Top Ten

July 28, 2010

PEI needs post-secondary arts school, says study

A new study from the PEI Council of the Arts observes that Prince Edward Island needs a post-secondary arts school in order to renew an aging population of artists. Like many industries on PEI, the arts suffer from young talent moving away to work elsewhere. Support for a new centre is demonstrated in the study, but getting support from the provincial government is proving to be difficult. The arts study was sponsored by PEI's former culture minister, who now has a different portfolio following a cabinet shuffle earlier this year. The Arts council chair says nothing has come from meeting with the new culture minister. Government officials say the study is being taken into consideration. CBC

McGill med school drops MCAT from admission requirements

Canadian students who studied at a Canadian university before applying to McGill University's medical school will no longer have to write the Medical College Admission Test. In making the decision, McGill is aligning itself with francophone and bilingual universities in Quebec and elsewhere in the country that do not require the MCAT because the test has no French equivalent. The move is part of efforts at McGill to increase diversity in medical classes. Starting in fall 2011, the med school will reserve 3 spots for those who have a bachelor degree and who have interrupted their academic studies for 3 years or more. Montreal Gazette

Teaching Space Complex priority capital project for Queen's

In light of current deficiencies in teaching and learning space at Queen's University, the institution's top priority is a Teaching Space Complex, one of several key capital projects outlined in proposals sent to the Ontario government's Major Capital Support Program for academic buildings. The proposed complex, Queen's says, would provide the size and flexibility required for best practices and innovative techniques. Other proposed projects include a new Engineering Building, renovation of existing space that would be re-purposed following the construction of the complex and the Engineering Building, and a new building that would serve increased enrolment in the high-demand Life Sciences program and as a central facility for animal care. Queen's News Centre

Camosun evacuated over gas leak

A gas leak in the dental building at Camosun College's Lansdowne campus forced the evacuation of the entire campus around 9 a.m. yesterday. Contractors working on an expansion in the building hit a gas line and the hissing from the leak could be heard by employees. Students and staff were evacuated following the arrival of Oak Bay and Saanich fire crews. Terasen Gas personnel arrived on campus and the leak was repaired. By 10:30 am, students and staff were allowed to return to their buildings. Victoria Times-Colonist | Oak Bay News

UWO aiming to "rise above clutter" with new communications strategy

As the University of Western Ontario seeks to develop a new communications strategy, the institution is sending a short online survey to a random sample of over 30,000 current students, faculty, staff, and alumni worldwide to get their perspective on what UWO is all about. "In a very crowded communications environment, with thousands of institutions sending out messages about themselves," says UWO's vice-president external, "Western must rise above the clutter and tell its story in a manner that is better than any of our peer institutions." The VP says faculty and alumni tell him regularly that UWO needs to raise its profile and be much more clear about what is being done at the university. Participation in the survey is important, he says, with the responses vital to UWO's future direction and subsequent success. Western News

UVic vs. UVic

In a video lip-synch to Train's "Hey, Soul Sister," a group of students hold up "UVIC" signs during their stints on camera. If you think these students are from the University of Victoria, think again: the "lip dub" was produced by students from Spain's Universitat de Vic. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton was among those who mistook the source of the production: "Way to go, UVIC! There are some talented people up in Canada," he wrote. Among the comments informing Perez of his error, one person suggested the Canadian UVic should "get their act together" and make an even better video. As it happens, a fifth-year student at the BC institution is organizing a video shoot for late September. A Facebook group promoting the project states that "since we at the real UVIC are much cooler than those students, we though we may as well 'one up them' to speak." University officials will look at the project once they receive more details. Victoria Times-Colonist | "UVIC Lipdub - Be Part of a Viral Video" Facebook group

Labour shortage anticipated for Canada's clean-power sector

A skilled worker shortage could stall Canada's push to develop clean energy sources, delaying construction schedules, reports Reuters. Industry players, analysts, and educators see a widening gap between the demand and supply of trained staff for the thousands of green-power projects expected to begin operations between 2011 and 2013. Ontario is most vulnerable, with some 50,000 clean-energy jobs expected to be created in the province in the next 3 years. Worsening the problem is that scores of Canadian power workers will retire soon, while a slew of specialized college programs will take several years to produce green graduates. According to Canada's Electricity Sector Council, nearly three-quarters of the industry's workers are over 40 years old, and during the next decade, 40% of all workers plan to retire. Moreover, 30% of the companies that produce electricity have no plan to manage the impending exodus. Reuters

Relationships, education top priorities for Canadian students

Today's secondary and post-secondary students will be more content with owning a home, having a decent job, and being part of a loving family and network of friends, instead of leading, innovating, or starting their own businesses, according to a new survey. Respondents to the Canada 2020 survey, conducted by Studentawards Inc., believe their top priorities will remain unchanged between today and the year 2020, with getting more education, leading a healthy lifestyle, and living in a safe and secure environment topping both lists. The students' lowest set of priorities include having money and material things, travelling, trying as many new things as possible, and taking care of the environment. The survey revealed that high school and PSE students are risk averse and have a seeming love-hate relationship with media and technology. Studentawards Inc. News Release

Texas A&M cuts back on toilet paper

Trying to cut $60 million US campus-wide, Texas A&M University hopes to save $82,000 US by ceasing to stock toilet paper in its student residences. The university plans to launch the toilet paper elimination in August 2011, giving it enough time to inform students and ensure that campus stores are stocking it. While the bathroom essential will no longer be provided in dorm hall washrooms shared by 4 people, Texas A&M will continue to supply toilet paper in larger bathrooms, administrative office areas, and public areas. In addition to the toilet paper cutbacks, the overall budget reduction will cost Texas A&M about 500 faculty and staff, new theatre furniture, stable student worker wages, an art exhibition, and paper and toner, among other things. Inside Higher Ed

Students trust Google too much, US study finds

According to a new study from Illinois-based Northwestern University, college students give Google so much credibility that many students only click on websites that turn up at the top of Google searches to complete assigned tasks. If students do not use Google, researchers found that they trust other brand-name search engines or websites to lead them to information. The study's senior author says many students believe that because Google placed a site at the top of the search, it has to be credible, which she says is potentially tricky as Google does not rank a site by its credibility. The researcher suggests educators show specific websites in class and discuss why a source is or isn't credible. Northwestern U News | Maclean's OnCampus