Top Ten

January 22, 2007

$67 million for Atlantic Canada R&D

The Atlantic Innovation Fund has announced $67 million for 29 research projects in eastern Canada. The projects were selected to bring together universities, businesses and research institutions to work on world-class research that could potentially boost Atlantic Canada's economy. An additional $57.5 million is expected from private and public sector sources. uPEI, UNB, St. Francis Xavier, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and Memorial all had projects included. ACOA Release

UNB Anticipates Financial Crunch

The president of UNB, John McLaughlin, told CBC last Thursday that although his school is able to continue day-to-day operations on a very conservative budget, its faces the prospect of "long-term decay" unless there is a substantial financial investment, and soon. "I may be generous in saying that we have a decade, we may have less." Tuition in Atlantic Canada is already considerably higher than the rest of the country, so further tuition increases aren't the solution. UNB is looking at fundraising drives, and recruiting mature and part-time students to lessen the impact of decreasing enrolment. UNB is calling on the province to make a similar investment as Ontario, Alberta and BC have made in their own post-secondary systems. CBC

New Brunswick Announces PSE Overhaul

Premier Shawn Graham announced a pending major overhaul, "more than just a tweaking," to post-secondary education in New Brunswick. A commission on the province's PSE system will be lead by Dr. Rick Miner, president of Seneca College, and Jacques L'Ecuyer, who oversaw a similar commission in Quebec. Particular focus will be on ensuring as many students as possible have access to quality PSE. Dr. Miner commends New Brunswick for contributing to the national trend of recognizing investment in higher education as an investment in both society and economy. CBC | Seneca College

UManitoba Partners in Kenyan HIV/AIDS Lab

The first ever state-of-the-art infectious diseases research facility in East Africa was opened officially last Friday in Kenya, by the University of Manitoba and the University of Nairobi. It is one of 3 facilities in Africa capable of handling highly contagious pathogens, and will play a key role in HIV/AIDS research by both institutions. The facility was made possible by CFI's International Access Fund, as well as support by the Province of Manitoba, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and both universities. The partnership between UManitoba and UNairobi has been in place since 1980, and has resulted in one of the world's strongest research efforts in the battle against HIV. Winnipeg Sun | Winnipeg Free Press 

Women Under-Represented among Canadian Faculty

In an article to be published in next month's Academic Matters, the traditional excuses for the under-representation of women among Canadian academics come under fire. Currently 58% of Canadian university students are female, but less than a third of full-time faculty, and only 18% of full professors, are women. Since the 1960's, the lack of women in professional academics has been blamed on too few women getting doctorates and choosing an academic career. Grad schools now contain equal numbers of male and female students, and imminent retirements may provide an opportunity to balance out the scales. Toronto Star 

NSSE Results Show UofT Students Are Different

uToronto's student newspaper, The Varsity, observes wryly that results from the recent National Survey of Student Engagement underscore the ways in which uToronto students are unique: less involved in extracurriculars, less physically active, worried about marks instead of money, and yet 52% of frosh average less than a B. Last week, UofT's associate vice-provost stated several concerns with NSSE's ability to capture the school experience, in part because the questions are "too American-centric," and UofT is unique as "a world-class institution that draws a largely local student population." The Varsity (student newspaper) | uToronto News 

Concordia Launches New Brand Identity

Concordia University's Board of Governors has approved the school's fourth new logo in its 33-year history, and the first bilingual one. The new $30,000 logo is designed to be contemporary and unique, reflecting the school's place within the North American university landscape. Reputational research showed that Concordia was seen as daring, approachable, engaged and innovative: the new logo was designed to encourage these perceptions. Concordia Notice | Montreal Gazette 

2006 Freshmen are Political, Charitable and on a Budget

UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute's annual report on US freshmen is out. American students are interested in politics more than ever, and record numbers are identifying themselves as either conservative or liberal, rather than inhabiting the middle ground. A new question in this year's survey revealed that one-third of freshmen were not at their first choice school, even though half of them had been accepted. Many say they declined their first-choice offer of admission because of cost: 64% of freshmen are concerned about their ability to pay for school. Two-thirds of freshmen feel it is important to help others in difficulty -- higher even than in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)

13-Year-Old College Students "Thrive"

A recent study from uWashington has found that students who entered college early (at ages 12, 13 or 14), were extremely versatile, interested, interesting and sociable, with positive feelings towards their college or university experience and records of success emotionally, financially and socially after graduation. Entering university at a young age can challenge a mind that would otherwise "coast on autopilot" in middle school. UWashington Release

Top 10 Website Mistakes

Liquid Development has released a free report on the top 10 web mistakes made, based on studies with web managers, IT and marketing executives in the US. Your website or portal should be as professional, engaging and credible as your offline office and employees. Mistake #4 is "Lack of defined quality control process." Large-scale websites often have several departments and web-coordinators working on pages and without a method of control, your site's navigation structures, branding, and general usability all plummet. Content Management Systems are an effective way of creating a uniform website. Mistake #10 is "Confusing Navigation": LD suggests adding a search function, a complete sitemap and tiered navigation links at the bottom of all pages. Liquid media release