Category Archives: Education

Signs of the times

Students are marching in support of deficits.

Nice signs. Not cheap.

There was a protest in Wolfville also. [Anyone got pics?]

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) is the umbrella organizer, providing signs and materials for Wolfville organizers to use

[Although Acadia is not a member of CFS but of CASA.]

From an article in the Athenaeum:

Currently, Nova Scotia Universities are experiencing a “tuition freeze,” where tuition costs have remained the same for the past three years. However, government has had to supplement the costs incurred. It still cost more to go to school in 2010 than in 2007, it is just that the government fronts the costs instead of the students – at roughly $30 million dollars annually under the freeze. In addition, many of the students who attend university in Nova Scotia leave the province after receiving a degree. This does not bode well for the government, as they are subsidizing the education of someone who is statistically expected not to contribute back to the local economy.

What we noticed from the Province’s announcement:

From 2004 until 2010, funding for universities has increased from $212 million to $349 million or 65 per cent.

65% in 6 years! Why? CPI was less than 3% per year. Unsustainable do you think?

Anyway, it’s user pay or everyone pays.




The monoculture nurtured at our public institutions of higher “learning” is deplorable.  Faculty and students preach diversity and tolerance but practice neither.The latest assault on free speech at the University of Waterloo, where a bunch of ignorant yahoos prevented  Christie … Continue reading

An experiment in Academia

We wonder what the results at Acadia would have been had the faculty here been part of this experiment.

Prof. Fred Gottheil told Front Page Magazine that he compiled a list of 675 email addresses from 900 signatures on a 2009 petition authored by Dr. David Lloyd, professor of English at the University of Southern California, urging the U.S. to abandon its ally, Israel. Prof. Gottheil discovered that six of the signers, who hailed from more than 150 college campuses, were members of his own faculty.

“Would these same 900 sign onto a statement expressing concern about human rights violations in the Muslim Middle East, such as honor killing, wife beating, female genital mutilation, and violence against gays and lesbians?” he wondered. “I felt it was worth a try.”

Did you guess the results of Professor Gottheil’s test before reading the rest of the article? We did. Can one expect students’ views to be any different? Students think they are so free thinking but they don’t really question the lines they are fed and test them against reality.

Get your card ready

You will need an ID card no matter what your age at the Wolfville ( and some other) NSLC outlets in the next week or so.

Between Sept. 5 and 11, Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. outlets in New Minas, Wolfville and Antigonish will ask for ID from every customer — whether they look like a post-secondary pupil or a pensioner.

The three communities were chosen for the pilot awareness campaign, which coincides with frosh week, based on their high concentration of university students. [CBC]

Ahhh. A nice reminder that the student year is about to begin. But what about HRM?

“The campaign is designed to be fun, really,” she said. “Everybody gets to feel young again because we’re going to ID everyone.”

You know , I think it will take more than that for some of us.

Get smart

What do the results of the Composite Learning Index tell us.

Canada’s progress on the Composite Learning Index (CLI) is at a stand still in 2010, and there has only been marginal progress over the past five years, according to the latest results from the Canadian Council on Learning’s annual measure of lifelong learning.

The figures indicate a state of stagnation if nothing else. Although there is some good news about Atlantic Canada, the improvements are not in Nova Scotia.

The 2010 results also reveal that communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and PrinceEdward Island are improving at greater rates than other provinces in Canada, resulting in a narrowing of the CLI gap between eastern and western Canada.

The west still does better. Why is that? Something in the water out there? Maybe an attitude?

Victoria leads all other major Canadian cities on the 2010 CLI, with a score of 95—the highest score for a major city in the history of the index. Saskatoon came in second with a score of 90, followed by Calgary (88), Ottawa (87) and Regina (84).  (See CLI Backgrounder for a list of the top 10 major cities in Canada.)

This part in the report is worrying.
The CLI shows that Saguenay (63), Trois-Rivières (65), Cape Breton (68), rural communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, and small towns in Nova Scotia are communities that are at-risk with regards to lifelong learning. These communities continue to have CLI scores that are not only significantly below the national average but have also been declining over the last five years. [emph ours]
With a score of 83, Halifax placed sixth on a list of nearly 40 major cities in Canada on the 2010 CLI—Canada’s annual index of lifelong learning—and was the only city in Atlantic Canada to appear on the Top 10.
One of the chief ways they do this is through a unique program called Smart Business, an initiative of the Greater Halifax Partnership a public-private organization that supports economic growth in the city.
Perhaps there is something Windsor/Wolfville/Kentville could learn from that?
Since 2004 Smart Business has been working with business leaders (more than 1,800 to date) to help zero in on issues that they feel are slowing their growth and progress.
Often their issues revolve around training and the labour force,” says Fred Morley, Executive Vice-President and Chief Economist for the Greater Halifax Partnership. “One of the big questions we ask is: ‘Do you have a human resources strategy?’ The answer is often ‘no.’” The solution? An alliance with Halifax’s post-secondary school system and Nova Scotia Community College that effectively directly plugged the business world into a hugely rich source of labour. This symbiotic relationship between Halifax’s business and education sectors is just one of the reasons the provincial capital has made such a strong performance on this year’s Composite Learning Index (CLI).

