Top Ten

August 16, 2010

King's UC dean denies admission offer to Omar Khadr

The arts dean at The King's University College, in Edmonton, denies that Omar Khadr, currently on trial in Guantanamo Bay, has been guaranteed immediate admission at the institution. However, in a filing to the military tribunal, Khadr's lawyers say the dean "will testify that her university is willing to accept Omar Khadr immediately." The arts dean confirms she had written letters to Khadr and wanted to help him, but he had not replied. She has also been in contact with Khadr's Edmonton-based lawyer, who spoke to King's students about the Khadr case nearly 2 years ago. The school's director of public relations denies its board has made any commitment to Khadr or that he has been promised immediate admission. Should Khadr apply for admission, the university would consider the application, the official says. Globe and Mail

BC ed faculties to focus more on professional conduct following student teachers' sex charges

Faculty of education staff at BC universities plan to direct new energy toward professional conduct after 3 student teachers were charged with sexual misconduct. Student teachers at the University of British Columbia are taught to maintain strict boundaries with children, says the university's director of teacher education, and their instructors are on hand during their practicums. Thompson Rivers University's dean of education and human development says he wants to strengthen admissions procedures, as well as more open communication and closer instructor supervision in practicums. While the BC College of Teachers cannot discipline student teachers, its registrar says he'd like to see greater emphasis on professional conduct at universities. Vancouver Province

UoGuelph president discusses pension reprieve

University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee calls Ontario's offer of temporary pension solvency relief to universities good news, but says it is unclear how the issue will play out. Provincial universities are given a 3-year period to craft sustainable pension plans, and Summerlee says reduced pension benefits is one possible outcome. Negotiating such changes could prove very challenging, he says, especially given that Ontario is calling on universities to impose a 2-year wage freeze on unionized employees. Applying the solvency requirement to universities is "a silly measure," Summerlee says, as universities, being public institutions, do not go out of business. Guelph Mercury

Polytechnics Canada lays out priorities for 2011 federal budget

In its pre-budget submission, Polytechnics Canada states that improved job growth and commercial success can be best achieved through more incentives for the "undervalued actors" in the Canadian innovation system: polytechnics, colleges, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. Polytechnics Canada makes several funding recommendations, such as creating a Commercialization Chair program for polytechnics and colleges, expanding the Applied Research and Commercial Initiative, and including colleges, polytechnics, and their students for eligibility in all existing federal research granting council programs that are relevant to the organization's mandates. Read the pre-budget submission

How parents, students are financing PSE

According to the TD Canada Trust Education and Finances Survey, while 87% of Canadian parents surveyed say they plan to pay all or a portion of their child's PSE, 26% say they have yet to start saving, and another 15% have no idea how they will pay for it. 10% reported that they plan to use either credit cards or their line of credit to pay for their child's education. Half of PSE students surveyed are working this summer to help pay for school, and two-thirds of those say they will not earn enough money to cover their expenses. 44% of respondents reported relying on student loans or lines of credit and 27% on RESPs to help them through school. Two-thirds of students expect to be in debt when they graduate, with 30% projecting they will owe at least $15,000. TD Canada Trust News Release

MUN Marine Institute opens marine base in Holyrood

Memorial University's Fisheries and Marine Institute opened its new marine base in Holyrood yesterday with the help of a contribution of over $1.6 million from the federal and provincial governments. MUN says the marine base will strategically position the Marine Institute, the university, and Newfoundland and Labrador to respond to the needs of students, researchers, and clients in ocean technology and other marine sectors. The new marine base will be a focal point for the Marine Institute and for research and education activities in areas such as oil spill response, oceanography, and marine biology. MUN News Release

WLU launches Canada's first executive masters program in technology management

Wilfrid Laurier University announced yesterday its new Executive Masters in Technology Management program, the first of its kind in Canada. The one-year weekend program "combines state-of-the-art management practices and insights into emerging technologies that are driving global innovation and change." Starting in January 2011, students will be coached by a group of professors and professionals from the world's best institutions, resulting in a Master of Science degree in Management. WLU News Release

uToronto top Canadian institution in SJT international ranking

The University of Toronto has been named the top Canadian university in Shanghai Jao Tong University's 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities. uToronto placed 27th overall. Also among the top 100 are UBC (36), McGill (61), and McMaster (88). In total, 23 Canadian universities are listed among the top 500 institutions. 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities

Website calculates risk of skipping class

The Should I Skip Class Today? Calculator is a new website designed to help college students decide whether it is a smart move to skip class. The magnitude of risk is determined by how often the class is held, how many days a student has already skipped, what the student's current grade is, and if the class has some form of attendance policy. In response to the statement "Skipping class is wrong. This should be taken down" on the FAQ page, the website says "Censorship is wrong. You should be taken down." Inside Higher Ed | The Should I Skip Class Today? Calculator

Sex within relationship does not affect teens' school performance

New research from the US observes that teenagers in committed relationships do no better or worse in school than their peers who abstain. The study found that teens who have casual flings get lower grades and have more school-related problems compared to those who do not have sex. Researchers say it's not so much whether a teen has sex that determines academic success, but rather the type of sexual relationship they're in. Teenagers in serious relationships may find social and emotional support in their sex partners, reducing their stress and anxiety levels in life and in school. Associated Press