Top Ten

October 25, 2011

La Cité president charged with refusing to take breathalyzer test

The Ottawa Citizen reports that La Cité collégiale president Lise Bourgeois was charged last week with refusing to take a breathalyzer test. On the night of October 18, an off-duty RCMP officer called Ottawa police after seeing a woman driving a high-end vehicle that was swerving on the road. After being pulled over by police, the woman refused a breathalyzer test and her vehicle was impounded at the scene. Bourgeois is to appear in court on November 28. La Cité's board of directors met Monday to discuss the charge against Bourgeois. In a statement, the board says it is concerned about the charge, but Bourgeois will continue to serve as president until court proceedings are complete. "She regretted finding herself in such unfortunate circumstances for herself and for the college, but said she is confident that when all the facts are known in court, there will be a successful conclusion," the statement says. Ottawa Citizen

Judge rules in favour of Loyalist students in nursing program case

An Ontario court judge has ruled in favour of a group of former nursing students in a decade-old legal case against Loyalist College, finding the institution liable to the students for breaching its contract obligations. The students' lawyers had claimed that Loyalist published an option in which students would receive a nursing degree from Queen's University before Queen's was on board with the option. The college has also been ordered to reimburse the students' legal costs. Loyalist has also filed a suit against Queen's, claiming the university should be held responsible for its role in the deal falling apart. The college has claimed it could not offer the degree option as Queen's unilaterally withdrew from the option after Loyalist had promoted it. Belleville Intelligencer

Globe releases 2012 Canadian University Report

Yesterday the Globe and Mail released its annual Canadian University Report (CUR), in which large- and medium-sized institutions were graded highest by their students in several key categories, such as most satisfied students ("A-" for UWO, "A" for Queen's) and class size ("B+" for Carleton and Concordia, "A+" for Mount Royal). Results from the "personality test" include Redeemer University College deemed the most nurturing and supportive university academically and McGill as the university that expects the highest level of academic self-sufficiency. The report includes opinions from the presidents of UBC, Queen's, uAlberta, UWO, uToronto, and Mount Allison on the CUR. Marking its tenth year, the CUR singles out 10 aspects of university life in Canada to help students put into perspective what it is all about; "it's a bargain," "you're spoiled for choice," and "it will help you get a better job (really)" are among them. Globe and Mail News Release | Canadian University Report 2012

Canadian undergraduate enrolment surpasses one-million mark

Canadian universities welcomed 1,015,000 undergraduate students this fall, reports the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Full-time undergraduate university enrolment is up by 3%, while part-time undergraduate enrolment has remained constant. Full- and part-time graduate enrolment has increased by 3.2% and 2.3%, respectively, since 2010. Full-time international enrolment has risen by more than 11% since 2010, a 4-fold increase since 1995. AUCC News Release

Quebec nurses seek university degree requirement

The Quebec Order of Nurses voted Monday to revise education requirements for incoming student nurses, calling for a mandatory university degree instead of the current college certificate. With training having remained at the same level since the 1970s, Quebec now lags a decade behind other Canadian provinces, says the order's president. The vote gives the president a mandate to negotiate with various players, such as the nurses' union and education officials, and to lobby Health Department decision-makers. Montreal Gazette | CTV

UBC med school drops block-building test from admissions process

The University of British Columbia's medical school will remove a controversial Lego block-building activity in the next round of applicant interviews in February 2012. Part of the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) format, the test was intended to evaluate critical thinking and the ability to follow complicated instructions, but it was deemed to be of no value in assessing applicants. A new BC Medical Journal editorial criticizes the MMI process, describing it as "contrived, artificial, and bizarre." Although the block-building test is being dropped, a UBC medical school admissions official defends the overall MMI model, stating it helps to gain insight into applicants' non-academic qualities and personality traits. Vancouver Sun | BC Medical Journal

International-student enrolment boom at uAlberta

Total international undergraduate enrolment at the University of Alberta has increased by 20% over the previous fall. Overall, students from 147 nations currently study at uAlberta. In new student registrations, the nations with the highest student representation were China, Malaysia, India, the US, and the United Arab Emirates. International students account for 13.2% of total undergraduate and graduate enrolment at uAlberta. uAlberta News Release

CFI unveils new brand

Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary in 2012, the Canada Foundation for Innovation launched yesterday a new brand identity the organization says "takes full advantage of today's digital advances and online environments." In the "" logo, the first "o" in the word "innovation" is depicted as a red spiral. The new tagline "Research builds communities" showcases "the tremendous role research and research infrastructure plays in our communities," the CFI states. The new visual identity will be implemented in the coming months. CFI News Release | CFI Brand Update

4 BC institutions partner on Canada's first Bachelor of Performing Arts degree

Capilano University, Douglas College, Langara College, and Vancouver Community College are partnering to offer a Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) degree -- the first of its kind in Canada. Designed for students and working professionals with a significant background in arts and entertainment management, dance, digital art, film arts, music, musical theatre, stagecraft, or theatre, the 9-month program focuses on collaboration, creative development, and entrepreneurship. The first BPA cohort will start classes in May 2012 at Capilano U. Douglas College News

Little point to reactionary approach to social media use on campus

On social media, ordinary conversations and throwaway comments become available for public reflection and scrutiny, and much of this material remains permanent, despite efforts to remove it. This raises questions about the public and private domains of the university, writes Queen's professor Martin Hand for Academic Matters. The visibility of professors online, faculty-student relations, and students' use of social media are some of the issues emerging on campus when previously private communication is made visible. Regarding efforts to police this visibility, Hand writes that there seems little point in taking a reactionary approach to the prevalent use of social media on campus. Members of the university community are inventing how social media will work on campus and carefully crafting responses to problems as they occur. Hand states that faculty, in particular, should perhaps consider how the life skills of today's student entail living publicly. Academic Matters