It’s not just about business though.

The same ties that bind businesses to post-secondary education are mimicked when it comes to infusing talent into the vibrant cultural scene in Halifax, another area that scored high in the CLI. The proportion of Haligonians who are exposed to the performing arts has risen steadily in every year of the CLI, from 36% in 2006 to 44% in 2010. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has lived in the city, which is a breeding ground for countless performers including the likes of Ellen Page, Sarah McLachlan and Jay Ferguson (of the band Sloan).

Halifax also prides itself on the strong relationship it has nurtured between music programs at the area’s universities and the city’s symphony orchestra.

This sort of initiative (with its fairly specific measurements year after year) makes a lot more sense to us than the rather vague vital signs/community foundation data which has had such profile here lately and which tells us what? Councillors take note:

The Composite Learning Index holds significant promise for municipalities and organizations that are looking for ways to harness the social and economic potential of learning in their communities and regions. CCL’s Monitoring and Reporting department can help your organization make the most of its learning opportunities. Contact us to enquire about the range of services we offer.

Seems it would be a good fit for Wolfville since the town is supposed to be a centre of learning in the area. Can we use this to benefit our town?

Time we did something Wolfville and our other small towns will die a slow death, and that’s dumb.

Explore the economic motion charts for the Valley

CCL developed these online motion charts in 2009 to help explore the relationship between learning and the economy over time and across Canada. These interactive graphs (one for cities and one for regions) give users the ability to explore the interactions between CLI results, economic indicators, population size and geographic location, and the industrial profile of a community.

Questions to keep in mind when using the motion charts.

  1. Can a region with a high CLI score better withstand the impact of economic turbulence?
  2. As the economy recovers, will the economic indicators of a region with a higher CLI score improve more rapidly than one with a lower CLI score?
  3. How can communities use the CLI, even in periods of economic turbulence, as a decision-making tool for taking stock of their learning assets in order to enhance their citizen’s quality of life?

Diversity or

University? Although we searched the CH online we found no reference to this story. Perhaps with so few universities in the province it was felt it was  of no interest here. Oops. But we figure students at Acadia might want to know what is happening to University students in our nation’s capital and since The Ath seems to be defunct and the Campus Free Press pretty inactive ….

A well-known student supporter of Israel at Carleton University and an Israeli engineering student at the university say they are counting themselves lucky to have survived an attack with what they say was a machete near a Gatineau bar early Monday. … These people must have been Carleton students because I recognized one of them,” Bergamini said.

Perhaps these student were emboldened by the shut-down of the Coulter event at the U of O, Carleton’s sister University.

“If you are from the right wing or are a supporter of Israel, it gets around pretty quickly because Carleton is one of the worst campuses for having a division between Palestinian and Jewish students. It is a really polarized campus between left and right, Jewish and Arab students.”

Jason MacDonald, a spokesman for the University, said Carleton provided opportunities for students to discuss emotional issues.

Perhaps Mr. MacDonald should suggest you don’t need a machete to “discuss” emotional issues. Or do we accomodate to macheteculturalism.

The fruits of a Liberal Education

Ivany in his interview with the Main Public Radio Network emphasized that Acadia offers a “liberal education”. We hope that our idea of a liberal education is what Acadia offers, but we strongly suspect the definition has changed. A liberal education is not what it used to be.

You don’t have to look very far to find the tyranny of nice. It is everywhere, encouraged we suspect by what is mistakenly still called a liberal education.

Mr. Wrye in his comments objects to our use of the phrase “echoes of jackboots”. But the stifling of opinion in municipal matters, which is  happening under our noses, is exactly what is happening elsewhere,  and everywhere.

Surely the similarity in these, seemingly disparate, events is not hard for someone with a truly liberal education to discern,  and yet at least one of our neighbours, who no doubt would say she has been liberally educated,  has NO trouble with this oppression at all. The list of  rights Tia wants does not include freedom of anything – speech, property, the free market of products or ideas,  or artistic expression. She wants what she wants, right now dammit,  and how dare anyone say her or her friends nay.

Classic liberalism is dead – well perhaps not , we hope not – but as an ideology it no longer predominates at most universities or in the party named after it. This has been said before but bears repeating.