Top Ten

November 13, 2012

Quebec students, unions demand inquiry into police conduct

CTV reports that 51 different organizations in Quebec are calling on Premier Pauline Marois to call a public inquiry into police conduct during student demonstrations. Student organizations, unions, and others say police behaviour during the student protests last spring, and during events going back to November 2011, was often reprehensible. The groups -- including Amnesty International, the Civil rights league of Quebec, and some university professors -- say police often intimidated demonstrators, and have compiled a list of 3,418 individuals arrested, including details of multiple demonstrators allegedly injured by officers. The groups say the government needs an inquiry to prevent further confrontations between police and protesters, as they are certain there will be more demonstrations in the future. The next demonstration in support of the student movement is expected to take place in Montreal on November 22. CTV

UQAM inaugurates new campus in Longueuil

Monday marked the official inauguration of the Université du Québec à Montréal's new campus in Longueuil, located on the Université de Sherbrooke's campus in the city south of Montreal. With this location, UQAM can now offer day and evening courses in 9 programs, whether for full- or part-time study. Just a 10-minute metro ride from the main campus, the new Longueuil campus is easily accessible and allows students enrolled in programs offered in Longueuil to take courses at the Montreal campus, and vice-versa. UQAM has had a presence in the Montérégie region for more than 32 years, awarding 5,300 undergraduate degrees to date. Currently, 1,200 students, the majority of whom are from the region, are taking courses at the Longueuil campus, an increase of nearly 50% compared to last year. UQAM News (in French)

uWindsor senate approves School for Arts and Creative Innovation

Last Friday, the University of Windsor's senate approved "the School for Arts and Creative Innovation" as the name of the institution's merged film production, music, urban ecology, and visual arts programs. "The new name recognizes the leadership of the arts in the digital economy and the evolution of a new culture," says the acting director of the new school. "Our graduates are creating the visual and sonic codes and designs that support the innumerable technical creations of our times." The name change anticipates the restructuring and the 2014 relocation of the schools of music and visual arts to the renovated Armouries and bus depot buildings in downtown Windsor. uWindsor Daily News

WLU unveils Centre for Women in Science

Last Thursday, Wilfrid Laurier University's Centre for Women in Science celebrated its official launch. The centre aims to foster a strong community for women in science and the mathematical social sciences through action, communication, and research. The centre's services include providing grants and support to female scientists and to researchers studying the role of women in the sciences, facilitating networking and mentoring opportunities for female scientists, and supporting community outreach to young females considering careers in science. WLU News

PSE groups respond to push for 3-year college degrees in Ontario

There is some opposition to Colleges Ontario's request to the provincial government to allow colleges to grant 3-year degrees, but if it does go through, other provinces say they will follow suit, reports the Globe and Mail. Ontario universities are undecided about this lobbying effort and say they need more information about the specific degrees before forming an opinion. "In terms of giving out degrees, the colleges already give out four-year degrees that have an applied nature to them," and it might be more of a stretch to transition to 3 years, says Council of Ontario Universities president Bonnie Patterson. She says it comes down to a matter of quality control and whether or not the colleges would meet the same standards as their university counterparts. BC Colleges president Jim Reed says what his organization is hearing "is that industry is looking for avenues in which they can get people in quicker from their education and training and into the workplace." In response to this demand, BC Colleges has been exploring how to move students through the education system faster with the skills to hit the ground running so employers aren't burdened with heavy on-the-job training. "So a three-year degree, from my point of view, would make a lot of sense," Reed says. Globe and Mail

Canadore proposes "Earn and Learn" program delivery model

In its draft strategic mandate agreement, Canadore College proposes developing a program delivery model under which students learn and work at the same time. The "Earn and Learn" program would be delivered in collaboration with employers in the field related to the program. They would hire students to work a number of hours per week, while students would study year-round, likely in an online or hybrid format. Canadore says this delivery model could decrease pressure on campus infrastructure through use of employer and community facilities, boost access to PSE, reduce the need for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding, reduce the OSAP default rate, and potentially reduce student debt load upon graduation by about 30%. Canadore SMA

Queen's strikes task force on student learning

Queen's University has set up a Student Learning Experience (SLE) task force to examine the learning experience at the institution. The task force will produce specific recommendations relating to the fundamental academic skills identified in the university's academic plan as central to the student learning experience, and suggest infrastructure, policy, and resource requirements to implement the plan. While its mandate is still being finalized, the SLE task force will seek to complement the work of the current Senate Academic Planning task force. Queen's News Centre

Number of RN graduates in Canada reaches record level

The number of graduates of entry-to-practice registered nurse (RN) programs has increased steadily in the past decade, according to a new report from the Canadian Nurses Association and the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing. There were 10,827 graduates in 2011, up by 6.9% from 2010 and a record high. The report notes that in 2010-11, 15,370 students entered entry-to-practice programs, down by 1.5% from 2009-10 and the first dip in 10 years. Following a significant drop in 2008, the number of students admitted to nurse practitioner (NP) programs increased in 2008-09 and in 2009-10. It remained steady in 2010-11, with 465 entering NP programs. The report also observes that nearly 40% of permanent RN faculty members are 55 or older, suggesting additional qualified faculty are needed if growing enrolment rates are maintained. Canadian Nurses Association News Release | Report

uToronto's TechnoLABS to support, train budding technopreneurs

The University of Toronto launched Monday its TechnoLABS space, which provides support and training for students and recent graduates who are leading and founding companies based on technological innovations. "TechnoLABS is a space dedicated to a new generation of student entrepreneurs with strong science and engineering backgrounds who are turning their discoveries in the lab into products and solutions that can benefit all Canadians," says the director for uToronto's Institute for Optical Science, adding that the space "essentially accelerates the process by which outstanding fundamental science carried out at the university is translated into tangible economic benefits." TechnoLABS is located in uToronto's Banting & Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which fosters the development of student and alumni-led research. uToronto News

MOOCs to be evaluated for potential college credit

Yesterday the American Council on Education (ACE) and Coursera announced a pilot project to determine whether some massive open online courses (MOOCs) are similar enough to traditional PSE courses that they should be eligible for credit. ACE's credit evaluation process will start early next year, using faculty teams to start assessing how much students who successfully complete Coursera MOOCs have learned. Students who wish to take the courses for credit would have to pay a fee to take an identity-verified, proctored exam. If the faculty team decides the course is worthy of credit, students who do well could pay for a transcript to submit to an institution of their choice. Colleges are not required to accept those credits, but similar transcripts are already accepted by 2,000 PSE schools in the US for training courses offered by the military or by employers. ACE News Release | New York Times