Top Ten

March 19, 2014

Fraser Valley East PSE institutions alerting students of measles outbreak

The British Columbia Institute of Technology and the University of the Fraser Valley are alerting students of a measles outbreak in the Fraser Valley East area. BCIT and Fraser Health have identified a case in a BCIT student who was on the Burnaby campus recently to write an exam. BCIT is working with the health authority to notify via email 128 students who may have had the greatest chance of exposure. “[We] also sent our student body—14,000 students—an email on what they can do in case they have symptoms and what they can do to protect themselves and community,” says Dave Pinton of BCIT Media Relations. UFV has also issued a statement regarding the outbreak, explaining that its Health, Safety & Wellness office is monitoring the situation through its contacts with Public Health Nurses and the Fraser Health Authority. Fraser Health says Fraser Valley East is a low-immunized region, which has resulted in the emergence of clusters of measles infections in recent years. Globe and Mail | Global News | UFV Blog | BCIT News Release

Queen’s launches new Campus Master Plan

The Queen’s University Board of Trustees has approved a new Campus Master Plan for the university that includes recommendations for “improving landscapes, fostering better movement within and between campuses, and enhancing student life spaces.” The plan also identifies potential sites for improvement or redevelopment over the medium to long term. “The [plan] does not presuppose that the university will grow, nor does it mean the university will undertake all of the projects identified in the plan,” says Queen’s Deputy Provost Laeeque Daneshmend. “[it gives us] a comprehensive picture of the many factors that need to be considered when planning and undertaking campus improvements and capital projects.” The plan will be presented to Senate later this month. Queen’s News Release

USB, faculty members reach tentative agreement to avoid strike

The Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) and the union representing the university’s faculty recently reached a tentative 4-year agreement, avoiding a strike that was scheduled to begin March 17. Members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union will vote on the tentative agreement on April 2. Details of the agreement will be released if the agreement is ratified. National Union of Public and General Employees News Release | USB News Release (in French)

uWaterloo, Israeli institute partner in research, commercialization exchange

The University of Waterloo has signed a partnership agreement with the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to bring together “some of the top minds in quantum information science, nanotechnology and water for pure and applied research.” A conference will be held in Waterloo later in 2014 to mark the beginning of the partnership, and will be supported by a donation from The Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation. The partnership will see both students and faculty from both institutions participate in technology-transfer and commercialization opportunities with industrial partners in Canada and Israel. “The agreement between the University of Waterloo and Technion will lead to joint research projects between Israeli and Canadian scientists in areas crucial for making our world a better place,” says Technion President Peretz Lavie. uWaterloo News Release

Fleming College launches Co-Curricular Record

Fleming College has joined the growing number of PSE institutions in Canada that offer students a Co-Curricular Record, which allows students to document their extra-curricular activities and experience. “This type of a record enhances a student’s employability beyond their academic studies,” says Fleming AVP Student Services Judith Limkilde. To be eligible for the co-curricular record, an experience must: provide students with meaningful learning opportunities outside the classroom, be sponsored by Fleming or part of a formal partnership with an outside agency, foster transformational experiences as opposed to transactional services, not be required for academic credit, and meet validation process requirements. Students may now begin documenting experiences from the 2013-14 year. Fleming News Release

CAFCE launches social media contest for co-op week

The Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) is this week running a social media contest to encourage a Canada-wide conversation on co-operative education. The contest, #coopweek, invites students and employers to answer daily challenges via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for chances to win a variety of prizes. Universities and colleges across the country are participating in the contest, offering prizes to winners from their institutions and helping to promote the contest. Contest Website

COU announces winners of Mental Health 2.0 competition

The Council of Ontario Universities have announced the winners of a student competition, Mental Health 2.0, that invited Ontario undergraduate and graduate students to create online campaigns that promote mental health on campus by connecting students with peers. The 4 winners from Brock University, the University of Waterloo, the University of Windsor, and Western University were selected from a list of 10 finalists by a panel of experts in accessibility, mental health and social media; they received cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 for first, second and third place, respectively. “Students’ mental health remains a top priority for Ontario’s universities and Mental Health 2.0 is just one way universities are addressing it,” says COU President and CEO Bonnie M Patterson. COU News Release

More recent business graduates becoming entrepreneurs

A new global survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) reveals that self-employment holds growing appeal for those with an MBA or specialty business degree, and that recent graduates are more likely than their older classmates to become entrepreneurs immediately after leaving school. The results are based on responses from almost 21,000 business school alumni from 1959 through 2013, at 132 universities worldwide. Of the 2010-13 alumni who are self-employed, 45% said they started their business straight after graduation compared to 24% of self-employed graduates in 2000-09 and just 7% before 1990. The survey also reveals that 91% of self-employed business school graduates worldwide are satisfied with their decision to work for themselves. Globe and Mail | Report Page

K-12 students not inclined to turn to teachers about cyberbullying

A recent report about K-12 students’ thoughts on cyberbullying reveals that teachers are close to the bottom of the list of people students turn to for help when being harassed online. While parents and friends come first and second on the list, some students even say they would consider talking face to face with their bullies, or ignore the problem and hope it resolves itself, before asking teachers to get involved. The study by not-for-profit group MediaSmarts surveyed 5,436 students from Grades 4 to 11 in English and French in every province and territory. The study’s authors say school policies on cyberbullying are to blame. “Zero-tolerance policies are not only going to be unsuccessful, but they can be actively harmful because they discourage kids from reporting,” says MediaSmarts Director of Education Matthew Johnson. The research also shows that students tend to overestimate how common cyberbullying is, and that bullying declines when they are made aware of how few of their peers engage in this behaviour. Globe and Mail | Full Report

edX partners with UAE education provider to offer MOOCs to high school students

EdX has partnered with GEMS Education, a UAE K-12 private education provider, to offer MOOCs to pre-university students, who currently make up 5% of edX’s 2 million world-wide users. edX President Anant Agarwal says, “Our recent new membership structure has opened to a wider pool of quality course providers…with GEMS, an institution with expertise and global reach in K-12 education, we have an exciting opportunity to offer on our platform courses specifically designed for younger students.” The first GEMS courses will be available on the platform “in the second half of 2014.” Global Education & Skills Forum