Top Ten

December 13, 2006

uWinnipeg Announces CanWest Centre for Theatre & Film

Yesterday, Leonard Asper announced that Winnipeg-based CanWest Global Communications is donating $3 million to the University of Winnipeg to create state-of-the-art performance, production and teaching facilities for theatre and film students by renovating the existing Theatre Building. The CanWest Centre will include a 120-seat proscenium theatre, lighting, sound and recording labs and studios, and space for rehearsals, costume, makeup and prop departments. Enrolment in the uWinnipeg department of theatre and film has increased 87% in the past five years. Media release (PDF)

McMaster Opens Les Prince Residence

Yesterday, McMaster University officially opened its newest residence, Les Prince Hall, named in honour of Leslie Prince, a varsity coach at McMaster for more than 30 years. Les Prince Hall now houses 389 students, who moved in at the beginning of September. The residence seeks to balance privacy and community, with a common lounge and study room in each wing. McMaster Daily News 

UNB Bionic Arm Gains International Attention

Researchers at the University of New Brunswick's Institute of Biomedical Engineering are developing "the world's first bionic arm" with neurally-controlled shoulder, wrist, and fingers. The arm also provides sensory feedback to the wearer, a "300%" improvement over previous technology. The US Defense Department has invested almost $50 million US in bionics, not for military applications but because hundreds of soldiers are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan as amputees. Chronicle of Higher Education (requires subscription)

Hacker Attack at UCLA affects 800,000 Staff, Students, and Alumni

Yesterday, officials at the University of California at Los Angeles alerted 800,000 students, staff, alumni and applicants that their names, home addresses, birth dates, and social security numbers had been exposed after a hacker broke into the campus computer system, between October 2005 and late last month. The occurrence is one of the largest security breaches at a college or university. There is no evidence the data has been misused, but UCLA suggests individuals contact credit reporting agencies. CNN | UCLA announcement 

Ontario Drop-Outs Could Lose Driving Privileges

Legislation passed yesterday at Queen's Park makes students in Ontario the first in Canada to risk losing their drivers' license if they drop out of school before age 18. Critics say the province should be focusing on engaging students in the classroom, rather than ratcheting up penalties for truancy. Ontario aims to cut the dropout rate from 30% to 15% by 2010. New Brunswick is the only other Canadian province requiring students to stay in school until age 18. Globe & Mail 

Career Preparation Most Crucial to Freshmen

A survey of 6,200 US college freshmen found that 72% felt "professional preparation" was very important, while only 62% rated "strength of the academic program" similarly high. Eduventures, who conducted the survey, says "many enrollment managers assume that students will equate academic strength with career preparation in determining the ROI for their education." Students felt that internships, the career office, and job-placement records were the most likely indicators of a college's commitment to professional preparation. Chronicle of Higher Education (requires subscription)

Rise in "Invisible Faculty" at US Colleges

The American Association of University Professors released its first-ever "Contingent Faculty Index" this week, showing institution-level ratios of non-tenure-track and part-time faculty at 2,617 US colleges and universities. Since the 1970s, full-time tenured faculty have dwindled from 57% to 35% overall. The AAUP hopes its new index will "bring the discourse down to the local campus level," and be a useful tool at the collective-bargaining table. They caution, however, that many institutions still under-report the use of adjunct faculty. Chronicle of Higher Education (requires subscription)

UK Faces "Crisis" in Adult Education

At least 130 British colleges report shortfalls in their adult education budgets, many of more than £1 million, according to the Association of Colleges. There has been a 17% decrease in adult learners in the UK, leading to "a real question mark over the future sustainability of adult education facilities." 134 colleges are reported to be scrapping courses, making staffing cuts or reducing budgets, cutting at least 500,000 student places from a total of 3.5 million. BBC 

Manpower Employment Outlook for 2007

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey projects a moderate but steady hiring climate for the first quarter of 2007, based on a survey of more than 1,700 Canadian employers. 17% plan to increase payroll, while 14% plan cutbacks, for a net increase of +3%. Naturally, Western Canada is ahead of the national forecast, with a net increase of +25%, while Ontario faces a -2% outlook, and Atlantic Canada a -12% outlook. Mining, public administration, finance and real estate project the rosiest view of Q1 2007. Media release 

Academica Achieves MRIA Gold Seal Certification

Academica's parent company, Acumen Research Group Inc., recently completed the Market Research and Intelligence Association's rigorous certification process and has been granted Accredited Goal Seal Corporate Member status. MRIA is a Canadian not-for-profit association representing over 1,500 market researchers, formed by the merger in 2004 of CAMRO, CSRC, and PMRS. Only about 40 of Canada's best market research agencies have attained Gold Seal Certification. MRIA website