World Education News for February 14, 2022

Canada

St. FX union president ‘optimistic’ about possible contract

An end to a three-week strike by St.FX faculty could be coming soon. A union executive meeting will take place Thursday to discuss the university’s offer. If the union finds the offer acceptable, its president says the executive could take the contract to their membership as early as Friday. The 400 members of the St. FX Association of University Teachers have been without a contract for eight months. The latest offer from the university includes a 1.5 per cent raise for the first year, two per cent for the second and two and a quarter per cent for the final year.

CBC

Book publisher sues McMaster for libel

A blog post by a McMaster librarian in 2010 is the subject of $4.5-million libel suit. Edwin Mellen Press alleges that librarian Dale Askey called the company a “dubious publisher” in the post and is suing the university. The post was taken down in 2012. EMP founder Herbert Richardson says the post “badly hurt our business” because people read it and decided not to publish with the company. Edwin Mellen Press was founded in 1972 in Toronto but moved to New York in 1979.

CBC

U of T students paying fees they shouldn’t be

Students at the University of Toronto have been paying fees that they shouldn’t have been but the university says it won’t give the students their money back. A university report issued last Tuesday states that at least seven ancillary fees charged are in violation of the University of Toronto’s Policy on Ancilliary Fees. The university’s vice-president of operations says the school will cease charging students these fees in the future.

The Varsity

Locker thefts at Ryerson

An investigation is being conducted at Ryerson University after a string of locker thefts. Since the fall, students have been finding their lockers empty with the locks re-attached. Most of the items stolen were electronics. This is not the first time locker thefts have happened on Ryerson’s campus. Three years ago a man was arrested for locker thefts, according to the program director of the security investigations office at Intercon.

The Eyeopener

Justin Trudeau returns to Queen’s University

Justin Trudeau stopped by Queen’s University Wednesday and filled a campus hall. This is the second time he has been to the campus in a year and a half. He talked about Katimavik, which his father started and which was cancelled after federal government funding cuts in 2012. He spoke about how he plans to separate himself from other candidates running for Liberal leadership.

Queen’s University

U.S.

Four champion football players arrested for robbery

Four freshmen football players from the University of Alabama were arrested for robbery. Police say the boys punched and kicked a student until he was unconscious and then stole the victim’s MacBook. A second boy was then jumped and had his wallet was taken. Three players were charged with robbery and one was charged with fraudulent use of a debit card.

CNN

Vassar uses anti-gay protest to raise funds to help gay youth

Students and faculty at Vassar College turned an anti-gay group’s picket announcement into a charity fundraiser. Westboro Baptist Church is known for its nationwide anti-gay protests. Jon Chenette, president at Vassar, challenged students to do the opposite and “celebrate the inclusiveness” of the school. Students and faculty ended up creating an online fundraiser for The Trevor Project, which provides counseling for LGBT youth. The school has raised over $57,593 so far.

HackCollege

Tulane hires former U.S. attorney Jim Letten

The longest serving U.S. attorney will now become a professor at a New Orleans university. Jim Letten stepped down from three decades as a state and federal prosecutor this past December after he was unmasked as the individual ranting about federal  criminal targets beneath NOLA.com news stories. He will now be teaching at Tulane University.

Nola.com

Report calls for refinancing student loans

Campus Progress, a branch of the Center for American Progress, has suggested a federal program that would refinance student loans to a lower rate. The organization believes that student borrowers haven’t been involved in the “refinancing boom” that has led to low interest rates. Undergraduate and graduate loans currently have a 6.8 per cent interest rate. "Reduced student loan costs boost the likelihood of repayment while also stimulating the economy by freeing up income that can be used and spent in other sectors of the economy," says the group.

Campus Progress

Larry Bird’s son allegedly tried to hit ex-girlfriend with car

The son of professional basketball player Larry Bird was arrested for allegedly trying to hit his ex-girlfriend with a car. Connor bird faces charges of battery with injury, criminal mischief, intimidation with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana. The couple met in a parking lot to talk things over. His ex ended up leaving the car to walk home. Police say Bird tried to hit the woman twice.

USA Today

World

Germany announces new education minister

Johanna Wanka has been named the new education minister of Germany. She’ll replace Annette Schavan who resigned from her position earlier this week after she was stripped of a doctorate from her former university for plagiarism. Wanka previously worked with Germany’s education co-ordinator.

DW

Third Irish university hires debt collector

An Irish university will join two other Irish universities who have decided to hire debt collectors to collect unpaid student fees. The Dublin City University will join the University College of Dublin  and the University of Limerick in having debt collecting agencies track down students to force them to pay their debts. Students in Ireland do not pay tuition, but they do pay student fees that cover exams and services.

Irish Independent

U.K. could open colleges for young offenders

The U.K. government is considering opening free colleges for young offenders in order to further educate them. Most U.K. young offenders are released from prison with an education level of a seven- to 11-year-old. The U.K. spends $380 million on about 1,800 young offenders. They don’t feel they make the most of the money spent.

BBC

Three universities create world degree

Schools in Italy, Hong Kong and the U.S. have joined forces to create a new degree. The three schools teamed up and created the World Bachelor in Business degree. The degree would be four years in length, with each student completing a year of the course at each one of the universities. Students would then choose which university they’d like to complete their degree at.

Times Higher Education

U.K. universities fundraise to keep collection

Oxford and Cambridge universities are joining forces to keep historical documents in British hands. All the documents, entitled the Genizah Collection, are from the Mediterranean but were brought to England in 1896. Westminister College currently holds the ancient documents but announced they would be selling them. The colleges asking price is $1.86 million.

Times Higher Education