Top Ten

September 20, 2010

Carleton, UWO faculty to hold strike votes

Faculty members at Carleton University and the University of Western Ontario have approved strike votes at their respective institutions. Without a contract since April, members of Carleton's academic staff association are at odds with administration on a number of issues, but tenure and promotion is the most pressing, says the association's president. A strike vote at Carleton is expected to take place October 4 and 5. At a recent general meeting, over 200 faculty members at UWO recommended the faculty association board organize a strike vote to back contract negotiations with administration. The association states that the recommendation to organize a strike vote reflects a disapproval of administration's proposals that directly affect faculty research and teaching. Ottawa Citizen | UWOFA Bargaining Update

Report critical of academic advising at uSask

According to a report commissioned by University of Saskatchewan officials, academic advising at the institution is in such poor shape that it is tarnishing the school's reputation. The report notes that there are not enough advisers at uSask and students are suffering due to the poor access to quality advising. The report also states that advisers are under-paid, under-trained, and not respected by other employees. uSask has established an advising council to study the report's recommendations, which include centralizing advisers from different colleges into one centre, hiring more advisers and offering them more training, and offering students summer advising. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Part-time work affects students' academic performance, Ontario faculty say

In a recent questionnaire, 64% of surveyed Ontario university faculty and librarians agreed that paid work during the school year hindered students' academic achievement. One-third of respondents reported that the amount of paid work outside the classroom has risen over the past year. On the topic of student preparedness, 41% of respondents stated that incoming students are less prepared for university education than those who entered university the year before. Respondents cited concerns with writing skills, critical thinking, research skills, numeracy, and time management. 40% of respondents agreed that universities should expand remedial programs to help student preparedness, while 23% agreed that remedial programs should be mandatory for all first-year students. OCUFA News Release | Toronto Star | Read the report

York U MBA top in Canada in Economist ranking

York University's Schulich School of Business has placed first among Canadian business schools in The Economist's 2010 ranking of full-time MBA programs. Schulich placed 10th overall, and is listed among the top 10 schools in several categories, including "personal development and educational experience" and "faculty quality." Other Canadian business schools to make the top 100 include UBC's Sauder School of Business (79), uCalgary's Haskayne School of Business (82), and Concordia's John Molson School of Business (96). Y-File | The Economist 2010 Full-Time MBA Ranking

Glendon breaks ground for French-language education centre

Yesterday Glendon College, York U's bilingual liberal arts campus, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Centre for Excellence in French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education. With a $20-million investment from the Ontario government, the campus is building the new facility to improve access to post-secondary French-language programs for Francophone students. The centre will feature a new lecture hall, an amphitheatre, studio space for arts students, and a language lab. It will be home to programs such as the PhD in √Čtudes Francophones and in Translation and Transcultural Studies. Ontario News Release

CBU opens new residence

Last Friday, Cape Breton University officially opened and dedicated Harriss Hall, the university's newest student residence and first dining hall. The $11.7-million building features 111 single beds with a mix of private and shared washroom facilities, a 300-seat dining hall, and a central mailroom that services all on-campus students. The dining hall includes a living room area with a flat-screen TV, fireplace, and shelving for books and games. The residence is named in honour of Victor J. Harriss, one of CBU's most significant donors. CBU News Release

Enrolment rises at NSAC

Nearly 940 students began classes this month at Nova Scotia Agricultural College, representing a 4% increase in enrolment, and the third such increase in as many years. The institution welcomed 385 new students this fall, including 85 international students from almost 20 countries, including Bermuda, China, Czech Republic, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, and the UK. International students represent 19% of the student body at NSAC. NSAC News Release

CBC forum explores value of university education

Last Tuesday, Michael Enright, host of CBC's The Sunday Edition, moderated a public forum at Dalhousie University, asking whether a university education is worth the cost. The question was posed to a 6-member panel, which included Acadia University president Ray Ivany and CAUT executive director James Turk. In the first hour of the forum, the panellists discussed tuition fees, PSE accessibility, the societal and individual benefit of higher education, government funding for institutional operation and research, the balance between research and teaching, and motives for attending PSE. The second hour was devoted to a Q&A session with audience members, with some probing the panellists on issues of university accessibility, corporatization of education, the intangible benefits of PSE, and the relationship between education and the job market. Dal News | The Sunday Edition

Mature students drive up health fees at St. Clair

Due to an influx of mature students at St. Clair College, the average age of a student at the institution has risen from 23 to 25 in just 5 years, resulting in a significant increase in health insurance premiums. For this school year, student fees for health coverage have jumped to $130, more than double last year's fee of $60. College officials say they had no choice but to increase fees to cover the high premiums from insurance companies. Of the 8,400 students at St. Clair this year, 60% are mature students. This ratio is higher than any other Ontario PSE institution, due in part to the province's Second Career program. At 11.1%, Windsor, where St. Clair is based, has the highest unemployment rate of any city in Canada. CBC

UoGuelph adopts QR coding technology for handbooks

The University of Guelph is one of the first institutions in Canada to use QR coding technology, which involves square barcodes that are readable by most smartphones and have encoded information that, when scanned, launches to a URL or other online data. UoGuelph has incorporated QR codes in its 2011 admissions handbook. When scanned, the codes will connect readers to YouTube videos of current students sharing their experiences at the institution. UoGuelph hopes to eventually provide virtual tours of student residences, dining areas, and other facilities using QR codes. University of Guelph News Release