Top Ten

August 14, 2012

3 dead in shooting near Texas A&M campus

A deadly shooting occurred Monday near Texas A&M University's College Station campus when a man being brought an eviction notice opened fire on a law-enforcement officer, leaving 3 people dead, including the officer and the gunman. The gunfire prompted Texas A&M to issue an emergency alert warning students and residents to stay away from the area. Most of the institution's 50,000 students were not on the campus as the fall term does not start until August 27. "All of us at Texas A&M will do whatever we can today and in the coming days to serve in any way possible to ease the pain, tensions and concerns of all affected," said Texas A&M's president Monday. Texas A&M President's Statement | Associated Press

Report recommends doubling number of international students choosing Canada by 2022

Yesterday the federal government released the final report from the expert advisory panel to Canada's international education strategy. The panel recommends that the strategy should seek to double the number of full-time international students, to more than 450,000, by 2022. The report also suggests the creation of an international mobility program for Canadian students, serving 50,000 students annually by 2022. Other recommendations include making internationalizing education in Canada a strategic component of official federal policies and plans, increasing marketing of Canada's brand, branding Canada through scholarships for international undergraduate students, developing an e-communication system to serve as a national portal for international students interested in education in Canada, and improving education visa processing to provide consistent and timely processing of high-quality candidates. International Trade News Release | Report | AUCC News Release | CBIE News Release | CCIEM News Release | Polytechnics Canada News Release

More CÉGEP students vote to resume classes

Quebec students at several CÉGEPs began the return to class Monday under the provisions of Bill 78. Of 8 colleges to hold general assemblies so far, 6 have voted for a return to school. Students who continued the class boycott would likely lose their term, the government and Fédération des cégeps warned, and protesters and organizations who blocked access to CÉGEPs could face crippling fines. One individual was arrested in Montreal Monday morning during a student demonstration to underline the forced return to class. A casserole protest took place in Montreal Monday night, and riot police began dispersing the crowd shortly before 11 pm because illegal acts were committed. Canadian Press | Montreal Gazette | CBC

Ryerson opens athletic centre

On Monday, Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy was joined by Prime Minister Stephen Harper inside the former Maple Leaf Gardens to unveil the university's new Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre. The unveiling was a highly-orchestrated event: following a short countdown, the lights in the new 2,620-seat hockey arena came on, and a row of flashpots behind the podium shot red flames into the air. The floor below the arena features a 1,000-seat playing court for basketball and volleyball, a fitness centre, and a workout gym. Toronto Sun | Maclean's OnCampus

Ontario, Waterloo universities, RIM partner to help laid-off tech workers

The Ontario government announced Monday it is partnering with Research in Motion, Communitech, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University to help laid-off technology workers in Waterloo get the advice, training, and support they need to continue their careers in Ontario. The plan includes adding spaces in entrepreneurship and business programs at uWaterloo and WLU to help laid-off workers develop skills to launch their own businesses, especially in technology. Ontario News Release | Globe and Mail

St. Patrick's Day riot has no effect on Fanshawe students' job hunt

Early worries that Fanshawe College students would pay for the St. Patrick's Day riot near campus, with employers withdrawing job offers, now appear overblown. Some students had reported that companies were reneging on job placements in the riot's aftermath, and others were afraid the incident might cause appalled employers to turn them down. Following a police investigation, it became clear most of the troublemakers had no connection to the college -- just 26 of 68 people charged in the riot attended Fanshawe at the time. A college spokeswoman and the student union president say fears students would be punished in the job market were misplaced. "As the community became more aware that this was a community issue and not just that of the college," says the spokeswoman, "then the reputation of the college was on more solid footing for our students and our graduates. There was a groundswell of support." The student union president plans to speak with students in the Fleming Drive area -- home to a large off-campus housing enclave -- to ensure history won't repeat itself. London Free Press

MacEwan video series gives advice to incoming students

In Grant MacEwan University's "Advice for First-Year Students" video series, 7 students share stories about their first weeks of school and offer advice to incoming students. The students have words of wisdom about how to make the most of library resources, why you should get involved in student clubs, and what faculty and staff can do for you. On its YouTube channel, MacEwan will post a new video each week into September to help first-year students have a successful year. MacEwan News

Some US institutions shrinking their boards

Over the past several years a few US PSE institutions have conceded that their large boards may be a problem. Governance experts say large boards dilute accountability and invariably allow a small group to take control of an institution, leaving the remaining governors on board merely to cut ribbons and big cheques. Following a 14-month review of its governance structure, Johns Hopkins University's board voted last year to start shrinking its 65-member board by nearly half, setting a cap of 35 for 2015, and membership now stands at 45. The reduction "has enhanced our productivity, and we certainly have a deeper level of strategic engagement," says the trustee who led the review. Since reducing a board's size can be unpalatable, some institutions have explored other ways to handle communication problems and board disengagement. In 2003 the Corporation of Brown University underwent a major restructuring that was designed to promote discussions of greater depth and frequency. The 54-member corporation eliminated 10 of its 21 committees and reduced the number of people serving on each committee. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

US study explores presence of social media on university websites

A new US study documents which social networking tools are being used (and how prominently they are displayed) on the websites of highly ranked PSE institutions. Facebook is by far the most popular social media tool but most institutions are using more than one tool, and appear to have different philosophies, according to the study. Of the top 100 PSE institutions as ranked by US News & World Report, 92 make use of social networks on their sites, and the average number of these tools being used is 3.7. One institution is making use of 7 social networking services. While Facebook is the most popular, Twitter and YouTube follow close behind. In an analysis of the figures, the study's author writes that the question for institutions isn't whether to use social media, but how many and which ones. Inside Higher Ed

China working to meet its half-million international student target

Renmin University of China's International Summer School, which mixes domestic and international students and faculty members and whose classes are taught in English, is one of the most ambitious efforts so far to reach China's goal of attracting half a million international students by 2020. To reach the bold target, the education ministry is pouring funding into PSE institutions to establish programs friendly to international students. The stakes are high for China, where educational planners view better English-taught courses for international students as a lever to internationalize university campuses. The 500,000-student target is part of a package of PSE reforms that includes inviting overseas universities to open campuses in China, attracting foreign academics as visiting scholars, and coordinating more research with top-ranked universities overseas. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)