Top Ten

September 16, 2013

uMontreal student arrested in Philippines

University of Montreal student Kim Chatillon-Meunier, who was arrested last week in Manila, Philippines for allegedly participating in an anti-government protest, returned home yesterday. Chatillon-Meunier was on her way home last Friday when she was arrested at the airport, charged for participating in one of the many protests that took place on July 22, while President Benigno Aquino gave his state-of-the-nation address. Chatillon-Meunier and her boyfriend, Émile Kinley-Gauthier, were in the Philippines completing internships. Kinley-Gauthier told the media that they were only observing one of the protests; some were deemed illegal because organizers failed to obtain proper permits for the rallies. CBC (original) CBC (update)

Carleton student accused in shooting death banned from campus

A Carleton University student who is accused of first-degree murder has been banned from playing on the lacrosse team or entering campus. Sam Tsega is one of 4 men accused of murder after Michael Swan was shot in February 2010. An Ottawa judge upgraded Tsega’s second-degree murder charge to first-degree murder, and Carleton implemented the ban on the same day. University spokesperson Christopher Cline says the policy is “standard practice when a student is charged with a serious criminal offence and may represent a danger to the campus community.” Cline adds that it makes no assumptions about an individual’s guilt or innocence. Tsega has been granted bail and is in custody while he awaits trial. Ottawa Citizen

Scientists protest federal cuts to research

Canadian scientists held rallies in 17 cities across the country yesterday, calling for the federal government to stop making cuts to scientific research. The “Stand Up for Science” events were organized by the non-profit science advocacy group Evidence for Democracy. The group says that in recent years the government has made cuts to “many important” scientific institutions and shifted the focus towards commercialization of research at the expense of “more fundamental research.” The group wants the government to fund all research from basic to applied, use the best available research to make decisions, and support the open communication of publicly- funded science to the public. The federal government insists that it has given “unprecedented” support to science, investing $8 billion in research and development since taking office in 2006. In June of last year, scientists marched to Parliament Hill in a similar demonstration, which "mourned the death of evidence.” CBC

uAlberta makes changes to scholarship adjudication schedule

The University of Alberta has clarified confusion regarding 2 continuing undergraduate scholarships, the Undergraduate Academic Scholarships and the Undergraduate Leadership Awards, which were recently reported to have been put on hold. In fact, uAlberta is changing the timing of the scholarship adjudication process to the winter term rather than the fall term; however the same number of scholarships and the same total dollar amount of funding will be awarded to top students this year. The change allows the university to make offers earlier to its entrance scholarship award recipients. uAlberta Statement

NL sees benefits of lowered tuition fees

Newfoundland and Labrador is reaping the benefits of a decision made 10 years ago to reduce and then freeze tuition fees, as students from Memorial University who come from out of province are deciding to stay and work in NL -- making the 85% of Memorial’s funding that the government contributes an economic trade off. NL Minister of Advanced Education Joan Shea says that although the province is seeing a population decline and fewer students graduating from high schools, enrolment in its PSE institutions is holding steady. Student leaders in Nova Scotia would like to see similar funding measures implemented in their own province; StudentsNS Executive Director Jonathan Williams says lower tuition rates in NL attract students from NS, which has tuition rates that vary between $6,000 and $7,270. Globe and Mail

Humber business school ad gets nod for high engagement

An advertisement by the Humber College business school has been featured in Marketing Magazine as an example of an ad that successfully drives social media engagement. The ad asks, “Where do you fit in business?” and then invites viewers to takethetest.ca, which is a quiz to determine which college business program would suite them best. “For context, the average for prompting readers to visit websites is 10% [among all ads studied], and this is at 39%,” says Brian Hickey, president of the research company that ran the readership study that determined Humber’s ad was the number one ad, among those studied, to drive traffic to its website. Marketing Magazine

Waterloo student housing seeing increased investment from China

The Record in Waterloo reports this week on the increasing number of wealthy Chinese families that have been investing in student housing projects in Waterloo. The JD Development Group, which recently completed the $50-million student high rise Bridgeport House, says it has several investments from families in China. “A number of factors intersect to make investment here appealing, including opportunity to construct a better student housing supply,” says Julia Zhang, CEO of JD Development. The City of Waterloo has focused on building strong ties with China in recent years, particularly through trade missions to the country. The Record

Experts say frosh-leader training about more than just setting rules

To avoid inappropriate and offensive frosh-week behaviour, experts say greater empathy in student leaders must be fostered, reports the Globe and Mail. Both universities that saw the now infamous offensive frosh-chant sung on their campuses already have training and codes of conduct for orientation leaders; however, some say rather than simply defining what is inappropriate behaviour, the idea should be to help frosh leaders understand that traditional frosh rituals that seem harmless to many may alienate others. Ryan Hamilton, assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Brunswick, and other experts also explain that students who may not normally participate in outlandish behaviour will participate in inappropriate activities once they are part of a crowd. “It’s not just me cheering this vile cheer – it’s a group of people, so I don’t feel morally that it’s me anymore,” says Hamilton. Kelley Castle, Dean of Students for Victoria University at the University of Toronto, says she is telling students this year that they cannot hide behind a large group and feel less responsible for what happens. Globe and Mail

Texas ties technical college funding to graduate earnings

The Texas State Technical College system will award its 12 institutions funds based entirely on how much money their graduates make, beginning September 2015. Using a 5-year employment-outcome average, the system will receive about 26 cents for every dollar students earn above minimum wage. The change comes at a time when many PSE systems are moving towards funding models that reward outcomes rather than enrolment. Tennessee in 2011 revised its funding model to tie up to 80% of institutions' unrestricted appropriations to a set of outcome measures. Ontario’s opposition leader Tim Hudak proposed tying funding to employment outcomes in a PSE white paper released earlier this year.  Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

Professor launches wiki site for teaching tips

Iowa City-based professor David Gooblar has recently unveiled Pedagogy Unbound, a wiki-style website that aims to create a free and open space for faculty around the world to share teaching strategies. Gooblar’s site stemmed from his positive experience discussing pedagogy at conferences, and the lack of more opportunities for such discussion that he experienced as an adjunct professor. Now up and running, the site is full of teaching tips submitted by faculty in many categories, including "First Day of Class," “Getting Students to Talk,” and “Effective Lecturing.” Gooblar has 2 main goals for the site: to offer quick and practical tips that can be implemented immediately, and to develop a space in which faculty who don’t normally write about pedagogy can share and take credit for the effective strategies they have developed. For example, one instructor suggests giving students a “pause button” at the beginning of a course – whether it’s a raise of a hand or some other signal -- and informing them that if they use it they will never get left behind by the class. Chronicle of Higher Education Pedagogy Unbound