Top Ten

October 21, 2014

49 arrested, 30 hurt including students at Pumpkin Festival riot in New Hampshire

Police launched tear gas to pacify a riot of young people at the Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire on Saturday night. The riot involved students from nearby Keene State College, as well as out-of-town visitors. At least 30 individuals were injured near campus, and more than 49 were arrested. Reports say that one group of rioters threatened to attack an elderly man, while others tore down signs, started fires, and flipped over cars. “We deplore the actions of those whose only purpose was to cause mayhem,” said Keene President Anne Huot, who attributed the violence to outsiders who promoted the Pumpkin Festival “as a destination for destructive and raucous behaviour.” She said that the college had been working with local law enforcement agencies to prevent such events. Mallory Pierce, Vice-President of Keene’s student body, said, “everyone I talked to said, ‘I feel unsafe, I’m going home.’ They didn’t want to be part of the riot, and they couldn’t do anything to solve it.” Over 200 volunteers appeared on Sunday to help clean up after the riot. Toronto Star

YorkU students threatened at gunpoint

CBC reports that a gang of men threatened multiple students at York University in 3 incidents, 2 of which involved guns. Police described the events, which took place between 7:15 and 7:40pm on Saturday, as “separate, but apparently related.” In the first incident, 2 men approached and threatened a student but did not harm him or take any property. In a second incident, 5 men, including 2 who had handguns, approached another student, but once again did not harm or rob the victim. In the third incident, a student was approached by 5 or 6 men, one of whom had a gun. The group took the victim's cell phone and searched his pockets. All suspects have been described as males between the ages of 14 and 24. YorkU Security Services is working with the Toronto Police to identify the suspects. CBC

SFU formalizes partnerships with Indian firms

Simon Fraser University and Ryerson University last week signed an agreement with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute (BSEI), formalizing a letter of intent signed in January. The signing officially creates the BSEI-Ryerson-SFU Accelerator Program India, a Mumbai-based incubator/accelerator that will help entrepreneurs in both countries launch start-ups and connect with mentors, investors, and customers. SFU also signed an agreement with Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOCL) to further their collaborative research into hydrogen and fuel cell technology. SFU previously announced plans to work with IOCL on an initiative to bring Indian PhD students to SFU to train in the fuel cell technologies, hydrogen, and clean energy, a program which will commence in January. SFU also recently announced an agreement with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to create a new visiting scholars program. SFU News Release | Vancouver Sun

George Brown to offer postgraduate culinary arts program in France with Alain Ducasse Education

George Brown College has announced a new partnership agreement with Alain Ducasse Education (ADE) that will give students at its Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (CHCA) the opportunity to study and gain hands-on experience in France. Per the agreement, George Brown students can take a 3-semester Advanced French Patisserie program at ADE’s world-renowned École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie (ENSP). The postgraduate program will cover areas including chocolate confection, savoury baking, regional cheeses, and artisan breads. There will be space for 24 students in the first class, set to begin in spring 2015. “I have high expectations for this partnership and look forward to collaborating with George Brown on other education-related initiatives in the months and years to come,” said Ducasse. Lorraine Trotter, Dean of the CHCA, said, “after their studies and placements in France, the students will return to George Brown with much stronger skills, a richer understanding of local and sustainable ways of working, and the international experience much sought after by industry.” George Brown News Release

CICan releases report on support programs for disadvantaged learners

Colleges and Institutes Canada has released a new report outlining programs, support services, and innovations provided by the country’s colleges to disadvantaged learners. The report, entitled “Maximizing Opportunities for Disadvantaged and Low-skilled Learners,” outlines what it describes as “exemplary practices” from CICan member institutions. The report notes that effectively reaching under-represented groups, including disadvantaged and low-skilled learners, can play a critical role in meeting labour market needs. Among the programs discussed in the report are Selkirk College’s Employment Skills Access Program and Red River College’s Basic Employability Skills Training program. The report also highlights Holland College’s multi-step, non-categorical support process, which is designed to reach all students in need, regardless of demographic characteristics or diagnostic criteria. The report also profiles success stories of specific students, as well as offering accounts of how colleges have reached particular groups of under-represented students, including those with mental illnesses, those with learning disabilities, indigenous learners, and newcomers. CICan News Release | Full Report

