Top Ten

April 30, 2012

16 killed in attack at Nigerian university

At least 16 people have been killed in a gun and bomb attack at Bayero University, located in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. 6 others were in serious condition following the attack on the campus where Christian worshippers were holding a service. CNN reports that the attack occurred while Bayero U is on a break, so most of the students were not on campus. Associated Press | BBC | CNN

CLASSE rejects Quebec's new tuition increase proposal

At a meeting over the weekend, the student group CLASSE voted against the Quebec government's offer to spread out the tuition fee increase over 7 years instead of 5. "The offer doesn't really respond to our demands," says a CLASSE spokeswoman. "The tuition hike is still there. We are questioning the legitimacy of the increase, and there hasn't been any compromise on that." Leaders with Quebec's CÉGEP and university student federations say they could make a counter offer to the province, and that they are open to possible mediation. CLASSE, however, says it is not interested in mediation at this point because it "won't change anything," the spokeswoman says. CBC | Montreal Gazette

uWaterloo, WLU respond to CAUT motion regarding Balsillie School

On Friday, the Canadian Association of University Teachers passed a motion stating that it will impose censure on the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University at its next council meeting unless the universities amend the governance structure for the Balsillie School of International Affairs to ensure academic integrity. WLU and uWaterloo state that the "allegations that prompted this recommendation have no basis in fact," and that they "are firmly committed to protecting academic freedom and integrity." A uWaterloo professor who led the process drafting the Balsillie School's governance document says it provides "absolutely iron-clad protection of academic it doesn't have to be amended." In March, CAUT issued a warning of censure against WLU, uWaterloo, and York University for their partnerships with the Centre for International Governance Innovation. York U has since withdrawn plans to partner with CIGI on a graduate program in international law. uWaterloo/WLU News Release | Toronto Star

College funding in need of review, says Cambrian president

Cambrian College president Sylvia Barnard says she supports French colleges, but wants the Ontario government to take a closer look at how it distributes funding for colleges. Cambrian is cutting programs and staff, while Collège Boréal, which receives twice as much per-student funding as Cambrian, will distribute iPads to all first-year students this fall. Boréal president Denis Hubert-Dutrisac notes that the $500,000 for the iPads comes not from operating grants but from fundraising. He says there are several reasons Boréal receives more provincial funding, one of which is that enrolment figures have been increasing. Translating textbooks and having small campuses across Ontario means francophone education is more expensive, Hubert-Dutrisac says. Even though Boréal gets more funding, Hubert-Dutrisac says the institution thinks like a business with regard to maximizing revenue from parking and book sales, and expanding to new cities.  He says Boréal laid off some 50 employees a few years ago, and plans to cut back photocopying and staff travel this year. CBC

York U business school has Plan B for India campus

Amid uncertain Indian politics, legislation to permit foreign PSE entities to operate stand-alone campuses in India may not be in place when York University's Schulich School of Business opens its campus in Hyderabad next year. That's why Schulich's dean has a Plan B -- a twinning arrangement with a Hyderabad school, as required under current Indian regulations. The longer India takes to pass the legislation, the slower the pace at which Schulich's campus reaches capacity. In the meantime, the business school needs to work with a local partner. The dean is heading to India this month to choose one of 4 possible partners. Globe and Mail

Millions invested in Canada-Brazil university partnerships, scholarships

Canadian universities and their Brazilian counterparts have announced 75 new partnerships and scholarship programs worth nearly $6.74 million in university and government funding during the presidents' mission to Brazil. New announcements made in Sao Paulo Friday build on the 46 agreements and 13 new scholarship and student mobility programs unveiled Thursday in Rio de Janeiro. The total of 75 agreements, MOUs, and scholarship programs also includes announcements made Saturday in Campinas, and those to be made in Brasilia tomorrow. Thursday's announcement included an additional $10.25-million investment in undergraduate internships and graduate fellowships through Mitacs. AUCC News Release | Backgrounder

Men's centre proposed at SFU

Should the Simon Fraser Student Society's (SFSS) budget pass, the proposed men's centre will receive $30,000 next year, the same amount dedicated to SFU's women's centre. Many students have questioned whether male students need the funding. SFSS' treasurer says men could benefit from a similar "safe space," noting that men deal with more suicides, alcoholism, and drug abuse, and suffer negative stereotypes just as women do. The outgoing opinions editor of SFU's student newspaper does not think the men's centre would be capable of providing the counselling support the SFSS treasurer proposes, pointing out that the women's centre refers women in crisis to mental-health professionals on campus. Maclean's OnCampus

uCalgary releases new academic plan

The University of Calgary has unveiled a new academic plan, the foundational piece and essential component for reaching the institution's goal of becoming one of Canada's top 5 research universities by 2016. The academic plan outlines 7 high-level academic priorities and makes recommendations for action within each of the following priority areas: talent attraction, development, and retention; teaching and research integration; interdisciplinarity; leadership; internationalization; connection with community; and sustainability. UToday | Academic Plan

Mount Allison hosts conference on student mental health

In a 3-day conference that concludes today, Mount Allison University and the New Brunswick government have brought together experts and educators to examine issues related to student mental health. Mount Allison president Robert Campbell, who is also the chair of the AUCC Committee on Mental Health, says estimates show that approximately 15% of students have some sort of anxiety or mental-health condition that may need the help of others. He says students are more willing to talk about mental health and attitudes are changing. "In the past we've been more likely to say to people 'buck up or take a couple days off' or give them a kick in the seat of the pants," says Campbell. "But we really know that there are some technical medical issues here that are challenging." NB News Release | Mount Allison News Release | CBC

UoGuelph begins consultations on School for Civil Society

The University of Guelph has initiated campus-wide and community consultations about the design of a School for Civil Society. Through a dedicated website, small group meetings, interviews, and other sessions, a "catalyst team" will collect feedback and exchange information with faculty members, students, staff, and stakeholder groups. The team will gain ideas to prepare a school design proposal to be discussed this fall. UoGuelph Campus Bulletin | Designing the School for Civil Society