Top Ten

May 9, 2012

BC cuts funding for adult education classes

The BC government announced on Tuesday that it will cut half of the free adult education classes offered to BC students who are attempting to upgrade their high school diplomas. The program, offered to adults who have already graduated from high school, cost $15 million this year and enrolled the equivalent of 3,386 full time students. The cuts were blamed on the high dropout rate, which resulted in a completion rate of 35% in some courses. The Ministry of Education argues that students have the option of accessing the courses for free online through Open School BC if they are unable to pay the fees. Vancouver Sun

uRegina departments face 3% budget cut

The University of Regina announced on Wednesday that it balanced its budget despite a $4-million funding shortfall. To help address the funding gap, each budget unit faces a 3% reduction and staff cuts that will be achieved through attrition. The budget dedicates $12.5 million to capital projects, including $2.5 million to plan and design a new student centre, parkade, and student residences. uRegina News Release | CBC | Leader Post

NSERC announces $36 million for partnerships between colleges and businesses

On Wednesday, Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced a research partnership program between colleges and businesses designed to increase workplace productivity. The College and Community Innovation Program will fund 60 partnerships involving 35 colleges and CÉGEPS at a cost of $36 million over 5 years. Goodyear also announced 14 new Industrial Research Chairs, with a mandate to develop industry focused-research on college campuses. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC, said the goal of the program is to "create sustainable partnerships that will help sharpen our innovative edge and have a positive impact on the bottom line of our country and industry." NSERC News Release

VIHA president cleared of wrongdoing in son's medical school application

A report by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) argues that president Howard Waldner did not abuse his power when he contacted a UBC dean and the provost, as well as a cabinet minister, regarding his son's application to UBC’s medical school. After his son was rejected twice by the medical school, Waldner contacted the UBC officials and Ida Chong, a provincial cabinet minister, to help him convince the school to allow his son to apply as a BC resident. The report argues that Waldner’s conversations with the UBC officials and Chong were "entirely of a private and personal nature" and that "Mr. Waldner did not use his position with VIHA to s eek any special advantage for his son." The Times Colonist

NIC opens Aboriginal Gathering Place

On Monday, North Island College unveiled the first phase of its First Nations Gathering Place on the Campbell River campus. The Gathering Place began construction in July 2010, and was funded by the BC government and by donations. The First Nations Gathering Place is intended to welcome First Nations students, and will eventually be used for study space, ceremonies, and to deliver services. The Centre is built almost exclusively with cedar, and is housed on the traditional territories of 36 First Nations. NIC president Jan Lindsay recognized the important role of First Nations in the college, and said the Gathering Place "is a stunning example of our commitment to support and welcome First Nations students and their families to this campus." | Add/Read Comments

The challenges of an international university partnership

A new article in The Chronicle of Higher Education highlights the many challenges of international university partnerships. The article focuses on the experience of creating Yale-NUS College, the first liberal arts college in Singapore created by Yale and the National University of Singapore. While Yale administrators are eager to share Yale's expertise in liberal arts and to shape the emergence of a liberal arts education in Asia, some faculty in New Haven are critical about Singapore's record on human rights and question how a repressive regime can co-exist with a university eager to enshrine academic freedom. Opponents are also frustrated about the lack o f control Yale has over Yale-NUS College, since the National University of Singapore will hire faculty, direct curriculum and award degrees. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

International Educators Association of Canada launches new website

On Wednesday, the International EducatorInternational Educators Association of Canada launches new websites Association of Canada (IEAC) launched a new interactive website in order to reach out to international educators in Canada. The website allows users to connect with colleagues based on interests or experience, share resources and read new studies and publications. There are also discussion forums on professional development and best practices. The new website "is designed to facilitate interaction, knowledge-sharing and development amongst international educators in a multi-faceted learning environment." IEAC Website

UK proposes scrutiny of British universities' international partnerships and agreements

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has called for increased auditing of British universities' overseas activities. It notes that joint degrees with international partners have grown dramatically but worries that there are not enough institutional safeguards to ensure that academic quality remains strong overseas. HEFCE proposed that the Quality Assurance Agency add reviews of international programs to the evaluations it completes every 6 years. These reviews would examine distance education, branch campuses, joint ventures or credits awarded at international institutions toward a British degree, in order to ensure that the academic standards remain as high internationally as they are in the UK. Times Higher Education

Penn State gossip site identifies anonymous posters

A gossip website for Pennsylvania State University students turned the tables on anonymous users who posted gossip by listing their full names on the site. The creator of sought to teach the posters a lesson about cyberbullying and their willingness to post unkind or salacious comments online under the shield of anonymity. After the story broke, the creator deleted the names, and wrote: "I'm not cruel enough to embarrass someone in front of the whole country for something stupid they did in college, especially when everyone at Penn State (or at least 7,846 people) has already realized you suck." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Online video ad spending in Canada surging as usage booms

Online video's popularity among Canadian Internet users is thriving, and marketers are invested heavily in the format. eMarketer estimates that online video advertisement spending in Canada more than doubled from $37 million in 2010 to $84.6 million in 2011, and is forecast to $141.5 million this year. In a recent study, nearly two-fifths of Canadian Internet users surveyed said they spent as much or more time watching online video than they did watching TV. On average, respondents watched 7.7 online videos a week, while 30% viewed 8 or more and 11% watched 20 or more. The study also evaluated users' actions both online and offline after watching an online video -- 18% used a search engine to find more information, 15% talked to others about the video, 15% visited a social network, and 13% forwarded the video to others. eMarketer