pinewood Toronto Studios, where she was treated to a demonstration of the latest in 3D production processes by Sheridan College's Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), which is housed at Pinewood. "This was a great opportunity for Sheridan to showcase the power of collaboration to deliver truly innovative results," Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky says of the event, noting that in a very short period SIRT's relationships with industry and academic partners such as the University of Waterloo has already achieved impressive results. Sheridan News Release