Top Ten

October 10, 2012

Former TV math show host suing uWinnipeg for dashing his teaching aspirations

Martin Green -- star of the early-90s Winnipeg cable-TV program "Math with Marty" -- is seeking punitive damages from the University of Winnipeg for dashing his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. An engineer by trade, Green enrolled in uWinnipeg's education program in September 2011. In his statement of claim, Green alleges staff at uWinnipeg and Gordon Bell High School, where he was placed as part of his 2-year teaching certification program, "wrongfully and maliciously conspired and combined amongst themselves to injure him by depriving him of his opportunity to become a certified teacher." Green claims his teaching practicum was ended based on false and misleading assessments that he says portrayed him as rude and argumentative. He states he was subsequently suspended from the practicum at uWinnipeg. Green says his appeals were ignored or rejected by uWinnipeg officials, and that he ultimately was banned from campus and forced to drop out of the education program. The allegations have not been proven in court. uWinnipeg administrators have declined to comment on the case. National Post | Winnipeg Free Press

BC commits more than $7 million to TRU law building development

The BC government announced Tuesday it will invest up to $7.4 million in a permanent facility for Thompson Rivers University's law school. Having welcomed its first students just one year ago, the law school has been housed in temporary quarters while TRU's Old Main building was undergoing an extensive expansion and refurbishment. The first phase, which entailed extensive rebuilding of the exterior envelope, is near completion. BC funding is contingent upon approval of TRU's business case. The province's investment will accelerate planned interior upgrades (Phase 2), with completion slated for next fall, and include more lecture space, faculty offices, and common space. BC News Release | TRU News

Quebec's new PSE minister meets with student representatives

Pierre Duchesne, Quebec's new higher education minister, continues to meet with various stakeholders before launching the summit on education that was promised by his Parti Québécois government. Duchesne met with FEUQ representatives in Quebec City on Tuesday. FEUQ's president told the Canadian Press that she was satisfied with this first meeting with Duchesne. She said she detected a sense of openness from the minister, and that the new government seems to be genuinely seeking ways to satisfy all concerned. For his part, Duchesne said he wants to change the tone of the talks. He plans to meet with students, unions, and members of the academic community before announcing any more information on the summit. Tomorrow Duchesne will meet with the Association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante. Canadian Press

NIC international student tuition to rise by 10%

North Island College is experiencing a steady growth in international enrolment every year and to ensure any additional costs are covered, its board has passed a bylaw that will see rates rise by 9.9% for academic studies and 4.4% for English language courses for international students. NIC is still developing a foundation for its international education department, and the rationale for the tuition increase "is to ensure that we're covering those additional costs, covering the cost we've already incurred and ensuring that we're building a sustainable program over the long term," says a NIC official. International students at NIC pay $5,355 per term for undergraduate academic programs and more than $10,000 for vocational programs. The NIC official acknowledges that the rate is higher compared with other schools, but says it is competitive with Vancouver Island institutions and most colleges across Canada. Opposing the fee increase, a student union representative says "it's taking advantage of the deregulation of international students." The NIC official offers 2 reasons why international students pay more: "International students have never paid taxes in Canada and we have to be absolutely sure that their cost is fully covered. And the second thing is they can choose not to come." Comox Valley Echo

Mobile learning test bed part of OCAD U's draft SMA

In its proposed strategic mandate agreement sent to the Ontario government, OCAD University outlines its 3 top priorities: an enriched and relevant student experience; smart and strategic growth; and leadership in city and community building. OCAD U proposes to become the province's test bed and lead developer of mobile enabled e-learning through the institution's use of mobile networks to integrate mobile devices and methods of learning. OCAD U states it will partner with George Brown College to launch the Centre for Applied Design, Innovation and Research, as well as deliver a practice-based PhD program in partnership with University College Dublin's SMARTLab. The university aims to lead in areas of strength to be a creative city and international partner with other institutions and diverse communities, and expand public and private partnerships. For example, the Mirvish-Gehry King Street West development proposal includes a new OCAD U facility at no cost to the institution. OCAD U News Release

What is the role of PSE institutions in responding to student mental health?

Addressing this question in a column published in the Calgary Herald, Mount Royal University president David Docherty writes that "without health, young people are faced with barriers to pursuing and succeeding at education. So we need to respond." When he became Mount Royal's president last year, Docherty struck his first task force to focus on student mental health. Over the past year, the institution has learned that more training, education, and awareness about mental health for everyone on campus is required. Students need to know what services are available and when and how to access them, and faculty and staff also need to know so they can refer students appropriately. "Most importantly," writes Docherty, "we need to promote positive mental health and well-being through education, prevention and early intervention. We need to encourage students to flourish by developing positive lifestyles and resiliency skills." He writes that "students are the parents, workers and leaders of tomorrow. We have an important responsibility and opportunity to make a difference." Calgary Herald

Ryerson engineering students in class during university's first fall reading week

It's reading week at Ryerson University, the first time the institution has implemented a fall-term reading break, following other Ontario universities such as the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Ottawa. Ryerson's vice-provost of students says the extra week off is particularly helpful for first-year students adjusting to the demands of PSE. Undergraduate engineering students are the only students in class this week because the demands of their program could not accommodate the new, shorter 12-week term. These students need 13 weeks of class and lab time to be recognized by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board, the VP says. Some engineering students interviewed by the Toronto Star bemoaned their exclusion from the reading break, whereas the president of the Ryerson Engineering Student Society said "it's been pretty cool" for engineering students to have more space to themselves and more room in the library. Toronto Star

York U's Schulich top Canadian business school in Economist MBA ranking

York University's Schulich School of Business has placed first among Canadian business schools, and 16th overall, in The Economist's 2012 ranking of full-time MBA programs. The other Canadian business schools to make this year's top 100 list are McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management (75), Concordia's John Molson School of Business (78), UBC's Sauder School of Business (91), HEC Montréal (93), and uCalgary's Haskayne School of Business (95). The Economist notes that the Canadian government's 2008 revisions of foreign student visas is one reason why, over the 2 past years, Canada has seen a bigger increase in full-time MBA applications than any other region. A Schulich official says that approximately 80% of foreign MBAs at the business school now choose to stay and work in Canada immediately after graduation. After that, the official says, most tend to return home with their newly honed skills. The Economist | 2012 MBA Rankings

Mount Allison enrolment grows 9% in past 4 years

Mount Allison University welcomed 765 first-year students this fall, up by 2% over last year's incoming class. The university has experienced a steady rise in enrolment, with the student population growing by 9% over the past 4 years. In terms of domestic enrolment, the campus community is made up of students from 600 Canadian communities and every province and territory. International enrolment continues to be healthy at Mount Allison, with 11% of students arriving from 52 nations. Mount Allison News

MyEdu develops programs to better connect students and employers

MyEdu, an online platform to help students plan and manage their PSE experience, has developed 2 programs to improve the connection between college and career. Through MyEdu Student Profile, students can produce a visual representation of their academic performance, interests, skills, and volunteer and work history. Companies can use MyEdu for Employers to outline desired classes, experiences, and skills for job candidates, identify students who meet those specifications, and interact directly with students considering the field. The Texas-based MyEdu created these programs in part to help deal with the high unemployment rate among recent college graduates. A MyEdu official says students have expressed frustration over resumé and professional-networking sites because they do not allow students to fully demonstrate their capabilities. "It's really important to students to have a way to tell their story, what they accomplish in college, across academics, extracurriculars, and work," says the MyEdu official. "We designed something specifically for students to tell their story -- that's visual and powered by academic data -- effectively to employers." The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | MyEdu