Top Ten

October 4, 2006

Ottawa Plans Spending Boost on Education

  Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Thursday night that the 2007 Budget will provide predictable, long-term funding for post-secondary education, to help keep future researchers, scientists and innovators in Canada. Visa rules may also be adjusted to allow foreign students to more easily stay and work in Canada when they graduate from Canadian institutions. Ottawa faces calls to spend as much as $2-billion more annually on PSE. (See Globe & Mail article at )

CFS Press Conference Today

Wednesday morning, campus and national representatives of the Canadian Federation of Students will hold a press conference in Ottawa to comment on student debt and recent federal cuts to the Summer Career Placement Program. "Federal student debt surpassed $12 billion this summer. The Conservative government's elimination of 25,000 summer jobs will make matters much worse," said Amanda Aziz, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Education shouldn't be a debt sentence.” The CFS argues that federal cuts to transfer payments during the 1990s resulted in doubling of tuition fees and student debt. (Media Advisory at )

UTM Medical Academy Approved

  Governing Council has approved in principle plans for a new medical academy at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, to accept 36 students starting next fall. Students will be based at UTM, but will share some lectures with the downtown Toronto campus via teleconference. (See )

Waterloo Health Informatics Bootcamp in Edmonton

  The University of Waterloo Institute for Health Informatics Research has partnered with the University of Alberta, Capital Health, and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to bring the Health Informatics Bootcamp to Edmonton Nov. 1 to 3, for health professionals. Health Informatics is an interdisciplinary area that combines computer science, information science, telecommunications and other disciplines to support health care. NAIT is currently developing its own Health Informatics program. (See )

UWO Student Hits Glamour Magazine

New York-based Glamour magazine has named Tiffany Vogel, a 22-year-old University of Western Ontario student, one of the top 10 women college students in North America, and the only Canadian on this year’s list. "Wondering who the next Hillary, Condoleezza and Oprah will be? You're looking at 'em!" the magazine says in its October issue. The event recognizes leadership on campus, involvement in the community, excellence in their field of study, and their unique, inspiring goals. (See London Free Press article at )

US Youth Lack Critical Skills

A new survey of 431 HR officials finds the incoming generation sorely lacking in basic work skills, according to a report released Monday.  “The future workforce is here, and it is ill-prepared,” says the report, sponsored in part by the Conference Board. “It is clear from the report that greater communication and collaboration between the business sector and educators is critical to ensure that young people are prepared to enter the workplace of the 21st century,” says Richard E. Cavanagh, president and CEO.  Respondents were particularly critical of the work skills of high school graduates, and almost 60% said they would hire more university graduates. Almost half found two-year college graduates deficient in writing skills. (See article at )

Meta-Study of Classroom Technology

  Last week, Cisco Systems and the Metiri Group issued a review of studies over the past decade on the use and effectiveness of classroom technologies, particularly in the primary and secondary grades. The report concludes that, although technology has had a positive impact on education so far, more dedication to research, implementation, and development is needed for technology to realize its full potential as a teaching and learning tool. (See )

Nobel Prize in Physics

  Tuesday, John Mather of NASA and George Smoot of UC Berkeley were named the winners of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics for “their discovery of the blackbody form and anistotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation,” work that is credited with advancing knowledge about the origin of galaxies and stars, and with supporting the Big Bang theory for the origin of the Universe. (See )

Physics Departments Closing

The Guardian reports that, since 2001, 30% of Physics departments in the UK have merged or been eliminated. The most recent casualty this week is at the University of Reading, which has decided to eliminate its Physics department by 2010 because the subject is “no longer viable” due to budgetary constraints. "Funding follows student numbers and so the future of Britain's science base rests on the university choices of sixth-formers.” (See,,1884205,00.html )