Top Ten

August 8, 2012

Canada must work fast to become top destination for Asian students, says UBC president

Canada must work quickly to make itself the destination of choice for top Asian students amid unprecedented demand for PSE in China and India and intense competition for foreign students, says UBC president Stephen Toope. "While Canada's universities have been increasingly successful in recruiting international students -- more than doubling in number in the past decade -- targeted and sustained investments are required to attract top talent to our campuses," he states in a new paper published by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Toope recommends the creation of a high-profile Canadian scholarship program for undergraduate international students and a significant expansion of the Vanier Scholarship program. Toope calls for more investment in study and work-abroad programs, as well as more academic collaboration with Asia, joint supervision of doctoral students, and greater faculty mobility. CCCE News Release | Vancouver Sun | Paper

CÉGEPs, instructors agree on back-to-school protocol

Just days before classes resume at some Quebec colleges, CÉGEPs and their instructors have reached an agreement in principle about their back-to-work protocol as CÉGEPS scramble to help students make up 10 weeks of school lost during the tuition dispute. The president of the Fédération des cégeps says the province will have to spend about $10 million to compensate for the missed classes by providing approximately 180 additional teachers and supplementary pay to instructors who work on Saturdays. The back-to-school working conditions will be more complicated this year, with instructors having to complete the winter term and then start the new fall semester on October 1, meaning full schedules for both students and teachers. Montreal Gazette

Quebec student groups release electoral wish list

Quebec student leaders have released a 20-page election wish list to help fellow students make an informed decision when they vote in the provincial election next month. FECQ and FEUQ, which together represent more than 200,000 students in Quebec, have made approximately 30 demands for political parties to consider during the campaign. Among the recommendations on the wish list are to freeze tuition fees, abolish Bill 78, and implement a formal process to create a group that will develop new solutions for university financing and development of PSE institutions. CBC

Selkirk College establishes School of the Arts

BC-based Selkirk College has launched its new School of the Arts, which features Digital Arts and New Media, Contemporary Music and Technology, and Craft programming that was previous under Kootenay School of the Arts. The School of the Arts will be located at 2 campuses in Nelson. "The vision of the School of the Arts is to inspire students in their development as artists and designers by providing an excellent studio-based education," says the school's chair. "The programs will emphasize development of practical skills, with a foundation in professional practice and design." Selkirk College News Release

Athabasca U GSA outlines priorities for next federal budget

The Athabasa University Graduate Students' Association (AUGSA) has released its pre-budget submission for the 2013 federal budget. The AUGSA recommends that Ottawa continue to provide vital tri-council funding, and enact legislature requiring that tri-council funded research be published in an open access format. The association calls for the federal goverment to increase eligibility limits for part-time student loans, especially for graduate students with high financial need. Other student loan recommendations include increasing income thresholds for borrowing under the Canada Student Loans Program, eliminating parental contribution requirements under the program, and eliminating the one-vehicle assessment from the program. AUGSA News | Pre-Budget Submission

Ontario undergraduate confirmations up for August

New data from the Ontario Universities' Application Centre show that as of August 1, 92,356 students have accepted offers of admission, the highest figure recorded for August since 2003. The number of confirmations among secondary school students rose by 2.2% to 70,861, and among non-secondary students the number of confirmations increased by 3.8% to 21,495. OUAC Undergraduate Confirmation Statistics -- August 2012

Okanagan College's men's hockey ceases operations

The Okanagan College Coyotes men’s hockey program has notified the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League that the team is ceasing operations due to a recent budget shortfall. The team, which operated as an independent society, has a contractual agreement with Okanagan College to compete under the institution's name. The society was responsible for all operational costs. The college is working with individual students who have been impacted by this decision. BCIHL News Release

US to make broader global skills for PSE students a priority

The US Department of Education wants to make sure more US students have the skills to compete in a global workplace, says Maureen McLaughlin, the department's director of international affairs. She says the department is trying to be more deliberate and intentional in its international efforts. McLaughlin says the department's work in this area is founded on 2 principles: to strengthen American education globally and to advance America's interests abroad. To do that, the department wants to work to improve the global competencies of all US students, to learn educational best practices from other nations, and to be more active in "education diplomacy," or diplomatic engagement through education-related work, such as the global exchange of scholars and students. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US education fundraisers predict 5.9% increase in giving in 2012-13

Fundraisers for US schools and PSE institutions estimate that giving to education grew 4.9% during the 2011-12 academic year and will increase by 5.9% in the year ahead, according to a survey by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Fundraisers at public colleges and universities, who predicted a 5.1% increase for 2011-12 and a 6.5% increase in 2012-13, were more optimistic than their peers at private institutions, who estimated increases of 4.4% in 2011-12 and 6.1% for 2012-13. CASE News Release

Foreign students in Australia feeling unwelcome

While government surveys report that foreign students in Australia are content, a burgeoning international-student movement and a growing body of research suggest that the truth is more complicated. In these forums, many students report a range of experiences from feelings of loneliness to cases of outright discrimination. They say they're often left with the feeling that Australia cares little for them outside of the amount of money they contribute to the economy. Students and other observers want to see decision makers put more effort into ensuring that foreign students have positive experiences -- academically, culturally, and socially -- while in Australia. A government-created advisory council is promising to explore ways to improve engagement between international students and local students and communities. Also on the agenda is how services, such as travel concessions, can be delivered more consistently nationwide. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)