Top Ten

April 17, 2015

MHC suspends intake to 4 programs

Medicine Hat College is suspending intake to 4 programs, reports CBC, including the Bachelor of Applied Science (ecotourism and outdoor leadership), the Global Tourism and Marketing diploma, the Education Assistant certificate, and the Massage Therapy diploma. Officials at MHC said the cuts are necessary due to lower enrolment numbers and cuts to provincial funding. Students currently enrolled in the programs will be able to complete their studies, but students that have been accepted for the fall semester are being contacted to discuss alternative programs and/or institutions. VP Academic Michael Gillespie said that some instructor positions will also be affected. MHC plans to release their budget in June. CBC | Chat TV

Students protest UoGuelph tuition hike

board of governors meeting at the University of Guelph was cancelled yesterday after being disrupted by student protesters. The focus of the protests was a planned tuition increase of 3%, as well as a lack of transparency and student/employee input in board decisions. Sonali Menezes of UoGuelph’s Central Student Association said that they were pushing the board to “join students and workers to call on the provincial government for more funding.” The tuition increase is meant to offset declining enrolment; UoGuelph predicts it will enrol around 300 fewer students next year, the first time in over a decade that enrolment has declined. In December, students gathered to protest program cuts at the university. Guelph Mercury | UoGuelph News Release

NS introduces legislation that enables restrictions on dentistry licenses

New legislation has been proposed in Nova Scotia that will allow the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia to set restrictions and limitations on new licensees. Currently, the provincial regulating body can only approve or deny licenses, but the new legislation would allow the Board to place conditions on new licensees such as practising under supervision or attending additional ethics courses. The changes were requested by the Board in response to the Facebook scandal at Dalhousie University’s dentistry school and are similar to those in place in other jurisdictions. If the legislation is passed this spring it will be enacted immediately. Globe and Mail

CEO council focused on workplace learning and development

Canadian employers must do more to prioritize employee training and education. That’s the message of a recent Ottawa conference of business leaders sponsored by the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE). “Canadian employers as a group can and should do more to ensure that Canadians have the education and skills needed to find and keep good jobs now and in the future,” said Elyse Allan, President and CEO of GE Canada. A recent report sponsored by the CCCE recommending that university enrolment be cut by 30% in favour of colleges and polytechnics has been questioned by Andrew Parkin at Academica’s Rethinking Higher Ed Forum. CCCE News Release

Note-sharing site Course Hero facing plagiarism, copyright complaints

Note-sharing website Course Hero is under scrutiny after academics and administrators at Concordia University and McGill University raised concerns about plagiarism and copyright infringements on the site. CBC Montreal Investigates found almost 100 textbook chapters and professors’ presentations when it examined the US-based website, including the lecture slides of Saif Ullah, a finance teacher at Concordia. Course Hero’s CEO Andrew Grauer defended the site, stating that the site does not tolerate plagiarism or copyright infringement and that they review any complaints made. The 2 institutions said they constantly remind students about the dangers of plagiarism. Concordia plans to establish an office of academic integrity to “further guide students.” CBC

uLethbridge launches AGILITY program to support entrepreneurship

The University of Lethbridge has launched AGILITY, a university-wide initiative to encourage and support student entrepreneurship and innovation. Rolling out in 2015/16, the program consists of talks and mentorship, course work, access to funding, collaborative spaces, and use of the latest technological tools. “AGILITY is poised to advance the position of the University of Lethbridge as a leading institution for teaching, research and 21st century skill development,” says Interim VP Research Lesley Brown. The initial phase will focus on agriculture and agribusiness. According to Anil Pereira, Silicon Valley veteran and uLethbridge alumnus, “AGILITY is about helping students learn that innovation happens at all levels, and in all types, of enterprise.” uLethbridge News Release

College administrators predict revolutionary change in next decade

College Administrator recently looked ahead to 2025, asking a number of college administrators what they think colleges will look like in 10 years. All agreed that the classroom of 2025 will be driven by technology and by student demand for education tailored to the individual learner. Top Ten Editor Ken Steele said that there are indications that colleges will ascend in popularity in the next decade, adding that fused university-college education has “pretty clear momentum.” Administrators also spoke of the need for seamless transfers among all institutions and the growing importance of technology-enabled learning. Performance-based government funding is also likely in the future, with focus moving away from enrolment to learning outcomes. One administrator summed up the revolutionary changes that will likely occur by stating, “postsecondary institutions that do not adapt will die.” College Administrator (see page 6)

2015 Killam Prize winners announced

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the winners of the annual Killam Prize, considered the Nobel Prize of Canada. 5 researchers will receive $100,000 each, in recognition of their exceptional career achievements. The winners are David Bentley (humanities, Western University), D Lorne Tyrrell (health sciences, University of Alberta), Donald J Savoie (social sciences, Université de Moncton), Victoria Kaspi (natural sciences, McGill University), and Vijay K Bhargava (engineering, University of British Columbia). An additional 6 researchers will receive $840,000 over 2 years in Killam Research Fellowships. News Release | Killam Program | Western News Release | uAlberta News Release | McGill News Release | UBC News Release | uMoncton News Release (in French)

New legislation, software to support victims and combat instances of sexual assault

Virginia is on the verge of being the first US state to mandate adding sexual assault sanctions to student transcripts, and California and Maryland are not far behind. All 3 states recently introduced legislation on the issue and amendments in VA were to be voted on this week. Some critics worry that adding such information to a transcript could amount to a “scarlet letter” for some students, but proponents point to statistics suggesting repeat offenders are behind many campus sexual attacks. Some individual institutions across the US currently have some form of notation for non-academic misconduct, but there are no federal regulations governing what is noted and how. Another initiative in the US that is designed to support victims and aid in the reporting of sexual assaults is under development. Callisto is an online system for recording and reporting sexual violence that will help victims find the appropriate resources to report an incident. The Chronicle of Higher Education | Huffington Post

Group releases parody of Taylor Swift song to prove science is cool

AsapSCIENCE, a Canadian group that works to interest people in learning about science, has released a parody video of a Taylor Swift song. “Science Style” is an acapella cover of Swift’s song “Style,” and carries the message that “science never goes out of style.” YouTube