Top Ten

November 28, 2011

Brandon U faculty strike ends

Classes at Brandon University resumed yesterday evening after the institution and its faculty association reached a tentative agreement late Friday, ending the 45-day faculty strike. The institution's senate will meet tomorrow to address how the semesters will be completed. Brandon U's board of governors has approved a plan for student refunds, which will be available either for individual courses or all courses. Brandon U Communiqué | Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

Ottawa seeks proposal for initiatives to end violence against women on campuses

On Friday, Rona Ambrose, the federal minister for Status of Women, launched a call for proposals for projects to address violence against women on post-secondary campuses. The federal government will accept submissions until January 27, 2012 for projects that cost under $200,000. There is no limit on the number of proposals the government could approve. Ambrose says she is concerned complacency is getting in the way of ending violence against women on campuses. "Yes, there are good programs out there being offered by institutions like universities and colleges but we need to do more," she says. "The problem continues to exist and I think students are well positioned to come up with good ideas." Status of Women Canada News Release | Canadian Press

uAlberta arts faculty to cut support staff positions

To help save $1.5 million, the University of Alberta's arts faculty will cut approximately 15 support staff jobs early next year. In May, uAlberta administrators notified faculty officials that faculties would need to return about 2% of the money in their budgets. For the arts faculty, that worked out to a 2.1% cut in an overall budget of $75.8 million for 2011-12. The faculty has also been warned to expect an additional 2% reduction for the next fiscal year, which begins April 1. The arts dean says she thinks the faculty will have to consider the academic side next, looking at faculty members and low-enrolment programs. Edmonton Journal

Tougher school standards putting Alberta students at disadvantage

Alberta's secondary school graduates are losing out on university seats and scholarships due to tougher standards and grade inflation elsewhere, suggests research from the University of Saskatchewan. The study of 12,000 first-year students over the past 3 years found the averages of those from Alberta fell just 6.4 percentage points from Grade 12 levels, while the grades of their peers from BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario dropped by as much as 19.6 percentage points. To put Alberta curriculum students on a level playing field, uSask will start admitting these students next year based on the average of their school-assigned grades alone, or the combined school and diploma exam marks, whichever is higher. The move by uSask is forcing universities in Alberta and across the country to rethink and justify admissions policies that, in most instances, take secondary school marks at face value. The study's results are also sparking a renewed debate about whether standardized tests such as Alberta's diploma exams are needed elsewhere to curb grade inflation. Calgary Herald

Nunavut urged to increase funding for PSE program for Inuit youth

The federal government is urging Nunavut officials to provide more funding for Nunavut Sivuniksavut, an Ottawa-based PSE program for Inuit youth. The program receives funding from Nunavut, the federal government, and territorial-based economic development organizations to cover its annual budget of about $1 million. The federal government believes its contribution accounts for the lion's share of the program's money since it funds many of those organizations that then pass it on to the program. Nunavut's deputy minister of education says the reason the territory had not provided more funding in the past was because the school is so far away, but "that's not to say we don't value the program. It's extremely valuable." The federal request comes as Nunavut Sivuniksavut is facing some financial issues after expanding the program earlier this year. Ottawa Citizen

Algonquin College celebrates new Centre for Construction Excellence

Algonquin College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday for its new $79-million Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence, which will provide space for 600 new students studying construction and related disciplines. The centre's "living laboratory" approach was adopted to boost student learning and applied research. Several building and environmental systems have been left exposed so students can see what goes into making the 190,000-square-foot building work. Algonquin received a joint $70-million investment from the federal and Ontario governments for the project, to which the City of Ottawa provided land and funding for a pedestrian link. Algonquin College News Release

Humber opens Lakeshore Commons

On Friday, Humber College celebrated the official opening of the Lakeshore Commons, the newest building at the institution's Lakeshore campus. Built to LEED Silver standards, the 110,000-square-foot building features the Centre for Digital & Media Communications, interactive and open concept creative learning space, labs, classrooms, a student gallery, and over 400 cafeteria spaces. The facility will help the campus serve an additional 2,200 students, primarily in the Schools of Community & Social Services, Liberal Arts & Sciences, Media Studies & Information Technology, and the Business School. Along with funding for the Humber Arts & Media Studios and the college's Centre for Justice Leadership, the Lakeshore Commons received a joint $35-million contribution from the federal and Ontario governments. Humber News Release

International-student enrolment at CNC up 15%

The College of New Caledonia reports that its Prince George campus experienced a 15% increase in foreign students this fall term. The college welcomed 247 international students this semester, an increase of 32 students from the fall 2010 term, and 72 students from fall 2009. The largest increase in international enrolment was among Indian students, whose numbers total 30 this term, up from 12 in fall 2010. The largest group of students is from China, totalling 140 students, or 56% of all international students, for the fall 2011 term. CNC News Release

Dal computer science faculty to welcome more Saudi graduate students

Under a new memorandum of understanding signed with King Saud University, Dalhousie University's Faculty of Computer Science looks to welcome more graduate students from Saudi Arabia. While the faculty does have a fair number of Saudi students already, the agreement allows for more fully-funded grad students to study at Dal. The institution's agreement with King Saud University is part of its strategy for forging partnerships with key universities in the Middle East, particularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dal News

York U to offer MBA specialization in mining

York University's Schulich School of Business announced Monday it will offer a first-of-its-kind MBA specialization in global mining management starting in September 2012. "An MBA specialization in mining is long overdue," says Schulich's dean, citing the predicted growth in demand for metals that is expected to continue over the next decade. Schulich's Executive-in-Residence says the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum approached the business school to develop the specialization due to the school's strong reputation as a leader in sustainable business management, its global reach and orientation, and its status as a top-ranked business school in a number of international rankings. Schulich will begin marketing the specialization to prospective students around the world next month. Schulich News | Globe and Mail | Financial Post