Top Ten

August 25, 2010

Canada failing to build "Knowledge Advantage," says CCL

In 2006, the federal government declared an ambition for Canada to build the "Knowledge Advantage" needed for success in the global economy. However, according to a new report from the Canadian Council on Learning, by continuing to lag behind in some key areas of learning, Canada may be developing a national knowledge disadvantage. Although increasing numbers of young people are attending PSE, Canada is unique in that it has no national system of higher education. The country is also at a disadvantage by having not a single measurable national goal, benchmark, or assessment of achievement for any phase of education. CCL News Release | Read the report

Report finds no evidence supporting cuts to PSE funding

To answer the questions of whether Canada produces too many PSE graduates in general and whether it produces too many of its graduates from non-university programs, the C.D. Howe Institute considered the financial returns to PSE, as a marked drop in returns might be a strong indication to slow the expansion of higher education. Between 1980 and 2005, earning premiums for all 3 levels of PSE (university, college, and trade school) have risen for men, while earning premiums for women have increased over this period for BA and community colleges graduates, but not for trades graduates. Evidence that PSE has over-expanded would provide justification for governments to reallocate funds elsewhere, but C.D. Howe finds no broad-based evidence to support this view. Read the report brief

Fédération des cégeps outlines priorities for 2010-11

Yesterday the Fédération des cégeps released its priorities for the 2010-11 academic year. The organization is calling on Quebec's new education minister to delay passage of legislation on college governance until the bill on university governance reaches the same legislative stage. Increasing CÉGEP access to adults is another priority -- the Fédération plans to continue with its campaign encouraging more adults to return to college. The organization reaffirms its opposition to the Parti Québecois's push to have the province's language laws applied to CÉGEPs, which would restrict new immigrants' access to English colleges. Another priority is reviewing the quality assurance model for CÉGEPs. Fédération des cégeps News Release (in French)

UQO calls for special status

Given its proximity to the Ontario border, Quebec's Outaouais region has several advantages with regard to health, construction, and gas prices. It is on the same principle the Université du Québec en Outaouais should enjoy a special status compared to other universities, UQO rector Jean Vaillancourt stated in a recent speech before the Quebec National Assembly's Committee on Culture and Education. Vaillancourt pointed out that each year, 3,000 Outaouais region students attend post-secondary schools in Ontario, partly because many programs are not offered at UQO. According to Vaillancourt, UQO holds 2% of Quebec university offerings to serve Outaouais and the Laurentians, which represent 10% of the province's population. Offering 21 bachelor programs is insufficient for these regions where the population growth is rapid, the rector said. Le Droit (in French) | L'Écho Du Nord (in French)

NB invests $4 million in initiatives to reach underrepresented students

Yesterday the New Brunswick government announced a $4-million investment in projects at public post-secondary institutions designed to reach underrepresented groups. The province is distributing funding to UNB, uMoncton, STU, Mount Allison, NBCC, NBCCD, and CCNB for their initiatives targeting Aboriginal students, persons with disabilities, low-income earners, and secondary school graduates who would not typically pursue PSE, such as first-generation post-secondary learners, young males, and rural youth. Given that many of these initiatives help low-income earners, the funding will fulfill the province's commitment to dedicate $1 million to increase accessibility to PSE for low-income earners as outlined in its economic and social inclusion plan, designed to reduce poverty by 25% and deep income poverty by 50% in NB by 2015. NB News Release

UVic to launch School of Public Health and Social Policy

The University of Victoria announced yesterday it will introduce a School of Public Health and Social Policy in September 2011, the first new school at the university in 20 years. Based in the human and social development faculty, the school will offer a Master's of Public Health, a Graduate Diploma in Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Community Services. Offered online with strategically placed on-campus components, the programs will include essential practice experiences in the field. UVic News Release

Boréal opens new residence

On Tuesday, Collège Boréal inaugurated its new student residence at the Sudbury campus. Accommodating up to 70 students, the $5-million residence is attached to the one built in 1995, enabling students to share the main student centre, kitchen, and laundry facilities. The new complex offers its 138 residents over 4,200 square metres with 2 additional study halls, additional parking, and an exterior patio with southern exposure. Borèal News Release

New initiatives at Concordia encourage, recognize students' community engagement

Concordia University announced Tuesday new initiatives to facilitate volunteer opportunities for students and officially document their community engagement. The LIVE (Leadership, Initiative and Volunteer Engagement) Centre will co-ordinate the promotion of volunteerism to students, faculty, and staff; offer coaching, support, and training to those interested in volunteering; and develop links with community organizations interested in working with Concordia volunteers. Students will have such activities officially recognized by the university with the new Co-Curricular Record, which will complement students' academic transcript. Concordia News Release

Ontario Online Learning Portal launched

Last Friday, Contact North/ introduced a re-branded search engine called the Ontario Online Learning Portal. Current and prospective students can perform keyword searches for both online programs and courses, and searches can be filtered by program, course, institution, institution type, and language. Users can also save their search results for viewing at a later time. Over the next few months, Contact North/ will introduce new functionality to the portal to enable users to search by field of study, better filter their results, and improve the process to collect and update online program and course offerings. Contact North News Release | Ontario Online Learning Portal

iTunes U downloads reach 300 million

Apple reported Tuesday that in 3 years of operation, iTunes U downloads have topped 300 million. More than 800 post-secondary institutions worldwide have active iTunes U sites, with close to half distributing their content publicly on the iTunes Store. iTunes users now have access to more than 350,000 audio and video files from institutions around the world. Apple News Release