Post-Secondary News Digest for January 19, 2012
Startup launches free emergency phone service:
(Tech Vibes) Toronto startup Guardly, is launching a free security app for university students across Canada. The app will directly connect students from any smartphone to campus security with free one-touch mobile access. As the application is launched, it notifies friends, family and campus security that there is an emergency, and provides them with the user’s location. Students, faculty and staff can register for the app with a school-registered e-mail at 67 universities and colleges in Canada.
Youngest students need more time in school: N.S. minister:
(CBC) Nova Scotia’s education minister is contemplating increasing classroom hours for elementary students. Students in Primary to Grade 2 currently spend a minimum of four hours a day in class, compared to the average five hours in most provinces. This translates into 144 fewer teaching hours a year compared to Ontario. The minister is considering the change after reading, writing and math skill tests in Nova Scotia have shown decreasing academic performance.
Quebec students brace for tuition hike:
(Montreal Gazette) Quebec’s largest student organization says about 55 per cent of students work year round to pay tuition. The provincial government unfroze tuition, which will see tuition increase $325 a year over the next five years, rising from the current $2,168 to $3,793 by 2017. The Fédération Étudiante Universitaire du Québec survey of 12,000 students also says working during school has negatively affected 43 per cent of students’ grades. As a result of the tuition hike, about 40 per cent of students say they may have to drop out of school.
Diabetes drug may reduce cancer risk:
(Montreal Gazette) The most commonly used drug for Type 2 diabetes may also help reduce the risk of cancer in people who are considered at high risk of colon and breast cancers. Researchers at McGill University and the Université de Montréal have found Metformin can prevent cancers that have an appetite for glucose by lowering glucose levels altogether. More importantly, researchers discovered Metformin can prevent cancer by protecting cells from DNA damage that leads to cancer.
Search for missing Saudi student intensifies:
(CTV) The Saudi Arabian ambassador to Canada flew to Saskatoon Wednesday to meet with police regarding the disappearance of a University of Saskatchewan student. The Saudi ambassador spoke with the police and the mayor to stress that his country would spare no expense in helping find the Saudia Arabian student who went missing in Saskatoon more than a month ago. Hamza al Sherief disappeared after writing a final exam in mid-December, leaving his passport, wallet and cellphone at home.
Penn State’s trustees recall painful decision to fire Paterno:
(New York Times) Thirteen board trustees at Penn State University spoke publicly for the first time yesterday about the week preceding the firings of Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier. Paterno spent 46 years as head coach of the Penn State football program and Spanier was university president. Before describing the details, the trustees outlined the reasons for firing Paterno: Paterno’s failure to adequately address a suspected sexual assault in 2002, his questioning of the board’s authority, and his inability to effectively coach amidst national questioning of his program.
NCAA wants to change new scholarship aid plan:
(Diverse Issues in Higher Education) Directors of NCAA Division I decided Saturday to delay the implementation of a new scholarship plan until 2013. Last October, the directors passed the “miscellaneous expense allowance,” which will provide up to $2,000 in funding for student athletes. It was to be implemented immediately. The delay comes in response to concerns the plan is too vague. The extra time before implementation will allow for details to be fine-tuned.
New Winston Churchill library:
(Huffington Post) The new National Churchill Library and Center will be built at George Washington University between 2013 and 2015. This is the first U.S. research centre dedicated to the leader of Britain during the Second World War. The Chicago-based Churchill Center is giving $8 million to the new centre in Washington. "Americans are especially devoted Churchillians," says Lee Pollock, executive director of the U.S.-based Churchill Center.
Obama strategist launching Institute of Politics:
(Chicago Sun-Times) U.S. President Barack Obama’s top strategist, David Axelrod, is heading up the new Institute of Politics at his alma mater, the University of Chicago. He will begin his job as founding director for the institute in 2013. The university has ties with the White House as President Obama taught at the law school and his wife, Michelle, was an executive at the medical centre. This institute will resemble Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. He is hopeful the school will also play host to news makers and political actors.
Fla. presidents want higher tuition for science and tech programs:
(Miami Herald) The presidents of the University of South Florida, the University of Florida and Florida State University want to charge undergraduates a higher, market-based tuition for more extensive programs in order to fulfill the demands for more science, technology, engineering and math graduates. Florida Governor Rick Scott hopes for more of these graduates to help meet the state’s economic needs. This market-based solution comes as an alternative to program cuts expected from reduced state spending.
University targets Spanish speakers struggling with English:
(New York Times) Brandman University announced Tuesday it will launch a new program on some of its 26 campuses to help Hispanic students struggling with English. The university is a non-profit institution and serves about 11,000 students in California and Washington. The program is called Dual Language English Immersion and will offer degrees in psychology, business, administration and criminal justice. The university’s chancellor, Gary Brahm, is unsure of costs but said the new classes could cost upwards of $15 million. The university hopes to start new classes this fall.
Australian university enrolment numbers snowball:
(The Australian) University placement offers in Australia have increased by almost 10,000 this year. That’s up 7,000 from last year and 17,000 from 2010. After the government said it would uncap the number of university places in 2009, the number of offers extended to applicants has increased nearly 19 per cent. Some experts see the latest growth as an endorsement of the government’s expansionary agenda, which seeks to boost productivity by raising Australians’ qualification levels. Others are worried it could overload universities and threaten quality.
U. of Tokyo considers calendar change:
(The Australian) Japan’s prestigious University of Tokyo is considering adopting a September start to its academic year. Currently, the university begins its academic year in April. An international working group has proposed the change, saying it would bring the school more in line with global standards. Japan's educational cycle is "one of factors that restrict international exchanges of students and teachers," the group said. About 70 per cent of schools worldwide start their academic year in September or October.
Social class, gender affect instruction: study:
(The Irish Independent) A new study has found social class and gender affect what is being taught in schools in Ireland. The study was conducted by the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin and involved nine-year-olds in the primary school system. It revealed a number of specific differences in subject emphasis between all-girl, all-boy, co-ed, disadvantaged and more advantaged schools. The study also found there are differences in teaching methods between schools of opposing economic class.
Irish student ad is banned for being too lewd:
(The Irish Independent) An ad for a student club night has been banned by the British Advertising Standards Authority. The Eat My Disco promotion, which appeared on Facebook and in a flyer, showed a young woman in a cropped top with a speech bubble coming from her shorts, stating: "You're going to get laid!" The authority challenged the promotion, saying it breached guidelines by linking alcohol with sexual success. Eat my Disco said that no one under the age of 18 was used in photographing the promotion. They have, however agreed to remove the images of models in cropped tops and shorts.
Bogus colleges crackdown in Kenya:
(University World News) Kenya has published new rules and put more than 200 institutions on notice in a crackdown that will see 21 managers facing criminal charges for operating illegal colleges. Most of the schools under investigation are technical, industrial, vocational and entrepreneurship training colleges. The push to get rid of these illegal colleges comes from the government’s desire to help bankroll institutions coping with the rising demand for skills. The threat of closure and criminal charges has led 68 schools to formally apply for the proper registration from the government.
Welsh universities can cut fees or lose students:
(Times Higher Education) Welsh universities are facing cuts in their student numbers unless they lower their tuition fees. The country's funding council announced it will allocate some university seats according to government priorities such as the university’s research income, number of overseas students and number of spin-off companies it generates. The government will allocate other seats to universities that charge less than $9,759.