Top Ten

May 16, 2012

Quebec prepares for crackdown on student strike

The Globe and Mail reports that Quebec Premier Jean Charest will adopt a more hardline approach to end the student strike. On Tuesday he consulted with his caucus and Liberal riding association presidents to ensure that he has his party's support to start enforcing court injunctions to reopen the province's PSE institutions. While Education Minister Michelle Courchesne told students leaders on Tuesday night that the government would not pass special legislation to reopen the schools, members of her caucus are demanding aggressive action by the province to end the strike. They proposed penalties for protestors who block school entrances, more court injunctions to force schools to reopen, and sanctions against teachers who joined the strike. The Globe and Mail

uSask medical faculty urge university to reject changes to College of Medicine

The University of Saskatchewan medical faculty council is calling for the university council to vote against proposed changes to the medical college. The faculty argues that there was not enough consultation with faculty and students and that the proposed changes will not solve the college's problems. The proposal would require faculty to split their time between patients, teaching and research, which the administration argues would improve the uSask reputation and allow it to achieve accreditation. Faculty worry that they could lose their positions if they do not complete enough research and that the new requirements will hurt patient care. They also argue that non-tenured community doctors will not have the time or expertise to take over teaching loads. Information on the proposed changes can be found at the uSask College of Medicine Concept. Star Phoenix | Canadian Medical Association | College of Medicine Concept

UNB network hacked to show vulnerabilities

Hackers broke into the University of New Brunswick's computer network to steal staff names, email addresses, and budget information. Claiming responsibility, Team Dig7tal also hacked information from Harvard University and the National Film Board. In an email to the university's technical team, the group said they did not hack the system for criminal reasons, but instead, "Information [we] leaked is only to demonstrate how pathetic your security is." UNB said the network has since been secured and that the information was stolen from an older part of the network. In 2008 Carleton University faced a similar security breach at the hands of a hacker eager to expose security flaws. CBC

For Aboriginal student success, teachers need to change

John Hodson, chair of Lakehead University's Aboriginal Education Department, argues that teachers are failing to help their Aboriginal students succeed, which is contributing to the high Aboriginal drop-out rate. Hodson believes most teachers are trying their best but their training is inadequate. While Hodson acknowledges the progress in some boards of bringing Aboriginal content into the classroom, he argues that because of the primacy of the student-teacher relationship, the best way to improve Aboriginal graduation rates is through better training for Canada's teachers. CBC

Business schools emphasize global networking

Businesses recognize the importance of international collaborations, and now Yale University's School of Management has brought a business sense of networking into academia. In partnerships with 20 international business schools, Yale established the Global Network for Advanced Management to connect students, instructors, and administrators. The network allows students to collaborate on case studies and allows individual schools to establish exchanges and international team projects. Yale will also offer a one-year Master of Advanced Management degree for the top 15 graduates of the schools in the network. While there are currently no Canadian members, Yale hopes that more schools will join the network in the future. Globe and Mail

uOttawa revises French MBA program

The University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management announced that it will offer a revamped French-language MBA this fall. Administrators worked to improve the program after declining enrollment caused a 2-year hiatus. The program will be a mixture of a traditional and an executive program, and will run part time to allow students to continue working while they study. The classes will be delivered in person and online, and will require students to work on a major project. Students will also receive a formal evaluation of their leadership and management skills at the beginning and end of the program. Globe and Mail (scroll down to article) | Telfer School of Management

York U highlights teaching innovation

On May 9, York University held a celebration highlighting the 39 projects of the Academic Innovation Fund (AIF).  In 2010 York U identified key priorities for the university: eLearning, experiential education, and enhancing the first-year experience. The AIF offered $2.5 million to York U students, faculty and staff to find innovative ways to meet these priorities. The projects examined how technology can be used to improve education, including a learning commons program for the Library that offers 24 hour academic support and mentorship programs that incorporate technology to help students transition into first year. Y-File | Academic Innovation Fund Website

Niagara College students produce commercials promoting institution

Third-year students in Niagara College's Broadcasting: Radio, TV & Film program have produced and directed 3 commercials to promote the institution. The commercials are being broadcast on CHCH TV following their screenings in Cineplex Odeon in Niagara Falls. The commercials -- "Applied Dreams," "I am NC," and "Way Better Than a Classroom" -- are available on YouTube. Niagara College News Release | Applied Dreams | I am NC | Way Better Than a Classroom

Saskatchewan announces new scholarship

On Tuesday, the Saskatchewan government announced the new Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship. Beginning in 2012, it will award Grade 12 graduates at Saskatchewan PSE institutions $500 per year to a maximum of $2,000. Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration Rob Norris said that the scholarship is important as it "provides incentive for our high school graduates to pursue a post-secondary education in Saskatchewan." News Release

Improving the PSE ranking system

Writing as a guest blogger for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ellen Hazelkorn challenges the current PSE ranking system and their emphasis on individual institutions rather than on the system as a whole. Hazelkorn argues that governments and administrators should rely on benchmarking, or using comparisons with peer institutions to constantly improve, rather than emphasizing quantifiable ranking, which "establishes a hierarchy of performance." Hazelkorn believes that broad evaluations, such as the QS rankings and the U21 rankings, are a step in the right direction as they examine the entire system to evaluate how well PSE institutions serve their communities. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)