Top Ten

May 18, 2012

Quebec legislation on student strike slammed

Quebec student and labour unions, the province's Opposition party, and legal experts state that the Charest government's legislation aimed at curbing student demonstrations is an affront to basic rights. One point of contention is Bill 78's stipulation that any demonstration involving 10 or more individuals requires advanced registration with police (the government said Friday morning that it might increase that figure to 25). The bill outlines a range of fines for individuals, student leaders, and student or employee associations found in violation of the act. The bill also stipulates that a student federation could lose all of its funding, by order of the education minister, if it has failed to comply with the law. Student associations plan to challenge Bill 78 in court. CBC | Globe and Mail (legislation) | Globe and Mail (legal experts) | CFS News Release | CAUT News Release

Demand-supply model needed to restore balance to labour supply

"Postsecondary education has been producing a steady supply of graduates, with little attention to the demand side of the equation," argues Canadore College president George Burton. He states that a demand-supply model, rather than the current supply-demand approach, "is the most effective and efficient means to close the gap between individuals and the required skill sets, thereby returning balance to the education equation." Burton says that a demand-driven approach to address the labour supply imbalance "requires a framework that includes proactive human resource planning in (Ontario), a revenue and tax model that accelerates capital investment by the private sector and a learning and skill development incentive program shared by the public and private sector." Canadore Matters

Manitoba suspends Grade 12 math exam as part of curriculum revision

Manitoba Education Minister Nancy Allan has suspended the province's Grade 12 math exam until the 2013-14 school year. The exam, worth 30% of a student's final math grade, will be replaced next year by course work. The move is part of a plan to improve the quality of math education in Manitoba. The province is postponing the introduction of a math curriculum, designed by Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, that was to come into effect in the fall after years in the making. Allan promises that secondary school math courses with give students the math skills they need for PSE and the workplace. The government will work with universities' education faculties to give teacher candidates the training they need to be able to teach math. Manitoba News Release | Winnipeg Free Press

uSask medical college restructuring plan approved

After an hour of justifications by University of Saskatchewan administrators, followed by another hour of passionate pleas to accept or reject the proposal to restructure the College of Medicine, the institution's university council passed the proposal last Thursday, with 38 votes in favour, 26 opposed, and 2 abstentions. uSask's provost says the result is an important step to ensure the medical college succeeds at teaching, research, and serving patients. The next step, the provost says, is to strike a dean's advisory committee within the medical college to develop a plan on how to implement the changes, which take effect in January 2013. The chair of the College of Medicine's faculty council says medical faculty are disappointed by the university council's decision, but will attempt to move on. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | uSask College of Medicine Concept

St. Clair plans downtown expansion

St. Clair College president John Strasser announced last Wednesday that the institution is planning to expand its presence in Windsor's downtown core. "In the matter of the next 60 days you will be hearing more announcements in the downtown core," he said. Strasser said that any expansion will be in the area of St. Clair's current downtown facilities. Windsor Star

Toronto city councillor proposes turning Mel Lastman Square into university campus

Toronto city councillor James Pasternak suggests Mel Lastman Square in North York could be converted into a university campus. The site has so many features built in, says Pasternak, whose motion to strike a working group to explore the proposal goes before Toronto's economic development committee today. "Any university looking to expand its student space at minimal upfront cost wouldn’t have to build a library or pool or big lecture hall, which is important because there’s no provincial money for a major capital investment," he says. While the Ontario government currently prohibits universities from constructing new campuses, it has promised to build 3 new undergraduate campuses, a decision about which is expected later this year or early in 2013. Toronto Star

CSA proposes improvements to mental-health services at Ontario colleges

In a new policy paper the Ontario-based College Student Alliance outlines recommendations to foster good mental health on campuses. Among CSA's proposals is a provincial framework to guide PSE mental health and addiction policies, incentives for institutions to develop and maintain support services for mental health and addictions, and institutional support and training of campus staff and administration to recognize and address mental health and addiction issues. CSA and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance presented their respective papers on student health last Thursday at the "Focus on Mental Health" conference, which the 2 student groups co-sponsored with Colleges Ontario and the Council of Ontario Universities. Humber College announced on the day of the conference a college-wide mental health first aid training program for faculty and staff. CSA News Release | Report | | Focus on Mental Health | Humber News Release

Laurentian to open new residence in September

The need for additional student housing is driving the construction of a new 236-bed dormitory at Laurentian University. To accommodate third- and fourth-year students, the $20-million residence will open in time for the new academic year this September. The residence includes suites with bedrooms for 4 students, along with a shared living space and kitchen. Other features include meeting rooms, lounges, and a bistro-style restaurant. Northern Life

McGill applies to move football team to OUA

McGill University has applied to move its Redmen football team from the Quebec football conference to the Ontario University Athletics conference for the 2013 season. Playing in the OUA "would give us a reach into both Quebec and Ontario," says McGill's executive director of athletics and recreation. "We have a large alumni base in Ontario as well; playing against many of our traditional rivals gives us a fresh look and a fresh approach, and provides a reach for the McGill brand and the McGill message that reaches out further across Canada." He expects a decision by OUA next month. 4 of McGill's 28 varsity teams already play in the OUA. McGill Athletics News Release | Montreal Gazette | Globe and Mail

uWindsor develops mobile app

The University of Windsor has launched a free mobile application with which students can access campus services and information. Using the myUWindsor app, students can review courses, schedules, grades, and exams; update financial information on their accounts; receive direct messages from professors and course instructors; search a campus map; and access uWindsor's social media sites. Compatible with iPhones, BlackBerrys, and Android devices, the app was developed with a great deal of feedback from students. uWindsor Daily News | myUWindsor App