University Watch

(Gazette, March 20, 1997)

A sampling of university stories unfolding in Canada

Questionnaire for profs approved

CALGARY, ALTA. -- The General Faculties Council at the University of Calgary has approved the wording of questions to be used by students to rate their instructors, according to the Feb. 24, 1997, University of Calgary Gazette. Twelve questions were approved, which will be used on a pilot-test basis. Students will be asked to rate their instructors on a five-point scale (or answer "no basis for opinion") for each question. The 12 questions (actually statements), are:

1. The course objectives and requirements were clearly stated.

2. The course reflected stated objectives.

3. Instruction was conducted in a well planned manner.

4. The instruction enabled effective learning.

5. Student input was treated as part of the learning process, considering class size.

6. The instruction cultivated student's enthusiasm for the subject.

7. The instructor was reasonably accessible to students.

8. The instructor showed respect for the students.

9. The course provided a fair evaluation of student learning.

10. Methods of evaluation provided opportunity to demonstrate understanding of the material.

11. Students' work was graded promptly, considering class size.

12. All things considered, the instructor is an effective university teacher.

Student occupation ends

GUELPH, ONT. -- Eleven University of Guelph students and one former student vacated the offices of senior university administrators and their staff without incident Feb. 19 after a seven-day occupation. Originally there were 17 students, but five departed several days after the sit-in began. At Guelph (Feb. 26, 1997) reported that the students were protesting the provincial government's Feb. 5 announcement regarding tuition. Ontario is freezing grants to provincial universities at 1996/97 levels, forcing many institutions to raise tuition in order to cope with budgetary shortfalls. The University of Guelph's Enrolment Management Committee is recommending that tuition fees be increased across the university by an average of nine per cent, which means most students would pay an extra $295 per year. Sit-in protests have also occurred recently at the University of Toronto, York University and Carleton University.

Applications down at Western

LONDON, ONT. -- Western News (March 6, 1997) reported that applications to first year at the University of Western Ontario have dropped by 4.7 per cent. The university is in good company, however; applications to Ontario universities are down by 2.6 per cent overall. Western has tightened up its entrance requirements and will not admit anyone with less than a 75 per cent high school average. "If the largest chunk of the decline is accountable in students who are not qualified at Western now that we have trumpeted we are going to maintain a cut-off of 75 per cent, then that wouldn't be very troublesome," said provost and vice-president (academic) Greg Moran. "On the other hand, if it's across the board, then that would be a very worrisome trend indeed."