Top Ten

August 17, 2011

Group of uSask senators calls for board chair's resignation

A group of elected University of Saskatchewan senators are calling on Nancy Hopkins, the chair of the board of governors, to step aside because of her ties to uranium producer Cameco Corp., of which she is also a board member. One senator points to equity Hopkins has at stake that rides on Cameco's performance, questioning whether her role is connected to uSask's increasing focus on nuclear research. Another senator says Hopkins' role on the presidential search committee is problematic because some candidates with links to the nuclear industry are rumoured to be in the running. Hopkins says the conflict of interest allegations are "absurd," and outgoing uSask president Peter MacKinnon says the call for her to step aside is "a request without any grounds at all." Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

Colleges Ontario urges provincial election candidates to make student mobility a priority

Colleges Ontario is calling on candidates in the upcoming provincial election to commit to helping students transfer between college and university without losing time or money. Specifically, the next government must guarantee that any university or college student who transfers to another public institution will receive recognition for at least two-thirds of his or her already-completed credits in related programs, the organization declares. Colleges Ontario's platform to transform PSE includes broadening apprenticeship opportunities by having colleges administer the apprenticeship system, and providing more funding to college-based research that helps businesses become more innovative. Colleges Ontario News Release

CFHSS highlights priorities for 2012 federal budget

In its pre-budget submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences recommends that the federal government continue to increase funding to the federal research granting agencies to support innovation. Another recommendation is for Ottawa to encourage cross-sector mobilization of knowledge and research to enhance understanding of our world; develop new processes, products and services; and improve our well-being. CFHSS also calls for investment in graduate and postdoctoral training through scholarships and internships to develop the next generation of Canadian employees, leaders, innovators, and citizens. CFHSS Pre-Budget Submission

Centennial proposes condo development to fund Guild Inn restoration

Centennial College is proposing a low-rise condominium to be built on part of the Guild Inn property in Scarborough to underwrite the cost of restoring the inn's Bickford Residence. Centennial is seeking a private-sector partner to raise the capital needed for both the restoration and the creation of its Culture and Heritage Institute at the site. The plans call for a low-rise condo with approximately 100 units, depending on land cost. The project is expected to generate $5 million to $6 million available immediately to kick off restoration of the residence and construction of the institute. Centennial News Release

Fleming renames training centre for $1-million gift

Businessman and Fleming College alumnus Duane Parnham has made a $1-million donation in support of the Resources Drilling and Blasting Training Centre at his alma mater's Frost campus in Lindsay, Ontario, making it the largest alumni donation in Fleming's history and the largest ever by a college alumnus to an Ontario community college. The gift will support the purchase of equipment, fund upgrades and enhancements to the centre, and be used to create an endowed fund to provide financial assistance to students at the Frost campus. In recognition of the gift, the centre will be renamed The Parnham RDB Training Centre. Fleming News Release

York U's Schulich top Canadian business school in Forbes ranking

York University's Schulich School of Business has placed first in Forbes' biennial ranking of global business schools, which measures the average earning power of a school's MBA degree. Schulich ranked 10th among 2-year MBA programs outside the US. HEC Montréal placed 12th on the list of the best non-US one-year MBA programs. McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management and the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business ranked 11th and 12th, respectively, on the list of the best non-US 2-year MBA programs. Schulich News Release | Forbes

Irish Studies grows at Concordia

The only one of its kind in the country, Concordia University's School of Canadian Irish Studies will have over 700 students enrolled this fall, and will soon introduce the first-ever bachelor of arts in Canadian Irish Studies. "The success of Irish studies at Concordia is quite striking," says the director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, "particularly since these kinds of 'area' studies programs are having difficulty in other universities." Interest in Ireland is particularly high in Quebec, says the principal of the Concordia school. The provincial government, whose premier claims Irish ancestry on his mother's side, awarded $2.5 million to the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation, which gives all of its funding to Concordia. Former Westmount mayor and chief fundraiser Brian Gallery helped add nearly $7 million to the foundation's coffers. Maclean's OnCampus

1/3 of PSE students expect to have significant debt by graduation, poll finds

According to the 2011 RBC Student Savings and Spending Poll, one-third of PSE students expect to have significant debt by the time they graduate, with female students (44%) more likely to be worried than male students (30%). More than a third of students polled say that, thanks to online and mobile budgeting tools, they are spending less than they used to. Having enough money for school is a worry for more than half of students (54%), with females (61%) more likely to be concerned about their finances than males (48%). The poll found that just 20% of students plan and stick to a monthly budget. RBC News Release

ETFO takes aim at unauthorized recordings by students

Delegates at the annual meeting of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario voted unanimously to push schools and school boards to have clear policies -- and punishments -- with regard to the unauthorized use of video and audio recordings, as well as pictures, taken by students using personal electronic devices. "We've had to deal with an increasing number of concerns related to members being subject to the abuse of technology," the Halton union local says. US schools and PSE institutions have wrestled with videotaping, where students provoke the instructor and post the response online. While "malicious entrapment" is easy to punish, there are other issues regarding recordings that are not as clear-cut. If a university student records and publishes an instructor's lecture, "it raises intellectual property concerns," says Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director James Turk, adding it could also hamper professors and students from speaking freely.

Enrolments take significant dip at many for-profit institutions in US

Reflecting a weak economy and increased scrutiny of the sector, enrolment at many for-profit colleges in the US has fallen sharply in recent months. According to company financial disclosures and analysts' reports, new-student enrolment dropped an average of 14.1% this quarter at 10 of the largest for-profit educators. The plunge has come as some of those institutions, among them the University of Phoenix and Kaplan Higher Education, have adjusted their recruitment and marketing practices amid rising pressure from federal and state law makers. Industry leaders say the enrolment drop is part of a natural readjustment following a long stretch of double-digit growth, and they remain confident about expanding, given their relatively small market share in PSE. However, some analysts are concerned that if for-profit institutions do not lower their prices, they risk losing applicants and profits. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)