Top Ten

December 16, 2011

McGill investigation finds riot police acted on their own

A report by McGill University's law dean on the on-campus standoff between protesting students and riot police says the operation by riot police was their own initiative and was conducted "without any request for assistance by McGill Security or McGill authorities." Recommendations in the report focus on defining the scope of the rights of free expression and peaceful assembly, emergency management, and reviewing security processes. Some members of the McGill community say the recommendations fall short of providing closure. "The presence of the riot police that day will continue to be contentious," says a Student Society of McGill University executive. "There is a feeling McGill didn't do enough to attenuate the riot squad's deployment and this report doesn't clear the air." The president of the Association of McGill University Support Employees says the report "will not be the catharsis the community needs." McGill Announcement | Montreal Gazette | CBC | Read the report

uManitoba profs warned of students sharing course material online

In an e-mail to its members, the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) says it has learned of a national website called LocAZu, on which students can buy and sell textbooks, past exams, lecture notes, and study materials. UMFA expresses concern over the sharing of course material that is the personal property of individual professors. "The course materials you have created, including lectures, course notes, laboratory materials, exams and other works created by members for their class, are your intellectual property and cannot be published without your permission." The faculty union "strongly recommends against this method of sharing course materials." Canadian Association of University Teachers executive director James Turk says it's no violation for students to share their notes of a lecture, but they are "not at liberty to tape someone's lecture and send it around. If the student did that, they're in violation of copyright law." UMFA website | Winnipeg Free Press

NDP leadership candidate unveils youth opportunities strategy

On Thursday, NDP leadership candidate Paul Dewar released a $1.3-billion strategy to provide youth with more education, work, and volunteer opportunities. Under the proposed "Your Canada Year" program, 17- to 25-year-old Canadians will be eligible to volunteer in Canada or abroad. In exchange they will receive up to $1,500 a month to help cover expenses during their services and a grant of up to $6,000 for one year of PSE or training afterwards. Dewar's Youth Opportunities strategy includes reducing student-loan interest to prime rate, trimming tuition fees for PSE and training by an average of $700 a year per student, and increasing federal grants for PSE and training by $200 million annually, targeting low-income students, students with disabilities, and Aboriginal students. Paul Dewar News | Canadian Press

Boréal capital campaign reaches halfway point

One year after Collège Boréal launched its "Leading us to prosperity" fundraising campaign, the institution has raised over $2.5 million, more than half of the $5-million target amount for the end of 2012. The campaign is being conducted as part of a $26-million infrastructure project to provide for the entry of students to new programs, mostly in culinary arts, stage management, and trades. Boréal News Release

CAUT poll finds Canadians want more action to improve PSE funding

In a new poll conducted for CAUT, nearly 80% of Canadians surveyed said getting a college or university education is more important than ever, but most felt it is also becoming more difficult to pursue higher education due to rising costs. Over half of respondents said governments are not doing enough to ensure the affordability and accessibility of PSE in Canada. 57% of those polled said they would be willing to pay more taxes to support increased funding. 54% of respondents said governments should make lowering fees a top priority of PSE, followed by the creation of more student spaces (17%), hiring more instructors (11%), and spending more on research (11%). When asked what PSE institutions should do if they do not get the public funding they need, half of respondents said they should reduce administrative costs, while 15% favoured cuts to staff salaries, 14% said classes sizes should be increased, and 9% supported increased tuition fees. CAUT Bulletin | Poll Results

Lakehead signs MOU with Canadian University of Dubai

A recent memorandum of understanding signed between the Canadian University of Dubai (CUD) and Lakehead University includes an articulation agreement that will allow students who have completed the first part of CUD's BSc in Engineering program to transfer to Lakehead to complete the latter's Bachelor of Engineering degree. CUD students may also transfer to Lakehead for one year to earn the latter's Technology Diploma after spending an initial year at CUD. The credits earned may then be transferred back to the CUD degree. The MOU also includes a semester abroad program, a visiting faculty program, and opportunities for research collaboration. CUD News

Dal introduces co-curricular record

Dalhousie University joins a number of Canadian PSE institutions with the launch of a co-curricular record, an official document that recognizes a student's accomplishments and learning experiences outside the classroom, such as in volunteer activities and campus employment. Students can build the co-curricular record themselves, and the university will validate the role or position the students selected to list on the record. Students can download or print and share the document in job interviews and graduate school applications. Dal News

UNBSJ develops mobile app

The University of New Brunswick Saint John has launched its first mobile application. Currently available for Apple devices, the UNB Saint John mobile app offers instant access to UNB news, campus maps, library services, exam and transit schedules, Seawolves varsity sports schedules, study room bookings, class cancellations, and emergency contact information. More items and features will be added to the application over time. Versions of the app for BlackBerry and Android devices are in the works. UNBSJ News

Senate urges First Nation control over education

A new Senate report recommends significant changes to the system of on-reserve education in Canada. The report proposes a new First Nations Education Act, which would provide a legislative framework for a revamped system and recognize the authority of First Nations peoples for on-reserve elementary and secondary education. It also recommends the Aboriginal Affairs minister and First Nations authorities negotiate a funding system, an implementation timeline, and a task force to oversee the system. The report concludes that a “properly resourced First Nations-run education system could pave the way towards academic success and the cultural renewal necessary to lead First Nations out of dependence towards the full partnership that the treaties guarantee.” Read the report

UWO study emphasizes importance of education for individuals and communities

A new study from the University of Western Ontario argues that the effects of a good education system are wide-reaching. The report argues against government cuts to the education system by citing studies showing that improving education for at-risk children reduces adult crime, can lead to better health, and increases voter turnout. The study concludes that “current evidence suggests that well-targeted education-based programs can be more cost-effective than traditional law enforcement policies once all costs and benefits are accounted for.” UWO News Release | Read the report