Top Ten

April 26, 2012

85 arrested following student protest in Montreal

85 people were arrested in Montreal Wednesday night and at least 6 individuals were injured in a demonstration marked by clashes between police and student demonstrators protesting the dissolved talks on planned tuition fee increases. Quebec Education Minister Line Beauchamp expelled the student group CLASSE from the discussion table after she blamed it for a violent protest Tuesday in Montreal that resulted in 3 arrests. The other 2 major groups representing university and CÉGEP students say they will not return to negotiations without CLASSE. CLASSE says it had nothing to do with the recent violence, which it argues was used by the province as an excuse to sabotage the discussions and exclude it from talks. The students were backed by Quebec's teachers federation and the unions representing university and CÉGEP professors. They reject the province's claim that some students were using violence and intimidation measures to promote their cause. Montreal Gazette | Globe and Mail

Lakehead student union challenges board on bylaw change

The Lakehead University Student Union (LUSU) plans to challenge the institution's board of governors in court over a recent bylaw revision LUSU's president says muzzles the 3 student representatives on the board. He says the board now considers it a conflict of interest for students to vote on student matters such as tuition fees. "It means that if any issue pertaining to students as a whole comes up...these three members must leave the room, (and) cannot discuss the issue and cannot vote for or against the issue," LUSU's president says. A spokeswoman for the Canadian Federation of Students' Ontario chapter says Lakehead's attempt to make it a conflict of interest for students to vote on student issues is going to upset a lot of people, including student unions, across Canada. "If Lakehead University doesn't back down, or if the government doesn't step in to say, 'look, students deserve equal representation in terms of their capacity to perform as a board member,' I think we're going to see a pretty massive fight," she says. CBC

Postcript: May 1, 2012

On Friday, Lakehead University's board of governors unanimously passed a motion to allow students to remain at the table for a discussion and vote on tuition fees. The motion followed notice from Lakehead's student union that it would challenge the board in court over a conflict-of-interest bylaw that barred student representatives on the board from voting on student matters such as tuition fees. The board suspended the bylaw so student governors could both debate and vote on tuition fees at Friday's meeting. Lakehead News | Orillia Packet & Times

Postscript: Feb 5, 2013

Students sitting on Lakehead University’s board of governors will once again be allowed to vote on tuition matters. A Lakehead spokesperson says the board agreed to amend its bylaws at a meeting Friday. The move reverses a bylaw change made last year. In April 2012, the board chair at the time said it would be a conflict of interest for student members to vote on tuition rates. Lakehead’s student union said at the time that it would challenge the decision in court. CBC

uLethbridge moving Edmonton campus to Concordia UC

The University of Lethbridge will move its Edmonton campus to Concordia University College of Alberta, effective July 1. The relocation keeps uLethbridge close to downtown Edmonton and its student population, while providing more of a campus experience. The agreement with Concordia UC will see the uLethbridge Edmonton team relocate from a downtown office to its own leased administrative space at Concordia UC, while providings classroom and other services for uLethbridge students. The agreement is similar to that of uLethbridge's Calgary campus, which has a lease partnership with Bow Valley College. uLethbridge News Release

CALDO institutions sign MOU with northern colleges

Students attending Yukon, Aurora, and Nunavut Arctic Colleges will soon have more opportunities to further their studies at southern universities. On Wednesday, the 3 colleges signed a 5-year agreement with CALDO member institutions (Dal, uAlberta, uLaval, and uOttawa) that will lead to increased opportunity for student and faculty exchanges. The MOU will help to develop a framework for the 7 PSE schools to increase the number and range of courses at the 3 northern colleges that are transferable to CALDO universities, as well as to expand opportunities for degree completion at the colleges. Yukon College News Release

What are Canada's best and worst jobs?

After surveying hundreds of occupations tracked by Statistics Canada, Canadian Business has identified the 50 best-paying, highest-demand career choices today. The top 10 jobs ranked by the magazine are: petroleum engineer; nursing supervisor; electrical contractor; data analyst; chemistry specialist; health policy consultant; construction manager; lawyer; transportation manager; and economist. Times are tough if you're working one of the following jobs: machine operator; plastic products assembler; nursery and greenhouse worker; jeweller; harvest labourer; fish processor; actor; photo and film processor; general office clerk; and knitter and weaver. Canadian Business notes that none of the jobs in its top 10 list rank first in either median wage or 5-year wage growth. The best-paying job category on its list belongs to pharmacists, who have a median income of $93,600. Canada's Best Jobs 2012

Job prospects brighten for graduating university students in Calgary

Job prospects for Calgary area graduates look better than they have for a while. About 7,300 ads have been posted on the University of Calgary's internal job board this year, up 18% from the year before, and up 76% from 2008. uCalgary's annual Career and Job Expo in February was booked to capacity, and some employers interested in participating were wait-listed. At Mount Royal University, 15 to 20 fresh job postings appear daily. The Class of 2012 is well-positioned to capitalize on Alberta's rebounding economy, says the chief economist for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. He says business confidence in Calgary is at the highest point since 2007, according to a poll conducted for the chamber. Calgary Herald

Canadian universities announce new agreements and programs in Rio de Janeiro

Yesterday Canadian university presidents signed 35 new agreements and MOUs with 18 Brazilian institutions, as well as announced 13 new scholarship and student mobility programs for Brazilian and Canadian students. The presidents of 12 Canadian universities signed the agreements and the MOUs with their Brazilian peers at the University Presidents' Roundtable in Rio de Janeiro, part of the presidents' mission to Brazil. The agreements involve investments of $1.72 million from Canadian universities and $1.45 million from the federal government. New scholarships and student mobility programs are valued at nearly $1.71 million. AUCC News Release | Backgrounder

SFU mapping global engagement

As part of its strategic vision to establish itself as Canada's most community-engaged research university, Simon Fraser University is building an interactive map that charts student and faculty engagement in communities worldwide. Visitors to the map can click on a location to bring up one or more stories submitted by students and professors. Examples of engagement include tackling environmental problems, teaching farmers, and teaching Greek in China. Engagement Map

Texas technical colleges seek to connect state funding with employment outcomes

The Texas State Technical College System is working on a proposal to link 45% of the technical colleges' operating budget to graduates' employment rates and salaries. The system is working with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on the formula. The basic idea is to use job data gathered by the Texas government to compare alumni's salaries to an earnings baseline for high school diploma holders in the state, says the system's chancellor. Also factored in will be overall employment rates for graduates, and other measures of their value to Texas' economy. The institutions would see cuts if employment outcomes decline, and no new funding will be tied to the plan. The chancellor says discounts would be included, such as through percentage reductions to account for the small number of graduates who leave the state for work. Inside Higher Ed

US study highlights need for skills training for graduate students

A new Council of Graduate Schools study suggests that US universities can do more to help graduate students find jobs outside the academy. Current graduate students do not have the necessary skills for industry jobs, such as the ability to work as a team member and work within strict timelines, and are largely unaware of the options outside academia. The study argues that PSE institutions should work with private companies to develop partnerships, and that companies can increase tuition reimbursement programs, in order to attract skilled workers. The study also found that only one-third of students had “adequate information” about career paths before enrolment, yet about half of all new PhD students found non-academic employment after graduation. Inside Higher Ed | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)