Top Ten

October 20, 2015

uSask College of Medicine taken off probation

The University of Saskatchewan’s medical school has been taken off probation by the Committee on the Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS). The organization first conferred the status of accreditation with probation on uSask’s College of Medicine in 2013 when the school fell short on 13 of CACMS’s 132 required standards. Since then, said College of Medicine Dean Preston Smith, the school has significantly improved its programming. He added that “there is no doubt in my mind that finding out that we were not keeping up was an enormous benefit in the long run. The changes I have seen are substantial.” Globe and Mail | StarPhoenix | Global News | CBC (CP)

Dal opens new $6 M learning commons

Dalhousie University has opened its new $6 M Wallace McCain Learning Commons, a 16,000 square-foot space that features rooms for study and group work, open areas, computer tables, and a “green roof” for gathering during times of warm weather. The building was made possible by an $8 M donation from the late Wallace McCain and his wife Margaret, who attended the building’s official launch. “It gives students a place to … mingle and mix, to share ideas and experiences, to share their visions and their dreams with their fellow students,” said McCain. Metro | Dal

U of King's College board approves option for $1 K tuition increase

The University of King’s College board of governors has passed a resolution that allows for a potential tuition increase of $1 K by 2018–19, reports the Chronicle Herald. The resolution focuses on a one-time tuition adjustment to the school’s Foundation Year Programme that is currently permitted by legislation passed in Nova Scotia last spring. However, this adjustment could come in addition to the 3% annual increases already allowed under provincial legislation. University spokesperson Adrianne Abbott noted that the resolution by no means guarantees a tuition change, saying, “the resolution that the board passed is clear that it has not decided upon a reset and it is recommending that there be no reset. Nevertheless, it has agreed that the option to reset be there for the future.” Chronicle Herald | CBC | The Coast | Metro | U of King’s College

6 Canadian MBAs make Economist’s top 100

The Economist has released its 2015 rankings for the world’s best full-time MBA programs, and six Canadian schools have made it into the top 100. York University’s Schulich School of Business was the top Canadian program at #46, with Western University’s Ivey Business School in second at #66 and Queen’s University’s Smith School of Business in third at #80. Other schools in the top 100 were the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University (#88), the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University (#92), and HEC Montréal (#94). Economist

Controversy continues to surround new nursing exam

The controversy surrounding the adoption of a new exam for Canadian nursing students, the NCLEX, continues to grow. The Winnipeg Free Press examines how the situation is playing out, with a focus on Manitoba. In the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post, Blair Crawford quotes a number of sources who are advocating for the replacement of the exam. Crawford focuses particularly on the French translation of the exam, which one nurse described as looking like it was prepared using Google Translate. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) conducted a national poll, in which a majority of Canadians said they felt it was inappropriate to use a non-Canadian exam to assess nurses in Canada. Winnipeg Free Press | Ottawa Citizen | National Post | Yahoo News | CASN

Mohawk launches first accessible content production course for journalism

Mohawk College plans to launch what is reportedly Canada’s first journalism course with a focus on making media content more accessible to those with disabilities. The course will aim to make a more accessible newsroom for students with disabilities and to teach students how to create more accessible content for persons with a variety of disabilities. “Fourteen per cent of the population has a disability and that number is going to grow as our population ages,” said Mohawk Associate Dean of Media and Entertainment Kurt Muller. “It’s not just the right thing to do, this also makes business sense.” Mohawk plans to make the course’s curriculum available to other postsecondary institutions at no charge. Mohawk | Hamilton Spectator

Sault amends aviation program after near-collision

After a near-collision between a commercial flight and a training aircraft in September 2014, Sault College has “carefully reviewed [their] operating procedures and … implemented additional safeguards to further ensure the safety of all involved,” according to Sault College President Ron Common. These changes include expanding practice zones and limiting their usage to one aircraft per zone at a time, increasing communications with nearby flight towers, and limiting the amount of air work that students are permitted to use in the departure and approach paths of airports. The school has also called upon Nav Canada to designate Sault’s training airspace for heavy flight training. CBC

Academic freedom at the heart of the university, says UBC president

Academic freedom is a central, fundamental part of the “university’s ability to do its job,” according to UBC Interim President Martha Piper. Responding to the recent events at UBC, Piper explains that postsecondary institutions must interrogate the status quo and stand up to the backlash that can occur when long-held beliefs are challenged. She argues that academic freedom is a central facet of democracy and the university community. “Academic freedom is perhaps the most important weapon we have when it becomes necessary to speak truth to power,” argues Piper, later adding: “It is—at every stage—the basis for debate, not censorship.” Vancouver Sun

Campus gender ratios can encourage “hookup” culture, poor mental health for women

The nature of dating life on US campuses is connected to the ratio of women to men, writes a contributor for TIME. Drawing on student demographic data and surveys of university students, the author argues that colleges where women outnumber men tend to have a more promiscuous culture of one-night stands and random hookups compared to schools where men outnumber women, where dating culture is allegedly more traditional and monogamous. Since the nature of dating life can have a major impact on students’ mental health (and especially for young women), the author concludes that parents and children alike need to look into schools’ ratios of women to men when considering a postsecondary institution. TIME

US study examines corporate grants’ effect on PSE

A new study, forthcoming in the Journal of Academic Ethics, has examined the impact of a series of grants made by BB&T, a public banking corporation, on curriculum and course content at over 60 colleges and universities across the US. Study author S Douglas Beets found that the grants ranged in size, averaging $1.1 M, and typically required the design of a new course featuring discussion of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged. Some grants funded new faculty positions, capitalism centres, reading rooms, and speaker series. The article raises ethical concerns about the funding program, including alleged threats to academic freedom. Inside Higher Ed | Full Study