Top Ten

July 18, 2011

Man arrested in sexual assault at York U residence

A 30-year-old man has been charged following an alleged incident involving sexual assault that occurred Friday in Bethune Residence at York University's Keele campus. A male suspect reportedly made his way into the residence and entered a room occupied by 2 female community members, where the assault took place. The man charged is not a York U student. Y-File | Toronto Star

Carleton seeks dismissal of student lawsuit

Carleton University has asked a judge to reject a lawsuit by 2 members of a campus pro-life group alleging they were discriminated against when the institution blocked their attempts to set up a graphic display. The group tried to set up the display in Carleton's Tory Quad after the school had offered them space in an alternative location outside Porter Hall. Lawyers for Carleton have asked the judge to dismiss the claim, arguing it discloses no reasonable cause of action and is "scandalous, frivolous, vexatious or otherwise an abuse of the process of the court." Carleton also argues the claims of wrongful arrest should be struck as it was Ottawa police who arrested the students. Ottawa Citizen

Ontario college support staff endorse strike mandate

Last week 56% of eligible full-time, regular staff members at Ontario colleges voted 77% in favour of possible strike action. The support staff will be in a legal position to walk off the job if both parties do not reach an agreement by an August 31 deadline. The key issues for the union are wage and benefits, job security, and the introduction of a two-tier benefit package for new employees. OPSEU News Release | Toronto Star

Business students lose out in government research funding initiative

When Ottawa allocated $17.5 million in new graduate research funding for "business-related degrees" in 2009, criticism abounded, with outraged students and professors sensing a government unfairly attempting to decide what they should study. Now the targeted funding has expired, and the initiative "was an abject failure," says Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. He believed the government had agreed to direct more scholarship funding to MBAs, and to business schools in general. However, MBA students still did not qualify under the rules for new SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship prizes, and the funds went toward projects focused on business issues from "a pretty broad range of potential subjects," says a SSHRC official. The associate dean of the Queen's School of Business says his faculty "saw no noticeable difference" in its students' success rate in award competition. Globe and Mail

NLC suspends intake for geomatics program

Due to low enrolment numbers, BC-based Northern Lights College has put its Geomatics Engineering Technology program on hiatus for 2011-12. Over the next several months, NLC plans to conduct a review of all aspects of the program, with a target of re-introducing it to the slate of available programming for September 2012. The program comprises year one of the 2-year diploma program offered at BCIT. NLC News Release

Ontario releases progress report on education

Earlier this month the Ontario government released its 2011 Progress Report, which notes that the province's students are ranked among the best in the world, have higher tests scores, and more than ever are graduating and going on to university, college, or an apprenticeship. Ontario's PSE completion rate among adults, which sits at 64%, is 20 percentage points higher than the US and twice as high as the UK. Universities boosted their degree completion rates from 73% in 2002-03 to 79% in 2009-10, while colleges increased their rates from 57% to 64%. The progress report states that about 120,000 apprentices are learning a trade today, almost 60,000 more than in 2002-03. Ontario News Release | Progress Report 2011 -- Education

New report evaluates Brock's Alternative to Academic Suspension Program

Commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, a report assessing the effectiveness of Brock University's Alternative to Academic Suspension Program (AASP) states that initial results of the program, which launched in fall 2009, are positive, with students persisting in their studies and two-thirds experiencing an increase in their overall grade average after completing the program. Half of participating students returned to studies in fall 2010, while only 17% of students who chose not to participate returned after serving their suspension. The study found that students who missed even one AASP class were less likely to return to Brock in the next school year, and students choosing to participate in AASP with overall academic averages of 50% or less were less likely to return the next year. Research Summary | Full Report

UCN breaks ground for The Pas campus expansion

Manitoba-based University College of the North held a sod-turning ceremony earlier this month for the $16.4-million expansion of the institution's campus in The Pas. The project entails a new 16,400-square-foot library named in honour of long-serving MLA Oscar Lathlin and a 6,500-square-foot child-care facility. Construction is currently scheduled to be completed in late 2012. Manitoba News Release

Alberta PC leadership candidate pledges tuition credit

Ted Morton, a candidate for the leadership of Alberta's PC party, is proposing a tuition tax credit program, which would provide a refund of tuition paid by Alberta students who remain and work in the province for a 7-year period. The tuition would be paid back in the form of non-refundable tax credits and be capped at a $20,000 value. Morton, who taught at the University of Calgary for 24 years, says the proposal is important to address the rising cost of education and the demands of Alberta's workforce. Ted Morton website | Cochrane Times

SFU granted NCAA provisional membership status

A year after joining the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Simon Fraser University's athletics program has received notification from the National Collegiate Athletics Association that it has been awarded provisional status by the NCAA Division II committee. SFU will now be able to function as an NCAA Division II institution, competing under the NCAA's branding standards, banner, and logo, effective September 1, 2011. SFU News Release