Top Ten

July 10, 2012

Suspect arrested in sexual assaults at York U

Toronto police have arrested a 20-year-old man in connection to a trio of sexual assaults that took place last Thursday afternoon at York University's Keele campus. The incidents have students questioning their safety and the response of campus officials. Students received e-mail notifications and were warned about the assaults over social media 4 days after the initial attack. The president of the York Federation of Students says York U's news portal, YFile, should have made efforts to notify students online sooner. While the institution did post security bulletins around campus, she says it could have done more. "We have been proactive," says York U's media relations director. "We made the decision to leverage the social media later. We could have done that on Friday, but we waited since we have more students back on campus on Monday." Toronto Police Service News Release | Toronto Star | Globe and Mail

Quebec adopts controversial measures to widen university access

The Quebec government recently adopted several controversial measures it says will widen PSE access in the province. Student organizations, however, argue that the measures will have the opposite effect and actually increase student debt loads. Students groups criticized the proposals when they were first announced in the spring, contending that they did little to address their concerns about rising student debt. But the province pushed ahead with its plans to spread the tuition fee hike over 7 years, instead of 5. It will also increase funding for loans and bursaries. Quebec News Release (in French) | Canadian Press

Medical educators explore "flipping" training

Medical educators are exploring a new model of instruction, known as the "flipped classroom," that reduces student exposure to "mind-numbing" lectures and frees class time for discussions and interactive exercises with the goal of better preparing future doctors to be life-long learners. The model builds on an already successful tradition at Canadian medical schools using video conferencing and other digital media to provide off-site instruction at satellite learning centres -- a model pioneered by UBC in 2004 -- although these programs still primarily broadcast digital content in real-time during class hours. The next step in that evolution will be moving to asynchronous learning, in which students can access digital content whenever and wherever they like. CMAJ News

CBU updates mission, vision, and values statements

Cape Breton University's board of governors has approved new mission, vision, and value statements that complement the ongoing transformation that has been unfolding at the university. At the core, the statements demonstrate the institution's commitment to respect and support the Cape Breton community and its culture, while continuing to nurture innovative research and education that resonate locally and globally. CBU's mission statement reads as follows: "Create a synergy of high quality university education and research that engages and inspires our learners and partners and has significance, relevance and application in contexts from local to global." CBU News | CBU Mission, Vision, and Values

TWU develops student aid calculator

Trinity Western University has created a custom, online student aid calculator to help prospective students determine their financial aid eligibility and cost before applying. The calculator provides first-time and transfer students a reliable estimate of their eligibility for grants, TWU scholarships, and other financial awards. TWU is one of the first Canadian universities to provide a comprehensive student aid calculator. Since October 2011, all PSE institutions in the US have been required by law to provide online calculators that generate personalized student aid estimates. TWU News

3 Canadian universities make Business Insider ranking of world's best engineering schools

The University of Waterloo, the University of Toronto, and the University of Ottawa are among the 50 institutions listed in Business Insider's ranking of the world's best engineering schools, placing 29th, 35th, and 44th, respectively. Business Insider's initial list was compiled by surveying engineers, industry professionals, and entrepreneurs who work at some of the most popular technology companies. Respondents were asked to grade schools on a 1 (not valuable) to 5 (most valuable) scale. Business Insider also parsed LinkedIn to find the top employers for each school, putting them in order of greatest number of graduates employed per school. Business Insider

Ohio public institutions told to outline 3-year graduation plan

Ohio is pushing its public universities to show students how they can earn a baccalaureate in 3 years -- potentially saving thousands in tuition fees, room and board and avoiding the kind of debt that cripples many families. State law requires that by October, Ohio's 14 public universities must prove how 10% of their bachelor programs can be completed in 3 years. By 2014, the institutions must show that 60% of degrees meet that mark. Some worry the accelerated pace, which requires taking university courses in high school and during summer months, does not prepare students for life after PSE. Dayton Daily News

Lawsuit over uPhoenix's recruiting practices may proceed, says judge

A US federal judge has cleared the way for a whistle-blower lawsuit accusing the University of Phoenix of improperly paying recruiters. The suit alleges that uPhoenix and its parent company, the Apollo Group, violated a ban on paying recruiters based on the number of students they enrolled. The judge did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit, but he denied a request by uPhoenix to dismiss the suit, which claims that a settlement reached in a previous lawsuit did not deter the company from continuing to improperly compensate recruiters. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

English students' applications to university drop by 10%

University applications by English students have fallen by 10%, according to new data from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. The biggest downturn was among older age groups -- 11.5% fewer people over the age of 23 applied for university for 2012 entry, when undergraduate tuition fees will rise to a maximum of £9,000 annually. Application figures dropped by only 2.1% in Scotland, where Scottish-born students do not pay tuition. The number of applications fell by 2.9% in Wales, and dropped by 4.5% in Northern Ireland. The total number of UK applicants declined by 8.9% -- down by 50,339 to 515,663 applicants. Times Higher Education

OECD report warns of "scarring effect" of youth joblessness

Being unemployed for a year or more can have a "scarring effect" and jeopardize long-term income and career paths for young people, according to a new OECD report, which notes that youth are among the groups hardest hit by an overall doubling of the percentage of people who have been jobless for between one and 2 years since the economic downturn. The proportion of young people who faced this sort of long-term unemployment between 2008 and 2011 rose to 4%, up from 2% pre-recession. OECD News Release | Globe and Mail