Top Ten

December 6, 2012

uCalgary Law running $20-million development campaign

The University of Calgary's Faculty of Law recently launched a new development campaign, whose objective is to raise $20 million over the next 5 years. The campaign also seeks to integrate the law school more closely with Calgary's legal and professional community. The faculty has brought together a diverse, broadly representative group from Calgary's legal community to help it reach its goal of becoming "Calgary's law school." The law faculty's dean says "we want our programs to be reflective of the needs of our community. We want to be a central part of Calgary and its future. We want our graduates to go on to be leaders within the community, and we want to be a part of the professional fabric of Calgary." Calgary Herald | Campaign for Calgary Law | Case for Support

PQ to demand that English CÉGEPs prioritize anglophone applicants

Instead of barring francophone and allophone students from attending English-language CÉGEPs, as the Parti Québécois had pledged in its election campaign, the party's new language bill introduced a French proficiency requirement to graduate. The government will also demand that English CÉGEPs give priority to admitting anglophone students before admitting those from francophone secondary schools. With limited space in several English college programs, francophone students and their allophone counterparts (people whose mother tongue is neither French nor English) will likely be forced to enrol instead in French CÉGEPs. At English-language Dawson College, 19% of students are francophones and 22% are allophones. Richard Filion, Dawson's director general, says admission is based on the strength of a student's academic record, not their mother tongue. "You can't administer an education system on the basis of clauses that impose restrictions, merely for ideological and political purposes," Filion says, adding that limiting francophones' access to English CÉGEPs would also reduce the mixing of language groups in Montreal. Globe and Mail | Montreal Gazette | National Post

uSask medical students outline problems with program quality

University of Saskatchewan medical students have asked the College of Medicine to make immediate changes to fix problems with the way doctors are educated in the province. Weeks without clinical instruction, not enough physicians willing to have students accompany them when seeing patients, missing lecture notes, and hastily cancelled lectures that weren't rescheduled are some of the issues the Student Medical Society of Saskatchewan's president lists in a letter to the college. Although medical students have raised concerns about the quality of their program for years, the society's president says several factors, including the college's restructuring process, "have caused undergraduate medical education to decrease in priority." The acting dean of medicine says he was troubled to hear about the issues, which he describes as "unprofessional" and "inappropriate" behaviour by some faculty. He has called a special meeting with all medical department heads and will ask them to report back to him within a month on "how this is not going to occur next term." Saskatoon Star-Phoenix | uSask College of Medicine Concept

Record first-year enrolment at Ontario colleges

First-year enrolment in Ontario colleges reached its highest level ever this year, rising by 4.9% over the previous year, reports Colleges Ontario. More than 123,000 students are enrolled in first-year programs at Ontario's 24 colleges. The institutions have seen a 17.4% jump in international enrolment this year. College education continues to attract substantial numbers of university graduates. The number of university graduates applying to Ontario colleges has increased more than 40% from 5 years ago. Colleges Ontario News Release

uWaterloo breaks ground for Science Teaching Complex

The University of Waterloo held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday for its new Science Teaching Complex, which will be the new home of undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Science. The 5-storey, 120,000-square-foot complex will feature a suite of lecture rooms, including a 425-seat amphitheatre, a 300-seat lecture hall, as well as 3 additional 150-seat teaching rooms. First-year teaching labs, student lounges, meeting rooms, and a student café are also included in the facility. Construction of the new complex was made possible with a $10-million contribution from Research in Motion co-founder Mike Lazaridis and his wife Ophelia. uWaterloo News Release

TRU introduces Teaching and Learning Scholars Program

Thompson Rivers University has selected 9 faculty members as scholars for the first Teaching and Learning Scholars Program cohort at the institution. An initiative of TRU's Centre for Student Engagement and Learning Innovation, the program brings together faculty members who are committed to rigorous, systematic, and evidence-based study of student learning. Working in a peer-supported, cohort model of collaborative investigation over a one-year period, each scholar will undertake a course-based inquiry project, conduct research that sheds new light on a significant aspect of student learning, have the work peer-reviewed, and share the results publicly. TRU News

Business schools address demand for entrepreneurship education

Globally, business schools have responded to demand for entrepreneurship as a subject specialization by setting up specialty centres for entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, schools are retooling the curriculum to embed innovation and entrepreneurship in the MBA. UBC's redesigned MBA includes business innovation as one of 4 "career tracks" in the year-long program. The university previously offered electives in innovation and entrepreneurship, but now strives to offer a more intensive experience for budding entrepreneurs, as well as for so-called intrapreneurs to pursue new business development within an existing firm. Queen's University is in the midst of revamping its MBA to broaden the focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Previously, the institution offered a course on new-venture management as part of the core curriculum, along with several electives and a student-managed venture capital fund. As part of the revised MBA for May 2013, Queen's expects to offer about 20 innovation-oriented electives, up from the current 6. Globe and Mail

NACC unveils new international marketing brand

The National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) has launched a new international marketing brand -- Career Colleges Canada -- to encourage more international students to attend Canadian career colleges. NACC has set up a website -- -- where international students and educational agents can learn more about programs at career colleges in Canada. The site will provide information about individual colleges, answer questions international students have, and provide contact information for the colleges. NACC's new marketing efforts will also include a database students can use to search for individual subject areas and locations to find the program and college that are best for them. NACC News Release

PSE-industry collaboration important in addressing workforce challenges

With worldwide competition to attract and retain skilled labour heating up, the need for collaboration among Alberta business, industry, the public sector and post-secondary institutions has never been greater," writes NorQuest College president Jodi Abbott for the Edmonton Journal. She notes the PSE sector needs to work with business and industry to ensure its programs are relevant, and institutions can complement the demand for skilled graduates by helping ensure business practices and operations are efficient. NorQuest recently launched the Landmark Group Centre for Value Improvement, the result of a new partnership between the college and the Landmark Group of Builders. "Working together, the centre will deliver the training, tools and methods that empower Alberta businesses to increase efficiency, productivity and profitability," Abbott writes. "By working smarter, we can help meet the demand for more workers." Edmonton Journal | NorQuest News Release

Trend in universities enlisting therapy dogs to combat students' exam stress

A growing number of Canadian universities are arranging therapy dogs to come to campus as part of efforts to ease students' stress during the final exam period. York University is bringing in a pair of St. John's Ambulance trained therapy dogs to help students de-stress. McGill University's library also welcomed a couple of pooches this week. As part of the University of Alberta Wellness Services' Unwind Your Mind program, the institution's Augustana Library invited a registered therapy dog and a prospective service dog to visit students. Yesterday the dog owned by Simon Fraser University's health and counselling services director visited the Burnaby campus, and will be back on campus Monday. At Queen's University, the Alma Mater Society runs "Critters on Campus" events, where students have the opportunity to interact with cats and dogs during a stressful part of the semester. York U News Release | YFile | CTV | Augustana Campus News | SFU iBlog | Queen's AMS News Release