Top Ten

February 27, 2013

Quebec student demonstrators denounce university tuition indexation

Thousands of students and their supporters marched through downtown Montreal Tuesday afternoon to denounce the Quebec government's plan to implement a form of indexation of university tuition fees. There were some tense moments as demonstrators clashed with police, but overall the demonstration was less violent than many of those that took place last spring. Police say 13 individuals were arrested. The rally was organized by the student group ASSÉ, whose co-spokesperson says protesters will fight not only the indexation, but will also continue to push for free tuition for all Quebecers. Higher Education Minister Pierre Duchesne said Tuesday that he expected there would be more protests following the government's announcement that tuition would no longer be frozen. "The protest today is normal, but a protest is not a crisis." The ASSÉ co-spokesperson says his group will explore several tactics to put pressure on the government, but does not expect that a large-scale student boycott will be repeated. CTV

Thousands of Alberta student summer jobs may be cut

Approximately 3,000 student summer jobs are on the chopping block as the Alberta government closes its Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP). The government's Human Services Department suspended the application process for STEP funding recently with a notice on its website. A department spokesman says there will be no further comment until the budget. Edmonton Journal

BC student aid system undergoes upgrades

Helping students manage their student loans and reducing wait times is the impetus for a $3.2-million system upgrade of StudentAid BC. By March 2014, planned improvements are expected to help students manage their accounts and access funds more quickly by allowing them to apply for a loan and confirm their enrolment all online using improved e-services and new self-service tools. At the same time, further enhancements will provide PSE institutions with enhanced e-services and self-service tools to speed up their access, decrease their workload, and reduce costs. BC News Release

Applied, professional graduates most likely to repay student loans

New research from the University of Guelph observes that university graduates in applied and professional programs are more likely to pay back their student loans than their peers in liberal arts or in similar college programs. The study found that university students are generally more likely to pay back loans than college students, despite higher university tuition fees. The research also found that, starting salaries being even, students in certain disciplines, including business, engineering, and health, were even more likely to repay their student loans than those in the liberal arts. UoGuelph News Release

NS invests in oceans technology equipment at NSCC

The Nova Scotia government announced Tuesday an $800,000 investment that will strengthen marine programming by providing new simulators and training aids, as well as safety equipment, at Nova Scotia Community College's Nautical Institute and School of Fisheries. Through the institute, NSCC is already home to several simulators that give marine navigation technology and marine engineering technology students a chance to experience what it is like to be at sea. NS News Release

McGill, MUN pick up CASE District I Excellence Awards

McGill and Memorial Universities are the Canadian winners in the CASE District I Excellence Awards. McGill picked up a gold award in the Special-Purpose Publications -- Multi-Page category. The university also earned silver awards in the Alumni Relations Programming for Special Constituencies and Annual Alumni Relations Programs categories. McGill also received an honourable mention in the Video category. MUN picked up silver awards in the Annual Report, Fundraising Materials, and Special-Purpose Publications -- Multi-Page categories. CASE District I Excellence Awards | MUN News

GMAC releases student mobility trend reports

According to student mobility trend reports released yesterday by the Graduate Management Admission Council, graduate management education is becoming more international and more diverse, as a broader range of international applicants are submitting their GMAT scores to different types of programs in different parts of the world. A record 286,529 GMAT exams were administered in testing year 2012, with 831,337 score reports submitted to MBA and other types of graduate management programs. GMAT testing outside of the US continues to grow quickly, with exams taken by non-US citizens increasing by 19% from 2011 to 2012 and representing 59% of global GMAT volume. GMAC News Release

Oxford accused of bias against minority applicants

Oxford University has been accused by a Labour MP of "institutional bias" against black and ethnic minority applicants after data revealed that white applicants to some of the most competitive courses are up to twice as likely to be admitted as others, even when they get the same A-level marks. Figures for applications to Oxford in 2010 and 2011, obtained by The Guardian through a freedom-of-information request, showed that 25.7% of white applicants received an offer to attend Oxford, compared to 17.2% of students from ethnic minorities. The university says it is closely examining the phenomenon. "Oxford University is committed to selecting the very best students, regardless of race, ethnicity, or any other factor," a spokeswoman says. The Guardian

Websites allow users to rate MOOCs

At least 3 websites have launched in recent months to let users of massive open online courses (MOOCs) review the courses they have taken. The founder of Grade My Course says so far the reviews on his website have not been nearly as biting as those on He thinks many students are more likely to give positive reviews because they are taking free courses, not taking out loans or facing a make-or-break mark. The founder of Course Talk sees a similar pattern in the reviews on his website. "These courses are free, so there's a lot of good will just based on that alone." Both developers say their websites help would-be MOOC students assess classes before they take them. A third MOOC rating site is Inside Higher Ed

McGraw-Hill Ryerson reveals suite of adaptive learning products

McGraw-Hill Ryerson Higher Education is launching a suite of adaptive learning products for Canadian PSE students that uses advanced technological engines to improve learning and student performance. The new "LearnSmart Advantage" suite uses adaptive technology to provide more personalized learning experiences. Included in the suite is SmartBook, the world's first-ever adaptive e-book, which revolutionizes reading by focusing students' attention on the content that is most critical to their learning. Adaptive learning is an educational method that aims to personalize learning by using algorithmic technology to continually assess students' knowledge, skill, and confidence levels. McGraw-Hill News Release