Top Ten

March 14, 2007

Nfld High Speed Research Network Launched

The Atlantic Consortium of Research Networks (ACORN-NL) is the first optical network in Newfoundland & Labrador.  The network is a collaborative effort between Memorial University , the College of the North Atlantic, the Institute of Ocean Technology-NRC , the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Eastern School Board, and the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation.  It will move the member institutions to a more equal footing with other provinces, many of which already have high-speed research grids. Researchers' increasing dependence on access to large quantities of digitized data, and an increasingly collaborative research environment, were the key inspirations for the multi-million-dollar project.  Memorial News Release

for Faculty Shortage

uWaterloo has responded to the OCUFA report on Ontario Graduate programs released earlier this week.  School officials say that they have the physical space to accommodate the bulging class of potential grad students, but that they lack the funds to hire new professors to teach additional graduate classes.  And the blame for the funding shortfall is attributed to the provincial government. The provincial faculty association is calling on Ontario for an additional $388 million.  It is predicted that 2,205 more instructors are needed to keep the faculty-student ratio in check.  The KW Record

60/40 Split Opinion on Quebec Tuition Increase

61% of Quebec students do not support the tuition hike proposed by the province's Liberals.  600 students were canvassed by phone earlier this month to get an impression of their response toward the potential $500 per student increase.  20% fully supported the hike, 19% agreed somewhat, 47% were completely against it and 14% disagreed somewhat.  The Montreal Gazette

uAlberta Students Vote to Keep Coke

Voters in uAlberta's annual Students' Union election were asked to vote also on renewing the school's exclusive beverage contract with Coca-Cola: 57% voted in favour.  The original 1998 contract gives Coke a monopoly on campus thirst, in exchange for upwards of $500,000 in annual scholarships, bursaries and student services. Those campaigning against Coke have suggested that the plebiscite question was biased towards a Yes vote, and that only $50,000 is ever seen by the Student's Union The Gateway (Student Newspaper)

Mandatory College Applications proposed in Maine

The state of Maine is considering new legislation that would require all high school students to complete at least one college application as part of their secondary curriculum, in an effort to increase PSE participation rates. The bill was inspired by a pilot program at a southern Maine high school, which required students to complete applications and saw PSE participation rates double from 35% to 70%. The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) 

US News accused of creating False Statistics

Sarah Lawrence College's president, Michele Tolela Myers, has released a statement against the credibility of U.S. News & World Report's college rankings.  SLC does not use standardized test scores like the SATs to evaluate its applicants.  U.S. News publishes an estimated SAT score for similar schools, by deducting one standard deviation from the mean score of a school's peer group of institutions. Myers insists that this is a negative misrepresentation of her school, and an effort to force the institution to provide the information that the magazine wants.  The Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

Online Applications prove Popular

An article in the March issue of University Business argues that even those US universities offering online applications have, for the most part, not been maximizing the potential of this exciting new technology.  Increased access and ease of use are the immediate benefits of going electronic, but there are also benefits to staff workload such as being able to handle more applications with less burden on staff.  Millennials assume that they will be able to apply online, leading many to go digital and eliminate paper application forms completely.  One US university received only 1.2% of the 50,000 paper applications issued. University Business 

Vancouver Youth High Substance Abusers

According to a survey by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, Vancouverites between ages 16 and 25 are using drugs and alcohol more frequently than the rest of young Canadians.  54% of young people surveyed had smoked marijuana or cigarettes within the last year, and 9 out of 10 had consumed alcohol.  One-third tried drugs because they were curious, and felt pot was the least risky drug to experiment with.  The Globe & Mail