Top Ten

June 13, 2013

Sprott receives international accreditation

The Sprott School of Business at Carleton University has received accreditation from AACSB International (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the “longest-serving global accrediting body” for business schools, marking Sprott’s dedication to providing top-quality education in the business realm. Less than 5% of the world’s business schools have received AACSB accreditation. The road to accreditation is intensive and can take several years; once a school is accredited it must maintain and improve upon standards to meet criteria for reapplication every 5 years. 19 other Canadian universities are also accredited from AACSB. Carleton News

Library and Archives Canada deal sparks controversy

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has entered into a “secretly brokered” deal with a private high-tech consortium that would hand over exclusive rights to publicly-owned books and artifacts for 10 years, reports the Ottawa Citizen. It is unclear when the deal will be officially announced, but the Ottawa Citizen reports that the deal would mean LAC would give millions of publicly-owned books and documents to, which in exchange will get a 10-year exclusive license to sell them in sophisticated digital formats. Many critics are speaking out against the deal, saying that the tech company will be selling back to Canadians what they already own. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) says it strongly opposes “this privatization of public records and the limitations it places on access to [Canadians’] collective heritage.” According to The Ottawa Citizen, LAC says the so-called Heritage Project, to be launched with an initial $2 million from Canadian university libraries, is misunderstood.
Ottawa Citizen | CAUT News Release

Artists, musicians protest cuts at MRU

A rally was held Wednesday night to protest recent program cuts at Mount Royal University, led by artists and musicians who worry about the “cultural desert” that could be caused by cuts to arts programs in the city. MRU recently announced job and program cuts, and suspended intake of 8 non-degree-granting programs, including jazz studies. Grade 12 musicians, the “Rejected Combo”, performed at the rally, showcasing the talents that will no longer be “nurtured” at MRU. The students had been accepted to the jazz studies program, but received notice that program intake had been suspended. Arts advocates challenged the audience to “find a way to create a sustainable arts community.” Calgary Herald

Niagara College receives $1.5 million for co-op partnerships

Niagara College has received $1.5 million from the federal government’s "Career Focus" program to work with local businesses and identify 3- to 12-month paid internship opportunities for recent graduates in high-demand industry sectors. These businesses will receive up to 50% of a graduate’s salary, up to $20,000 per graduate. “For many graduates, it’s a lack of relevant experience that stands between them and career success,” said Kristine Dawson, Niagara’s manager of Co-op and Graduate Employment Services. “This program helps connect businesses and organizations that can offer career-related work opportunities with graduates who need the experience.” Niagara News Release

Olds College names finalists in beer name search

Alberta's Olds College has selected 10 entries in its search for names for the 4 standard-bearing beers to be produced by its new Brewmaster. The 10 contenders are Four Winds, Prairie Sunset Cerveza, Hay City Pilsner, Old School, Aggie Ale, Plowmans Ale, Alberta Clipper, Hops N Crops, Black Gold, and Prairie Gold. The public has until June 17 to rank their favourite names on Olds' website, and the top 4 names will be selected from the list for the Brewmaster to match with the types of beer to be brewed. Those whose entries are selected will get a framed limited edition beer label for each of the 4 beers, a private VIP tour of the teaching brewery, the chance to be a “Brewer for a Day,” and an invitation to the VIP reception of the brewery's grand opening. Olds' Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management Program is set to start this fall. Olds College News Release

Questioning the value of MBA admissions consultants

A Globe and Mail feature asks how much value an MBA admissions consultant adds to an MBA hopeful's application process, and finds that although limited audits find good results, an MBA candidate should consider carefully before putting in the extra money. Costing 3 to 5% of the overall cost of an MBA program, these consultants will help the candidate navigate the variety of interviews, essays, tests and presentations that can often make up the application process. MBA Exchange, one of the few consultancies that publish audited results, claims an 87% success rate for clients applying to 4 schools under its applications package. However, the Globe points out that candidates must be wary of the fact that MBA schools do not want students who are carbon copies of each other, a possible worry for candidates who use the same consultants and apply to the same schools. Anna Farrus, head of admissions at Said Business School, University of Oxford, told the Globe that she’s wary of consultants. “I’ve always questioned the value of admissions consultants. I think they may provide some help when candidates are trying to decide which schools they should apply to, but when it comes to the actual admissions process, I have my doubts.” Globe and Mail

First official MOOC data released by the uEdinburgh

The University of Edinburgh began offering 6 Coursera-backed MOOCs in January 2013, and in order to address a dearth of data on the effectiveness of MOOCs, they conducted entrance and exit surveys, compiling the most “comprehensive data to date in the sector.” 77% of course-completers said that the MOOC either met, or exceeded, their expectations. The survey examined study choices, motivations, and nationalities of course participants. The study found that although close to 200 countries were represented, the majority came from the US, UK, Spain and Brazil, with some prominent countries with zero activity (China). A lack of data on MOOC success has recently prompted the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to launch the MOOC Research Initiative (MRI), offering research funding to approved proposals to study the effectiveness of the MOOC form. The Pie News | uEdinburgh Report | MRI site

“Mapping the Future” of Humanities at Harvard

Harvard University’s Arts and Humanities Division has released a report that outlines their recommendations for how humanities academics can “invigorate student engagement with humanistic studies today,” and deal with the decline of interest in the humanities. A Stanford professor blogging for The Chronicle of Higher Education points out that in the US, only 7% of the undergraduate degrees awarded in 2010 were for humanities; down from 14% in 1966. Recommendations that Mapping the Future makes include getting rid of excess specialization, which makes the humanities “too restrictive;” reasserting the importance of teaching, which should be ingrained in graduate training, hiring and promotion; embracing the fact that skills learned through a study of the humanities are transferable to a wide-range of careers; and restructuring pedagogy to move from being text-centred to student-centred, where faculty research projects have only a subordinate role in teaching. The report also discusses how to revisit the canon of studied works so that it takes into account both the great works, but also works that engage students. Harvard Humanities Project | The Chronicle of Higher Education

Unpaid internships violated minimum wage laws, US court rules

A recent ruling in the US that said Fox Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage and overtime laws by not paying interns who worked on a production may cause other companies to rethink their unpaid internships, the Associated Press reports. For many recent graduates, an unpaid internship is a good way to get experience in their fields, beefing up their resume. However, this latest ruling may cause employers to rethink whether it’s worth the legal risks to hire unpaid interns. The Toronto Star (Associated Press)

Strict, regimented parenting could lead to anxious children, UoGuelph expert says

A prominent child psychologist told parents in Guelph that children need more creative, “self-reflective” time without set goals in order to overcome childhood anxiety. Dr. Brenda Kenyon, director of the University of Guelph's Center for Psychological Services, gave a lecture to parents on Tuesday that addressed the stresses parents face to be “perfect,” and the effects that strict regimens and anxiety in parents can have on anxiety-prone children. Studies currently indicate 6-10% Canadian schoolchildren suffer from some form of anxiety, and the numbers are growing rapidly. Kenyon noted that it can take up to 2 years for a child to be “medically diagnosed with anxiety” and that medicating children is “not often the answer.” She suggests cognitive behavioural therapy, with a 70% success rate, and that “parents need to realize and embrace the fact that they're human.” Guelph Mercury