Top Ten

February 24, 2011

Carleton pro-life club sues university over arrests, trespassing charges

Members of a campus pro-life group, who were arrested at Carleton University last fall for displaying graphic signs, have filed a lawsuit against the institution, claiming administration broke its own codes of conduct regarding human rights and academic freedom, as well as violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The university says it went out of its way to balance Carleton Lifeline's right to protest and the rights of students not to be subjected to graphic images. Carleton says it will defend itself vigorously against the claim. The students are seeking compensation for breach of Carleton's fiduciary duty, general damages for wrongful arrests, damage to reputation, as well as punitive damages. National Post | Ottawa Citizen

Saskatchewan invests over $76 million in PSE capital projects

The Saskatchewan government announced yesterday it is providing almost $76.5 million for capital projects at post-secondary institutions across the province. The government is contributing $50 million to the continued construction of the D and E wings of the University of Saskatchewan's Academic Health Sciences Centre, and is allocating $20.7 million for repair and maintenance of post-secondary facilities. The province is also committing $5.7 million for the construction of the International Vaccine Centre in Saskatoon. Saskatchewan News Release

Ottawa pledges nearly $40 million for new family medicine positions

The federal government announced Wednesday a $39.5-million investment that will support over 100 family medicine residents to receive training and provide medical services in remote and rural communities across the country. The funding will support post-secondary partnerships in BC, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Ontario, and Saskatchewan to provide training for family medicine residents, with some focusing on enhanced skills in emergency and acute care. Health Canada News Release

Winter term enrolment at Durham College up 50%

Durham College is reporting a 50% increase in winter enrolment figures in comparison to 2010 numbers. As of January 6, 557 new students enrolled in 24 winter-start programs, up from 373 at the same time last year. The college saw a notable rise in its Schools of Business, IT & Management and Justice & Emergency, where registration for their combined 14 January intake programs increased by more than 69% and 97%, respectively. Durham College News Release

StatsCan reports on changing make-up of foreign students at Canadian universities

In a new Education Matters article, Statistics Canada states that by 2008, the proportion of international students attending Canadian universities had doubled compared to 1992, representing 8% of all university students in Canada. Compared to their peers in 1992, international students in 2008 were younger and more likely to be enrolled in programs at the bachelor level than at the PhD level. Asian students have consistently accounted for the largest proportion of international students in Canada -- 49.8% in 1992 and 52.7% in 2008. Smaller proportions of foreign students were enrolled in "mathematics, computer and informational sciences" and the "physical and life sciences, and technologies" in 2008 compared to 1992, with strong gains observed in the enrolment of international students in "business, management and public administration." Statistics Canada

SFU signs letter of intent with new Indian institution

During the City of Surrey's recent mission to India, Simon Fraser University strengthened relationships and secured new ones with academic and business leaders. The university signed a letter of intent with IIT Ropar, a new institution located in Punjab. The agreement will see students from IIT Ropar undertake research at SFU's Surrey campus in areas of computer science, mechatronics, and clean energy. Both institutions have raised the idea of a joint PhD program. Over the next 5 years, IIT Ropar is expected to grow to 2,000 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students. SFU News Release

BC extends international student post-grad program to private educational institutions

The BC government announced Tuesday a new pilot project that will give foreign students at some provincial private educational institutions the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience following graduation. The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows students who have graduated from an eligible program at a PSE institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Under the program, graduates can apply for open work permits for up to 3 years, depending on the length of time they studied. Until now, only foreign students at public universities and colleges and private degree-granting institutions were eligible to apply. BC News Release

Students raise PSE affordability issue on new website, video

On Wednesday, the Canadian Federation of Students launched a website to feature stories of the sacrifices students and their families have had to make to afford higher education. More than 5,000 students have shared their picture and story to raise awareness of their efforts to fund their education. The site is part of the CFS's national Education is a Right campaign. Meanwhile, "The Student Poverty Song," a video produced by Dalhousie University's student union, has gone viral on YouTube, garnering nearly 29,000 views as of yesterday. One scene depicts a student trying to pay her tuition fees with macaroni noodles. The video also shows clips of the recent Student Day of Action in Halifax. The video ends with a call-to-action for tappedout.ca, a site sending a message of concern about rising tuition fees to Nova Scotia MLAs. CFS News Release | educationisaright.ca | Halifax Chronicle-Herald | tappedout.ca

New policy requires presidents of Chicago's City Colleges to reapply for position

According to policy approved Wednesday by the City Colleges of Chicago's board of trustees, the sitting presidents of the community college system's 7 campuses must reapply for their jobs if they want to keep them, and if they are reappointed, they must commit to achieving higher student-success rates. The trustees also voted to redefine the job description for presidents, linking campus leaders' duties to specific performance measures, such as increasing the number of students who earn "college credentials of value" and increasing transfer rates to bachelor degree programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

WikiLeaks-styled site takes aim at higher education

Inspired by WikiLeaks, a group of Australian activists has launched a website where people may leak documents about PSE. Those who run UniLeaks are pushing for openness in the face of what they view as the corporatization of PSE. UniLeaks professes to be different than anonymous campus gossip sites -- it filters content instead of allowing users to post directly, and does not accept rumour. According to UniLeaks' guidelines, the site "will accept restricted or censored material of political, ethical, diplomatic, or historical significance which is in some way connected to higher education." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Inside Higher Ed | UniLeaks