Top Ten

January 19, 2007

Brookfield Power Energy Training Centre at Sault College

Yesterday, Brookfield Power and Sault College, in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, announced a $450,000 donation to help establish the Brookfield Power Energy Training Centre. Construction will begin this spring on the Centre, which will contain new instructional space with upgraded vocational labs and shops, and will be home to new programs in wind energy. Sault College will also have a fully operational wind turbine on campus later this year. Sault College media release (PDF)

Students Urge uToronto to Divest of Tobacco

For a year now, student group Education Bringing Youth Tobacco Truths has been campaigning for the University of Toronto to get out of the smoking business. The university reportedly has more than $10 million invested in tobacco companies worldwide. Tyler Ward, the group's president, is passionate about the deception practiced by the tobacco industry, and asks why a world leader in medical and health innovation is invested in such an industry. Harvard researchers reported findings yesterday that show cigarettes have increased in nicotine recently. uToronto news | CTV  

Critics Demand More Data from Canadian Universities

Next month's issue of University Affairs includes a feature examining calls for heightened "transparency" from CCL, EPI, Maclean's, and others, and reports on recent efforts to establish a common dataset for comparison of key statistics. Academica Group vice-president Ken Steele was interviewed to provide data on the information expected and used by Canadian PSE applicants when comparing institutions. He doubts that applicants are clamoring for detailed statistical data. University Affairs 

UAlberta Arts Prerequisites - Correction

Yesterday’s Top Ten drew upon a story in the Gateway, a campus paper produced by the University of Alberta student journalism society. The UofA has brought to our attention that the Gateway article was in error. "In fact, many other arts faculties in major post-secondary institutions across Canada -- including the Universities of Toronto and Queen’s -- also do not include math and science courses in their admission requirements... This change to our admission requirements was implemented only after extensive research about other universities, and for the purpose of aligning ourselves with other respected universities across the country." A response from the UofA Dean of Arts was printed in this week’s Gateway.

uOttawa Removes Disturbing Paintings

Yesterday the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that five paintings were removed from the University of Ottawa's Heart Institute when patients showed signs of anxiety and high blood pressure. The paintings of Elizabethan-style queens appeared to be watching the room's occupants, and have now been replaced with less disturbing paintings. Victoria Henry, director of Canada's federal Art Bank, plans to present a paper on engaging patients with art at the conference of the Society for the Arts in healthcare in April. The Art Bank has over a hundred paintings rented to uOttawa's Heart Institute, no longer including The Queens. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Ontario College of Teachers Accepts Court Decision

Fatima Siadat, the Iranian refugee who recently won her case against the OCT in the Ontario Supreme Court, has been invited to meet with the College. A number of approaches to evaluating an applicant's credentials are available, but none have been able to handle Ms Siadat's circumstances. The College, which had declined her application in 1993, will not be appealing the ruling of the Supreme Court, and will work with Siadat to find an individual solution. OCT media release 

Canadian PSE will Fall Short in Global Future

"Canadian PSE: A Positive Record - An Uncertain Future" is a new report released by the Canadian Council on Learning that claims to be the first national survey of Canadian higher education. Currently 44% of Canadians have some form of PSE under their belts -- the second highest rate in the world. Access to PSE in Canada, however, remains linked to financial status and geographic location. Minorities are conspicuously underrepresented. The report predicts labour shortages by 2016, and states that the current lack of a national education strategy will soon yield domestic and global obstacles for Canada and its residents. CCL media release 

Two Canadian Students Chosen as UN Ambassadors

Matthew Cimone of uToronto and Sarah Nicholls of uOttawa were chosen as Canada's male and female delegates to serve as Canada's goodwill ambassadors at the United Nations. They will spend a two-year term with the UN, focusing on youth issues. They recently represented Canada at the UN Global Youth Leadership Summit, and played a key role in drafting an official declaration of the Global Rights of Youth. uToronto media release 

US House Passes Bill to Cut Student Loan Interest

The College Student Relief Act of 2007 was passed with a 356-71 vote in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday night. President Bush, who opposes the bill, could still use his presidential veto, which would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to succeed. The Act will reduce the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans for undergrads from 6.8% to 3.4%, potentially saving graduates thousands of dollars in interest. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) | Boston Globe | CNN 

More UK Women in Engineering Programs

A report by Britain's Economic and Social Research Council reveals that more women are studying engineering, but also that an increased number of women in the industry have not helped to develop a gender-equitable view. Many female engineering students are choosing to apply their education to careers outside of engineering. Women in engineering tend to receive more help than men, a double-edged sword of support and doubt. Despite an environment that constantly highlights their gender, they tend to have stereotypical rather than progressive views of women. ESRC media release