Top Ten

January 5, 2012

Foul play not suspected in death of man found on fire at Carleton parkade

A 25-year-old man found on fire at a Carleton University parking garage on Tuesday afternoon has died. The man was found with burns to 90% of his body. Police do not suspect foul play in the incident. The deceased was not a member of the Carleton community. Carleton News | CBC | Ottawa Citizen

Health sciences facility a priority for uOttawa, says president

University of Ottawa president Allan Rock says plans for a single facility for health sciences departments will be included as part of the institution's new infrastructure plan when it is released in the spring. This contradicts the health sciences dean's statement that construction of new space at the institution's downtown campus for the entire faculty was no longer considered a priority for university administration. Rock disputes the claim that health sciences is not a priority. He says a previous plan that called for new storeys to be built on top of the Montpetit building was simply not feasible and vows to ensure the problem is fixed in the future. Ottawa Citizen

WLU to suggest alternatives to Brantford conservation district

Wilfrid Laurier University representatives will appear before Brantford city council this month to suggest alternatives to a downtown heritage conservation district to protect and enhance historic buildings remaining in the core, which they worry will hamper plans to expand Laurier Brantford to 15,000 students, up from the current 2,500. WLU's VP of physical resources says the institution needs to buy properties, tear down some buildings, and build some new, larger ones in order to accommodate 15,000 students. During the next 25 years, Laurier Brantford expects to add 13,000 students, 526 professors, 998 staff, 2.6 million square feet of facilities, and 4,917 beds for undergraduate and graduate students. Waterloo Region Record

uManitoba launches new Web portal to connect Indigenous students, staff to resources

The University of Manitoba has developed a new microsite called Indigenous Connect to connect Indigenous students and staff with the rising number of resources and opportunities available at the university. The portal is a single online destination that streamlines existing Indigenous information from uManitoba's main website and includes new content promoting Indigenous knowledge. Over 2,000 Indigenous students currently study at uManitoba, representing 7.1% of the institution's student population. uManitoba News

New online tool offers resources for future trades workers

The Trade School Initiative and is a joint provincial-federal initiative designed to help future trades people with the complementary skills they will need to find a job or start a business. The site includes information on finding a job, financial resources, tax information, employee rights, employer responsibilities, health and safety tips, trades schools and community colleges, student aid, and career counselling. The initiative is being launched initially in BC, Ontario, and New Brunswick. NWCC News Release |

Employment prospects vary by college major, US study finds

New research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce observes that risk of unemployment for recent college graduates varies considerably depending on their field of study. Architecture majors face the highest unemployment rate (13.9%) as a result of the collapse of the construction and home-building industries in the economic downturn. The report states that unemployment is generally higher for non-technical majors, such as the arts (11.1%) and social sciences (8.9%). Researchers found that unemployment rates are relatively low (5.4%) for recent graduates in education, engineering, the sciences, or healthcare related majors, as they are tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations. Irrespective of major, attending college is a good bet, the study shows. The overall employment rate for recent bachelor's degree holders is 8.9%, compared to 22.9% for recent high school graduates and 31.5% for recent high school dropouts. The overall unemployment rate for individuals with graduate degrees is just 3%, the report states. Georgetown News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Read the report

Penn State reveals portion of PR response to child-molestation scandal

The Associated Press reports that Pennsylvania State University's board of trustees and president focused on repairing the institution's tarnished image and prepared for financial backlash immediately following the child-molestation scandal. According to internal memos circulated in mid-November, Penn State's new president, Rodney Erickson, told the board that the institution's PR teams and the athletic department had met to "align our messages." One memo from Erickson included an attachment with "talking points" for donors, including that Penn State had not changed its policy that donations are not returned. In another memo, the president told the board that the Penn State Marketing Council was asked to help identify pressing needs, citing admissions as one area requiring attention. A Penn State spokeswoman says the memos show the president and board working "to reinforce all the positive elements" of the university while addressing the scandal. Associated Press

Australia's education exports drop 15% in 2011

A new report from the International Education Association of Australia shows that the nation's education exports fell by 15% last year. More than half of the drop was observed in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia's top 2 education exporters by state. The association's director blames the strong Australian dollar and high costs of student accommodation and public transportation in major Australian cites. He says competitors such as Canada, the US, and New Zealand are recruiting more aggressively and that the Australian industry will feel more pain this year. The Pie News

Indian Institutes of Technology to join MIT's OpenCourseWare community

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have agreed to join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's OpenCourseWare community, allowing MIT students to access course material from the IITs online. The Indian institutions are offering access to course content through other means as well. Lectures from IIT classrooms will soon be available on iTunes, and there is a channel on YouTube for IIT courses. The Times of India

12 education technology trends for the new year

KQED's MindShift blog outlines a dozen education technology trends likely to be seen in 2012. With more than 75% of US teenagers owning a cellphone, and about 40% owning a smartphone, the blog says "these mobile devices will help unlock some of the promise of 'anytime, anywhere' learning opportunities." The blog suspects that more schools will grapple with their policies regarding students bringing their own devices to school. Other trends to watch are bandwidth issues, natural user interfaces, HTML5 technology, new analytical tools to track teaching and learning, adaptive learning, privacy/security, open licensing, peer-to-peer learning, the maker movement (encouraging people to make things by hand), and game-based learning. MindShift