Top Ten

March 9, 2007

McMaster & Waterloo Launch $46 Million Automotive Initiative

The province of Ontario has announced $15.6 million in funding for the Initiative for Automotive Manufacturing Innovation, led by McMaster University and uWaterloo.  The project will explore new technologies to yield lighter and cheaper cars.  35 private-sector partners and the two schools themselves will match the provincial investment, for a total of $46.5 million over five years.  Automotive production is one of Ontario 's key industries, and experienced a 4.3% drop last year.  More than 200 researchers will receiving training and experience through the project. The Toronto Star | The KW Record | McMaster News Release

uManitoba Students Vote to Hike Own Tuition 38%

Engineering students at uManitoba approved a 38% increase in their tuition fees, with 64% of voters in favour of the hike.  A student says "...a small, small hit right now will pay dividends in the future."  Students look forward to updated equipment, fewer cancelled classes, and faculty that have time to actually grade assignments.  The increase will amount to $1,000 a year, and means the end of a 7-year tuition freeze at the school.  Students that both support and oppose the increase will stand together in a rally to ask for more provincial education funding.  The Winnipeg Free Press | The Globe & Mail 

Business Women Still Daunted by Gender Barrier

Female executives in Canada and around the world still find gender a significant barrier in career advancement, according to a recent study.  The survey of 2,200 executives in 13 countries by Accenture Research also found that male and female execs tend to believe their careers are progressing as expected, but that women have lower expectations about just how high they might climb.  Rather than gender, Canadian men were more likely to cite economic decline or unwillingness to relocate as barriers to advancement. The report was released yesterday, for International Women's Day. Accenture Research News Release

King's University College Recognized for Race Relations

While American colleges wrestle with new restrictions on their affirmative action admission strategies, and in the wake of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation's report urging Canadian PSE to broaden the demographics of its applicants to offset anticipated declines in the traditional college-age cohort, King's University College (at the University of Western Ontario) seems to be on the right track.  Earlier this week, King's received the City of London Race Relations Recognition Award 2007, in the Education and Training category.  While ten years ago there were only 10 international students at King's, there are now 310 from 30 countries around the world.  The school intentionally positioned itself for international recruitment, adding targeted support services and a special week-long orientation program for foreign and exchange students, and an overall recognition that international influence stands to benefit all aspects of academic and campus life.  King's News Release

Report on Aboriginal Education

The Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education (SAEE) has released a report aimed at "reducing the achievement gap for Aboriginal learners," based on a review of 10 positive case studies.  The study reports that just 9.3% of 20-34-year-olds from Waskaganish proceed to PSE, compared to 46.9% of the general Quebec population.  The report also acknowledges student centres in Ottawa and Montreal , operated through the Cree School Board, assist students from Aboriginal communities in their post-secondary studies.  SAEE News Release

SFU Scholarship Requirements Relaxed to Permit Volunteerism

Students at Simon Fraser University will no longer have to achieve both a term grade-point average as well as a cumulative average of 3.5 to retain their major scholarships.  The school's scholarships, awards and bursaries policy is updated and in effect for Spring 2007.  An entrance scholarship coordinator explains the changes: "What we discovered is that these amazing students were finding it difficult to keep up their admirable levels of community service because they had to work so hard at their studies to maintain their GPA." The goal of the changes is to allow for periodic increases in extracurricular demands to be accommodated within the scholarship requirements, allowing exceptional students to excel beyond the classroom.  SFU News Release

Top Tier Universities are Over-rated

A campus official and mother of three discusses applicant attitudes toward the "best" and "the rest," in this week's Christian Science Monitor. She has seen kids that excelled in high school flounder in the competitive environment found at many "top" schools, and believes that many would thrive in smaller colleges.  This is one in a trend of articles lately that reflect an interest in finding the right campus and program fit for individual students, rather than simply buying an Ivey-league brand name.  The Christian Science Monitor 

Presidential Think-Tank almost Banned from SMU Campus

The faculty senate of Southern Methodist University came up with a tie vote on whether the school should disassociate itself from a partisan think-tank that comes part-and-parcel with the proposed George W. Bush Presidential Library.  Most of the controversy over the library is regarding the partnered policy institute. If the motion had passed, SMU would have either voted to disassociate entirely from the project -- to the point of not allowing it on campus -- or only approving a non-partisan facility.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) | The Dallas Morning News

Online K-12 Enrolment Keeps Growing

According to, 63% of US school districts had at least one K-12 student enrolled in online classes in 2005-06, for a total of 700,000 American students.  It is predicted that online course enrolments will increase by a further 19% in the next two years.  Students go online for various reasons, including a desire for extra help, advanced content, or course offerings that are unavailable locally (particularly in rural districts).  eMarketer

Police Dog Earns Same Online Degree as Police Chief

A police dog in Fostoria , Ohio has apparently earned the same credentials as the Chief of Police himself.  An Ohio attorney is defending his client by claiming that the arresting officer, the Chief of Police, had no authority because he lied about his credentials. The attorney wants the city's police dog to be entered as evidence.  The Ottawa Recorder