Top Ten

February 17, 2011

Canadore to suspend 11 programs

Canadore College announced Wednesday it will suspend 11 academic programs, which in turn will leave 13 faculty members facing layoffs. Students enrolled in the affected programs will not be impacted as Canadore will phase out the programs as students graduate, but no new students can register for the programs this fall. Because the programs are being suspended, not cancelled, faculty facing layoffs have some choices, says the president of OPSEU Local 657. He says the union will continue to do all it can to save jobs. Canadore College News Release |

Quebec MNAs reject extending Bill 101 to colleges

A motion against a Parti Quebecois proposal to apply the province's language laws to CÉGEPs was adopted Wednesday in the National Assembly by a vote of 65-45. The PQ's proposal to extend Bill 101 to college-level education would mean enrolment in English CÉGEPs would be restricted to high school graduates from Quebec's English school system. The PQ's language critic argues that Montreal is becoming "anglicized," even though figures in his own report on the matter show that the percentage of anglophones in the city is actually declining slightly. The leader of Action democratique du Quebec says the PQ is "radicalizing," noting that the trend is for allophone children to enrol in French CÉGEPs anyway. Montreal Gazette

Yukon releases labour market framework strategies

The Yukon government recently released strategies aimed at supporting the territory's labour market. The 10-year strategies address the 5 pillars of the labour market: training and skills development; immigration; recruitment; employee retention; and information on the labour market to guide the direction of labour market development in the Yukon. Among the goals and objectives are increasing awareness of PSE options and student financial assistance, improving and promoting access to trades training for high school students, and increasing the recruitment of under-represented groups in trades. Yukon News Release | Labour Market Framework for Yukon

STMU launches site planning project

St. Mary's University College announced Wednesday it is developing a long-range vision for its South Calgary campus. The Catholic liberal arts and science institution has engaged the Urban Lab from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design to help identify guiding principles and produce digital models of development options and concept plans for STMU's 35-acre campus. The project is expected to be completed in the fall. STMU welcomes the opportunity to develop a long-term vision for continued campus growth which will, in turn, enable the development of additional degree programs and increased student recruitment. STMU News Release

New residence at Fanshawe

Fanshawe College will soon be welcoming an additional 400 students to its residence community following the purchase of the property at 900 Fanshawe College Blvd, known as College Gate Walk. The property acquisition will see 68 new 6-bed units added to Fanshawe's current residence offerings. The college plans to make some improvements to residence operations, starting immediately with snow removal and 24/7 on-site security. Other new benefits will include light housekeeping, access to quiet study areas, and support with day-to-day issues. Fanshawe News Release

York U's Schulich remains in top 20 in global MBA survey

York University's Schulich School of Business has placed 18th in the world and first in Canada in a global MBA survey by Expansión magazine, a Mexican-based business publication. Schulich's ranking is the highest ever attained by a Canadian business school in the survey, and this is the second consecutive year in which Schulich has made the top 20. The only other Canadian business school to make the ranking is HEC Montréal, which placed 62nd. The survey rates leading MBA programs from across the globe using a broad range of criteria, including academic quality, return on investment, and global value. Y-File

CAUT makes recommendations on copyright reform

In its brief to the House of Commons Legislative Committee on Bill C-32, the Canadian Association of University Teachers states the current bill contains a number of reasonable elements, but also several serious flaws, the most serious of which are the prohibition on the circumvention of digital locks and the limited nature of fair dealing. CAUT seeks changes to the bill to allow the circumvention of digital locks if the purpose of the circumvention does not infringe copyright, and to expand the categories of fair dealing. Other recommendations include removing the "self-destruction" requirements for digitally loaned copies and distance learning materials, limiting statutory damages to instances of commercial copyright infringement, and retaining the "notice and notice" approach. Read the brief

US research identifies risks for student attrition

According to a new US study, college students who consider quitting are particularly sensitive to a number of critical events, such as depression and loss of financial aid. The research found that students were also sensitive to being recruited by an employer or another institution, an unexpected bad grade, and roommate conflicts. Other events such as a death in the family, significant injury, and a failure to get an intended major did not have a significant influence on students' intention to drop out of college. By identifying which risks prompt students to consider dropping out, the research could help in the effort to combat college withdrawal, says the project's lead researcher. Michigan State University News

Tuition fees worldwide remained largely constant in 2010, survey finds

A report reviewing trends in PSE financing in the "G-40" nations that account for over 90% of global enrolment and research production observes that the global situation for tuition and student financial aid policies did not change drastically last year. According to the report, there were no tuition fee increases in more than 75% of the "G-40" countries, while about a third saw an increase in student aid. The researchers state that in OECD nations that already have existing mass PSE systems and aging demographics, it is likely the trend toward reduced public investment and increased private investment in PSE will continue, particularly as governments strive to balance budgets. Read the report | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

New book explores "Googlization" of PSE

In his new book, The Googlization of Everything (And Why We Should Worry), Siva Vaidhyanathan writes that Google has "contributed to the steady commercialization of higher education and the erosion of standards of information quality." He argues that Google does not reward our impulse to know; instead, it exploits it by making it seem as though knowing is easy. Vaidhyanathan has some nice things to say about Google -- it has made the Web usable, and Google Docs is a major service to PSE. He believes it is incumbent on institutions to ensure maximum user confidentiality and data security for any Google product. Inside Higher Ed