Top Ten

April 24, 2012

uToronto among partnering PSE institutions to establish new Brooklyn research institute

The University of Toronto is participating in a consortium of universities partnering to establish an applied sciences research institute in Brooklyn, led by New York University and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday an agreement to create the Centre for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which will conduct research on challenges facing global cities, such as energy efficiency, infrastructure, public health, and transportation congestion. uToronto will send master's and doctoral students to study at CUSP, which is expected to accommodate over 500 students in all, and is planning to develop "a new and cutting-edge professional Master's program focused on cities engineering and management." The new Brooklyn campus is part of the larger Applied Sciences NYC project, a municipality-driven initiative pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into top-tiered applied sciences and engineering facilities in a bid to spark New York City's future economic growth. NYC News Release | uToronto News | Globe and Mail

Quebec education minister calls for truce with striking students over demonstrations

Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp said Monday that she has agreed to meet with student groups, as long as they agreed to a 48-hour truce to the social unrest that has recently spurred violent clashes with police. "I am also asking for it (the truce) in the name of the people who are growing weary with the acts of disruption and who want us to give a chance for discussions," the minister said. "I can’t stop the students from raising the question of tuition fees...the idea here is not to close the door, the idea is to keep it open." Beauchamp also extended the invitation to the Coalition large de l'Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante (CLASSE), which had refused to condemn violent confrontations as demanded by the minister. CLASSE has agreed to condemn certain violent acts, but it still supports civil disobedience. Talks began yesterday afternoon, and students said they were willing to take whatever time was needed to come to an agreement, even if it meant extending the truce. Quebec News Release (in French) | Globe and Mail | Montreal Gazette

PEI to establish task force on PSE

In his budget address last Wednesday, PEI's finance minister announced that in partnership with PSE institutions, the province will strike a task force to ensure that PEI residents are gaining the skills and knowledge to strengthen the Island's labour force and improve its competitiveness. The task force will also explore ways to attract and retain students from across Canada and internationally, so that the province's institutions can remain sustainable and build PEI into a PSE destination. The PEI government had notified the University of Prince Edward Island and Holland College well in advance of the budget that their funding would be cut by 3%. PEI Budget Address

UBC revises MBA program

UBC's Sauder School of Business announced Monday a revamped MBA program for fall 2012, with an emphasis on hands-on learning, global immersion, and integration of business disciplines for a "360-degree" management perspective. Students will travel to one of Sauder's partner institutions -- Copenhagen School of Business, the India Institute of Management Bangalore, or Shanghai Jiao Tong University -- to work with MBA counterparts on experiential projects for multinational companies. At UBC, students will collaborate with classmates across all business disciplines on projects for organizations in Vancouver and beyond that emphasize applied problem solving and real-world connections. The new MBA has been streamlined from 8 specializations and 10 sub-specializations into 4 career tracks: Business Innovation; Consulting and Strategic Management; Product/Service Management; and Finance. UBC News Release

SFU First Nations Studies granted department status

Simon Fraser University's First Nations Studies program has been given department status and will be placed within the arts and social sciences faculty. "I am definitely shows the university's commitment to ongoing Aboriginal initiatives and will assist in making the new department the best of its kind in British Columbia," says the director of SFU’s Office for Aboriginal Peoples. "There is a tremendous focus on Aboriginal issues and initiatives at SFU as we speak. Having the above occur will only add to Simon Fraser's stature in this area." The department offers sequential, comprehensive courses rooted in traditional and contemporary Aboriginal logic, methodology, practice, and theory. SFU News Release

Sheridan places first in ranking of top 100 animation schools

Animation Career Review has ranked Sheridan College number one in the world for animation training. In its ranking of the top 100 schools, the Review cited Sheridan as having the most sought-after graduates by prominent studios such as Disney and Pixar. The Review conducted its analysis based on school reviews, industry-reviewed lists, and a survey of animation industry professionals and recruiters. Sheridan News Release | Animation Career Review rankings

Polytechnics Canada joins Governor General on mission to Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago

Polytechnics Canada will join Governor General David Johnston on his working visit to Barbados and State visit to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago from April 29 to May 2. "We are committed to international education co-operation," says Polytechnics Canada CEO Nobina Robinson, who will travel with the Governor General. "For this reason, we appreciate this opportunity to participate in a mission to further strengthen ties with these nations and demonstrate the leadership of our colleges and institutes in applied education, training and industrial innovation." Johnston's itinerary includes keynote addresses at Barbados Community College and at the University of the West Indies. The Governor General is currently in Brazil and will be joined by a delegation of Canadian university presidents on a PSE mission to that country. Polytechnics Canada News Release

Postscript: Apr 26, 2012

The Canadian Bureau for International Education is accompanying Governor General David Johnston on his visit to Brazil, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. Johnston invited CBIE president Karen McBride to join the delegation of education, innovation, and trade sector representatives. Along with the Governor General, Association of Canadian Community Colleges president James Knight has met with participants in the Mulheres Mil (1,000 Women) Project, which promotes the social and economic inclusion of disadvantaged women in the northeastern and northern regions of Brazil. The Mulheres Mil project was launched in 2005 through co-operative efforts among ACCC, the Canadian International Development Agency, and Brazilian partners. CBIE News Release | ACCC News Release

uAlberta site shows how institution touches communities across province

The University of Alberta has developed a website that showcases the university's influence in the province. Using a Google Map, "Advancing Alberta" serves as a virtual pincushion atlas of uAlberta's many research projects, partnerships, initiatives, programs, and facts about enrolment and alumni from the 4 corners of the province. In the longer term, uAlberta's VP of university affairs hopes the site will be expanded to include the university's impact nationally and globally. uAlberta News | Advancing Alberta

US bill would prevent colleges from using public funding to pay for marketing and recruitment

A pair of US senators has introduced a bill that would prohibit PSE institutions of all kinds from using money from federal student assistance programs to pay for advertising and recruiting. The bill would extend a current rule that bars federal money from being used for lobbying. While the bill would apply to all types of colleges, it would mostly affect for-profit institutions. A recent Senate report on 15 large, publicly traded for-profit education firms observes that they got 86% of their revenue from taxpayers and have spent a combined $3.7 billion annually on marketing and recruiting. Associated Press

English academics concerned about high tuition fees establish "free" university

"All of us are very concerned about the burden being put on students of up to £9,000 a year and we want to show that there are alternative ways of running higher education," says a member of the Social Science Centre, a group of 40 English academics who will open a "free" university this September in Lincoln. All students will be part-time, and will be taught in evenings and weekends in venues such as community centres. While official degrees will not be awarded, all courses will be taught and assessed at the same level as similar classes at mainstream institutions. To cover costs, students who are employed will be asked to pay a voluntary monthly subscription fee, which will be equivalent to how much they make in an hour. BBC