Top Ten

November 11, 2010

UPEI president decries province's degree plan

University of Prince Edward Island president Wade MacLauchlan is upset about a provincial government plan that would give other PSE institutions the ability to grant degrees. In a letter to PEI's advanced learning minister, MacLauchlan writes that the experience of other provinces in approving new institutions has been "closer to fraud than to innovation." He says it should be a prime objective of the province to safeguard and expand UPEI's name and reputation, not to diminish the idea of a university. Charlottetown Guardian | CBC

uManitoba faculty association files grievance over prof's suspension

The University of Manitoba's student newspaper reports that the university's faculty association has filed a grievance with the institution over the suspension of a math professor who has taken uManitoba to court over a decision to award a student a PhD without completing a comprehensive exam. The university argues that the professor violated the student's privacy by including the student's name and personal health information in the court application, therefore warranting a suspension. The faculty association is asking that the decision to suspend the professor without pay be rescinded and that he be compensated for all financial losses. The Manitoban (student newspaper)

Carleton student associations take university to court over unpaid fees

Carleton University's undergraduate and graduate student associations have asked for a judge to step in after the institution's administration decided to withhold the organizations' membership fees. The groups say Carleton is withholding the fees in an effort to force the associations into signing new fee agreements. Carleton states that at the suggestion of the university's financial auditors last year, it began discussions with the associations in an effort to have them provide audited financial statements to ensure the $7 million Carleton collects from students on their behalf is being disbursed by them for the purposes for which they are being collected. Carleton states both groups have resisted providing their audited financial statements to the university. CUSA News Release | Carleton News

HEQCO report examines influencers of college graduate satisfaction

According to a new report from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, getting a good job is a proven driver of college graduate satisfaction, but it is not the only thing that counts. The report observes that course-related specifics have just as much an impact on graduates' satisfaction. After controlling for labour market outcomes, it is evident that satisfaction is influenced by several aspects of education quality, such as course content, quality of instruction, and developing skills and abilities specific to the job. Report summary | Read the full report

Immigrant, visible minority students less likely to drop out, study finds

New research briefs from the MESA Project show that among the lower income PSE students studied, immigrants and visible minorities are much less likely to drop out of their studies than are other students. Researchers also found that despite their successes in PSE, visible minorities, whether immigrants or not, are less likely than others to agree that "their faculty is helpful and sympathetic," and fewer say "their school is a place where they feel they belong." One of the briefs observes that immigrants, whether visible minorities or not, are less likely than their native-born peers to have themselves saved for their PSE, while visible minorities, whether immigrants or not, are more likely than non-visible minorities to have parents who had saved, especially in the case of university students. uOttawa News Release | MESA research brief 1 | MESA research brief 2

Whistler U proposal to appear before city council

The man leading a proposal for a private university in Whistler, BC will get an opportunity to formally present the project to city council in the next few months. The proposal calls for development on 3 benches of a 77-acre site, an area made up of second growth forest and scrub-covered land, including a wetland at its southern end. The proposed university's curriculum would focus on areas such as tourism, hotel management, and the culinary arts. Pique Newsmagazine

UVic president lays out priorities for 2010-11

At the first senate meeting of the school year, University of Victoria president David Turpin included in his report some key priorities for 2010-11 goals, approved by the institution's board of governors. Balancing the budget will continue to be a key priority for UVic. Turpin told the senate that the university community should anticipate that, even in an environment of stable funding, some "modest reductions" will be needed to offset rising costs. The president identified a focus this year on support for programs that enhance student retention and on boosting opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds. Fundraising is integral to supporting students, quality programs, and aspects of capital growth, Turpin said, describing UVic as moving into a "major gift culture" where the goal is to attract larger gifts of $10 million and more. UVic Ring

Lakehead launches second stage of branding campaign

On Wednesday, Lakehead University launched the second stage of its multi-year branding and awareness campaign, which builds on the 2009-10 I Think for Myself marketing position. "The campaign continues to emphasize the Lakehead teaching experience, which helps students develop their ability to think critically, innovatively, and independently," the university says. A new crop of successful alumni is featured this year, with testimonials of how their career-related achievements stem from their educational experience at Lakehead. The campaign runs until March 2011. Lakehead News |

Protests over UK tuition hikes turn violent

Tens of thousands of students marched through London Wednesday to protest government plans to triple university tuition fees, and violence broke out as a small group battled police and trashed a building containing the headquarters of the governing Conservative Party. Protest leaders said they would try to use recall powers to oust lawmakers who break an election campaign promise to abolish tuition fees. Associated Press | Reuters | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Australia to collect biometric data from foreign students

As part of a broader campaign to weed out potential terrorists, Australia will include international students in a trial of biometric checks. The country's immigration department describes the screening process as a discreet, non-intrusive examination that captures a digital facial image and a 10-digit fingerprint scan. The move has raised concerns, with foreign student educators calling for it to be handled delicately to ensure negative attitudes toward Australia as a study destination are not intensified by the initiative. Starting in late 2011, Canada will require international students to submit biometric data. The Australian