Top Ten

November 30, 2010

uPhoenix to lay off 700 employees, mostly admissions personnel

On Monday, the University of Phoenix announced it is eliminating 700 jobs through layoffs, primarily in the admissions departments. In a corporate filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Apollo Group, uPhoenix's parent company, said the job cuts were designed "to streamline our operations and to better align our operations with our business strategy, refined business model, and outlook." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed

Montreal CÉGEP locks students out over planned sit-in

From November 20 to 24, students at Cégep du Vieux Montréal were locked out of their college. The lockout came as students prepared for a week of mobilization against the Quebec government's plan to increase tuition fees in 2012. In a news release, the CÉGEP said it made the decision to close the school in order to avoid confrontations with protesters invited by the college's student association to come to force access to the school on November 22. Despite being locked out, students kept to their strike schedule, holding a 2-day sit-in in front of the CÉGEP in an effort to start a negotiation between students and administration. Cégep du Vieux Montréal News Release (in French) | McGill Daily (student newspaper) | The Link (Concordia student newspaper)

CAUT drops threat to censure uManitoba

At a meeting this past weekend, the Canadian Association of University Teachers dropped its threat to censure the University of Manitoba and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) after a deal was reached to restore Dr. Larry Reynolds to uManitoba's faculty of medicine. A CAUT committee had concluded that the university and the WRHA dismissed Reynolds without just cause or due process. At a meeting earlier this year, CAUT decided censure would be imposed if all parties did not resolve the issue. CAUT executive director James Turk says the settlement Reynolds reached with uManitoba and the WRHA satisfies the association's concerns. Winnipeg Free Press

Alberta government urged to keep uAlberta expansion plans alive

An Edmonton city councillor says the Alberta government should step in to keep the University of Alberta's south campus expansion alive now that the city's Expo 17 bid is dead. University land south of Belgravia Road was the designated Expo site, with the goal of advancing expansion plans. Last week, the federal government terminated Edmonton's Expo bid, citing concerns over potential security costs. uAlberta's associate vice-president of facilities says "it's difficult to tell" if the loss of Expo will slow down expansion. Edmonton Journal

ACCC report highlights colleges' success with Aboriginal students

Yesterday the Association of Canadian Community Colleges released a report showing how colleges, institutes, and polytechnics are offering programs and services that support and nurture Aboriginal students through to graduation. According to the report, 90% of colleges have learning centres and tutoring support services, 80% provide help finding housing, and 71% offer specific Aboriginal diplomas and certificates. Since 2005, when ACCC published a similar report, services and programs for Aboriginal students have expanded rapidly. Enrolment has more than doubled at 2 Aboriginal institutes in Saskatchewan and BC and increased substantially at other institutions. ACCC News Release | Read the report

BC Liberal leadership candidate proposes lower student-loan interest rates

If she were to become BC's premier, provincial Liberal leadership candidate Moira Stilwell says she would reduce the interest rate for student loans from prime plus 2.5% to prime plus 1%. Formerly the minister of regional economic and skills development, Stilwell says she will work with stakeholders to develop a student-loan model similar to other provinces. She says the long-term benefits of a stronger and more skilled labour force will outweigh the cost to government to reduce student-loan interest rates. Vancouver Province | Georgia Straight

Globe runs "Report on Colleges"

Monday's Globe and Mail featured a special section on Canadian colleges. The section touches on the trend in university graduates enrolling in college programs and the growing popularity of joint-degree programs. Federal policy review and alliances with foreign institutions have helped improve the acceptance rate of international applicants to Canadian colleges. The "Report on Colleges" includes an interview with Olds College president H.J. (Tom) Thompson and a profile of Humber College's comedy program. Other articles cover the real-world projects in which IT students are engaged, health-care program options at colleges, and applied research projects. The section also features ACCC's new report on programs and services for Aboriginal students.

Humber first college in Canada to offer Master Chef Certification

Humber College is the first Canadian college to offer the Canadian Master Chef (CMC) certification after signing a 5-year exclusive contract with the Canadian Culinary Institute (CCICC), overseen by the Canadian Culinary Federation. The CMC professional designation is the newest certification under the CCICC and also the highest attainable in the country. Previously, the course has only been offered in the US, Australia, and parts of Europe. Course work will begin in April 2011. Humber News

SAIT launches new recruitment campaign

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is running a new student recruitment campaign, whose tagline "Get a Rewarding Career" focuses on motivations and outcomes that drive PSE decision making. The campaign's creative features figurines reaching to the top of a trophy using everyday objects found on people's desks. Print, transit, online, and mobile ads went into market last month. The campaign will run in 2 phases, ending in spring 2011. Watch a video from the campaign

Italian, British students protest higher education reforms

Yesterday students in Italy and Britain took to the streets to protest high tuition fees and proposed government reforms in education. In Rome, police vans and rows of officers in riot gear blocked access to much of the city's historic centre to keep thousands of student protesters from reaching the Italian parliament. On Tuesday, Italian lawmakers were voting on a contested reform bill many students and educators say will give the private sector too much involvement in the state university system. Meanwhile, in London, students held a third day of protests over plans to triple university tuition fees. Police urged protesters to avoid the violence that marked previous demonstrations. CBC