Top Ten

July 24, 2012

Appeals court rejects student challenge to Bill 78

The Quebec Court of Appeal has rejected an attempt to suspend certain articles of Bill 78, the Quebec government's anti-protest legislation, meaning the law will be in effect when CÉGEP and university students head back to class next month. Students and labour groups contesting the bill will now have to wait until a court case reviewing its constitutionality begins, perhaps not until January, although the court did call for it to be heard as soon as possible. Montreal Gazette

Donations to Queen's top $41 million in 2011-12

Benefactors to Queen's University donated $41.5 million during the 2011-12 fiscal year. The institution received 14,369 gifts in major, annual and estate giving programs. More than $21 million in fiscal 2011-12 was donated by alumni. Remaining donors were corporations, the Alma Mater Society (through its student contributions to the Queen's Centre), friends of Queen's, and foundations. This fall Queen's will launch the public phase of its comprehensive campaign to raise funds for institutional priorities and to tell the Queen's story to its constituents. Queen's News Centre

uAlberta creating first-year community at Lister Centre

The University of Alberta plans to turn 3 of the towers in the Lister Centre residence complex into a first-year residence in September 2013, while the fourth tower will remain a residence for primarily second- and third-year students. The first steps in the transition are to restructure student-staff positions to be consistent with those in all other uAlberta dormitories and implement new rules related to alcohol consumption in all residences on the Edmonton campuses. Among the changes to take place over a 2-year period is a first-year residence program, providing students with extracurricular academic or engagement activities to complement and enhance their university experience. Examples include expanding the faculty-in-residence program and creating a Residence Advisory Council. uAlberta News

Carleton launches new graduate admissions site

Carleton University has developed a new graduate admissions website. At a glance, prospective students can scan pertinent facts about every graduate program at the university, including what makes the programs unique along with research highlights and/or fields of specialization. Each description points out the program's "capital advantage," giving students easy access to relevant government, industry, and non-profit organizations in Ottawa. The mobile-friendly site features a variety of short video clips from grad students talking about why they chose to study at Carleton as well as concise explanations of their research. Other features include a campus virtual tour and a section on student life that points to Carleton's PREP Services. Carleton News | Graduate Admissions website

Most Calgarians surveyed see expanding PSE access as critical to solving labour shortage

According to a recent survey commissioned by DeVry Institute of Technology, 93% of responding Calgarians consider access to PSE an important factor in addressing Alberta's labour shortage. 88% of respondents agree that diploma programs are an effective way for students to enter the labour market faster, with more than a quarter citing fast certification or condensed courses as reasons for students attending private PSE institutions. Though most Calgarians surveyed believe PSE is important toward addressing the labour shortage, 51% feel that it is not affordable and 68% believe the cost of education is what prevents students from enrolling in programs. DeVry Calgary News Release

Female students in Ontario showing elevated levels of bullying, psychological distress

According to the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Mental Health and Well-Being Report, while the majority of students in grades 7 to 12 have healthy relationships and report overall good mental and physical health, some negative trends, particularly among girls, are raising concerns. The proportion of students reporting psychological distress has remained high at around 34% since tracking started in 1999. Among female students, this rate has increased to 43% (compared to 24% for boys), up from 36% in the 1999 survey. Bullying behaviours remain a concern, with 29% of students reporting being the victim of bullying while at school. The positive news is that boys report a decline in bullying victimization, bullying perpetration, and fighting in school. 28% of girls report being the victim of cyber-bullying, compared to 15% of boys, and 31% of girls report being victimized at school, compared to 26% of boys. CAMH News Release

Wayne State U proposal would eliminate tenure, say faculty

As Detroit-based Wayne State University's faculty members negotiate a new contract, campus officials are offering proposals that faculty say would abolish tenure -- and make Wayne State U among the first research universities in the US to do so. The faculty union says the proposal does this by putting all of the power to terminate a tenured faculty member into the administration's hands and eliminating the traditional peer review process. The university's president says the proposal's purpose is to address issues fairly and quickly with a small minority of faculty. "Faculty tenure is an important aspect of academic freedom, and we support it. But it cannot be a place to hide for those whose performance or behavior is poor," says the president. "We have all seen too many examples of the consequences of not being able to deal directly with problem situations." Detroit News

2/5 of US parents expect children to cover all or most PSE costs

According to a new US survey, 74% of adults with teenagers considering PSE want to help their children pay to enrol, but three-quarters are either very worried or somewhat worried about their ability to do just that. The survey found that 39% of parents expect their children to pay for all or most of their PSE. 48% of respondents expect their children to cover some of the costs. If their child had to depend on student loans, 22% of parents said it was very likely that they would help repay the loans, and one-third said it was somewhat likely. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

UC Berkeley new partner of edX

Since MIT and Harvard revealed their plan to develop a platform for free online courses called edX, over 120 other PSE institutions worldwide have expressed interest in participating. Leaders of the effort announced this week that they've added the University of California at Berkeley as a partner, and that more PSE schools will eventually be admitted to the group. While MIT and Harvard have each pledged $30 million to edX, UC Berkeley will not bring any funding to the project. Instead, it will contribute technology -- specifically, a new online-education platform that engineers at the institution had already been working on. UC Berkeley will also take a leadership role in the project, agreeing to chair the "X University Consortium," a new governing body for edX. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)

Canadian consumers want personalized ads

According to a recent survey, 64% of Canadian Internet users said they could tell when a company has done its research and produced tailored marketing efforts. Another 60% of respondents said they would like to receive personalized offers and promotions, while 51% said they would be more likely to buy a product or service from companies that personalized their advertisements. As ad spending totals in Canada mature and growth slows, marketers can employ new techniques such as social media, mobile, and "Big Data" to accurately target their advertisements. eMarketer