Top Ten

April 16, 2007

Dalhousie coping with mumps outbreak

Students at Dalhousie University account for more than one-third of Nova Scotia 's 64 cases of mumps in a recent outbreak.  One of the school's residences has been declared a quarantined area in an effort to contain the illness, and 10 Dal students are in voluntary isolation.  According to the school, many of these had single rooms and were easily able to isolate themselves. Dalhousie dealt with a mumps outbreak last year as well, and according to a spokesperson, the situation is well under control.  Students in their 20s are susceptible to getting sick, as they grew up in a period when only one dose of the vaccine was administered.  There are currently 15 cases in New Brunswick as well.  Canadian Press | The Guardian 

Anti-Islamic graffiti at McMaster

The organizer of "Wear a Hijab Day" at McMaster University came in to work last week to find racist graffiti sprayed on her office door.  The event was intended to sensitize people to Islam, allowing participants to see through experience how others viewed and treated Islamic women.  The Hamilton Spectator reports that the University failed to report the "hate crime" to city police, and rather than preserving the evidence, had the paint removed by cleaning staff. McMaster's president has expressed disappointment regarding the incident.  Hamilton Spectator | North Bay Nugget 

New "do it yourself" Maclean's rankings online

To counter the "Navigator" ranking tool launched online by the Globe & Mail last Hallowe'en, Maclean's has added new functionality to its online university rankings. Users can select up to 7 criteria, assign percentage weightings, and calculate rankings by region or individually-selected universities. The three categories (Medical/Doctoral, Comprehensive, and Primarily Undergraduate) are blended in the results. Maclean's | Try the Tool

Staff cuts at Robarts Research Institute

The merger of the Robarts Research Institute with the University of Western Ontario, and the provincial government's financial support, got press coverage in the UK last week.  Even with the government's investment, 19 Robarts staff positions will be cut: 14 terminate immediately, and 5 more shortly afterwards.  Robarts staff include more than 600 employees, and was previously Canada 's only independent research institute -- before going into deficit and merging with UWO for financial reasons.  The positions being cut are mostly administrative, and no more layoffs are expected.  Ministry Press Release | London Free Press 

Sprott aims for AACSB accreditation

The Sprott School of Business at Carleton University is seeking accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.  Current AACSB accredited business faculties are uOttawa and Queen's.  To achieve this goal and gain an equal footing with its key competitors, Sprott is reorganizing class instruction as well as workload, and hiring new faculty.  The cost of these improvements is estimated at between $40,000 and $50,000 -- accreditation itself costs $10,000.  The Charlatan (Student Newspaper)

New uSask/Briercrest transfer agreement

uSaskatchewan and Briercrest College have announced that they are now working together to offer credit transfers for their students.  50 of Briercrest's credit units will now be recognized by uSask. The new agreement will make it much easier for Briercrest students to finish their education at the university -- it will also hopefully motivate more students to stay in Saskatchewan after their education. 2+2 programs are particularly popular in British Columbia and Alberta, where full university spots are in short supply.  Discover Moose Jaw


30 Métis students in Ontario will be awarded scholarships by the Métis Nation of Ontario Health Careers Support program, to a total of $210,000. Only students studying to enter health professions are eligible.  The awards are meant both to motivate Métis students to consider health careers, and also to promote the abilities emerging from Métis communities.  This is the first of $10 million promised by the Métis Health Human Resources Initiative, distributed through the Métis National Council ( Ontario to British Columbia ) between now and 2010.  MNO News Release

Less elite US colleges becoming more competitive

With a regional population boom in Massachusetts , and record numbers of rejections from the Ivy Leagues, many schools that never thought of themselves as "elite" are now also sending out heavy rejections due to increased applications.  More students are graduating from high school, and more of them are applying to colleges. In the face of tough competition, students are applying to a higher number of schools.  The bubble of extra applicants means more to choose from, and the potential for a high calibre freshman class.  Boston College was able to accept only 27% of its almost 30,000 applicants (ten years ago they accepted 39%).  Boston Globe

Win UK scholarships on India reality TV

400 prospective students will compete for 5 spots at top British universities as part of a reality TV series.  "Scholar Hunt: Destination UK" will be broadcast on BSkyB and across India -- winners receive scholarships worth up to £80,000, and a spot at either Leeds, Sheffield, Warwick, Cardiff or Middlesex universities.  The scholarship will be enough to pay for fees and living costs.  All contestants will be screened to make sure they meet the schools' academic requirements, and then enter a free-for-all of tests, tasks and quizzes to win the prize. BBC News