Top Ten

September 9, 2011

UPEI ordered to compensate professors forced to retire

Last week the PEI Human Rights Commission ruled that the University of Prince Edward Island will have to pay more than $335,000 to 3 professors who were forced to retire when they turned 65. The commission also ordered UPEI to pay into each complainant's pension funds for the period they were mandatorily retired, along with $8,000 in general damages and $1,000 in costs. This is the second ruling the commission has made on the issue of mandatory retirement at UPEI after deciding the institution had to pay nearly $700,000 to 3 other employees. The university has since stopped its mandatory retirement policy pending a judicial review. Charlottetown Guardian

Motorists charged following incidents at Seneca, Fleming picket lines

York Regional Police have charged a motorist after a striking support worker was struck by a vehicle trying to cross a picket line at Seneca College's Markham campus last Wednesday afternoon. The employee was taken to hospital to be treated for leg injuries and was later released. A 29-year-old man will appear in court next month on charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Meanwhile, a 20-year-old Peterborough man turned himself into police Friday after a video posted on YouTube showed a motorist going through a 4-way stop, passing 2 cars stopped at the intersection, and then driving down the wrong side of the road travelling through the picket line at Fleming College's Sutherland campus. The man has been charged with dangerous driving. OPSEU News Release | Canadian Press | Peterborough Lakefield Community Police News Release | Peterborough Examiner

Pacific Coast University opens

Last Tuesday marked the official opening of the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences, which will focus on areas such as disability management, occupational safety, and rehabilitation. A key proponent of the Port Alberni, BC institution says the school will operate similarly to Royal Roads University -- much of the instruction will occur online, with students required to be on-site for a period of time each year. The university's first student intake will not likely happen until September 2013. The application for the first degree program should be ready in the first half of 2012. Pacific Coast University website | Victoria Times-Colonist

Hamilton school board approves sale of building to McMaster

In a vote last Wednesday Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustees approved the conditional sale of its downtown education centre to McMaster University so that the post-secondary school can build a new family medicine training centre and clinic. The City of Hamilton has committed more than $47 million to the $80-million project, including $10 million from the Future Fund, $10 million diverted from other properties, and operating and leasing costs over 30 years. A McMaster spokesperson says the institution expects to finalize the sale on October 3 after meeting legal due-diligence requirements. Hamilton Spectator

Record enrolment at UBCO

The University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus has welcomed a record number of students for the fall term, according to data from the office of the registrar. The campus currently has 7,901 registered students, among which 710 are graduate students. So far 2,049 first-year students are enrolled to begin studies in the 2011 winter term, up 12% over the same time in 2010. UBCO is also attracting students from across the country and internationally, with one-third of new students coming from outside BC. There are 597 foreign students this year, representing 78 nations, up from 22 in 2005. The campus reports that the most significant growth in enrolment is from BC Lower Mainland high school applicants, whose number has risen 36% over last year to total 478 new students. UBCO News Release

Aboriginal applicant boom at uWinnipeg

Preliminary enrolment figures show a 3.6% increase in undergraduate enrolment at the University of Winnipeg, where applications from Aboriginal students have risen 24% this September over last. Aboriginal students account for approximately 12% of uWinnipeg's total student population, making the institution one of the top universities in Canada for Indigenous participation. uWinnipeg is now attracting 13,600 people downtown -- full- and part-time students, adult learners, Collegiate students, faculty, and staff. uWinnipeg News Release

Lakehead, Métis Nation of Ontario sign educational agreement

On Thursday Lakehead University and the Métis Nation of Ontario signed an MOU that strengthens and formalizes the long-standing, positive working relationship between both parties. The agreement establishes several key areas for collaboration and partnership, such as increasing Métis participation in, and access to, Lakehead programs and services; engaging in joint Métis research initiatives; promoting Métis content across the curriculum; and ongoing involvement in the development and implementation of Lakehead's law school. Lakehead News Release

MUN turns to foreign social networks in graduate-student recruitment

With financial support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in 2010, Memorial University's School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has branched out to social media websites based in South Korea, Japan, and China. These nations represent the top 3 source countries for international students in Canada and are promising markets for MUN. SGS hired a trio of current grad students -- one from each of the 3 nations -- to build a presence on Mixi (a Japanese and more conservative version of Facebook), RenRen (a Chinese version of Facebook), and Naver (a South Korea-based blog) in order to target prospective students from around the world. The school's manager of enrolment and strategic initiatives says the project, now in its second phase, is beginning to pay off -- applications from the targeted nations have risen by 38% over last year. Brock University has been engaged in a similar initiative for the past year. MUN News

Student unemployment rate slightly higher in summer 2011

According to Statistics Canada's latest Labour Force Survey, the average unemployment rate between May and August for students between the ages of 15 and 24 was 17.2%, slightly above the summer 2010 rate of 16.9%. In comparison, the student unemployment rates recorded in the summers of 2006 and 2008 were below 14%. Compared with last summer, the unemployment rate was virtually unchanged for 17- to 19-year-olds and for 20- to 24-year-olds, at 16.4% and 10.3%, respectively. Among 15- and 16-year-olds, the unemployment rate was 30.7%, up 2.6 percentage points from summer 2010. The average number of hours worked at all jobs during this summer by 15- to 24-year-old students was 24 hours per week, slightly higher than for summer 2010 at 23.7 hours and among the lowest since data were first collected in 1977. Statistics Canada

US report urges colleges to collaborate more in admissions

Suggesting that college leaders adopt goals beyond building a perfect first-year class of "stellar Olympians" and stop observing the admissions process through the "narcissistic glass of competitive rankings," a new US report calls for "tempered competitiveness" in admissions, meaning that colleges must collaborate and not just compete. The report makes several suggestions for "collective action," such as implementing a lottery system in which the most-selective institutions would accept an agreed-upon number of applicants from a common pool. The report also urges colleges to develop better measures of student learning and the quality of teaching, "take the risk" of admitting more students who show promise but may not have top-notch grades and test scores, and work collectively to communicate that being rejected by a selective institution is not a "condemning judgment about a student's educational potential or value as a human being." The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Read the report