Top Ten

May 28, 2012

Quebec, student groups resume negotiations on tuition fee increases

Representatives from Quebec's 4 largest student associations met with Education Minister Michelle Courchesne yesterday to resume talks in order to resolve the months-long dispute over tuition fee hikes. The president of FECQ, which represents CÉGEP students, said Sunday that the discussions represent a "last chance" for the Quebec government to put an end to the conflict. He indicated on the weekend that the students could be prepared to compromise on the province's tuition fee increases. Canadian Press

SSHRC distributes more than $70 million in grants

At the opening of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences last Friday, Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, announced new investments in support of social sciences and humanities researchers at PSE institutions across Canada. More than $70 million is being awarded over a period of 7 years to support 92 research teams across Canada through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council's Partnership Grants and Partnership Development Grants. SSHRC News Release

uSask med programs awarded provisional accreditation

The University of Saskatchewan's general pathology, internal medicine, and pediatrics programs have been accredited, but did not receive full approval from national accreditors. With provisional approval, the programs will be reviewed again in 2 years. "I think this is a good ruling for us," says the assistant dean of uSask's College of Medicine, who notes that every university will never have all of its programs receiving full approval. uSask's university council recently approved a restructuring plan for the college. CBC | uSask College of Medicine Concept

Balsillie School director responds to CAUT censure warning

Writing for University World News, Balsillie School of International Affairs director David A. Welch offers interpretations of the Canadian Association of University Teachers' charge that the Balsillie School governance document compromises "academic integrity." Plausible interpretations, Welch writes, point to ideological, organizational, and personal agendas at CAUT. "Through its quixotic campaign, CAUT is damaging both its reputation and its legitimacy," argues Welch. "We need an objective, well-functioning academic freedom watchdog in Canada." University World News

Apprenticeship a profitable alternative to college, studies find

At least for men, obtaining an apprenticeship certification can be more lucrative than a college education, according to a pair of new Canadian studies. The papers, which analyzed the 2006 census, observed that certified male apprentices had earnings similar to men with a college education. One study found that male apprentices make 24% more than those with just a high school diploma, 15% more than those with other trades and 2% more than college graduates. For women, doing an apprenticeship yields lower returns than just completing secondary school and "substantially" lower returns than completing college -- likely reflecting that female apprentices tend to be in low-wage jobs in industries such as food and personal service. Still, women who do an apprenticeship in traditionally male-dominated trades tend to have an earnings premium that is greater even than male apprentices, the other study found. Globe and Mail

Surveyed Ontario profs warn against proposed changes to undergrad education

In a new survey, Ontario university professors and academic librarians express concerns over proposed reforms to undergraduate education, some of which were introduced in a leaked government policy paper. 87% of respondents agreed that moving to a 3-year degree will limit students' ability to pursue graduate or professional education in the rest of Canada and the US, and 86% agreed that moving to a 3-year degree will harm the quality of university education in Ontario. 82% of respondents agreed that delivering 60% of undergraduate courses online will harm the quality of university education. Less than a quarter of those surveyed strongly agreed that there is sufficient student demand for year-round university. OCUFA News | Toronto Star | Survey Results

Health-care cuts will discourage medical school grads from staying in Ontario, says OMSA

The Ontario Medical Students' Association (OMSA) argues that the provincial government's decision to slash some doctors' fees will have major consequences on the province's ability to recruit new doctors and retain those who practice there. OMSA says the province's actions during its negotiations with the Ontario Medical Association, and in particular its decision to cut fees, has medical students questioning whether Ontario is the place they want to practice after graduation. OMA News Release

RDC pilot program allows Aboriginal students to explore apprenticeship programming

A new pilot project at Red Deer College is giving Aboriginal high school students and adults from Sunchild First Nation the opportunity to explore apprenticeship programming. Under the program, which launched in March, participants are getting acquainted with various trades programs at the college, as well as with campus culture and life. RDC president Joel Ward says the pilot program "highlights a great partnership delivering training that equips Aboriginal students for the workforce," as well as "underscores our commitment to help high school students transition smoothly into post-secondary studies." RDC News Release

MUN Grenfell campus opens Arts and Science Extension

Last Friday, Memorial University celebrated the official opening of the Arts and Science Extension at its Grenfell campus. The new $27.2-million expansion adds academic, research, computer, and meeting spaces to the campus infrastructure, including a new astronomical telescope and observatory. The extension will be used by a number of academic disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, earth science, ecological economics, and physics. MUN News Release

Grantoo offers tuition credits for online game winners

A new US company, Grantoo, gives online game winners money to help pay their tuition. Grantoo asks companies that are eager to market to college students to host tournaments of games similar to Texas Hold ‘Em or Words With Friends. The tournament winners receive tuition grants around US$100. Grantoo argues that participating students already play online games, and that at least in this forum, they have a chance to win tuition credits. There is also a philanthropic element to the game, as students must donate at least 10% of their winnings to charity, and on average, students donate 35%. Grantoo is now open to any US PSE institution. Inside Higher Ed