Top Ten

June 27, 2012

Restructuring at RMC goes beyond job cuts

The Royal Military College is undergoing a major restructuring, including faculty reductions and curricular revisions, which has some stakeholders lamenting the proposed changes at the Kingston-based institution. As a result of a curriculum review, some degree programs at RMC may be phased out or combined with others, although no department will be terminated. RMC principal Joel Sokolsky says the changes are necessary because of low enrolment in some courses and pending retirements. Professors, union representatives, and several others argue that the proposed changes will erode the high quality of education cadets currently receive. Some say the cuts raise broader questions about RMC's governance structure and academic traditions. University Affairs

COU paper makes interprovincial comparison of university revenue

The Council of Ontario Universities has published a working paper about a project whose purpose is to compare the amount of funding per student that universities in Ontario and other provinces receive and to create a sustainable and reliable method for making such comparisons. The revenue measures were divided by various measures of enrolment: unweighted FTEs, weighted FTEs (Basic Income Units), and "relative grant weights," the later based on the "grant-only" portion of Ontario's Basic Operating Income. The analysis found that irrespective of the per-student funding measure, Ontario's relative position is the lowest or second lowest among the 10 provinces. In comparisons of provincial grants only, Ontario always ranks last, and when tuition revenue is added to the grants, the province ranks either ninth or tenth. Working Paper

Ontario teacher ed confirmations lowest in past decade

Ontario Universities' Application Centre data show that as of June 6, there are 6,940 acceptances for teacher education at Ontario universities, down 8.2% from the 7,557 confirmations recorded in June 2011. This month's figure is the lowest on record since June 2003. Teacher Education Confirmation Statistics -- June 2012

Queen's releases strategic documents for Health Sciences, Medicine

Queen's University released Tuesday a new strategic framework that provides a unified vision for its Faculty of Heath Sciences, which houses the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Rehabilitation Therapy. "Ask questions, Seek answers, Advance care, Inspire change" brings planning for the 3 schools together in a single framework. Queen's also released Tuesday a new 5-year strategic plan for its medical school. The strategic plan supports the school's priorities for advancing the science and practice of medicine, and benefitting health and well-being for Canadians through 4 pillars: research, education, partnerships, with the patient at the centre of the academic mission. Queen's News Centre | Strategic Framework for the Faculty of Health Sciences | School of Medicine Strategic Plan 2012-2016

Ottawa supports Langara project to prevent violence against women on campuses

Rona Ambrose, the federal Minister for Status of Women, announced Tuesday $200,000 in government funding to support a project with Langara College and the Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC) that will address safety concerns for women attending PSE in the Vancouver area. The focus of the project will be to enhance campus policies, programs, and resources for the safety of female students. Last November, Ambrose launched a call for proposals for projects to address violence against women on post-secondary campuses. Status of Women Canada News Release

Redeemer receives grant to develop mental-health strategy

Redeemer University College has received a grant from Stronger Together to create a mental-health strategy for PSE students. The funding will enable Redeemer to research mental-health models specific to PSE settings, develop a mental-health strategy appropriate for the institution, and disseminate information through Web- and print-based resources and training workshops. Redeemer News

uOttawa seeks designation under French Language Services Act

The University of Ottawa is looking to receive designation as an a organization providing French language services under article 8 of the French Language Services Act. uOttawa's board of governors and senate has passed a resolution seeking designation of undergraduate programs offered in French, as well as services offered to students by the administration and by the faculties. Laurentian University announced in May that it would seek partial designation under the Act. uOttawa News Release

Cambrian seeks tax relief for residence buyer

Cambrian College is asking the City of Greater Sudbury for tax relief for Campus Living Centres, a private company that has an agreement with the college to buy its residence buildings. Currently, Cambrian does not pay property taxes on its residences as they are considered to be government facilities, says Cambrian president Sylvia Barnard. Technically, once the residences are sold to a private company, they would be reassessed for how much property tax they should pay, Barnard says. If Campus Living Centres were to pay property taxes, Barnard says it would "result in an even greater increase in residence fees, an unfair burden on students, or limit the ability of the student body to afford on-campus housing." Northern Life

School for Social Entrepreneurs opens in Toronto

Launched in Toronto Wednesday, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) aims to help students start a non-profit, co-operative, ethical business or social venture to benefit their community. Adapted from the SSE's successful model in the UK, the Toronto school's 9-month fellowship begins in September and is looking for 20 students who will learn from other entrepreneurs and each other during weekly day-long classes. About 75% of students will come from low-income or marginalized neighbourhoods. SSE expects the remainder to be individuals already established in careers looking for a change. Tuition is $1,500 and financial aid is available. If the Toronto school is a success, affiliates in Ottawa and Windsor are planned for 2014. Toronto Star | SSE

More Alberta students completing high school

High school completion rates in Alberta have increased for the fourth consecutive year, the provincial government announced Tuesday. Alberta's 3-year high school completion rate rose to 74.1% in 2011 from 72.6% in 2010. The province's dropout rate for students between the ages of 14 and 18 was significantly lower in 2011, down to 3.2%. Alberta News Release