Top Ten

February 17, 2012

37 protesters arrested following CÉGEP occupation

A total of 37 protesters were arrested early Friday morning following a violent overnight clash with Montreal police when officers were called in to break up an occupation of Cégep du Vieux Montréal. The arrested protesters are expected to face a range of charges, such as conspiracy, assault with a weapon on police officers, and mischief. CÉGEP administrators had announced earlier that "all activities have been suspended" following a general-strike vote by students. Meanwhile, police have arrested 4 individuals out of the hundreds of demonstrators who assembled Thursday morning in a protest that included a wide range of grievances, including increased tuition fees. Students, unions, and women's groups held a joint protest in a downtown Montreal area around the local stock exchange, as access to a hotel was blocked off. Riot police were called in and the situation became tense as police officers dispersed pepper spray into the crowd. Montreal Gazette | CTV

Colleges Ontario expresses concern over Drummond report's recommendation on college degrees

Colleges Ontario welcomes the Drummond report's recommendations with respect to student mobility, but is concerned with the recommendation that colleges should not be granted any new degree programs. The organization believes the provincial government needs to conduct a thorough assessment of higher education before it takes any action. "Students need a range of opportunities to get the higher education they need for their particular career goals and, in a lot of cases, what you really need is one of the degree programs at the colleges," says a Colleges Ontario spokesman. Colleges Ontario News Release | Ottawa Citizen

WLU faculty approve strike mandate

Full-time faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University will be in a legal strike position on March 3 if they do not reach a contract settlement with the institution. 520 faculty association members approved a strike mandate with a 91% vote earlier this month. Their contract expired July 1. Outstanding issues include salaries and pensions. Mediation is scheduled for February 29 and March 1. Waterloo Region Record

Police investigate sexual assault at Carleton

A sexual assault has been reported at Carleton University, which is said to have occurred in a residence room Thursday night. The institution confirms both campus safety and Ottawa police know the identity of the male suspect. A campus-wide alert was not sent to students because of that and it was determined there was no risk to other students or staff on campus. CBC | Ottawa Citizen

RRC would need $176 million to build skilled trades and technology centre, says president

Red River College president Stephanie Forsyth says it will cost $176 million to construct a skilled trades and technology centre at the Notre Dame campus that would train 1,000 students a year to feed Manitoba's hungry economy. The provincial government has pledged $60 million for the project, and the college has to raise the rest through a capital campaign. Manitoba expects 6,000 skilled construction workers to retire by 2018, just about how long it would take to construct 3 phases of the proposed training centre in a best-case scenario, says Forsyth. Winnipeg Free Press

Another century before faculty gender balance will be achieved?

A study co-led by Simon Fraser University tracking the retention rate of close to 3,000 US science and engineering male and female professors shows that both sexes were likely to leave their positions at the same high rate -- 50%. The research observes that men and women are retained and promoted at the same rate, although fewer women are entering these positions. Given current rates, it could take another century before a gender balance is attained. While no comparable research has been conducted involving Canadian universities, the SFU researcher says recent experience with gender discrepancy in the awarding of Canada Research Chairs and Canada Excellence Research Chairs "suggests that there is much work to do on th is side of the border as well." SFU News Release

uToronto discontinues research on live monkeys

The University of Toronto's last 2 reseach monkeys were euthanized about 3 weeks ago after 7 years of experiments into movement and pain in the human mouth. The use of "non-human primates" for research has gradually declined at uToronto, down from about 7 a year in the 1990s, for logistical reasons and well as ethical sensitivities. While the university will not close the book on primate research entirely, it is clearly shifting away from using monkeys to advance science, a contentious issue that has at times been marred by threats and violence. The last 2 monkeys were macaques used to investigate the brain's mechanisms for sensory and motor functions in the face and mouth. Athough the monkeys had electrodes implanted in their brains to stimulate and record brain activity, the lead researcher insists they were not in pain. A group of uToronto graduate students in primatology recently wrote an appeal to the university that the monkeys be allowed to live out their lives in an animal sanctuary, hoping they might still be alive. That was not possible, says uToronto's AVP research, because the researchers needed to dissect the monkey's brains to verify the right parts had been stimulated. Globe and Mail

Report gauges teachers' perspective on technology in the classroom

According to a new report from Media Awareness Network, while Canadian teachers believe that digital technologies can enrich students' learning, there are still significant obstacles to overcome in making this happen, one of them being students' lack of digital literacy skills. The report observes that school filters and policies that prohibit or restrict networked devices in the classroom take away the very opportunities youth need to develop digital literacy skills such as responsible use and good judgment. Despite being positive about integrating technology into the classroom, teachers interviewed for the report raised concerns about how personal gadgets such as smartphones can complicate the learning experience and negatively impact the teacher-student relationship. Media Awareness Network News Release | Read the report

More women, younger people taking the GMAT

The Graduate Management Admission Council reports that the number of GMAT exams taken worldwide in the 2011 testing year totalled 258,192 -- the third-highest level on record -- and included a 67% increase in tests written by Chinese and other East Asian citizens compared to 2007. The World Geographic Trend Report for GMAT Examinees shows the shares of women and people younger than 25 taking the GMAT are on the rise. The percentage of women who wrote the exam hit 41% in 2011, a new record. The percentage of exams taken by individuals under the age of 25 rose from 37% in 2007 to 44% in 2011. During the 5-year period covered by the report, the percentage of GMATs written by citizens from countries other than the US surpassed 50% for the first time in 2009 and reached 55% by 2011. GMAC News Release | Read the report

US report examines mobile browsing habits of college-bound students

In a US survey of nearly 2,300 college-bound high school students on the use of mobile devices to search for colleges, 94% of respondents said they use a mobile device at least once a week. 52% said they have looked at a college website on a mobile device, mostly on those with smaller screens. Respondents cited academic program listings, cost/scholarship calculators, a calendar of important dates and deadlines, specific details about academic programs, an application process summary, and online application forms as the most valuable content for mobile experiences. 93% of students surveyed said they were able to find the information they needed while browsing on a mobile device. Nearly half said the mobile experience improved their opinion of the institution. Read the white paper