Top Ten

June 17, 2011

Concordia releases external review of institutional governance

Last Wednesday Concordia University released the report of its External Governance Review Committee, whose recommendations include Concordia's senior administrators revamping the institution's charter together, shrinking and rebalancing the board of governors, enforcing strict term limits on governors and senators, and giving more power to the president and senate. The board of governors would also have more influence in appointing a president, to try to avoid repeating "the spectacularly unsuccessful appointments" of the last 2 -- Judith Woodsworth and Claude Lajeunesse. Concordia has scheduled an open meeting on June 28 to discuss the recommendations. Concordia News Release | Globe and Mail | Montreal Gazette | CBC | Read the report

uAlberta medical dean resigns over plagiarism controversy

University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera announced Friday the resignation of Philip Baker from his position as dean of medicine in the wake of allegations that he plagiarized an address he gave at a banquet for graduating medical students. Students complained after some noticed Baker's speech was similar to one delivered at Stanford University last year. The dean later apologized to students, admitting that the theme and content of the 2 addresses were similar. Baker will retain his faculty position following a 4-month leave of absence. uAlberta ExpressNews | Edmonton Journal | CBC | CTV

NSERC distributes $411 million in grants, scholarships

The federal government announced Friday it will distribute more than $411 million in NSERC grants and scholarships over terms ranging from one to 5 years. The awards comprise the 2011 competition results for NSERC's Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships Programs. The awards will support over 3,800 scientists, engineers, and students at universities across the country. NSERC News Release

Holland College to build new waterfront campus in Summerside

Holland College announced Friday it will establish a new waterfront campus in Summerside. The institution has purchased the Waterfront Mall in Summerside for $1.5 million, and will commit a further $9.4 million to convert it into a new campus. The PEI government and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency are each investing $1 million in the project. The college's campus at Slemon Park, just outside of Summerside, will remain open, but some programs will move to the Summerside Waterfront campus, which is planned to open in fall 2012, accommodating up to 250 students. Holland College News Release | CBC

Manitoba invests $5 million in ACC Brandon campus redevelopment

The Manitoba government announced last Thursday a $5-million investment toward campus infrastructure renewal and planning for Assiniboine Community College's North Hill campus in Brandon, bringing the province's total contribution to the project to more than $57 million. The campus infrastructure renewal includes improvements to roads, parking, bus routes, outdoor lighting, security, direction signage, and underground services. Manitoba News Release

New program to help Ontario students apply to PSE

The Ontario government is investing more than $2.2 million over 3 years in Life After High School, a new program launching this fall under which more than 9,000 Grade 12 students at 37 provincial secondary schools will be getting extra help in the classroom to learn about the benefits of higher education and choose a career. The program is designed to help students better understand PSE options, navigate the application process for financial aid, and overcome barriers that may discourage students from applying to PSE. The province will also pay for participants' university or college application fee. Ontario News Release | Toronto Star

New gifts to Carleton, UOIT, uSask

Carleton University announced last Thursday a $1.5-million donation from Ottawa-based tech entrepreneur Sreedhar Natarajhan to the university's Canada-India Centre for Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy. The gift will permanently endow the centre's research and policy activities. The University of Ontario Institute of Technology received a $1.5-million gift last week from Sure Energy Inc. chairman and CEO Jeffrey Boyce, whose donation, the largest UOIT has received from an individual, will fund the Jeffrey S. Boyce Research Chair in Natural Gas as an Alternative Transportation Fuel. The University of Saskatchewan's Edwards School of Business announced last Thursday a $1-million donation from Cameco Corporation CEO Gerald Grandey to be directed toward a variety of leadership initiatives. Carleton News Release | UOIT News Release | uSask News Release

Article explores spectrum of work-integrated learning programs in Ontario

An article co-authored by Academica Group's Peggy Sattler, published in the latest issue of The Canadian Apprenticeship Journal, offers insights into the various types of work-integrated learning (WIL) programs within Ontario's higher education sector, identifying some of the benefits and challenges associated with WIL programs. Among the benefits identified by key informants are students' career development and its impact on graduate employability and enhancing student confidence. Challenges include balancing enrolment numbers with opportunities for quality WIL experiences and financial pressures. The article notes several areas where efforts could be made to enhance learning outcomes. For example, the marketing and promotion of WIL programs should be informed by a more accurate understanding of the benefits sought by students and employers. Read the article

Report sets out national goals for Inuit education

Last Thursday Inuit leaders released a National Strategy on Inuit Education, outlining several key priorities to improve Inuit education, including a focus on mobilizing parents, early childhood education, and measuring and assessing success. With regard to higher education, the National Committee on Inuit Education recommends a program to increase Inuit success in PSE and adult learning in the Inuit language, English, and French that will identify and remove barriers to PSE and adult training, examine and share models for delivering PSE, and promote PSE programming that teaches Inuit culture, history, and worldview. The committee also recommends establishing a northern university based on Inuit culture and language in Inuit Nunangat. NL News Release | Read the report

University student attrition linked to preparedness, says UWO study

New research from the University of Western Ontario observes that approximately 40% of students who quit university do so because of what they learn about their own academic ability, based primarily on the marks they receive after arriving on campus. One of the study's authors states that on average, students enrol in university overly optimistic about their likely performance, predicting they will obtain far higher marks than what they actually get in their first term. As a result, many students learn over the course of their studies that university is not a good match for them academically, and they decide to drop out. The author says new policies must be developed that target students at much younger ages to better prepare them for a quality PSE, especially for those who choose to study science or math. UWO News Release