Top Ten

September 19, 2012

Concordia drops code of conduct charges against student protesters

Concordia University will not proceed with complaints administration made under its code of rights and responsibilities stemming from student behaviour during tuition protests earlier this year, says president Alan Shepard in a statement posted on Concordia's website. The code allows members of the university community to engage in peaceful and orderly protest, but prohibits blocking access to classes and causing disruptions on campus. Some students allegedly did so, leaving administration to file complaints. Other Concordia community members made similar complaints, but administration can only withdraw those complaints it made. "As president of the university, I also believe it is time for our community to turn the page and focus on the future together," says Shepard. "I acknowledge that some members of the community will not agree with this approach, and I respect their point of view on the matter." Statement | Montreal Gazette | CTV

UNB adopts new anti-hazing policy

The University of New Brunswick has had a zero-tolerance hazing policy for years, but this year the institution has introduced a new policy that expands the definition of hazing. As per the new rules, any activity that creates a hierarchy could be considered hazing if the option of participating means exclusion. UNB says the new policy is important as many people consider hazing only in extreme circumstances. "It just became really clear that we needed to provide some clarity around what we consider hazing and what we don't," says a UNB spokeswoman. One feature of the new rules covers consent. The institution says it does not matter if the student being hazed has given permission. The new policy came into effect in August. Anyone caught hazing another student could be suspended or expelled from UNB. CTV

York U unveils new brand, campaign

Yesterday York University revealed its brand refresh, along with a brand campaign that features the tagline "this is my time." The campaign celebrates the high aims of York U students and showcases just how far a York U degree can take graduates. The campaign development involved interviewing a wide range of York U students and asking them about their goals and how they hope their York U education and on-campus experience will help them make a positive impact on the world. Over the next year, 21 students from across 10 faculties will share their vision via a mix of advertising channels, including a partnership with MuchMusic to award one lucky contestant a year of free tuition through a Twitter contest that asks future students to create their own #thisismytime moment. Current students also have a chance to win a year of free tuition by sharing their personal visions on an online Vision Exchange. Campaign creative includes black-and-white photos of students who declare their future achievements. Examples include "2025: My screenplay wins an Academy Award" and "2027: I'm helping land the first human on Mars." York U News Release | Refreshing the York Brand | Vision Exchange

UBC new member of Coursera

The University of British Columbia is among 17 new international PSE partners of Coursera, a US-based provider of massive open online courses. Starting next spring, UBC will pilot 3 non-credit courses -- "Useful Genetics," "Computer Science Problem Design," and "Climate Literacy: Navigating Climate Conversations" -- through Coursera's online learning platform. The partnership will provide evidence-based findings for UBC to design and support quality learning interactions for online, face-to-face, and other classroom delivery modes. UBC is the second Canadian university to join Coursera following the University of Toronto, which recently reported that its computer science courses offered through Coursera have drawn 85,000 students. UBC News Release

BC invests $17 million to upgrade skills training equipment at PSE schools

On Tuesday BC Premier Christy Clark announced a $17-million investment to upgrade skills training equipment at public PSE institutions across the province. The equipment upgrades will benefit students, apprentices, and instructors in training programs for a range of occupations, such as heavy duty equipment and automotive service technicians, construction workers, and electricians. The province will continue its consultations with educators, the Industry Training Authority, and industry training organizations this fall to finalize decisions on equipment needs and funding amounts for each PSE institution. BC News Release

Enrolment in Sheridan degree programs up 21%

Sheridan College is reporting a 21.2% enrolment increase in its degree programs, which now total 12. (The college also offers an additional 5 degrees in collaboration with university partners). "Our applied degrees have experienced impressive growth and success since we began offering them in 2003," says Sheridan president Jeff Zabudsky. "In fact, they are outperforming the system overall, with a graduation rate of 81% compared to the provincial average of 65%, and a graduate employment rate of 87% -- ahead of the 83% reported province-wide." Overall full-time enrolment is up by 7% compared to fall 2011. Sheridan currently has a full-time student population of 18,000, dispersed amongst its campuses in Oakville, Brampton, and Mississauga. Sheridan News Release

Carleton gets first look at design plans for Aboriginal centre

Carleton University has selected architect Douglas Cardinal to design a new interior space for its new Aboriginal centre. Expected to be completed in January 2013, the centre will serve as a gathering place for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, staff, and faculty who want to spend time together, visit with elders, study, or engage in research. The project challenge is "having it be a place where the people feel at home, and the elders feel that it respects their culture and their heritage," says Cardinal, who is also working on the Gordon Oakes-Red Bear Student Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. The Aboriginal centre is the latest in Carleton's efforts to become a noted centre for Aboriginal learning and innovative research. Last fall the institution adopted an Aboriginal Co-ordinated Strategy, which seeks to welcome more Aboriginal students to campus, increase partnerships with Aboriginal communities, and include indigenous knowledge in teaching wherever possible. Carleton News Release | Ottawa Citizen

uOttawa research finds students aggress against profs in reaction to poor marks

New research from the University of Ottawa shows students who were given a poor grade aggressed against the professor through poor teaching evaluations. The research found that students who received poor grades were 10 to 19 times more likely to make negative comments than those who were given high grades. The research is based on 3 studies involving participating students writing an essay that received evaluation, measures on self-esteem and narcissism, and a survey of participants' feelings about the feedback they received. The research found that when students were given a poorer feedback, higher self-esteem and higher narcissism were associated with students giving lower (and more aggressive) evaluations of the professor. According to the study's author, the findings suggest that "students' ratings of professors are biased and that favourable evaluations can be bought with high grades." The researcher hopes her findings will convince universities to ignore or discount student evaluations when assessing the work of faculty. uOttawa News Release | Research Abstract | Ottawa Citizen | Globe and Mail

uToronto maps origins of first-year students

This year, first-year undergraduate students at the University of Toronto come from 111 nations and over 900 municipalities worldwide (and that's not counting the heritage of students from the GTA). To get a sense of this breadth, the team in the president's office has geocoded and plotted on a Google Map the hometowns of uToronto's first-year, full-time, undergraduate class. The map shows one red bubble per municipality, with the size of the each bubble proportionate to the number of students from the relevant municipality. The map shows that this year, domestic first-year undergraduates come from nearly 300 cities and towns from across Canada. uToronto Office of the President | Map

Tyndale launches prospective student site

Tyndale University College & Seminary has developed a new website that embraces the look of its new brand and serves as a resource for accepted and prospective students. Visitors to Tyndaleu.ca can explore the Toronto-based institution's academic programs, get a feel for student life at Tyndale, and apply to the university. The site features information tailored to high school, accepted, transfer, home-schooled, mature, US, international, and visiting or occasional students. Tyndaleu.ca also includes a video that highlights the benefits of an education at the university and features testimonials from students about their experience at Tyndale. Tyndale News | Tyndaleu.ca