BC Colleges releases report to province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance

BC Colleges has published a report that it has submitted to the province’s Select Standing Committee on Finance. The report says that 44% of project job openings in the province will require a college education or trade certificate, compared to 34% that will require a university education and 18% that will require a high school diploma. The report also notes that BC colleges provide programming for 53 of the occupations that were identified as being in high demand in the province. BC Colleges calls on the province to develop an investment plan that will facilitate capacity expansion, re-balance colleges’ share of operational funding, and encourage industry to work with colleges to support the objectives of the province’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint plan. The organization further highlights the need for improvement to technology infrastructure, education facilities, and instructional equipment, and asks the province to make colleges a priority for one-time and year-end funding from the province. BC Colleges also encourages the province to invest in the BC Colleges Transition Strategy. Full Report

Technology making cheating harder to catch

Maclean’s has published an article outlining some of the ways in which some tech-savvy students are looking to get an edge on their tests and assignments, and what colleges and universities are doing to keep up. The report cites a 2006 study in which 18% of 15,000 Canadian undergrads admitted to “serious test cheating behaviour” and 53% admitted to “serious cheating on written work.” With the rise of wearable technologies like Google Glass and the forthcoming Apple Watch, it is only becoming easier for students to surreptitiously get the answers to test questions. Students have also been able to find ways to “confuse” online plagiarism-checking software. More enterprising websites even offer students the opportunity to outsource their coursework. Staying ahead of technology may be impossible, but institutions can continue to turn to simpler approaches—stowing items in a sealed bag kept under the test-taker’s seat, and impressing upon students the importance of academic integrity. Maclean’s

Business schools focus on bringing together the board room and the classroom

An article in the Financial Post discusses how business schools are looking to get their faculty and students to engage in the world beyond the classroom. Some faculty, such as Queen’s School of Business professor Julian Barling, strive to bring in executive leaders, as well as offering on-site training and group sessions to organizations. Alex Kalil, a professor at McGill University’s Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, says that he “[likes] to bring real life into the classroom and take the classroom into real life.” He takes advantage of his network of contacts to help foster mentoring relationships for his students.  The University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management focuses on academic “relevance,” stressing the importance of bringing applied business knowledge to the classroom. “Research used to be an esoteric ivory tower type pursuit, but now it has to be applicable to the real world,” said Allan Riding, Acting Vice-Dean of Career Development at Telfer. Financial Post

New data on employment outcomes for US arts and humanities majors reveals gender gap

New data from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project shed light on employment outcomes for arts and humanities grads in the US. According to the AAAS report, the median salary for graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the humanities was $51,000, $5,000 below the median for all workers who held a bachelor’s degree, but $16,000 above the median salary of all workers who had less than a bachelor’s degree. The AAAS report also shows a significant gender disparity in graduate earnings: for men with a bachelor’s degree in the humanities, the median salary was $58,000, compared with $45,000 for women. The gap between the median salary for men and women ranged from 15% for individuals with degrees in linguistics and comparative language and literature to 39% for those who studied US history. The SNAAP report, meanwhile, found that about 50% of graduates who finished their arts degree in the last 5 years and were not working as professional artists said that it was because they were able to find higher-paying or steadier jobs elsewhere. 64% of recent grads said they were in jobs that they described as “very relevant” or “relevant” to their education. Inside Higher Ed | AAAS Report

Trademarks, licensing provide a major revenue stream for US institutions

Trademarks and licensing is a big business on US campuses. Ohio State University, for example, made $13.6 M on trademark licenses in its most recent fiscal year. Much of that money goes back to the institution’s athletic program, but significant portions were also used to fund academic programs and student affairs. In order to cash in on slogans, phrases, and even, sometimes, words, colleges must identify the products they intend to sell using the trademark, and then make the items, whether they be shirts, mugs, or even cologne, continuously available. Some institutions sign exclusive deals with manufacturers to produce items with a specific phrase, but in some cases, will allow outside parties the opportunity to apply to sell products using the trademarked term—for a licensing fee. Chronicle of Higher Education