Top Ten

February 1, 2011

Committee asks FLSC council to approve law programs for Lakehead, TRU

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Approval of New Canadian Law Degree Programs recommends the Council of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada (FLSC) approve proposals from Lakehead University and Thompson Rivers University for a new law degree program at their respective institutions. "This development is seen as a crucial step in the lengthy and complex process of obtaining approval" for Lakehead's law school, the Thunder Bay-based institution states. FLSC council members have until February 7 to vote on the committee's recommendations. FLSC News | Lakehead Communications Bulletin | Read the committee's report

uOttawa senator seeks to develop policy on freedom of speech

In a motion for next Monday's meeting of the University of Ottawa's senate, one senator is calling on his colleagues to initiate president Allan Rock's commitment that the senate would work toward a consensus of shared expectations about freedom of expression. In his motion, Joseph Hickey states that events last year that saw conservative US pundit Ann Coulter's speech cancelled was "highly damaging to the reputation and image" of uOttawa. The senator is calling for discussion at all senate meetings until an adequate policy is developed and approved about the limits of freedom of speech at the university and the administration's role. 580 CFRA Radio

NS to cap tuition fee increases at 3%

As a 3-year university tuition freeze sets to expire, the Nova Scotia government announced yesterday a university funding plan meant to protect students by ensuring tuition remains at, or below, the Canadian average and help universities remain competitive and sustainable for years to come. Under the plan, the province will cap tuition fee increases annually at 3%. For local and out-of-province undergraduates, that means an average increase of about $154 and $185 per year, respectively. In making this decision, the province is rejecting consultant Tim O'Neill's recommendation to deregulate tuition fees. Nova Scotia's advanced education minister also announced that provincial universities will see a 4% reduction in their grant funding for the 2011-12 academic year. In April, the government will begin working on a new funding arrangement for universities to cover 2012-15. NS News Release | Halifax Chronicle-Herald | Canadian Press

CFS-O outlines priorities for next Ontario budget

In its pre-budget submission to the Ontario government, the province's chapter of the Canadian Federation of Students requests that funding from 7 ministries be dedicated to target a number of improvements. The CFS-O recommends the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities invest $34 million in a province-wide tuition fee freeze and increase per-student funding by 2%, at a cost of $117 million. Other requests include $300 million from the Ministry of Infrastructure to address the backlog of deferred maintenance at colleges and universities, $54 million from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide health coverage for foreign students, and $10 million from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry to expand on-campus housing at northern Ontario institutions. CFS News Release | Read the pre-budget submission

Globe series focuses on globalization of education

The Globe and Mail has launched a new monthly series called "Leading Thinkers," giving leading thinkers the opportunity to present ideas on a number of topics to a broader audience. The first issue explored is education, specifically the battle for the brightest minds. This month's crop of leading thinkers, including UBC president Stephen Toope and Governor-General and former uWaterloo president David Johnston, discuss the globalization of education, Canada's position in the global brain market, the country's competitiveness attracting Asian students, and how international students change dynamics on Canadian campuses. The series includes several interviews with foreign students studying in Canada, getting their perspective on the globalization of education. Leading Thinkers -- Brightest Minds

Enrolment at NIC up 5%

In its meeting last week, at which time members were presented with North Island College's stable enrolment report for the 2010-11 school year, the college's board of governors were informed that registrations had increased 5% over the same period last year. The strongest growth occurred in business and university transfer arts and science, which saw an increase of 702 registrations, or 10%, year-over-year. One NIC vice-president says it appears much of this growth is attributable to an increase in local secondary school students transitioning directly to the college. NIC saw some decline in demand for trades and apprenticeship programs, which typically reflects current economic conditions. NIC News Release

Location decision for Fanshawe arts campus a concern for London councillor

With Fanshawe College officials preparing to present a business plan for the proposed downtown arts campus, one London city councillor is citing rumblings he has heard that the institution may not go exactly where he had hoped. "We were sold on the fact this was to rejuvenate the downtown on Dundas (St.)," the councillor says. "If the good part of this is not in the Dundas corridor...then I'm having issues with it." While college officials won't rule out the downtown Dundas strip as the location for the arts campus, they are not guaranteeing that will be the new home, either. Not surprised that rumours are circulating about the location given the size of the project, a Fanshawe official says the college is looking to make "a start within the next year" if it gets approval from council. London Free Press

uWinnipeg opens education centre for young women in India

The University of Winnipeg has forged stronger ties to India with the opening of a learning centre for young women and partnerships with post-secondary institutions in the Punjab region. The Bhanohar Education Centre, open to women in Bhanohar Village and those in surrounding villages, will help young women further their skills in reading and writing, as well as provide them with access to the world's current affairs. The learning centre features a library, computer room, and a gymnasium. uWinnipeg News Release

BVC launches new website

Calgary's Bow Valley College has redesigned its website to include more student-focused features. The college says those who provided input in a Web assessment were unanimous: create a website first and foremost for prospective students, and make it easy to navigate, engaging to read, and simple to take the next step of inquiry. The new-look site features videos, alumni testimonials, a new student awards portal, and links to social media pages. BVC News Release | BVC website

US instructors embracing videoconferencing in teaching

With the ubiquity of Webcams and students being accustomed to using popular video-chat services such as Skype, professors in the US are beginning to allow their students to attend traditional classes via Webcam under certain circumstances. Instructors already welcome their guest speakers using this technology, giving students the chance to interact with experts they otherwise would only read about in textbooks. Some professors even exchange guest lectures as favours. There are some downsides to classroom videoconferencing -- the technology does not always work, and it becomes an extra responsibility for instructors to facilitate such accommodations. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)