Top Ten

August 7, 2013

uSask tallies 248 jobs cut so far

The University of Saskatchewan has issued a memo detailing the number of positions cut as part of the effort to address a projected deficit of $3.3 million for 2013-14. uSask has so far cut 248 jobs –198 through layoffs, 50 through unfilled vacancies – and there may be more to come as uSask works to offset a projected $44.5-million budget shortfall in 2016. The hardest hit area was the campus Facilities Management Division, which lost more jobs than any other department or college. The jobs eliminated so far will save uSask $8.5 million by 2016. The TransformUS project is currently ranking programs and services to determine areas for additional savings, and when the report is finalized in November, more layoffs could ensue. Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Carleton looks for third-party residence builder/operator

Carleton University is looking to the private sector to address the current lack of residence space, reports the Ottawa Citizen. Carleton is seeking a company that would finance, design, construct, own and operate a 400- to 500-bed residence that would mostly house upper-year students. First-year students would not be admitted to the new residence, they would remain in the existing residence facilities that also offer support systems. Carleton suggests an apartment-style residence would be the best option, but is open to other designs. There is currently a waiting list of approximately 600 students, mostly upper-year, in need of campus housing. If successful, this would be the first third-party-operated residence at Carleton, although they have explored the idea in the past to no consequence. Ottawa Citizen

JIBC launches certificate in community care licensing

The Justice Institute of British Columbia is launching a new Certificate in Community Care Licensing this October, which is the first credential in Canada to provide education for Community Care Licensing Officers (CCLOs), according to JIBC. CCLOs are employed by provincial health authorities to inspect and monitor private and public facilities for child care, youth residential care, residential group care and long-term care in BC, ensuring they are in compliance with the acts and regulations that govern them. The program is primarily aimed at current CCLOs seeking professional and career development as well as prospective CCLOs, who are typically people with work experience as care providers or managers in a community-care setting. To cater to these types of students, the courses will be delivered online. JIBC News Release

WesternU makes plans to advance its global standing

Western University has unveiled an ambitious new draft strategic plan, to be finalized in September, several years after incoming president Amit Chakma vowed to make WesternU one of the world’s top 100 PSE institutions. The ambitious plan outlines several main goals for WesternU: become a world-class research centre with a higher international profile; better engage the community, including alumni; build on a reputation for excellence in education; and find new funding sources to help pay for improvements and expansion. London Free Press

Ryerson launches new community-radio station

Ryerson University has soft launched a new community-radio station this summer, with a hard launch planned for this September. The Scope will be available online, but hopes to get a space on the AM frequency soon as well. The Scope aims to serve not only the Ryerson community, but all Torontonians. In conjunction with Sourcefabric, a non-profit organization that creates digital, open source newsrooms, The Scope has developed the enRUe app, which will help citizen journalists make and load audio collaboratively, see each other's edits, and comment back and forth in real time. During the school year, Ryerson’s Radio and Television students operate a 24-hour a day, 7-days-a-week online broadcaster SpiritLive; The Scope will share content with SpiritLive when possible to enhance programming at both stations. In January 2011, Ryerson’s former community-radio station had its license revoked due to a breach of numerous regulations and conditions of license. Ryerson News Release

Adult students return to high school to access PSE

A new report released by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has determined that the majority of adults who return to high school do so because they want to pursue PSE. The data comes from a survey of 500 adult students in Ontario, half of whom had a high school diploma and needed to gain prerequisites for a specific PSE program, or had foreign credentials that were not recognized by a PSE institution or employer. Most of the respondents were women, immigrants, or Aboriginal, and planned to attend college rather than university. Health care, technology, engineering, and other programs with explicit career paths were the most common PSE programs pursued. The students noted a lack of guidance at the high school level, and a “misalignment with their courses and career aspirations.” HEQCO News Release

Young workers in retail and service look to unions for job security

Unions are becoming increasingly popular among young workers in the service and retail sectors, which have previously been non-unionized, according to an article in the Globe and Mail. Many of the low-wage, part-time positions that are becoming part of the union movement have, until recently, been viewed as temporary employment while in school or until a career is started, but with the slow recession recovery, many young people are now looking at these jobs in the long term. Unions can provide job security as well as higher wages and benefits. According to Kevin Shimmin, a national representative of private-sector union UFCW Canada, “the retail sector is where cutting edge and innovative organizing will happen for many years to come.” The proportion of Canadians belonging to labour unions has remained relatively steady since the late 1990s, at slightly less than one-third of the work force. Globe and Mail

Seniors triple their social network use

New research data suggests that the older generation (65+) of internet users has tripled its social networking, from 13% in spring 2009, to 43% now. The researchers surveyed 2,252 US adults, age 18 and older, by telephone in English and Spanish. While all adult internet users had increased their social networking, the senior generation had the most significant growth. The study also looked at gender, race, education level, income, and location (urban/rural) and found that among internet users who frequent social networking sites the data was comparable among all categories. The study also looked specifically at Twitter usage, and found that the same 65+ generation has only increased its Twitter use by 1% since 2010, whereas the age group 18-29 has more than doubled its Twitter use, from 15% in 2012 to 30% in 2013. The ethnicity of Twitter users was also significant, with 28% and 27% self-identifying as Hispanic and Black, respectively, compared to 14% as White (non-Hispanic).  Clickz.com | Survey Summary

France considers extending headscarf ban to universities

France’s High Council for Integration has proposed banning Muslim headscarves at universities -- the garment is already outlawed in the civil service and state-run schools. In a report leaked by Le Monde magazine, the council said the measure would counter problems “caused by students wearing religious attire and demanding prayer space and special menus at universities.” Under French law, religious wear is banned in schools to protect youths from faith-related pressures, but tolerated in universities because students are adults with free choice. The High Council’s report was submitted to the Observatory of Laïcité, the council in charge of France’s secularism laws, for its consideration. Globe and Mail (Reuters)

Back-to-school market research reveals student mindset

As a new school season nears, consumer companies geared to PSE students are beginning to learn more about their audience as part of their fall marketing campaigns. Nearly half (43%) of Canadian PSE graduates pursue a different career than originally intended, according to a survey by Future Shop Consumer Insights. Another student survey, by Intel, reveals that if they could go back in time, 27% of college and university students surveyed would tell their “younger selves” to boost their self-discipline skills, and another 26% would advise improving time-management skills in order to be successful beyond high school. The same survey revealed that students at all levels report feeling they are lacking in these essential areas, and that they are experiencing higher levels of anxiety as they advance in their education. Future Shop News Release | Intel News Release