Top Ten

July 11, 2012

Scientists stage mock funeral to protest government cuts

On Tuesday hundreds of scientists denounced what they say are the Conservative government's sweeping cuts to research. The scientists marched through downtown Ottawa to Parliament Hill for a mock funeral to mark "the death of evidence." The protesters carried placards reading "No Science, No Evidence, No Truth" and "Save ELA," referring to the experimental lakes area that recently had its funding chopped. Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear issued a statement Tuesday saying that the Harper government has made "historic investments" in science, technology, and research. Canadian Press | CBC | Margin Notes (University Affairs blog) | Statement

Carleton, TAs reach settlement on mistaken tuition rebate

It seems the dispute between Carleton University teaching assistants who erroneously received a tuition rebate and campus administration is over -- and affected TAs will not be getting to keep that rebate. CUPE 4600, which represents TAs at Carleton, sent students an e-mail this week notifying that they had reached a mediated settlement with university administration, one that "disappointingly" entrenched the university's right to claw back TA wages in order to recover the costs of the clerical error. While the TAs cannot keep their rebate, the union says it did get "some solid gains" in the settlement, including Carleton's guarantee to work with CUPE to create a protocol should some sort of overpayment happen again. OpenFile

McGill responds to media reports on security spending during student strike

Following media reports on McGill University's spending on security during the student strike earlier this year, the institution reiterates that this spending was both responsible and effective, says McGill's VP of Communications and External Relations. "We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our students and staff and to avoid damage to buildings on our campus, many of them heritage buildings. We take that responsibility seriously," says the VP, who notes that one of the frequent targets of protest -- the Premier's office -- is right across the street from McGill's downtown campus. He also notes that approximately 80% of McGill's increased security costs resulted directly from the 5-day occupation of part of the James Administration Building in February. McGill News

Ontario undergrad confirmations in July highest in past decade

New figures from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre show that as of July 4, 91,748 secondary and non-secondary students have accepted offers of admission, the highest figure recorded for July since 2003. The number of confirmations among high school students rose by 2.3% to 71,160, and among non-secondary students the number of confirmations increased by 4.7% to 20,588. OUAC Undergraduate Confirmation Statistics -- July 2012

SMU invests in program to promote science careers to Nova Scotia youth

Saint Mary's University is partnering with the federal government and the Halifax-based Discovery Centre to develop a new program that encourages junior and senior high school students to consider careers in Nova Scotia's growing science and technology sector. Investments from SMU and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will help the Discovery Centre create the Discover Tomorrow's Jobs Program, which will be delivered to as many as 10,000 Grade 7 to 12 students initially and as many as 21,000 students a year in subsequent years. ACOA News Release | SMU News

uAlberta joins Aboriginal Human Resource Council Leadership Circle

The University of Alberta is the first Canadian university to join the Aboriginal Human Resource Council Leadership Circle, a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian society. The council will help uAlberta develop strategies to advance inclusion in the areas of HR, conducting business with Aboriginal-owned companies, leadership and corporate social responsibility and communications and marketing. uAlberta News

Aboriginal workers part of solution to Canada's impending labour shortage, report states

Aboriginal workers can help address the labour and skills shortages facing many Canadian businesses, particularly those based in the Northern regions where resource development is fuelling demand for workers. Yet lower levels of formal education and a lack of work experience hamper the success of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian workplaces, observes a new report from the Conference Board of Canada. The report identifies strategies that can help boost the recruitment, hiring, and retention of Aboriginal peoples in Canadian workplaces. These include improving educational outcomes, simplifying points of contact between Aboriginal organizations and employers, raising awareness of Aboriginal cultures, and increasing opportunities for the sharing of best practices among Aboriginal employment organizations. Conference Board News Release

Ryerson doctoral psychology program earns national accreditation

The Canadian Psychological Association has granted accreditation to Ryerson University's doctoral training program in clinical psychology for a period of 4 years. The accreditation panel commended the participants in the process and remarked on the program's many strengths, such as multidisciplinary consultation; early integration of practice, theory, and research; and excellent research facilities. Ryerson Today

Northern Arizona U, Pearson partner on competency-based degrees

Northern Arizona University has signed a deal with Pearson to co-develop 3 fully online bachelor degree programs based on the competency-based model of PSE. To be launched in January, the courses will target adult students who are looking to earn credit for professional and life experience and close the remaining distance to a university degree. The courses will rely heavily on course materials to instill students with the knowledge and skills needed to complete assignments and pass tests. Instructors will be available on demand, but Northern Arizona U hopes to assemble a library of non-human learning resources effective enough so that students will only need to call on instructors as a last resort. Inside Higher Ed

India proposes opening 100 community colleges

India's Ministry of Human Resource Development is working on a proposal to launch as many as 100 community colleges in the country within the next year to "address skill shortage." The institutions are likely to be based on the US model of community colleges. A team of education ministers from 7 Indian states visited the US to understand the model. The Indian Express