Top Ten

March 1, 2007

uAlberta to Research Oil Sands Sustainability

The U niversity of Alberta expects to invest $15 million in research and recruit more than 50 faculty, grad students, and researchers for the new Imperial Oil - Alberta Ingenuity Centre for Oil Sands Innovation. The Centre will focus on the busy oil sands region of the province, with the intention of improving the area's development and creating environmental sustainability, particularly by reducing the amount of water used in the area.  While trouble is anywhere from 20 to 100 years in the future, the university intends to work with industry and government to tackle the issue in advance.  uAlberta Express News

Tight Budget Puts UNB Residence at Risk

Aiken House residence at the University of New Brunswick might be on the chopping block, so to speak.  The central location of the residence meets the university's need for additional office space, and the saved funds could be funnelled into the remaining residences.  University management is currently trying to resolve a $1 million budget shortfall. Students attached to Aiken have cited complaints of poor management, as a new residence was built just five years ago when enrolment had already started to drop.  There remains a possibility that a different residence building will be closed instead.  CBC

First-of-its-kind "Mechatronic" Eng Program at SFU

Simon Fraser University is launching a new mechatronic systems engineering program at their Surrey campus.  The program will combine mechanical, electrical and electronic, and software engineering -- the combination of which leads to the leading technologies of today, such as digital cameras and anti-lock brake systems.  The 5-year bachelor program is the first of its kind in North America , and will include industry collaboration projects as well as at least three semesters of co-op placement. More Information

Funds Mean More Spots in Booming Health Industry

In response to the aging population in the Fraser Valley area, the provincial government has promised increased long-term care beds, and increased funding for skills-training in related areas.  UCFV currently takes 40 students a year into its Home Support/Resident Care program, but with new provincial funds will now be able to take 60.  The high-demand program includes hands-on lab training, theory and 12 weeks of supervised practicum.  Students earn their certificate within six months, and leave well-equipped for entry-level work in the health care field, primarily with the elderly.  More Information

Asia Enters the Ivy Race

South Korea intends to give the Western Ivy League a run for its money with the Underwood International College (UIC), a program at Yonsei (the country's oldest and most prestigious private university).  Asian students have been going abroad for high level educations, and many bright minds that lack the travel funds have been unable to pursue high-calibre programs because of the lack of a local option. With generous scholarships and pay, and faculty from around the globe, UIC is now touted as equivalent to any of the North American or European greats, and has created hopes of lessening the Asian brain drain.  The program is taught completely in English.  Newsweek

uGuelph Study Shows Poor Teen Living

Canadian high school students are throwing caution to the wind and living very unhealthy lifestyles, fuelled by junk food and television for the most part.  Less than 50% of grade nines eat breakfast on a daily basis, less than 25% eat enough fruits and vegetables, and more than 35% are above normal weight.  What students are doing, rather than not doing, is eating more than three daily servings of foods from the 'other' food group, which includes soda, french fries and snack foods; they are also watching almost 4 hours of TV a day.  Students do not make up the loss of breakfast throughout the day, and often their ability to concentrate suffers for it.  The long-term study by uGuelph researchers found that the habits worsened with age.  uGuelph News Release

Tagging Web 2.0

According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 28% of internet users have tagged or categorized content online, such as photos, news stories, or blog posts.  Tags are pre-set terms such as topics, names, etc, that allow users to pursue a structured browse through a network of content.  Tagging allows users to add structure to the rapidly expanding body of raw content that they eagerly upload either to photo albums, online journals or profile feeds. Facebook allows students to index photos by listing each individual pictured, and to pull up a thumbnail report of every photo that a particular "contact" is tagged in.  Taggers are likely to be under 40 years old, but this bracket is expanding as more and more services adopt the feature.  Pew Internet & American Life Project (PDF Report) | Education PR