Top Ten

January 31, 2012

MHC student arrested for pointing gun at students on campus

Medicine Hat College has kicked a student off campus and evicted him from his residence following an argument late Friday night that police say ended with the student pointing a handgun at other students. Police were called to a dispute at 1:30 am Saturday at MHC's residences. A 25-year-old man was taken into custody without incident at his residence a short time later. The man is charged with assault with a weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, pointing a handgun, using a dangerous weapon in the commission of a crime, and wearing a disguise. Medicine Hat News

Woodsworth returns to Concordia as instructor

Former Concordia University president Judith Woodsworth, who left her position in December 2010 amid controversy that led to a review of institutional governance, returned to the institution this month to begin teaching French translation classes. Woodsworth says she missed the contact with students and, rather than feeling any resentment directed at her, she is where "I rightfully belong." With tenure and a full course load, Woodsworth says she has received a warm welcome from staff, although a few students have asked questions about her former position. Her return is not so strange in the world of academia, where some administrators also teach, says the president of Concordia's part-time faculty association. Several administrators have returned to teaching duties at the institution and Woodsworth "was entitled to return to her academic position," says a Concordia official. Montreal Gazette

Cambrian sells residences to private company

Tight budgets and millions in pending maintenance work are behind Cambrian College's decision to sell its Barrydowne campus dormitories to Campus Living Centres, a private company. The $24-million sale includes the buildings, but not the land, which will be leased to Campus Living Centres. Under the deal, the company and the institution will determine the services offered to students, the rates they are charged, and the "atmosphere" in which they live. The sale also means new development on the north end of the campus. The agreement leases 7 acres of unused campus land on which Campus Living Centres will construct new facilities. President Sylvia Barnard says Cambrian is the first college in Ontario to sell its residences outright, but it is a trend she expects to continue due to the high costs of maintaining dormitories. Sudbury Star

FPSE, students want BC government to protect NWCC

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC president Cindy Oliver believes a united front is needed to convince the BC government to avoid program closures and layoffs at Northwest Community College, whose deficit could reach $2 million by the time it closes off its books for the year ending March 31. Asking NWCC's president and board chair to join her in lobbying BC's advanced education minister, Oliver says cuts and layoffs at the institution do not make any sense given the need to train northwestern residents for the major economic development projects currently underway or about to start. If cuts are made to NWCC programs and services, "the college's ability to properly serve our communities will be severely compromised," says the student union's treasurer. "We need the BC government to restore funding to NWCC so the college can improve and grow." Terrace Standard

"Negative advocacy" ineffective in pushing for better funding, says uAlberta president

Working behind the scenes with the Alberta government is more effective than public advocacy to make the case for better university funding, says University of Alberta president Indira Samarasekera. A group of faculty members in the arts and science faculties who last month publicly protested staff and faculty cuts in the coming year are free to do so, but such "negative advocacy" is not effective and could send the wrong message about the quality of education at uAlberta, Samarasekera says. "It has been our strategic choice to have these conversations with government directly, not through the media, and the government is listening," she says. Deans of uAlberta's 19 faculties are preparing for a third year of no increases, which will mean cutting 7 academic positions in the arts faculty, for instance. One of the professors who raised public concerns about the funding cuts defends the group's decision to launch a petition to rally support for Alberta's "flagship" institution. The petition calls for stable, long-term funding, as well as a tuition freeze. Edmonton Journal

BC education minister warns of overabundance of teachers in province

BC Education Minister George Abbott says young people considering a teaching career need to know that there are 3 applicants in the province for every one position that becomes available in the K-12 school system. "We need to be honest with students...about where their opportunities in the future may lie," Abbott says. The overabundance of teachers is an issue the minister intends to raise with the Association of BC Deans of Education during a meeting scheduled for the spring. Until he discusses his concerns with the deans, Abbott has declined to comment on whether the province would consider a cap on enrolments in teacher education programs. Vancouver Sun

Canada's nursing supply outpacing national population growth

According to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, from 2009 to 2010, the nursing workforce increased at nearly twice the rate of the Canadian population. In 2010, there were 354,910 regulated nurses working in Canada, an increase of 8.8% since 2006. The report notes that BC, Alberta, and Ontario are the top 3 destinations for work for Canadian-educated regulated nursing graduates who moved away from their jurisdiction of graduation. In 2010, a total of 104,105 registered nurses (RNs) in the workforce had obtained a baccalaureate as their highest education in nursing. Those returning for a post-diploma baccalaureate constituted the largest proportion of the workforce seeking advanced education, following entry-to-practice education. Of these, 37.7% initially earned a diploma in nursing, then went back to school for a baccalaureate. 68,847 RNs had already received a baccalaureate before entering nursing practice. In addition, 9,508 RNs obtained either a master's degree or a PhD as their highest education in nursing following entry-to-practice education. CIHI News Release | Read the report

WLU student-athletes faring well academically, study finds

Research on Wilfrid Laurier University student-athletes' academic performance shows that student-athletes in the 2000s are on average doing as well or better academically than other students. According to the research, in the 1980s, 87.8% of WLU student-athletes graduated from their programs. Today, 94% of student-athletes graduate compared to 86.7% of non-athletes. Student-athletes' average grades on a 12-point scale also rose from 6.76 in the 1980s to 7.48 today, compared to the average grade of 7.44 for non-athletes at WLU. The current admission average of student-athletes is 81.5%, while the overall non-athlete admission average is 81.4%. WLU officials attribute the improvements in part to the institution's holistic approach to student-athlete success. WLU places a strong emphasis on academic performance when recruiting athletes, and encourages athlete success in the classroom through academic mentorship programs and referrals to specialist tutors. Student-athletes must maintain a passing average in their coursework to continue to play their sports. WLU News Release

5 Canadian business schools listed in FT global MBA rankings

The University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management placed 44th in the latest rankings of global MBA programs by the Financial Times of London, taking the top spot among Canadian business schools. The other Canadian schools among the top 100 are York University's Schulich School of Business (59), McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management (61), the University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business (68), and the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business (82). The ranking is a combination of data gathered from participating business schools and alumni from the class that graduates 3 years before the survey. Globe and Mail | Global MBA Rankings 2012

University applications fall by 10% in England

According to data from the UK-based Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the number of UK university applicants fell by 8.7% -- from 506,488 to 462,507 -- as maximum tuition fees are tripling this fall to £9,000. Applications from English students decreased even more sharply, dropping nearly 10% from 426,208 applicants in the 2011 cycle to 384,170. There was a 13.7% increase in applicants from non-EU nations, while EU applicants dropped by 11.2%. Times Higher Education