Top Ten

May 29, 2015

Military police investigating sexual assault allegations at RMC

CBC reports that new allegations are emerging regarding a sexual assault at Royal Military College. According to CBC, the assault occurred the same week that two other cadets were facing a court martial for earlier, unrelated allegations of sexual assault. In an email to CBC, Capt Joanne Labonte said, "the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service are investigating this matter and no further information can be offered at this time." RMC has also stated that it is developing a campaign to deal with the issue of sexual misconduct at the school. Last week, reports came to light of a sexual assault prevention expert received a formal apology from RMC after being subjected to disrespectful behaviour from some cadets. CBC | Kingston Whig-Standard (1) | Kingston Whig-Standard (2)

MRU budget tackles budget shortfall with tuition increase, program amalgamation

Mount Royal University's board of governors has approved an interim fiscal plan that introduces voluntary retirement offers, department amalgamations, and tuition fee increases to help address a $7.4 M budget shortfall. Tuition will increase by 2.2%, student services fees will increase by 65%, and the international student tuition multiplier will increase from 2.25% to 3.25%. Two faculties and as many as eight departments will be amalgamated under the plan. MRU President David Docherty emphasized that no programs have been eliminated, and said that the amalgamations should not affect the day-to-day lives of students. He added that the terms of the budget could be adjusted if MRU receives additional funding from the province. Calgary Herald

Some former Everest students still seeking diplomas

A number of former Everest College students say that they have not yet received diplomas that they rightfully earned. According to CBC, 93 students who had completed their coursework at Everest have asked the province for a diploma; however, only accredited colleges have the power to issue credentials. ON offeredstudents a partial refund or the opportunity to complete their training elsewhere, but some students have been told that they will need to complete additional training to demonstrate to their new schools that they qualify for a credential. Paul Kitchin, Executive Director of Career Colleges Ontario, said that affected students should contact his organization to obtain transcripts that can be used as proof that they finished their training with or without a diploma. CBC

Fanshawe students' co-op positions threatened by labour action

Approximately 30 Fanshawe College students have temporarily lost their co-op positions due to a labour dispute between the City of London and city hall's inside workers. In the event of a prolonged strike, the affected students may be unable to complete the 10 weeks of work they are required to perform this summer in order to fulfill graduation requirements. Darlene O'Neill, Senior Manager of Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services at Fanshawe, said that the college is "pretty confident right now" that an agreement will reached in time to salvage the positions. "For the benefit of all involved, I'd like to see this resolved as quickly as possible," she said. London Free Press

BC to require public project contractors to sponsor apprentices

British Columbia has introduced a new policy that will require contractors working on major public construction projects to sponsor apprenticeships throughout the project cycle. The policy will apply to projects tendered after July 1, 2015 that receive $15 M or more in government investment. Contractors will be required to report on the on-project use of apprentices prior to receiving their final payment from the government. The new regulations are intended to help train workers to meet workforce requirements, and to fill an anticipated one million job openings in BC between now and 2022. 44% of those jobs are expected to be in skilled trades or technical occupations. BC News Release

Report blames decline in math skills on discovery learning

A new report from the CD Howe Institute says that discovery-based learning methods are to blame for a decline in Canadian students' math skills. University of Winnipeg professor Anna Stokke, who wrote the report, says that discovery-based learning "makes kids feel stupid." Her report notes that compared to 2003, most provinces saw a "statistically significant" decline in math scores in 2012. She says that experimental learning methods overwhelm students' memories, making it difficult for them to quickly solve complex problems. Moreover, teaching of some key operations, such as adding and subtracting fractions, is being delayed too long. The report recommends an 80/20 split between direct and discovery instructional methods. National Post

uManitoba international student defers graduation after mother is denied visa

A Pakistani student at the University of Manitoba has deferred his graduation after learning that the government had denied his mother's application for a visa to attend the ceremony. Nabeel Fakhar said that he simply couldn't cross the stage to receive his economics degree without his mother in the audience. "It was her dream to see me graduate," he said. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said that they lacked sufficient evidence that Fakhar's mother would return to Pakistan. Fakhar and his mother plan to complete another application in the hope that she will be able to attend an October graduation ceremony. CBC

Branch campuses no longer a priority for European institutions

A survey conducted by the European Association for International Education suggests that branch campuses have significantly diminished in importance for European universities pursuing internationalization. Just 1% of more than 2,400 respondents said that there had been a substantial increase in branch campus activity at their institution in the past three years; 12% said there had been any increase; 53% said there had been no change; and 1% said that activity had decreased. Branch campuses ranked at the bottom of a list of 15 international trends addressed by the survey. Instead, institutions appear to be focusing on strategic partnerships and student mobility. Inside Higher Ed (Times Higher Education)

NYC's Mount Sinai med school targets humanities majors

A growing number of students at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City have undergraduate degrees in English or history. The school's Humanities in Medicine (HuMed) program guarantees students enrolment after their sophomore year, and does not require that they complete the MCAT. After being accepted, HuMed students continue to study nonscientific subjects; Mount Sinai later provides scientific instruction during the summer. The program was designed to combat "pre-med syndrome," whereby students were perceived of as being too single-minded in their studies. HuMed students have proven to be just as successful as those who studied science as undergraduates, and are more likely to specialize in high-need ares such as primary care and psychiatry. NPR

Soup-slurping blamed for uWaterloo exam food ban

The University of Waterloo's senate has amended the institution's exam regulations to prohibit food and water bottles with labels after a 2014 complaint involving a student loudly slurping soup. "The student was actually slurping their noodles during the final examination," said uWaterloo Registrar Ray Darling. After consulting with the undergraduate student relations committee and the graduate student relations committee, Darling recommended the ban, which came into effect on May 20 of this year. Darling noted that the rule also addresses an issue of academic integrity. "Certainly we've caught students in the past with answers on bottles or on food wrappers," he said. Darling said that uWaterloo was one of the last two universities in Ontario to allow consumption of food during final exams. CBC