Top Ten

December 5, 2006

Quebec Commits $900 Million to Research

On Monday, Quebec Premier Jean Charest unveiled a new research and innovation strategy that will invest almost a billion dollars, including $400 million to universities, $420 million to "research infrastructure," and $80 million to R&D tax credits for companies. Quebec aims to raise R&D spending to 3% of the province's gross national product by 2010. Quebec ranks high already -- a recent study by Research Infosource named Montreal, Quebec City, and Sherbrooke Quebec as the country's top research cities in three size categories. Globe & Mail

Abortion Debate Surfaces at Carleton and UBC

Pro-life student groups are facing opposition on two university campuses. The women's centre at Carleton University has put forth a motion to make the student council a pro-choice body, and preclude it from supporting any group whose primary goal is to make abortion illegal. The Carleton University Students' Association is to vote today. Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia Okanagan student council is denying Students for Life official club status, even though UBC's Vancouver campus has granted it such status. Spokespeople for both pro-life organizations assert that both sides of the issue should be allowed free speech. Maclean's

Strike Threat Looms Over Brock

A death in the family of a key negotiator has pushed back the Brock University Faculty Association strike deadline, earlier set for today. Instead, 24-hour mediation is planned for today, with a new strike date of December 7th. The president of the Faculty Association believes the timing "bodes well" for a negotiated settlement before strike action is necessary. Brock Press

Tula Foundation Donates $7 million for Microbial Research at UBC

The BC-based Tula Foundation has donated $7 million to the University of British Columbia to support basic science research into microbial diversity. The investment will establish the Centre for Microbial Diversity and Evolution (CMDE) at UBC, a virtual hub of interdisciplinary research, and fund the pursuit of scientific knowledge including the recruitment, training, and retention of up to 40 post-doctoral fellows over the next decade. "The study of these microbes will shed light on the general mechanisms underlying life and its evolution." UBC media release

New Partnership for Northern Alberta Clinical Trials Centre

The Northern Alberta Clinical Trials and Research Centre (NACTRC), a joint venture of the University of Alberta and Capital Health, announced today a partnership with the City of Edmonton that will grow clinical research investment in Edmonton from $10 million a year to $75 million a year by 2010. NACTRC has "enormous potential to become the leader for clinical research in western Canada... No other place like this exists in Canada." Media release

UofT Announces Another Rhodes Scholarship

On the heels of yesterday's announcements from Memorial and uAlberta, the University of Toronto has announced that Kofi Hope, a recent political science graduate, has won a 2007 Rhodes Scholarship and will be travelling to Oxford to complete a master's in political theory. Hope, 23, has been a leader locally and nationally on the issue of violence in the African-Canadian community, and is the founder of the Black Youth Coalition Against Violence. Every year 11 Rhodes Scholarships are designated for Canada -- we're still waiting on the other 8 media releases. UofT media release

"The Best Years" at UofGuelph

Last month I reported that a television series is filming on-campus at the University of Guelph this year. Now we know that the series is "The Best Years," a one-hour drama set in Boston, that will air on CHTV and The N. The series follows a 19-year-old orphan, Samantha Best, to university and chronicles the social, educational and personal challenges she and her friends face. "The Best Years is about forgetting who you were, discovering who you want to be and finding the friends who’ll get you there," says Aaron Martin, the show’s creator and executive producer. Martin previously served as the head writer and show runner for Degrassi: The Next Generation. uGuelph media release

Global Recruitment for Community College

US community colleges have been recruiting abroad for at least a decade, with interest growing each year. Roughly 18% of the international students in the US are attending community colleges -- a model largely unknown in other countries, which offers lower tuition fees and the option to transfer to a four-year university. The US State Department is providing $3 million to lure students from Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, South Africa and Turkey to community colleges for next fall. Philadelphia Inquirer

Australian Universities See IT Upsurge

Australian universities report a surge in demand from students eager to enrol in information technology courses for next year. As in many countries, interest in IT programs in Australia dropped sharply after the Y2K fiasco and dotcom crash of 2000. Current figures from the Universities Admission Centre show a 60% increase in IT applications for 2007 over 2006, and a 40% increase in applicants listing an IT course as their first choice. Sydney Morning Herald

Ethical Quandary at Columbia U

What story could be more calculated to garner media attention than students accused of cheating on a final exam in a journalism ethics course? Allegedly, at least one graduate journalism student at Columbia University offered to subvert the 90-minute time limit for the take-home test by revealing the question in advance. Naturally, the story made the New York Times.