Top Ten

September 11, 2012

Highlights from the 2012 Education Indicators in Canada

According to this year's "Education Indicators in Canada: An International Perspective," in 2010, 92% of 25- to 34-year-old Canadians had completed at least a high school education, compared to 82% for those aged 55 to 64. These rates were higher than the OECD average, where 82% of 25- to 34-year-olds and 62% of 55- to 64-year-olds had at least a high school education. 26% of 25- to 64-year-old Canadians had completed a university education, higher than the OECD average of 22%. The employment rate for 25- to 64-year-old Canadians who had completed college or university programs was 81% in 2010, compared to 72% for those who completed high school and 55% for those who had not completed secondary school. Nearly 14% of 15- to 29-year-old Canadians were considered to be in the "NEET" group -- people who were not in employment, education, or training. Young Canadians with a college or university education were less likely to be in the NEET group (about 10%). In 2008 Canada devoted just over 6% of its GDP to educational institutions, about the same as the OECD overall. About 40% of that share of GDP in Canada was spent on PSE, the highest such allocation among OECD nations. CMEC News Release | Statistics Canada | Education at a Glance 2012

McGill renames nursing school following $9-million gift

On Monday McGill University's School of Nursing launched a new patient- and family-centred initiative, made possible by a $9-million donation from entrepreneur and philanthropist Richard S. Ingram. McGill also announced the school has been renamed the Ingram School of Nursing in honor of Ingram's longtime support of nursing at the university and across Quebec. The McGill Nursing Collaborative Program for Education and Innovation in Patient and Family-Centred Care will build on evidence-based clinical research to improve outcomes for patients. It is a partnership involving the university's teaching hospitals and supported by a new Chair in Nursing Research and Innovative Practice. McGill News Release | Montreal Gazette | CTV

CCPA report warns tuition fees increasing faster than incomes, inflation

A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) observes that since 1990, average tuition and compulsory fees for undergraduate students have increased by 6.2% annually -- 3 times the rate of inflation. The report estimates tuition and compulsory fees will rise nearly 18% over the next 4 years to more than $7,300. The report shows a wide divergence in the cost of PSE across Canada, with Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec among the low-cost provinces and Ontario and Alberta among the high-cost jurisdictions. Using what it calls its "cost of learning" index, which measures tuition increases against the rise of income for the average family, CCPA says NL is the most affordable province for university education, both for median- and low-income families, while Ontario and Nova Scotia are the least affordable. CCPA News Release | Canadian Press | Report

ANSUT releases report on rising NS university administration compensation

In October 2011, the Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers (ANSUT) sent FOI requests to Acadia, the Atlantic School of Theology, CBU, MSVU, NSCAD, StFX, SMU, and Université Sainte-Anne. ANSUT requested the salaries, bonuses, severances, and other monetary benefits given to the institutions' presidents, VPs, assistant/associate VPs, directors, and equivalent staff members outside of the bargaining units at the universities between 2004-05 and 2010-11. The data received was compiled in a report released yesterday, which states that "it is difficult to understand why in climates where faculty and support staff received salary increases between zero and four per cent, the compensation given to senior administrators should increase at double, triple, even 4 times that." The report states that the 8 surveyed universities collectively spent $16.4 million on salaries for the presidents, VPs, associate/assistant VPs, deans, and directors in 2010-11, an increase of 27% since 2004. ANSUT says to improve fairness and public accountability, the NS government could implement several additional legislative and policy measures over the life of the current MOU on university funding. The report recommends the province implement several measures, among them limiting the portion of a university's budget that can go to funding senior administrative expenses. Backgrounder | Full Report

TRU staff vote in favour of strike action

Thompson Rivers University employees represented by CUPE 4879 have voted 83% in favour of strike action, with 68% of the union's 607 members taking part in the vote. Now that the strike mandate has been approved, the union can apply for a 72-hour strike notice that will place it in a legal position to initiate job action on campus. The main issues for the union include job security, inflation protection, and a fair and reasonable wage increase. CUPE News Release

Enrolment drops at Brandon U

Enrolment at Brandon University is down by 3.5% overall following last fall's faculty strike, yet first-year enrolment has risen by 12.7%. "We're pretty pleased -- we feel this is a pretty good start to the fall," says Brandon U president Deborah Poff. "It's not significant, in any sense that it's worrying us at all." She adds that "we were nervous about our recruitment, because of our labour troubles." Poff says it is too early to tell if the overall enrolment decline is due to students leaving during or after last year's strike. Graduation could have been a factor, and numbers are also down as Brandon U has transferred its northern teacher education program to University College of the North. Winnipeg Free Press

McGill, uToronto among top 20 institutions in 2012-13 QS World University Rankings

For the first time the University of Toronto has joined McGill University among the top 20 institutions in the QS World University Rankings. McGill and uToronto placed 18th and 19th, respectively. The other Canadian universities to make the top 200 are UBC (45), uAlberta (108), uMontréal (114), McMaster (152), Western U (173), Queen's (175), and uWaterloo (191). MIT surpassed Cambridge this year to take the top spot overall for the first time. The QS rankings are based on 6 factors: academic reputation (40%); student/faculty ratio (20%); citations per faculty (20%); employer reputation (10%); international faculty (5%); and international students (5%). 2012-13 QS World University Rankings

UNBSJ program helps prepare international students for graduation

Offered in partnership with Mount Allison University, the University of New Brunswick Saint John is piloting a new program called Graduation Preparation Series (GPS) that is designed to help senior-level international students plan and prepare for their final year at the institution, as well as to prepare them for life as a new graduate in a professional working environment. The GPS program is divided into 2 levels consisting of 5 sessions, with each session focusing on a specific area, such as career path development, job hunting, and mock interviews. Participants are given the chance to increase their strengths within each area. After both levels are completed, participants have the opportunity to apply for a paid internship with local businesses and organizations. New Brunswick's PSE department is collaborating with UNBSJ as a sponsor of the GPS program. UNB News

McMaster engineering faculty develops recruitment portal

McMaster University's Faculty of Engineering has launched, an interactive 360-degree panoramic microsite combining photography, video, music, and soundscapes. Through a series of 26 embedded video vignettes and mini-documentaries, the microsite allows prospective students to meet professors and student leaders, look into McMaster's facilities, and get a feel for undergraduate life on campus. Double Barrel Studios News Release |

Algonquin College develops safety and security mobile app

Algonquin College has created an Emergency Procedures mobile application available for free for Android, iOS, and BlackBerry devices. The app will assist students, staff, and other visitors to Algonquin's 3 campuses to ensure they have the latest security information in the palm of their hand. The app provides customized information for each campus, including how to get assistance, the emergency procedures, and campus maps. It also provides general information for users regarding measures to take in a variety of emergency situations. The app is another step forward for Algonquin in its "Connected College" initiative. Algonquin College News