Top Ten

October 23, 2013

Condom use low among university students

Canadian university students say they take sexual health seriously, but half of them don’t use condoms, according to a survey by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) and Trojan. Out of the 1,500 university students from across the country surveyed, 64% had a sexual encounter within the past year. Although 72% of students engaged in intercourse during their last sexual encounter, only 51% reported using a condom. The survey also included a sex knowledge portion, which found that 74% of students scored 5 out of 10 or lower on a sexual health knowledge quiz, despite the fact that 62% ranked their knowledge of sexual health as "excellent" or "very good.” The report also found that 27% of males and 23% of females have never had sex, and that 34% said their most recent sexual encounter was within a casual relationship such as a "hook-up," or involving a "friend with benefits." Trojan News Release

SAIT and NAIT top Canada’s research college rankings

Canada’s 50 leading research colleges had a combined research income of $117.3 million in the 2012 fiscal year, reports the inaugural ranking of Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges, released by Research Infosource Inc. Leading the group with a total of $9.8 million in funding is SAIT Polytechnic, followed by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology ($6.3 million), Newfoundland's College of the North Atlantic ($6.0 million), Yukon College ($5.4 million), and the British Columbia Institute of Technology ($5.2 million). The national total research income is a 30.7% increase over 2011, and the number of faculty involved in research increased by 15.2%. Although Canada’s colleges experienced substantial growth in research income, the country’s universities only recorded an increase of 1.1% in 2012. Research Infosource News Release | Rankings

Ivey launches new business-law MBA program in China

Western University’s Ivey Business School and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) have launched a new business-law program at the Ivey China campus that will “provide Chinese executives with real-world, case-based learning of leadership and legal practices in international business.” The new Ivey-CUPL Executive MBA will take in its first cohort in August 2014. “The new Ivey-CUPL program will help us to showcase the high-quality programs WesternU has to offer as well as provide us with the opportunity to learn more about our education partners in China,” says WesternU President Amit Chakma. The program will be the first-of-its-kind in China, according to the university. WesternU News Release

Queen's sees highest female undergrad engineering enrolment in Canada

Queen’s University’s female undergraduate engineering enrolment is 28% this year, with the highest percentage of women engineering students of any major engineering school in the country, according to the university. The current national average for female engineering enrolment is between 17 and 19%. Queen’s Engineering and Applied Science Associate Dean Lynann Clapham says that while the university doesn’t do anything in particular to attract female engineers, she believes many are “drawn to the program’s non-competitive and welcoming approach.” Queen’s News Release

uLethbridge launches Indigenous protocol handbook

The University of Lethbridge General Faculties Council has released a new protocol handbook that provides guidelines for the uLethbridge community to use when including Blackfoot and other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultural practices into ceremonies and events on campus. The guidebook was developed with Dr. Leroy Little Bear, a professor of Native American Studies and FNMI Advisor to the President, and Roy Weasel Fat, Interim Director of the FNMI Centre, with input from local elders. The handbook contains information on the significance of including traditions at events such as convocation, the importance of eagle feather gifts, and pronunciations of Blackfoot greetings. Little Bear stated he is “very pleased to have had a role in developing this resource, which provides a foundation for ongoing exchange that we hope enriches the educational experience at the University of Lethbridge.” uLethbridge News Release | Protocol Handbook

Flurry of social entrepreneurship initiatives at Canadian universities

The Globe and Mail reports on a recent flux of “social entrepreneurs,” those who are contributing to society while making money, in its Canadian University Report. Universities are adding courses and programs, and creating incubators to support these entrepreneurs. Last spring, Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business set up an interdisciplinary social innovation lab and venture incubator called RADIUS, at which students across campus develop and market “radical ideas, useful to society.” McGill’s Desautels Faculty of Management’s Social Economy Initiative introduced an elective in social entrepreneurship and social innovation, and has plans to add more undergraduate courses. The Greenhouse program, based at uWaterloo’s St. Paul’s University College, allows students who have an idea for environmental or social-justice change to work together and with mentors to take their idea to the next level. Globe and Mail

Increased efforts needed to promote Canadian PSE in India

This year’s Canada India Education Council (CIEC) conference resulted in several suggestions and recommendations for strengthening Canada-India relations in PSE. Some of these recommendations included: a strategy for promoting overlooked sectors of education within the Canadian PSE system to international students, such as career colleges, skilled trade, and technical education; a re-energized national strategy for promoting "Brand Canada" overseas, and opportunities for involvement; keeping sight of international students’ needs both before and after they reach Canada; incentives by career colleges for international students to overcome an unfavorable perception created by UK and Australian career colleges; and growing the existing ethical education agents’ and iCARE’s roles through the agent peer-review screening system. CIEC Conference Summary

US public universities see smallest average tuition increase in 3 decades

According to a new report, the average tuition and fees charged by US 4-year public universities rose 2.9% for the 2013-14 school year, the smallest annual increase in more than 30 years. However, the Trends in College Pricing report also found that federal and state grant aid was not growing fast enough to keep actual net costs from rising. According to the report, tuition for in-state students at public 4-year schools averaged $8,893 in 2013-14, up from $8,646 in 2012-13; average tuition and fees for private colleges rose by 3.8% to $30,094. The smaller increase for public institutions “does not mean that college is suddenly more affordable, but it does mean that the rapid growth of recent years did not represent a 'new normal' for annual price increases.” New Hampshire ($14,665) and Vermont had the highest published tuition and fees for the current school year, while Wyoming ($4,404) and Alaska had the lowest. Reuters

New PSE campus promises no tests, homework, classes

The co-founder of clothing store Urban Outfitters, Scott Belair, has given Pennsylvania’s Lehigh University $20 million to turn former steel research labs into a satellite campus where students don't take tests, get assigned homework, or go to class. Instead, students who enrol in the "Mountaintop Project" will spend a semester innovating and creating solutions to the world's problems. "I envision a 24-hour campus with hundreds of students," says Belair. "A place where the ideas never stop coming. This is just the beginning. This is the future." Several students spent the summer working on pilot projects at the new campus, which is located near Lehigh's main campus and is still under construction. Students in the summer program came up with such creative ideas as prototypes for durable refugee housing and a new system for crop production and water filtration. Business Insider

PSE institutions using more social media in fundraising campaigns

PSE institutions around the world are increasingly using Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to raise money, steward donors and connect with their community, reveal study results released this week by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The survey asked more than 1,000 respondents about the social tools they are using -- how they use them, challenges they face and what they expect as return on investment. 54% of respondents said they have used social media in a campaign, up from 41% in 2012. 29% of those respondents said that they use social channels in three-quarters or more of their campaigns. 97% of respondents said they use Facebook the most in campaigns. 34% of respondents reported having full-time social media employees on their staff, up from 24% last year. CASE News Release | Survey Results