Top Ten

August 8, 2011

Confucius Institute hiring policies deemed discriminatory

The Epoch Times reports that a stipulation published on the main Confucius Institute website states that overseas volunteer Chinese teachers must have "no record of participating in Falun Gong," which is a spiritual discipline. This amounts to discrimination, says a spokeswoman for the Ottawa-based Falun Dafa. "Imposing this instruction that who can teach at these Confucius Institutes, which are bodies in Canadian universities, is basically discriminatory against Falun Gong practitioners," she says. A BC lawyer says the rule violates "all human rights codes in Canada."
The Epoch Times

Discrimination complaint against uOttawa dismissed

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed age discrimination complaints filed on behalf of two 10-year-olds boys who were deregistered from a course at the University of Ottawa. The complaints were filed in January 2007, about 4 months after the twins and their mother enrolled in an undergraduate course on science and social activism. uOttawa accepted the registrations as "special students," allowing the twins and their mother to take the course for academic credit. A month after classes began, the mother received a letter stating the boys' registration had been revoked. "The applicants were denied admission not because of their age, but because they do not meet the entrance requirements of the University," the tribunal ruled. Ottawa Citizen

Alberta Bible colleges facing challenging times

The last few years have been difficult for some Alberta Bible colleges as student enrolment has dropped. Camrose-based Gardner College announced last month it would close due to low enrolment and growing debt. In 2009 Edmonton's Taylor Seminary closed its undergraduate program, concentrating on postgraduate students in the seminary and religious education through the EP Wahl Centre. To cut costs, Taylor and Vanguard College, an Edmonton Bible college, have agreed to share library resources. Some schools are seeing their enrolment rebound. Prairie Bible Institute is expecting enrolment to be about 300 to 330 students this fall, up from 253, representing a little more than half of the school's 600-student capacity. Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute has 72 full- and part-time students, up from 16 students in 2000. The institution needs at least 60 students to operate. Edmonton Journal

Canada adopts international education marketing plan

The country's premiers directed ministers of education and immigration to work together to further develop an international education marketing action plan that identifies areas for investment and opportunity for federal-provincial collaboration on marketing. The expected outcomes of the plan are a greater number of foreign students studying in Canada, an increased share for Canada of the international student market, more opportunities for Canadian students to study abroad, and a greater number of foreign students choosing to remain in Canada as permanent residents after graduation. Read the document

Ottawa renews funding for International Science and Technology Partnership Program

Yesterday Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the International Science and Technology Partnership Program has been renewed with $5 million in funding over 5 years for Brazil. To date, the program has resulted in new and important collaborative research and development projects with Brazil. A joint committee has been struck to deliver a Science and Technology Action Plan, which will encourage Canadian and Brazilian academic and business communities to collaborate on accelerating the commercialization of R&D in areas of common interest. Harper also announced yesterday that 11 scholarships have been awarded under the inaugural Canada-Brazil scholarship program. Prime Minister of Canada News Release

York U Osgoode building renovation nearing completion

The $50-million renovation and expansion of Osgoode Hall Law School's 43-year-old facility on York University's Keele campus is almost complete, with 125 temporarily displaced faculty and staff now relocating in the law school's brand new offices. The building will be ready for the start of classes on August 29. The project was made possible by a fundraising campaign that raised $38 million, the largest in Canadian law school history. The federal and Ontario governments committed $25 million, while York U contributed $15 million. Y-File

Report reviews sustainable development at uWaterloo

A new report on sustainable development at the University of Waterloo is part of the institution's commitment to the Council of Ontario Universities' sustainability pledge. The report examines both key performance success and challenges in the areas of environmental responsibility, social leadership, economic health, and academic excellence. Recommendations include implementing individual building energy and water metering, developing a strategy to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and implementing programs to officially recognize student non-academic involvement and boost student engagement. uWaterloo Daily Bulletin

Kaplan revenue drops 29%

Following a sharp decline in enrolment, the Washington Post Company reports a 29% drop in second-quarter revenue in its Kaplan Higher Education division. Due to stricter government regulations on recruitment practices at for-profit institutions, as well as what the Washington Post Company calls "generally lower demand," new enrolments fell by 47% from the second quarter last year. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

SunGard, Datatel to merge

SunGard Higher Education and Datatel, both providers of back-office software in PSE, announced Friday they will merge, pending regulatory approval. Hellman & Friedman, the private equity firm that owns Datatel, plans to purchase SunGard from its parent company, SunGard Data Systems, for $1.775 billion. Hellman & Friedman would then amalgamate both companies into one firm under a new, yet-to-be-decided name. The merger should leave the new firm with over 50% market share for most kinds of data management software at most types of educational institutions. Inside Higher Ed

New British visa rules may lead to less demand from Indian students

New visa rules in Britain are being blamed for the expected 50% year-on-year decline in students from India at Middlesex University for the 2011-12 academic year. In March the British government announced that from April 2012 overseas graduates would be able to stay in the country only if they have found a graduate-level job with a sponsoring employer. A Middlesex University official says the hit to the institution's India student recruitment, which could cost the university £5 million, was being driven by the belief that the post-study route was completely closed. Times Higher Education